The Benefits of Renter’s Insurance

There are many benefits to invest in renters insurance. One of the most common mistakes that tenants make is assuming that the landlord’s insurance will cover their belongings in the event of loss or damage. In addition, tenants may think that renters insurance is too expensive. However, the common myths associated with renters insurance that keep tenants from purchasing it can end up costing much more in the long run.

It is imperative to always read the fine print in your lease. You may assume that your landlord is liable for damages caused by leaky roofs or broken appliances, but there could be a clause in your lease that negates landlord liability, such as for theft, or injuries to a guest visiting your apartment. Also, your lease may require you to obtain renters insurance, especially if you live in an expensive apartment.

Guest Injuries

If a guest slips and falls, trips, or has any other accident in your home, you may be liable for injuries and medical bills should your guest pursue you for damage because of your negligence. It is simple to assume that guests are safe in your house, but if they happen to injure themselves falling down on a loose step, or a heavy painting falls and hits them in the head, the medical costs can get quite expensive. If your pet bites a guest you may also face some pricey medical bills.

Issue with Theft

In the event that your home gets burglarized, your landlord will not be responsible for anything stolen, assuming that your landlord is not legally responsible for the break-in. For example, some states require landlords to provide minimum-security measures, and should a break-in occur because the security was not properly provided, your landlord may hold some liability. However, if your landlord is not responsible, the chances of recovering your valuables are typically slim, but renters insurance will protect your stolen property as long as it is listed on your policy and you meet the coverage limits.

Natural Disasters

If your rental home and property is damaged because of a natural disaster, such as wildfire, hail, or tornado, the landlord may or may not repair the home damages, but your personal property usually isn’t covered. Renters’ insurance will protect you in the event that a natural disaster occurs, but keep in mind that a few natural disaster coverage options are considered “riders,” which means they are add-on coverage, such as earthquakes or floods.

If you are unsure about what renters policy to invest in, make sure to contact us. We can answer any questions or concerns that you might have. Being aware of your insurance policy can help protect you, your family, and your belongings from any unforeseen damage that may occur. Make sure to contact us with any questions you may have.

Why Do You Need Home Owner’s Insurance?

People take out homeowners insurance for the same reason they take out car and health insurance. If a home is damaged or someone else injured on the property, insurance helps owners cope with the financial consequences. Homeowners insurance is actually a combination of two different types of protection, hazard insurance, and liability insurance.

Hazard

Hazard insurance protects you against unintentional damage or destruction to your house or its contents, including fire, storm, theft, vandalism and similar threats. It can cover the cash value of the damages or the replacement value; replacement value pays enough to replace what you lost, but cash value only pays what a property is worth. The cash value for a five-year-old $1,000 television won’t be $1,000, for instance, because it depreciates with age, making it worth less in the insurer’s eyes.

Liability

Liability insurance covers personal liability for accidents on your property. If your neighbor trips on a hose in your yard and gets hurt, for example, liability insurance will pay for his medical expenses, up to the policy limit.

Mortgage Requirement

One reason homeowners need insurance is that mortgage companies require it. If you take out a mortgage, your house is the lender’s collateral, so your lender will require you to buy a minimum level of hazard insurance. That does not prevent you from buying a greater amount than the minimum, if you think it is necessary.

Exclusions

Homeowners insurance doesn’t protect you against everything: Insurers routinely exclude things such as flood damage and earthquake damage from coverage, though separate flood and earthquake policies may be available where you live. If an older building is damaged more than 50 percent, it will have to be rebuilt to the current building-code standards; the law exclusion means the insurer won’t pay the cost of upgrading wiring or roofs to meet the code.

If you have any questions about your insurance policies, make sure to contact us so we can answer any questions or concerns you might have.

Types of Life Insurance

Life insurance protection comes in many forms, and not all policies are created equal. While the death benefit amounts may be the same, the costs, structure, durations, vary across the types of policies.

