Did You Know Certain Car Safety Features Can Lower Your Premium?

When shopping for a car, many people look at a variety of features on a vehicle, such as interior and exterior color, make and model, stereo, electronics and other options that will make their drive time more pleasant. However, few consider the effect the safety features can have on lowering their insurance premiums. The next time you go car shopping, look for some of these safety features that protect not only you and your passengers but your wallet as well.

Size and weight. Many potential buyers think bigger is better, but that’s not necessarily so when it comes to cars. Very large vehicles, such as SUVs, often have the potential to roll over and can be less safe than midsize sedans. Make sure to review your vehicle’s safety ratings.

Restraints. Far from the days when only seat belts were offered, today’s vehicles now have more extensive restraint systems. Some of the key elements to look for are locking head restraints, side airbags and lap and shoulder belts with crash tensioners.

Make sure you can reach the pedals without putting yourself too close to the steering wheel. Steering column airbags can cause serious injury if they’re too close.

Daytime lights. More vehicles now feature daytime running lights that allow them to be more visible to all motorists no matter the weather, decreasing the chances of daytime accidents.

Backup cameras. Video systems that allow you to see what is happening behind your vehicle dramatically increase safety by eliminating blind spots. Backup cameras can help prevent collisions and save lives.

Other safety features like warning systems and anti-lock brakes can help reduce the likelihood of a crash and further reduce the likelihood of claims.

Next time you’re in the market for a new vehicle, check with us about potential discounts on premiums based on specific vehicle features. We are just a call or email away.

What Insurance Coverage Does Your Hobby Need?

So many Americans pass the time with hobbies that keep them entertained and add value to their lives. From collecting model trains to restoring antique furniture, there are a variety of ways that your hobby can add up to a substantially expensive endeavor. Some hobbyists’ collections or work are worth thousands of dollars.

Most collectors rarely think of the value of their hobbies, instead of focusing on the enjoyment they provide to them and their families. Hobbies can quickly add up to significant amounts of money whether you build, collect or play. If you’ve invested quite a bit in your hobby, it is worth it to do a quick review.

The first question you should ask is if the value of your items and supplies themselves is worth more than $500. If so, you should take action to make sure they are properly protected.

Carefully review your insurance policies to ensure your homeowners or renters policy covers the items you use for your hobby in case of damage or theft.

For some very expensive hobbies, you may want to look into a separate rider that covers the amount of money you would need to replace your collection or hobby supplies. There are certain limits to most policies, and high-value items may max out the coverage.

Even if your hobby investment is less than $500, make sure to include the high-priced items in your home inventory list.

If you have any questions about how your insurance policy covers your hobby or if you need a separate rider, contact our office today via email or phone. We are always here to help.

Why Life Insurance May Be More Affordable than You Think

A life insurance policy can be an affordable way to protect your family. But some people don’t purchase life insurance because they think it will be too expensive. That is not necessarily the case, however.

Life insurance is designed to provide for a partner or a family that relies on your income. If you pass away, your family members may not be able to get back on their feet easily.

The COVID-19 pandemic has likely made people more aware of their own mortality, with life insurance applications jumping in 2020, according to MIB Group. But it may not be enough. According to a 2020 study by Limra, just 59% of Americans have life insurance, and about half of those who do have life insurance do not have enough.

You may want to discuss life insurance with your spouse or partner to determine what his or her needs are. Certainly, it is not an easy discussion. No one likes to anticipate his or her own death. But if a loved one relies on your income, you will undoubtedly want to ensure he or she is cared for if something happens to you.

If you’re concerned about cost, you can make life insurance more affordable by purchasing a policy sooner rather than later. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be healthy, and the healthier you are, the lower the premium will be. There are also different types of life insurance, some more affordable than others. Term life insurance is the most affordable. It pays a benefit to your survivors when you die within a specified period of time. Whole life insurance is more expensive. It combines investing with term life insurance.

If you’re concerned about your life insurance coverage, reach out to our office so you can get the best information to help you determine how much insurance and which policy make the most sense for you.

