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Category Archives: Insurance

Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance covers for financial losses caused due to a devastating earthquake or earth movement such as land slide, mudslide or sinkhole that involves the shifting, sinking or rising of earth surface. But earthquake insurance comes with a twist – it does not pay for losses incurred due to a tidal wave or flood, even the effect is compounded or affected by a prior earthquake. Sometimes ridiculous technicality that is, but a common man has no other choice than living with it.

An important aspect with earthquake insurance is that it is no part of the homeowner or tenant insurance policies. Instead, earthquake insurance stands independently like a life insurance or auto insurance.

Let us see how earthquake insurance works. Earthquake insurance, unlike most homeowner insurance types – covers mainly substantial losses. The claim is paid after accounting for the deductibles that may vary from 10-25%. The damages that exceed the deductibles are only paid to the customer.

Even though there are no hard and fast rules in deducing claims, while doing so, some insurance providers may take in to account structure and contents as separate entities. In such analysis, deductibles apply separately to total losses incurred on the structure, contents and damages to external constructions like garages, sheds and driveways.

Certain insurance companies put forward strict requirements before issuing one an earthquake insurance policy. That is, they might insist on undertaking a detailed inspection of the client’s property before moving further ahead with the policy. For example, some insurance providers insist that the client’s home should be securely bolted to the basement. The inspection also covers other aspects like the bracing on the interior walls and how strapping guards are used to support fixtures. Hence, it would be better if the homeowner clears his side and plug all loop holes before inviting the insurance company to inspect his/her house.

Now the most important thing; once the damage occurs due to an earthquake, make the claim promptly and within the time period as stipulated by the rules and regulations governing the policy. Also, make sure that your claims are supported with all valid documents and proof of damage incurred. One might wonder, but it is these two points in which many people error and subsequently have their claims rejected by the insurance companies.

Protect Expatriate Family

Starting with straight health insurance for you and your family you may then need to consider both critical illness insurance and income protection. Making sure that you have the important insurances in place will afford you greater peace of mind coupled with greater security as a family.

Personal peace of mind will enable you to get on with enjoying your time abroad and allow you to concentrate on establishing long term financial freedom.

Health insurance

In terms of health insurance, it’s essential to make sure that you and your family are covered in your new country of residence and also when travelling.

Always make sure that you are comfortable with any restrictions or limitations of policies recommended to you, and any excess you may be liable for in the event of a claim.

Medical costs differ greatly around the world, as do the standards of treatment available. Find out what services are available in your country of residence, what your expatriate insurance covers you for, and always make sure that you have the option to repatriate in the event of an emergency.

There are so very many companies offering health insurance to expatriates in the marketplace today and all come with features, benefits, exclusions and exceptions.

I would recommend that you speak to a financial adviser to find out what your best options are depending on your personal needs and those of your family.

With something as precious and essential as your health are you prepared to accept second best?

Know what’s available and be a smart buyer!

Critical illness insurance

Critical illness insurance can take away stress and financial strain if ever you are incapacitated through serious illness.

Financial expenditure and outgoings will not cease if you are taken ill: your ability to provide for your family will however cease. Critical illness insurance is designed to payout in the event that you are unable to work due to serious and ongoing illness.

Income protection insurance

Income protection insurance may also be available to you and of interest. This insurance is used to replace a percentage of your income if you are unable to work through injury or illness.

Life Insurance

As an expatriate living in a ‘foreign’ country there are many uncertainties, upheavals, unknowns and concerns especially when it comes to fiscal matters.

Life insurance is one of the most important products when it comes to peace of mind. You want to protect your loved ones in the event of your death – protect them financially and emotionally.

For your family to maintain the same standard of living in the event of your death you have to make sure that you have the correct type and level of life insurance.

You can Invest in Insurance

In the old days people could use their insurance as a maintenance policy. You paid your premium, and little deductible, and insurance would take care of the loss. But nowadays it’s too expensive for that! You use it once and you will loose your claims free discount and ending up paying back any small claim over the next three years while your policy is rated. If you need it again the premium jumps even more and this necessary expense can get even more burdensome. That is why, as an agent who prides himself on putting the customer first, I want to inform you about your protection, and how investing a little time can give you the protection you need, and make the money you are spending go as far as possible.

