Archive for Insurance

Should You Bundle Your Insurance

Car InsuranceIf you have a few family members driving cars, a mortgage, insure other high priced items in your home, and have life insurance, it may be time to bundle your insurance policy. Almost all insurance providers will give you steep discounts on your insurance (sometimes up to 40%). If you don’t own a home, you can also bundle renters insurance if you have it, but the discounts for that kind of insurance bundle are far less steep. 

Why should you bundle?

Bundling all of your insurance policies from your auto to your home insurance saves you money and time. By grouping all of your insurance policies, your billing schedule could become less complicated as your insurance provider will likely allow you to pay for all of your insurance premiums at once. You can also benefit from paying only one deductible on all of our insurance policies, instead of one for your car insurance and another for your home insurance. 

What you should look out for

The reason why most car owners decide to bundle their car insurance with other services is to save money. While the monetary benefits are apparent, you want to make sure that your policies remain up to your standards when you bundle your insurance. It sometimes happens that when bundling services, the amount of coverage you can claim on your car insurance or home insurance goes down. You want to make sure that limits you have on your policies don’t clash with each other or fuse together. For instance, if you have insurance for something like a fire, make sure you are covered for your home and your automobile. 

So why do providers bundle?

If bundling makes it cheaper for you as a consumer to have car insurance, why do insurance providers even bother doing it? Bundling your insurance is more straightforward for your provider as well, and apparently, if you have a bundle with an insurance provider, you’re more likely to stick with them for your car and home insurance year over year. Don’t get too comfortable though, as you’re going to want to check back annually to make sure that your premiums and insurance coverage still makes sense, and that you’re still paying the best rates for your insurance policies.  

Is bundling the best option for you?

When you’re looking to bundle, your insurance policy will roll out the red carpet to try to get you to purchase all your insurance needs through them. However, once you bundle with a particular provider, those benefits can sometimes disappear. You can often find better deals on car insurance by comparing policies annually with different providers. Even if you’re happy with your insurance provider, make sure that you keep tabs on how insurance prices are changing. You can always renew your insurance or switch providers if the price is right. 

Bundling your insurance policies can be nerve-wracking, but it’s also great to become familiar with a particular insurance provider. The best part of bundling is, if you don’t have any interest in shopping around for your car insurance and home insurance policies, it can be convenient. 

Picture by Bhargav

The Importance Of Buying A Life Insurance Policy

Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, strong or weak, you can never rule out accidents and death. There are countless ways an accident can happen, such as a road accident, and a plane crash. While death may not be such a bad idea to everyone, it usually causes a lot of pain to the loved ones of the deceased. If you are not wealthy, or financially responsible it can also mean the beginning of financial hardship for your family. This is why it is important to have a life insurance policy.

A life insurance policy is a legally binding contract made between you and an insurance company in which the latter promises to pay the person who you have named as your beneficiary, an agreed amount of money, called the ‘benefit’, in the event of your death. In exchange for the promise, you will be required to pay the insurance company a certain amount of money, called the ‘premium’, either as a lump sum or at regular intervals for a specified number of years.

The size of the premium is determined by the insured amount and the cost of insurance. While it’s up to you to choose the insured amount, the cost of insurance is calculated by the insurance company taking into account your age, sex and whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker. Generally, the older you are the more you are likely to die; hence a higher premium. However, it’s never too late to buy an insurance policy because it’s a lot better to leave something to your family than nothing at all.

Upon your death, your beneficiary will be required to produce an acceptable proof of your death, such as a death certificate. If the circumstance of your death is suspicious, the insurance company may conduct an investigation. If it is found to be a suicide, then the contract will become null and void. The insurance company may pay your beneficiary in lump sum or in the form of an annuity. The annuity is paid in regular installments for a specified number of years or until the beneficiary’s death.

Life insurance policies fall in one of two broad categories: protection policies and investment policies. In the first, the insurance company pays an agreed amount as a lump sum or annuity to your beneficiary upon your death. This is true for the second category as well, but here your insurance policy also works like your bank account where the capital grows over time. This is why some people use a life insurance policy as an investment vehicle as well. Click here to find out more about Suncorp life insurance.

What type of policy do you have?

This is a guest post

The Ins and Outs of Income Protection Insurance

What would happen if you got sick or injured tomorrow and couldn’t work?  How would your family pay the bills?

These are scary questions, but you can chase all of the fear away by purchasing income protection insurance!

If you’re covered by an income protection plan, you can get paid up to 75% of your salary until you can return to work.  The payments will be made once a month, so they’re spread out like a “real” salary.

It’s nice to have a safety net, but there are a few other things you need to know if you’re about to start comparing income protection plans

First, you need to understand that you won’t get any money until you get through your waiting period.  The average income protection policy will make you wait 30 days before your first check arrives.That can make things tough if you have bills that need to be paid right now.

Your income protection quote will come with the insurance company’s standard waiting period, but if you want to shorten it, you’re free to do so for a fee.  You’ll pay more in premiums, but the added expense may be well worth it.  After all, if you were to get injured out on your road bike and miss two weeks of work, and you had a 30-day waiting period, you wouldn’t get any money.  But if you’re waiting period was only a week, you’d get some money towards the end of your recovery.

Before you sign up for a short waiting period, keep in mind that income protection insurance only kicks in after you’ve gotten other benefits.  So, if you have two weeks’ worth of sick time, you won’t be able to tap into your insurance protection benefits until you’ve exhausted them.  Like any other form of insurance, income protection isn’t designed to put you in a BETTER financial position.  It’s simply supposed to help you break even if something goes wrong.

