Insurance for Your Retirement

If you are like me, it’s easy to get fed up with constantly paying insurance premiums.  Writing a monthly check for car insurance alone will drive you crazy.   Not to mention the direct withdrawals from your paycheck for health insurance and the hit to your mortgage for home owners insurance and you have a lot of money going out the window to pay for disasters that might not even happen. 

But if those disasters do happen, you will be very glad you had insurance.  But there is one big life event that is coming that you want to do all you can to prepare for financially and that is old age and retirement.  While there is no “old age insurance”, you will find as you do your retirement planning that there are some very valuable insurance policies that are absolutely critical to a retirement life that is enjoyable, safe and prepared for.

We may or may not think of life insurance as part of retirement planning.  After all, the benefits of life insurance, at least on the surface are for those who survive you after your death which doesn’t do you a lot of good when you are living and breathing.  But you can invest in life insurance that also serves as a long term investment as well.  These policies which are sometimes called “whole life” allow the funds you put in to be invested and to build a cash value that you can cash in on when you retire. 

So you may want to carry $100,000 insurance when you are in the working world, paying a mortgage and trying to get the kids through college.  But if you can then hit retirement, cash in on the investment value of that insurance and spend your golden years with just enough insurance to cover some protection for your spouse and funeral expenses, that is a better way to organize your insurance programs.

Another layer of insurance that a lot of people are taking advantage of is Medicare supplement insurance.  Medicare is a great program that benefits a lot of people.  But Medicare can only go so far.  Those corny commercials for Medicare supplement insurance are goofy but they are on target that you need to have another safety net in the event you find yourself needing more extensive medical coverage than Medicare can provide. If you took the time to set up this kind of insurance early in your retirement planning, it will pay you big time when the need is there during your golden years.

A level of insurance that can be one of the biggest blessings if you become ill in your elderly years is in home health care insurance.  Many times illnesses that you endure due to old age are not the kind of thing you would want to get through in an expensive hospital room.  You will recover more quickly in your home but you still need someone to make sure you get your medications, take care of the little life details that you cannot tend to when you are poorly and be there if you take a turn for the worst. 

This is where the care of an in home nursing service can be so valuable.  This insurance can enable you to have care with you right in your home which will give you the care you need and take a lot of worry and work off of your family.  And since all senior citizens need medical care at some point in their retirement life, in home health care insurance is a must.

By setting up these different specialized insurance policies early enough in your working life, you can get some value into them when the time comes for you to retire.  Then you can you enter retirement with confidence knowing you have policies with reliable insurance providers to take care of the needs that you expect to come up during your golden years.
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Medical Coverage on Your Auto Policy

Car accidents can happen at any time to anyone.  They can be devastating and cause unnecessary stress to everyone involved.  If you are injured in a car accident the last thing you will need at that time is a problem with your medical insurance coverage.  Insurance can be a tricky subject.  Sometimes it is hard to determine what is covered under certain policies and what is not.  That is why it is a very good idea to invest in an auto insurance policy that includes medical coverage.  Medical coverage on an auto insurance policy ensures that you will be covered for any injury resulting from a car accident.  Most auto insurance policies that include medical coverage also cover injuries sustained from accidents you may be involved in as a pedestrian. 

Most auto insurance policies that include medical coverage in the event of car accidents cover all passengers in your vehicle at the time of the accident.  If you are involved in a car accident and have two or three passengers in your car at the time, all the medical expenses of yourself and your passengers will be covered by your auto insurance policy.  It does not matter if the car accident is your fault or the fault of another driver, if you are involved in any type of accident where you have medical expenses due to the accident, those expenses will be covered.  Medical expenses can be considerably expensive since they may include everything from ambulance transportation to x-rays to surgery to an extended hospital stay.  No matter what your injuries may be you can rest assured that you will not have to worry about them at the time of the accident.  In addition, medical coverage can cover any additional expenses after your initial injuries have been treated.  If you require long term care following the accident, medical coverage can help with the financial expense of long term care.  If you are left unable to care for your children for a period of time following the accident and must hire child care support, certain auto insurance policies that offer medical coverage can assist in child care finances due to injuries from an accident as well.