Is It Safe to Visit the Dentist in Light of COVID-19?

Is your dentist still seeing patients? Whether dental practices have closed shop or are seeing patients only on an emergency basis depends on the dental office.

Early in the pandemic, some dental practices closed, as ordered by their states. However, as early as May 2020, many dental practices began to reopen, either for emergency services or for all routine and elective procedures. The American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommend each dental practice evaluate its specific risk, given the area’s COVID-19 situation. According to the CDC, “Dental settings should balance the need to provide necessary services while minimizing risk to patients and dental healthcare personnel.”

Many people are avoiding dental care unless they are in pain, delaying routine visits like cleanings and semiannual checkups. If you decide to visit your dentist, here are a few things you should expect from your dental practice.

Your dentist’s staff should contact you prior to your visit to determine whether you’ve traveled outside the country or experienced any COVID-like symptoms.

Your dentist will probably ask you to come alone. If you’re disabled or have difficulty walking, ask your dentist to make an exception. It’s better to ask than risk falling on your way into or out of your dentist’s office. Alternatively, a staff member should be able to assist you into and out of your vehicle.

Be sure to wear a mask. The practice should have removed all magazines, but don’t touch anything once inside.

It’s not a bad idea to ask your dentist what additional precautions they may be taking and whether they’ve had any COVID-19 infection issues within their practice.

Dental insurance is surprisingly affordable. Call or email us to learn more about dental insurance plans. We can help determine what options are best for you.

Laid off? How to Manage Your Disability Coverage

With the high unemployment rate due to COVID-19 , many Americans are losing their short- and long-term disability benefits. Just like life insurance, your disability insurance is a benefit your employer may offer on a group basis. If you’re laid off, you may lose access to that coverage because you’re no longer part of that group. If you lose your job, you may lose the group rate or lose access to your disability coverage entirely. Whether you can buy your own coverage through that plan or lose access will depend on your company’s policies and how the insurance company writing the group insurance policy administers its coverage.

If you’re furloughed, you may still have disability coverage for a short period. In response to COVID-19, some employers have worked directly with their disability carriers to extend benefits for the expected length of the furlough. Some group plans will offer laid-off employees the ability to convert their short- and long-term disability coverage to an individual plan. However, you’ll be responsible for the entire premium, whereas previously, your employer probably paid the bulk of the premium.

Should you face this situation, ask your group disability carrier for a quote to continue coverage if your group plan offers that option. Then shop that coverage with an insurance agent who specializes in disability coverage. No two plans are alike. You may be able to purchase a policy with richer benefits for the same or even a lower premium.

If you’re facing a layoff, call or email us for more information about managing your disability benefits. We are always here to help.

Don’t Roll the Dice with These Insurance Gambles

Taking calculated risks is part of a good business strategy for millions of small business owners. However, taking a gamble on business insurance can be potentially devastating. For many inexperienced small business owners struggling to juggle their own day-to-day worries, mistakes abound when considering and making decisions on insurance coverage. Some of these mistakes even include going without insurance coverage in the hopes that the business can save money. This often proves to be much more costly in the end than simply having obtained a business insurance policy to begin with. Below are the three most common mistakes that are always losing gambles for your small business, no matter how you roll the dice.

“Let it ride.” Work closely with your insurance agent to determine the optimal coverage for your business no matter where it is based. For example, a home-based business is not covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy that did not take a business into account when it was created, and if you do contract work, any insurance a client may have on their own business will not cover your business. If your security blanket rests on the hope that your business is covered without verifying the specifics of the insurance policy, you may well find out none of your losses are covered, and you will be on the hook for a significant amount of money.

“All in.” Businesses need certain tried-and-true basic policies that they can rely on and refer to. These necessary policies include property insurance, liability insurance, business vehicle insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. However, viewing these basic policies as the only solution could leave your business at risk. A cookie-cutter approach will not help your business, as each business has its own industry-specific risks that may require specialized policies.

