Insurance. Do You Need It?

Insurance is one of those words that put fear into our hearts. Why? Insurance means paying out money, and in some cases, a lot of it. The question you need to ask yourself is; do I need this insurance? If so, can I get it cheaper?

What Insurance Do I Need?

Everyone has their own set of circumstances, and each one requires (or doesn’t) different levels of insurance. So how do you decide what you need? Let’s look at the major ones:

Contents Insurance

Many people confuse home and contents insurance. Home insurance covers the physical building, and contents insurance covers all your furniture and other items inside the building. Once again, this can be costly if you don’t really need it. 

 

If, for example, your most expensive asset is your laptop or mobile phone, then you probably don’t need contents insurance. However, if you have priceless works of art, designer watches, or lavish jewelry, then it’s a no-brainer to take out this type of insurance.

Life Insurance

The question to really ask about whether you need life insurance is, who will benefit when you die? If you are the primary income generator for your family, and they rely on this income, you need life insurance. If you’re a single person with a couple of cats, do you need to pay for costly life insurance? Probably not.

Travel Insurance

Travel agents worldwide want to sell you travel insurance, as they make quite a hefty commission on it. Do you need this? In a word – yes! If you get injured while on holiday, especially in a foreign country, the medical bills could bankrupt you. Travel insurance will cover most accidents and emergencies away from home, and even cover return flights if the injury is severe.

How to Save on Insurance

Insurance comes in many forms, and with just a bit of research, you can find many ways to save on this.

Life Insurance

Every financial institution wants to sell you life insurance. It’s a big money-maker for them. Check with your employer; they often have group plans that you can be a part of, and the rates are much less, as more people are included in the policy.

Travel Insurance

If you’re buying this from a travel agent, ask them for a discount. They have quite a high percentage of commission they can choose to deduct if they really want the sale, so ask away. Online is a great way to buy, and you can compare as many companies as you want. Many websites offer this service.

 

Don’t forget, we have national medical insurance to cover us, so travel insurance probably isn’t necessary if you’re just traveling around the country.

Tips to Help You Save on Insurance

Here are some quick tips to help you save money when purchasing insurance.

How You Pay Matters

Paying annually for a policy usually offers a considerable discount than paying monthly or weekly. Even though it’s a significant initial outlay, it’s worth it in the long-run.

Tax Deductions

Depending on your situation, some insurance policies can be expensed as a tax deduction. According to Faris CPA, you are best to seek professional help to understand exactly what deductions you can claim.

Shop Around

Don’t buy the first policy that you come across. Compare quotes, take out any extras that you don’t need, and buy from reputable companies. It’s not always smart to purchase a super-discounted policy from a company you’ve never heard of. Will they still be around to cover any claims?

Be Healthy

People with healthy lifestyles get cheaper policies. People who don’t smoke, and exercise regularly will benefit from a better monthly charge than those who lead a more sedentary life.

Make the Right Choice

Once you’ve decided which insurance coverage you need, do your research, shop around, and choose the right policy for you. Don’t get caught up on false promises; cover only what you need.

7 Ways to Save on Your Car Insurance

Have you ever heard the term, “grudge purchase”? It refers to things that you don’t want to buy – but have to anyway. A classic example: car insurance. To take some of the sting out of this unwelcome expense, consider the following seven ways you can lower your insurance payment.

Be a Savvy Shopper

Your quest to save money on insurance should start before you even have coverage! Consider these tips when you’re shopping for your plan.

  1. Compare quotes. One of the top ways you can lower your premium is by shopping around for the best price before choosing an insurer. It’s easy to do: there are multiple sites that will allow you to quickly compare car insurance quotes online. Insurers change their rates often, so even if you’ve found a stellar plan, do another comparison before you renew each year.
  2. Pay upfront. When you’re researching insurance plans, ask providers whether or not you can pay your premium upfront in one lump sum; in some cases, you could earn up to nine percent off the total price of your coverage.

Capitalize on changes in your lifestyle

A lot of things in your life will change between the first and last time you get behind the wheel – and some of those milestones could save you money!

