Do You Know These 4 Common Myths about Car Insurance?

Misconceptions surrounding car insurance abound and can impact the decisions you make on which car to buy or lead you to lose money. Many of these misconceptions are untrue. To aid you in making an informed decision, below are five common myths about car insurance.

Myth: More expensive cars cost more to insure

Fact: False. Not every expensive car costs more to insure than a mid-priced car. Insurance rates are determined by a variety of factors, including how frequently a specific car type is stolen, the amount of times a vehicle needs repairs, and how much those repairs cost.

Myth: Red cars are the most expensive to insure

Fact: The color of a car has absolutely no bearing on the price of insurance. While the make and model will undoubtedly influence the price you’ll pay, you can pick the color worry-free.

Myth: Traffic tickets make your insurance premiums rise

Fact: Traffic tickets are not helpful to your insurance premiums, but for drivers with clean driving records, a ticket for a minor traffic infraction may not have any impact whatsoever. There are also several steps you can take to reduce the number of points from your license in some states to minimize the impact.

Myth: Carrying the minimum amount of insurance is acceptable, and comprehensive insurance covers everything

Fact: Double false. The minimum amount of liability insurance will satisfy state law but will most likely not cover extensive damages in case of a crash. Comprehensive insurance can cover many situations, but it is specifically for damage done in a non-collision event.

If you’d like to learn more about these common myths and what other factors impact car insurance prices, call us today. We are happy to answer any questions.

Should You Buy an Extended Warranty or Not?

Protecting your investment is always top of mind, no matter how affordable or costly your purchase was.

From televisions to cars, extended warranties offer you the peace of mind for a low cost, either up front or built into your monthly payment. These extended warranties can prove to be lifesavers or costly “investments” depending on how and what they are used for.

For example, an expensive extended warranty that covers almost everything is probably only a good investment if you plan to keep the item for an extended period of time.

Otherwise, any repairs made to the item in the short term may not amount to the full cost of the warranty. Additionally, some customers may forget they have a warranty on an item and then still pay out of pocket even when they don’t have to.

Another vital thing to consider when it comes to extended warranty coverage is the amount and breadth of coverage that an extended warranty will provide.

If there are many exceptions to a policy or a few places where the policy is valid, then no matter the “deal” you’re getting on this warranty, it may not be worth the time or trouble, as it is essentially worthless.

Deciding on whether to buy an extended warranty is an individual decision with a few important factors involved. Reach out to us today, and we can help you evaluate the risks, needs, and potential benefits of an extended warranty if you are considering one.

Are You Making These Business Insurance Mistakes?

Many business owners believe that once they get one insurance policy, they are fully covered for every possible instance that they will encounter. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Some businesses need specialized coverage, or, as insurance policies continue over time, business owners don’t adjust their coverage to account for growth or new circumstances. Below are seven business insurance mistakes that you should avoid or immediately correct.

You don’t have the insurance you need. For some business owners, a general liability policy is all they think they need. For insurance to be truly effective, you should ensure that you are covered up to the amount you need and probable events are not excluded from coverage.

You don’t tell your agent the whole story. Some people believe that by withholding crucial information, they will get a lower price on insurance coverage. The only thing this will do is ensure you get a policy that doesn’t fit your needs. You must tell your agent everything so they can help provide the most appropriate coverage for you.

You don’t keep records and rely on memory instead. When it comes to filing an insurance claim, records are everything. If you don’t keep the necessary records, your claim may turn out to be for less than you need or may be denied. Keeping records will help substantiate your claim of losses and make life easier when you need cash the most.

You don’t read the fine print. Business owners are fastidious about everything related to their businesses, but they sometimes do not read the fine print of insurance contracts. Make sure that you know your coverages limits, insurance exclusions, and everything else. If you see a hole in potential coverage, the best time to address it is before you sign the agreement.

You don’t shop around for the best price. While you never want to sacrifice coverage for price, there’s nothing wrong with trying to get the best coverage for the least expensive price. Losing money for the same coverage only diverts funds that could be used to grow your business.

You don’t look at the value, only at the price. Some insurance quotes will always be the lowest price, but that’s because they are providing less coverage than the competitors. Sometimes, paying even a marginal amount more will guarantee more comprehensive coverage and value, which will benefit your business in the long term.

You renew the same policy every year and aren’t proactive. As your business changes, you might need more coverage for a larger operation. The best plan of action is to reevaluate your insurance needs every year to help ensure that you and your business are protected no matter the incidences that befall you.

Insurance coverage is a vital part of owning a business, and ensuring you’re protected should be a top priority. It is a top priority for me when taking care of my clients. Call me today for an assessment of your current insurance situation and for a review of your current and potential future needs.

What Types of Insurance Do Online Businesses Need?

With many businesses needing to shift gears so they can work remotely these days, the type of insurance they need may not be top of mind when navigating a lot of other day-to-day changes. Below are a few types of insurance that online businesses and virtual offices can benefit from.