If you are not insured at the time of an accident, you will be left relying on other types of insurance.  If you have health insurance you need to figure out what and how much is covered under your policy.  Some health insurance policies only cover portions of medical expenses during major accidents where expenses can run high.  Oftentimes with health insurance, the insurance holder will also need to pay a co-pay when getting professional medical help.  You may want to look into the price of emergency room co-pays, as they are often more than co-pays to a regular doctor’s office.  If you do not have health insurance then considering auto insurance that includes medical coverage is a must.  Car accidents are completely unpredictable.  You and your family could be involved in a car accident at any time.  Just because you drive safely does not mean someone else on the road will be driving safely.  Even if the accident is not your fault, you will still face mountainous medical bills.  Trying to pay them without any type of insurance will be an extremely difficult task that you do not want to be faced with.

Another medical coverage option that many auto insurance policies offer is personal injury protection.  This option of medical coverage in the form of personal injury protection is not offered in every state but if you live in a state where it is offered it may be a smart choice for you.  The difference between regular medical coverage in an auto insurance policy and personal injury protection coverage is that only those people specified to be covered in the policy will be covered in the event of an accident.  Instead of having any passenger in your vehicle being covered by your insurance, only those people who you have specified in your policy and who are in your car at the time of the car accident will have their medical expenses covered by your insurance.  In some cases people do not want those who are not close family members being covered by their insurance.  If this is the case then you may want to opt for personal injury protection, as it allows you to determine which individuals would be covered by your insurance policy in the event of a car accident.
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Is Homeowners Insurance Enough In The Toughest Of Times?

Homeowners Insurance is supposed to protect us in case of disasters. That is what we have come to expect from our homeowners insurance over the years. But what if the disaster is the costliest in U.S. History? What if your insurance agent's home and office were destroyed in the disaster also?

That is what happened to many customers and homeowners insurance agents and companies after Katrina hit the Gulf coast. Many agents' homes, offices and insurance Companies' claims centers were in the same situation as their clients due to the storms. So what did they do? They set up “office” in tents and mobile trailers. Then Hurricane Rita blew away these temporary offices and the agents and companies set them up again. These temporary shelters acted as a communications center for all people in the surrounding areas. Local people would come by to ask questions, meet with their claims adjustors and just catch up on the news with their neighbors. Extreme circumstances dictated unconventional responses: some agents even filed claims for their clients without even talking to the clients just so they could get the claim “in the queue.” Allstate allowed customers to submit claims through any agent in the country and set up a priority line to assist. They sent email to agents in the areas surrounding the disaster areas to act as messengers by “word of mouth” to their fellow agents in the effected areas. The larger companies such as State Farm & Allstate that service claims for the national flood Insurance Program even used satellite imagery to determine damage in some neighborhoods that were entirely flooded.

Lessons Learned: Those of us not effected by these disasters can learn a few lessons about coping with future disasters from the thousands of policyholders that are still waiting to get their claims paid. As soon as possible, take steps to prevent further damage to your home if possible: such as covering the roof with a tarp if possible. You can hire a contractor if you can find one, as that would be safer for most of us than climbing on our roofs. Hold off making any repairs until you see or talk to an adjuster first. Plus, keep your receipts, as you'll need them to prove expenses that can be re-imbursed later.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

You can generally expect your homeowners insurance to help pay for additional living expenses for up to 12-24 months while your home is being repaired. But, homeowners insurance usually pays only after they verify you have a legitimate claim. After Katrina, many insurers made an exception, automatically distributing enough to cover two weeks' worth of additional living expense to anyone in an area subject to mandatory evacuation. Some companies even gave small advances on contents under the personal property part of their homeowners insurance policies.

If you have to wait to get your check, it helps to have cash that is easily accessible in a bank account or money market fund. Stashing cash at home isn't a great idea because if your home burns down and you weren't able to get to your cash, most homeowners insurance policies only cover £100-£200 in cash whether it is stolen or burned up in a fire. Your goal should be to have an emergency fund available to take care of your family for 2-4 weeks (minimum)if possible. In a disaster it might be hard to even find a local bank to get cash. Debitcredit cards with a statewide or national bank would perhaps be better.

Your biggest problem in getting your claim handled may be in either not having the proper homeowners insurance coverage or not having enough coverage. Most good homeowners insurance policies today cover up to 120% of your dwelling coverage limit. It is important that you review the dwelling limit with your agent every couple of year's at a minimum. Homeowners insurance policies do not cover Flooding, but you should again see your agent for this coverage.

If your homeowners insurance falls short, you may qualify for money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or a disaster-assistance loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Homeowners can borrow up to £200,000 for rebuilding and £40,000 to replace personal property at very low interest rates for up to 30 years.
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