  1. Got married? If you recently tied the knot, give your insurance provider a call to tell them the good news – your new relationship status could actually qualify you for a discount. No, it’s not just a wedding gift from your provider – it’s a discount some insurers offer if their data supports the idea that married couples get less tickets and cause less accidents.
  2. Buy a house? Many insurers offer discounts to homeowners since they are rated as more stable and less risky. Plus, you could also save money by bundling your home and car insurance policies.
  3. Retired? As if you needed another reason to wave goodbye to the nine-to-five grind! Once you’re retired, you won’t be logging as many kilometres on your daily commute, and less driving could very well mean a lower premium.

Invest in your safety

Your insurance premium is all about how much risk you pose to your insurer, so anything you do to invest in your safety and lower your risk will potentially lower your payments.

  1. Install winter tires. Snow, ice, and cold weather can make winter driving dangerous, which is why many insurers offer a discount to drivers who install winter tires on their vehicles. Not convinced they’re worth the money? One winter tire test demonstrated that, when driving on ice, winter tires stopped 1.8 metres (six feet) shorter than all-season tires – space that could make all the difference between hitting the car in front of you and stopping safely.
  2. Purchase a security system. Installing an anti-theft system can lower the likelihood that your vehicle will be stolen – and that reduced risk could earn you a discount on your premium. Also, a stolen vehicle recovery system increases your chances of finding your car if it is stolen, another way you can lower your risk level with your insurer.

These are just some of the ways you can lower your insurance premium – so use these tips to start a conversation with your provider. If you’re not satisfied with the results, shop around for quotes to see if a better deal is out there.

Even if it’s not time for renewal, a significantly lower premium with another insurer might offset the cost of cancelling your current plan. Once you have that extra money in your pocket, you can end your grudge with your car insurance payments and put that cash towards something you’ll love buying.

Long Term Care Word Cloud on Blue Background

How to Finance Long-Term Care for Your Parents

No adult child wants to talk to their parents about long-term care, but it’s an important – and necessary – discussion to have.

Many older adults have no long-term care in place despite the fact that 48% of adults aged 65 and older will require long-term care for up to one year.

Creating a plan for care and figuring out how you will finance that care can help make the situation as stress-free as possible when the need arises.

1. Discuss Their Financial Situation

Before you start weighing your options, it’s important to have a clear picture of your parents’ finances in terms of savings and cash flow.

Ask about:

  • Savings accounts
  • Social Security benefits
  • Pensions
  • Retirement funds
  • Other sources of income

Knowing how much income your parents have will help you better understand your options. Keep in mind that income and assets are two different things. Assets, like real estate, can be sold in the future to pay off debt if necessary.

2. Discuss Long-Term Care Options

Long-term care doesn’t always mean putting your parents into a nursing home. There are many different types of care options, which means you can plan for and adapt to your parents’ care needs as they age.

In addition to nursing homes, there are also:

  • Residential group homes
  • Adult day services
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Home health care services

Many of these options are less expensive than nursing home care and may be a good fit if the person doesn’t have medical needs.

Make sure that your parents are included in this discussion. They have a right to choose their care.

Also, make sure that you have contingency plans. You can’t predict the type of care that your parents will need, but it is helpful to know which options are available and which ones your parents prefer.

Once you have an idea of what type of care will work for your parents, you can start researching available care programs.

If one or both of your parents is a veteran, the Veterans Aid and Attendance program may be an option. Offered by the Veterans Administration, this little-known program offers up to $1,830 per month for those who have served as little as 90 days during a time of war and up to $1,176 for surviving spouses. There are income and asset restrictions, but this program may help pay for long-term care if your parents qualify.

Medicaid is another option. Assistance is often limited to those with low income and assets, but the rules are different in each state. Keep in mind that your parents may not qualify if a substantial amount of assets were transferred to another person’s name within the last few years.

Local community organizations may also offer assistance to older adults who need help paying for long-term care.

4. Sell a Home

Real estate assets can provide a substantial sum of money for long-term care, especially if your parents have already paid off their mortgage.

