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Insurance is defined as a form of protection against loss. But in todayâs insurance industry, insurance can be purchased to mitigate against all forms of loss. It is a type of risk management used by people to protect against uncertain loss or the risk of failure. Insurance companies or carriers or underwriters sell premiums to those who wish to purchase premiums. Premiums can be defined as the number of money carriers charge to customers in exchange for the coverage set in the agreement also known as the insurance policy.
And in 2017, the U.S. insurance industry sold premiums reaching a total of $1.2 trillion with the health insurances accounting for a large chunk of that amount. Coming in at second place was P/C (property/casualty) premiums accounting for $558.2 billion in 2017.
Some may argue that the reason for this is due to the hike in prices of premiums over the years, but the truth is for the millions of people who have experienced softer blows because of the payouts from insurance companies, paying a premium is a small price to pay.
There are currently several types of insurance policies. From health insurance to life insurance, automobile insurance and so on.
These days, choosing a new car insurance policy that works for you is usually time-consuming, expensive or even both. And because policies are not usually permanent, you can easily switch insurance providers if you are not happy with your current provider.
And for those who think they can afford to drive around during the period they are in between a comprehensive insurance policy, the bad news is that in all but a few states, an insurance policy is needed alongside a license in order to drive.
But the good news is changing your policy provider should not be so difficult, this article outlines five of the most important things to consider when shopping for a new insurance carrier:
Like every other thing on the market, the cost of an insurance policy is not equal. It is almost impossible to get the same coverage from 10 different companies at the same price. Odds are you would get the same coverage you are getting at a fraction of the same price from another company. This is because various companies factor in different things when putting together the price for their insurance policies. Some of these costs could include the cost of running the company, the cost of offering more benefits and other hidden charges.
It is essential to factor in elements other than your out-of-pocket expenses before you decide to make the switch between car insurance companies. You can also try to take control of the factors you can control like improving your driving record or looking at additional types of auto protection plans. All these are considered by the insurance company and could eventually save you money.
Another important reason why several bare minimum automobile insurance policies are cheap is that they offer limited options regarding maintenance and repairs. Like a health maintenance organization (HMO), car insurance companies can ask you to take your car for approval at one of their approved dealerships for appraisals. Sticking with a top-shelf insurance company could possibly mean higher premiums but it also means better care should you need it.
The better the insurance company, the higher the premiums you would have to pay.
Odds are, if you cannot list the distinguishable advantages offered to you by your insurance policy, you are not gaining a lot in return. An amazing advantage you could watch out for is the reduction of rates if you go a few months without any accidents and accident forgiveness. Some companies also choose to pay for your rental car if you need to leave your car at the mechanic regardless of how long it might take.
Other companies offer reduced rates for purchases of bulk policies. i.e. The purchase of car insurance with possibly fire insurance and so on. Instead of you letting your insurance company ask what you can do for them, ask what they can do for you.
Sometimes things that we do not plan for happen and when such things happen, the first thing to be done is to start searching for a new car insurance policy. For example, most new cars often need complete coverage until they are fully bought, and some local insurance companies do not offer continued coverage if you change cities.
Also, rates could also go up if a new driver is added to the policy. This is, of course, dependent on the driverâs age, gender, and driving history. Understanding your unique situation will allow you to properly assess what is needed and what is a mere frivolity.
Because of the internet, finding out pertinent information about a prospective insurance company is very easy. You can figure out everything there is to know about them. What kind of customer service do they offer their clients? Do their representatives listen? Do they treat their customers with respect?
Find out how the claim adjusters and representatives of the company treat those who work with the cars. Knowing these things is essential because a company that treats its employees terribly will possibly skim around the edges when it comes to their customers.
Also, try doing a bit of research into the companyâs ethics. It is advisable to do business with a company that believes in the same things you do and do not engage in behavior that you find personally distasteful. Your money will be used to pay for several things to ensure they are all used for things that you support.
Itâs an added bonus for you if you know who your insurance agent is, and you have a great relationship with them. Usually, these people are the ones who will go the extra distance for you should you need to file a claim and they can also help with the filing of the claims or give you a recommendation on local companies that could be of help to you.
Finally, youâll want to check your credit score. Credit.com offers a free credit score updated every 14 days. Usually when getting a new insurance quote, insurance companies will run your credit. A higher credit score usually means a lower monthly premium, although other factors like your driving record and marital impact how much youâll be paying. Remember to consider these five factors when considering a new insurance company.
