Welcome, readers! This is Abri News, where you’ll find helpful policy information to assist you in finding the best coverage for your needs. What should an insurance provider offer? Competitive rates? Peace of mind? Stellar customer service? Well, ideally, a quality provider should offer all three. Companies are often compared using solely their quotes. This is understandable. There’s no point shopping around in a price range you cannot afford. However, we would like to offer you alternative means for evaluating potential providers. As well, we want to elucidate the difference between “good coverage” and “bad coverage” when it comes to your insurance needs.
What is “bad coverage''?
Bad coverage doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all definition. Simply put, bad coverage is coverage which doesn’t meet your specific needs. These are plans which do not meet your minimum need for coverage, plans which exceed your maximum need for coverage, plans which include contract language specifically for the purpose of allowing the insurance company to avoid paying a claim, plans with certain policy implications which require unreasonable action to be performed by the policyholder for a claim to be paid, and any other bad faith practices.
You aren’t able to assess whether these aspects of a plan are present just by seeing the quote. A low rate may come along with a bunch of things you definitely don’t want, which is why looking into your policy provider is imperative.
How to compare insurance companies?
There are a number of ways to compare insurance companies. First and foremost, there’s specialization.
Certain insurance companies specialize in particular types of clients. If you’re looking for coverage for your family, you might want to seek out a company which appeals specifically to families. Likewise, if you’re an older driver or a driver with a tarnished driving record, there are companies who are willing to work with you and will not charge exorbitant fees.
Of course, the tried-and-true method for determining which insurance company is right for you is by comparing quotes. This will certainly help to narrow down the competition, as quotes which are out of your price range can immediately be crossed off of the list. Again, don’t allow this factor alone to determine your choice of provider for you.
Determine your coverage limit before comparing quotes and make sure you enter the same parameters on each insurance site.
A pertinent aspect of comparing quotes involves searching for a company’s current discounts. Discounts from having a good driving record, a good health history, or bundling claims can offset the price of a high quote. Do the math or use an online calculator to assess whether the saving make a difference in the long run.
Complaint Ratios and Financial Ratings
You can check a company’s complaint records by visiting the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) website. You can also check this information by visiting your state’s insurance department website. A high volume of complaints can mean the insurance company lacks good customer service or they have a habit of failing to pay out claims. The complaint ratio is the company’s market share of closed complaints compared to its share of premiums. The company’s ratio should not exceed the national median.
Complaints usually fall into three categories: unsatisfactory settlements, denials of claims, and claim handling delays. When considering a particularly appealing low quote, weigh the benefit of a lower monthly payment against the potentiality of running into problems in your moment of need.
What to Look For
Now, you’re looking past the quote. Great! Let’s go through some different types of insurance and outline what you should be looking for in terms of coverage.
Homeowner’s insurance exists in case of the destruction of your home and theft of the property therein. There are three levels of coverage:
Take these three forms of coverage into account when choosing your plan. Homeowners’ insurance is highly customizable. The coverage should cover the interior and exterior of your house. In the event of several types of natural disasters or vandalism, you should be able to have your house fixed or even rebuilt. If you own extremely expensive possessions (i.e. fine jewelry, fine art, antiques) you may want to take out a separate policy for each item. The minimum amount of coverage for most homeowners’ policies is $100,000, but it’ll be safer to be insured at least up to $300,000.
Not everyone needs life insurance. If you have a family or financial situation which could be put into flux by your death, obtaining a suitable life insurance policy will relieve a modicum of stress about how those you love will continue on after you’re gone. If you’re older and in need of life insurance, a little extra research will yield a company who is willing to work with you, although you may pay a higher premium. Life insurance should cover any current debts you have—like mortgages and student loans where someone cosigned for you—and be sizable enough to fill the gap where your income used to reside.
There are two different types of life insurance:
You might opt for additional riders such as disability or long-term care insurance, as well. The amount of life insurance coverage depends on your particular situation and the quote may depend on a medical exam. To reach a suitable figure, add together your existing debt plus interest, then estimate any funeral expenses and potential for lost income. The number you come up with will be a ballpark estimation.
We all do however, conceivably, need health insurance. There are numerous options on the market, all varying in terms of coverage and price point. October and November are the months when most Americans switch plans, so now is a good time to start shopping around if you’re looking to switch plans later in the year. Low premiums can come alongside higher deductibles and smaller networks, so be diligent about your research. Check for out-of-pocket expenses (which can be factored into the overall quote for a better assessment of actual price) and copays. If you need certain prescriptions, make sure those are covered by your provider. If so, make sure you don’t need to jump through any unreasonable medical hoops in order to get ahold of the medication you know you need. If you have a preferred doctor, make sure the provider won’t deny your claim just because they’re out-of-network. Find a provider who is willing to work with you and who offers benefits relevant to your needs (e.x. Free gym membership, online portals, virtual doctor’s visits, free counseling).
