Kamis, 30 September 2010
You may view dental insurance as a way for ravenous companies to take yet more money out of your pockets for something you do not really need with you being able to insure just about anything now. Good dental health is not only important for our appearance, it is important for our overall health too as problems in the mouth can often be a sign that something else needs looking at health-wise. A good dental insurance policy can help envelop the costs of dental treatment whether it is an emergency or a routine check up, in the sense that you never have to worry about the cost of keeping your mouth, teeth and gums healthy.
Many healthcare cash plan providers offer cover for dentistry fees up to a set limit within their policies. Now there are also a select number of companies who offer standalone dental insurance. The cover offered by the insurers vary, but depending who take you take a policy out with and whether it is part of a cash plan or a standalone dental insurance policy, you can get cover that will pay for routine treatment, dental emergencies and accidental dental injuries. Currently one insurer provides cover for serious dental problems such as reconstructive surgery including plastic surgery following a dental injury or oral cancer.
<b>General types of coverage:</b>
PPO Plans proffer patients with a group of dentists who’ve agreed to provide care to patients within the group at a discounted fee. In essence the dentist is keen to accomplish less for the view of additional patients. Self Insurance is a pretty option for businesses due to the fact that there is a strong potential for cost savings if services aren’t utilized in any given year. The intricacy with this plan is the administrative headache that often accompanies it.
Direct Reimbursement is analogous to self-insurance. Employees are welcome to choose their own dentist. The patient pays the dentist and is reimbursed by their employer. This approach is attractive to the employer because research shows that over 40% of employees may not require dental work in a given year providing a potential savings to the employer. Closed Panel plans are one of the most restrictive in that they confine the number of available providers. The patient doesn’t get to choose his or her own dentist.
Indemnity Programs are much like many health insurance plans that permit a choice in dentist. They also provide a limit on total coverage and co-pay options. Capitulation provides a contract for service arrangement that pays a specific provider a specified amount each month to cover all treatment. That fee is paid even if no services are rendered. Dental insurance can be affordable and a perk that will be appreciated by employees, but private coverage can also be obtained through a local broker or online.
Rabu, 29 September 2010
Delta Dental Plans Association, more commonly known as Delta Dental, is one of the best known dental insurers in the United States. Delta is a not-for-profit association that offers dental plans of all types for companies across the U.S. Their 39 member companies administer dental benefit plans whose main focus is providing and improving access to dental care for all. Today, Delta Dental associates provide dental coverage to over 46 million people through over 80,000 employers and agencies.
Delta Dental insurance offers three major plan types to suit a wide range of needs. The benefits vary by plan, and costs vary by region and employer.
Delta Dental Premier (formerly DeltaPremierUSA)
Delta Dental Premier is a traditional fee-for-service insurance plan. If you have Delta Dental Premier, you can visit the dentist of your choice within or outside their provider network. The dentist bills Delta Dental directly, and Delta Dental pays their portion of the bill (most often a set dollar amount), then sends you an explanation of your portion of the bill, which you pay to the dentist.
Ex. Delta Dental pays $45 for a filling. Your dentist charges $60 for a filling. You pay the dentist $15.
Delta Dental PPO (Preferred Provider Option)
Like the Premier plan, Delta Dental PPO pays a fee for each service. You may also visit any dentist that you choose, but will pay lower fees to dentists who are part of Delta’s Preferred Provider network. The dentist handles all the paperwork and claim forms. Delta generally pays a percentage of the procedure rather than a set dollar amount.
Ex. Delta Dental pays 70% of the fee for an extraction. Your dentist charges $210 for an extraction. You pay the dentist $63.
DeltaCare focuses on prevention and maintenance of your dental health. When you enroll in DeltaCare, you choose a primary care dentist who will be responsible for your dental care. If you require specialty services – orthodontics or oral surgery, for example – your primary care dentist must refer you for services. You pay a low or no co-payment for any dental services provided.
Ex. Depending on the plan, you may pay a $10 co-payment for office visits, no matter what the procedure.
The cost and availability of each option is dependent on the company through which you enroll. As the nation’s largest provider of dental insurance, the costs are significantly lower than most other plans.
Selasa, 28 September 2010
Whole life insurance, also known as “cash-value” insurance is a basic and consistent type of permanent life insurance which remains in effect your entire life at a level premium. This life insurance is a good choice got you if you do not expect your life insurance needs to diminish over time. A portion of your premium goes into a reserve fund called ‘cash value’ that builds up over the years your policy is in affect. Your reserve fund is tax-deferred and you can borrow against it, until you withdraw it.
The premiums must generally remain constant over the life of the policy and must be paid periodically according to the amount indicated in the policy. You may also have the option of a single premium -- paying all of the premiums at once with a single lump sum. Your cash values will grow to equal the amount of the death benefit when you turn to age 100.
Although, whole life insurance is very expensive, and if you're on a limited budget, you may not be able to afford all the insurance coverage you actually need. But the plus point is that the death
benefit is guaranteed as long as premiums are met. Also death benefit will never decrease if you don't borrow against it.
Whole life insurance policy's returns will fluctuate with the markets and will usually follow returns
available from other investments like equity mutual funds. However, if you decide to quit your policy, your cash value can be paid in cash or paid-up insurance.
Whole life insurance is most suitable for you, if you want to:
• use it as a tax and estate planning vehicle,
• accumulate cash value for a child's education or retirement,
• pay final expenses,
• provide money for a favorite charity,
• fund a business buy/sell agreement,
• provide key person protection.
Before buying the whole life insurance, you need to think carefully about choosing your level of
coverage. Too often people make the mistake of insufficiently covering or even worse, financially
overextending themselves. This would be a tragic error with whole life insurance policy because
defaulting on premium payments can mean policy cancellation and the loss of your entire investment. So be careful and make sure you:
• pick a life insurance policy that has a guaranteed cash value starting at the very first year,
• choose the one with the highest cash value in the very first year,
• consider "participating" insurance policies which can pay dividends, increasing your policy's value by boosting both the total cash value and the death benefits,
• beware of any insurance policy that levies "surrender charges" when you cancel.
• if you ever need to stop paying premiums, your policy lets you use the accumulated cash value of the life insurance policy to pay the premiums, thus keeping your coverage current.
Senin, 27 September 2010
A POS or Point of Service plan is kind of like an HMO and PPO combined type health care plan. You have more flexibility than a regular HMO, but pay a smaller fee and deducible than a PPO. It is perfect for those people who need more flexibility but want to pay less. You will be asked to select a general provider that is off the list of acceptable doctors. This will be your primary care physician and he or she will be the one to manage what care you receive. He or she will direct you to specialist and hospitals as needed that are also participants in the plan. Usually there are many providers from each specialization to choose from and typically covers a wide geographic area. With this type of policy, you will not have a large deducible if any, and still have a minimal co-pay on visits and prescriptions. Of course, this is if you stick with the preferred providers list. You also may want to make sure what drugs are covered under this plan and if you have to pay more for newer on not generic medications. Some doctors don't think about what kind of insurance you have when writing out the prescription and you need to remind him or her if you are only allowed to buy generic to be covered.
You will also have a choice to see out-of-network providers when you need a specialist and they are not on the list. Most POS plans require you get a doctor's referral prior to seeing another doctor or specialist. Once referred to a specialist within the network, you will have to be prepared to pay more. If you choose to do this, you will be billed directly and must submit the claim to the insurance company your self. Your insurance company will pay their flat rate for whatever you had done and you will be responsible for the rest. You may also be responsible at the time of service to pay the entire amount and wait to be reimbursed your self from your insurance. If you chose to see a specialist on you own, the cost will be higher and around 50% if you were not referred. You will be required to pay a higher amount if you go out-of-network. So in essence, you have the right to see whom you chose, but at your own expense. The POS plan will only pay their flat rate for specific medical issues and not above it, unless it is an emergency situation. Many people like the idea of having more say in their health care choices, while others care more about saving money and don't care who they go to. What you chose will depend on what you personally want and what is more important.
