Welcome, one size does not fit all.
Many items to consider - monthly premium, deductible and what is and is not covered. Let one of our professional licensed agents work for you to find what is the right fit for you.
Coverages and features vary depending on the type of policy and the insurance company. Read any policy you’re considering before you buy it. Pay special attention to the exclusions section, which lists the things your policy does not cover, and to the declarations page, which shows the amount of each of your coverages and deductibles.
Term Life - is often the most affordable coverage because it offers protection for a specific number of years.
Term life insurance is life insurance that provides coverage at a fixed rate of payments for a limited period of time, the relevant term.
After that period expires, coverage at the previous rate of premiums is no longer guaranteed and the client must either forgo coverage or potentially obtain further coverage with different payments or conditions.
If the life insured dies during the term, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. Term insurance is typically the least expensive way to purchase a substantial death benefit on a coverage amount per premium dollar basis over a specific period of time.
Term life insurance can be contrasted to permanent life insurance such as whole life, universal life, and variable universal life, which guarantee coverage at fixed premiums for the lifetime of the covered individual unless the policy is allowed to lapse.
Term insurance is not generally used for estate planning needs or charitable giving strategies but is used for pure income replacement needs for an individual. Term insurance functions in a manner similar to most other types of insurance in that it satisfies claims against what is insured if the premiums are up to date and the contract has not expired and does not provide for a return of premium dollars if no claims are filed.
As an example, auto insurance will satisfy claims against the insured in the event of an accident and a homeowner policy will satisfy claims against the home if it is damaged or destroyed, for example, by fire. Whether or not these events will occur is uncertain. If the policyholder discontinues coverage because he or she has sold the insured car or home, the insurance company will not refund the full premium.
Whole Life - Before you buy, consider if you need whole life insurance, rather than another type of permanent insurance or a term policy. Whole life insurance fits the bill for some consumers, but term life insurance is sufficient for most people. Whole life insurance is a good policy to buy if you -
Choose the right amount of coverage.
To find the right coverage amount, decide what you want the policy to accomplish. A relatively small policy — $10,000, for example — may pay for a funeral. You might need a larger policy if you have other priorities, such as funding a trust for a child with special needs.
Not all insurers that offer whole life sell policies in small amounts of coverage, and those that market small policies don’t always sell large ones.
Some whole life policies offer a simplified application process. You answer some health questions, but you don’t have to take a medical exam. Others ask no health questions and promise that you’ll be accepted.
These options are worth considering if you’ve been turned down for standard life insurance due to health problems — but you can find more affordable coverage if you’re in good health, and the policies have a few other downsides. The death benefits offered are relatively small, and the costs per $1,000 of coverage are higher than for policies that require a medical exam. In addition, these policies don’t pay the full death benefit if you die within the first few years of coverage.
Even if you have some health issues, you can generally find the best price by applying for a “fully underwritten” policy that asks health questions and requires a medical exam.
Look at the rate of return on cash value.
Whole life insurance policies feature a “cash value” savings account. A portion of your premium is invested in the account, which grows slowly on a tax-deferred basis. You can borrow against the cash value, use it to buy more coverage or surrender the policy for the cash. (The death benefit is reduced if you don’t repay a loan, and it disappears altogether if you surrender the policy.)
Whole life insurance policies guarantee a minimum growth rate on the cash value. Some policies can perform even better if they earn dividends, which are portions of the insurer’s financial surplus. Only mutual insurance companies, which are owned by policyholders rather than outside shareholders, pay dividends.
They aren’t guaranteed, but they are worth taking into account when you compare policies.
Life insurance companies provide illustrations of how each policy’s cash value could perform. Always ask which parts of the illustration are guaranteed. For example, a mutual insurer will give cash value projections based on the payment of dividends, which aren’t guaranteed.
Examine extra policy features.
Riders are coverage features you can add to your policy, usually for an extra cost. Examples include a chronic illness rider, which lets you access some of the death benefit if you have a serious illness, and a “disability waiver of premium” rider, which lets you skip payments if you become disabled. Available types and costs of riders vary by insurance company. Make sure your policy has the riders you want.
Check the insurer’s financial strength rating.
Find the financial strength rating of each insurer you’re considering.
You can find these through rating firms, such as A.M. Best. Financial strength is important because a strong company has a better chance of being around decades from now to pay claims. Any company with an A.M. Best rating of B+ or higher is a good choice; companies rated B and below are more vulnerable, in A.M. Best’s opinion.
You can look up an insurer’s complaint ratio score on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website. The ratio is based on the number of complaints filed against the insurance company with state regulators and is adjusted for market share. The national median is 1, so a score higher than 1 means the company received a larger number of complaints for its size.
Business owner program (BOP) policies are a common type of commercial policy primarily for small businesses. BOP policies combine property and liability coverage in one policy.
Commercial property policies provide various types of coverage, either as part of the base policy or through policy endorsements. Endorsements expand or amend a policy's coverages and usually increase your premium. You can buy certain coverages as separate standalone policies.
Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance protects business owners against claims of liability for bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury (slander and false advertising). Premises/operations coverage pays for bodily injury or property damage that occurs on your premises or as a result of your business operations.
Products/completed operations coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage that occurs away from your business premises and is caused by your products or completed work. Excess liability insurance pays for covered losses that exceed your CGL policy's dollar limit.
Your dog could bite the neighbor’s kid. Your teen driver could hit a cyclist. A guest could fall down your stairs. A rainy morning commute on worn-out tires could result in a multi-car accident. And you could be held liable to others for the cost of damages – injuries, property destruction, emotional distress, lost wages and more.
Good thing you have insurance. But, wait, your policy covers $300,000 of liability, and, in a lawsuit, you’re judged liable for $1 million. That leaves $700,000 left to pay. How will you cover it?
If you have umbrella insurance and your policy covers the incident, the additional $700,000 will come from your policy. If not, it will come from the assets you have now, such as your home and savings, and from future assets, such as your wages or inheritance.
The fact is, it only takes one serious accident and a resulting lawsuit to put everything you own – and will own – at risk. And it only takes one umbrella policy to help protect it all.
An umbrella policy gives you excess liability coverage on top of what your other policies provide. If you’re at fault for a serious accident, you’ll need it. Umbrella insurance also gives you liability coverage in instances where other policies don’t. Examples include driving in a foreign country or renting a boat.
We are always striving to make your insurance experience as efficient and convenient as possible. Thanks for a Great 2016!
Susan Flagg - HISOT CEO
Susan's Tips - Buy insurance like an insurance agency CEO - PRO.
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