States require drivers to purchase specific amounts of liability coverage. Liability coverage is actually two-fold. It’s bodily injury liability coverage and damage-to-property coverage. These protect you in an at-fault accident. In some states, drivers are also required to have personal injury protection coverage (PIP), but if you have good health insurance, it's not technically necessary. There’s also collision insurance, which covers all damage to your car, including non-collisions. You’ll need to assess, in each instance, which forms of coverage are mandatory in your state and which you’re in need of. The auto insurer might try to sell you on optional coverage. Hold off on purchasing protection unless you truly believe you’ll have a need for it in the future.
Liability coverage typically falls between $100,000 per person.
If you still need help finding the right insurance policy for your needs, reach out to us! Everyone here at Abri Insurance is eager to assist you in your search for the best coverage. Come back here to read the latest news and discover more about how to make the insurance industry work for you! Thanks for reading! Until next time!
It's the new year, and it's time to start fresh. To make the most out of your insurance plans this year, here is our insurance checklist for 2021!
Hello readers, and welcome back to the blog! Goodness, it's 2021 already! As much as we were happy to see 2020 go, it's a little wild to think how quickly last year seemed to fly by! From all of us at Abri, we want to wish you a very happy and healthy new year! A new year is so exciting, it means growth, change, and adventure. You might buy a new home, a new car, get married, retire, or finally get the opportunity to take that trip you've been planning for years! We will be here for all of your insurance needs, changes, and upgrades to help support and care for you and your loved ones this year. A new year, in its harsh reality, also means that there is the opportunity to face bad weather, unexpected illness and injury, accidents, and much more. We will also be here to help you with all of your insurance needs to cover and care for all of these situations to keep you and your family as safe and protected as possible!
A new year also means making the most out of each of your insurance plans, and we want to make sure you're getting the most out of what you're paying for every month. To do that, we've created our very own insurance checklist for 2021. We ended 2020 with an end of the year checklist, and now we are kicking off 2021 with a checklist to make this the best year yet!
These are just ten easy steps and ideas to put on your 2021 new year's checklist. They don't even include trips to the gym or cutting carbs! You can even schedule an appointment with us at Abri to make sure all of your insurance policies for your life here in Charleston, South Carolina are all in perfect order. All of us here at Abri want to make sure you have the healthiest and safest new year. So please take this checklist to heart, and please reach out to us right away if you need to change or update your policy in any way. It's better to be prepared now at the beginning of the year before anything happens over the next 12 months ahead of us. We're Abri Insurance and we are here to make sure you have the best coverage for life in the Lowcountry!
It has been an incredibly challenging year, but with everything organized and in its place, one last thing you'll have to worry about at the end of this year and the beginning of next year are your insurance plans!
Hello readers, and welcome back to the blog! Can we all just sit back and relax and acknowledge that we did it? We made it through this year, we made it through another open enrollment period, and we are just about to step into a bright and fresh new year! We did it! We have so much to be thankful for, and we are so grateful for all of your support. We are happy to have helped so many of our returning customers find insurance plans that fit them perfectly for yet another year, and we are excited to have helped our new customers find the perfect insurance plans for their needs! Welcome to the Abri family! We are honored to help you, be here to support you, and keep you and your family safe and protected!
While our last blog was all about rushing to use up your benefits now that you may or may not have hit your deductible, this blog is going to be a little extra holiday gift from us you. There is so much to wrap up at the end of the year, and so much to prepare for when the ball drops at midnight and we all step into the new year. To really make the last few days of 2020 count and to get the best foot forward for 2021, we wanted to give you a checklist of sorts. In this blog, we are going to be talking about important end of the year things to do and not forget about when it comes to your insurance plans. We are also going to be talking about some of the best things to think about and do with your brand new insurance plans for your brand new year!
You've purchased all your gifts, sent out your holiday cards, decorated, baked, cooked, and planned. Your holidays are ready to go, but what about the rest of your end of the year affairs? Have you wrapped up everything you needed to with your insurance for 2020? Well, let's go through this list together, and let's see if your hard work has paid off or if there are a few last minute things to do with your insurance plans before we start toasting to 2021!
