Condo, Coop and HOA Master Insurance Premium

I’m sure that a lot of condo/coop & HOA board members have the following question: how come on my Automobile & HO-6 Insurance policies I pay the premiums directly to the insurance carrier, and I have the option of monthly installments, whereas on the condo/coop or HOA master insurance policy I have to pay the premiums to my agent or broker, and the premium has to be paid in full upon binding of the policy and if I can’t afford to pay it in full then we have to get premium financing? That’s a very good question, and it all comes down to 2 main ways that insurance premiums are being charged:

  1. Direct Bill
  2. Agency Bill

Direct Bill

Most personal lines insurance policies, including personal automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, renter’s insurance and personal umbrella insurance are direct bill. This means that the insurance carrier is billing the policy holder directly. Most personal lines insurance policies come with the option of quarterly or monthly installments, you’ll have to pay a down payment (usually 20%) upon binding, and the rest will be split up to quarterly or monthly installments. In most cases you’ll be charged a small fee for every installment anywhere from $1 to $6 depending if you set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account. Once the policy is in effect, the agent or broker has nothing to do with the billing of your insurance policy (of course he’ll get a notice of cancellation if you don’t pay your premium and call you up to make sure that you’ll make a payment so your policy shouldn’t cancel). This is why on all your personal insurance policies you pay the insurance company directly and you have the options of installments.

Agency Bill

But when it comes to your condo/coop or HOA’s master insurance policy it’s a whole different story. Most condo/coop or HOA policies are agency billed, this means that the insurance carrier is billing the insurance broker the full policy premium, and the broker has to bill the condo/coop or HOA association. The broker usually has 30 to 90 days to pay the full premium to the insurance carrier. This is the reason why you pay the insurance premiums to the insurance agent or broker and why it has to be paid in full. But what if your condo/coop or HOA association can’t afford to pay the whole premium at once?

Premium Financing

Most condo/coop or HOA associations don’t have extra money lying around, so when your policy premium is more than $20,000 it’s kind of hard to pay the full amount up front, that’s when premium financing comes in to play. Your insurance broker should help you out with the premium financing; there are a lot of good financing companies out there. The interest rates are usually between 6 & 10%. They will only finance about 80% of the premium, which means that you’ll have to pay about 20% upon closing. How does the whole financing process work? The financing company sends a check of the full premium (minus your 20% down payment) to the insurance broker. Then the insurance broker sends to the insurance company the down payment that he got from the condo/coop or HOA and the check that he got from the financing company (minus his commissions). Then the financing company is going to bill you monthly or quarterly with a 6 to 10% interest rate. The following is something that unfortunately happens quite often: The insured made sure to have the policy paid up in full, whether by paying the full amount or by getting premium financing, and after a few weeks they get a notice of cancellation in the mail. What happened here? Very simple, your broker received the full amount, now he has up to 60 days to pay the company, and very often brokers neglect or on purposely delay paying the insurance company right away. This is wrong and illegal and you should stay away from such insurance brokers.

What Influences Your Car Insurance Premiums?

It is a given fact that knowing the details is certainly advantageous for individuals who are entering into different types of transactions. This is also the case when it comes to car insurance. Since the amount of premiums significantly affect the cash flows of policyholders, identifying the factors that affect car insurance premiums is absolutely useful in decision making.

Car insurance premiums are affected by inherent characteristics that policyholders cannot totally adjust according to their preferences. This includes the age, gender and marital status of the policyholders. Insurance companies maintain varying premium differentials that are appropriate to these groups according to various studies that were conducted. As per the age factor, drivers who are younger than twenty five years old and above sixty years old are revealed to be more susceptible to vehicular accidents. As a result, insurance premium rates for individuals in these age groups are typically higher.

When it comes to gender, women are considered to be statistically careful drivers compared to men. This is the reason why female policyholders shell out less premium expense compared to the male ones. Individuals who are married also are given lower premium quotes as compared to single individuals.