“Winning streak.” You may have been lucky and no disaster has befallen your business yet. However, this does not mean that disaster cannot hit your business and that you will continue to live without an accident or other occurrence. You are not invincible. Without sufficient coverage, your business, reputation and future profits are likely at risk. Unfortunately, many small businesses do not survive incidents that lead to large claims. You should ensure you have appropriate business insurance policies in place and, if you haven’t, consider business interruption insurance so you can maintain cash flow even during the most trying of times.

Rather than gamble with your business and fritter away its potential growth, ask our office for any counsel you may need. No question is too insignificant or too complicated. Our insurance experts will prevent you from gambling with your company and walk you through how you can select the best insurance policy for your business in both the short and long term. With extensive insurance knowledge and your best interests in mind, we are a sure bet. Call or email us today. We are always here to help.

Identity Theft Happens in Business Too

Millions of Americans scrupulously guard their identities and personally identifiable information for fear that their bank accounts will be compromised, identities stolen and a parade of difficulties will follow them at the hands of those who wish to steal their identities. However, they will often not exercise the same care with their business “identities.” Even for small businesses that try their best with free tools, professional identity thieves can evade this type of protection and gain access to lines of credit or accounts. Here are some of the ways businesses can protect their identities.

Monitoring service. Businesses can enroll in monitoring services that continuously monitor any activity on their companies’ credit reports, looking for any red flags.

EIN. For many small business owners, using their Social Security numbers and establishing sole proprietorships are the easiest things to do practically. However, this could lead to exposure for both your personal and business finances if either is compromised. Small business owners should obtain Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) to separate both and reduce risk.

Data protection. Keeping your passwords in a safe, protected place is a crucial part of protecting your data. Use anti-virus and anti-malware software in addition to a secure password manager.

Insurance. A cyber insurance policy can make all the difference in recovering from significant loss related to identity theft in the unfortunate event it does happen. Call or email us today, and we can review your insurance coverage to make sure your business is protected. We are always here to help.

Are You Keeping Your New Gifts Safe and Insured?

Valentine’s Day often means flowers, chocolates and a nice dinner at home or out on the town. It also sometimes means the purchase of expensive jewelry, electronics or other items. Here are five tips to keep those new gifts protected.

Don’t store gifts in a car. If your car is broken into, your insurance may cover the damage to your car but not the loss of the gifts inside. Once you are home, bring the gifts inside right away. Don’t leave them in your car.

If you must store gifts in the car, be safe. Store your gifts out of sight in the trunk or glove box, not under coats or blankets. That’s an invitation for thieves to break into your car. If you have multiple shopping stops, move your car multiple times. Thieves keep an eye out for shoppers who drop off items and go back into the mall.

Your home should always look occupied. Around holidays like Valentine’s Day, when there is a lot of shopping happening, thieves will target empty homes and break in and look for gifts and boxes from stores.

Keep receipts and get appraisals. If the value of an item is disputable, it can’t be properly insured. Receipts and appraisals prove value. If you buy art, collectibles or jewelry, make sure you don’t skip the important step of getting an appraisal.

Expand your insurance coverage. As soon as you buy an expensive item, call us to expand your coverage and make sure your new gifts are safe with the option that is right for you.

True or False: Insurance Is Cheaper for Leased Cars

Cars are significant investments for millions of Americans, from the price of the monthly payments to gas and maintenance costs. It’s helpful when you can save on car insurance. Some wonder whether insurance is cheaper for leased cars or cars that you buy outright.

However, the idea that insurance is cheaper for leased cars is nothing but a myth. Car insurance is not based on how you purchase a car. Car insurance is primarily based on your driving record and the make, model and year of the car.

One of the considerations with leasing a car is that you may have to add the lender to your insurance policy, given that they have an interest in the vehicle. Thus, if you get into a crash and make a claim, the lender will be able to recover the portion they are still owed.

Besides that, the coverage options for car insurance on a leased versus owned vehicle should remain the same. The premium has to do with the condition of the car and the cost to make repairs, not the lease option. Typically, the newer, more expensive and rarer the vehicle, the higher your insurance premium will be due to the higher cost of making repairs.

Whether you buy or lease a car, consult with us for sample quotes before you make a decision that could cost you thousands in the long run. We are always here to help, and we’re just a phone call or email away.

