Ilyce Glink Show Notes May 16, 2010
Scam artists are targeting Americans in their 50s and 60s – those who lost money in the stock market bust of 2008-2009 and who are now desperate to catch up. Be very careful about dealing with companies that want you to tap your home equity line of credit (HELOC) to “invest” in foreign securities, life settlement securities, alternative energy deals and precious metals. The scam artists are extremely smart and they know what buttons to push.
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Shelby wanted to know when to file a claim for her roof. She knows that she needed a new roof for awhile, and the roofing contractor she called told her she had hail damage. The contractor gave her one price and then gave her another price for “the insurance company” – a practice I think is pretty disgusting. I told her to call a bunch of other, reputable roofing contractors and get more quotes. I also told her that if she files a claim, her premiums may go up. If you’re making this decision, you’ll have to weigh possible higher premiums with the cost of the roof and how many other claims you might have going on.
Elmer is a roofer who clued us into a recent roofer scam going on. He said that in Lawrenceville, Ga, roofers were caught damaging a roof and then saying there was hail damage. The homeowner didn’t trust them and videotaped the roofers and then called the cops. Other callers later said they had read about the arrests.
Anne had a great roofing experience. She had several companies come out to give estimates. They told her she had hail damage. She got the insurance company to pay for it, minus her $500 deductible. But, she put on an energy efficient roof and got a $1,500 tax credit! So, she made money on the deal.
Louis called to say that the Georgia Insurance commission approved a 12 percent hike in homeowners insurance premiums, so don’t worry about insurance premiums going up. They’ll go up whether you file a claim or not. Louis also said you should check out a roofer on BBBonline.org, find out if they’re licensed through the state, how long they’ve been in business, how many customers do they have, etc. If you find out a company has been in business for 15 years, and has 25,000 customers and an A+ rating from the BBB, that’s good.
I suggested going to Google and entering the following into the search box: “company name” “City, State in which it is located” and “Complaints.” If there’s a problem, you’ll find out pretty quickly.
Richard wanted to know if an insurance company could legally pay for only half a roof. I’m not a lawyer, but they can certainly make any offer they want. It’s up to you to provide the proof that the roof will cost a certain amount.
Louis is a roofer who wanted to let listeners know that Georgia has 9 hailstorms last year and was declared a disaster area. That means that insurance companies can’t raise you individual premiums and your claim gets filed through a separate disaster claims process and not the regular process.
We learned later in the show that you have a year to file a claim after the date of the disaster. And, there are topographical and meterological maps that are used to pinpoint where the hail came down. So, if you had hail damage last year during on of the worst storms, don’t fear retribution fro your insurance company. At least, it won’t be only about you.
Bob called about whether he should move his annuity that is in his Roth IRA (a dumb move, he admitted) and exchange it for another annuity with a different company. I told him he should find a fee only financial planner (actually, I told him to talk to 4 or 5) before making that kind of move.
Michael is buying a commercial property for his business and wanted some advice.
Ron called from Grand Rapids, Michigan where he told me he listens to the show each week via the Internet. He wanted to say he really doesn’t like annuities and had a bad experience canceling one. He wonders whether there are other valid reasons for an annuity to be in an IRA.
Glen has a relative who used the home buyer tax credit and now wants to transfer the home into a trust. He wants to know if the transfer will mean he has to pay back the home buyer tax credit. I told him to find a real estate attorney who can assist with this plan.
There were other great calls as well – watch for this weeks show to be posted online.
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