Tips For Choosing Car Insurance

If you’re a new driver, then finding the right car insurance for you can seem like a daunting task. Even if you’ve been through the meat grinder a time or two before, the insurance industry changes so often that you might benefit from a moment to update your search to find the right kind of insurance for you. But how do you choose the right kind of insurance? Well, it depends on a lot of factors. Here are a few of the most important tips we can offer.

If you haven’t purchased a vehicle, then do your research. If you buy a sports car, then you can expect pay higher premiums no matter what insurance provider you choose. On the other hand, if you pick a vehicle made by a manufacturer with high safety standards, you can expect to pay less. Check out any safety-related awards won by the vehicle you want to buy.

Before adding coverage, compare how different insurance companies rate. Some will provide much better service when preparing claims. No one needs the added headache after an accident. So do your due diligence now.

Beware of deductibles. A high deductible can reduce your premium, but if you get into a bad accident you might end up paying more out of pocket than if you didn’t have any insurance, to begin with.

Do a routine search for discounts that might lower your insurance. Defensive driving courses will often provide this benefit to new and old drivers alike, and can really help cut costs. If you have a great driving record, more experience, or you’re married, then you might find additional discounts to better serve you.

If you already own car insurance, then be sure to review it on a regular basis. If you never increase the amount of your policy, then you may not have enough to cover expenses for any liability incurred in the event of an accident. Be careful, and be prepared to spend what you need to spend. That said, be sure to compare rates whenever you review your insurance. Just because one company is a better option one year doesn’t mean it will be the next.

Tips For Choosing Small Business Insurance

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve chosen one of the most challenging yet potentially rewarding career paths available to anyone. You’re doing your part to jolt your regional economy, and you should be proud of your individual achievements. That doesn’t make any of the obstacles you face any easier, of course. Here are a few tips for choosing insurance if you’re a small business owner. They could make your life a whole lot easier down the road.

One of the most common injuries in the food service industry is the slip and fall. Although most employers require employees to wear slip-resistant footwear, accidents still happen. Those floors need to be mopped nightly in order to keep the building on par with health regulations and guidelines, and that means things get slippery. As a small business owner, you need to make sure you’re insured for injuries like these.

If you work in construction, food service, retail, or any other industry, you should have a general idea of the risks inherent to your business. Those risks will determine your insurance requirements. What kind of workers compensation, disability insurance, and unemployment benefits will you be required to provide? These are simple questions that need to be asked and answered, especially when figuring out your bottom line. Opening a business the right way isn’t cheap.

You’re certainly heard the phrase “you break it you buy it” but that doesn’t really hold weight in court. You need to not only protect your business from theft, but other forms of shrink as well. There are many insurance options out there, so think carefully before you decide the right ones for you. In addition, find out what kind of accidents your insurance coverage will provide. Do you have protection against fire damage or flooding? You should.

An agent can help you determine the best options for your small business, but you should also be on the constant lookout for easy discounts. You might find that combining policies could save you some money. Before you make a final decision, ask about what you can add or delete from your insurance package to spare yourself a more painful headache down the road.

Is Identity Theft Insurance Worth It?

Identity theft can take place in many shapes and forms, but it’s usually done for financial gain. In other cases, it occurs because an individual would like to assume your identity in order to better blend in with society. The threat is becoming better realized these days. The number of ways that criminals can steal your identity is growing as well, and so we should all take the appropriate steps to defend ourselves. Identity theft insurance could be one way to do just that, but only if you want limited protection.

According to a 2017 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research, at least $16 billion has been funneled away from unassuming victims in just 2016 alone. Of the 330 million U.S. citizens, at least 15.4 million fell victim to identity theft in 2016. If you do the math, then you’ve probably figured out that over a lifetime it’s more than likely you’ll be attacked–more than once.

Even worse than that? That number acknowledges two million more victims than were attacked in 2015, only one year earlier.

