Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Insurance Premiums

The cost of personal home and auto insurance is on the rise.  For the past several years, many insurance companies have collected less money from the insurance premiums being paid by clients than they have paid out in client claims.

Insurance premium rates are a function of both the individual and group costs and claims environment.

A portion of the insurance premiums collected by an insurance company are set aside and invested.   When a claim is incurred by an insured, monies are removed from the pool to pay the claim.  If an insurance company incurs more claims than the insurance premium funds it has collected and invested, it will be forced to raise the rates it charges for its insurance.

Of course, insurance premium increases must be approved in advance by the state regulatory body overseeing insurance companies.   But, in the past few years (2010-2012), many national insurance companies have incurred losses in excess of their set aside, invested premium funds.  Hence, many insurance companies are asking their state regulatory body for increased insurance premiums.

If you have experienced an increase in insurance premiums, please do call 515/232-5240 and ask for Andrea Shearer, Tessa Everman, or Burton Heginger at Triplett Companies for advice and help reducing your current premium.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Homeowners Are More Positive

FNMA NHS.pngFannie Mae, in a recently released study, states that consumer attitudes continue to be favorable about homeownership, particularly with the younger generations, ages 18 to 34. Slightly over half of them think that owning makes more sense than renting when comparing the financial and lifestyle benefits.
90% of aspiring owners expect to purchase a home someday and slightly over half think they’ll do it within five years. The primary challenges are having sufficient savings and the difficulty of getting a mortgage today. Younger renters see renting as a temporary stepping stone toward homeownership.
Homeowners are far more likely than renters to be “very positive” about their housing experience. Some of the benefits identified are:
• Having control over what you do with your living space
• Having a sense of privacy and security
• Having a good place for your family or to raise your children
• Having the best investment plan
• Living in a nicer home
• Building up wealth
• Saving for retirement
• Living in a place where you and your family feel safe
• Feeling engaged in your community
To satisfy a buyer’s doubts about qualifying for a mortgage, make an appointment with a trusted mortgage professional. If you’d like a recommendation at no cost or obligation, please contact me at kexcell@triplettcompanies.com.  Check out this Rent vs. Own to see the real cost of owning a home.
For more information about the Fannie Mae survey in presentation form, Click Here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Live the Good Life

The Life of Riley was a TV show from the 50’s starring William Bendix but the title’s origin came from an expression meaning that a person was living the “good life.” Most people envision themselves living the good life by retirement but don’t really have a plan to get there.
There’s a rough rule of thumb used to estimate how much net worth a person would need by the time they retire to generate a certain income. The target annual income is divided by a safe, conservative yield to determine the investable assets needed. Life of Riley Index.png
A person who wanted $100,000 annual income generated from a 5% investment would need investable assets of $2,000,000. If a person had $500,000 now, they would need to accumulate $1.5 million more by the time they retire. If it was estimated to be 15 years away, they would need to save about $100,000 a year, each year until retirement.
It is a sobering example that could be depressing without a plan. It might be easy to say, “I should have started sooner” which may be true but there is still hope.
Gradually, over the next several years, accumulate rental property and allow the tenant to retire the debt for you. The equity in each property will grow from the amortization of the loan each time a payment is made. It also grows as the property increases in value due to appreciation.
Single family homes as rentals offer the investor an opportunity to meet their retirement and financial goals for the following reasons:
  • The ability to borrow large loan-to-value mortgages
  • At fixed interest rates
  • For long terms (easily up to 30 years)
  • On appreciating assets
  • With significant tax advantages
  • And reasonable control not offered by alternative investments.


Insurance companies agree to insure clients against their monetary losses incurred due to unexpected occurrences.

Any claims for unexpected occurrences that trigger an insurance claim should be carefully considered in an effort to determine whether such an insurance claim might be considered “frivolous” by an insurance company.

An insurance company may consider an insurance claim to be frivolous if the insured claim is not much more than the estimated cost to either repair or replace the insured damage. 

