Category Archives: Insurance

Benefits of Health Insurance to Individual and Families

Health insurance provides compensation to the insurers when they unexpectedly face health problems and urgently need financial assistance. Health insurance covers most of the medical expenses that are required at the time of hospitalization, follow-up, diagnosis, consultation and different medical exams. Health insurance agencies may be publicly owned privately owned or may be owned by non-profit institutions but all these organizations provide insurance policies for individuals or groups. Health insurance may be a program sponsored by a company to the employees or even an individual may create an health insurance policy for him and his dependents. Many developed countries provide health insurance assistance to the public through their programs sponsored by the government such as United States Mediaid program. The insured should pay some expenses to get the coverage and benefits such as fee, deductibles, premium and some out-of-pocket expenses.

The concept of health insurance was founded by Hugh the Elder Chamberlin in 1694 due to the frequency of accidents that took place. He observed that how people turned physically disabled due to the accidents they came across. Initially health insurance was the claim paid when the accidents took place and coverage for medical treatment was required. Health insurance earlier was known as accident insurance. Some companies such as Franklin Health Assurance Company operated at that time to provide claims to the insured against the rail or road accidents or steamboat accidents. Gradually health insurance companies introduced policies that covered the costs for sick patients, follow-up, diagnosis, and other medical examination. During the 1920’2 many such insurance companies began to operate.

There are many concepts of health insurance that a person should know before creating an insurance policy. Everybody knows that health insurance is a contract between an insured and an insurer. The insurance policies that are created may be for long-term or short-term.

An insured should pay a certain amount of fee to claim in the future which may be monthly, quarterly or yearly to receive the benefits in the future known as ‘premium’. The insured should also pay certain amount form his own pocket up to a certain limit when he attends the clinic, undergoes examination, treatment or diagnosis before receiving the benefits of his policy which is known as ‘deductible’. The amount that should be paid as deductible is decided by the company at the time of signing the contract. The insured should also pay a certain amount every time he follows to clinic which is known as ‘co payment’ before receiving the insurance benefits. In order to treat the dependents of the insured the insured pays to the insurer a certain fee known as ‘capitation’. Some companies provide a document to the hospitals that they shall pay a certain amount as compensation to the insured and hence the hospitals should treat the patient considering the payment made from the insurance company which is known as ‘prior authorization ‘.

Insurance plans may be comprehensive or scheduled. Comprehensive plans are fixed proportion of fees that are paid to the hospitals after the patient pays the deductibles. The comprehensive plans are paid in lump sum amount. The scheduled plans are the plans that are paid by the insurance companies to the insured for meeting the routine expenses related to hospital care such as money for prescription etc.

Mainly there are two types of health insurance. One of them is Fee for service and the other one is Managed care. The two policies are different from each other and also similar from each other. Under ‘Service for Fee’ plan, the patient visits the doctor for check-up or other routine follow-up and files the fees to be paid to the clinic. The medical service organization may also file the fees that are to be paid for providing service to the patient. Under Managed Health care there are mainly three types of plans HMO, PPO, POS. Many schemes are available for the three type of plans. These plans may be comprehensive or scheduled.

Under HMO plan the insured has a wide choice to choose his own physician or a medical organization. In most of the HMO plans the insured should pay a certain amount of fee before availing service from the medical professional per visit known as ‘co payment’. Most of the expenses are incurred by the patient before receiving the coverage and the patient should pay for lab tests also. Under the PPO plan the doctor is not preplanned, the patient signs a contract with the hospitals and the hospitals charge less fee from the insurance providers. Certain points should be considered before choosing for PPO network such as the doctors who are covered under PPO, hospitals which have introduced PPO plan, etc. Under the POS plan the doctor is chosen from a network of service providers who are covered under POS plan. Your doctor is referred by the insurance company and you should avail services from their company only.

Many residents in U.S. today have chosen the short-term insurance policy. Nearly $1-2 million dollars is spent for short-term policies. The short -term policies are renewable and are more flexible. The tenure of the policy ranges from one month to twelve months. Long-term policies also provide many benefits and cover many costs but they are costly. Hence many people prefer to buy short -term policy.

Tips Starting a Small Business Insurance

Your Company and those like it is the anchor of this country. Almost all people assume large companies create most of the revenue the United States produces, although they just don’t understand in total Small Businesses hire a lot more people and produce even more income compared to those large companies. When you start your own business there are lots of elements you’ll want to consider within your business strategy plan. An Insurance policy mitigates your risk, small business insurance is just about the most important factors within your strategic business plan. When looking in to Business insurance packages, there are many kinds of insurance you’ll want to check into and now we can look at the various insurance policies. While we will look at insurance coverage’s that are based upon many types of businesses, you might want to speak with an experienced insurance agent with regards to your businesses requirements.

