Understanding Your Health Insurance Options

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

As you might be aware, health insurance is now mandatory in the United States. If you do not have health insurance, then you are probably going to have to pay a fine. You probably don’t want to be fined, but you might not know exactly which health insurance option is best for you. To help you out, here is an explanation of the most common types of health insurance: First Of All: How Much Is The Fine? You might think that you would be better off just taking the fine. However, the fine is actually quite severe now. In 2014, the fine was only $95 per adult or 1% of household income. In 2015, the fine increased to $325 per adult or 2% of household income. In 2016, it will increase again to $695 or 2.5% of income. Health Insurance Through An Employer Many people don’t really have to worry about health insurance because it is provided through their employer. In almost all situations, this insurance plan passes the minimum requirements of the government, so you won’t need to pay the fine. This type of insurance often applies to the employee, their spouse, and any children that they have under age 26. Once your children pass that age threshold, then they will be removed from your plan and will need to find their own insurance If your company doesn’t provide health insurance, then you will either need to buy private insurance or apply for Medicaid. Private Health Insurance If you make more money than Medicaid coverage allows, then you will need to buy private health insurance, which works just like auto insurance. You will pay a monthly premium to your provider and you will be covered in the event that you are injured or need to visit a hospital. That premium can rise or fall depending on your health, your demographic information, and how often you have needed coverage in the past. Private health care rates can vary drastically throughout the country, so you’ll need to take a look at your local options in order to get a good idea of what you should be paying. To help you find a good private health insurance plan that fits your needs, the government offers a comprehensive database of your options. Medicaid Finally, if you qualify, then your best choice is to apply for Medicaid. If your family makes under a certain amount of money, then you can get health insurance at a greatly reduced rate. Even if your family is above the poverty line, there is still a chance that you qualify. If you tried to apply for Medicaid several years ago and were denied, you should apply again. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid was expanded, which means that you might qualify...

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Avoiding Auto Insurance Premium Charges for That High-Risk Driver in Your House

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

If you’re in the market for a new auto insurance company and you’re looking for low-cost insurance, it’s important to understand how your household composition can affect the rates you’re charged. Most insurance companies pull a household record when you apply for insurance. This record tells them every licensed driver in the house. If you have an uninsured licensed driver in the house with moving violations on his or her record, you may be charged a premium based on that person’s driving history. Here’s a look at why that happens and how you can combat it. Why Charge for Other Household Members? Insurance companies price policies based on the degree of risk that they’re taking. Even if you have a clean driving history, if someone in your household doesn’t have insurance protection and has moving violations, he or she is a risk to your insurance company. If that individual gets access to your car and causes an accident, the insurance company may face a claim from the victim. As a result, it’s in the insurance company’s best interest to charge you a premium based on their highest degree of risk in the household. How Can You Avoid These Charges? The best way to avoid the additional surcharges based on your household member’s driving records is through driver exclusions. An excluded driver is a household member with a driver’s license that’s listed specifically on your policy as excluded from coverage. This means that the insurance company won’t cover any accidents caused by this individual in your car. By excluding that driver, the insurance company assumes no additional risk of claims, so there’s no reason to charge you for his or her driving history. When Can You Remove the Exclusion? Most driver exclusions are based on the actual moving violations on that driver’s record, so your insurance company can tell you when those violations will no longer be counted in a policy evaluation. You’ll want to exclude the driver until that time. For example, some insurance companies will charge you a higher premium for moving violations within the last three years, while others go back five years. Knowing the timeline that your company bases premiums on will help you determine how long you need to exclude that household member from coverage on your policy. When you have a high-risk driver in your household, it can be costly for your insurance premiums. This is particularly true if he or she refuses to carry insurance. With the information here about driver exclusions, you can eliminate the risk of being rated for him or her simply by refusing coverage to that household member. Talk with your insurance company about the options forlow cost auto...

