Homeowners Insurance: What It Does and Does Not Cover

Homeowners insurance is crucial to protect your home (and your pocketbook) against losses. However, it may surprise you to know what is covered by homeowners insurance and what is not. Below are some of those things.

Structure of your home. Whether it is your roof, walls, windows, or other parts of the physical structure of your home, a standard homeowners insurance policy likely covers damages caused by hail, lightning, fire, or other insured disasters. Garages, sheds, and other detached structures are also covered by most policies.

Floods and earthquakes. Many people assume that these natural disasters will be covered with a general homeowners insurance policy, but that is not the case. If your home is in a flood or earthquake zone, it would be wise to consider obtaining flood or earthquake insurance to protect your home.

Personal belongings. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover 50-70% of the value of insurance you have on the structure of the house for personal belongings, such as furniture, clothes, and appliances if they are damaged by insured disasters or theft. However, if you have items of special value, such as jewelry or expensive art, you may wish to consider purchasing additional coverage, as there can be limits on the dollar amount if these items are stolen.

Additional living expenses. If your home is rendered uninhabitable due to a disaster, your hotel stays or restaurant bills above and beyond your usual cost of living will be covered.

Home business expenses. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover any incidents arising from business activity. To ensure maximum coverage, consider obtaining a business insurance policy as well.

We are here to help make sure that your home is protected. Reach out to us today to assess your needs and to help you choose any additional policies that you may need.

Making the Claims Process as Easy as PIE

There’s been an incident and you need to start the claims process. For many, this scenario can feel intimidating and bewildering. Whether the situation involves property damage, an auto accident, or an employee injury, to make the process faster, easier, and more manageable, follow this PIE recipe:

Photograph. Take photographs of the scene, damages, injuries, the location of the incident, and any other relevant images. If you’re unsure of whether you need a photo, take it and err on the side of too many instead of too few photos.

Inscribe. Take copious notes about the incident. Your memory will fade, and details that you take for granted as unimportant may actually be key to determining liability for the accident. Clear notes regarding the people involved, where and what time it happened, what the circumstances were, and any other relevant information are key. These notes may form the foundation of your future insurance claim.

Expedite. File your insurance claim as soon as possible, when the details are still fresh in your mind. The quicker you file with your insurance company, the quicker you will be on the path to ensuring your claim is processed.

Your partner in this process is your insurance company, which can help guide you through all the required steps so your claim can continue to advance.

If you have any questions, contact us as soon as possible, and we’ll help you through every step of the process. We’re just a call or email away.

5 Things to Consider When Buying Life Insurance

Buying life insurance may seem like a simple proposition, but it is not always as easy as it may seem, given the complexity of terms used in the industry. Here are five things to consider when looking into life insurance.

Determine why you need life insurance. You may think of life insurance as providing financial support for your dependents if you are not able to do so. But different people need life insurance for different reasons. Do you need to pay for a child’s college education, for example? Or do you need to pay off your mortgage to help a nonworking spouse?

Determine how much life insurance you need. Understanding why you need life insurance before you begin shopping will help you determine how much of it you need. Conventional wisdom, such as twice your salary, may not apply. How much money does each of your dependents need, and for how long? Remember, your spouse and children will likely have different needs. And if your children are different ages, each of them might have different needs.

Know the difference between permanent and term life insurance. Permanent life insurance provides coverage for life. Term life insurance provides coverage for a limited period of time, such as 10, 15, or 20 years, and it, therefore, may be less expensive. Depending on how long your dependents will rely on you financially, a term or permanent life policy may be the best option.

Research providers. Some life insurance companies are better than others. You will want to choose one on solid financial footing because the lives of your dependents may depend on it.

Find a good agent or advisor. Answering these questions can be challenging. An experienced financial professional (like us) can help you.

Reach out to us today if you would like to explore life insurance.

How Big Life Changes Can Impact Your Health Insurance

Life changes, including divorce, relocation, chronic illness, and even pandemic layoffs, can result in health coverage changes. Some of these changes, like layoffs, mean losing healthcare benefits. If you lose your job, here are some options to ensure your continued coverage.

Spouse’s or parents’ policy. Some states and organizations will allow that, but you must apply within 30 days of layoff.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). COBRA lets you maintain your health coverage with your former employer if that employer continues to offer healthcare benefits and has at least 20 employees. With COBRA, you do not have to requalify, so your insurance covers preexisting conditions. However, you must apply within 62 days of a layoff, and you can use COBRA for only 18 months. Additionally, COBRA is more costly because your former employer pays none of the cost and you pay 100% plus a 2% administrative fee. Some states offer COBRA plans for smaller companies and with different time span coverages.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA). ACA offers a special enrollment period of 30 days after you lose healthcare coverage. Have your tax returns and an estimate of your yearly medical costs before going to healthcare.gov or calling the helpline at 1-800-318-2596. The ACA puts no time limit on coverages, covers more, cannot deny insurance because of preexisting conditions, and greatly reduces prescription costs. However, it is more costly for many people.