Commercial General Liability

This is the first protection you will want to take into consideration because it is on the list of needed insurance policies it is possible to acquire. The following insurance policy coverage that defends your company for both bodily injury and property damage claims. This means that this protects your company for accidents that your fault, and insures your company for scenarios when an individual or property is broken and / or wounded. Every business enterprise will need to have this particular coverage because this will handle many types of claim instances. This particular policy defends your business for libel and slander as well as slip and fall incidents. This type of coverage does insure you for several claim circumstances, it doesn’t cover them all. The types of insurance not covered under your standard liability policy are; Liquor Liability, Assault & Battery, Commercial Property, Workers Compensation, Professional Liability or Business Auto. The coverage limits for this type of insurance policy goes up to one certain limit and for a limit on top of it, you will need an Excess Insurance Policy. An Umbrella Policy may also go over your Auto Liability as well as your Workers Comp coverage increasing those limits of liability. When deciding just how much Liability Insurance you must consider what amount you have to lose.

Small Business Property Insurance

Now you have a policy coverage which can protect you for both the building you own as well as the property inside of it. Generally, the following coverage plan covers the Building and/or contents for many kinds of incidents such as fire. This coverage doesn’t insure property that leaves the premises, for that you’d need an Inland Marine insurance. An Inland Marine policy can cover small equipment to large construction tools or all kinds of other kinds of Property that would be removed from the businesses premises.

Small Business Auto Insurance

This coverage is auto insurance for your business autos. Typically a small business requires increased coverage limits of auto insurance compared to your own personal auto policy. Your small business auto policy would have increased limits of liability coverage, but the insurance coverage’s are relative. Your typically looking at liability insurance coverage along with the following; Medical Payments, Uninsured Motorists coverage, Comprehensive, Collision, Towing & Rental Coverage. If you ever rent an auto or your have a staff member drive their own personal automotive on an errand, you need to have Hired & Non Owned Auto Liability. Whenever your LLC or Corporation owns the vehicle, then you should make sure the autos are insured on a Commercial Auto Insurance policy.

Workers Compensation

This particular insurance coverage, also known as Employers Liability, would be the coverage which protects the employees and can pay for claims in which any employee was hurt on the job. Yet again, yet another critical coverage considering that Medical Treatment is incredibly costly. Without having insurance you’re self insuring and you will be liable for just about any healthcare expenses or law suit. This coverage does not cover discrimination or sexual harassment claims for that you’d will need an Employment Practices Liability Insurance.

Insurance is an important part of any Organization. It protects your business for various kinds of claims. It’s important for you to understand just what you are getting, in which area’s this insurance will cover you, and just what is not insured within an insurance policy. Make sure to always understand your policy. Insurance are generally complicated knowing that is the reason you really need to buy from an insurance broker that’s versed in Small Business Insurance. Having been providing business owners like you insurance for more than 35 years, we have the experience to help you with all of your Small Business Insurance needs. Contact us for an insurance quote. We write insurance in several states and we can easily help you get the insurance coverage you may need.

The Value of a Great Insurance Agent

For many people, finding a good insurance agent is just as cumbersome as finding good insurance: if you try to handle it yourself, you struggle in an effort to find a diamond in the rough and you end up with buyer’s remorse. But there are no agents for finding insurance agents: finding the right one is up to you. Whether you’ve recently moved, recently bought a car, or simply need someone fresh, if you’re reading this it means that you’ll have to acquire some insurance in the near future. And you need to know that you’re working with someone you can trust.

So what’s someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience in buying insurance going to do? Well, there’s the typical, easy route of looking up insurance agents on Google and placing a phone call to the person who ends up at he top of the list. But Internet rankings aren’t enough to guarantee you both the best price and the best quality of coverage: if you want to find an insurance who can really help you out, ten it’s time to put a little effort into it.

But you won’t by shooting darts in the dark. In this guide, we’ll tell you all about finding insurance agents – what to look for in an in-person meeting, how to find ones with less traditional means, etc. – and you’re going to find the best quotes whether you’re looking for health insurance, car insurance, life insurance, or something else.

Of course, while you can’t do this sitting on your butt, we hope you’ll take the time to check out this buyer’s guide to insurance agents. The best way to read it is to keep a pen and paper handy so that you can write down the key points you hear and anything else that strikes you as something you’ll want to keep in mind. Keep reading and in no time you’ll be ready to find a few insurance agents that are looking to provide you with a deal – not just add to their bottom line.

What makes a good insurance agent?

Being an insurance salesman doesn’t always have a great connotation. It can be like a career in law: even though you might have a noble profession, you can find yourself to be the butt of a lot of jokes. But insurance salesman don’t have to resemble used car salesman: many are looking out for their customers and use their people skills to find deals that benefit both parties. This is what you want to find.

If you want to find it, of course, you’ll have to know how to recognize it. So here are a few tips for finding an insurance agent that is actually looking out for you.