The emphasis on this plan is prevention of illness or disease to cut the cost to both the individual and the insurer. Most other plans such as HMOs and PPOs have the same basic emphasis. You are encouraged to take an active roll in your health and do what it takes to remain not sick and disease free for as long as possible. The idea is to see the doctor less so both you and your carrier together spends less money. The idea with this plan is that if you have to put more money into your health care you will think twice at whether or not you really need to go. If you want to waist the insurance companies money you have to waist your own too to do it. Medical insurance companies are in business to make money, they want you to stay healthy so they can collect your premium and not have to pay it out to the health care provider. So, for those people who do not want to pay as high as a monthly premium tends to opt for this type of health insurance plan. This one will ensure a low rate with out having to worry about huge deductibles or co-pays if used more like an HMO. So, if you think that this sound like something you are interested in, talk to several different companies and get some policies to look at. Make sure to look at what is covered as well as the price. Do a little research in the various insurance policies that are available. The one that you need to pick will depend on your priorities.
Minggu, 26 September 2010
Most people are aware of how life insurance works and what are the events and dangers that it is designed to protect against. They may also have family commitments and people who they provide for and know that some sort of life insurance would protect their family financially, if something were to happen to them. However, it is still often a very difficult decision to make if you are trying to decide whether or not you need life insurance.
Life insurance is a big commitment financially speaking. The premium can vary in cost but can be considerable, then there is also the issue that life insurance often extends over many years, even decades. This means that not only are you committing to pay the premium for this year, but also for many years into the future. There are not many people who can say with certainty what their earnings will be in ten or fifteen or twenty years time.
There are also early termination penalties, which means if you want to end the policy before the expiration of the entire term, you will be financially penalised. This is generally more relevant for life assurance but can also apply to life insurance if your rate has been calculated on the condition that you remain insured for so many years into the future.
If you have life assurance, then it will also be a method of saving for the future. This is a very popular concept, especially these days with the growing concern about the state of pension funds, but it again deserves careful consideration. There are many ways to save for the future, and by deciding to do so by way of a life assurance policy still entails deciding that life insurance is something that you want and are willing to pay for. If you do not need life insurance, then there are probably more efficient ways of saving for retirement than with life assurance, which places a proportion of your savings against the insurance aspect of the policy.
In general, most people will really only be considering life insurance if they have a family to support. This can be a spouse and generally children. However, situations frequently change, people get divorced, and children always grow up and become independent. If your family situation is likely to change, you should familiarise yourself with the ways you can end the policy early and what penalties would apply. However, if you have a young family and are concerned about their financial security for the future, then life insurance will be a great opportunity for you to provide for these concerns.
Sabtu, 25 September 2010
Insurance policies work by taking premiums from customers in exchange for baring the risk of certain costly events occurring. For example, if there is one fire in your town each month, everyone could just sit tight and hope their house doesn’t burn down next, or could pitch in and pay an insurance premium each month and this is then used to rebuild the house that burns down. Very simply this is how insurance works. It is a method of spreading a risk over a far wider area, so that it will not be as devastating as if it was concentrated solely on the person who experiences the loss.
There are a few problems with this however and they attract much criticism. One criticism is that by taking on the risk for people, insurance makes people take greater risks than they otherwise would. For example, if you know your home contents are insured against burglary, then you may not be as careful about locking the doors and windows every time you leave the house. Or if your bike is insured, you may not bother to lock it as much as if it wasn’t insured. In the insurance industry, this problem is known as the moral hazard.
Insurance companies protect themselves against this by inserting exclusion clauses into their contracts, which remove their obligation to pay out if the insured performs or fails to perform certain stated actions. They might for instance require that you fit smoke detectors, or use good locks on your doors, or other things that will reduce the risk of the insured against event occurring.
There are also certain risks that you are not allowed to insure against in most countries. This is first of all because it would be too difficult for the insurance companies to quantify, but mostly it’s because they are risks that governments want the person at risk to bare himself or herself. They generally apply to multinational companies.
There is also the criticism that insurance policies are far too complex for the vast majority of consumers to understand. It is simply unreasonable to expect the customer to understand lengthy documents that have been drafted by not one, but usually teams of specialised lawyers. This can lead to consumers being misled or buying insurance policies on unfavourable terms. To get around this, most countries regulate the content of insurance contracts to ensure that they remain fair to consumers.
<b>There is also the option of using the services of an insurance broker to shop the market for you.</b>
Jumat, 24 September 2010
In the time it takes you to read this sentence, the bills from a critical illness may have forced yet another American to file for bankruptcy. It could be as a result of their own illness or a loved one's, but the result's the same: Half of all bankruptcies are due to serious illness, according to a recent Harvard study, and-of those-75 percent were forced to file despite having health insurance.
One new option consumers have to help cover all expenses associated with critical illness is called, appropriately, Critical Illness Insurance. This specialized insurance provides a lump-sum payment should a subscriber suffer from certain specific critical conditions.
Right now, one of the few companies offering such insurance is Stonebridge Life Insurance Company. However, experts say that as Americans continue to survive critical ailments that were fatal only a few years ago, the need for the insurance is increasing. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company gives policyholders a one-time payment of up to $50,000 as soon as they're diagnosed with a covered cancer, stroke, paralysis or a heart attack. The payment is intended to help people meet basic expenses, such as mortgage payments, car insurance, groceries, child care-even ballet lessons.
"Many people aren't aware of the financial consequences of surviving a critical illness, especially if they're unable to work for an extended period of time while they recover," said Marlene Jupiter, author and expert on personal finance. "Now that medical progress and early detection are helping more people live through serious illnesses, people need to plan for how they're going to financially survive the aftermath."
For monthly premiums as low as $20, Critical Illness Insurance from Stonebridge Life is a direct-to-consumer product offering lump-sum payment options of $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 and $50,000. As an added benefit, the plan offers a return of premium option. Customers who sign up before the age of 50 and select this option may receive their paid premiums in full if they don't make a claim before age 65.
"There is an increasing need for critical illness insurance because it helps close the gap that exists between health and disability plans, making sure that survivors are financially supported throughout their recovery process," explained Lew Whalen, vice president of Stonebridge.
Kamis, 23 September 2010
Comprehensive major medical insurance is an insurance scheme with a low deductible and a maximum coverage limits including inpatient care, outpatient care, x-rays, laboratory tests, and diagnostic office. The comprehensive major medical insurance is designed to soothe the financial crisis caused due to the increasing hospitalization charges. The policy offers a coinsurance provision, which mingles the basic coverage with all the other major medical coverage.
There are several benefits of taking a comprehensive major medical insurance policy. Some of the major benefits include:
High Sum Assured
The comprehensive major medical insurance policy will cover a major portion of the hospitalization charges incurred by the insured. This helps the insured not to worry about his hospitalization charges.
Pre-admission diagnosis expenses
The comprehensive major medical insurance policy covers the fees paid to a medical specialist for laboratory examinations, diagnosis and x-rays. The reimbursement will be paid only if the examinations are conducted on the recommendation of a qualified medical practitioner for the assessment of an injury or illness. The insured will only get the reimbursement if he/she is later hospitalized for treatment.
Outpatient expenses for kidney dialysis treatment or cancer
The policy also provides reimbursement for any outpatient expenses incurred for the insured for kidney dialysis or cancer treatment (chemotherapy and radiotherapy).
None Social Medical System reimbursement
Some insurance companies provide reimbursement of more than 75% of the expenses incurred. This includes those medicinal drugs which are out of the coverage of Social Medical System.
The comprehensive major medical insurance also covers the expenses incurred for an insured for his/her local ambulance transportation due to illness.
No claim bonus
Most of the insurance companies offer a no-claim bonus. That is, if the insured does not make any claims during a year, his annual payment limit will be increase by 6% in the next renewal year.
Nowadays there are several insurance providers offering online comprehensive major medical insurance policy. This is considered as an added advantage for those looking for comprehensive major medical insurance. This helps the customers to access online insurance quotes to know more about the premium and coverage plans offered by different insurance companies so that he can easily find out the most affordable package for his needs.
There are lots of insurance companies offering comprehensive major medical insurance. So it is the risk of the customer to select an ideal one which suits him the best. Various comprehensive major medical insurance follows different schemes and hence the payable amount varies a lot. Hence before sticking into any policy it is better from your part to select those insurance providers who offer a maximum benefit ceiling. After all there is no point in having a comprehensive major medical expense insurance that leaves unnecessary burden on the customer. It is all about thinking rationally, the thought process backed by sound research and market study, and using your discerning ability to maximum use.