Whole Life Insurance

This provides guaranteed insurance protection for the entire life of the insured, otherwise known as permanent coverage. These policies carry a “cash value” component that grows tax deferred at a contractually guaranteed amount, usually a low interest rate, until the contract is surrendered. The premiums are usually level for the life of the insured and the death benefit is guaranteed for the insured’s lifetime. With whole life payments, part of your premium is applied toward the insurance portion of your policy, another part of your premium goes toward administrative expenses and the balance of your premium goes toward the investment, or cash, portion of your policy. Your basis is the amount of premiums you have paid into the policy minus any prior dividends paid or previous withdrawals.

Universal Life Insurance

This is also known as flexible premium or adjustable life, is a variation of whole life insurance. Like whole life, it is also a permanent policy providing cash value benefits based on current interest rates. The feature that distinguishes this policy from whole life is that the premiums, cash values and level amount of protection can each be adjusted up or down during the contract term as the insured’s needs change.

Variable Life Insurance

This is designed to combine the traditional protection and savings features of whole life insurance with the growth potential of investment funds. This type of policy is comprised of two distinct components: the general account and the separate account. The general account is the reserve or liability account of the insurance provider, and is not allocated to the individual policy. The separate account is comprised of various investment funds within the insurance company’s portfolio, such as an equity fund, a money market fund, a bond fund, or some combination of these.

Term Life Insurance

This is one of the most common policies. Term insurance can help protect your beneficiaries against financial loss resulting from your death; it pays the face amount of the policy, but only provides protection for a definite, but limited, amount of time. Term policies do not build cash values and the maximum term period is usually 30 years. Term policies are useful when there is a limited time needed for protection and when the dollars available for coverage are limited. The premiums for these types of policies are significantly lower than the costs for whole life.

No matter what policy you have, or are looking to get, make sure to contact us with any questions that you might have.

Choosing The Right Insurance For Your Needs

Any type of insurance you purchase is there to make sure that that, no matter what the physical loss, your family will not suffer financially.  How we help you is we take the expertise of working with hundreds of clients and apply that toward your specific needs. Making sure you have the right policies in place will allow you and your family to rest easy knowing you have the right coverage.

Life Insurance

Explaining a life insurance policy can be a very difficult, so it is best to contact us for the correct information.  We make sure that you not only get the right life insurance policy for your needs but we also make sure that you actually understand the policy that you are purchasing.

Auto Insurance

In Minnesota, anyone operating an automobile is required to have insurance.  This is to protect you and any other drivers on the road. The minimal coverage may not be exactly what you need to cover your personal automobile.  With that in mind we offer a comprehensive evaluation of your needs and make recommendations off of you specific coverage goals.

Homeowners Insurance

You will hear it said repeatedly that your home is your biggest investment.  For this reason, getting the right amount of coverage to protect your home and the property inside is vital to a good financial plan.  We take the time to understand all the property that you need to insurance and find the policy that meets those needs for the lowest possible price.  With a proper homeowners policy in place you can be sure that your possessions are protected if the worse were to happen.  If you have any questions about your current policy, or any other policy, make sure to contact us. We can answer any questions you might have, and advise you on what type of insurance policies are right for you.

Why Having Multiple Policies May Be Needed

Life insurance is a wonderful tool that spares your loved ones some of the pain of losing your income and support. But as with insurance options, the terminology can be confusing to many people. Complicating matters, life insurance comes in two basic forms that have many different names and different degrees of coverage. The question most people ask is whether they need term life or whole life.

The most basic definitions are the simplest: term life lasts for a specified term of your life; whole life lasts for the rest of your life. In both policies, your beneficiaries receive your death benefit when you die. The main differences lie in the duration of the two forms of life insurance and some of the built-in features available.

But term life is generally aimed at younger consumers, and often those customers outgrow their term life policies. If you buy a policy at 25 and name your parents and your spouse as beneficiaries, you can later change the policy to include future children, but the overall terms will remain the same, your designated beneficiaries would end up with fewer benefits from your life insurance policy. Consequently, some term life policies allow you to switch to whole life down the road.