To maximize the efficiency of the money you are spending on insurance you should consider using it primarily for a catastrophic loss. By “catastrophic” I mean a major loss that would be “catastrophic” to your finances. That’s not to say $1000 is a small amount of money, but I am betting there are more people reading this who rarely, if ever, need to use their insurance and thus can consider this cost as an acceptable risk. Obviously, the higher the deductible the lower your premium, and the lower this burden will be to you and your family.

First off, there are two parts to auto and home insurance. One, I will call the “structural” coverage which repairs or replaces your asset. The other is the “liability” coverage that protects you from people suing you for monetary damages. Structural coverage is guided by your deductibles. These deductibles are really the amount you are willing to “self-insure” your asset. The structural insurance will repair of replace your asset to its former condition, less your deductible.

For auto insurance, I recommend you use deductibles of $500 for Comprehensive and $1000 for Collision. Comprehensive coverage is for everything except Collision, (generally Fire, Theft and Vandalism), and Collision coverage is understandably the physical impact on your vehicle. Collision comes into play primarily when you are at fault in an accident (otherwise we will have their insurance fix the car), and if you are at fault in an accident you should be more concerned with your Liability exposure, than how much you have to come out of pocket to fix the car.

One note here: If you get hit and the other car takes off, make sure you get a license number so we can either go after their insurance, or cover your repairs with Uninsured Motorist coverage which we should have. If we can’t ID them we can’t prove they are Uninsured and thus you will have to pay your deductible. Uninsured Motorists represent @26% of the cars on the road in California but are involved in @42% of the accidents, so if you are involved in an accident chances are good they may be Uninsured.

For homeowners insurance, I recommend you use a deductible of at least $1000, if not more. Using your homeowners insurance for any claim of around $1000 or less is not an efficient use of that insurance. That’s because your policy is “rated up” for three years if you use it. This means the premium is increased and the money you thought you saved in using you insurance will cost you the same or more over the next three years. I maximize my deductible to $5000, understanding that while it would be painful, chances are it will not be used. I have heard numbers that, outside of the hurricane threatened states, something like 1-2% of the houses across America have a “catastrophic loss. Thus, I am comfortable in the odds that I, like most Americans will never have to use it.

In addition, make sure you understand the replacement values your insurance company will use for your personal property. Most insurance companies say they will use “replacement value” but what they mean is that they will replace your 7 year old couch, with the depreciated value of a 7 year old couch. The industry average for this depreciated basis is 11% per year. Look for an insurance company that will replace you personal property on a new for old basis, of like kind and quality, but brand new!

Earthquake Insurance here in California is a tricky question. If you have it when the big one hits you are brilliant, but if it doesn’t, you are paying a lot of money, for disappointing coverage, for a long time, for peace of mind. If you can afford it then by all means buy it!

Now lets turn to the “Liability” area of your policy. More often than not, I come across policies that have less than adequate “Liability” coverage. It’s a fact of our litigious society that, should you be at fault in an accident that injures someone, you could face the loss of much more than the cost of your deductible. Since you face more of your liability exposure in your car, lets look at obtaining sufficient protection from that potential calamity.

Mortgage Protection

The financial industry is packed with pretty shrewd people so it’ll come as no surprise to learn that there are financial products to help with each of these risks.

If you want to reduce the risk of interest rates rising to unaffordable levels, you should have discussed these matters with your mortgage adviser. He will then have told you about “fixed” and “capped interest rate” mortgages. As the name implies, a fixed rate mortgage fixes the interest rate you pay whilst with a “capped” mortgage, the lender agrees not to increase your interest rate above a pre-agreed level. Both types of mortgage revert to the standard variable rate after the fixed or capped period finishes which is typically after three or five years, depending on your lender.

Fixed rate mortgages are currently very popular accounting for 55% of new advances and there are some very good deals around. The capped rate for capped rate mortgages is usually set at the outset above the equivalent fixed rates available but the rate you pay is lower than the fixed rates. In this context your interest rate risk can be effectively controlled. After the end of the protected period you always have the option to re-mortgage and find another rate protected deal. There are never any guarantees on the rates that will be available but the mortgage market is highly competitive, especially for re-mortgages, and special rate offers abound. It’s really a matter of knowing which lender to approach. When the time comes you’d be well advised to ask a mortgage broker to search out the most suitable options.