Rabu, 22 September 2010
If you're in the unfortunate position of having to make a claim on your critical illness insurance policy, the last thing you want is insensitive hassle or apparent non co-operation from your insurer. But according to numerous newspaper articles, that's precisely what's happening. The core problem is that before they'll pay out, the insurer will always want to make exhaustive enquiries about your past health record. Whilst you'll have provided them with lots of similar information when you initially applied for the cover, the insurers will now insist that all the information is rechecked. And if at the time you said you weren't a smoker, they'll now want this verified by your doctor.
The reasons are obvious. They're faced with a big claim, typically way over £100,00, and they want to be certain that you told them the entire truth about your health when you first applied. This means that now you've claimed, they'll crawl over your medical records in great detail checking that you disclosed everything on your application. Every small and apparently insignificant detail will be subject to intense scrutiny. The problem is that their reams of correspondence can be quite upsetting for you.
The insurers defend their procedures saying that they need to be certain that when they accepted the business, you disclosed the full truth about the factors affecting your health. They want to be sure that you didn't cheat by omitting some information in order to dupe the company into issuing a policy when they otherwise might not, or to help you qualify for a lower premium. Either way, non-disclosure as they call it, is cheating and a valid reason for them refusing your claim. It doesn't even matter if the information you omitted ultimately had nothing to do with the illness that occasioned the claim. The insurers position is that every piece of information you provide was used to work out your premium and any omission affects the calculation.
The insurers are particularly distrustful if the claim arrives within the policy's first five years. Any claim arising during this period is classed as an “early claim” and the insurers are particularly watchful for policyholders who took out the critical illness insurance already suspecting that that they were already ill.
The problem is that all this intense scrutiny attracts a very bad press. If you're very sick and distressed, the last thing you want is lots' of questions and high-handed hassle from your insurer.
There's undoubtedly a conflict here. If they are to neutralise the bad press, the insurance companies need to work much harder at softening the enquiry process and they must liase much more closely with their claimants. Insurers must present a much softer centre at what is a most distressing time for their claimants.
All this adverse PR has had two effects on the critical illness insurance market. Applicants have apparently been favouring insurers who publish the lowest rejection rates and others have withdrawn from making any application.
In practice, avoiding insurers who publish high refusal rates has little benefit. That's because the published figures can be misleading. The latest figures show that Scottish Equitable Protect has refused to pay out on 28% of critical illness claims followed closely by Friends Provident at 25%. If you compare these figures with Scottish Provident at 13.7%, many potential policyholders can be forgiven for favouring Scottish Provident. But that's not necessarily the best decision.
The problem with interpreting these figures is that the figures themselves can be distorted by how long the insurer has been active in the critical illness market. As rejection rates are highest with policies that have only run for a few years, then companies that are new to the critical illness market will automatically have the highest rejection rates. This leaves companies such as Guardian Financial Services looking good with a rejection rate of just 10%. The truth is that the Guardian has been in the market for over 15 years and has a mature book of business.
And it's a pity that all this negative publicity has undermined confidence in critical illness insurance. In our view, this insurance plays an important part in protecting family finances but people are being deterred from buying it, leaving their family unit exposed if they become seriously ill. After all, if the main income provider is taken seriously ill, the family's income can plummet. That means that the tax-free lump sum paid out by these policies can become central to the family's financial survival.
Our advice is if you think you need critical illness cover press on. But be aware that these policies vary a lot in the cover they offer - so straight price comparisons aren't really meaningful. Basic plans will cover one or more of the most serious conditions but comprehensive plans cover many more – for example:
Aorta graft surgery
Benign brain tumour
Chronic lung disease
Coronary artery by-pass surgery
Heart valve replacement or repair
HIV or AIDs from an assault, blood transfusion, occupational duties or accident
Keyhole heart surgery
Loss of independent existence
Loss of limbs
Loss of speech
Major organ transplant
Motor Neurone disease
Progressive Supranulcear Palsy
Third degree burns
Total and Permanent Disability
Cover for children
This complexity means that you really need independent advice. There are plenty of web sites that can help you. Just search for “critical illness insurance” and make sure you can talk to an adviser before you buy.
Selasa, 21 September 2010
A difficult time in life can teach you what's really important. Just ask anyone whose life took a sharp turn when a medical problem was discovered.
First off there are expenses, a difficulty for any family but which are a special challenge for any family who are covered by a limited medical insurance policy or have no insurance at all.
If you have limited medical insurance, there is sometimes just not enough to pay the bills. You could have costs of staying near a clinic while hoping and praying that you will get well.
Some people have family members and friends who have started get well funds to help pay expsenses. But all of this doesn't answer why there was no critical illness insurance.
This Is Why Critical Illness Insurance Is Important
Critical illness insurance is important as what you are doing is insuring your income , just like you insure your house. You wouldn't own a house without insurance, so why do you walk around without insurance against a personal catastrophe? You'll never know anything about expenses until you confront expenses caused by a major illness! From no income coming in to all the savings going out, families can be left in a great bind. Now that you've bothered to read this article, call your life insurance broker who sells critical illness insurance and get to know the difficulties you may face. And more positively, how you can solve them.
Senin, 20 September 2010
<strong>GREAT NEWS! </strong> There's now a one in five chance of you winning the lottery before you retire.
Getting excited? Think it's just a matter of time before you win? Think again, it's not going to happen - but it got you thinking!
Now think of the same odds but this time about bad news. There is a 1 in 5 chance for men and a 1 in 6 chance for women that a long-term critical illness will prevent them from working. Sorry - this time it's true.
Insurance cannot change those odds but it can alleviate the potential financial wreckage caused by being unable to work through long-term illness and still having a family and home to support.
Convention declares that every good family man should have life insurance. It's easily understood, it's accepted and your next door neighbour has it too. But what about it's close cousin critical illness insurance? You'll have to walk several streets to find someone who has it. Given the odds, why? After all it pays out a tax-free lump sum immediately an insured critical illness is diagnosed.
The usual reason given is its expense. Yes it is more expensive than life insurance but after all it's providing cover for a greater risk. You're much more likely to experience a critical illness than die before your normal retirement age. Indeed, the average age for a claim is 47. So clearly there is much more to the public's resistance.
Not understanding the risks or “head in the sand syndrome” are certainly major factors. After all a lzheimer's disease, bacterial meningitis, brain tumours and leukaemia plus the long list of other illnesses typically covered by critical illness insurance, are not matters we care to think of nor know much about.
Could there be another reason? Well there have been repeated newspaper articles about people who claim on their critical illness policy only to have it turned down on an apparent technicality – the inference being that the insurance company cannot be trusted. Indeed, Standard Life freely admits that it turns down around 20 % of critical illness claims.
The truth is that behind every story of rejection there's a harrowing story of illness, distress and sorrow - and potential copy for the journalist. But that in itself, is not evidence that the insurance company is guilty of devious behaviour.
Yes insurance companies do make mistakes, but more often than not the claim was invalid from the outset. There are two main causes. Firstly, the policyholder is claiming for an illness that is not one of the critical illnesses scheduled in the policy documentation. Regrettable, but it's a fact that if the illness is not listed it isn't insured and the policy won't pay out.
The moral is to closely compare the illnesses covered by competing insurance companies and buy the one with the most extensive coverage of illnesses. If you don't, sods law will prevail …….
The second major reason for refusal is a failure to disclose all relevant matters on the original application form. For example, if the applicant fails to disclose in response to the insurance company's questions that his father a died of a heart attack aged 50 or that he is having medical tests for headaches, then the insurance company will wrongly assess the risks it is being invited to insure. Had the insurance company known this extra information they might have increased the premium, or asked the applicant to go for a medical examination, or waited for the outcome of tests, or even refused to provide cover. By failing to disclose, the applicant has effectively obtained cover on false pretences or at least on inaccurate information.
Thereby lies the second moral. Always provide the truth <em>and the full truth </em> on your application form. Anything remotely relevant to your medical condition must be disclosed.
All this points to the need for professional insurance advice. Critical Illness policies do vary and it can take an experienced eye to evaluate the best policy for your circumstances and pocket. This doesn't mean that you have to miss out on the discounted premiums available online - but do thoroughly talk it through with one of their telephone based advisers and do make sure you read the schedule of claimable illnesses when it arrives in the post.
