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!
Welcome readers, we hope you’re having a great week so far as we make our way to close out June, 2021! Did you accomplish anything notable this past month pertaining to your insurance and financial livelihood? If so, then well done! National Insurance Awareness Day was this month on the 28th, and we were thrilled to help people get set up with the right levels of insurance they need for themselves and their family. It’s a pleasure being able to help people feel more protected and give them the ability to rest easy that their insurance is taken care of.
One part of preparing your financial plan and long term stability though isn’t too easy of a conversation: wills and testaments. Your life insurance and your will and testament go hand in hand as they both establish the structural support your loved ones may need should something unexpected happen to you. Planning for accidental death and being prepared for what you may leave behind is crucial. So how do life insurance policies and wills combine? There are a couple different ways that these two preventative measures combine to make your passing more financially bearable to your relatives and resources. Just to touch the tip of the iceberg of this topic, setting up a life insurance policy and creating a last will and testament will prepare your loved ones by giving them the resources they need to be able to pay for any funeral related expenses and then some.
Life insurance is a legally binding contract between an insurer and a policyholder that allows the policyholder to pay monthly premiums in preparation for their passing. When the policyholder passes away, the insurer is then able to distribute a sum of collected wealth to the beneficiaries named by the policyholder beforehand in their will and last testament. A life insurance policy is only as strong as the insurer or company providing it, however, so it’s important to do plenty of research or work with an insurance broker like Abri Insurance in order to find the best options at your disposal.
Life insurance policies often ask for a specific beneficiary to be listed; most individuals list their spouse or an immediate family member. In the event of a policyholder's death, a ‘death benefit’ will be paid out directly to the beneficiaries on the account. There can be both primary and contingent beneficiaries as well, if the primary beneficiaries are not able to be located, communicated with, or are also passed.
A will is a legal document used to describe and list out the assets in your estate and is not tied to your life insurance as the death benefit is not counted within that estimation and goes straight to the beneficiaries upon the event of your death. However, if your specified beneficiaries have all predeceased you, then there may be a situation where your death benefit is paid out to your estate. This would be the way your will and life insurance policy tie together because the beneficiaries of your will would then be evaluated and considered the next option. What’s really important is that you don’t go without creating a will as if you pass without one, state law is able to determine who gets the proceeds from your estate overall.
So, we’re sure you’re wondering, well why have a life insurance policy that lists beneficiaries at all if it will default to a will at some point? Well, specifying beneficiaries is typically better because if your life insurance pays out to your estate your creditors may be able to take a portion for themselves, and taxes and probate fees could take away from it as well. Those kinds of fees vary from state to state, but all of it can be avoided by taking time to name specific individuals as beneficiaries in your policy.
Another important thing to note is that your life insurance policy and will are not automatically tied and if you update one it does not update the other. Since life insurance is moreso related to your death benefit, and a will is more related to your estate in whole, you may have completely different people in mind as beneficiaries on each! You are completely able to list different people on either, but it’s important to plan how they will work together when the time comes for your estate planning and those other not so fun conversations.
If you don’t yet have a life insurance policy, we highly recommend taking time to reach out to our team and let us help you get situated with a policy that works best for you and your life. Life insurance is most important for individuals that have minor or special needs children, adults that own property together, elderly individuals who may want to leave their wealth to their adult children, young adults with parent co-signers on loan debts, individuals that expect to owe estate taxes, families who can’t afford funeral expenses, businesses with key employees, and married pensioners. It’s also a great idea for young adults in their early twenties to look into insurance rates earlier because the younger and healthier you are the better your rate may be and the sooner you’ll be able to ‘lock it in’.
Preparing for unexpected or accidental deaths isn’t easy, and the thought of what your loved ones may go through after you’re gone can cause a lot of anxiety for some. The important thing to keep in mind is that by setting up the dual structure of a life insurance policy and a will or last testament, you’re doing the best you can to protect them in those events. It’s even beneficial to keep track of little things like typical passwords you used for different accounts, values of special items in your home, and where certain important documents are within your home. Not only is it painful not being able to communicate with a loved one anymore, but it’s difficult and stressful to navigate through an estate without understanding what’s there.
If you need help preparing your will and last testament, or taking steps in updating or signing up for a life insurance policy, Abri Insurance is ready to work with you! Just reach out and give us a call, we’ll get you connected to one of our local insurance brokers who will help you get started finding the best fit for you!
We are Abri
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.