Personal Lines – Summer 2017

What If Somebody Sues You?

phoneIn many instances, your homeowners insurance will cover you. You buy homeowners insurance to protect your home and your personal property. Many people don’t realize their policy also protects them from liability lawsuits and claims.
Read on for details.

Do You Need a Boat Insurance Policy?

cashIn 2015, the Coast Guard counted 4,158 recreational boating accidents that involved 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million dollars of damage to property. If you own or regularly operate a boat, you probably need more coverage than your homeowners policy provides. Read on for details.

Identity Theft — Bad News and Good News

framesIn 2016, financial losses due to personal identity theft totaled $16 billion and affected 15.4 million U.S. consumers, according to the 2017 Identity Fraud Study, released by Javelin Strategy & Research. In the past six years, over $107 billion has been stolen by identity thieves.
Read on for details.

Are Telematics in Your Future?

If you own, drive or even ride in a car, the answer is yes. By 2022, there will be an estimated 2 billion connected vehicles on the road worldwide. “This transformation will impact insurers, repairers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), creating new risks and opportunities,” according to Mac Fraser, a spokesperson for CCC Information Services.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – May 2017

What Republican Changes to the Affordable Care Act Mean to You

benefits gapMany Republicans believe that, even though the new plan is more oriented to the free market, it doesn’t go far enough to fix the ACA’s problems. While Democrats are concerned that millions of Americans will lose access to healthcare coverage. Read on for details.

 

How Long-Term Care Insurance Can Help You Avoid a Nursing Home Stay

vision insuranceLong-term care insurance is best known as a way to cover nursing home costs, but most claims are for in-home care. Read on for details.
 
 
 

How Likely Is Prescription Drug Price Reform?

life insuranceHealthcare costs have skyrocketed and experts say the cost of prescription drugs is one of the culprits. Particularly troubling is the fact that some drug companies have increased prices of some medications for no obvious reason.
Read on for details.

How to Make Dental Coverage More Accessible to Older Americans

Experts agree that steps must be taken to make dental care coverage more accessible and affordable for older Americans. Fortunately, there are several solutions available. Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – April 2017

President Trump and House GOP Introduce Obamacare Replacement Plan

association health plans
IMPORTANT UPDATE

Republicans Withdraw American Health Care Act

The American Health Care Act of 2017 was withdrawn by Republicans from the House on March 24, 2017 for lack of sufficient votes. However, even though the bill is moot at this point, the underlying issues, problems and possible solutions associated with the bill are still valid and significant, which is why we have left the following article as is and unedited. Read on for details.

Millennials Driving Growth of Health Savings Accounts

2As more employers offer high-deductible health plans amid rising healthcare costs, health savings accounts are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace — especially among millennials.
Read on for details.
 

Employees Overwhelmed by Complex Health Options

3As the healthcare market shifts toward individual responsibility, a survey found many workers are overwhelmed by the complexity of their healthcare options and many have a poor understanding of the benefits of health savings accounts. Read on for details.

Pension Plan Decline Prompts Interest in Annuities

While fewer employers are offering workers defined pension plans, a growing number of companies are taking a renewed interest in providing annuity income options to their employees, the Employee Benefit Research Institute found.
Read on for details.

Personal Lines – Spring 2017

Insuring Art and Collectibles

phoneIf you have artworks, antiques and other collectibles, your collection might be worth more than you realize. Does it have proper coverage?
Read on for details.

The Insurance Checkup: Good for Your Financial Health

cashHaving too little or too much insurance can cost you money. A regular insurance checkup can help ensure you have the amount and type of coverage you need.
Read on for details.

Protect Yourself from Volunteer Liability

framesAmericans are a charitable group. One-fourth (24.9 percent) volunteer for a nonprofit or school*. Most people volunteer because they believe in a cause, want to help others or want to improve their community. Although volunteering might feel good, it’s not always risk-free.
Read on for details.

Smartphone Use = Higher Insurance Rates?