There you have it! What a list, and what an impressive amount of things to think about and get done before January 1st! We know that it might be difficult to make time to go through a checklist like this, but we promise that each of these bullet points is extremely important. If you are unsure about your insurance policies, have questions concerning life changes 2020 has brought you, or you are interested in upgrading your plans or finding a new provider, Abri is here for you! From all of us at Abri, we wish you and yours a very safe holiday and an even safer new year!
While traveling might look a little differently this year, it's always smart to be prepared.
Traveling throughout 2020 has been such a strange and unique experience, and hasn't looked like anything we've ever seen before. For most, traveling has become something we've put on the back burner and will come back to once it's safe to do so again. However, even with that in mind, the most important thing to remember is that traveling as we've always known it will be back again. We will be able to enjoy every aspect of traveling again someday soon and will be enjoying our regularly scheduled vacation plans again. For now, it's just on pause. Until then, since we all have a little time on our hands, it's a great time to learn a little bit more about the many ways to keep you and your family safe the next time you're on your dream vacations. While you're dreaming about packing up your favorite overnight bag and the stack of books you want to read by the pool, we encourage you to start adding travel insurance to those thoughts and considerations.
One of our favorite topics is, of course, insurance, and it applies to every aspect of your life. In the spirit of celebrating the joy of travel and counting down the days until your next (safe) big trip, we wanted to chat about the truths and misconceptions of travel insurance. Myths and misconceptions on any topic are a dangerous road to go down. They can, sadly, cause hundreds of well-meaning people and travelers to make some not so smart decisions. Thanks to these myths floating around out there, travel insurance has gotten a pretty bad reputation that it's not needed and that it's a waste of time and money. Please know that these myths and misconceptions are called that for a reason and have been getting in the way of guaranteeing safe and fantastic trips for millions of people every year. Also keep in mind that if you are planning on traveling internationally, travel insurance is a necessity, and we wouldn't ever recommend getting on a plane without it.
Myth: My credit card offers plenty of protection while I'm traveling, and I won't need any more protection than that!
Fact: First and foremost, your travel credit cards only cover a few basic things, and in almost every situation they won't cover much if any healthcare if you get sick or injured while you're out of the country. If you're traveling inside of the United States, it still is very much the same. While your healthcare will be out of network while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home, most likely, it will still be better than traveling globally without any health insurance. If you choose to rely on your travel credit card as your travel insurance while you're away from home, please call and speak with your credit card company first, just so you know exactly what protection you'll have, if any! Even the best travel credit cards out there offer little more than protection for stolen items, loss of baggage, or a canceled trip. While some medical expenses could be covered, the coverage limit will be very low. The amount you could be spending out of pocket could be huge, and much more than you would be paying for a travel insurance plan. We urge you to speak with us or your insurance provider about some travel insurance on top of the protection your credit card offers. This way your medical needs, if by chance something does happen when you're away, can be taken care of much more affordably.
Myth: Travel insurance doesn't cover pre-existing conditions.
Fact: This is a moment where we need to pause and have you read the fine print on any travel insurance package. If you have a pre-existing condition, and you were healthy and stable before the start of your trip, travel insurance will help cover you for things you might need if something happens due to your pre-existing condition while you're traveling. If you need more medication or need to see a doctor because of it, travel insurance will help taking care of you with ease. When planning out a trip and you choose to sit down and talk with us at Abri or with your current insurance provider, make sure you pick an appropriate travel insurance plan with your specific needs and with your condition in mind. According to AAA, they encourage people to remember that the term "pre-existing" can be much broader than many people realize. Don't just dismiss the idea that your condition isn't included under the pre-existing bubble. Make sure to do your research! Also, please don't wait to get coverage for your pre-existing condition added to your travel insurance plan. You will need to apply for it between 10 days and a month of booking your trip, according to AAA.
Myth: Travel insurance is too expensive!
Fact: Remember, as we've mentioned before, if you get sick or injured 100 miles or more away from your home or when you're outside of the country, it can cost you much more than what you'll end up paying out of pocket for your travel insurance policy. According to AAA, travel insurance will cost 5-8% of your trips overall cost. So, yes, the more your trip costs the more you will be paying for insurance. However, if you can't pay the out-of-pocket expenses if your trip is canceled, if you have to rebook your flight or hotel last minute, then travel insurance is the way to go. In any of these last-minute situations, your travel insurance will be able to give you the protection you need financially and for your mental well being.
Myth: I have great health insurance already, so that will cover me on my trip! Travel insurance and health insurance are the same things, anyway.
