When you are going to buy home insurance, you would mostly be asked to compare the different quotes that are provided by different companies. However, no one really tells you how to compare. As a layman, your first preference would be to look for the cheapest insurance possible. It is quite possible that you would be taken away by the cheapest insurance quotes and would not be paying attention to the benefits that you are getting in return. Therefore, always keep your eyes and ears open and make sure that you are being directed to the right kind of policy. The home insurance can vary from the standard home insure to specific coverage like personal assets, extended coverage, theft, riots, vehicles, aircrafts and more.
Here’s how to choose the right kind of home insurance policy:
- Research well- Before you even start to get an insurance quote, you must first research well and find out the different kinds of insurance policies and the coverage that you can get. An online research for the different insurance service providers in your area is best. It would help you in understanding your insurance needs better.
- Getting the quotes- you have two options in this. You have to individually check out the websites of the different insurance service providers and get the quotes separately from each one of them. You can also go to a good insurance broker website and get quotes from different insurance companies at the same time. This would be more beneficial for you.
- Look for the cost- the first figure that would be getting your attention would be the cost of the insurance. The lower the insurance premium, the more lucrative it appears. However, you would be getting lesser benefits in some cases. So make sure that you have a budget for the complete premium amount. Don’t select the insurance based on the cost solely.
- Look for the deductibles- generally, higher deductibles means a lower premium. So look for what is causing a low premium in your chart. Deductibles might also mean that you have to bear small costs on your own.
- Compare the coverage- check all that is being covered along with the house. Does it cover your garage? What kind of mishaps would it be providing an insurance against? Does it meet your needs?
When you have checked out different pointers mentioned above you would be getting the best insurance policy for yourself.
Health insurance is important as elderly population is on the rise and they need more healthcare services than the rest of the populace. Medical insurance saves your day when you have a huge medical bill to pay. While choosing a medical insurance, there are certain consideration and specific terms that have to be taken into account. Following are the types of medical plans that can be taken according to your funds and needs.
(Preferred Provider Organizations) (PPOs): With this insurance, you get a chance of getting care outside of a provider network. A list of hospitals, doctors and other health care specialists is called as network. But if you use facilities outside the provider network, you have to pay more. In fact you can visit any doctor without referral. Preferred Provider Organizations allows the insured person to see other specialists without their permission. Undoubtedly, its terms and conditions are difficult to understand. However, These organizations don’t cover all the cases.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO): HMOs limit their coverage inside the networks. If you use service outside the network then you have to pay the entire cost of the medical care. Though with them you have primary care doctors but you can also get referrals to see specialists. Unlike PPOs, they have lower co-payments rates. This insurance is flexible, convenient and affordable but allows to consult approved medical specialists.
High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): These plans have lower premiums. But unfortunately, they have higher deductibles than traditional health plan. For an individual coverage, they have minimum deductibles of $1250 per year and for family coverage they charge minimum premium of $1250.
Catastrophic Health Insurance Plan: This plan provides essential health benefits. However, they have high deductibles and premiums are lower than that of traditional heath insurance plan. It safeguards against the heavy costs incurred in case of serious illness or accident. Usually, they don’t cover services like medicines and shots. This kind of plan is available to those whose age is under 30 and to some people whose earnings are low as other insurances are not affordable and are exempted from hardships. They include 3 annual primary care visits and free preventive services.
Point of service plans (POS): Sometimes these plans are also called open ended PPO or HMO where you can use other health plans and services from outside the coverage. Although deductible costs are heavy. To cover from all medical expenses, your insurer allows you to get referrals from primary physician to see other medical specialists. Therefore, POS health plans are the best that make you burden free and give peace of mind.
When we talk about medical or health insurance, then you must get very serious about your health and the money that you have to pay. Medigap should be giving you ample coverage to rely on for the rest of your life. However, sometimes, this coverage can also put a drain on your money. Though Medicare combined with Medigap would not be costing you as much as a generalized health insurance policy, you should still try and look for avenues where you can save money on your Medigap policies. Medical Supplement policies would be supplementing the gaps between your Medicare coverage and your hospital bills. In short, it would be paying for everything that Medicare doesn’t pay for.