    • The aforementioned “good deal” test. Come to your insurance agent well-prepared and ask them what they can do for you considering the deals you were able to find on your own. A good, creative insurance agent looks at this as a challenge rather than an insult and will be willing to work with you to find something from their insurance provider that works for you. You’d be surprised how many insurance agents will actually pass this test – after all, insurance salesman are looking to make a sale. It doesn’t really matter to them what kind of insurance you get as long as you make a purchase. Some insurance salesman might be a little pushier and try to get you to commit to more than you wanted, but don’t be surprised to see that many insurance salesman know that a small sale is better than no sale at all.
    • Word-of-mouth reviews. Google reviews are too up-and-down to take too seriously; instead, worry about the word-of-mouth reviews that you can find from people you know. Ask around the community you live in. Ask people you know. Find the best insurance agent through the best marketing method known out there: word-of-mouth marketing. Try to get a review or two rather than simply rely on one person’s views – then act upon what you keep hearing from other people. If you find a really good insurance agent with this method, you’ll find that it’s almost impossible for them not to deliver the goods.
    • Find quotes first. Sometimes, an insurance salesman won’t exactly wow you, but they’ll be the ones to make your signup to an insurance policy as smooth as possible. When you find the good quotes first, this is all you really need from an insurance agent. That’s the kind of forward-thinking you’ll want in your quest to find the right policy for you, but remember: an insurance agent still can help you out. Don’t assume that you’ll have to get with their program before you sign anything. Make sure they get with your program. Tell them what you need and what it would take for you to consider leaving another quote behind and signing up with their policy.
  • Pay attention to how the insurance agent interacts with you. When an insurance agent seems too eager to sign you up without asking the types of questions that would need to be answered to find your ideal policy, then you know that your insurance agent is in too big of a hurry to make the sale. This isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, and many good insurance agents can make this mistake, but you’ll have to be the one to correct it. Don’t let an insurance agent talk you into a policy simply because they act like they expect you to sign. A good insurance agent will be able to close the deal without being pushy; they’ll be action-oriented while taking your individual considerations to heart. Pay close attention to how an insurance agent deals with you and you’ll get an idea of how they’ll treat you down the line, too.

Obviously that’s a lot of information to absorb. But if you remember the key points about being able to find a good insurance agent you should have no problem sticking to a few of the strategies listed above. Remember that action is just as important as knowledge: unless you act on these tips, you can’t really be sure they’ll work or not!

With over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, Vicki truly enjoys helping people. She started in the banking industry, working her way through the ranks for eighteen years. As she became more interested in planning and saving for retirement, she worked at a financial brokerage company for ten years. Vicki works independently where she focuses most of her time creating, protecting and enhancing wealth for individuals and families. She continues to keep up with tax laws and training, in annuities, life, and long term care insurance. She is especially passionate about helping families with asset protection, as she feels that many people do not always know all of the options available to them. Vicki also helps seniors navigate through their many healthcare options; she works with various private Insurance companies who offer Medicare Supplements and/or Advantage Plans.

Vicki and her husband love working and playing outdoors and especially enjoy traveling. If you are in need of some sound financial planning, with a friendly, personal touch, give Vicki a call. Integrity is of foremost importance. You can be certain that she will listen to your concerns, and provide a plan, so you can rest easy knowing your financial future is being taken care of.

nsurance Claims in North Carolina

Most people in North Carolina have some sort of insurance. By law, persons operating vehicles are required to have liability coverage. The owners of the cars might also have collision coverage. Most homeowners have homeowner’s insurance, and many renters have renter’s insurance. Many people also have health coverage, whether provided by their employer or purchased directly by the individual. Businesses often have a general liability policy. These and other policies give rise to numerous claims and numerous insurance disputes every year in North Carolina.

Governmental supervision: Insurers are subject to oversight by the North Carolina Department of Insurance (“DOI”). A consumer (or “inured”) can file a complaint against an insurer with the DOI. The DOI is not likely, however, to become heavily involved in a routine dispute between an insured and the insurer. Many statutes (within Chapter 58) regulate the insurance companies, as well as regulations promulgated by the N.C. DOI.

Terms of coverage: The scope of coverage afforded under an insurance policy is determined primarily by the terms of the policy, and also by the applicable North Carolina General Statutes and any regulations by the DOI. When disputes are litigated in the courts, any precedential cases will also affect the interpretation of the policy. Health (and other) policies subject to ERISA may be subject to federal law, which preempts state law.

Duties during claims handling process: Policies typically have provisions that give various rights to the insurer in the claims-handling process. The insured often must submit a “proof of loss” form, in which the loss is described to the insurer. The insured often must produce documents, and must submit to an “examination under oath,” at which the insurer’s lawyer can ask questions of the insured to investigate the claim. If the insured fails to comply with these provisions, then he can lose coverage. (Duties of the insurer are addressed below, in connection with the insurer’s potential liability for bad faith and treble damages.)

Resolution of the claim outside court proceedings: Some aspects of the insurance claim might be subject to arbitration or appraisal (rather than court action). For example, the standard fire insurance policy in North Carolina, governed by statute, provides that the parties can use an appraisal process to value property (N.C. General Statute 58-44-16). A standard underinsured motorist policy in North Carolina contains a provision which allows the insured to demand arbitration.