Private insurance plans. Most people qualify for these plans, but they work best if you make too much to qualify for ACA subsidies. Private insurance covers basic care and may offer other benefits, like a wider choice of prescription drugs.

As experienced health insurance agents, we can help you investigate these options to help you through the difficulties of a major life change before you make important healthcare decisions.

Top Tips for Getting Your Denied Medical Claim Paid

When your health insurance carrier denies all or part of your medical claim, what should you do? Here are some steps you can take to help get your claim paid. According to some insurance experts, insurers pay approximately half of denied insurance claims once appealed.

The first step is to determine why your insurer denied the claim. Most explanations of benefits (EOBs) contain a code that explains the denial. If you’re unclear after deciphering the code, call your insurer to discuss the denial in more detail. Then try to right the situation if possible. Some of the standard reasons for denial include a lack of preauthorization and incorrect coding by your physician.

Next, if needed, call your doctor’s office and speak with its insurance department. Generally, they are very experienced and may talk to your insurer on your behalf.

Resubmit your claim if the carrier denies it one time. Often, the insurer will pay the second billing or the third. Your EOB may outline procedures for appeal. However, you may have to review your health insurance policy for appeal procedures.

Finally, if you don’t get help through the appeals process and you believe your insurer owes the claim, you can appeal the denial to your state’s department of insurance (DOI). In many states, filing a DOI complaint is as simple as completing a one-page form. You’ll need to attach your records to support your appeal.

We may be able to help. Contact us if you have questions about a denied healthcare claim.

Which Business Insurance Policies Should You Consider?

Businesses are often focused on a variety of priorities, chief among them growth. Most owners or managers try to outfox the competition but sometimes ignore life’s occurrences as a real possibility. For many, they believe one insurance policy will cover them all the way through, but the sad reality is one policy is not enough. Below are a few of the policies that can keep your business safe and functioning.

General Liability Insurance

This important insurance is for any claims made against your business in addition to covering any legal defense. From slip-and-fall accidents to employee allegations and much more, this is a must-buy policy for any business owner. This insurance covers slander or libel and even data breaches.

Commercial Property Insurance

For businesses that have large or costly footprints, commercial property insurance is a must. This insurance covers the physical structure and any contents inside in case of incidents such as fire, theft, hurricanes, and other natural or man-made disasters.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

This coverage is often required by law. Businesses that carry workers’ compensation insurance are able to pay for lost wages and medical care for employees who are injured on the job. Depending on your state, you may also be required to pay for disability insurance or unemployment insurance.

Commercial Flood Insurance

For many businesses in low-lying or otherwise flood-prone areas, commercial flood insurance is a smart move. This insurance pays for damage to property caused by flooding.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Sometimes, large accidents or severe lawsuits can ruin a business, even if every insurance policy pays up to the maximum allowable limit. However, an umbrella policy works to fill those gaps and ensure that your business survives in addition to potentially covering other incidences that your other insurance policies don’t provide for.

Professional Liability Insurance

For many professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, and others, there is a need for specialized insurance covering their business activities. Professional liability insurance can help protect professionals who cause a client harm through an error or inadvertent act or omission.

Business Interruption Insurance

When unforeseen events such as natural disasters occur, your business may need to shutter for days or even weeks while the debris clears. Business interruption insurance helps replace lost income, make payroll and bills, and help ensure that your business can meet its financial obligations when the dust settles.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Some businesses rely on vehicles to accomplish their objectives. For those, a commercial auto policy can mean the difference between an employee’s traffic accident being calamitous or just part of the course of business. Some states require this type of insurance, but even if they do not, it could mean the difference between success and ruin.

Different types of businesses need different insurance policies and coverage. When you work with us, we can find the policies and coverage levels that best suit you and your business.

Contact us today so we can help insure your future. We are just a phone call or email away.

The Importance of Managing Risk in Small Business

Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities. From the local baker’s shop to the auto mechanics, small businesses abound and provide jobs and services for many. However, unlike their much larger brethren, they do not usually have dedicated risk management departments to protect them from unforeseen consequences. Thus, a small business owner must act as a risk manager and work to prevent any negative occurrences.

First, a small business should look at potential losses or other liabilities. This means determining what could happen if you lose your stock, physical structure, or data, are the subject of a lawsuit by an employee or customer, and other issues.