Worried about paying your mortgage if you lost your job? Then you need Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance – but be aware that in its basic form, this insurance is really only designed to cover redundancy. If you resign or are fired for gross misconduct your unlikely to be insured. The cost? Online you can expect to pay around £2.45 per £100 of monthly mortgage payment for a policy which starts paying out 30 days after you’ve been made redundant and will pay out for up to 12 months. You’re sure to have been offered similar insurance by your bank or mortgage company but watch out, their premiums are likely to be two or three times higher for identical cover.

Mortgage Payment Protection Policies can also be extended to cover the third area of concern – you lose income through illness or accident. But before you rush into this insurance you need to ask your employer how long they’d continue paying you if you were off work. Remember, you only need to insure for the period after your employer stops paying. You would then receive statutory sickness pay, but the odds are you’ll need that income for general living costs. The cost for this insurance? Well, online it’ll again cost you around £2.45 per £100 of monthly mortgage payment for a policy which starts paying out after 30 days, However, if you combine illness, accident and unemployment cover all into one policy you can currently get combined insurance for around £3.95 per month. The essential point to remember is that these policies will only pay out for 12 months. That leads on to the fourth area of concern.

How would you pay your mortgage if you were unable to work again through a serious accident or critical illness? In this context it is important to appreciate the reality of the risk. The insurance industry estimates that 1 in 5 men and 1 in 6 women suffer a critical illness before their normal retirement age. Just think what a heart attack at 40 would mean to your family finances, especially if you have a mortgage with many years still to run. For many, insurance is a must.

Yacht Insurance

A yacht is nothing short of a house on water. With all the comforts of home and then some, it is a marvel of engineering and expense to boot. Affordability is not really an issue when it comes to yacht ownership, but protecting one’s investment is. When you have spent more on a boat than other people spend on a home and car combined, then you have every right to make sure that the money you spent will not be in vain. Insurance is the only option in this case and you should choose the policy wisely when dealing with large sums of money like the cost of a yacht.

First off you will need to determine the coverage for the entire yacht. This amount will represent the amount that you would need to get back should the vessel become a total loss. There are several ways in which any type of boat can be lost, the least of which being theft and the worst being explosion. An explosion is a more real threat then you realize when you consider the amount of fuel being carried below decks of a large yacht. A misplaced collision with another boat can cause an explosion that will most likely destroy the entire craft. This type of coverage is the normal amount required by a financial agency that has fronted the money for the yacht. This is to protect them from loss.

Next you should figure the equipment on board the boat that should be covered. This can consist of the motors, navigational equipment, riggings, anchors, and radios. These items are essential to the yacht’s operation and should be protected against loss or damage. This type of coverage can also include any personal items on board that need to be protected. This is similar to homeowners insurance in that respect as those policies generally cover household contents to a certain degree.

If the boat is stored in a region that is prone to violent weather conditions like hurricanes, then a provision in an insurance policy for this type of loss should also be considered. The loss from weather related occurrences is tremendous and most standard insurance policies do not offer coverage in this area. It may cost a considerable amount more to be covered against weather related damage but it will be worth it should the need arise.

Information of Internet Insurance Leads

There is no doubt about it: if you want to reach the largest amount of people possible across the nation, then you should start getting internet leads. It is the most cost-effective way to achieve an astonishing number of sales. And, of course, this huge number of potential customers is a great chance of getting plenty of referrals. Everyone knows someone that needs a policy. It’s the good old basic equation: More customers = more referrals.

Be sure to choose a lead service that fulfills your needs, have them pre-eliminate those dead-end quote requests, and the rest is doing what you are good for, that means, selling insurance policies.

If you need healing, you pay a visit to a physician. If you want to get yourself a new car, you don’t enter a pharmacy to buy it. It’s that simple: if you really want to increase the amount of your customers, then you need to get in touch with a quality internet insurance leads service provider. That is what makes the difference in the insurance world nowadays.

About Critical Illness Insurance

If you decide you want to pay for hospital fees yourself, you can use your insurance money to avoid drawing money out of personal savings, help to pay off debt, allows your partner to take time off work to look after you or any other way you choose. There are different levels of critical illness insurance, and the one you decide on depends on how much you can afford. Having basic coverage will usually cover five or six conditions, while comprehensive coverage will cover all of the illnesses the insurance company has to offer. Comprehensive coverage will cost more, but a good company should provide about 80% coverage, even for basic insurance.

