Have an Insurance Strategy
Insurance provides protection. As simple as that sounds, many individuals spend little time considering all their insurance options to make sure they have the insurance they need at the most reasonable price.
Here is a checklist of types of insurance and some other items to consider:
Insuring your home and its contents is very prudent. If disaster strikes, you want to be protected. Choose a policy that will pay for the cost of rebuilding your home if it is totally destroyed. Examine the amount regularly to take inflation into account. Also make sure the "contents" part of your policy is adequate. A policy that covers the cost of replacing items is better than one that just covers the "cash value" of an item. A six-year-old dishwasher may only have a $200 cash value, but will cost $800 to replace. Keep an up-to-date inventory of your belongings and put a copy in your safe deposit box.
Auto policies are usually comprised of three parts:
Collision coverage covers the cost of repairs to your car after an accident. Choose an amount of collision coverage that reflects the value of your car. If your car is old or has little value, you may even want to drop the collision part of your policy.
Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your car from random acts like fire, theft, hail and vandalism. This part of the policy is usually the cheapest and should be based on the value of the car. Remember that insurance companies will not pay more than the car is worth.
Auto liability coverage is absolutely essential. This covers damages caused by your car. If you cause an accident with your car and injure someone or damage his/her property, your auto liability insurance will pay the injured person's medical and repair expenses. This is usually the most expensive part of the policy and most states require it.
___Umbrella liability insurance
Most homeowners and auto policies provide some level of coverage for damages caused to others and their property. In an era of large jury awards and rising medical costs, you may want to consider an umbrella policy. These policies are usually inexpensive (a few hundred dollars for over a million dollars coverage) and are available from most insurance companies.
Be sure you have adequate health insurance. Most large employers provide it as part of their benefits program. While you may be required to share in the cost, a company provided plan is usually cheaper and has fewer restrictions than a policy bought individually. Choose the level of coverage you need, but make sure you are covered for major medical expenses. Starion Insurance can help your business provide insurance coverage or help you with self-insurance.
Most employee benefit programs provide some form of disability coverage. Check your program to make sure the amount is adequate for your needs. Also, look at the details (definition of disability, waiting period and any total limits) to ensure your policy will provide all that you need. If you need more, talk to a Starion Insurance agent or consider policies offered by any professional organization you belong to.
___Long-term care insurance
Some estimate that over half of individuals will spend some time in a nursing home or other care facility before they die. The costs of this type of care can be very high and the federal Medicaid program will not cover all the expenses you may incur. Usually, age 50 is about when to consider a long-term care insurance policy. Premiums will be higher for older buyers.
Two questions - how much do you need and what type of policy?
For most people, life insurance is simply a way to ensure that a surviving spouse and children can continue to have a decent lifestyle. Many experts suggest that a primary breadwinner should have insurance equal to six to 10 times his/her annual income. In most cases, this will provide enough money for the survivors to be at least reasonably comfortable. If you have young children or other special needs, additional amounts should be considered.
Deciding whether to buy a term policy or a cash value whole life policy should be carefully considered. Term policies are usually much cheaper, but whole life policies provide for a "cash build up" for the duration of the policy. Reviewing the options with a qualified advisor is essential.
Choosing a homeowners, auto or health policy will usually involve deciding on a level of deductible. The deductible is what you pay before the insurance starts paying. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Before buying, ask for the premium levels at different levels of deductibles. Then evaluate the level of "risk" you are willing to assume. You may find that your premium can be up to 25% less.
These insurance products are: Not a deposit • Not FDIC insured • Not insured by any Federal Government Agency • Not guaranteed by the bank