Even if you’ve already used up all of your other resources, you still may not qualify for your income protection benefits, because some policies state that you have to be completely disabled in order to get them, meaning you can’t do any kind of work, including part-time work.  Other policies, however, say you simply have to be unable to do the work you did before your illness or injury in order to get your money.  So, read the fine print before you opt for a particular policy.

So what if you’re entitled to your income protection benefits.  How much money do you actually get?

We’ve already mentioned that the average policy pays out 75% of your salary until you return to work.  However, your benefits may not be based on your current salary.  Some policies look at your income from the previous 12 months in order to calculate how much money you get.  If you just got a raise a month ago, it may not be included in the calculations.  That’s why it’s so important to find out how your insurance company will calculate things before you commit to a plan.

When it comes time to tell your insurance company how much you make, be sure to include everything, not just your base salary.  If you get overtime, add that into the equation.  The same goes for your car allowance and any other benefits you get.  Since they all count as “income”, they’ll all count towards your income protection payout.

Most income protection plans are built to withstand inflation , meaning that your benefits will automatically increase every year.

One final note is to take a close look at your policy’s “benefit payment term”.  If you’re ever disabled to the point where you can never work again, you’ll need to know how long your income protection benefits will be paid out.  Some policies will pay you until you turn 65, while others have a much shorter benefit payment term of 1-5 years.  Your income protection money will run out eventually, so it’s important to know when that will be.

Do you have income protection insurance?

This is a guest post

Photo by Bethany Van Buren

 

Not All Life Insurance Policies Cover You Outside Of The Country

Today we have a guest post

Preparing to travel outside of the country for business or pleasure is an exciting and stressful time. There’s so much to plan, so much to pack, and so much to get excited about doing once you arrive! What often gets lost in the shuffle is life insurance coverage and it can be a devastating oversight should something happen to you while you’re away.

Unfortunately, it’s far too common for policyholders to be completely unaware that a stipulation of most life insurance policies is that it will not cover you if you travel outside of your country. Once you leave the country, your policy waves goodbye and heads back to the airport on its own little insurance company provided private jet—no, not really, but you get the point. You can learn more at the AAMI income protection site by clicking this link.

So How Do You Stay Covered if I Leave the Country?

There’s quite a few ways for you to maintain life insurance coverage when travelling, the most popular of which are:

  • Employer-Provided Travelling Life Insurance
  • Travel Insurance with Built-In Life Insurance
  • International, or Global, Life Insurance

Employer Provided coverage is exactly what it sounds like—your employer provides a life insurance benefit that covers you while you’re travelling on their behalf. For individuals who travel often, these policies are very common and are often written in as part of a larger life insurance benefit that you’re offered upon employment. More than likely, if you’re employed by one of these companies, you’re already taken care of.

Some Travel Insurance, depending on which company you go with and what they offer, have life insurance available at an added expense. If you’re purchasing travel insurance anyway, then you can add the life insurance coverage to it and have yourself covered that way.

Then, there’s International, or “Global” insurance, which offers short-term coverage for the period of time that you’ll be outside of your country of residence. These policies are far more complicated than the above policies in that they’re much more comprehensive and specific; they’re highly customized to you, where you’re going, how you’re getting there, how long you’re staying, where you can go once you’re there, and what the conditions of the destination are. If you step outside of what the policy is specifically created for, you risk a claim being denied. However, the upside is that they usually offer far more coverage than the previous two options, which typically won’t come close to offering the amount of coverage that you’re getting with the life insurance policy you currently have on your own.

How to Obtain International Life Insurance

Here’s where you’ll want a considerable amount of assistance from a qualified insurance specialist—preferably one that works independently from any one insurance company. These specialists know their industry inside-and-out, have no desire to sell you on one particular company, and can find the perfect policy to match your specific travel itinerary.

Plus, you’ll need someone who can wade through the mountains of clauses, exceptions, and specifications that tend to come attached to different international policies—it’s enough to make your head spin, so having that assistance to break them all down and thoroughly explain them will help you to know what you can and can’t do while travelling.

Are you covered if you travel outside of the country?

Life Insurance At Work

So hubby and I are getting life insurance and called our insurance broker to get a quote. To be honest I would prefer not to even get life insurance because it’s an additional cost, but I know I know it’s essential when starting a family or if you have someone depending on your income.

Although both of us are self sufficient and are DINKS, (dual income no kids) we do plan to have children someday and figure we should  get insurance now while it’s cheaper, than later on when the price would go up with our age.

I currently have a small $250,000 20 year term life insurance that I got five years ago, but that’s not nearly enough insurance now. We checked out some quotes and the best quote we got was for $1347 per year for both of us with a 1 million dollar coverage each for 20 years. After having a detailed discussion with our insurance broker we decided that 1 million would be good enough.
 
A couple days after getting the quote, hubby asked me how much insurance would cost through my work. After all these years of working for my company I didn’t even think about asking how much insurance would cost with them. Currently I have one times my salary, but they also offer optional insurance where I can get more coverage. Since hubby will be coming under my benefits since he is self employed, he too can benefit from my insurance rates at work.
 
I contacted my HR department to find out how much insurance would be for 1 million dollars and the cost is $5 per pay which works out to be $130 for the year just for me, and approximately double for the both of us. The only issue is that it caps out at $500,000, so we would still need to get additional insurance elsewhere. It’s also only good for the duration of my employment at my company. If I leave my rate would go up.
 
Although there are some limitations, it’s still way cheaper to get insurance with my company and top up with another insurance company. After speaking with my broker he did tell me that the insurance rates with most companies go up every two years. I will have to check this with my company to see if that’s the case.
 
Do you have insurance through work, if so, what are the limitations if any? Also, how much life insurance do you have and how did you decide how much to get?
 

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