There are also factors that are entirely controllable and can be the result of the actions and decisions of the policyholders. This includes the type of vehicle, driving style and record, credit rating, professional responsibilities, profession, mileage counts and car safety features.

Insurance companies tend to increase the premium rates for high-end automobiles that are categorized as high-performance, sports cars, rear-engine models and intermediate performance. It can be formulated that more expensive cars commands higher insurance premiums. This is due to the fact that these car types have more expensive spare parts and is more susceptible to theft.

Driving styles and record also play an important role in car insurance premiums. Insurance companies investigate and examine the driving profiles of their policyholders in order to correspond with the insurance premium offers. People who have traffic violations and accidents in their driving records tend to have higher premiums. Credit rating also has an impact to the amount of car insurance premiums. Insurance assumes that individuals who do not possess good credit rating are financially negligent and this can be manifested in their driving style as well.

The profession of the policyholder also has an effect in the insurance premium rate. Statistically, there has been an observed correlation between risk and occupation of policyholders. If the occupation requires long distance travel or travel in accident-prone locations, the premium rate charges are higher. Premium rates are cheaper for policyholders who work in the office or urban institutions.

Low annual miles driven by the policyholders also reduce the probability of being in a vehicular collision which in turn, results to lower premiums. Vehicles which are intended for business purposes also have lower insurance rates as compared to vehicles that are operated for commuting purposes.

Lastly, car features can also have influence in the rate of the insurance premiums. A vehicle which has safety features and theft prevention gadgets installed in it also cuts the insurance premiums. These features include airbags, anti-lock brakes, chassis quality, tracking devices and burglar alarms.

Determining Your Life Insurance Premium

When you’re purchasing life insurance, you don’t have much say about your insurance premium. It’s decided by the company and your only decision is whether or not to accept their offer.

However, there are some known factors that go into determining the premium. While you can’t control some of them, it will help you fill out your application and talk to the company intelligently if you know what they’re looking for.

Factors You Can’t Control

Age is a primary factor the helps determine your life insurance premium. Younger people will have the best premiums, as older people have a higher risk of dying.

Gender also contributes to your premium. Women usually go to the doctor more often than men, so they catch dangerous conditions earlier, and they typically live longer, so they will pay less for insurance.

Your health history also goes a long way when a insurance company is figuring out your premium. Any diseases you’ve had or have currently, as well as your family history of disease, are all contributing factors. It may be tempting to stretch the truth about your health history when applying for insurance. Doing this, however, puts you at risk for policy cancellation if the company finds out.

Showing that you have recovered from a life-threatening or serious condition, like cancer, or that you are taking care of something chronic, like diabetes, can help lower your premium, depending on the company and type of insurance you’re applying for.

The insurance company will also want to know if you have anything in your past that indicates you might engaged in risky behavior. This includes anything from bankruptcy filings to mental illness. Any risk you’ve demonstrated in the past will cause you to pay higher premiums.

Factors You Can Control

If you’re a smoker, you will pay more for insurance than a non-smoker. Note that this normally pertains to people who smoke regularly and not to those who smoke cigars or pipe tobacco occasionally with their friends.

In addition, your general physical condition, especially your weight, contributes to your life insurance premium. If you are over or under weight for your height, you will pay more. Those with a low-average weight will have the best premium.

What you do for a living and what you do for fun also help determine your premium. If your job is dangerous or you have potentially lethal hobbies (like extreme sports) you will pay more for your life insurance than an accountant who likes to read.

Finally, the amount of foreign travel, as well as the places you’ve travelled to and how long you’ve stayed there, also influence your life insurance premium. If you travel frequently and spend a lot of time overseas, your life insurance will cost more.

Purchasing Life Insurance

Hopefully, knowing these factors will help you as you seek the life insurance and life insurance premium that is right for you, your family, and your circumstances. If you have questions about how your particular insurance company handles one of the issues mentioned above, be sure to ask about it before you purchase the insurance.