Once you have listed the risks, you should attempt to assign them probabilities and damages. For example, although it will cause heavy damage, how probable is it that your building will spontaneously collapse? On the other hand, it is likely more probable that you will have to endure an adverse weather issue leading to the closing of your business for a few days.

Following that, taking steps to mitigate any potential damages is key to preventing negative long-term effects. This could include, for example, paying for hurricane shutters in an area prone to severe storms or paying for employee training on the proper way to serve hot food items to customers.

Whether you’ve created a risk management plan from day one of your business or find yourself in need of one now, contact us so we can help provide the right insurance coverage for your business.

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.

What Types of Home Insurance Do You Need?

In most typical homeowners insurance policies, there are a few items of standard coverage that help ensure that losses are mitigated. Below are the types of coverage you can expect to see in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

Dwelling: This type of coverage is for the structure of the home, from roof to floors and ceilings to walls. Dwelling coverage provides the peace of mind that you have protection up to the limit of your individual policy when natural disasters, theft, and other incidents occur.

Contents: This coverage ensures that your valuables at home are replaced in the event of a covered loss, so that you don’t have to worry about your furniture, clothing, electronics, and other items that fall under this policy.

Personal liability: Accidents can happen in your home, but luckily, insurance can help cover injuries to an invited guest in your home. Additionally, if property damage occurs, your policy may cover it if it happens as a result of a qualifying accident.

Understandably, there are unique situations that call for additional coverage, depending on your circumstances, which every homeowner should take into account. Residents in areas with high amounts of rainfall might consider flood insurance, depending on the likelihood and severity of floods, while those in areas with earthquakes should consider appropriate coverage. Additionally, homeowners who want updated replacements of damaged items might consider replacement coverage that provides for new items, as most insurance policies will only cover the value of items when they were damaged, not their original price.

No matter your home insurance needs, we’re here to help determine and customize homeowner’s insurance coverage that is right for you. No two homeowners are the same, so contact us today to get the policy that will offer you maximum protection.

4 Ways to Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premiums

Auto insurance premiums always seem to be on the rise. For some, that’s unavoidable. However, for many, there are a few easy ways to reduce auto insurance premiums.

Utilize the same insurance company: Unlike the stock market, diversification does not usually lower your insurance costs. Being a loyal customer of one insurance company for several insurance products (home, auto, life) can help bring down total costs.

Reduce your driving distance and risks: Auto insurance companies make some of their decisions about premiums based on the amount of time you spend on the road and your driving history. If you can reduce your time on the road and any negative marks on your driving record, you’ll probably see a clearer path toward reduced premiums.

Choose your vehicle wisely: It’s no secret that an expensive hot-rod sports car will be more expensive to insure and, to some, may be more likely to be involved in a crash. Doing a little bit of research about the vehicle you plan to purchase on websites like www.kbb.com and www.edmunds.com or exchanging your vehicle for a safer one could go a long way toward reducing your auto insurance payments.

Ask your insurance agent: Many drivers are unaware there are discounts based on safe driving, age, professions (such as teaching and military service), and other factors that can help bring their premiums down. Asking your insurance agent will help ensure that you’re getting every discount you can to reduce your auto insurance premium.

If you want to see where you can save on your policy, give us a call.

Have You Outgrown Your Life Insurance Policy?

Life insurance can be invaluable, but it is easy to forget you have it, since you do not use it until a tragedy occurs. Is your policy, which you may have purchased years or even decades ago, still meeting your needs? If you do not know, it may be a good time to reevaluate your policy and make changes if necessary.

Life insurance is particularly important as we get older. We get married, we buy cars and homes, we have children, and we save for college. And we want to take care of our families if an accident or illness prevents us from giving them the financial support to which they have become accustomed.

But then our lives continue. Our children grow up, and we pay off our mortgages, we accumulate nest eggs, and we retire. And as we pass through those life stages, we still have the same life insurance policies. What should we do?

You may be tempted to let your policy lapse at this life stage. After all, the money you allocate to paying premiums could be used in other ways: to pay down debt, add to your nest egg, or invest in long-term care insurance, for example. But that may not be wise because life insurance can be useful throughout all life stages. Just because your children are grown, you have paid off your mortgage, or you are retired does not mean life insurance serves no purpose. Your loved ones could be affected by your death in myriad ways.

Ask yourself how the money from your life insurance might assist your loved ones if you pass away. You will likely come up with many ways, making it worth keeping your policy in effect.

Want to review your life insurance policy and see if changes are necessary? Please reach out to us. We would be happy to help.

Do You Need Supplemental Disability Insurance?

