Monday, April 27, 2015

Umbrella Insurance: Coverage for the Uncovered

If there’s one lesson that life teaches, it’s that anything can happen and to expect the unexpected. As people, we try to plan for everything under the sun; that’s what having insurance coverage is all  
about. Unfortunately, however, try as we might, things can still happen that aren’t typically covered by standard auto, home, and other policies- or that aren’t covered enough. A neighborhood child could get injured jumping on the family trampoline or a friend who you let drive your car might have a a serious accident in it. When these types of things happen, you do have a way to protect yourself: umbrella insurance.

Even though umbrella coverage is very necessary and stands the chance of being very helpful, a lot of people just don’t have it. Consumer Reports states that only around 10 percent of homeowners had umbrella coverage as of 2013. Though this type of coverage is often overlooked or deemed frivolus, it’s absolutely necessary for anyone with assets, such as home equity or a sizable income.

If you happen to get sued, and your regular policies aren’t cutting it, personal injury attorneys are well within their rights to try going after your assets and even your income. Because no one wants to lose the things they’ve worked so hard for in life due to a freak accident, umbrella coverage is always a wise choice. These policies can provide protection in the event of property damage, defamation, and more. If you think you’re a good candidate for umbrella coverage, talk to a broker about your needs and concerns.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Insurance for the Construction Industry

All businesses need business insurance that is customized to them and their specific needs. This is particularly true of the construction industry, where the workers often face more risks and hazards on a daily basis than the average worker faces in a year. With construction workers, there is always a risk of being injured in an accident, and for the companies they were for, there is the constant fear of being sued after an accident occurs. All people working in the construction industry, no matter what their title or position, need specialized coverage, especially the construction companies themselves

Contractor’s Liability Coverage    

Construction businesses have to make sure that their sites are safe places. Unfortunately, even when they do that to the best of their abilities, accidents can and do still happen. In the event that a third party tries to sue the company due to an injury or property damage, contractor’s liability coverage comes in handy. It can cover medical costs, legal expenses, and settlements resulting from the incident.

Errors and Omissions Coverage

Even the very best building businesses make mistakes from time to time. If those mistakes cause problems, however, the business can be held responsible. If, for example, a building isn’t designed properly, and that design flaw later results in a loss of business or some other serious problem, the construction company is held responsible for any and all losses suffered by the client as a result. The good news is that emissions and errors coverage can help businesses to handle and recover from these kinds of mistakes, though, of course, it’s always best if they don’t happen in the first place!

Equipment Coverage

Construction equipment is incredibly expensive and incredibly necessary for building work to be done properly. That’s why when it gets stolen or breaks down, construction companies can be out some serious money. Luckily, with equipment coverage, they can receive insurance funds to pay for necessary repairs or buy new equipment when the unexpected happens, without the expenses taking a major toll on their business.

Commercial Auto Coverage

People have to have insurance coverage for their personal vehicles, so it makes sense that they would also be required to hold coverage for their commercial vehicles. If an accident happens when an employee is on his way to a job site or is simply driving a company vehcle, the company needs to have a good enough commercial insurance policy to help cover any associated damages or other costs.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Why You Need a 770 Account

Have you heard of “770” accounts? For a while there, they were a hot topic of conversation on the internet. A lot of people hadn’t heard of them before, and once they learned of their existence, they were off creating them for the first time. As often happens, though, the internet soon lost interest and was on to promoting something else. That doesn’t mean that 770s aren’t still vital and smart investment options. They are, and they are something that just about everyone should be taking advantage of.

In case you missed their last wave of popularity, 770 accounts are special accounts named for the 770 section of the tax code, which discusses how to cover funds that exist within a life insurance policy. Unbeknownst to a lot of people, these policies are a great way to grow and save money. You can use either term or whole life insurance policies for this purpose, though term is sometimes cheaper during the first few years of ownership. Whole, on the other hand, tends to grow larger amounts of cash than term. Regardless of which type of policy you hold, however, as long as it’s a well-done, soundly created policy, it can bring you many awesome investment benefits, which include:

l  Cash value that is never reduced, providing premiums are paid
l  Guaranteed growth every year
l  Tax deferred growth and dividends
l  Ability to access funds without paying taxes or penalties
l  No loan repayment restrictions
l  Cash value can increase on borrowed funds
l  Cash value can be used for any purpose
l  Can hold large amounts of money
l  Self-completion option
l  Ability to leave behind a sizable, tax-free benefit for friends and loved ones

