Insurance

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Comparing Auto Insurance

comparing auto insuranceComparing auto insurance can be overwhelming. As a result, many people just pick a policy and stay with it. But pricing varies depending on your age, location, vehicle and even your credit score, so re-evaluating your options every few years is worth the effort.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • If you have undergone life changes – such as having a baby, turning 25 or moving to a new city – you may be eligible for a discount. If you had a ticket or a violation dropped recently, ask your agent to remove the surcharges on your policy.
  • When talking to your agent, ask questions about your existing coverage and any extras that come with the policy. It’s important to make sure you have everything you need covered, and equally important that you are not paying for features you don’t want or no longer need.
  • Many insurance companies consider your credit score when deciding on premiums, according to Consumer Reports. If you have great credit, make sure your agent knows. If your credit is less than perfect, talk with a financial advisor about ways to improve it.

Finding the right auto insurance is possible. Know what questions to ask, and don’t be afraid to ask them. Comparing auto insurance could save you money today, as well money, time and frustration down the road if you are in an accident.

Written by Alicia Vallee, a Phoenix-based freelance writer.
Photo credit: FrameAngel courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
By |June 10th, 2019|Insurance|

Assessing Life Insurance Needs

No one wants to think about their death and how it will impact others. But, if you have anyone in your life who depends on you, you must think about it. While you can’t ease the emotional burden of your loved ones when you die, you can help alleviate their financial burdens. An important part of the estate planning process is assessing life insurance needs.

Everyone’s situation is unique; and different types of life insurance policies meet different needs. Is your salary the main source of your family’s income? Are you a stay-at-home parent or caregiver? Do you have a child with special needs? Are you a small business owner? Have your children grown and started their own families?

This information from Nerdwallet.com demonstrates how life insurance funds can help in different scenarios. It can:

  • provide income replacement, so that your family can continue to pay everyday expenses;
  • cover the cost of paying for services the stay-at-home parent does for “free,” such as child care and home cleaning;
  • fund a trust, to ensure a child with special needs will have life-long financial support no matter when a parent dies;
  • cover mortgage payments, student loans or other debt, so your family won’t inherit debt or be forced to move;
  • fund a buy-sell agreement that allows a business partner to buy out your share;
  • provide a supplemental source of income for someone who has maxed out other retirement plans.

Term life lasts for a specific number of years and can be purchased, for example, to cover your mortgage or other debt. If the term expires before you die, there is no payout. Whole life and other types of permanent life insurance policies usually include a “cash value” account that builds value over time. This could help during retirement, if needed.

If you haven’t reviewed your life insurance in the past few years, schedule an appointment with your financial planner to help make sure your needs are being met.

By |April 23rd, 2019|Insurance|

Understanding Liability Insurance

Liability insurance can protect you in the event of serious injury, property damage or other economic liability. Thus, understanding liability insurance is an important piece of your personal financial plan.

One of the most common types of liability insurance is bodily injury and property damage for your auto coverage. It provides payment to others when you are the driver at fault in an accident. Arizona has minimum levels of coverage of $15,000 bodily-injury liability per person, $30,000 per incident (two or more people) and $10,000 for property damage ($15k/$30k/$10k). If someone has a $50,000 medical claim and you only have the minimum $15,000 in bodily injury coverage, they may pursue you for the remaining costs. More typical levels of coverage are $100k/$300k/$100k.

Another common type of liability protection is a vital component of homeowner’s insurance. Coverage typically starts at $100,000; however, to protect your family’s assets, $300,000 or more is advisable. If a guest or contractor slips and falls on your property, medical bills and lost wages can quickly add up to more than $100,000. Do you have a dog, pool or trampoline? Claims from these risks are common for pain and suffering, as well as for medical bills.

An umbrella liability policy is less common, though strongly recommended. Also known as a personal liability policy, it complements your auto and homeowner’s insurance by extending liability coverage where the underlying policies end. A car accident resulting in severe injuries can quickly exceed $500,000 in medical bills, property damage and lost wages, not to mention claims for pain and suffering. Any amount not covered by your auto policy could cause an action to be brought against you and your family for your personal assets (bank accounts, cars, home equity, wages). With a $1 million umbrella liability policy, you would have more sufficient coverage. In addition, the insurance company would pay for an attorney to represent you and negotiate with the other party.

More generous umbrella policies may also cover claims such as false arrest, libel or slander (such as a negative online review). Premiums for umbrella policies typically range from $250 to $500 per year for an additional $500,000 in liability protection.

By |July 1st, 2018|Financial Planning, Insurance|

Merits of Wedding Insurance

merits of wedding insuranceHave you ever thought about the merits of wedding insurance? According to a survey by TheKnot.com the average cost for a U.S. wedding is now more than $35,000. That’s also about the average price paid for a new car, according to 2018 figures from Kelley Blue Book. And few would argue the merits of car insurance.

What if storms shut down a major airport, causing you to postpone the wedding? Or, what if that adorable ring-bearer drops the diamond-studded bands off the pier at your beach ceremony? Wedding insurance is a type of special event insurance (also called one-day insurance) that covers injuries and venue damages. It can also cover loss or damage of things like photos, attire, gifts and rings, as well as deposits in case of cancellation.

Before you buy insurance, check with your vendors to see what sort of coverage they have for their services and facilities. You wouldn’t want to pay for overlapping coverage if, for example, the reception hall has liability coverage for accidents. Ask for copies of any vendor policies, and then sit down with your insurance professional to determine where you may benefit from additional coverage.

By |May 7th, 2018|Current Affairs, Insurance|