While it may be difficult to sell the family home, it may be a necessary step to pay for care without having to go into debt.

Loans and Insurance – How Does It Work

Every day, more than 100 people are involved in some kind of accident. Whether it is at work or home, or even on the road, you should be prepared for these kinds of situations. The best way to be ready for an unexpected event is to have an insurance plan that can cover anything.

 

Almost everything can be insured nowadays; our home, our cars, and our lives, but what does it mean to be insured? Let’s explain it further.

What is Insurance

When you get something insured, there are a couple of benefits. First, you are protected. If anything happens to you or your assets, you know that you will have the money you need to replace any property or cover your medical bills. 

 

Second, your family is covered. If you get life insurance, and something happens to you, you know that your children or spouse won’t have to worry about money. 

Getting Money From a Loan

We have all been in this kind of situation. You want to buy something, but can’t. Maybe you don’t have as much money as you need. Perhaps you do, but if you spend it now, you won’t have any left.

 

When it comes to insurance, you can get a loan to pay for it at the beginning. However, if you are not sure what type of loan do you need, there are a few best loan options to choose from.

 

Be patient and explore your options before you make a decision. It is important to find a company that has a good relationship with its clients. Get to know everything there is to know before you sign anything and commit to paying a monthly bill. Also, be sure to read the fine print.

 

Credit Score

We’re sure that you have heard of this term at least once, but did you know what it is? Let’s explain it further. So the first thing you need to have to get a loan is to have a good credit score.

 

That means that your insurance company will check your bank account and statements. They do this because they want to make sure you will be able to pay your monthly insurance rates, and if you get a loan, they want to see that you will be able to pay off the minimum balance.

 

Just like you need to have confidence in the insurance company, they also want to do the same with you. If you can’t do it yourself, get a family member to help you with it. This can be done in a couple of ways. Choose the right way to build your credit score by exploring it in details.

 

Conclusion

Loans and  insurance are pretty important. Loans are designed to give you money if you need it now, and insurance was created to give you money in case of something unfortunate happen. Don’t leave anything to chance and risk. 

 

If you are having financial struggles, there is a solution for that as well. Just remember, before making any decisions, do your research. Explore your options and then choose which one is the best for you.

Protect Your Business Finances With Proper Insurance Coverage

The money it takes to keep your business running strong creates a volatile situation for any operation.  Balanced finances are crucial to success in any industry, and accounting isn’t the only way you can protect your investments.  

Keep your business safe, and delve into the right types of insurance.  Here is a brief look at some of the most important insurance policies you should always have to protect your financial investment as a business owner.  

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In the U.S., workers’ compensation insurance is required by law in nearly every state.  If you do not fulfill your responsibility to carry workers’ compensation, you could find yourself in some substantial legal trouble.  

Beyond the legal responsibility, every business owner should feel it’s their ethical duty to protect their employees.  If someone is injured on your watch, it makes sense that you would find a way to make it right.

Product Liability Insurance

If you run a business that creates and sells a product to the general public, then you need to hold a valid product liability insurance policy at all times.  You can never 100 percent assure perfection in your product.

Even if you do everything in your power to make certain that every product that comes out of your business is perfect, mistakes and defects still happen.  If someone is injured by a defective product, you will thank yourself for purchasing your product liability policy.  

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance will help protect your investments from that rogue employee.  You can’t watch everyone at all times, and sometimes your professionals won’t do the right thing.  

If one of your professionals grossly misrepresented your product, you could be responsible for the legal repercussions.  Keep your professional liability insurance up to date, and leave those worries to someone else.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance is meant to help ease the financial burden of a forced shutdown of your business operation.  If a hurricane runs through town, you will likely have to close up shop for a while.

Those times can result in huge financial loss, but your investments will be safer with business interruption insurance.  Your policy will help you pay wages to employees, and work towards getting your business back to normal.  

Property Insurance

Property insurance is more helpful to those who run a brick and mortar business, but you may also benefit if you are running your business from home.  