While any life insurance policy can be built in such a way so that it pays off nicely in the end or even in the present, 770s are specially designed to be a good, sound investment almost as soon as they’re established. If you want your policy to be an investment, you need to have it set up correctly. Get professional help and let your financial or insurance advisor know what your goals are for setting up the policy. That way, you can have a policy that does everything you were hoping for when you opened it.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Drugged Driving: A Serious Concern

Being the parent of a teenager is never easy. It seems like there is always something to worry about, and unfortunately, new concerns are constantly added to that list. For example, in recent years, texting and driving has become a serious, distracting, and sometimes deadly risk for young drivers. To make matters worse, studies show that the problem of driving while under the influence of  
marijuana has greatly increased in recent years, probably due in large part to the fact that marijuana has become legal in states, such as Colorado and Washington, with more expected to follow suit.

Illegal and Dangerous

Even though marijuana usage may be legal in some states, driving while under the influence of the drug is never okay. In fact, driving while under the influence of any controlled substance isn’t okay; many estimates show that close to 7,000 people die in drugged-driving related accidents each year. Obviously, drugged driving is not only ilegal, it can also be deadly, which is why it’s so important for parents of teenage drivers to talk with their kids about these concerns.

Increased Insurance Costs

As if the risk of legal trouble and serious injury or death aren’t enough, parents of young drivers who foot their insurance bills also have to be concerned with rising premiums. If an accident with a drug-affected driver happens in the parent’s car, it’s the parents who pay. Depending on the state in which the policy is held, a drugged-driving conviction could lead to a cancelled insurance policy, having the offender removed from the policy, or greatly increased charges. The matter will also go on record, making it hard to secure affordable insurance from a different provider as well.

Obviously, when drugs, driving, and young people mix, a lot of bad things can happen. Parents should not let their children operate their vehicles if they are aware that the child uses ability-impairing drugs. Children must be taught that driving is a privilege and a responsibilty. Even if you think you can trust your child and have talked with him or her about this serious issues and its consequences, realize that young people sometimes make bad choice, so you still want to prepare as best you can by increasing insurance coverage just in case.

The Basics of Business Insurance

If you own a business, then you need business insurance, plain and simple. The not so simple part, however, is determining what type of insurance you are required to have and what types of coverage, even if optional, you need to stay as safe as possible.

Assess Your Risk
To begin with, the first thing to do is to assess your business and the risks it faces. If you have
workers who regularly go out and put themselves in dangerous situations for their jobs, for example, then you’re going to need worker’s compensation coverage. Likewise, if you have company vehicles, then you need commercial automobile coverage. Other types of coverage might not apply to your business however. Figure out, first of all, what types of insurance you’re required to hold by law. Then, from there, determine what optional coverages you need and in what amounts. The right insurance broker can help you with the entire process from start to finish.

Shop Around
As mentioned, a broker can be extremely helpful to you when it comes time to make important decisions about your coverage. You can either contact brokers who specialize in each type of insurance you need, or, best case scenario, you can find one broker to handle all of your coverage needs. Just be sure to shop around to find the most qualified broker with the most affordable prices. Remember, though, great service beats out a great price anytime; it’s worth it to pay a little bit more if it means you’ll get a more attentive broker and more extensive coverage.

Show How You Operate
No matter what broker you choose, it’s extremely important for him or her to understand how your business operates. So, make sure you have all your basic business paperwork in order and ready to show to your broker. This will enable him or her to determine the coverage levels that you need as well as to ensure you haven’t missed out on securing any important type of coverage.

Cut Costs
Once you have a broker and the necessary insurance, work hard to keep costs low. By providing your employees with both required and optional safety training and being sure that all required safety equipment is installed and operating, you can avoid accidents and violations that would increase your premium costs.

As you can see, there’s a lot to know about business insurance, but following these tips will get you off to a great start!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Single? You Still Need Life Insurance

Life insurance is for everyone! Unfortunately, however, it’s something that mostly married people tend to buy. While it is true that, as a singleton, you may be able to get away with having less coverage than your married friends, you want to protect what’s yours and to protect your family and loved ones in the event of your death. If you’re still not convinced that you need a policy until marriage, read on to learn about some of the reasons why you do.