Then sit back knowing you've taken another important step to protect your family's finances. Lets all hope that you're one of the majority who are happy never to claim.
It's now time to concentrate on enjoying life.
Minggu, 19 September 2010
Recent stories in the press have again lambasted the insurers over critical illness insurance. The core problem is that a critical illness claim is not as straightforward as, for example, a claim under life insurance. With life insurance it's going to be hard for the insurance company to argue that you're not dead!
By their very nature, critical illness claims are much more complicated. The insurer will need to satisfy itself that the claim is validated in three key areas before it meets the claim: -
Has the illness been correctly diagnosed?
Is the confirmed illness included in the schedule of insured critical illnesses covered by the policy?
Did the policyholder fully disclose their medical history and current state of health on their original application form?
On the first point, it's obviously in the policyholder's interest to verify the medical diagnosis - so there's rarely ever any conflict between the insurance company and the policyholder on that issue. It's the next two areas which the insurer needs to validate, where conflicts seem arise.
With constant development in the medical knowledge, from time to time there can be some situations where validation falls into a grey area – a policyholder will argue that their specific illness is insured whereas the insurer will argue that it isn't. Insurance companies are aware of this problem and they often change the wording in their policies in an attempt to clarify the scope of the cover and eliminate areas for dispute. Nevertheless, disputes do happen all too frequently and sparks fly when a policyholder thinks his illness is covered but the insurer disagrees.
A case in point comes before the Courts shortly. Mr Hawkins from Staffordshire is suing Scottish Provident for £400,000 under the terms of his critical illness policy. Basically, his medical advisers believe his illness is insured whereas the insurers' medical advisers disagree. If the Court find in favour of Mr Hawkins the press will have a field day - and the critical illness insurers will suffer further bad press they can sorely afford.
Another summons, filed recently in the High Court and again involving Scottish Provident, highlights the problem when an insurer considers that a claimant mislead them on his or her original application form. Our understanding is that if an applicant omits relevant information or provides misleading information on their application from, this amounts to obtaining insurance on false pretences. This summons has been issued on behalf of Thomas Welch from London who is suing Scottish Provident for £206,800. The issue goes back to 2000 when, a few years after first starting his critical illness policy, Mr Welch received confirmation that he was suffering from testicular cancer. The insurer refused the claim because of “non-disclosure alleging that Mr Welch had not been honest about his smoking habit. He does admit that he did smoke earlier in his life but is resolute in saying that he had long since given up when he applied for critical illness insurance. As such, Mr Welch believes that he did complete the application honestly.
We assume that the case will centre upon whether Mr Welch accurately answered the smoking questions on his application. Most insurers define “a smoker” as someone who has smoked, or has otherwise used, nicotine products within the previous 5 years. (Some insurance companies adopt a 1year cut off.) If Mr Welch had indeed smoked during the specified years, he would have been obliged to disclose such information on the application and the insurer would have priced his insurance accordingly. In this context, it is relevant to note that smokers are charged as much as 65% more for critical illness over than non-smokers. We anticipate that Mr Welch's lawyers will argue either that he did not smoke during the period in question or he omitted the smoking information by pure oversight and in any event, his past smoking is not irrelevant to his testicular cancer. Interesting issues and we'll let you know the outcome.
Mr Hawkins case is fundamentally different. It illustrates the problems that can arise if policy documents imprecisely describe an illness or if the technical diagnosis of an illness provides the scope for medical professionals to disagree. Either way the issues are entirely outside the policyholders control at a distressing time for them and their families and we must appreciate their anguish. The long-term solution must lie in improving the medical definitions within the policy. It is probable that this will result in more medical jargon that the average man in the street will find difficult to understand - but perhaps that is preferable to what Mr Hawkins is going through.
Mr Welch's court case must stand as a clear reminder to everybody that applications for insurance must always be totally accurate and completed in good faith. We recognise that in some cases this may still leave room for dispute (and Mr Welch's case may be an example), but if an applicant fails to complete the forms accurately, they are taking the great risk and any claim they make could be rejected.
Rightly or wrongly, the newspapers have a history of giving the insurance companies a hard time, casting them as heartless big business. This serves to reinforce the public's feeling that insurance companies are devious and not to be trusted - especially it seems, in respect of critical illness insurance. This view is reinforced by the fact that around 20-25% of critical illness claims are rejected (although this rejection rate does vary between insurers). This issue is something that insurers must come to grips with – it's bad for clients and undermines confidence in insurance - and that must be bad for the development of the insurance industry.
In fact to put no finer point on it, it's a tragedy. As many as 1 in 6 women and 1 in 5 men will be diagnosed with a critical illness before their normal retirement age*. As such, critical illness insurance is vastly important for the protection of family finances. The problems we have highlighted are obviously contributing to a situation where almost everybody needs critical illness insurance, but fewer and fewer of us are taking it up.
(* Source: Munich Re.)
Sabtu, 18 September 2010
Unless you have substantial savings, even in the UK, contacting a serious illness, such as cancer, can be a very costly affair. Above all, not only do you need to consider how contracting such a critical illness will affect your savings in any medical care bills, but you also need to consider that you may well not be able to earn any income to cover you day-to-day expenditure. As a result, making sure you take out a critical illness insurance may well be one of the wisest and astute financial decisions you make.
What Is Critical Illness Insurance?
In short, a critical illness insurance policy is very much like any other insurance policy you take out. Here, however, your premiums go towards insuring that you do not contract a critical illness. In the event that you do contract a critical illness, your UK insurance provider will pay you out a tax-free lump sum to help you cover the day-to-day costs of having to live with your new medical condition.
Are There Any Limitations With Critical Illness Insurance?
Yes; it is essential that you look at the list of critical illnesses that your insurance policy covers, as these will be the only illness under which the policy will pay-out. In other words, the UK insurance provider will not pay-out on the policy simply because you have a doctor’s certificate that you have a critical illness, it needs to be one of the designated critical illness.
Moreover, if you are considered by the UK insurance provider to be a high risk – for example, if you smoke – then it is likely that either you will not be able to obtain the critical illness insurance, or your insurance premiums will be significantly higher than if this were not to the case. Importantly, you will need to disclose whether or not you have any existing conditions, in which case these will likely not be included, and whether or not your family has a history of the illnesses set out in the policy, in which case this will likely affect your premium payments.
How Will I Be Paid?
As mentioned, with a critical illness insurance your UK insurance underwriter will pay you out a lump-sum tax free amount once you contract one of the critical illnesses listed in the policy. Having paid out the lump-sum amount, your relationship with the UK insurance provider will come to an end. In other words, you will not have an ongoing relationship with the insurance provider paying you intermediate payments.
Is It Worth Having Critical Illness Insurance?
The question of whether or not there is any value in you having a critical illness insurance will depending largely on your age, expenses, and whether or not you have any other insurance. Essentially, critical illness insurance covers an area for which other types of insurance can be obtained. However, unlike other types of insurance, this is a very specific insurance policy paying out for a very specific purpose. That said, there is a strong argument that you can never really have too much insurance and will numbers seemingly showing that more and more of us contracting critical illnesses as we grow as an aging population, this type of UK insurance is always useful.
Jumat, 17 September 2010
Back in 1999, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund stated that one in every three people in Britain will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life. With rapid medical advances the chances of survival from a major illness are improving but the consequences of suffering such an illness continue to be substantial and life-changing.
Critical illness insurance policies are designed to help you cope with the changes which will be necessary should you be diagnosed with a “qualifying medical condition”. Most policies will pay out following a diagnosis of heart disease, cancer, stroke, renal failure, paralysis, major organ transplant and coronary artery bypass surgery as well as a range of other conditions. There is normally a one-off tax free payment which is intended to assist you with costs, typically the need to adapt your home or car or maybe re-train for a different occupation. It's not only the bread-winner that can benefit from this type of cover and you should take account of child care and housekeeping costs which would be involved should Mum be out of action.
Unfortunately, at a time when most people are suffering from the shock of learning that they have been diagnosed with a critical illness, they and their families may learn some additional disturbing news. The insurance industries latest figures show that, on average, around a quarter of all claims are rejected!