Fatal accidents are on the rise, and so are consumers’ auto insurance premiums. Allstate President Matthew Winter told shareholders that “the correlation between smartphone ownership and accident frequency is striking,” according to a Wall Street Journal article.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – February 2017

Insured and Broke: The Problem of Underinsurance

benefits gapUnfortunately, having health insurance doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by your insurer.
Read on for details.
 
 

How to Be Financially Fit

vision insuranceTwenty-eight percent of participants in a 2015 LIMRA Insurance Barometer Study have no confidence in their ability to make important financial decisions. If that sounds familiar, a financial wellness program can help.
Read on for details.
 

Long-Term Care Insurance Carriers Face Challenges

life insuranceMany Americans have bought long-term care insurance to pay for nursing home care in later years. Unfortunately, many insurers underestimated the cost of providing long-term care benefits. As a result, many have increased premiums dramatically, and many stopped offering coverage altogether.
Read on for details.

Saving Money on Prescriptions While on Medicare

Original Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors, does not cover prescription drugs. If you want coverage, you can buy a Medicare prescription drug (Medicare Part D) plan through a private insurer. Medicare Advantage policyholders typically have prescription drug benefits.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – January 2017

Donald Trump and Obamacare

association health plansBefore his surprise election, President-Elect Donald Trump said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act “on Day One.” However, the health care law championed by Barack Obama could prove more difficult to dismantle than Trump had imagined. Read on for details.

Disability Income Insurance Protects Your Most Valuable Asset

2Most people don’t plan for a debilitating accident or illness during their working years. But three in 10 workers entering the work force today will become disabled before retiring. And only five percent of disabilities are work-related—meaning 95 percent of people with disabilities will not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Read on for details.

Health Insurance Premiums Soar over Last Decade

3Over the last decade, average annual premiums workers have paid for family healthcare coverage have shot up 78 percent, while employer contributions rose 51 percent, a new report found. Read on for details.
 

IRS Extends Due Date for Health Coverage Forms

On November 18, 2016, the IRS extended the 2017 due date for providing 2016 health coverage information forms to individuals. Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2017 to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals. This is a 30-day extension from the original due date of January 31.
Read on for details.

Personal Lines – Winter 2017

The Distracted Driving Epidemic

phoneEach day in the United States, more than 8 people die and 1,161 are injured in crashes reported to involve a distracted driver. In 2013, nearly one in five crashes (18 percent) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.
Read on for details.
 

The Property Risks You Might Have Overlooked

cashA homeowners policy will protect your home from loss due to fire, theft, vandalism and more. But without certain important coverages, your policy could leave you short of the funds needed to rebuild and recover. Read on for details.

How to Handle a Claim

framesWe hope it never happens, but when you suffer a loss, you’ll have to file a claim to receive payment from your insurer. Here’s how the process works, and how to handle it to your best advantage.
Read on for details.

Airbnb and Your Homeowners Insurance

Renting out an extra room in your home might sound like a great way to make extra cash. It can also create new risks.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – November 2016

Are You Choosing the Right Health Insurance?

benefits gapIt’s time to start thinking about your health insurance needs again!
The Affordable Care Act requires all U.S. citizens (with certain narrow exceptions) to have health insurance or pay a fine. If you don’t have coverage …

Read on for details.

Is it Time to See a Financial Planner?

vision insuranceSeeking advice from a good financial planner is investing in your future. It might be tempting to save some money and do your own planning, but hiring an expert can cost a lot less than making a costly mistake.
Read on for details.

Life Insurance Myths Debunked

life insuranceIf you’ve decided you don’t need life insurance, you might want to reconsider. Read on to learn why.
Life insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company. You agree to make monthly payments to them and they agree to pay your beneficiaries a lump sum upon your death.
Read on for details.