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The post 5 Things to Consider When Changing Car Insurance appeared first on Credit.com.
While Medicare and Medicaid both help aging adults afford some of their medical expenses, they may not cover the cost of an extended illness or disability. Thatâs where long-term care insurance comes into play. Long-term care insurance helps policyholders pay for their long-term care needs such as nursing home care. Weâll explain what long-term care insurance covers and whether or not such coverage is something you or your loved ones should consider.
Long-Term Care Insurance Explained
Long-term care insurance helps individuals pay for a variety of services. Most of these services do not include medical care. Coverage may include the cost of staying in a nursing home or assisted living facility, adult day care or in-home care. This includes nursing care, physical, occupational or speech therapy and help with day to day activities.
A long-term care insurance policy pays for the cost of care due to a chronic illness, a disability, or injury. It also provides an individual with the assistance they may require as a result of the general effects of aging. Primarily, though, long-term care insurance is designed to help pay for the costs of custodial and personal care, versus strictly medical care.
When You Should Consider Long-Term Care Insurance
During the financial planning process, itâs important to consider long-term care costs. This is important if you are close to retirement age. Unfortunately, if you wait too long to purchase coverage, it may be too late. Many applicants may not qualify if they already have a chronic illness or disability.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an adult turning 65 has a 70% chance of needing some form of long-term care. While only one-third of retirees may never need long-term care coverage, 20% may need it for five years or longer. With a private nursing home room averaging about $7,698 per month, long-term care could end up being a huge financial burden for you and your family.
Most health insurance policies wonât cover long-term care costs. Additionally, if youâre counting on Medicare to assist you with these extra expenses, you may be out of luck. Medicare doesnât cover long-term care or custodial care. Most nursing homes classify under the custodial care category. This classification of care includes the supervision of your daily tasks.
So, if you donât have long-term care insurance, youâre on the hook for these expenses. However, itâs possible to get help through Medicaid for low income families. But keep in mind, you may only receive coverage after you deplete your life savings. Just know that Medicare may cover short-term nursing care or hospice care, but little of the long-term care in between.
What Does Long Term Care Insurance Cover
So what does long term care insurance cover, Well, since the majority of long-term care policies are comprehensive policies, they may cover at-home care, adult day care, assisted living facilities (resident care or alternative care), and nursing home care. At home, long-term care may cover the cost of professional nursing care, occupational therapy, or rehabilitation. This may also include assistance with daily tasks, including bathing or brushing teeth.
Additionally, long-term care coverage can cover short-term hospice care for individuals who are terminally ill. The objective of hospice care is to help with pain management and provide emotional and physical support for all parties involved. Most policies allow beneficiaries to obtain care at a hospice facility, nursing home, or in the comfort of their own home. However, most hospice care is not considered long-term care and may receive coverage through Medicare.
Also, long-term care insurance can help cover the costs of respite care or temporary care. These policy extensions provide time off to those who care for an individual on a regular basis. Usually, respite care provides compensation to caregivers for 14 to 21 days a year. This care can take place at a nursing home, adult daytime care facility, or at home
What Long-Term Care Doesnât Cover
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may not be eligible for long-term care during the exclusion period. The exclusion period can last for several months after your initial purchase of the policy. Also, if a family member provides in-home care, your policy may not pay them for their services.
Keep in mind, long-term care coverage wonât cover medical care costs. Many of your medical costs will fall under your coverage plan if youâre eligible for Medicare.
Long-Term Care Insurance Costs
Some of the following factors may affect the cost of your long-term care policy:
- The age of the policyholder.
- The maximum amount the policy will pay per year.
- The maximum number of days the policy will pay.
- The lifetime maximum amount that the policy will pay
- Any additional options or benefits you choose.
If youâre in poor health or youâre currently receiving long-term care, you may not qualify for a plan. However, itâs possible to qualify for a limited amount of coverage with a higher premium rate. Some group policies donât even require underwriting.
According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), a couple in their mid-50s can purchase a new long-term care policy for around $3,000 a year. The combined benefit of this plan would be roughly $770,000. Keep in mind, some policies limit your payout period. These payout limitations may be two to five years, while other policies may offer a lifetime benefit. This is an important consideration when finding the right policy.