Cyber liability: A cyber business’s storefront is the Internet. Cyber liability insurance covers any ransomware attacks, business interruption, restoration of any computer systems, and legal or public relations fees related to the incident.

General liability: Even if you don’t have a physical location, if someone is injured by your product, you could be liable for the damage your product causes someone else.

Employment practices liability: As you grow and expand your business, you may see fit to hire employees. To be sure that your interests are protected, employment practices liability insurance protects you against claims for harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and allegations that can be leveled against you by an employee.

Workers’ compensation: No matter how careful you or your business is, accidents happen. Workers’ compensation insurance covers accidents and illnesses related to work in addition to any litigation related to the incident.

Seller suspension insurance: For any suspension of your seller account that could occur on a large online platform, you could face a significant amount of lost income. This insurance helps you replace lost income while you work to get back to business.

Reach out and let me know how I can help support you during these times of unexpected change. I’m just a call or email away. Let me help.

Why Virtual Medical Care is a Good Idea

Virtual medicine, the use of technology to treat health symptoms, is rapidly growing. According to eVisit, a group of health practitioners and patients whose goal is “to simplify health care delivery for everyone, everywhere,” more than half of today’s US hospitals offer a telemedicine option. eVisit reports that nearly 75% of the US population would use telehealth services if available. Employers welcome virtual healthcare to reduce workers’ absences, and employees embrace it to avoid high emergency room (ER) visit copays.

Here are some benefits of virtual medical care.

  1. Your cost to visit a virtual practitioner is usually equal to or less than an office visit. It’s certainly lower than an ER visit, which can start at a $50 copay and run much higher. In fact, USA Today reported that by 2019, ER costs had risen 176 percent in the past decade.
  2. You can avoid travel expenses and work absences.
  3. You can usually avoid long wait times for an appointment.
  4. You can obtain a second opinion from virtual medicine. You’ll need to furnish underlying diagnostics, like X-rays, to the virtual provider.
  5. Your provider can easily contact you if you require follow-up treatment.
  6. You may be concerned about COVID-19. You can visit a provider without having to leave your home.

According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), patients report a greater level of satisfaction with virtual medicine. The ATA calls it “the future of healthcare.” While it may seem impersonal, if your primary care physician is unavailable, you would see a different provider in that practice if needed. You may wait weeks for an appointment with a specialist. It’s often much faster to “see” a specialist through telemedicine.

In these uncertain times, you may have many questions about your options. I am always here to help and happy to answer your questions. I am just a call or email away.

Understanding Key Terms under Your Health Insurance Policy

A few definitions can help you understand what you pay under your health plan and what your insurer pays.

Your health plan generates an explanation of benefits (EOB). It shows you how much they paid your provider and the amount you owe. According to the American Medical Association, almost 20 percent of EOBs contain errors, so review each EOB. If you don’t agree with or understand an EOB, contact your health insurer, not your provider. Your EOB statements arrive electronically or by mail.

Your deductible is what you pay before your plan begins paying your covered services. Submit all your treatments to your health plan to receive all the credit against your deductible.

You should monitor your maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) costs. MOOP limits the amount per calendar year you pay for covered costs. You are always responsible for the entire cost of uncovered services. Acupuncture costs, for example, may not apply to your MOOP. And you are always responsible for your copays.

Your copay is the fixed amount you pay when you receive treatment. Seeing your primary care physician usually involves a lower copay than seeing a specialist. Urgent care centers impose lower copays than emergency rooms.

Coinsurance is the portion of the allowed amount on a covered service that you pay. The allowed amount is the limit your insurance sets for covered medical services. Once you’ve reached your MOOP, coinsurance no longer applies, although copays continue. Are you confused by a definition under your health plan? Call us.

Why You Should Not Skip out on Life Insurance

As the economy struggles and market volatility rages from COVID-19 impacts and more, nearly a third of US households are going without life insurance coverage. This may be a bad idea.

Only 59% of Americans have life insurance, and about half of those with insurance are underinsured, according to industry-funded research firm LIMRA. Nine million households have only group life insurance (for example, through employers), which LIMRA says is not enough.

Why are people going without life insurance?

The obvious answer is that many people feel that they cannot afford it right now, especially when they are fearful about the economy and their investments. They may wish to put the money they would allocate to premiums into a rainy day fund. They may even need the money they would allocate to premiums to meet everyday living expenses.

Another reason may be declining availability. Many people rely on their employers for life insurance, and some employers have scaled back or eliminated coverage.

This has forced individuals to buy their own life insurance, but many just do not know where to go for life insurance, so they simply do without.

But going without life insurance isn’t a good idea for many people. Many households, for example, would have trouble meeting immediate living expenses if their primary wage earners die. Some may even have trouble meeting their own end-of-life expenses.

We can help you determine if you need life insurance and, if you do, purchase a policy that is right for you based on benefits and affordability.

Please reach out to us today. We’re here to help.