Costs of insurance will also depend on your age, health and other lifestyle factors. The necessity of having critical illness insurance is often higher than people might think. Statistics show that a person is more likely to contract a critical illness than they are to die before the age of 75. A critical illness can drastically change your lifestyle because you may not be in a condition to work as you had before experiencing the illness. Insurance can help you financially during treatment as well as after recovery to help you maintain a good quality of life. Many companies will also financially help out your family in case of your own death.

Lawn Care Business

Cost depends on:

* Type

* Size

* Number of vehicles

* How far it’s driven everyday

* What it’s hauling

Business Owners Policy(BOP)- Package insurance which includes:

* General Liability

* Business Interruption Insurance- replaces business income andpays expenses such as equipment, office rent, fire, theft, or other loses. Cost $300- $400 a year.

Surety Bond -Covers the hiring contractors should you default on the job. Occasionally, this may be required for commercial jobs. Once you become established they may waive the bond.

Surety bonds are generally not needed for residential accounts, unless you are applying pesticides or herbicides. Ask your insurance agent.

Unless you have expensive equipment, I would think about not insuring the equipment, but to not insure you must always lock equipment with locks that are fast to open and close. I use the locks with the 3 numbers(Masterlock) or key locks, never do combination. Takes too long to open.

Before I started locking my equipment down, I had equipment stolen from my trailer. Later on, my trailer was stolen even being locked. Lawn equipment is stolen a lot. More than you probably think. How long do you think it takes to drive past a truck and steal a $500 blower? About 5 seconds. Thats a $100 a second.

When looking for insurance there are 2 classifications.

* Insurance agents- Usually represent 1 company

* Insurance brokers- Represent many different companies.

I like working with brokers since they are on your side and shop
several companies for quality and price. Always get 4 or 5 quotes
because prices can vary greatly.

Disaster Decision

Disaster insurance is typically defined as additional homeowner’s insurance to cover events like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods. Home insurance policies typically cover hurricanes and tornadoes (review your policy to be certain in covers damage from such events). But often damage from floods and earthquakes isn’t covered. This extra insurance, if desired, must be purchased in addition to your standard homeowner policy, and it can be expensive, depending on where you live.

Because disaster insurance can be expensive, it’s a type of coverage some homeowners opt not to buy. But in some cases they are required to buy. For example, mortgaged homes in the US that are located in designated flood hazard areas are required to buy flood insurance through the US National Flood Insurance Program. Of course, once those mortgages are paid, there is no longer a requirement to buy such insurance.

But homeowners in those areas should carefully consider whether they really want to take the risk that their home and everything in it could be swept away, leaving them with nothing but an empty lot. Homeowners that aren’t in designated flood hazard areas should still know that floods can cause plumbing problems, like sewer and septic backups. These often aren’t covered in a standard homeowner’s policy, and they may want to consider an endorsement for coverage.

Must know about Insurance with Ethics

The difference between your premium amount, and the amount the insurance company will have to pay out if the loss occurs, is simply the odds the insurance company is getting for taking on the bet. It’s just like going to the horse races and betting on a horse that pays out 10 to 1.

This view of insurance has led to a number of people and religious communities disapproving of insurance because of its similarities to gambling. Among those groups that avoid insurance are the Amish and Muslim communities. What these people do instead is create a system of what is known as social insurance. What this means is that if there is a disaster and someone suffers a heavy loss, then the whole community will step forward and help them to deal with their loss and rebuild. While this system is very simple, it has the potential to be just as effective a safety net as insurance. However, it requires that the community actually does step forward and help those who suffer from disasters. This means that it is more successful in small closed and closely knit communities than in large modern societies.

Social insurance systems therefore are not always effective. Often the community that is supposed to adopt it is not suitable. Also, in very large disasters the system can break down as a small community will not be able to rebuild itself completely without outside assistance. This is why larger modern insurance systems can be more robust. However, in extremely large disasters, modern insurance systems can also run into difficulties. This is witnessed by the fact that it is impossible to insure against certain risks such as floods and earthquakes. This is because the damage would be simply on too large a scale for the insurance companies to cope with.

There are other ways in which insurance doesn’t follow the gambling model. For instance insurance companies seek to reduce the risk of the loss occurring constantly, for instance by requiring the installation of fire alarms, or by reducing the loss if the insured against event does occur, for example by providing rehabilitation to accident victims. Therefore insurance is like a gamble in the reward and risk elements, but other elements are different.