Life Insurance and Retirement Planning

Retirement planning is hard. Permanent life insurance is an additional, yet useful tool that is often overlooked. Life insurance ensures that the people we love have the life we planned for them. But life insurance can do far more than simply protect. Check out this article to see how you can make your life insurance help your retirement plan and needs. 

Benefits of Partially Self-Funded Health Insurance Plans

In certain states, partially self-funded health insurance plans are an option for business owners. In some cases, it has the possibility of bringing lower health insurance costs.

Partially self-funded health insurance plans are similar to standard health insurance, but there are a few key differences. Four main differences include: the ability to be medically underwritten, they can be less expensive, the plan includes a reserve account for medical bills, and the unused funds from the reserve can be kept. This plan is typically geared towards businesses with employees who see the doctor on a rare basis. Because of this, there is the potential to save money.

Though this plan is very similar to a standard insurance plan, there are benefits that might sway a business to pursue this option. 

  • Qualifies as major medical insurance and protects employers and employees from possible tax penalties for not having or providing health insurance
  • Must cover all essential health benefits according to the law
  • Premiums are usually tax deductible
  • Monthly costs can be based on the health of the group
  • Part of the monthly premium are stored in a reserve account
  • Money in the reserve account is used to pay medical claims should they arise
  • At the end of the year, the money in the reserve account is refunded or redirected to pay for the next year's premium

Finding out which health insurance plan to use can be challenging for business owners, but there are many options to choose from. The most important thing is to choose the one that works best for your business. 

10 Tips to Get Started with Life Insurance

Many people recognize the need for life insurance, but don’t take the next step because they feel they don’t have safe, pressure-free places to start. Here are 10 steps to help you get started:

1. If you have dependents — you need it.

2. Life insurance helps replace your paycheck if you aren’t there to earn it.

3. Some life insurance is better than no life insurance.

4. Life insurance is less expensive than you think.

5. Life insurance is a smart financial move.

6. Make sure you know how much life insurance you get at work.

7. Life insurance needs change over time.

8. Term life Insurance is an easy and inexpensive way to get started.

9. The financial strength and reputation of the company you buy it from matters.

10. There is no substitute for good advice.

For more information, click on the link below or call me at 508-580-9950.

How important is service?

Everyone focuses on the pricing of their insurance. Yup- this is important!

However, the geckos and White Pant Suited Spokespeople NEVER talk about service of your insurance!

Recently, one of my client's spouse passed away. To be brief, I provided TWO Registry forms to transfer ownership of the car, which was registered to the deceased. At the registry, my client was told  " I have  never seen a situation like this in 14 years!"  

My client called me from the registry to add this comment from the registry employee, " Your agent is a genius providing you the 2 forms. We need them both!" 

Anyone would be hard pressed to get such service from one of the National Chains, who can only provide limited options, service and questionable "savings" from their agent. 

You cannot put a price on quality service. Contact me to learn the difference.


Group Disability Plan vs. Individual Disability Plan

When making the choice between a group disability plan and an individual plan, one is not better than the other! But before you make a decision, here are some things to consider:

  • Who is paying for the plan--you or the company?
  • What are your personal and family needs?
  • What are the potential benefits you might need?
  • How much will you be compensated for?

You may find it best to combine both group and individual plans for maximum coverage and benefits. Whatever your choice may be, take some time to think about what suits you best. 

Who Covers Costs if You’re Hit by an Uninsured Driver?

If you are hit by someone with no insurance and injured you may be covered. You can be covered if your auto policy includes uninsured motorists (UM) coverage. This provision covers your injury-related damages caused by an uninsured driver or by a hit-and-run driver. Underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage protects you in case you’re injured by a driver who has inadequate insurance. Consider raising your UM/UIM limit to match your Bodily Injury limit to protect you from uninsured drivers in the case of an accident.

Benefits of Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is an important option to consider even if you do not think your belongings are worth much. Replacing clothes, furniture, and countless other household items can cost a lot more than you might expect.

Your policy covers more than just your tangible belongings. It covers hotel costs after disasters, an injured guest’s medical expenses, damage caused to others’ property, legal costs in a lawsuit, dog bites, all items in your possession, and even belongings not directly in your home.

Should a disaster force you out of your apartment, you won’t have to sleep on a friend’s couch. Your policy will cover the cost of staying at a hotel or renting another apartment.