Most identity theft insurance policies will actively monitor your accounts for wrong-doing, and make you aware if they find any illicit activity. Two things to note about this: first, most big banks provide this service to prevent fraud anyway, and they actively take steps to track down the perpetrators after it happens. Second, insurance policies do not take those next steps. All they do is make you aware of what already happened. Taking the next step is on you, the victim.

Insurance policies won’t freeze funds to prevent criminals from accessing them. After you’ve been hit and you need to respond, your policy probably won’t offer much in the way of reimbursement. It’s not like flood protection or renters insurance. You’re not going to recover even a fraction of what you stood to lose in the first place. In fact, insurance policies only offer limited protection from a couple types of fraud, which leaves you open to plenty of others.

At the end of the day, you’re better off trying to find a lawyer who specializes in helping the victims of identity theft and fraud. You’re a lot more likely to gain compensation for your losses.

Lower your Auto Insurance!

How to Reduce Auto Insurance after an Accident

If you have ever been in a car accident, you know how it can affect your insurance rates. If you have not, car accidents typically cause your rate to increase. In some cases, your premium can increase 20%-25% for about three years, if the other party was injured. There are a number of steps you can take to reduce your auto insurance policy. Most of them have to do with showing the insurance company that you are dedicated to being a safe driver.

Ways to Reduce Your Auto Insurance

There are a number of ways that you can lower the cost of your auto insurance. Some may be effective almost immediately while others will take some time. Below, there are some recommendations on how to lower the cost of auto insurance.

  • Tell the truth
    • After you get into an accident, it is important that you are truthful with your insurance provider. If they find out that you have not been telling the truth, the insurer withholds the right to refuse to honor your policy. This will leave you personally liable for any damages you may have caused.
  • Inquire about accident forgiveness
    • This is only applicable for some insurance companies. If it is your first accident, you may be entitled to accident forgiveness. Insurance companies understand that mistakes happen; they may be willing to overlook your first mishap.
  • Defensive Driving
    • Attending a defensive driving course or driver’s education will show the insurance company that you are trying to improve your driving skills. You should take this course after an accident and let your insurer know when you are planning on taking it and after the course has been completed.
  • Increase your deductible
    • Increasing your deductible will lower your monthly payment. This should only be done if you have the extra money to pay the deductible in the event of another accident. Increasing your deductible by $200 – $500 has seen a decrease in monthly payments by 15% – 30%.
  • Look for discounts
    • Sometimes, you might have applied for extra coverage that isn’t necessary. You may be able to adjust your plan in an effort to lower the payment. If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, your insurer may have an accessible discount for you. If you have been with the company for a long period of time, the company may be able to give you a break.
  • Find a new policy
    • There are a variety of auto insurers on the market today. Do your research; find a company that will give you a lower rate. You can use the lower rate as a negotiating chip or switch your insurance to the company with the lower rate. In addition, you can try to package any other insurance you need in with your car insurance. For example, if Allstate insures your home, they may give you a lower rate when signing up for auto insurance as well.

Do I need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Workers’ Compensation insurance is a type of insurance that protects business owners from incurring personal liability if an employee suffers a workplace injury. In most states, (49; with the exception of Texas) businesses are required to have workers’ compensation insurance if they have an employee(s). In a few states, there is a mandate for businesses to have workers’ comp insurance, even if they do not have any employees.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation insurance provides a variety of benefits to the injured worker. The insurance policy will cover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses to and from the doctor
  • Lost wages
  • Death benefits
  • Funeral costs

Why do I Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

First of all, unless your business operates Texas, you are likely required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Even if you are not required to have workers’ compensation insurance, it is smart to do so. Without workers’ compensation insurance, you can be held liable for an injury suffered by your employee.

Sometimes, despite following safety regulations, things go wrong. The insurance policy provides your business something to fall back on if something does go wrong. If you do not have workers’ compensation insurance, you can be held liable for the damages suffered by the employee. This can include paying for their medical expenses, lost wages, travel to and from the doctor, pain and suffering, and more.