Your property insurance policy will pay to replace any of the “property” you use to complete your operations, should a burglary or theft occur.  Just as you would insure your home with homeowners’ insurance, property insurance will protect your business.

The Finances Behind Viatical Settlements

Life insurance is a crucial expense that everyone should invest in wisely. In the event of your death, a life insurance policy will ensure that your expenses are handled appropriately after death and keep your family safe from any financial burdens. However, if you were to become terminally ill you may have the option to sell your life insurance. The viatical settlement process is similar to a life settlement. If you are terminally ill and need a lump sum of cash now, this may be the solution for you. Though there are some downsides to a viatical settlement, a terminally ill person may want to settle for a variety of reasons.

Serious Decline in Health

If you shop smart and do your research, it won’t be hard to get yourself a cheap life insurance policy. You will rest easy knowing that you and your family are protected from financial burdens in the event of your death. However, if you were to become terminally ill you may find that the money your family would receive from your life insurance policy after your death could be better used in the present. In the event of a dramatic decline in your health the money could be used for in home care or to manage your day to day life.

You Have No Need for Life Insurance

You may want to consider a viatical settlement if you find that you no longer have a need for your life insurance policy. If you have no one to leave an estate to, and beneficiaries, there isn’t any reason why you need life insurance. Instead, you may want to use the money to make your life more comfortable.

You Need Cash Now

The top reason people need viatical settlements is that they need money and can’t wait to collect on your insurance policy. For example, if you are ill and have a loved one caring for you, they are more than likely going to be held responsible for thousands of dollars worth of medical expenses that health insurance will not cover.

You may want the money now so that you can handle any outstanding debts before your death so that it does not become a burden to your family. Handling your financial affairs will bring you peace of mind and rid your family of any financial burdens.

If you share a home with your spouse, you may want to consider paying off your mortgage. Paying off your home before you go will give your spouse one less thing to worry about. Before making this decision, you should check in with a professional and see that it makes sense from a tax perspective.

Vacationing

Many people decide they want to live out the rest of their days vacationing and exploring the world but not all are financially stable enough to do so. A viatical settlement makes this possible. Instead of spending out the rest of your days on a sofa or bed you can choose to spend your final days cruising the world’s oceans, or taking vacations to see the wonders of the world.

Considering Different Types of Car Insurance

If you’re finding car insurance for yourself for the first time, or if it’s even just your first time trying to navigate the maze of different car insurance options, it can get pretty overwhelming. Legally required minimum levels of insurance vary by state, but then there are various types of car insurance beyond that, and finding the right ones for you and your car and lifestyle can be difficult and stressful.

It’s all about considering what you are most at risk for and contemplating how or if you would be able to handle hypothetical accidents without insurance. Think about what your personal insurance needs are, depending on your driving and life habits and your ability to financially deal with emergencies, and put together the perfect insurance policy for you. Here are the main categories of insurance you should understand.  

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance refers to insurance policies that pay not for damages that you sustain but or damages that you cause. It kicks in when you are at fault or held liable for an accident, and it will directly pay back the other driver or drivers for their damages and injuries. Insurance policies will have a specific dollar amount that they are able to pay out in these situations.

This category of insurance comes in two varieties. There is liability insurance for property damage, whether it’s their vehicle or some other part of their property that you hit with your car. Then there is liability insurance for personal injury, which will kick in to pay for any medical expenses they incur because of your actions in the car accident.

Collision and Comprehensive

Unlike liability, collision and comprehensive insurance pay for damages sustained by your own vehicle. If not paid by another driver’s insurance, collision coverage can compensate you for harm to your car from a car accident or even from a collision with something else like a fence or a telephone pole.

Comprehensive coverage often comes bundled with collision insurance, and it can help you to ensure against unexpected damage to your car that isn’t caused by any actual collision or crash. It should help you to repair or even to replace your vehicle if it’s stolen or if your vehicle is damaged during a storm or randomly hit by a falling tree.