Renters Insurance would pay the medical bills up to the policy’s limit when a visitor is injured in your apartment or liability insurance to cover any damage you or family members may cause others. So if you accidentally break someone’s 20 years old china set, you will be covered.

In the case you are sued for something that occurs in your apartment, like if a person breaks their arm, your policy will cover legal costs and court awards up to the policy’s limit.

Renters Insurance provides coverage if your pets were to harm another person, whether at home or off the property. Make sure to check your policy of the inclusion of pets as some insurers do limit or exclude coverage.

Even when you do not own an item and are only renting or borrowing it, your policy does insure it as well. Renters Insurance covers anything in your possession. Your insurance also covers items listed on the policy when they are stolen from places other than your home.

Before you buy renters insurance, decide how much coverage you need. Purchase a policy that insures all your assets and has a high enough liability limit so your savings are protected.

Types of Small Business Insurance

One of the biggest financial risks of all is starting a business. Fortunately, insurance can help protect your small business.

When looking for insurance, it is best to seek the help of an insurance professional who will make it easier to find policies more suitable to your needs.

There are no two identical businesses, but every business owner should consider specific types of insurance: property insurance, business interruption coverage, commercial vehicle insurance, life insurance, liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.

Each type of insurance, whether required by law or optional, could be beneficial to your business.

Property Insurance covers every building location from which your company functions. It will cover all risks or area-specific risks, furniture, inventory, computers---everything your business needs to run.

Business Interruption Coverage ensures that your assets and earning will be covered should a natural disaster or another incident shut down your business. It replaces any lost income that occurs while your business is closed.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance will cover any vehicle used on behalf of your business when your personal policy would not cover the vehicle.

Life Insurance is a great tool to consider when you co-own  business. When a partner dies, you will need to buy out the deceased’s share. Your business would then receive capital from the policy to fund the loss.

Liability Insurance covers injuries, property damage, medical expenses, and lawsuits when legal actions are taken against your business. You will be financially protected should malpractice issues were to arise.

In all states, Workers’ Compensation Insurance is legally required. It will cover illnesses or injuries which occur while working for the company. It covers lost wages and medical expenses.

In any case, you need to decide how much you want to cover because what you have is worth protecting. What you own is important, you should always look into insurance for your business.


Art Theft and Ways to Avoid It

In an interview between the Insurance Journal and Bill Anderson, a managing partner of Art Guard, various strategies and techniques for the protection of artwork and the prevention of theft are discussed. Roughly over 50% of stolen artwork is taken from private homes and collections. Due to a rise in art theft, Art Guard was founded and enhanced the anti-theft protection in homes, galleries, museums, and many more places. The company uses MAP (Magnetic Asset Protection) to protect any stationary piece of artwork. According to Anderson, the problem with many home alarm systems is the fact they remain unattended or off for the majority of the day, leaving them virtually unprotected. Only 17% of collectors have perimeter intrusion security and numerous home systems are either turned off or at minimal operation. His solution is to have object-specific protection all day, every day.

Anderson goes on to say what one should do when a theft occurs. The first step is to report it to the authorities for obvious reasons, yet many thefts go unreported. Whether as a result of wanting privacy, embarrassment, or even fraud, the art industry is one of the most secretive when it comes to theft. Many art owners do not have faith in the authorities because there is only one experienced department that truly understands how to deal with art theft. Many insurance companies have problems with their clients because they are unable to mandate the way clients react to a situation. The second issue is that there can be problems with litigation or lawsuits.

According to Anderson, the benefits of Art Guard's system is the protection of each individual item it offers. It alarms just about any stationary object and it is truly discreet because it has a small area of contact. It offers ease, affordability, and advanced protection; each alarm can be customized towards the needs of the collector. As fraud and theft rates continue to rise, the importance of working alarm systems also increases for many collectors.

Condo and renters insurance.... are they really much different from homeowners insurance?

Recently, several of my clients have changed from renting to buying a single family home. 

Also, purchasing condominiums. 

The common threads of all these policies, which are constructed the same are coverage for your contents, loss of the use of your home address and liability coverage. 

The only major difference is the amount of coverage REQUIRED to rebuild the inside of your home. 

This can be based on your mortgage requirements to the lender, the insurance company itself, and the type of construction your home has. 

Condominiums have master insurance policies. Many cover only the common areas and the exteriors of the building(s). Coverage should be included to cover the master policy deductible, referred as loss assessment.