Let’s Debunk 5 Common Life Insurance Myths

Life insurance may seem simple, but that is not always the case. Even when buying the most basic policy, which is called term life insurance, you still have to consider the appropriate time and level of coverage. To make things a bit easier, here we dispel three common myths about life insurance.

Myth #1: You do not need coverage because you have no dependents. Some people think they only need life insurance if they are the primary breadwinners in their families, but that thinking is outdated. Yes, life insurance is often used to cover your salary if you pass away. But life insurance can also be used to cover personal debts and end-of-life expenses, such as a funeral service.

Myth #2: You have employer-paid coverage, so you do not need any additional life insurance. This may be true, but it may not be. How much insurance does your employer provide? If you have dependents, you may need more life insurance than your employer provides. And what will you do for insurance if you leave that employer for any reason? Will the insurance come with you? You may need a supplemental policy outside of your employer to ensure full coverage regardless of your employment circumstances.

Myth #3: Your coverage should be a multiple of your annual salary. Traditional wisdom often says that your life insurance coverage should be around twice your annual salary. But how much life insurance you need should be computed based on outflows, not inflows. Your life insurance needs depend not on how much money you have earned and accumulated but on how much you spend.

There are other considerations when purchasing life insurance, of course; these are just a few factors among many that you may want to consider.

We can provide additional input and help you choose the right life insurance policy to keep your family properly protected.

Hearing Loss Is a Social Problem: Deafness Is More than Physical

Are you straining to hear? Do your loved ones snap at you when you ask them to repeat themselves? It may be time for you to get a hearing test. Hearing loss is a common problem as we age. The National Institute on Aging estimates about one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 suffers hearing loss. For those over 75, more than half have trouble. There’s a hidden risk to hearing loss: isolation.

The American Academy of Audiology finds that untreated hearing loss can lead to depression. Some doctors ignore the signs of hearing loss, rationalizing, “You’re just getting older.” However, recent studies conducted by the National Council on Aging found that hearing-impaired adults age 50 and older reported higher levels of depression, anxiety and even paranoia than a non-hearing-impaired group. The study also found that those with untreated deafness were less likely to engage in social activities. This avoidance can create a cycle leading to even more depression.

Over-the-counter hearing aids don’t require a prescription and may help with mild hearing impairment. Better, ask your doctor to refer you to an audiologist, who can measure your hearing and fit you with hearing aids if needed. However, before you shop for hearing aids, check with your health insurer regarding coverage. Hearing aids are expensive. You may want to visit an audiologist who allows a trial period to see if the recommended hearing aids work.

Hearing loss can arise from other factors. Noise-induced hearing loss arises from long-term exposure to loud noises, such as military service or factory work. If you’re a veteran, visit your local Veterans Benefits Administration office for audiology services. If you suspect your hearing loss is work related, you may find treatment under your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage.

Don’t suffer in silence. Get hearing help to live the best life possible. Contact us if you have questions on what is covered by your medical insurance policy.

Improving Social Determinants of Health: A New Factor in Healthcare

Do you wonder why your doctor asks you a lot of personal questions? Your doctor may be evaluating your “social determinants of health” (SDOH). According to the Centers for Disease Control, SDOHs include the following questions:

Are you safe in your home?

Is food readily available to you, and can you prepare your meals?

Is your home uncluttered and tidy?

Can you access your prescription drugs?

Many hospital readmissions occur when these factors cause problems. A new focus on SDOHs by Medicare and other health insurers not only helps ensure the health of the patient but also helps doctors address these risk factors. If you’re hospitalized, your prerelease evaluation should tackle these factors. Determining if you can obtain your medications, cook your meals, and clean your home are just a few considerations healthcare practitioners should discuss with you.

In 2021, 64 percent of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will offer supplemental benefits to improve patient care and decrease hospital readmissions. While covered skilled nursing assistance provides wound and ostomy care, issues like a cluttered home environment or weakness from hunger can seriously impede healing. Adding benefits like home care, in which non-skilled providers offer in-home assistance with activities of daily living such as cleaning and prescription pickup, can greatly reduce healthcare costs.

