Archive for insurance benefits

Strategy Tips for Insurance, Whether It Is for Your Home, Car, or Something Else

If you are like many people, you view insurance as a necessary evil. Evil because it often seems as if insurance companies are all about ripping people off. Necessary because if your house burned down or your car was totaled, you could be in a world of financial trouble. So, it is fair to say that the peace of mind insurance is supposed to provide does not necessarily mean peace of mind if you worry about a claim not being covered. That’s why it is important to approach insurance strategically.

Prioritize Needs and Wants

What are your needs and your wants? What does your budget look like? One good thing about insurance is that there are plans to fit many needs. If you prioritize super-duper insurance that covers any eventuality you can think of, you can likely get it. You just may have to pay more, but insurance is structured so that each new area of coverage may not cost you more than a few dollars a month.

Common considerations for insurance priorities include:

  •          To save money (the cheapest insurance possible)
  •          To cover all bases (your plan would likely be among the priciest insurance)
  •          To fill a niche demand (tattoo shop, laser center, or day spa, for instance)
  •          To get streamlined, yet comprehensive customer service

One important thing to keep in mind is that your priorities should align with the realities of your situation.

Identify (and Reassess) Realities

What exactly does “the realities of your situation” mean? It comes down to checking that your priorities make sense. As an obvious example, suppose you have a new car that cost several hundred thousand dollars. Does it make sense to get the cheapest car insurance? Probably not. The opposite example applies; suppose you have a car you have owned for 30 years and that would sell for less than a thousand dollars. Does it make sense to pay for all types of coverage on the car? Likely not.

The thing is, people’s realities change every year. That expensive car, if you keep it for years, gets older and older, and all of a sudden, you find yourself overpaying a lot on insurance. Try to reassess your realities and priorities once a year.

Compare Quotes

It’s amazing how many people do not compare multiple quotes. Each insurance company considers different factors in its risk models and weighs factors differently. For example, Company A may assign more risk to car owners residing in ZIP Code A and charge more, while Company B does not. A tool such as lets you compare many quotes at one time, and you don’t have to enter information at multiple websites or call multiple insurance companies.

Ask About Discounts

Once you have workable quotes from three insurance companies you like, how do you narrow them down to the “winning” company? One way is to ask about discounts; insurance agents may not go out of their way to inquire about any applicable qualifying life situations you have. If you only use your car for errands, you could get a steep discount (some tools such as do consider this as a factor).

If you are a college student with good grades, you could enjoy some money off your insurance as well. Ditto if you decide to bundle your homeowners, car, and motorcycle policies. Many insurance companies also offer discounts if you pay online or if you pay for an entire six months in advance.

Assess Customer Service

Looking at a company’s customer service can be pretty simple. In fact, a few minutes on the website may be all it takes. Review whether contact information is easy to find, and if the company allows claims to be filed online. Also, how can you contact agents or adjusters? Live chat, email, telephone, and so on? During which hours? If you cannot unearth this information online, you may want to proceed with caution.

Finding exactly the right insurance plan for your needs does require some strategy. This is especially true given the fact that your needs change. Often, the change is gradual and takes many years, but you may have done expensive home renovations that add value to your home. You could be under-insured. On the other hand, your car could be over-insured because it has decreased greatly in value.

Seven Things to Consider When Buying Travel Insurance


Buying travel insurance is easy. However, choosing the right policy to that meets your travel profile may require some thought. If you do not do your homework, you might find yourself, in the event of an accident or unavoidable incident, paying out of pocket for something that you thought the travel insurance covered.

Consider these seven points before you make your decision on what sort of travel insurance you need to purchase.

Most Policies Are Intended to Protect You from Unavoidable Issues

The biggest thing you will want to be aware of when purchasing travel insurance is that most policies are only intended to protect you from unavoidable issues. While you can find plans that will cover you for things like a missed flight, you should be aware that there are generally guidelines for this.

If the insurance company determines that you did not leave early enough to get to the airport, they may not cover you for it. The main reason this point is important to understand is because many travelers think that, since they have travel insurance, they are protected from any potential issue.

To ensure that you don’t make this mistake, you should know that issues you could’ve prevented will rarely be covered. In the end, the way you go about your trip should not change simply because you have travel insurance.

Finding Affordable Travel Insurance Is Easier Than You Think

One of the main complaints of people who are looking to purchase travel insurance is that it is too expensive to be worth it. Many policies offered by major insurance companies, such as those that you get your home and auto insurance plans from, will charge you anywhere from 15%-20% of your trip for insurance.

Fortunately, while there are plenty of high-priced policies out there, finding low-cost travel insurance is easier than you would think. Companies that specialize in providing only travel insurance, for instance, generally offer very affordable plans that make the purchasing of insurance a much more realistic and high-value opportunity.

Premiums Depend on the Length of Your Trip and Medical History

If you are worried about the premiums associated with travel insurance, you should be aware that the cost of your premium will vary depending on the length of your trip. The premium for a three-day trip, for instance, will be much lower than that of a two-week trip.

Many insurance companies will also give you the ability to purchase insurance plans for specific parts of your trip. If you are travelling to several different locations during a single trip, for example, you can generally get insurance that covers the parts of your trip that you feel need covering.

Another thing you should be aware of when it comes to your premium is that a detailed medical history can drive your premium up. On top of obvious medical issues like serious, ongoing diseases having an effect, travellers who are smokers or who have a history of alcohol abuse can also expect to pay higher premiums.