For example a $600 dollar insurance claim for which the client will only receive $100 in insurance benefits because of a $500 deductible might not be in the best, long run interests of the insured. 

When submitting any insurance claim, be certain to consider the long run impact such a claim will have on future insurability. 

As soon as a client is involved in an unexpected, insured occurrence, it is wise to discuss that occurrence in detail with your insurance agent.

For more information, contact either Andrea Shearer, Tessa Everman, or Burton Heginger at Triplett Companies at phone number 515/232-5240. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Insurance premiums are on the rise.  Insurance Companies state that the market has been “soft” the past few years, but that is no longer the case – that is, the cost of insurance for most homeowners and vehicle owners is on the rise!  Market Scout reports that personal insurance rates rose as much as 3 percent in the month of September 2012!  (For additional detail, see the 08 October online report from Property Casualty 360 at >property casualty360.com<)

What can you do to reduce your cost of insurance and still maintain an adequate level of insurance?  Contact your independent insurance agent and ask that he or she seek other quotes for your insurance.

Contact your favorite insurance agent (Andrea Shearer, Tessa Everman, or Burton Heginger) at the Triplett Companies (515/232-5240) and ask for their help.  Most likely they can save you money!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Market Value

Question button.pngHow much is a one carat diamond worth? Anyone who has shopped for one knows that the price could have a significantly wide range of value. It's been said that purchasers  should consider the color, cut, clarity and carat size to compare stones but when it gets down to decision time, buyers still want to know “how much is it worth?”
Real estate valuation can be equally as confusing to the public. There are three commonly used tools that today’s home buyers rely on to make decisions but they vary significantly in the methods used to make the determination as well as the possible final consideration.
Appraisals are an opinion or estimate of value based on specific guidelines made by individuals who are licensed and possibly certified. Buyers and sellers may be reluctant to engage an appraiser because there is a fee of several hundred dollars that must be paid in advance even if no sale is ever consummated.
A Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) as defined by the National Association of REALTORS® is an “estimate of the probable selling price of a property.” The Dodd-Frank Act describes a BPO as “an estimate…that details the probably selling price of a particular piece of real estate property and provides a varying level of detail about the property’s condition, market, and neighborhood, and information on comparable sales, but does not include an automated valuation model.”
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a commonly used tool of salespeople to provide information to buyers and sellers to facilitate a sale. In most cases, it would be difficult to distinguish a CMA from a BPO because the steps considered are essentially the same and practitioners commonly use the terms interchangeably.
Another method called Automated Value Model (AVM) use software to search available data on the Internet to arrive at an approximation of value. Zestimates found on the Zillow site use this method. AVM’s may not consider all the market activity such as MLS sales and active listings. They can’t make adjustments based on human experience and market knowledge.
For what it’s worth, a buyer or seller might want to acquire as much current and factual information as possible from a trusted real estate professional familiar with the market before making a decision on the largest single asset most people acquire.

Renter's Insurance

An often forgotten insurance coverage is called “renter’s insurance.” 

Renter's insurance provides great coverage for damaged and/or stolen personal items for those who rent their housing. It also provides excellent liability coverage.

If rented housing is damaged by fire, tornado, etc. the renter will have no coverage for destroyed or lost personal items, no coverage for alternative housing (such as room in a motel, etc.) while the damaged rental unit is being repaired.
With liability coverage, your assets are being protected. For example, if the apartment or house that you rent burns to the ground and you are found responsible for causing the fire, you will have to pay for the home or apartment to be rebuilt. If you have renter's insurance, your insurance company pays for the home or apartment to be rebuilt.

The cost is about $10 per month for a good renter insurance policy.

Contact your favorite insurance agent (Andrea Shearer, Tessa Everman, Burton Heginger, or Ryan Edgington) at the Triplett Companies (515/232-5240) if you have questions about renter’s insurance and would like a premium quote for Renter Insurance coverage.