As soon as a claim is made, the insurance company will request a huge amount of information from your doctor. It's quite likely that much of this information is not relevant to the illness for which the claim relates. The insurer is using this information to ascertain whether or not the insured has been completely truthful on the original insurance application form.
The reason for this is what the insurers call non-disclosure and if any medical information has been omitted, they can use this as grounds for refusing the claim.
It appears that the non-disclosure may not be related to the critical illness. Claims have been turned down for various reasons, including the case of a woman with breast cancer whose case was rejected because she hadn't listed treatment for depression on the original proposal form.
The rejection rates are shown as follows:
Company % of rejected claims
Scottish Equitable Project 28%
Norwich Union 26%
Friends Provident 25%
Legal and General 22%
Standard Life 20%
Scottish Widows 18%
Scottish Provident 11%
Scottish Equitable Guardian 10%
Despite the insurers claim that these rejections are perfectly legal, the Law Commission appears to think differently. There has been a consultation document published recently and the Commission makes the statement “It is possible for an applicant to act reasonably and honestly and yet still fail to meet the duty of disclosure.” The conclusions of these consultations will be reported on as soon as they are available.
It is therefore extremely important that when applying for this very valuable form of insurance, you disclose all previous illnesses. It's probable that if you have to claim, then your medical records will be thoroughly examined and if the insurers consider you omitted medical information, they may “throw out” the request.
Compare companies for the best rates. Read the small print. Spend some considerable time in listing medical conditions. Relax – it may never happen.
Kamis, 16 September 2010
The Financial Services Authority has recently carried out a review of the way in which information and advice is given to retail customers purchasing financial products. One of the products which they considered was the sale of Critical Illness Cover.
Critical Illness Cover is often taken out by people taking out a mortgage, usually as part of a term assurance policy. It may also be purchased as a stand-alone product. The policy will pay out a lump sum if the borrower becomes seriously ill with one of a list of specified illnesses, commonly cancer, heart conditions, stroke etc.; this will help with loss of earnings due to the illness and general life-style changes which may be the result of the illness.
Firms selling critical illness cover are required to comply with certain standards and although these are being met reasonably well, the survey showed that there could be some improvement in the way in which they could help the customer to gain a better understanding of the product.
The FSA have visited firms and employed mystery shoppers to look specifically at how compliancy is working out with regards to sales processes when selling critical illness cover.
Supervision visits were paid to 42 firms. Whilst in the main these were financial and mortgage advisers, they also included banks, building societies and insurers. The market research company, Research International, carried out 80 mystery shops to 51 firms in total, to report on what actually occurs.
Director of Retail Firms, Sarah Wilson, has said that whilst many of the findings were positive, a few problems had been identified. Initiatives have been launched in order to deal with them. The fair treatment of customers is of prime importance, especially with regard to making policy application forms and documents more easily understood. So far these changes seem to be helpful.
Critical illness cover is, however, complex and some of the problems cropped up in the context of the financial promotion of the schemes and general insurance documentation. Customers sometimes have difficulty in comprehending exactly what they are being sold. Therefore it is difficult for them to assess whether this is the correct cover for them, or whether a payment of income protection product would be more suitable.
The needs of the customer have to be taken into account and there should be a careful assessment of the type of protection which they need. However, where there were two or more types of policy, the cost was sometimes the only aspect taken into account when recommending the most suitable one. Other factors may have been left out of the equation, such as conditions covered or whether there were other products more suited to a particular client’s requirements.
Miss-selling is a risk, but most firms had taken reasonable measures to manage this. There were found to be good training programmes and risk based monitoring.
As is the case with prime mortgage payment products, customers have time to consider their options before they make the decision to purchase the cover.
The results of the survey offer some reassurance that the needs of the customer are being protected and any changes to be implemented can only offer change for the better.
Rabu, 15 September 2010
When deciding on health insurance, one needs to be aware of his or her needs first and foremost. Many plans are similar but slight variations in coverage and expense. Most insurance companies offer similar deductibles and cover all the standard routine issues that arise in health. Some plans are more expensive and make the insured responsible for more expense but offer a wider range of control. Some plans are designed for the budget consciences individual and has more restrictions but costs less. So look at what type of health needs you have and think about how often you need to visit a doctor. Make sure your doctor is cooperative in giving referrals when needed as well. Here are some things to think about when deciding what plan is best for you.
1) What plan benefits are offered to the insured? Most plans provide normal medical coverage. But see what other services you may need and if they are available easily or at all. Make sure that you are aware of any additional fees that might be placed on you if you see certain types of doctors or other medical professionals. Does this plan have restrictions on pre-existing conditions or chronic illnesses that can cause a premium increase or higher co-pay in the future. Know what you are getting and make sure that it works for you. If you aren't sure call the company directly and speak to someone who can answer all your questions.
2) Physical exams and health screenings as a form of entry into a plan. Does this work for you or not, and do you not want to disclose your medical issues prior to getting a quote. Many insurance companies want to have you seen by one of their physicians to make sure you won't cost them money by having any chronic illnesses. If you have some medical conditions that require frequent visits and treatments you may not want to look at these providers for help with coverage.
3) Care by specialists. If you require the care of specialists, such as a cardiologist, nutritionist for diabetes or obesity, or any other type, you want to make sure this is fully covered on your chosen plan. You don't want to just sign up for a plan that is in your price range and then find out you can't see the doctors you need to. Be sure to see all the information on added coverage above and beyond just basic needs.
4) Hospitalization and emergency care. Most HMOs require a referral from your primary care doctor before you may go to the hospital. Some insurance companies will not pay for hospital visits on the weekends unless the doctor was called and gave the referral prior to you going. Some will even require that you wait till the next available business day to see your doctor first if it isn't a life or death emergency. If you have conditions that might require a trip to the hospital, be sure that your policy works for you. In the middle of a panic attack is not a good time to wait for the "on-call" to call you back, give permission, and call the hospital for you. You need to know that are safe to call and get emergency care and get the referral the next business day.
5) Prescription drugs and what will the company pay for? You might want to take into account how many prescriptions you need and what the cost of each one is. If you are used to small co-pay, it can be a slap in the face to find out you have to pay 20% of a $150 prescription. Many people who require some or lots of daily medications will benefit more from a HMO that has a small fee like $5 or $10 per prescription and/or a small deductible.
6) Vision care and dental services. Find out if these are included in your plan or whether you need to purchase one or both separately. Many plans will include yearly and emergency eye exams and visits. Also many offer some coverage on eyewear to some extent. Most dental plans are separate and require a separate insurance or slightly higher monthly fee to be added.
Selasa, 14 September 2010
Cover the Uninsured Week Provides Opportunities for All Americans to Get Involved in Solving National Problem
Nearly 46 million Americans-including more than 8 million children-have no health insurance and gamble each day that they won't get sick or injured, and the problem is getting worse. As health care costs continue to rise, every family's health care coverage could be at risk. Chances are someone in most families either is or has been uninsured.
That's why millions of Americans with diverse viewpoints are putting politics aside and taking action. Organizers of Cover the Uninsured Week-the largest campaign in history to focus attention on the need to secure health coverage for all Americans-are asking Americans from all walks of life to talk with their friends and neighbors and demand that our leaders make health coverage for all Americans their top priority. The campaign is also looking to ensure that people who are uninsured get enrolled if they are eligible for coverage programs.
"Too many Americans are living without access to health care-worrying every day that they will become injured or sick and bankrupt their family," says Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a convener of Cover the Uninsured Week. "Living without health coverage is a gamble that no one should have to take. Americans need to come together to stress the need for action. But until our lawmakers find solutions, we need to ensure that no one misses an opportunity to obtain low-cost or free coverage because they didn't know about it."
Hundreds of Cover the Uninsured Week enrollment events will be held at hospitals, medical centers, malls, community centers, on campuses and in places of worship nationwide. Volunteers will help enroll uninsured adults and children in public programs that provide low-cost or free coverage to those who are eligible. In addition, information about local help available will be distributed.
"People who have health insurance cannot afford to take it for granted. As costs increase, fewer individuals, families and businesses can afford to pay for health care coverage," said Lavizzo-Mourey. "Community and state leaders are doing what they can to help those living without access to health care, but this is a national problem that demands national solutions. With no solutions on the immediate horizon, all Americans -regardless of their insurance status-need to get involved and make their opinion count."