Don’t be surprised if your doctor asks personal questions. Request in-home assistance if you need it. If your MA plan provides these benefits, it can help with healing and prevent a possible hospital readmission.

If you’re choosing an MA plan, contact us about these important benefits.

5 Top TED Talks on How to Change an Industry (and the World)

March will celebrate the anniversary of the first motion picture (1885), Alexander Graham Bell’s patent for the first telephone (1876), Coca-Cola’s accidental formulation (1886) and the day light was first created from electricity (1877). All of these changed the world of their time.

How do we change the world? How do we change an industry? How can we do things differently, challenge “the way it has always been” and foster innovation? Here are some insights from TED Talks that are all about ideas that can change the world.

The Art of Innovation. Famed marketer and author Guy Kawasaki shares his top 10 evergreen lessons about the art and heart of curve-shifting innovation. Watch here

How Play Leads to Great Inventions. Many of today’s technologies have surprisingly been born out of good, old-fashioned fun. Pulling from history’s revolutionary ideas, Steven Johnson explains how “necessity isn’t always the mother of invention.” Watch here

The Puzzle of Motivation. Career analyst Dan Pink explains the research behind how our brain’s reward systems change when tackling a creative task. Incentives can actually harm creative performance, whereas autonomy, mastery and purpose are linchpins of highly engaged work that is productive and innovative. Watch here

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies “original thinkers” and shares the key ways these dreamers innovate to create tomorrow’s breakthroughs. Watch here

The New Rules of Innovation. In this talk, Carl Bass discusses the five most powerful trends that are accelerating the rate of innovation at an extraordinary pace. Watch here

Choosing Just the Right Coverage for Your Business

Insurance coverage is rarely an exact science for many people. They have an idea about how much is too much and how little is too little, but few know what is just right. Depending on the size of your business, you might need varying levels of coverage.

Home-Based Businesses

Many businesses start out of a garage or home office with little thought about insurance coverage outside the homeowner’s insurance policy. However, this policy may not provide all the protection needed. Discuss the operations of your business with us so we can help determine whether you need additional limits or a commercial policy.

Small Business

A small business, that is, one that has less than $5 million in revenue and employs fewer than 100 people, probably qualifies for a BOP, a business owner’s policy that combines several policies. These policies include liability protection, property insurance and business interruption insurance. These can be customized depending on your business’s needs.

Medium to Large Businesses

Medium and large businesses have different needs than home-based businesses and small businesses. You may be able to combine property and liability coverage, but you may also need additional coverage for equipment or multiple locations. We can review the specifics of your business to customize a policy that is just right for your company’s needs. Large businesses often have risk management staff to assess risks and develop plans to minimize them. We can help with this task, too.

Whatever size business you have, we can help customize your coverage to ensure your company has the right protection.

Coverage Types Needed for Different Industries

One company manufactures golf balls. Another builds golf courses the balls are used on. These companies have very different needs. Despite their businesses being intertwined, the businesses’ needs vary greatly.

This is also reflected in what they should look for in insurance coverage, as not every company faces the same risks. For some companies, liability is a priority. For others, workers’ compensation is top of mind. While it’s essential that all companies carry insurance coverage, not every policy is the right fit for every company. Some common policies span industries, but each business’s unique priorities contribute to its insurance needs. Here’s a breakdown of the most common needs by industry:

Home and building services: If you offer home or other building services, it’s important to ensure you have commercial auto, workers’ compensation, property and liability insurance. You should have insurance coverage for tools and equipment.

Office: Companies that rely on offices have to protect their assets, employees and intellectual property. With a focus on Internet-necessary services, these companies place a premium on auto, workers’ compensation, property, liability and cybercrime insurance.

Manufacturing: In manufacturing, worker and consumer safety must be guaranteed; thus, liability is high. There are many moving parts, and they must all have proper insurance coverage. Manufacturers must require auto, product recall, property, workplace injury, workers’ compensation, liability and equipment failure insurance.