Term life comes in two basic forms: level term life and decreasing term life. Level term life is more popular because the death benefit stays the same throughout the policy’s time frame. In decreasing term life policies, the benefit decreases over the course of the policy, most commonly in one-year increments. As with most insurance policies, the premiums you pay are not refunded if you make no claim during the course of the policy

Also known as permanent life insurance, whole life policies pay out death benefits if you die tomorrow or years from now. Whole life also allows you to build equity in the form of a savings account. Whole life insurance is available is three types of policies, each with their own variations.

Having multiple life policies offers consumers more flexibility and more opportunities to save on overall costs. This is possible because multiple policies do not cancel each other out. Rather, they work together to better meet your individual needs. Life insurance is available is so many forms that it can fit your current financial situation and whatever your situation may be in the future. If you have any questions about your current policy or other options, make sure to contact us.

Types of Insurance That You Need

There are several types of insurance policies that you may want to invest in. If you have any questions about your current policy, or an existing policy, make sure to contact us so we can advise you on your options.

Homeowners insurance

If you own a house, your bank will require you to have homeowners insurance. If someone loses their homeowners insurance for some reason, like a cancellation, nonpayment, or nonrenewal, then the bank is notified. They will immediately place their own insurance in it and bill the homeowner. Then they will give the homeowner a chance to get their own. The bank will not allow it to go uninsured for any length of time. Unless you have paid off your mortgage, there is really no way out of homeowners insurance.

Auto insurance

This is another must-have. In fact, it is against the law to drive without some sort of coverage. If you are caught driving without insurance, you probably will not go to jail, but your driver’s license will likely be suspended and you will be fined.

Health insurance

If you do not have health insurance, you will have to pay whichever is higher. In 2014 it was either one percent of your yearly household income or $95 per uninsured adult. In 2015, the fee was two percent of your income or $325 per person, and in 2016, it was 2.5 percent of your income or $695 per person. In 2017 and beyond, the fee will be adjusted for inflation. So make sure to look into what health insurance coverage is right for you and your family.

Umbrella insurance

Think of umbrella insurance as insurance for your insurance. It is an extra amount of liability coverage in $1 million increments that protects over and above your personal and auto liabilities if they become exhausted. Typically a family can add this policy for between $250 to $300 a year. If you need umbrella insurance, it depends on what you have to lose and how concerned you are about getting hit with a lawsuit. To review umbrella insurance or any other types of coverage, schedule an appointment with us so we can go through the options for you.

Why Health Insurance is Needed

No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point. Health insurance covers these costs and offers many other important benefits.

  • Health insurance covers essential health benefits critical to maintaining your health and treating illness and accidents
  • Health insurance protects you from unexpected, high medical costs.
  • You pay less for covered in-network health care, even before you meet your deductible.
  • You get free preventive care, like vaccines, screenings, and some check-ups, even before you meet your deductible.

If you have any questions about your current policy, or another policy, make sure to contact us. If you do not have health insurance coverage, there are some things that you will not be eligible for. Make sure to know the risks if you do not have health insurance. Consider these factors when deciding whether to buy health insurance.

You may need to pay a penalty

If you choose not to sign up for health insurance, you will need to pay an annual fine at the end of the year. It may not seem like a lot at first, but over time the penalty fee will increase.

You risk financial ruin

You may be healthy now, but the onset of a sudden or serious illness (cancer, diabetes, appendicitis) or a traumatic event (ski accident, car crash) can leave you with staggering medical bills. The inability to pay high medical bills, one of the most common reasons people file for personal bankruptcy, can ruin your credit history and set you back for years. By having health insurance, you can be covered for any accident or unexpected emergency that you or your family might have.

No access to preventive care and primary care

The law requires insurers to cover annual checkups and preventive care, including mammograms, vaccinations, colonoscopies, and prostate cancer screenings, without a co-pay. That means you are more likely to stay healthy and catch health problems early, when they’re easier and less expensive to treat. Policies also must provide a minimum standard of care known as essential health benefits in 10 categories. These include preventive and wellness services, ambulatory (outpatient) care services, emergency care, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, mental health and substance use disorder services, prescription drugs and rehabilitative and habilitative services, such as specialized therapies and medical equipment to help people facing long-term disabilities.