Checking the Policy Small Print Is Vital

No matter what company you are buying your travel insurance from, it is absolutely vital that you take a look at the fine print. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. For this reason, it is not a viable business plan for them to simply cover you for anything and everything that happens to you and your family during your trip.

In order to know exactly what and how much you are being covered for, it is vital that you check the policy small print before deciding on which policy, plan, and company to go with. When dealing with an agent, be sure that you ask specific questions about potential things that may not be covered  

You Will Need to Support Your Claim

While having travel insurance is always a great idea for an extended holiday, you should be aware that the company you get it from will not just cover any claim that you make. Instead, you can expect that it will want supporting evidence that your claim is valid before it will make the decision to pay out.

With this in mind, you will want to keep as much information as possible to ensure that there are no issues with any claim you make. Everything and anything related to the issue at hand should be kept and documented, so you can limit the issues that come with getting your insurance company to pay out your claim.

It Generally Costs Less to Go Through the Company Itself

One of the frustrating things about purchasing insurance through travel agents is that they often charge high costs for any policies. This is generally done in an attempt to squeeze additional money out of you, as selling insurance is a great way for them to make a few extra hundred dollars.

To save money, your best bet is usually to purchase your policy directly from the company itself. Most will offer plans that can be bought directly from their websites, which adds convenience to the process.

Prices Are Higher the Closer You Get to Your Trip

If you end up waiting until a few days before your trip to shop for insurance, you should be aware that you will be paying a much higher price than if you would have gotten it a few months or even weeks earlier. Travel insurance is notorious for being much more expensive as you get closer to your trip.

The main reason for this is because studies have proven that, the closer you are to the trip when you buy, the more likely you are to use the insurance. Since insurance companies are obviously looking for a higher likelihood of not needing to place a claim, policies therefore go up in price the closer you get to your trip. 

Finding Mortgage Insurance For Your Home

The Wandering Miss

When you buy a house, there is a very good chance it will be the biggest purchase that you will make during your lifetime. Because of the enormous amount of money you have tied up in your home, you need to take all of the necessary steps to ensure your investment is properly protected. Obviously, homeowner’s insurance is essential to protect you from damage being caused to your home by a fire, flood or other natural disaster. This type of insurance will also protect you if any of your possessions are stolen from your home.

The vast majority of people who own a home have some form of insurance policy that covers the house itself and the objects that are inside of it. However, there is one very important detail that many homeowners do not consider. What if the person responsible for paying the mortgage payment dies? This would obviously be an enormous financial disaster. Fortunately, there is an insurance policy designed for that specific event. It is called mortgage protection insurance (MPI). Here are some details about this type of insurance, as well as some reasons why it is a good investment.

Extremely high rate of acceptance

MPI is usually issued on a guaranteed acceptance basis. This basically means that assuming you fill out the paperwork correctly, there will most likely not be any questions asked that will prevent you from obtaining the coverage. This is very important for individuals who have serious health issues or who are considered to be uninsurable. People who have a hard time obtaining disability insurance, such as those who have high-risk jobs, can also qualify for MPI.

No worries

There is no telling what the future holds. However, with an MPI policy in place, you will be assured as the breadwinner of your family that if you should ever pass away, your family will receive the funds they need to keep a roof over their heads. This type of peace of mind can be very reassuring for the head of any family.

How is the cost of MPI calculated?

The cost of mortgage protection insurance is based on such factors as the age of the person being insured. If the insured person is a smoker, this will also be a major consideration in the pricing process. Finally, the principal amount of the mortgage will also come into play. Depending on which provider you are dealing with, you may not need to have a physical exam performed.

Get A Car Insurance That Fits Your Lifestyle And Budget

It is very important to take really good care of your car.

It is very important to take really good care of your car.

A quality insurance provider should be concerned with more than just getting you adequate coverage on your car insurance or trying to up their commission. A good agent focuses on providing quality customer service and adding value that goes beyond expectations. With so many companies and providers available, you don’t have to stay with one that offers you anything less than the best. Here are some signs that it’s time to shop around for a new provider.

1. Unexplained rate hikes. If you have a spotty driving record or you’ve been found at fault in an accident, you’ll expect your insurance rates to be a little higher than average or to temporarily increase. However, if you find that your agency offers less than competitive rates or that your rates have gone up unexpectedly without reason, it’s time to look elsewhere for coverage.

2. Evasiveness. A professional agent will readily answer any questions or concerns that you have. They should also be able to explain the details of your insurance contract and provide accurate information. If your agent doesn’t have facts at hand, doesn’t know where to find vital information or avoids giving you direct, concise answers to your questions, you’re better off finding an agent who can.

3. Not answering or returning calls in a timely manner. If you’re constantly playing phone tag or your agent cuts your calls short, they’re not showing you the kind of respect and service you deserve. You need to know that if you’ve been involved in an accident or you have an emergency, your agent will be there to assist you when you need them.

4. Pushing you to buy services or coverage you don’t need. Your agent is your advocate. If they’re constantly trying to sell you unnecessary coverage or up-sell you on other products, chances are they’re more worried about their bottom line than they are about your best interests. A good agent will find you the maximum amount of insurance at a rate that fits your lifestyle and budget.

You don’t have to stick with a company out of habit or use a certain carrier because that’s the one your parents always used. Insurance agents in Austin can be found through such resources as auto club recommendations and even online rate comparisons. It’s important to find the best provider for your needs, so shop around until you feel comfortable with your agent and in what their company has to offer you.