How Much Does it Cost?

Generally, the cost of workers compensation is a payment per $100.00 in employees wages. The amount you pay per $100.00 varies by state. For example, in New York, the payment per $100.00 is $1.41, but in Alaska the payment is $2.74 per $100.00. Another factor that weighs into the cost of workers compensation is the type of industry your business is in. Lower risk industries, like an office job or sales job, are going to have a lower rate. High risk industries, like construction or natural resource extraction, will have a higher rate.  

The cost of workers’ compensation has reached its lowest rate in 25 years. Many legislators are fighting the low rate. Judges are stating that the rewards are not enough to cover the medical expenses and the lost wages that an injury will cause. Recently, a Florida judge ruled that the benefits from workers’ compensation are not enough. The judge believes that if you are going to give up your right to sue your employer, you should be compensated accordingly, not at the rate of $1.27 per $100.00 (the rate in Florida).

If you would like to learn more about workers’ compensation insurance, talk to an insurance or business law attorney. They can help you navigate this tricky area of the law and make sure you are covered if someone has been injured on the job.

What Is Liquor Liability Insurance?

Liquor Liability Insurance otherwise known as dram shop liability insurance is an insurance policy that business who sell/serve alcohol are required to obtain.

When a business decides to serve or sell alcohol there are associated risks involved:

  • selling alcohol to an already intoxicated customer
  • contributing to the over-toxication of a customer
  • serving alcohol to a minor

What is Covered Under Liquor Liability Insurance?

In the event that any of these things occur, that is not sufficient to file a liquor liability claim. However, if any accidents or injuries to the consumer, minor or an unrelated third party that caused by the aforementioned three events then the business might be held liable. This is the reason why these businesses are required to have this type of insurance to protect their business from these claims.

Claims can include bodily harm, mental harm, legal defense costs, property damage, and coverage over misdemeanors and felonies like assault and battery, and sexual assault.

What does Liquor Liability Cost?

Liquor liability insurance can be extremely expensive depending on what state the business is located.

The following factors are taken into consideration when determining the cost of your liquor liability insurance:

  • Types of alcohol sold
  • Hours of operation and closing time
  • Food versus alcohol receipts (if applicable)
  • Square footage of bar or restaurant
  • Average price of drinks
  • Happy hours and drink specials
  • Entertainment venue, live music, and karaoke
  • Bouncers and Door Keepers
  • State where business is located
  • Server training and certifications

There are reports that in some states, such as Iowa, where they are calling for reform to help lower the price of insurance because a lot of business have trouble finding carriers to take on such a liability without having to pay a high premium per month.

Each state has their liquor liability laws so it’s very important to know what they are. Here’s a directory on where you can find the laws mandated by your state: https://www.legalbeer.com/liquor-laws-by-state

Life Insurance After Suicide

Generally speaking, life insurance is rather easy to interpret as far as its name goes. A policy is meant to ensure the financial security of loved ones upon a person’s passing. However, while the literal definition is rather easy to understand, the ability to collect life insurance can actually be a tedious and exhausting process. Depending on the circumstances of a loved one’s death, investigations could tie up a beneficiary’s money for some time. We’ve all seen the news stories (or even television shows) featuring heinous murders that occurred due to a want of money through a life insurance policy. Life insurance policies surrounded by suicide cases could have similar complications, though even in matters that involve no underhanded schemes, receiving your money as a beneficiary could still prove difficult under certain circumstances.

There are two specific clauses that need to be taken into consideration when dealing with life insurance policies, specifically as they pertain to suicide cases. The first one aptly named the “suicide clause,” states that no insurer will pay benefits out to beneficiaries if it is proven that the insured committed suicide within two years after taking out the policy. This clause also states that should the insured individual replace an old policy with a new one – regardless of how much time has passed in the interim – the effective time frame for the suicide clause resets to zero and another two-year cycle begins for the new policy.