You’ll Save Money
As mentioned, a lot of people put off getting life insurance until they’re married. The problem is,
though, that more and more people are getting married much later in life than they once did,  which means that  some people don’t take out life insurance policies until they’re well into their thirties or older, which is risky. Furthermore, the longer you wait to take out a life insurance policy, the more it’s going to cost you! When you’re young, healthy, and in the prime of your life is the best time to lock in low rates and awesome terms. Wait until health conditions have developed, however, or your age is climbing, and your wallet could take a beating.

Protect Your Loved Ones
When a person dies, his or her financial responsibilities don’t just melt away. This is especially true when it comes to co-signed loans. While no one likes to think about death, it’s necessary. If you have co-signed students loans or a co-signed mortgage, your beloved co-signor will be on the hook for the loan in the event of your death. Even if you don’t, your loved ones could still be stuck paying your high funeral and burial costs. The last thing you want is to be a burden on those you care about most, and having life insurance will keep that from happening. Also keep in mind those who are dependent on you. Whether you’re a single parent or even just a pet owner, life insurance enables you to leave something behind for those who depend on you.

Continue Your Business
If you’ve gone into business with someone or if you own your own business with employees, chances are you want that business to continue after your death. Whether you want someone else to take over the business or just to provide for your former employees, a life insurance policy helps you to determine ahead of time what will happen and provides money to back your plans.

Do Something Good
Finally, if you want your money and assets to go to a good cause or even just to go to someone you care about, it needs to be easily accessible. Having money stashed away through a life insurance policy is an easy way to make sure you leave something behind. Then, you can use your will to show where and how you want those funds to be allocated.

Remember, life insurance may not be fun to think about, but it’s necessary if you want to have control over what happens after you die.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Tips for Switching Your Car Insurance

We’re constantly bombarded with messages on the importance of continually checking rates to ensure we’re not paying too much for car insurance. There’s a lot of truth in that too. If you just stay with the same insuranceprovider for years and years, you’ll never know what else is out there, and you may end up paying far too much for far too long. Switching providers can be smart, but do keep in mind that there’s a right and a wrong way to switch. If you do it the wrong way, you could end up with a lapse in coverage, which, depending on where you live, can carry with it serious fines, fees, and consequences. To make sure a lapse doesn’t happen to you and that you end up getting a good deal when you switch , follow a few simple tips.

Don’t Switch Just to Switch
First things first, don’t switch insurance providers just because you think it’s the thing to do. Switch only if you’re sure that you can get a much better deal elsewhere. You can find out what the going rate is via other providers by requesting free rate quotes. Many providers will even allow you to do this online.
Just make sure that the quote you receive isn’t just some generic quote. It needs to be tailored to your driving record, the make and model of your vehicle, your age, and other factors. When you get a realistic quote that factors in who you are, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not it’s really in your best interest to change providers.

Discounts Count!
One of the easiest ways to save big on your insurance premium is by taking advantage of discounts offered by your insurance provider. Some common discounts include:
·         Safety device discounts
·         Anti-theft device discounts
·         Multiple policy discounts
·         Good driver discounts
·         Good student discounts
·         Low mileage discounts
Unfortunately, some insurance providers are stingy about offering up the discounts. If your provider doesn’t offer discounts for which you are eligible, you’re likely missing out on big savings and would benefit from finding a provider who is a little more generous.

Ensure You Have Adequate Coverage
Being under-insured is a terrible thing. After all, the whole reason to have auto insurance is so that it can protect you financially in the event of an accident, regardless of whose fault the accident is. As such, even if you get an awesome policy price, it doesn’t really matter if your policy isn’t going to help you in the event of an accident.

So, always consider how great that “great deal” really is. Everyone likes to pay a low premium, but it’s not worth it if you aren’t adequately protected.

Keep Everyone in the Loop
Finally, to avoid the dreaded lapse penalties in your state, make sure you notify everyone involved when you switch your insurance.  Start by letting your current provider know that you wish to end your policy once the policy term is completed, or, if desired, before the scheduled termination date.
Do not stop paying until you have received notification in writing that the policy has been terminated. You’ll also want to speak with your new provider to ensure that you can start being covered the same day your old coverage is dropped.

As long as you are keeping everyone informed of the situation, there shouldn’t be ugly surprises along the way, and you should be able to enjoy your new policy.