However, when you are buying Medigap, you might have to pay more than what you thought out. Take the example of Medigap Plan F. This is the most comprehensive and the most popular Medigap plan that you can get in the market. However, this plan has a very high deductible and because of the large extent of its coverage, the premium would also be higher than the other policies. On the other hand, we have policies like Plan M and Plan N that can reduce the cost of premium and you would be able to save as much as 15 to 20% of the premium being paid towards Plan F.
Plus, the money paid towards Medigap policies will differ from company to company and from state to state. This means that you still have some scope to save your money. Here are a few simple ways in which you can do the same.
Make use of the Open Enrollment Period
The open enrollment period is the best time to take a Medigap policy. This enrollment period starts as soon as you reach 65 years of age or when you enroll for Medicare Part B. In short, whenever you become eligible for Original Medicare, your open enrollment period for the Medigap policies also starts. In the light of this period, you would be finding a six month long enrollment window. You can go to any insurance company you like and enroll for any plan that you prefer. No insurance company has the right to deny you any coverage. This is true even when you have suffered from some diseases in the past and when you have some pre-existing condition. This means that medical underwriting does not hold any value during this open enrollment period. On top of that, you would not have to shift to a waiting period. This waiting period is the time that the company deems suitable for you when you do not get any coverage. This kind of atrocities are completely removed during the open enrollment period. The company cannot even charge a higher price than their normal quote just because of your age or your health condition. It is truly ‘open’ in nature. However, if you have crossed even a single day of this period. You would have to go for medical underwriting, waiting periods or even be denied coverage.
Find the plan that really suits you
The first and the foremost thing that you can do is find a Medigap plan that really suits your needs and medical coverage. In general, we chose a plan that does not work for us. It is quite possible that your plan would not be covering the medical conditions that you are prone to get. On the other hand, it is also possible that you are being covered for the conditions that don’t even apply to you. If you are under covered, then all the money that you pay as an insurance premium goes a waste as it cannot provide ample coverage when needed. If you are over covered, then too you would be wasting your money on something that you totally don’t need. Hence, it is very important to define your need before you get any kind of insurance policy.
Understand how rates are calculated
No two companies would ever be providing you the same quote for the same plan because of different methods of premium calculation. Here they are:
- Issue Age rated- in this policy, you age at the time of issue of the policy would be used to calculate the premium, but it would not be relevant after that. If you are comparatively younger, you would get a cheaper premium quote.
- No-age rated- age is not a concern in this kind of a premium calculation. They are generally the community based policies where everyone pays the same premium, irrespective of age, sex or lifestyle. They may have a little higher premiums, but they are good investments for the future as the rates do not change so fast.
- Attained Age Rated- this kind of a premium calculation becomes the cheapest in the beginning but rates increase rapidly as you age. Avoid this if you are younger.
Life sometimes takes a harsh turn. You can face unexpected problems suddenly. Money becomes extremely crucial for survival during such times. The life insurance that you had previously made for yourself can thus turn out to be useless during times of emergency. Times are difficult and you are already facing a lack of money. You need to give the expensive premium payments at the supposed time irrespective of your unfavorable financial conditions. At the same time, your life insurance policy may not prove to be of any advantage especially if you need immediate money for another kind of emergency.
During such periods of struggle, you can make use of your life insurance policy by selling it. Yes, we are talking about life settlement here. This implies that you get to sell your life insurance policy to another person or a party who was not associated with it earlier. In return, you can get a cash amount for your sale of the policy. However, you must remember that this cash amount payable to you now will be lesser than the amount which you would have actually got as a death benefit, in case the policy would have been yours.
In order to sell your policy it is advisable to choose a broker. Since a broker knows much more about insurance and the investment market than you do; he can help you get a better price for your policy. There are also many life settlement companies available in the markets which specialize only in this business. You need to fill in an application form that allows the release of your policy in the market also lets the potential buyers to calculate your life expectancy. You can get your life settlement money within 3 to 4 business days of the sale.
The sale of an insurance policy proves to be beneficial only when you cannot or do not want to pay its premiums. Selling it without any second thought could prove to be dangerous. You must make sure that you do not need your insurance anymore. Also, keep it in your mind that once you have received your settlement money, you may have to pay an income tax on it. It is therefore advisable that you consult a financial expert or an agent before taking the step of selling your insurance policy to someone. However, you do get a chance of changing your decision in case you think you made a mistake. Certain life settlement companies let the seller to change his mind either within 60 days of the contract or within 30 days after the payment – whichever is earlier.