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Standard Homeowners Insurance Often Doesn’t Cover Geologic Incidents

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

Homeowners insurance policies tend to be long, complicated documents. It’s safe to say that most policyholders never actually read those documents. They rely on a brief description of the policy from the insurer, as well as on general knowledge, to understand what is covered and what is not. However, numerous so-called perils are commonly not covered by standard home insurance. For example, damage caused by geologic changes in the land around and under the property may be excluded.  About Insurance Exclusions You may realize that flood insurance isn’t part of a standard policy and has to be purchased separately. That’s been addressed in the news a great deal over the years since substantial flooding has ruined a large number of homes in various parts of the country. Insurance policies list incidents such as flooding in the exclusions part of the document. It may be surprising to learn that standard homeowners insurance often doesn’t cover many geologic incidents, whether those incidents are natural developments or related to human activity. A policy may not even cover damage from more common events, such as earthquakes and mudslides. When something happens that hardly anyone would ever expect, it’s probable that an insurance policy has that type of incident listed in its exclusions.  Two Unusual Geologic Hazards In parts of California, homeowners are seeing their houses destroyed as the buildings sink into the ground, apparently because of groundwater rising to the earth’s surface. This gradual and intermittent type of geologic occurrence is known as subsidence.  Subsidence involves significant changes in groundwater levels, whether the level rises or drops. In other parts of California, the ground level is dropping because so much water has been pumped from aquifers during the state’s long drought.  Subsidence is not the same as a sinkhole, which can develop rapidly and swallow up vehicles and even buildings with little warning. Although people may get the impression sinkholes are relatively confined to specific regions in certain states, these dangerous earth depressions may develop unexpectedly in places where they were previously unheard of. Sometimes sinkholes occur because of problems in man-made construction, such as a water main break. However, they also occur due to geologic processes, such as apparently happened in May at a golf course in Branson, Missouri. Unfortunately for you, subsidence issues and sinkhole problems are not usually covered by your homeowners policy. Concluding Thoughts You can count on a standard homeowners insurance policy to cover damage from events such as windstorms and lightning strikes. However, if you want a policy that pays on claims in less common scenarios, contact an independent insurance agent to learn how to obtain this coverage. To learn more about insurance, contact a business like Southern Family...

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5 Reasons To Buy Renters Insurance

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

Whether you rent a small apartment or big house, you likely have a lot of important belongings there. If these items got stolen or damaged, you would be devastated. That is why it is so important to have renter’s insurance. It is a small price to pay for your peace of mind. Here are five reasons to buy renters insurance: Your Landlord May Require It Since their insurance only covers the structure of the building, some landlords require their tenants to purchase renters insurance. If a fire, burglary or another disaster occurs, landlords will not have to worry about covering any of the damage. If your landlord requires renters insurance, he will expect to see proof. It Covers Losses to Personal Belongings If you are like a lot of renters, you might think you do not own enough belongings to need renters insurance. However, even if you don’t have a lot, your items could be worth more money than you think. If a burglar breaks into your apartment or a fire starts, you could be out of thousands of dollars. A renters insurance policy could give you the money to replace your stolen or damaged items. It is Affordable The great thing about renters insurance is that it can fit into just about anyone’s budget. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average person pays just $15 to $30 a month for renters insurance. Since it is so affordable, there is no reason why you should not have it. It Provides Liability Coverage Liability coverage is another good reason to have renters insurance. If someone gets injured in your home, whether it’s due to a fall or dog bite, you will not be held liable. The insurance policy will cover the person’s medical expenses and your legal expenses up to a certain limit. It Covers Your Items During Travel Did you know that renters insurance covers your belongings when you are on a trip? No matter where you travel in the world, your policy will cover your possessions from loss. For example, if one of your belongings gets stolen during your trip, your policy will cover it. As you can see, there are several good reasons to purchase renters insurance. It does not cost much and will replace your belongings in the event of a loss. When you speak to an insurance agent, ask how much coverage you need. To learn more, contact a company like Angel Auto Insurance with any questions you...