Resolution of the claim in a court proceeding: Where, however, the insurer and the insured cannot agree on coverage, and the dispute is not subject to arbitration or appraisal, they might have to take their dispute to court. The insured can file a lawsuit for breach of contract, and the insurer can file a suit for declaratory relief. In North Carolina, such suits are often filed in Superior Court in state court. They can also be filed in (or removed to) federal court if diversity jurisdiction is met. (There have, however, been a couple of decisions in our Circuit rejecting such disputes on the abstention doctrine.)

Punitive Damages: In addition to seeking to recover the amount due under the insurance policy, the insured can also pursue a claim for “punitive” damages if the insurer denied the claim in “bad faith.” Punitive damages in this state are governed by statute, and also by case law addressing this claim. According to one case, the insurer is not liable for punitive damages if its position is “neither strained nor fanciful.” Punitive damages are capped by statute in North Carolina, to the greater of $250,000 or three times the actual damages (whichever is greater).

Treble damages for Unfair Conduct: The policyholder can also assert a claim to recover “treble” (i.e. tripled) damages where the carrier’s conduct is unfair or deceptive. Such a claim is often based on the insurer’s violation of a provision in the statutes mandating that insurers handle a claim in various ways, including that they conduct a reasonable investigation, promptly investigate the claim, and provide an explanation of the denial to the policyholder. (N.C. Gen. Stat. 58 63 15.)

Coverage disputes in North Carolina can quickly become very complicated, and the policyholder and often the insurer may need the services of an attorney experienced in insurance matters.

Attorney John Kirby has represented many persons insured and many insurance companies in insurance disputes in North Carolina, both in federal and state court, and before the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court. He has also taught continuing education seminars, to attorneys and to insurance professionals, on the topics of insurance coverage and litigating bad faith suits against insurers.

Business Insurance Explained

If you have just started a new enterprise or have been asked to look after the company’s insurance renewals, business insurance can at first seem a daunting proposition. After all, much of the language and industry jargon such as endorsements, indemnity levels and excess periods can at first appear alien.

Then there is the question of knowing what covers to get.

With the responsibility of ensuring that the business activities and property are completely covered from risks that the firm might face, a new small businessman may well also be confused by the plethora of covers, plans and policies that are available today.

Business insurance is however fairly simple even for newbies, if you break it down from the top.

There are basically two types of risk that a business may face in daily operations, these being business property risks and business liability risks.

All business insurance policies contain elements of the two risks either separate or combined under a single plan. If you need cover for business buildings and premises contents, you will need property insurance. If you need cover for the work you do, you will require liability insurance. Most businesses need elements of both.

Business property buildings insurance protects all risks to a business premises covering loss,material damage and consequential loss to all buildings, outbuildings, fixtures and fittings on the premises. The premiums are calculated on rebuilding costs of the business property and will also contain elements of public liability to protect a business against claims from the public of for example, a wall falling on a passer-by.

Property contents insurance covers loss or damage to the contents of the business premises. Business contents policies typically have provision to cover items such as furniture, tables and desks, computer equipment, telecommunications equipment, business electronic equipment, data, tools, machinery, stock, high risk stock, raw materials, fabricated, assembled, manufactured or stored goods and anything used in the daily operation on the business premises. Freight, cargo and goods in transit cover options provide insurance for the businesses property away from the premises.

Business property insurance polices are typically marketed by the type business property they provide insurance for. For example office insurance, shop insurance, hotel insurance and pub insurance are popular commercial property insurance schemes which contain all the relevant covers for each use of the property type.

Much commercial property is either rented or leased, in particular offices and shop space. Business insurance provides specialist cover for property owners of these types of premises with a let property insurance policy, which is tailor-made for business landlords.

Liability Insurance protects a business against all liabilities that the enterprise might be liable for as it carries out its daily actions. Liabilities are events which occur that could lead to claims against the proprietor, trader, owner, partnership or company. Liability insurance cover protects the company profits against all damages and costs incurred resulting from the claim.

Business Liability Insurance includes Public Liability Insurance, Employers Liability, Products Liability, Directors and Company Officers Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Public Liability protects the business profits against claims from members of the public and this cover forms the basis of a standard business insurance contract.

If you employ staff you will require by law Employers liability insurance which protects your business against claims resulting from accidents and injuries to paid employees and sub contractors whilst anywhere at work.

If you sell or provide goods or parts your business will need Products liability insurance.This cover is usually automatically included in for example, a shop insurance policy.

Nearly all business insurance polices sold, in particular those online, are what is known as combined business insurance or trade packages that have been specifically designed for particular trades or professions. Find one that is suitable for your particular company by carrying out a search for your trade, service or profession insurance. These combined business insurance policies contain all the covers you will need in your line of work, ensuring that if a claim against your company is made, you will be covered.