While itâs highly likely that you may need some form of long-term care, itâs wise to consider how you will pay for this additional cost as you age. While a long-term care policy is a viable option, there are alternatives you can consider.
One viable choice would be to boost your retirement savings to help compensate for long-term care costs. Ultimately, it comes down to what level of risk youâre comfortable with and how well a long-term care policy fits into your bigger financial picture.
- If youâre unsure what long-term care might mean to your retirement plans, consider consulting a financial advisor. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If youâre ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- The looming costs of long-term care may have you thinking about how much money youâll need for retirement. If you arenât sure how much your 401(k) or Social Security will factor into the equation, SmartAssetâs retirement guide can help you sort out the details.
Photo credit: Â©iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz, Â©iStock.com/scyther5, Â©iStock.com/PeopleImages
The post What Long-Term Care Insurance Covers appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
Your washing machine. Your car. Your front tooth.
If any of those broke right now, would you be able to get it fixed immediately? Or would you have to walk around with a gap in your smile for months until you could get the money together?
If you canât afford to pay to fix it today, youâre not alone. Most people donât have $400 saved in case of an emergency either. So before your car breaks down on the side of the road on your way to an interview, make sure you have a solid emergency fund of at least $500.
Donât know how to get there? Having a budget (that you actually stick to) can help you get there. Hereâs one budgeting strategy we recommend, and four other tips that can help you keep your expenses in line.
1. The 50/30/20 Budgeting Rule
The 50/30/20 rule is one of the simplest budgeting methods out there, which is why youâve probably heard us talk about it before if youâre a regular TPH reader. There are no fancy spreadsheets or pricy apps to download (unless you want to), and itâs very straightforward.
Hereâs how it shakes out: 50% of your monthly take home income goes to your essentials â your rent, your groceries, your minimum debt payments, and other necessities. 30% of your cash goes to the fun stuff, and 20% is dedicated to your financial goals. That could be paying more than the minimum on your debts or adding to your investments. And it definitely includes building up your emergency fund!
If you take a look at your budget and realized you donât have enough leftover to contribute to your emergency fund, here are a few ways to help balance your budget:
2. Cut More Than $500 From One Of Your Must-Have Bills
Youâre probably overpaying the bills you have to pay each month. But you can cut those expenses down, without sacrificing anything. Maybe even enough to cover that window your kid just smashed with a ball. Definitely enough to grow your emergency fund a meaningful amount.
So, whenâs the last time you checked car insurance prices?
You should shop your options every six months or so â it could save you some serious money. Letâs be real, though. Itâs probably not the first thing you think about when you wake up. But it doesnât have to be.
A website called Insure.com makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code and your age, and itâll show you your options.
Using Insure.com, people have saved an average of $540 a year.
Yup. That could be $500 back in your pocket just for taking a few minutes to look at your options.
3. Earn Up to $225 in Easy, Extra Cash
If we told you you could get free money just for watching videos on your computer, youâd probably laugh. Itâs too good to be true, right? But weâre serious. You can really add up to a few hundred bucks to your emergency savings with some mindless entertainment.
A website called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. Brands pay InboxDollars to get these videos in front of viewers, and it passes a cut onto you.
InboxDollars wonât make you rich, but itâs possible to get up to $225 per month watching these videos. Itâs already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and youâll immediately earn a $5 bonus to get you started.
4. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
Just by paying the minimum amount on your credit cards, you are extending the life of your debt exponentially â not to mention the hundreds (or thousands) of dollars youâre wasting on interest payments. You could be using that money to beef up your emergency savings, instead.
The truth is, your credit card company is happy to let you pay just the minimum every month. Itâs getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates â some up to nearly 30%. But a website called AmOne wants to help.
If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? Youâll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.49% APR), youâll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but donât worry â they wonât spam you with phone calls.
5. Get a Side Gig And Make More Money
Letâs face it â if your monthly income is less than what your monthly expenses are (and youâve run out of things to cut), you need more money.
Well, we all could use more money. And by earning a little bit extra each month, we could make sure weâre never taken by surprise when an ER visit tries to drain our savings.
Luckily, earning money has never been easier with the rise of the âGig Economyâ. Here are 31 simple ways to make money online. Which one could you do to pad your emergency savings?
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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