Cover the Uninsured Week is supported by nearly 200 national organizations-including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, American Medical Association, AARP, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and the United Way of America-and more than 2,500 local organizations located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Activities will take place May 1-7 in communities across the country.
Senin, 13 September 2010
Keeping an inexpensive term life insurance policy for too long can cost unprepared families lots of money in the long run.
While term insurance is a great way to protect your family from financial disaster, sitting on the same policy until it is too late to replace it with a permanent options can be a financial disaster.
Term life is temporary insurance. It pays a fixed death benefit if the policy holder passes away during a set period of time. For example, if you have a 20-year term policy and you die before the 20 years end, your beneficiaries will receive the face value of your policy.
Once the 20 years is up, the contract expires. The company keeps your premiums and you have to find new insurance, usually at a higher premium. Term insurance helps you to prepare for the unexpected.
Term insurance is the cheapest form of life insurance because it is temporary and not intended to pay out. Young families benefit from term insurance. In many cases, it is taken out to help support young children and a spouse in case the primary breadwinner passes away. That takes a large policy to accomplish.
Many young adults do not have substantial savings and investments yet. They have a lot of their money tied up in new mortgages and student loans. Term policies offer a cost-efficient solution.
But as families mature, the breadwinners grow older and the policies get closer to expiration. Situations change and families need to consider changing their term insurance into a more permanent option.
Many term insurance contracts have a clause that allows the policy holder to do just that.
You could think of it as leasing insurance with an option to buy. You can use the convertibility clause to convert without having to obtain a new insurance policy. For a price, families can transform their temporary insurance into permanent insurance without having to re-apply for coverage or have medical examinations.
Not all policies have conversion clauses. If you are buying term insurance, look for policies that include the clause. They are often more expensive, but well worth it.
For example, you have a 20-year term policy with a 10-year conversion clause. After nine years, you develop a major health problem. You are still within the 10-year conversion period, so you can convert the policy to a permanent policy. By doing so, you will not need a new physical exam and you will receive your coverage at a much lower rate than if your health problems were taken into account.
If the policy didn’t have the conversion clause, you would be facing an expiring policy and very expensive renewal premiums – if you could renew at all. You should always convert before it is too late.
You should review your policy with your agent on a regular basis. This will help to prevent that your conversion expiration doesn’t sneak up on you. When you are within a year of convertibility, you should take the time to look at your plan. Consider your health, finances, responsibilities and goals.
Don’t just look at your health in considering whether or not to convert a policy. The older you are, the more expensive you are to insure. By locking in a fixed rate and paying toward a permanent policy in your 20s, your monthly premiums will be much cheaper than if you had waited until your 50s.
Your financial needs transform over time. Your family matures and changes. When you are young, you often need a policy to replace your income and provide for your children. When you are older and your children are grown and your mortgage is paid off, you may find that you don’t need such a large policy.
The roughest rule of thumb is to take a multiple of your income. If you only need enough insurance to take care of your family for a few years after you die and set them up until they can get on their feet, buy 4-6 times your annual salary. If you want to take care of them for the rest of their lives, you can look at something quite larger, like 20 times your salary. That gives enough to establish a trust that they can life off of indefinitely.
One strategy involves buying the largest term policy you can afford when you are young. When you can afford more, supplement your term policy with a small permanent policy.
When your term insurance is set to expire, your children will be grown and your mortgage paid off. Then you can look at what coverage you will need.
Minggu, 12 September 2010
Long-Term Care Insurance is still fairly new on the market and a lot of people don't know that it even exists or what it covers. Even those who have heard the term don't know always when benefits are paid, how they are designed, and who qualifies or needs coverage. Many people don't think about this type of coverage until it is too late to get a great rate and higher benefits. They wait till they are past retirement age and closer to needing to cash in the benefits instead of investing earlier and maximizing your options. It is becoming more of a common practice for people to start thinking about what will happen 30, 50, or more years ahead. Many people invest in 401Ks, IRAs, stocks and bond, and other types of investments to prepare for the future. Many people think this will pay for living expenses and leisure activities once retired. Things don't always go according as planned.
What happens in the unfortunate incidence of an accident and you need help with your daily living activities? Or, you get to a point in your elder years that you require home care, as you grow older? You may decide you would rather live in you home for a long as possible and would need to have enough for personal home care. Some seniors enjoy assisting living facilities that provide 24 hour nursing care, but still let you be as independent as you can. There are also those unfortunate instances where nursing home facilities are need to tend to varying degrees of illness. Long-term care is designed to provide you help with these services due to a long-term illness or disability. The average cost of these types of care can cost around $40-$100 thousand per year and sometimes more. It is a very quick way to eat your saving and social security benefits. If you think Medicaid or Medicare will help, think again. Even if and when you qualify, your saving is now gone and they will only pay up to 50% of the cost, someone has to come up with the rest. Long-Term Care insurance can help with these costs in the unfortunate event you require nursing care.
Who should consider Long Term Care Insurance? If you think you will not qualify for Medicaid or full Medicare benefits due to a large saving, assets, or high income, this is a program for you. You do not want to end up having your children to pay for these expenses while you have to have them and possibly well after your death. It will keep you able to leave your loved ones a little something instead of sucking all your assets dry. Also if you can afford to pay the premiums you will likely not qualify for assistance so would truly benefit. If you currently have chronic health issues or have a family history of a long-term illness you would be off purchasing now than waiting. It will be too late to get a policy after you have already developed a long-term illness or disability. If you think at any point you might fall into any of the categories you might want to consider getting a plan earlier to be safe and covered. You can purchase a policy from most large insurance companies. As always, every state has different insurance regulations, therefore it is best to check with your state on specific determining factors and qualifications.
This coverage will help provide nursing-home care, home-health care, personal or adult day care usually for individuals above the age of 65 or with a chronic or disabling condition that needs constant supervision. LTC insurance offers more flexibility and options than many public assistance programs. Long-term care is usually very expensive, which is why most people need insurance. For example, on average, nursing facilities providing skilled care charge $150 to $300 per day, or over $80,000 a year or more. Even custodial home care at three visits per week, can cost over $9,000 a year. Most LTC insurance policies will cover only a specific dollar amount for each day you spend in a nursing facility or for each home-care visit. Thus, when considering an LTC insurance policy, read the policies carefully and compare the benefits to determine which policy will best meet your own needs.
Sabtu, 11 September 2010
You've probably got contents insurance for your belongings but are you aware just how easy it is to fall behind in calculating the value of them?
What do you imagine the average contents of a family home are worth - £25,000 or £30,000? In fact this figure, for a typical home, is estimated to be over £45,000. Apart from your “moveable items” of carpets, furniture, curtains, it's probable that electrical goods purchased over the last few years explain the sudden rise. It's not unusual to have three or four mobile phones, a couple of computers, possibly also a laptop. Then there are the TV's. Apart form the large family wide screen digital HD ready, singing and dancing set, there's probably a another one in the kitchen and two or three others in the bedrooms, not to mention DVD and video recorders. Probably the children have iPods, gameboys and whatever else is “in” at present. Don't forget your CD collection – Norwich Union values these at £10 each and DVD's.
Apart from the risk of damage, all the above items are very appealing to the thief, being easy to handle and finding a ready market. Don't forget the garden, the mowers and garden machinery, contents of the shed and garage, garden furniture and even your tubs and hanging baskets. The value of plants can add up too!
Should you need to make a claim, it's important that you're not under insured. If the insurance company judges that you don't have adequate insurance, the claim will not be fully paid. This means that if you have insured your contents for, say, £20,000 and your insurance company considers there would be a value of £30,000 to replace them, then there would be a shortfall of £10,000.
Insurers handle things in different ways. For example Norwich Union Direct, one of the major insurers, will pay out up to the amount for which you're covered. It's left up to you to fund the difference. More Than tells us that their policy on underinsured claims is to reduce them by up to 20%. In fact More
Than are taking action to ensure that clients are more up to date with their cover and so have recently increased the this for all their clients, by 25%.
These increases will apply on the clients' next renewal dates. No doubt more insurance companies will look at following suit soon.