Fact: This is a very big issue that's found across the board, and it is also a very false statement. Your personal health insurance won't provide protection or support with trip interruption, trip cancellation, damaged possessions, stolen items, lost items, emergency evacuation, or if there is a natural disaster where you've chosen to vacation and you're now dealing with the situation as an expatriate. Travel insurance, on the other hand, does. Also, while your health insurance might cover "customary" and "reasonable" expenses when you're abroad, most of your other costs won't be covered, according to AAA. This can happen when you're simply out of network when you're traveling in the US, too. Also, Medicare does not cover chargers that happen outside of the United States. So, if you have to be moved to a different doctor or specialist while you're traveling abroad (also called medical evacuation) it will not be covered under Medicare and nor will your other medical related issues. Also, if you're using insurance through your employer while traveling, you might be the only one it covers during your trip. While your spouse or child might be covered under this insurance while you're at home, this might not be the cause while you're traveling. This could put your loved ones at serious risk while traveling if all you have is your normal health insurance with you during your trip and not travel insurance.
Myth: I'm incredibly healthy and I'm a very safe person. Nothing will happen to me or my belongings while I'm traveling!
Fact: While you might be healthy and safe, there is so much about life and other people that you cannot control when it comes to traveling and what could happen. So much of what could happen during a trip that could put you in danger or cause you to leave and head back home because of an emergency has nothing to do with how healthy you are or how safe you live your life. You don't have control over the weather, over a canceled flight, or if someone chooses to steal your belongings or passport. Don't assume either, that even if you're just traveling over a short period that you're safe from these disasters. One bad day, one bad storm, or the loss of all your luggage in a matter of one flight can happen when you least expect it. There is no amount of specific time between when a disaster can and cannot happen!
We hope we've put your traveling plans in a new perspective after reading this blog! During these unknown times where traveling is already a gamble, travel insurance shouldn't be a question. Be prepared, travel safely, and make sure to put travel insurance at the top of your to-do list when making plans for your next trip. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out and chat with us! We are here for all of your insurance needs and questions! We are excited to work with you and love being a part of the Summerville community!
The dawning of November means the beginning of open enrollment. If you are new to the process or you're looking to make it a much easier process than you've experienced, that is what this blog is all about!
While the idea of turkey and stuffing is on the minds of most of our readers, November is an incredibly busy month for us and it has nothing to do with picking out what sides to match our turkey or the perfect pumpkin pie. While these are things we still make time for and hope you get a ton of enjoyment out of, November for all of us at Abri means one thing; Open Enrollment! While we want you to enjoy the most out of your Thanksgiving and the last bit of fall here in Summerville, if your insurance plan is expiring and you will be needing new health insurance coverage, we hope you make open enrollment one of your priorities over the next month. We are here to help you through every step of this process and want to make it an extremely pain-free experience. That is why we wanted to dedicate this blog to multiple ways on how you can make it a pain-free process and what some of the best ways to handle open enrollment are. Don't stress, you've got this!
Open enrollment for 2021 began on November 1st and it ends on December 15th. Every year you only have a little over a month to search for, research, and choose your next best healthcare plan. Just a tad overwhelming. For our readers new to the blog and the insurance world, you might be curious about what open enrollment actually is. According to the dictionary, open enrollment is "a period of time during which one may freely enroll in or change one's selection of health insurance plan or other benefit programs that is ordinarily subject to restrictions." The short version is that your health insurance plan is expiring and it's time to get a new one. Sounds relatively easy, right? Well, we are here to make it as simple and as easy for our clients as we possibly can. Sadly, this is not the case for everyone.
Enrollment is a short period that pushes people to pick their plans very rapidly and has also been created to limit adverse selection. What makes it hard, even when you know all year that you have a short period to buy your plan, getting information about what your options are and what's available to you can be difficult to find or very confusing. That's where we can come in. If you are looking for an independent plan on the marketplace and outside of what your employers may or may not be offering, we can search the whole market with you and your family's needs and best intentions in mind. This can help you save time, save stress, save money, and help guarantee that all of you and your family's needs will be taken care of.
While you begin your journey and begin the search for health insurance, we wanted to provide you with a list of tips and suggestions on what to be thinking about and what to avoid while you're searching in the market.
Now that you've read through this blog, are you feeling better about open enrollment? Regardless if you are or not, please remember that we are here to help. We know that you have many difficult questions to ask yourself to make sure you and your family are covered and cared for. We are here to do the rest of the heavy lifting once those decisions are made. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us now before open enrollment closes! We are excited to work with you and love being a part of the Summerville community!
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We've created this blog to keep our customers and others in the know. When it comes to insurance and keeping people safe, no knowledge should be off limits.