The Social Security Administration says disability will affect about one in four US workers at some time during their working years. Disability mostly impacts workers who perform manual labor. However, research shows that it strikes 10% of white-collar workers. If you cannot perform all or part of your job because you become disabled and your employer provides disability coverage, that coverage will replace some of your lost income. However, for most people, it’s not enough.

Short-term disability insurance begins on day eight of disability and provides coverage for up to six months. However, most employers don’t provide short-term coverage. Long-term coverage begins six months after disability occurs and lasts until age 65.

Your group plan may cover 60% or less of your income. Because disability insurance is taxable, you actually receive even less, maybe as little as 40% of your income. Certain events can affect your group disability coverage, such as changing from full-time to part-time and, of course, changing jobs.

Consider supplementing your employer’s disability insurance with a private disability policy. This could increase your coverage to 70% or 80% of your income. Here are three other benefits of supplementing your disability coverage:

  1. Most employer disability plans have a coverage limit (often two years). You choose how long your private supplement will cover you.
  2. The income from a supplemental disability policy is not tax-deductible.
  3. You may receive Social Security disability payments if you cannot work at all. These payments will reduce your employer disability payments. However, they will not reduce your private disability payments.

Financial experts believe that disability insurance may be the most important insurance coverage because it ensures you can cover basic living costs.

We can help you decide if you need additional short- or long-term disability insurance and help you find the right policy for your needs.

Preventive Services Available Under the Affordable Care Act

Preventive medical services focus on keeping you healthy. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers 63 preventive services, all of which are covered before meeting your deductible and without copayment. Depending on your age or gender, these services are available to you.

For adults, some covered services include the following:
Alcohol screening and counseling
Blood pressure checks
Cholesterol checks
Colorectal cancer screening in adults over 50
Depression screening
Type 2 diabetes screening for any adult with high blood pressure
Diet counseling for adults with risk of chronic disease
Immunizations, including Hepatitis A and B, herpes, influenza, measles, mumps, pneumonia, tetanus, and more
Obesity screening and counseling

For women, here are some preventive services:
Breast cancer genetic test counseling (BRCA)
Breastfeeding support and counseling
Cervical cancer screening
Contraception
Osteoporosis in women over 60
Well-woman examinations

Finally, here are some preventive services offered for children:
Autism
Behavioral assessments
Depression in adolescents
Lipid disorder screenings
Hearing screening
Height, weight, and body mass indexes
Immunizations, including tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and more
Vision screenings

Preventive services can keep you and your family healthier. In addition, if you catch medical problems before they become more severe, preventive services can greatly decrease your healthcare spending.

Understanding Professional Liability Insurance

Some business owners believe standard insurance policies they have obtained will protect them from claims arising during the course of doing business. However, standard business insurance policies often do not protect professionals or professional services from claims against the professionals or the businesses for negligence, inaccurate advice, misrepresentation, and other serious allegations. This is where professional liability insurance comes in. It protects against these claims in a way a standard business insurance policy does not. In some states, professional liability insurance may be required by law, by a board of bar examiners for attorneys, or by other professional societies. However, even when professional liability insurance is not required by law, it is likely a good idea for a multitude of professionals.

Who needs to have professional liability insurance?

Professional liability insurance is a must for those who provide professional services. For example, accountants, architects, doctors, lawyers, consultants, realtors, engineers, and information technology professionals are just a few of those who should acquire professional liability insurance. In today’s litigious culture, a professional liability insurance policy can make the difference between salvation and ruin. A good rule of thumb is if you can be sued for the advice you provide, you should obtain professional liability insurance.

What does professional liability insurance cover, and what is not in the policy?

Professional liability insurance usually covers any judgments against you, settlements, professional board penalties, and legal defense fees associated with claims arising from your professional services. Aside from your deductible, professional liability insurance will cover you up to the limits of your policy. Thus, the amount of money any professional services business needs will be highly dependent on the services provided and the potential for negative consequences.

There are also two types of professional liability insurance policies to consider.

One is claims-based, which requires you to have been insured both when the claimed event occurred and when the claim is filed. For example, if a negligence claim occurs today, you need to have professional liability insurance covering you today for the claim that occurred today.

Another is classified as occurrence, which covers any event that occurs during the period of insurance, even if the claim is filed after the insurance policy expires. For example, if an accident happened last year, coverage for that year would protect you even if you do not have any active insurance coverage this year.

It is important to note that coverage will not apply to acts that are deemed to be dishonest or that occur with intent to defraud. Occurrence-based insurance is particularly compelling for those who plan to retire in the foreseeable future, as it takes the burden of worry off any lingering incidents that may come back to bite a business owner.

A lifetime’s worth of work can go down the financial drain due to just one claim. Work with us today to help determine the best type of professional liability insurance for you and your business in order to protect your years of hard work