Whilst you're thinking of re-assessment, maybe it's time to check the current figures on your buildings insurance. As well as the house, garage and outbuildings, you may have fixed items such as lighting, hot tubs and permanent garden features. These are covered by your buildings insurance, not your contents. Your insurer will normally work out a quotation based on the number of bedrooms, etc., and your postcode. The insurable figure will be the cost demolition and clearing of the site and re-building your home on the present site, of course.
To help you re-consider the value of your belongings and for additional advice there's a handy checklist for home owners on the Association of British Insurers, www.abi.org.uk
There are a large number of insurance companies handling both contents and building insurance and, as always, it pays to shop around.
Jumat, 10 September 2010
Mortgage or home insurance is important. When you take out your loan your lender may had attached PMI coverage for your home. This is only a security blanket for the lender. You want to find a policy that benefits the lender as well as you.
You can find home insurance on the market that offers both you and your lender a security blanket. Some home insurance plans will protect your home in the event natural disasters occur. When you own a home, since this is a large investment you want to find a policy that will cover:
Natural disaster, such as fire, theft, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc, and any damage from vandalism, or unnatural disasters;
Insurance may include liability. This is a good idea, since if someone is hurt on your property you want to make sure that you have an insurance policy that will cover any medical, mental damage, legal coverage and so on.
Some of the home insurance policy also has life insurance. Life insurance will cover you in the event if you die. Some insurance policies will pay burial and cover your mortgage. This is a great insurance, since you do not leave the burden of finances on your loved ones.
You may want to inquire about wind damage insurance. Many companies will not offer this plan, since it is an act of God. Some companies will offer the coverage however, yet you have to purchase the coverage separately.
You want to make sure that your belongings are covered. Rather than spend a fortune out of your pocket to replace your furniture, equipment, electronics, etc get coverage that will offer you a backup plan in the event disaster occurs.
Most plans offer some sort of protection for your belongings. How much you pay in premiums and deductibles determines in most instances how much the insurance company will pay.
When you take out insurance coverage, make sure that you inquire or find out how soon the insurance company wills payout on life insurance, home insurance, etc. Some companies will take longer than others will to payout on repairs, burial, et cetera. You want to avoid these companies, rather choose a company that will not take up your time.
Take some time to explore insurance plans, policy, stipulations, clauses, premiums, deductibles and so on when searching for home insurance. Use the quote systems online to compare companies, policy, and cost and so on.
You have many options with insurance, so go online and check out the variety of packages and plans. Don't forget you can get your premiums lowered by agreeing to pay higher deductibles. If you agree to pay $1000 out of your pocket for example, your premiums may go down a certain percentage, depending on the company.
Kamis, 09 September 2010
Making the decision to buy life insurance can have a lasting effect. Without a life insurance policy your family could suffer great financial hardship when you die. Life insurance is a way to ensure that you can still take care of your family after you are gone. Knowing what considerations you should make when choosing a life insurance policy can help make the process easier.
Determining the amount of life insurance really depends on your personal situation. Consider what would happen to your family without your income. If it would cause financial problems then you should take that into account when choosing the amount of our policy. You should also consider factors like health insurance that could increase the needed income.
The cost of life insurance policies also varies depending on many factors. Company life insurance policies are usually always going to be the cheapest. Most often, though, you are only covered for the period of time you work for the employer. Also you usually have to be with an employer for a certain amount of time before you are eligible to receive life insurance benefits. Private life insurance polices can range in costs depending on the agents fees, types of coverage and limits. Other factors that effect costs are high risk factors, like someone who smokes, is overweight or has a preexisting medical condition.
The best way to choose a life insurance policy is to consider all the factors and take time to compare different policies. This is an important decision and should not be rushed. Discuss the policy with you spouse to ensure you have covered everything and haven’t forgot any important details. Once you have chosen a policy be sure to review it often, especially after any significant life change. The importance of life insurance is often underestimated until the need for it arises, so planning ahead and purchasing a policy will ensure a stable future for your family.
Rabu, 08 September 2010
Investing in a personal computer is not less an amount. It is next only to investing in a house or a car. So, it’s not unwise an idea to insure your computer and its allied accessories like peripherals and software. However, how much coverage you get for what accessory depends on individual market offer. There are several threats your computer might face. Such as virus attack, data corruption, system crashing down, peripheral malfunctioning and many more. Thus, it is important for you to protect your investment by proper insurance coverage. There are certain aspects of computer insurance you must know.
<b>Coverage under homeowner or renter’s policy</b>
In most of the cases if you have homeowner or renter’s policy your home accessories and assets are also covered in that and so is your computer. It is covered against all the threats and disasters listed in the policy. Thus, if your computer gets stolen or gutted in fire you can claim for the damages. However, your computer gets covered only for the amount listed in your policy.
<b>Replacement cost and actual cash value</b>
Though replacement cost is 10 percent more expensive as compared to Actual cash value, keeping in mind that things depreciate fast, this is a very wise move. The reimbursement you get on replacement cost is the same as the current cost of your computer and not the petty depreciated cost you would get with actual cash value policy.
<b>Coverage for Laptop and portable computer</b>
Laptop and portable computers are considered personal possessions away from home under the homeowners or renter’s policy. Thus, they are also covered under this policy. However, there is a dollar limit on personal possession that are stolen or damaged away from home.
Computers don’t only get covered under the homeowners or renter’s policy. A number of insurance companies offer individual insurance policies for computers as well. It is important to remember that when you buy a computer insurance policy you must retain the receipt of the policy as well as that of the computer and its peripherals very carefully.
Computer insurance is vital for students, business professionals, small business owners, schools, home users with heavy usage and many more people who use computers for their critical applications. Computer insurance does not cover certain items such as maintenance costs, electrical or mechanical breakdown, wear and tear, fraud and dishonesty, consequential loss, and loss or damage caused by sonic bangs. However, they are well covered under the warranty/extended warranty of the equipment.
Selasa, 07 September 2010
Comparing comprehensive car insurance will save you money and time. Instead of running around all day, looking for car insurance you can use the quotes online to compare policies.
The online tools give you access to thousands of insurance providers that will help you find the best rates.
When you consider car insurance, you want to think - comprehensive - third party - third party liability - third party fire/theft - and so on.
This full coverage policy varies from company to company. You can find full coverage that will cover a wide arrange of issues, yet some policies have stipulations, clauses, etc that stops at a point.
When you research for full coverage, look through the plans, compare to see what you have available. You will find plans that will cover your overall car needs, yet how soon they pay out is something to consider. Some companies will pay out quickly, while others will put you through more drama than you will go through in a car crash. Take time to explore.
The law in most states expects third party, i.e. you at least need liability coverage in your town to avoid court fines and costs. You want to check around. Some of the third party coverage insurance will cover basics, but if your car catches afire, you are hit.
Comprehensive coverage is often best if you own a newer vehicle. In fact, when you purchase a vehicle from a car lot you will have to have full coverage insurance before you can drive the vehicle away.
If you have insurance already and feel that, the cost is more than you should be paying. You can search the Internet and use insurance quote tools to find lower prices. Use the quote tools at the insurance sites online to compare cost, policies and companies.
Look for the lowest rates on premiums. If you agree to pay a higher deductible, you can get your premiums lowered. Deductibles range from $250 and up. The higher deductible you agree to pay the lower your premiums will be. Deductibles in the amount you agree to pay out of pocket on repairs caused from accidents, incidents, and so on.
If you have an older vehicle, you can surface with third party- third party liability - or third party fire/theft. Your best bet is to apply for third party liability. Third party insurance only will usually cover the other party's damage and not yours. Liability protects you from lawsuits in the event you may cause an accident.
As I said, using the insurance quote systems online is wise. You can compare insurance costs and policies to learn more and find the best deals. Be sure to examine the company you discover offering good deals to make sure that this company has a good reputation.
Senin, 06 September 2010
You are looking for an insurance policy for your car. Several companies give you proposals; all of them are based on the same information which you provided. The policies have widely varying costs and proposals. How can you wisely choose the best policy and company?
Lay the policies down side by side. Some insurers are able to offer low rates by giving skeleton coverage. You gave the companies identical information but they may not have returned identical policies. Check the deductibles on the policies. Deductibles weigh heavily on the cost of insurance. See if all of the policies offer uninsured driver clauses. Look closely at coverage areas. Some companies restrict their policies if you drive extensively out of state.