The company owners or directors can also purchase Directors & Officers Insurance or D & O insurance as it is often called, which covers them personally against both civil and criminal liabilities resulting from business activities.

Additionally professional services should purchase Professional Indemnity insurance which covers the service against the liability of any advice that might be given professionally and later turns out to be negligent.

Business Insurance quotes from top brands and providers, offering the cheapest prices and excellent cover, only take a minute to compare at leading business and commercial insurance comparison site UK Commercial Insurance.

Bad Faith and Insurance Claims

Florida is a state prone to hurricane damage on a yearly basis because of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Ocean, along with the hurricanes and tropical storms that regularly form in these bodies of water. Because of this, Florida has some of the highest insurance claims in the country.

When a person insures their home and other personal property, they tend to assume that since they have paid faithfully, their insurance claim will be honored without any problems. However, some insurance companies do not always act in good faith and will make an already stressful situation more complicated by unfair insurance practices.

What is Bad Faith?

After filing your Florida insurance claim, your insurer may tell you that your policy is ambiguous or open to having several possible meanings, or that the policy does not cover the type of property for which you are filing a claim. Another reason your claim may be denied is because the insurance company may claim that the property was not damaged, the damage resulted from the negligence of the owner or the damage resulted from another reason not covered by the insurance policy.

Insurance companies are required to act in good faith and in a timely manner during this process. Unfortunately, at times, an insurer will delay the payment or resolution of a claim or even violate Florida state laws. When this happens they are acting in bad faith.

Some types of bad faith an insurer might engage in can include unfair settlement claim practices or a refusal to insure for discriminatory reasons.

Unfair claim settlement practices can mean that an insurance company is:

•Failing to adopt or implement standards for the proper investigation of claims,
•Misrepresenting facts or insurance policy provisions,
•Denying claims without conducting a reasonable investigation,
•Failing to properly explain policy information, or
•Failing to pay any undisputed amounts of full or partial benefits in a prompt or timely manner.

It is illegal for an insurer to refuse to insure and individual based on their race, color, creed, marital status, sex or nationality. Additionally, an insurer cannot deny an individual based on where they live, their age or where they work.

There are several laws within the Florida Revised Statutes that relate to bad faith insurance claims and illegal business practices.The main statutes regarding bad faith include:

Florida Statute § 626.9541(1)(i) – Engaging in unfair claim settlement practices;

Fla. Stat. § 626.9541(1)(o) – Illegal dealings in premiums;

Fla. Stat. § 626.9541(1)(x) – Refusal to insure for discriminatory reasons;

Fla. Stat. § 626.9551 – Requirements to have a certain agent or insurer not permitted;

Fla. Stat. § 627.7283 – Return of premium for cancelled insurance policies required.

What should you do if your insurance company denies your claim?

If you believe that your insurance company is acting in bad faith in regards to an insurance policy claim, the first step many take is contacting a knowledgeable insurance attorney. An insurance attorney can help you decide the proper steps to take when dealing with an insurance company acting in bad faith.

Your insurance attorney may suggest that you file a civil suit against your insurer for damages. When you file a suit for damages you may be able to receive the full benefits of your policy, court costs and attorney fees.

With capable legal counsel and a firm understanding of how your insurance company is required, by law, to act, the property damage claims process in Florida will be much easier to handle, increasing your chances of a favorable and fair outcome.

Michael Germain is a Tampa, Florida insurance law attorney that helps his clients understand their legal options and the best path to pursue when dealing with unfair practices committed by insurance companies. Michael Germain is knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s insurance laws and always fights aggressively for the best interests of his clients even if this means taking a case to court against the biggest insurance companies.

Life Insurance FAQs

Buying the right type and the right amount of life insurance can be a confusing process, especially if you are just beginning to research the best life insurance policy for you and your family. There are many questions to consider and there isn’t a one-policy-fits-all answer. Although you will definitely want to discuss all of your options with a reputable insurance agent who will provide recommendations based on your specific needs, here are some life insurance FAQs to get you started:

How much insurance do I need?
The amount of life insurance you need depends on your individual circumstances and may need to be modified several times during your life as your family grows and your assets increase. The general rule of thumb is that your insurance equals six to eight times your annual gross income. However, there are many important factors to take into account:
• The number of individuals who are financially dependent on you
• Income sources and amounts other than your salary earnings
• Whether you are married and, if so, your spouse’s annual gross income
• Whether you have any special insurance needs, such as mortgages, estate planning, college funding, etc.
• The amount of death benefits payable from an employer-sponsored insurance plan and social security

What is term insurance?
Term life insurance provides protection for a specific period of time, and it only pays a benefit if you pass away during the term. Term insurance is a popular option because it is generally inexpensive when you purchase it at an earlier age and benefits can be used to pay off outstanding debts.