Uninsured/Underinsured Drivers

Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance is for just what it sounds like. If another driver causes an accident with you, their liability insurance should cover your costs. But if they’re driving without proper insurance, it may be difficult or even impossible to be properly paid back. It’s also possible that they’ll have insurance, but that their policy is not able to cover the entire cost of the damages they’re responsible for. This insurance kicks in to cover your costs in such a case.

Personal Injury

Personal injury insurance coverage is a category of insurance that can make things simpler by paying for medical costs without regards to liability or fault in the actual accident. It will help to reimburse you for medical costs for you or your passengers, and it can also cover other costs that come as a result of the accident like child care or lost income.  

Legal Requirements

Nearly every state in the United States requires liability insurance of some level for all drivers. Some states like Florida have a financial responsibility law that requires liability insurance for property damage and personal injury insurance for medical costs. Other states also require underinsured/uninsured driver insurance or other types.

5 Examples of What an Extended Health Care Plan Will Cover

Extended health care plans are designed to provide help with medical expenses that are not covered by provincial plans or traditional group plans. The nice thing about these plans is that it’s possible to set limits on each covered treatment and come up with the ideal combination between your insurance and your EHC plan. Toss in one of the options for HSA accounts by Benecaid and your employees have comprehensive health care that’s hard to beat. Here are some examples of what that EHC plan may cover.

Prescription Medications

It’s not unusual for the range of Benecaid extended health benefits to cover whatever expense for medications your other medical coverage does not cover. In some cases, it may cover medications that are not covered in your other plans at all. This provides more leeway in trying something your doctor believes is right for you without having to worry about how to pay for the medication.

Alternative Treatments Not Usually Covered by Traditional Group Plans

One of the great things about HSA accounts by Benecaid as well as Benecaid extended health benefits is that the plans can be used to help pay for alternative modes of treatment. While traditional insurance plans may not cover the costs of seeing a chiropractor, acupuncturist, naturopath or even a massage therapist, your EHC and HSA plans will help with the costs. Think of what it means to your quality of life if an adjustment by a chiropractor helps ease neck pain or seeing a massage therapist helps ease anxiety triggered by prolonged exposure to stress.

Private Duty Nursing

It’s great that you can go home to finish your recuperation after surgery or a severe illness. The problem is that your insurance has limited benefits for covering private duty nursing. Since you will need a medical professional who can be with you a good part of each day, it’s nice to know that the resources available through HSA accounts by Benecaid as well as Benecaid extended health benefits will help cover those costs. Instead of worrying about finances, you can concentrate on getting well.

Hearing Exams and Aids

It’s not unusual for people to lose some degree of hearing capability over time. It may be due to prolonged exposure to noise or a side effect of some other type of ailment. Whatever the case, you may find limited or even no benefits for hearing exams or hearing aids in your group insurance plan.

What you will find is that HSA accounts by Benecaid along with Benecaid extended health benefits typically do include benefits for hearing tests and any type of hearing device you need to compensate for a partial loss. That will go a long way toward allowing you to still enjoy all the sounds that have added to your life in years past.

Vision Exams and Corrective Lenses

Just as hearing tests and support are not always part of group insurance plans, eye exams and any type of corrective lenses needed may not be included. Thankfully, HSA accounts by Benecaid as well as Benecaid extended health benefits typically do have provisions for annual vision exams and access to glasses or contact lenses. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to see what’s going on around you once you have the right prescription to compensate for the loss of visual acuity.

Now is a great time to check into what adding an EHC or HSA to your employee benefits package would accomplish. All it takes is one covered event to see how helpful these plans happen to be, and why an employer who choose to make them available is more likely to enjoy a lower employee turnover.

Benecaid Health Benefit Solutions Inc
185 The West Mall #80
Etobicoke
ON
M9C 5L5
Canada‎
877-797-7448

Why It’s Important to Insure Your Cottage

Having a cottage can be one of your most prized possessions. With sites like Airbnb on the rise, you may find that you’re getting more use out of your recreational property than ever before. Since it isn’t your primary residence, you might assume that you don’t need property insurance for it. However, there are quite a few reasons why you do need the coverage.