Type of company
Just as with home loan companies there are auto insurance companies that specialize in writing insurance for people with poor credit and/or poor driving records. If you have requested a quote from this kind of company their response may automatically be considerably higher than other companies. If you don’t have poor credit and/or a poor driving record immediately eliminate from your search companies that serve these markets.
Investigate company records
States keep records of how insurance companies respond to their customers. Files on insurers will include their response times, their histories of paying claims, any complaints or suits filed against them as well as other important consumer information. Note and eliminate any companies which have numerous complaints against them.
Remember, having a low car insurance premium may not be worth much if you don’t have the coverage you need or can’t get your car insurance company to respond when you have an accident.
Please get as many quotes as possible to insure that you will be paying as little as possible while getting all of the coverage that you need without paying for what you don’t.
Minggu, 05 September 2010
Auto insurance refers to the insurance which is used for insuring the automobiles against any kind of uncertain accidents that may cause damages to the vehicle. The main purpose that the insurance serves is to give protection against the losses incurred due to accidents. Auto insurance is a type of insurance that consumers must buy to protect the life span of their vehicles and also for any kind of damages that the vehicle may suffer in an accident. Auto insurance is used to insure many automobiles such as cars, trucks and any other kind of vehicles that may need it. Different kinds of coverage are available under these insurance schemes such as Third-Party Foreign Theft and Fully Comprehensive insurance, to suit the interest and the needs of the insured.
Before buying auto insurance, it is very important that the person requiring insurance analyses the companies that provide vehicle insurance quotes. Different companies offer different quotes for the insurance of the vehicle, so the consumer must look out for the best one, which suits his needs and which proves to be highly economical. Many companies also give different discount schemes to attract more and more consumers. The consumer can save a good deal of money while purchasing auto insurance by comparing the quotes of different companies and choosing the cheapest one which satisfies all needs.
Comparing the quotes of different companies on the internet for buying insurance provides a wider platform to the consumer, where they can compare quotes from several companies and choose one among them. The main thing about choosing a quote is that the quote need not necessarily be cheap but the company must be an established one which the customer can rely on should they have an accident.
The consumer should not only compare the quotes of different companies but also the company’s reputation and their way of service. While comparing, the consumer is more acquainted with the different kind of coverage that are available and can choose among them according to the needs. Buying insurance online is the most popular way of buying insurance because it is really fast and convenient, which suits to the busy life of people who have little time to phone around the various companies to relay the details of the insurance cover they are after over and over again. And the best part is that it is free of cost, i.e. no cost is involved in gathering the quotes online from different companies.
Auto insurances are needed because of the reckless accidents that happen on our roads day after day. These can only be reduced once the certainty of the accidents is reduced. The companies quote their prices for insuring depending upon various factors like the age of person to whom the vehicle belongs, the location where the car is bought and supposedly to be used and also many other factors like whether the driver already has points on their licence. The details regarding the car, like where it is being parked, whether or not it is kept in a garage (which is supposed to have less risk of being stolen) and also the mileage of the car are also deciding factors. If the car travels less than a specific limit of miles then such cars are likely to receive some kind of mileage discounts.
Sabtu, 04 September 2010
If you live in the Commonwealth of Virginia and are looking for low cost health insurance, you and/or your children may be eligible for coverage under one or more of the three FAMIS health plans sponsored by the Commonwealth.
The three FAMIS (Families Access to Medical Insurance Security) plans are as follows:
FAMIS – The Children's Health Insurance Program: This program for children covers services such as:
Tests and x rays
Mental health care
FAMIS – Moms: This program provides health care for pregnant women up to two months after the pregnancy.
Smiles for Children: This program provides diagnostic, preventive, restorative/surgical procedures and orthodontics (Basically the same coverage as provided through Medicaid) Since this program is primarily for children, it provides limited necessary diagnostic/oral surgery services for adults (emergency only)
The beauty of this program is that the co-payments are only $2.00 or $5.00. Regular check-ups are free and there are no monthly premiums or enrollment costs. With Smiles for Children, there are no co-payments or cost for dental services. However, you must use dental providers that are within the network.
To qualify for any of the FAMIS programs the applicant must be a US citizen under 19 (for the Children's program), live in Virginia and not covered by another plan. You must not have had insurance for 4 months and are not eligible for Medicaid. There are also income requirements. For example, the gross income for a family of 4 must not exceed $40,000 annually. The FAMIS website (http://www.famis.org ) has a family income calculator in which potential insureds may check their income to see if they qualify.
The Commonwealth of Virginia realizes that quality medical care is important, and has successfully provided a low cost health insurance program for their low income residents.
Jumat, 03 September 2010
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Kamis, 02 September 2010
Term life insurance shopping is easier than shopping for the equity based permanent plans. It is much easier to compare term life insurance because it is the simplest form of all life insurance policies. Term life insurance consists of a few things that make your shopping relatively easy. Term life insurance means that there is a definite term or period of time that you are insured. The insurance coverage will cease at the end of the term period. The first thing that you must choose is the time period that you need the coverage. A home mortgage policy is the best and easiest example. It is usually a decreasing term policy that declines at approximately the same rate as the home mortgage. It is the perfect policy to protect your home. The amount of insurance and the time period is already in place and that enables you to have a well defined quote comparison.
There are some things to consider when comparing term to term. Most of your insurance carriers will be stock companies. They are owned and operated by the stockholders. Their policies have no dividends. Mutual Insurance companies are technically owned by the policyholders and so a dividend is often returned back to the insured. It is better to compare stock companies with stock companies and mutual companies with mutual companies when shopping for term life insurance.
The online shopper has a great advantage when comparing term life insurance. It makes it so much easier when they are looking for term Life insurance. The permanent plans have so many variables and options as compared to term life insurance. Make sure that you compare the same face amounts with the same time periods. Term policies are sometimes sold in bands. That means that the rates for higher face amounts may decline per thousand dollars of coverage. You can be aggressive when you know the amount of coverage you need and the length of time you need it. Determine those two needs and then shop until you drop.
Rabu, 01 September 2010
As a homeowner, you are required by law to carry homeowner’s insurance. Unfortunately, many people do not carry the right homeowner’s insurance or the correct coverage amount. When buying a new home, most people are anxious to get the buying process over with to quickly, get settled in. Because of this, sometimes only minimum insurance is purchased, just enough to cover the minimum requirement. However, this coverage amount is never modified so when disaster strikes, the homeowner quickly discovers the coverage was not enough.
The most important thing you can do for you, your family, and your property when buying a home is to conduct in-depth research, and then work with a qualified insurance representative to ensure you never find yourself in this type of disastrous situation. Start by working with a reputable company. Remember, the size of the company is not what matters. Instead, you want a company that understands homeowner’s insurance and one that can guide you to the right type and amount of coverage.
If you know someone that is happy with their homeowner’s insurance, you might set up a meeting with that company to see if they can help with your needs. Otherwise, check the local Better Business Bureau, asking for and checking referrals. In addition, make sure the company is financially stable, one that guarantees its services, and a company that offers outstanding customer service to efficiently handle any questions or claims.
The right representative will help you locate and maintain appropriate insurance. However, for the company or agent to understand the insurance industry as well as your specific needs, proper training, knowledge, responsiveness, patience, and service are mandatory. As mentioned, availability is another important factor when choosing an insurance representative. When a crisis strikes, being able to get in touch with the representative in a timely manner helps resolve the issue while building a relationship of trust and confidence in the representative’s abilities.
Then, your homeowner’s insurance should be affordable. Obviously, you want to purchase the requirement but also the amount of insurance that would ensure coverage of your home and personal belongings in case of disaster. A good insurance representative would work with you to ensure that you are not paying for something you do not need while also making sure you have coverage where you do need it. The process of choosing the right insurance coverage is an important one so look for a company or agent with whom you can freely discuss your needs.
Just keep in mind that you will find a number of different insurance packages sold each providing different focus. When you shop around for the ideal policy, you want to make sure your policy covers fire, windstorm, tornados, hail, smoke damage, vandalism, and any other damage to your belongings or home. Additionally, if you live in a flood or earthquake zone, while coverage may not be a part of the standard policy, it might be something you can add on, providing additional protection for your home.