Obviously, this is meant to protect insurers from paying out massive insurance policies to beneficiaries of those who commit suicide in so short a time after the policy is taken out. Much like the life insurance fraud schemes that are sensationalized even more through various Hollywood films, there are very likely existing cases of desperate parents looking for an easy way to set their kids up for a better life than they may already have, among other conditions.

The other clause that ties into suicides and the life insurance policies potentially attached to them is the “contestability clause.” This clause concerns the non-disclosure of certain conditions of hopeful policyholders, predominantly the likes of smoking, drinking and other health conditions. Generally speaking, this does not exclude mental health. With depression (and mental health in general) being as serious of an issue as it is in today’s world and mental health concerns leading to several thousand cases of suicide each year, the contestability clause applies just as strongly as the suicide clause. If non-disclosure can be proven in an attempt to collect on a life insurance policy, the insurer will not likely pay benefits. Of course, being honest about your conditions is noble and preferred, but the bottom line, unfortunately, is that it will hurt your chances of being eligible for a life insurance policy as well.

As serious as the entire concept of suicide is in modern society, the bitter reality is that, despite whatever reasons may have applied to such tragedy, it could very well extend past an individual’s death. However, this is hardly the norm regarding even suicide cases involving a life insurance policy. According to a statistic from insurancequotes.org, 99% of all (yes, all) life insurance policies end with full benefits paid out.

Life Insurance As A Part Of Estate Planning

We all like to fantasize about immortality: we’re invincible in those dreams, and every once in awhile we act the part in our daily lives. Although this remains the truth for most of us, the responsible ones have still put considerable time and money into planning for the future. Who will have control over the estate when you’re not able to do so yourself? What will happen to your assets after you’re gone? In order to retain control while you have the chance, now is the time to answer these questions–even if you’re still young.

Estate planning in the event of your death is not an easy process, nor should it be one. This is about your life and everything you’ve built. While your estate planning attorney goes over the ins and outs of the documents you might consider drawing up, and explains the probate process that you’re helping prepare your family for, he or she might also suggest obtaining a life insurance policy if that’s something you haven’t done already.

Even if you haven’t procured the services of an estate planning lawyer already, you’ve probably been offered the benefit of life insurance at some point in your life. Did you take it when you were first offered? The answer is all too often a resounding “no.” If that’s the case, then a good lawyer might be able to persuade you on behalf of your family. Because you now have the proper legal advice to act upon, you’ll have the added benefit of knowing exactly how much money your family can expect to see based on specific policies, and you’ll know how it might be used in the event of your death.

Without this advice, most of us decide whether or not to buy life insurance as if we were flipping a coin. After all, why spend the money if the benefit isn’t something we’ll ever experience ourselves? Most people who’ve lost a loved one without any financial support can answer that question easily enough, and hopefully you’ll never have to do the same.

When you purchase a policy, there are only a few things to keep in mind. Your lawyer will help you with everything. Who are your beneficiaries? Where are the relevant documents and policies held? These are questions that should be asked during the estate planning phase. Be sure that your potential heirs have as much information as is appropriate. Let them know that you have a policy under which they’re listed. They might also benefit from knowing specific details about the policy, such as the number, the insurer, the value, and any possible date of expiration.

Contact information is also important in order for an insurer to get in touch with a beneficiary in the event that the beneficiary either wasn’t aware of your death, or didn’t know who to contact on their own. With access to this information, your beneficiaries will likely have access to the benefit funds sooner than they would otherwise.

There are a number of circumstances that can change in life, and these can all have an effect on estate planning. Did you get divorced? Did you get married? Did you receive an inheritance of your own? Did you win the lotto? All of these factors are important when considering how to manage your affairs. Be sure that your financial and legal advisors are kept aware and up to date of these key life events.

What Is Renters’ Insurance?