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5 Ridiculous “Movie Moments” Where You’ll Be Needing Your Auto Insurance – And How To Plan For Them

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

If you’re shopping for auto insurance, you know that you’ll need it if you end up wrecking your car, or in a classic fender-bender. But when else is auto insurance something you’re going to rely on? Read on to understand some of those more extreme chaos situations you may be familiar with from the silver screen where your auto policy is going to come in handy. Parked Car Damage and Vandalism This is something you often see on the movie screen — some villain, vindictive ex, impish juvenile delinquent, or other character decides to do a number on somebody’s car. Whether it’s a concrete block whimsically dropped on to the auto body, or something a little less damaging and a little more gross, vandalism is one of the major things you have to look out for when you’re not in your car. Include comprehensive coverage to get relief from all sorts of vandalism losses. Wild (or Domestic) Animals Yes, we’ve all heard not to feed the bears — but what about if you leave your car door open by mistake, and you come back to see dogs, cats, raccoons, possums or some other type of beast rummaging around in your vehicle, not to mention a big grizzly? Animals can cause all sorts of unanticipated damage to a car or truck, and trigger some kind of claim situation that’s out of the ordinary. Ask your insurer about wild animal coverage – and when you’re off-roading, keep doors and windows closed. Letting a Friend Take the Keys This is another familiar trope in films – an ultra-responsible driver gets wheedled into handing the keys to a mooch, a deadbeat, a ne’er do well or some other kind of ‘free spirit’ who uses their personal connections to get control of a friend’s wheels. Hilarious antics ensue. Any time you let somebody borrow your car, there’s a chance that you’re going to wind up filing a claim later. To avoid unpleasant surprises, ask your insurer about when other drivers are covered. Flood, Fire, Hurricane, Tornado This type of situation often gets written in today’s elemental disaster films, the ones where mother nature destroys entire cities. But these types of situations are very real. You may run into high standing water, wildfire flames or intense storms that will really do damage to your vehicle, and you’ll need access to your auto insurance to start putting the pieces back together. Keep your policy on hand to know what sorts of storm damage, water damage and disaster damage are covered. Rental Car Situations Another way filmmakers build suspense is by threatening impending damage to the protagonist’s precious rental car — and this feels a lot the same way in real life. You’re nervous about having this car that doesn’t belong to you, and hoping you don’t somehow end up returning it with serious damage. You need...

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4 Things to Consider before Buying Car Insurance

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

If you are thinking about getting car insurance or switching to a new police, there are some things to think about first. It helps to know as many details as possible, including who should be on your policy and exactly what risks you intend to have coverage for. Here are some questions to ask yourself before buying a new car insurance policy. Decide Who Should Be Excluded from the Policy If you have teenager drivers in your home or have roommates living with you, you might want to exclude them from your car insurance policy. By excluding them, it gives you a good reason to tell them they can’t borrow your car. This is important because if they get into an accident while driving your vehicle and are not excluded, this can affect your premiums and future insurance rates. However, if they use your car without asking and are excluded, they are responsible for all of the costs of damage or injury. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before excluding someone from your policy. Choose Your Level of Coverage One of the most important things to consider before purchasing an auto insurance policy is deciding what area of coverage you need. There is basic liability, which is the minimum required when operating a vehicle. Other types of coverage include full coverage, comprehensive coverage, and add-ons like collision coverage. If you have a history of vehicle accidents, it is probably a good idea to get collision coverage. If you want the best insurance available, comprehensive policies tend to include the most coverage. Figure out What Deductible Is Affordable You should also know what type of deductible you can afford, since it can sway you toward one policy or another. The deductible not only lets you know what your out-of-pocket expenses will be if you need to file a claim, but also affects your premium. If you want to keep your premium low, you can agree to a higher deductible. However, keep in mind this means your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher if you need to file a claim with your insurance company. Consider Hiring a Car Insurance Agent The last decision to make is whether you want to choose your own policy or get help from a car insurance agent. With an agent, you can ask them questions about the different areas of coverage, and they will not only answer them but find a policy that fits all of your needs. It takes a lot of guesswork out of trying to shop around for your own car insurance policy. For more information, talk to a professional like Taylor Robert...

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