 

Provide the Coverage When No One is There

When you’re not at your cottage, anything can happen. For example, if you only get up to your cottage every three or four months, it could be targeted by vandals who know you’re not going to be there. They could break in and steal various valuable possessions, damage various parts of the property, and more.

 

You don’t want to be out-of-pocket for all of the expenses involved with replacing or fixing what happened. Since you cannot be at your cottage all the time, you have to look at how cottage insurance can help you. As soon as you discover damage or vandalization, you can contact the insurance company to file a claim.

 

Cover the Various Incidents

All sorts of incidents can happen at your cottage. It might happen while you’re there, while it’s being rented to someone else or when no one is there. Particularly in Ontario, it’s not uncommon for the weather to be all over the board. You can experience significant amounts of snow in the winter, leading to frozen pipes, roof damage, and more. In the summer, rainstorms can result in flooding, leaky roofs, and other issues.

 

These incidents can create a significant amount of damage. Rather than paying thousands of dollars to fix the damage on your own, you can turn to your cottage’s insurance policy. You will be able to contact the insurance company to file a claim. They’ll investigate the damage and cover the repairs. The only thing you’ll be responsible for is paying the deductible that’s on your policy. This is a small expense to pay when you look at the total amount of damages.

 

Since it’s impossible to anticipate what will happen, you have to be prepared for anything. Having insurance on your cottage makes sense because you love your property. You don’t want to leave it damaged any longer than necessary. When an insurance company takes care of the damage, it allows you to focus on repairs without going broke.

 

Protect Your Investment

Ultimately, it’s important to have cottage coverage in place so that you can protect your investment. You spent good money acquiring a beautiful cottage to enjoy recreationally. Whether you rent it out when you’re not there or not, you need to have the protection over vandals breaking in, broken water pipes, storms, and more.

5 Secrets to Saving on Car Insurance

Some people buy car insurance from the first provider they find online, and others won’t rest until they’re paying as little as possible on this necessary expense. If you fall into the first category, consider these five secrets of people who save on car insurance – their tips just might put some extra cash back into your wallet.

  1. They regularly shop around for better deals. People who save money on car insurance aren’t settling for the first plan they’re offered; they’re shopping around to find the best deal possible. You can easily compare quotes online to find an affordable and comprehensive plan. Keep in mind, insurers change their rates regularly, so you should be comparing quotes at least once a year before renewing with your current provider.   
  2. They have an impeccable driving record. Besides keeping you safe, minding the rules of the road has a major upside when it comes to your insurance rate. Did you know that just one speeding ticket could increase your premium, and a few could more than double your rate? Or that in British Columbia, two distracted driving tickets in the span of three years could add $2000 to a driver’s premium? And more serious offences, like driving under the influence, could void your policy and make it hard to secure traditional coverage in the future.
  3. They take advantage of discounts. There are many discounts that could lower your premium, and smart drivers are regularly talking to their insurance providers to make sure they’re not leaving any money on the table. The easiest way to find out if you qualify for discounts is to give your insurer a call and ask. And always keep your insurer in the loop after a major change in your circumstances. For example, contact your insurer if you move, get married or retire – exciting milestones that could also lower your premium.
  4. They consider insurance when buying a new vehicle. Saving on your insurance starts with buying the right car. Contrary to popular belief, the colour of your car doesn’t affect your insurance rate, but the make and model of your vehicle will. Cars with a higher safety rating are cheaper to insure, and cars that are frequently stolen are pricier to insure. Also, cars that are expensive to repair or replace increase premiums.
  5. They carefully consider their payment and coverage options. Paying your insurance premium in one lump sum at the beginning of your term could save you up to 9 percent – a significant saving. Also consider whether you need all types of coverage on your plan. For example, collision coverage isn’t legally necessary – and might not be worth it if you’re driving an older car that costs more to insure that it would to replace.

Just because you have to pay for car insurance, doesn’t mean you should be handing over more money than necessary. If you think you’re paying too much for insurance, call your provider to see if you can lower your bill. If there’s nothing they can do to save you money, it’s time to shop around for a better deal.