Renters are often under the impression that the landlord’s insurance policy covers their belongings, which it unfortunately doesn’t. The landlord’s policy generally covers the building itself, but might not cover injuries sustained within the structure or even personal belongings. It is why renters’ insurance is so important.

Renters’ insurance covers your personal property in a rented condo, apartment, or home from unexpected circumstances like fire, theft, or sewer backup damage and actually pays for damaged or lost possessions. It can even help protect you from liability in case somebody is injured on your property.

Renters insurance has similar scope to homeowners insurance with the only exception being that it doesn’t offer coverage for the structure itself.

What Does It Cover?

Renters’ insurance provides coverage for the destruction or loss of personal belongings in case of a covered peril including: fire, vandalism, frozen plumbing system, hail, lightning, impact by a vehicle, theft, and windstorms.

Renters insurance may also provide coverage if:

You are temporarily forced to move out of your property: If your property becomes inhabitable due to damage caused by a covered peril like vandalism or fire, renters’ insurance helps cover the cost of alternative living arrangements while repairs are underway.

A person is injured in the property and is in need of medical attention: Personal liability coverage is for protecting you and other people that visit your property in case an accident occurs. It helps pay for legal fees and medical costs you might end up incurring.

Items stored inside your vehicle are lost or damaged: Depending on your specific renters’ insurance policy, you could be covered for the belongings you keep inside your vehicle. However, the coverage does not extend to system or equipment installed in the vehicle.

What Does It Not Cover?

Now that you understand the basics of what renters’ insurance covers, it is also important to understand what it does not cover so that you are adequately prepared. Whether you live in Hollywood or Macomb County, here are some basics that are not covered?:

Home Business: If you operate a small business out of your home, it does not necessarily mean that your renters’ insurance policy will cover it. You need to check with your insurance provider whether your specific policy covers your home business of whether you will require additional coverage.

Valuables: Valuables and expensive collectables like jewelry may not necessarily be covered under your basic renters’ insurance policy and might require additional coverage.

Motorized Vehicles: Ownership or use of a motor vehicle is not covered by the renters’ insurance policy even if it is parked on your property. However, personal belongings kept inside the vehicle are usually covered.

It is important to note that these are not the only things not covered by a renters’ insurance policy. So, ensure that you read through your policy thoroughly to have a better understanding of what is and isn’t covered.

The Bottom Line

It is important to understand exactly what renters’ insurance is so that you are able to decide whether it is something you want. This has been a discussion of what renters’ insurance is, what it covers, and what it does not, so that you can make an informed decision. To learn more about this type of insurance, you should get in touch with a reputable insurance provider today.

Here’s Why Dental Insurance Is Important

If you’re currently weighing up the pros and cons of investing in dental insurance, then this guide is for you. Specifically, we’re going to explore a few reasons why dental insurance is important, so you’ll soon understand why you’re making a smart decision by investing in it.

First of all, it’s safe to say that dental health care can become incredibly expensive, especially if you need to have a lot of work done on your teeth. In fact, having dental implants is one of most expensive procedures you could ever have, but the price of crowns and fillings can soon add up, particularly if you need to have several of them at one time.

Fortunately, dental insurance covers you against these incredibly large costs, so you can simply pay a monthly or annual premium that will cover you for these eventualities.

Additionally, there’s no denying the peace of mind that you will receive when you know you are protected against these big costs, because having to pay a huge dental bill can be very punishing financially if you do not have the cash available when it is needed.

Another excellent reason to invest in dental insurance will be the discounts you will often receive for routine check-ups and preventative treatments. In general, many people avoid visiting the dentist because they’re afraid of what they may find, but by having the dental insurance plan in place, you can visit your dentist knowing that you can cover any large costs that may be required for your ongoing treatment.

Ultimately, this could mean you need less work performed anyway, as your dentist will be able to keep your teeth clean and provide frequent checkups that allow your dental hygiene to be monitored.

At the end of the day, it’s clear to see that investing in a quality dental insurance plan is a very smart thing to do.