For most people, their home is their most valuable asset. For many, their car is next. Home insurance is mandatory if a mortgage is involved, and car insurance is required before a vehicle can be registered. Whether or not to insure is not the issue here. The issue is to find policies giving the best value for money.
Many times, the best insurance comes through an association. This is because a larger number of insured lessens the risk for the insurer. AARP is a huge organization in the United States, and they offer their members excellent deals on insurance – for cars, homes, and medical coverage. AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons, but it is not necessary to have worked, or to be retired. All you have to do is hit the half century: if you are 50 or over, you are eligible for membership. Their preferred insurance provider is The Hartford, which offers unusually comprehensive packages for auto and homeowners insurance. Bundling the two is an even better deal as you will get discounts on both rates.
For obvious reasons, insurance companies prefer low-risk customers. The AARP Auto Program includes many incentives to be a safe driver. Perhaps the strongest is the First Accident Forgiveness plan. Under this plan there is no increase in premium associated with an accident so long as no driver on your policy has been involved in an accident or had a major violation during the previous five years. At the same time, safe driving can lead to a zero deductible: your deductible is reduced each year that you maintain a clean driving record, until finally it disappears.
A very appealing feature of the AARP Auto Program is Recover Care which helps pay for many incidental costs that may accrue if you are injured in an accident and unable to drive or do housework. Services such as transportation and shopping are covered as well as cooking and cleaning. Even yard work.
The AARP Homeowners Insurance Program from The Hartford offers the standard coverage with many optional extras. These include the 100% Protection Plan. This means that if your home is insured for its full replacement value and disaster strikes, the policy will pay for rebuilding, even if it costs more than the insured value. (Certain restrictions apply).
Disaster can strike any time in sometimes totally unexpected ways. Wooden homes are always vulnerable to fire, as are rural homes which can be caught in wildfires. Flooding is an increasing danger, (separate coverage is required.)
Tornados, hurricanes and severe storms can inflict serious damage. An explosion caused by a gas leak can level a house in seconds, and cause considerable damage to other houses in the neighbourhood. Because such disasters are still relatively rare, homeowners insurance is quite affordable.
The peace of mind that comes with adequate insurance on home and vehicle is priceless. The Hartford guarantees that once you are a policyholder your coverage will never be cancelled as long as you pay your premiums when due. And their 24/7 claim service helps you get your life back on track fast, should disaster strike.
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) describes itself as a leading provider of insurance and wealth management services for millions of consumers and businesses worldwide.