401(k) Saving Pitfalls

It might be tempting to view your 401(k) retirement fund as a savings plan you can borrow from in case of an emergency, but the price you pay for using that money before you turn 59 ½ can be steep.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – October 2016

Why Most Employers Are Eyeing Public Exchanges for Pre-Medicare Retiree Benefits

association health plansA new survey by Willis Towers Watson found more than half of U.S. employers are confident that public health exchanges will be a viable option for their pre-65 retiree coverage within two years. As costs for health plans continue to rise, the survey also found that nearly three-quarters of employers plan to make substantial changes to pre-65 retiree health benefits in the near future. Read on for details.

Employers Offer Increasingly Generous Benefit Packages to Top Earners

2The rich get richer, and the wealthy get far nicer benefit packages too.
A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation found employers spend a median of 38 cents of each compensation dollar on benefits, and those earning more receive more generous benefit packages too.
Read on for details.

Average Age of Retirement Now 62—Up From 59

3At a time when people in the United States are working longer hours and taking second jobs to pay the bills and save for retirement, a new Gallup poll found the average age that Americans are retiring was 62 in 2014, up from age 59 in 2010. Read on for details.

Longer Lives Increase Need for Long-Term Care Insurance

A new study by the Urban Institute that found the more affluent live longer reinforces the importance of long-term care insurance planning for middle-income and affluent Americans, says Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.
Read on for details.

Personal Lines – Fall 2016

How Fire Protection Classes Affect Your Insurance Costs

phoneToday’s home-based businesses range from home day care centers to high-powered sales offices handling multi-million dollar contracts. Regardless of the scope of your business, if you work at home, you have insurance needs that go beyond your homeowners policy.
Read on for details.

The Auto Insurance Coverages You Need—and Why

cashLike cars, auto insurance policies have different parts with different functions. In this article, we’ll discuss the three types of coverage that most states require owners of registered vehicles to carry—bodily injury liability, property damage liability and uninsured motorists coverage. Read on for details.

Umbrella Policies: Protection for a Rainy Day

framesBad things happen: that’s why people buy auto and homeowners insurance policies. But America’s love affair with lawsuits means your coverage could fall short. That’s where umbrella policies come in. They provide a convenient and surprisingly affordable extra layer of protection for your key assets.
Read on for details.

Get a CLUE, Don’t Buy a Lemon!

Generally, your home will cost about the same to insure as similar homes in your neighborhood. A home’s prior loss history can affect your insurance costs, however. The more claims that have been filed on that property, the more the insurer will likely charge to cover it. While some claims are purely random, many claims can indicate structural problems or a lack of maintenance—both of which will affect your costs of ownership.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – August 2016

Get Your Money’s Worth by Using Your Preventive Benefits

benefits gapDid you know your health plan covers a variety of preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost to you? You may be leaving money on the table if you’re not taking advantage!
Read on for details.
 

Annuities Protect Retirees from Volatile Markets

vision insuranceConcerned about the effect a volatile stock market could have on your retirement? Consider an annuity.
Read on for details.
 
 
 

Republicans’ Alternative to Obamacare

life insuranceSix years after the Democrat-supported Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Republicans submitted their recommendations for changing the law.
Read on for details.
 

Insuring Your College Student

The consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act also apply to student health plans, with several adjustments due to the unique nature of these plans:
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – July 2016

How Your Health Insurance Premiums are Calculated — And How To Lower Them

association health plansThe more you understand what goes into setting your company’s health insurance premiums, the better prepared you’ll be to control insurance costs for you and your employees. Read on for details.
 
 

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Benefits Administration

2Affordable Care Act regulations and other government rules have many employers wondering whether it would be more cost effective and prudent to outsource employee benefits administration. Read on for details.
 
 

The Dental Benefits Payoff

3If you offer a medical benefit package to your employees, you might be wondering whether it’s worth the expense to add dental coverage. The evidence says yes! Read on for details.
 
 

The Growing Trend of Nonretirement

If you have employees who are nearing retirement age, don’t be surprised if they indicate an interest in working several more years. New studies and surveys are showing that the American dream of retirement is being delayed:
Read on for details.