Education and nonprofits: Organizations that serve others need insurance. Business owners in this field should focus on workers’ compensation, counseling liability, auto, liability, property, and tuition and fees policies.

Retail stores: Retailers are at high risk when it comes to property, liability, commercial auto, and workers’ compensation claims, and they must secure coverage for these issues. Retail store owners should also secure coverage for income loss and crime in addition to business interruption insurance and protection against theft and fraud.

Religious organizations: For this industry that people rely on for crucial decisions, it’s important to cover any property involved and leadership as well. Religious organizations should obtain solid coverage in pastoral professional liability, business liability, business property and business crime insurance.

Hospitality: Business professionals in this industry have many different needs when it comes to insurance. It’s vital to obtain policies that provide business property insurance, business personal property insurance, workers’ compensation insurance and business liability insurance to properly insure your business and your guests.

Real estate: There are unique risks in the business of selling real estate. Make sure you’re covered by policies for business property insurance, business income insurance, sale and disposal liability insurance and rent guarantee insurance.

Restaurants: Your business model poses risks of employee injury and medical issues as well as fires and other accidents that result in property damage. For proper business coverage, it is recommended you obtain restaurant property insurance, restaurant liability insurance, restaurant crime insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.

As you can see, each business is unique, even within its own industry. Speak with our office today to determine the exact needs for your company and how we can help you.

The Ins and Outs of Certificates of Insurance

Certificates of insurance are often something you see required by contract but not something many people typically talk about. Below, we’ll detail what a certificate of insurance is, why you need one, when to ask for one and what one typically entails.

What is a certificate of insurance?

A certificate of insurance is a document from an insurance company demonstrating that you have a current business insurance policy.

Why do I need to provide a certificate of insurance?

A certificate of insurance shows proof that you have insurance, and some businesses or customers may request to see this proof before they consider working with you. Some may have that as a requirement or condition of doing business with them. Insurance protects your business from risks and can protect your clients and customers, too.

Why should you ask for a certificate of insurance?

Any informed client will ask their contractor or other business they work with for a certificate of insurance to make sure the right insurance with the necessary limits is in place for the work.

What should a typical certificate of insurance include?

A typical certificate of insurance should identify the person who has the policy (the “insured”), the mailing address, type of policy, policy limits, insurance company contact information, and additional insured, if there are any. Double-check the certificate matches the name of the company or person you’re working with, has the correct coverage (which will not expire before the work is completed), lists coverage amounts and is issued by an actual insurance company.

Whenever you need a certificate of insurance, we’re here for you. We can also help you review any certificates you receive and make sure they have what’s needed.

Is It Safe to Sign up for Health Information Portals?

The benefits of a secure online patient portal where you can review your medical records include quicker access to your medical history. Traditionally, a doctor or medical assistant calls you when test results arrive. That can take up to a few weeks, or, in some cases, you don’t hear from your doctors. Because many doctors update your medical chart once they examine you or quickly once your test results arrive, you can view these updates sooner. Portals also eliminate the hassle of back-and-forth calls.

For patients with chronic illnesses, secure messaging can mean more personalized treatment. Portals reduce your time on hold and allow your doctor to focus on your messaged question when he or she is not distracted by other priorities. A recent Kaiser Permanente study found online patient management improved the management of chronic disease by about 10%.

However, there are risks associated with patient portals. As recently as November 2020, The National Law Review cautioned that many healthcare organization’s cybersecurity efforts are “insufficient” against today’s sophisticated cyber hacks. In fact, by the middle of 2019, 25 million patients had had their records breached.

Medical providers encourage their patients to sign into their portals. However, not every patient feels comfortable with this approach, and some may not have computer access. Before you decide, review testimonials from other patients before you commit, or register, try it and decide. If you don’t feel comfortable, you can cancel your account.

Call us to discuss online medical access. We are always here to help.

Part D Medicare – Do I Need This Coverage?

Medicare Part D drug coverage is an important benefit for today’s seniors. Part D helps cover prescription medications your doctor may prescribe. “I’m not on any medications,” you may think, “so why should I buy Part D?” Even if you’re not on a medication today, a flu bug or sudden serious illness may require a prescription drug.