What is whole insurance?
As long as you pay the premiums, which will be higher than term insurance, whole life insurance remains in effect throughout your lifetime. Whole life insurance policies are especially beneficial if you want to use your insurance as collateral for loans or receive cash payments while you are still living.

What is universal insurance?
Universal life insurance gives you permanent insurance protection, but it is more flexible than whole life insurance because it allows you to select the amount of protection that best fits you and your family. You can increase or decrease your universal coverage as your insurance needs change, and have more control over the amount and frequency of payments.

Whom can I name as a beneficiary?
Your beneficiary is the person or persons for whom you will want to provide financial support when you pass away, and is typically a spouse, children, or other relatives. However, remember that you may need to update your insurance policy as circumstances change. For instance, if your spouse becomes unable to handle financial matters or you get divorced, you may need to review and modify the beneficiary designation on your policy.

Can I name my estate as beneficiary?
The short answer is yes, but it may not be the best option for a variety of financial considerations. For example, many state laws dictate that life insurance benefits paid to an estate must go through a probate process before your beneficiaries can receive the proceeds of your policy. You will want to speak with your legal advisor to discuss the financial implications of naming your estate as your beneficiary.

Do I have to take a medical exam?
Medical exam requirements vary depending on the life insurance company, but most will require some form of exam to obtain an objective evaluation of your health. As you might imagine, the results of a medical exam will influence the type and amount of insurance for which you are eligible. One of the most important health factors is whether or not you smoke cigarettes. Due to the increased mortality risk associated with smoking, smokers almost always pay higher premiums and, in some cases, may be denied life insurance coverage.

Purchasing the Best Car Insurance

In the past, car insurance was not a necessity, as some people went for it and some did not. However, today an auto coverage policy is one of the crucial things in your life, if you own a car. People need proper coverage, no matter how luxurious or modest their car is.

The way people buy insurance has also changed. In the past, buying a car insurance just meant to meet your neighborhood agent and ask him for it. But now, it is somewhat different, as you have got lots of other options at your disposal from where you can get your vehicle insured, with some entirely new coverage choices.

Buying car insurance: Which method to choose?

When you want insurance for your car, you might be puzzled as from where you should get it. Should you deal with an insurance agent or should you go online? You can choose among different options for getting your car insurance. This includes:

  1. Buying from captive agents
  2. Buying from independent agents
  3. Buying online

People, who prefer personal services and like to form face-to-face relationships, should certainly purchase their policy from an agent. But, since there are different agents, they need to decide which one is the best for them.

Among these, some are called ‘independent agents,’ who sell insurance for numerous companies and some are ‘captive agents,’ who sell insurance for just one firm. Let us see the different features of these agents, so that you can decide easily and quickly the right agent for yourself.

1. Buying from captive agents

You should buy your coverage from a captive agent, if you are dedicated to a specific insurance firm. Since captive agents deal with only one company, they will know all the different insurance options offered by that company. And, thus they can assist you to build the right package based on your needs. However, captive agents may take more time to respond to your questions and to know your needs as compared to independent agents who work for commission.

2. Buying from independent agents

You should buy a policy from an independent agent, if you want to check out the different insurances provided by different companies, as independent agents deal with several companies and not just one particular insurance firm. This way you can get a better rate.

And, since independent agents are not directly employed by any one firm, they would not push one specific product and will tell you the right things about all the insurances. Thus, independent agents can aid you to find inexpensive coverage for your car. However, since they work for commission, they are under more pressure to grab a deal as soon as possible.

3. Buying online

The third option is to skip insurance agents completely and to work directly with the company online. However, for this you have to do most of the work yourself. You have to conduct a thorough research on different coverage providers, what they offer, the rates of their insurance, and what all their policies covers. Then, you can talk to the company, that best fits your needs to procure the coverage itself.

Among these, some insurance companies that employ agents do not necessitate you to work with them and a few of them do not employ agents at all. Buying auto insurance online is one of the best options for you if you do not have much time and want to get inexpensive car insurance, as it saves you from paying commission to an insurance agent. If you are not sure about your car insurance needs, then buying car insurance online, without an insurance agent can cause you to buy the wrong, too little, or too much insurance.

Select your type of coverage

Besides deciding which company to go with, you must also consider which policy you want. There are three main types of policies, including traditional, usage-based, and per-mile car insurance. So, have a look at these three car insurance coverage programs before you settle for one particular car insurance.

1. Traditional auto insurance

In this type of auto insurance, the insurers determine the quotes for the policy with the help of various personal factors, such as your age, driving history, gender, credit score, etc. Generally, the more risk you have as a driver as per these factors, the more high your insurance rates will be. In this, you can opt for a minimum coverage amount as per the state law or else you can select from a long list of different types of auto insurance coverage.

2. Usage-based auto insurance

As opposed to the traditional car insurance, where insurers presume your driving skills depending on a list of different risk factors and your accident history, usage-based car insurance providers offer you car insurance by seeing you in action in real. In this type of car insurance, like Allstate’s Drivewise or Progressive’s Snapshot, you get a telematic device, which you have to plug-in your car. This device records how you drive and your driving behavior, especially your bad driving habits like accelerating or hard braking.