Knowing How An Umbrella Policy Can Help You

Having the right insurance policy can help protect yourself, your family, and your property. If you find yourself in a situation where the basic policy is not enough, and umbrella policy can be beneficial to help cover extra costs.

A personal umbrella policy is a type of insurance that provides liability coverage over and above your automotive or home owners policy. So, if your liability coverage is not enough to pay for the damages of an accident you cause or a visitor’s injuries on your property, a personal umbrella insurance policy kicks in right where your underlying policy’s coverage left off. An umbrella policy could provide the additional coverage you need so that you do not get stuck trying to pay the remaining balance yourself. This extra policy could help protect your bank account, home, and other personal property.

In most cases, personal umbrella policies are available in million-dollar increments, from $1 to $5 million. While an umbrella policy is not required, it may offer increased protection in the unfortunate event of an accident. No matter if you have questions about your existing policy, or any other insurance policy, make sure to contact us. We can review with you the different options you have, and recommend what type of insurance policy is right for you.

Benefits of Having Car Insurance

When you own a vehicle, it is important to invest in car insurance. By having insurance, it will keep you from hefty fines, possible impoundment of your vehicle, suspension of your license, and even jail time that can result if you are convicted of driving without this important form of protection.

Different Types of Auto Insurance

There are several types of coverage drivers should consider. Liability car insurance is the most important part of the insurance because it protects you from the financial and legal repercussions of an accident affecting another vehicle, driver, or property. The benefits of liability car insurance will apply if find yourself responsible for damages to others, not to yourself or your own vehicle, in an accident.

Having only the minimum level of insurance means that you are leaving yourself open to a significant amount of risk if damages from the accident exceed your coverage levels. On the other hand, having too much car insurance means you might be paying excessive premiums for coverage you do not need. It is important to do your research when deciding how much liability insurance you need. We can also advise you on the correct amount you will need

Collision is the form of car insurance that will pay for damages to your own vehicle in an accident. If you owe any money on your car, you will likely be required by the bank to purchase collision insurance. Choosing the right deductible for you is an important consideration. The deductible refers to the part of any damages that you must pay yourself before your policy kicks in. Paying a higher deductible means forking over less each year in premiums because you are taking away some of the burden from the insurance company. If you choose a lower deductible, you will pay more for your policy because the insurance company is assuming more risk.

Comprehensive car insurance coverage is an extension of collision insurance that covers your vehicle when it is on the receiving end of damages from theft, weather, or fire. When your windshield is struck by a rock over the course of your travels, for example, it is comprehensive insurance that will pay to repair the crack. If you ever have a question about insurance or your current policy, make sure to contact us.

The Importance of Having Insurance

You may know it is important to have insurance, but do you know why you should have an insurance policy? Insurance is a way to help manage risks for you, your family, and your home. When you purchase insurance, you transfer the cost of a potential loss to the insurance company in exchange for a fee, which is the premium.

The insurance policy will help you to own a home, drive a vehicle, maintain your current standard of living, cover health car costs, and help provide for your family in the case that something would happen.

Even if you are in good health, an unexpected illness or injury could require you to pay out-of-pocket if you do not have health insurance. If you are uninsured and unexpectedly require surgery or other emergency care, your expense will be for the full amount of the services, which could be thousands of dollars. While you may save money every week by opting out of a health insurance plan, the costs of being uninsured could be much greater in the long run.

Homeowners and renters face the risk of their property being damaged by a natural disaster or a home robbery. If you are not insured, it may be costly to replace all of your belongings. You may not think your belongings are worth the insurance premiums, but replacing electronics alone could cost thousands of dollars, depending on what you own. If you are insured, the coverage can help you replace these items.

The real benefit of insurance is to reduce the financial risk and give you the support you need when the unexpected happens. If you are not sure what insurance policy you need, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the options you have.