The Medicare website explains there are two ways to obtain Part D coverage. You can add a Medicare drug plan if you have Part A and Part B coverage. Alternatively, Medicare Advantage plans may offer more comprehensive drug coverage in their plans. Always compare the options before choosing.

While doctors often prescribe generics when available, a single prescription can be expensive. Many generic equivalents don’t appear for up to 20 years after the introduction of a new drug. Generics may be inferior in some cases. Some doctors will not prescribe certain generics, finding the original patented drugs more beneficial for their patients.

Even if you currently take no medications, consider this: You’ve been feeling bad and visit your doctor. After a battery of tests, she discovers you have gallstones. Your doctor prescribes a drug that costs $473 per tablet. Multiply $473 by the 90 prescribed tablets per month, and the medication becomes unaffordable for all but the most affluent. With a Part D plan, your coverage would greatly reduce this drug cost and help you better manage your symptoms.

Choosing a Part D plan is an important decision. While many Medicare Advantage plans offer Part D as part of their offerings, “going it alone” online or through a toll-free phone number can leave you with a plan that’s not right for you. Or you may select a plan that excludes the drugs you take.

Don’t make this important choice alone. Our experienced health agents understand the importance of prescription drug coverage. Call us today for more information.

3 Reasons You Need Life Insurance in Retirement

You may think you do not need life insurance after you retire because your children have grown up and moved out and your spouse has enough money from savings and/or Social Security to live on. But thinking that would be a mistake. Life insurance is important at every stage of your life. Here are three reasons you need life insurance in retirement.

Life insurance can help cover final expenses. Funerals can be costly, and you probably do not want your family to bear the cost. A small life insurance policy can cover these final expenses.

Your dependents may need you more than you think. Your spouse may be self-sufficient and your children may have grown up and moved out, but in the future, a dependent could find that he or she does not have enough money to live on after you pass away. This could occur for many reasons.

Your estate taxes may be higher than you think they will be. Most of us are not in a position to worry about significant estate taxes, but if you have a large estate, you may want to consider buying a life insurance policy to pay the estate taxes that will be due. That way, your heirs will not be stuck with the tax bill, which may be hard for them to pay, especially if your assets aren’t liquid.

If you fall into one of these categories, you may want to consider life insurance in retirement. You have a number of options, including permanent and term, which come with different costs and benefits.

But life insurance can be complicated, so it is a good idea to get assistance if you want to review your policies or buy more. I can help, so please call or email me if you have any questions about life insurance in retirement.

11 Common Insurance Industry Terms Explained

Every industry has its own lingo. Do you know the language of insurance? Consumers often see common insurance terms, but many are unsure how to define them or what they mean.

The following are a few of the most common terms and definitions. Becoming familiar with these will help you navigate insurance purchases, questions and claims.

Actual cash value: Coverage equal to the value of your damaged property minus depreciation.

Adjuster: This person determines losses to resolve insurance claims.

Comprehensive coverage: This part of your auto insurance covers damage to your vehicle that is related to damage from events such as vandalism, theft and fire but is unrelated to collision.

Deductible: Your deductible is what you pay out of pocket before your policy begins to cover the rest of the claim. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums.

Depreciation: This is the decrease in value of your property because of wear and tear that usually occurs over time and through regular use.

Exclusion: Damage or acts that won’t be covered under your insurance policy are in the exclusion.

Liability: If you become legally responsible for personal injury or damage to someone else’s property, liability insurance will protect you from bearing the cost.

Premium: Paid annually, semiannually, or monthly, this is the amount you pay for your insurance policy.

Replacement value: Regardless of a damaged item’s depreciated value, this coverage provides the money you need to replace damaged property with a new item.

Rider: This expands or limits the benefits of an insurance policy.

Underwriting: This is the process through which your insurance company reviews your policy application and sets the appropriate premium for coverage.

If you have any questions regarding any insurance or coverage term or issue, call our office today, and we’ll be happy to provide the answers.