So, if the device records that you are a low-risk driver, then you can save your money with usage-based car insurance. However, if it records that you frequently drive late at night or you drive fast, then it would not help you save money with your car insurance. Additionally, many usage-based car insurance programs are not available in each state. Therefore, if you are devoted to one insurance company, then you may have to switch your company, in case you move to a different state.

3. Per-mile auto insurance

Per-mile auto insurance providers also use a telematic device, but they focus on just one thing, that is how little or how much you use your car. However, this car insurance type is still new and is not available in every state. Among others, Metromile is the best provider of per-mile car insurance and is available in seven states until now, which are California, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington, and Virginia.

Additionally, per-mile providers use the same elements as traditional insurers in determining your car insurance rates, but you can save some money through its telematic device. If you do not use your car much and use it only for emergencies, then your premium may be cut significantly. However, if you normally drive your car, then there are fewer chances of you saving money from it.

Shop around

No matter how you purchase your insurance, whether you go for a dedicated agent or you directly sign up with a car insurance provider, you must shop around in order to get the best rates. Do some homework and do not just settle for the first deal that comes your way. This is because rates for the same policy can differ from one company to the other by thousands of dollars. Therefore, comparing different car insurance offers is the best possible way to land up a good deal.

Mandatory Insurance Policies for Everyone

There are so many insurance policies, insurance policies come in different prices, features and benefits.The truth is you can’t possibly choose to purchase every insurance policy, you should streamline your choices to mandatory insurance policies.

It’s quite easy to know which insurance coverage is mandatory; all you have to do is ask yourself this important question… “What is the most important thing to me?” This is an important point to consider, there is no point insuring something that is of no importance to you. The protection of assets that matter to you is expedient in the establishment of a solid financial backup plan. There are many insurance policies that can help you protect your assets and earning ability. However, prior to the purchase of any type of insurance, you must ensure you understand the terms of the coverage that’s expressly written in the policy. You can choose to enlist the services of your lawyer to peruse the content of your insurance before appending your signature to seal the deal. This write-up highlights the mandatory policies everyone should have, they include the following;

1. Car insurance: there are mandatory laws for car insurance in certain parts of the world. A car insurance is one of the mandatory insurance policies everyone must purchase. The importance of purchasing an automobile insurance cannot be over emphasized, regardless of if you drive a jalopy or an automobile that has been purchased over the years. An automobile insurance is a solid backup strategy if you get involved in a car accident that results in the injury and/or damage of another person’s property. Such an unfortunate incident could subsequently subject you to a lawsuit that might cost you all you have worked for. The tragic result of an accident is burdensome, no one wants to be found in such a fix. Without a car insurance, you are at a risk of losing everything you own. As a matter of fact, if you purchase an insurance policy with a coverage that helps you with meagre savings, you are not better off than a person without a car insurance coverage. Ensure you purchase a car insurance that can cover any unlikely or unforeseen automobile accident.

2. Life insurance: a life insurance policy enables you to protect people that depend on you financially. Such people include your children, spouse, relatives or other loved ones. If you feel your loved ones might encounter financial hardship if you lose your life, then this type of insurance should be at the top on your list of mandatory insurance policies. You can choose to purchase a life insurance policy that will serve as a substitute for your annual income over the duration of years in which you plan to stay employed. Your choice of life insurance might also incur burial costs, this will relieve your family of any unexpected financial burden.

3. Long-term disability insurance: the fear of considering the future possibility of a long-term disability is one of the major reasons why people ignore long-term disability insurance policies. Everyone hopes that nothing bad will happen to them, this isn’t a wise decision. Don’t get me wrong, while it is always good to stay positive, it is even better to have a backup plan. It is mandatory to consider purchasing a disability policy that gives you and your family the required coverage to maintain your current standard of living, even after losing your earning power. The disability policy helps you to protect your earning power if you happen to suffer from any form of disability later in the future.

Health insurance: the high cost of getting the required medical care is a major reason why purchasing a health insurance policy is a necessity. Simple consultations result in soaring bills these days, not to talk of hospital bills you have to pay as a result of severe injuries that have left you confined on the hospital bed for days, weeks, or even months. Hospital bills for a surgical procedure might total into 5 to 6 figures, without a health insurance you might end up spending all you have on a severe health condition in weeks. The financial burden of an increased cost of health insurance policies is nothing compared to the cost of medical care without a health insurance.

Shopping for insurance companies to purchase an insurance policy from requires caution. A reliable and trusted automobile insurance company is Good2go. Good to go auto insurance is a reliable insurance company. Goodtogo insurance provides excellent insurance services at the best rates to clients.

Insurance for Your Business

The importance of insurance cannot be over-emphasized and neither can the danger of paying for insurance you don’t need. It is strongly recommended you solicit the advice of an in-dependent business insurance agent. Don’t forget to SHOP! Talk to three or four independent agents and compare notes and prices. An insurance agent will lay out a vast array of insurance coverage much of which you simply may not need. Your situation will be unique and you must consider each insurance element carefully to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Whatever your final insurance program looks like, you should review it at least every six months. Your business can change rapidly, especially in the first few years and insurance needs change with it. Keep your program up to date by calling in your agent and reviewing your coverage. Make changes where necessary.

LIABILITY INSURANCE

This is probably the most important element of your insurance program. Liability insurance provides protection from potential
losses resulting from injury or damage to others or their property. Just recall some of the big cash awards you have read about that have resulted from lawsuits concerning liability of one kind or another and you will understand the importance of this insurance. Your insurance agent can describe the various types of liability insurance coverage that are available. If you will end up with a comprehensive general policy, make certain that the general policy does not include items you don’t need. Pay for only the insurance you need. For example, your business may not need product liability insurance.

Do not confuse business liability coverage with your personal liability coverage, both of which you need. Your personal coverage will not cover a business-generated liability. Check to be certain.

Compare the costs of different levels of coverage. In some cases a $2 million policy costs only slightly more than a $1 million policy. This economy of scale is true with most forms of insurance coverage. That is, after a certain value, additional insurance becomes very economical.

KEY PERSON INSURANCE

This type of insurance is particularly important for the sole proprietorship or partnership where the loss of one person through illness, accident, or death may render the business inoperative or severely limit its operations. This insurance, although not inexpensive, can provide protection for this situation. Key person insurance might also be necessary for others involved in your business.

SGC was a small firm run by three partners, a software programmer, marketer, and a general manager. Their product was a complex computer program used by aerospace firms. Al, the programmer, was involved in a severe automobile accident, became totally disabled, and SGC lost their programming capability. The problem was that the computer program written by Al was essentially the company’s sole product. Modifications to accommodate the customer became impossible and the time to bring another programmer up to speed was excessive. SGC lost considerable business as a result of this situation. These losses could have been offset by key person insurance.

DISABILITY INSURANCE

You, as a business owner, should be covered by disability insurance whether or not you decide on key person insurance. This insurance, along with business-interruption insurance, described below, will help ensure your business will continue to operate in the unfortunate situation where you are unable to work. Your disability insurance policy needs to provide satisfactory coverage. Particular attention should be paid to the definition of “disability,” delay time until payments start, when coverage terminates, and adjustments for inflation.

FIRE INSURANCE

Fire insurance, like all insurance is complicated and you should understand what IS and IS NOT covered. For example, a typical fire insurance policy covers the loss of contents but does not cover your losses from the fact that you may be out of business for 2-months while your facility is rebuilt. Fire insurance is mandatory whether you’re working out of a home office or you have a separate facility. You should discuss a comprehensive policy with your agent. Take the time to understand the details. For example, will the contents be insured for their replacement value or for actual value at the time of loss?

Consider a co-insurance clause that will reduce the policy cost considerably. This means that the insurance carrier will require you to carry insurance equal to some percentage of the value of your property. (Usually around 85%.) With this type of clause it is very important that you review coverage frequently so you always meet the minimum percentage required. If this minimum is not met, a loss will not be paid no matter what its value.

If you are working out of your home, your existing homeowner’s policy may not cover business property. If this is the case, have your insurance agent to add a home-office rider to your policy.

AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE

You probably already have automobile insurance but it might not include business use of your vehicle. Make sure that it does.

WORKER’S COMPENSATION INSURANCE

If you make the decision to hire employees, you will be required, in most states, to cover them under worker’s compensation. The cost of this insurance varies widely and depends on the kind of work being performed and your accident history. It is important that you properly classify your employees to secure the lowest insurance rates. Work closely with your insurance agent.

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE

This protects against loss of revenue as the result of property damage. This insurance would be used, for instance, if you could not operate your business during the time repairs were being made as a result of a fire or in the event of the loss of a key supplier. The coverage can pay for salaries, taxes, and lost profits.

CREDIT INSURANCE

This will pay for unusual losses as the result of nonpayment of accounts receivables above a certain threshold. As with all policies, you must thoroughly understand the details so discuss it with your insurance agent. One of the largest providers of this coverage is American Credit Indemnity, Baltimore, MD. (800) 879 1224.

BURGLARY/ROBBERY/THEFT INSURANCE

Comprehensive policies are available that protect against loss from these perils, including by your own employees. Make certain you understand what is excluded from coverage.

RENT INSURANCE

This policy covers the cost of rent for other facilities in the event your property becomes damaged to the extent that operations cannot continue in your normal location.

DISABILITY INSURANCE

This insurance will pay you an amount each month slightly less than your current salary in the event you become disabled and are unable to work. Cost for this coverage varies considerably depending on your profession, salary level, how quickly benefits start, and when they end. Benefits paid are tax-free only if you, not your company, pay the premiums.