Monday, September 23, 2019

Who Needs Long-Term Care Insurance?

The short answer to this question is everyone. As the years pass, the probability that you will need help in caring for yourself increases. No matter how fit and active you are right now, injury and sickness are conditions that you can never predict. According to a study done by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, about 50% of those over 65 years of age will develop a medical condition that will require some form of long-term care. In many cases, the duration of care will be under 2 years, but in some instances, it could be in excess of 5 years. Whatever be the duration, the cost of the medical care needs to be handled. The high cost of medical care is a concern for everyone and this cost is bound to rise with time.

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Health Insurance Is Not Enough

Regular health insurance policies do not cover long term care costs. Medicare is also of no help as it is only for short term nursing care and for when limited duration home health care is required. Neither will it cover the cost of what is known as “custodial care” which is when a person needs supervision and support for daily activities. This includes Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, progressive physical degeneration and other such chronic conditions. Medicaid, federal and state health insurance will provide some help to those defined as having low income, but this will kick in only after the individual’s financial resources have been exhausted.

What Long Term Care Coverage Provides for

Long term care costs can deplete your savings in a very short time. According to a 2018 study, the average cost of long-term nursing home care in a semi-private room is almost $90,000 per year. This could easily go up, depending on the amount of care, medication, rehabilitation, etc. that may be required. Even in cases where nursing home care is not required, care in the form of a home health aide will, on an average, exceed $50,000 a year.

Besides protecting your savings, the other factor to consider is the quality of care that you will receive. The more coverage you have, the more you can spend on care and this gives you increased choices in where you are cared for, by whom and to what extent and the quality of care as well.  If you have only Medicaid or state or federal assistance to fall back on, you will be limited to facilities that accept payment from government programs.

Thinking of a time when you will need medical care for an extended period is not pleasant, but it is a subject that cannot be ignored. As the study mentioned above predicts, there is a 50% chance that you will need long term care in the future. Planning now for the coverage will enable you to budget the costs more conveniently and will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that even if you need long term care, you will not be a financial burden on others. Talk to an insurance broker to learn more about the coverage options, costs, how it works and any tax advantages that may be available so that you can find the coverage that works best for you.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Is Renter’s Insurance a Must?

There is no legal requirement in California for a tenant to have renter’s insurance. However, there are a number of reasons why it makes a great deal of sense to have this coverage. The property you live in may belong to someone else, but all the possessions in it are yours. In California, it is necessary for landlords and building owners to have insurance on the property they rent out. This insurance will cover damage or loss in relation to the structure, but not the tenant’s belongings inside it. Some property owners may require the renter to buy a renter’s insurance policy before issuing a lease, but many do not. Having a renter’s insurance policy protects you from a range of risks and financial losses. These include:

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• Loss of Property: Renters insurance will cover you against the loss of your personal possessions due to an unexpected occurrence or disaster. There is generally a minimum amount that is set by the insurance company.

Personal Liability: Claims against renters for damage to property caused by their negligence is on the rise. Cases of lawsuits being filed against renters alleging that personal injury was caused by their acts of omission or commission are also increasing. Court costs and damages (if awarded) could be huge and could ruin a person financially. The claims could be filed by the landlord or other tenants.

Loss of Use: If the place you live in is damaged or becomes uninhabitable for any cause covered by the renter’s insurance policy, you will be covered against any additional living expenses. These include hotel accommodation and meals until such time as you are able to find new accommodation. The amount of the coverage and the duration you are covered for will depend on the terms of the policy.

• Medical Payments to Others: If a person should be injured in your rented home, you could be held liable for that person’s medical costs and other claims. Renters insurance will protect you from any potential financial loss if this should happen.

You may be a renter, but the place you are renting is your home and not being able to live there or facing huge liability claims because of your occupancy of the premises can be devastating. People generally think of the structure when the topic of property loss comes up. The possessions inside the home that may be damaged or lost are usually given less importance. It is easy to underestimate the value of your possessions. It is only when they are lost and need to be replaced do you realize their worth. The problem is that when realization dawns, you may not have the financial resources needed to make the replacements. Even if your landlord does not require you to have renter’s insurance, it is a coverage you must have. Contact an insurance agent who will be able to give you the coverage options and help you find the policy that is right for you.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Fun to Drive But A Nightmare to Insure

One of the major advantages that electric vehicles have over gas cars is the sum of moving parts. Electric motors use fewer parts and hence require less day-to-day maintenance. The downside? There aren’t enough traditional mechanics to service them; the technology is new and the battery, which is the primary component under the hood, is complex to repair. More reason for you to be fully aware of how to insure your Tesla.

There is no fixed market rate and hence you would have to approach a third-party insurance company to get a competitive quote. Irrespective of the Tesla model, you can insure it with the same company. Bear in mind that you will be spending roughly USD 3000, depending on the model, which is around 50% more than you would spend insuring a gas car; ore popular the car, more the insurance costs. Tesla models currently fall into the luxury car segment in most countries. The annual premiums are astronomically high and truth be told, companies are trying several tricks to avoid a Tesla customer due to the risk uncertainty.

Getting a quote isn’t easy either. Sometimes they just turn you down or ask for hard documentation. Even then, companies delay quoting by several days, citing risks & difficulties. As a result, when you do get that quote, you’re usually paying twice or thrice what you’d expected.

Currently, repair and replacement costs are very high and there’s a waiting time of few months. Something as simple as repairing the sensor for the windshield wiper can set you back over a 1000 USD. Sure, you may be thinking, “Hey, why don’t I just go to a regular repair guy and let him have a crack at it, it’ll be way cheaper.” It’s too early in the Tesla life cycle for the average mechanic, they’ll just end up re-routing you to the factory. repairs after an accident can sometimes take months. Most policies have a 30-day limit for their rental car. It is important to make sure you get a policy that gives you an unlimited time frame.

Without the right information, the process of insuring a Tesla proves to be a difficult and frustrating experience for a customer who was until then all excited about owning one. Knowing what you are up against, makes the battle easier. Give us a call before you make that purchase, allow us a little time and we will sort you out with all the right information.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Is Your Commercial Property Protected Against Natural Disasters?

California has been reeling under the effects of global warming. Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and forest fires. It has cost the state billions of dollars and people have lost their lives, homes, and livelihood. It has taken a toll on small businesses as well. It isn’t easy to recover from the after-effects of a natural disaster without insurance.

Most people check a variety of boxes when it comes to personal insurance. They ensure their homes, cars, jewelry, and even their antiques. But, when it comes to their small business, they favor commercial business insurance. This may offer protection against general liability claims but does it cover physical losses that occur due to the effects of a natural disaster? No, it doesn’t.

Why Does a Small Business Need Commercial Property Insurance?

Most small business owners prefer taking minimal insurance for their property, especially if it is leased and if their lease contract specifically demands it. But, consider this! If you don’t get adequate cover for your commercial property, you may get next to nothing if disaster strikes. The money won’t be enough to help you rebuild your business.

After Effects of a Natural Disaster on a Small Business

  You will have no space to conduct your business

•  All the orders that you have taken will remain unfulfilled

•  If you have a warehouse, you could lose millions if the goods get damaged

• You could lose all the data related to your business including client communications, contracts, orders, etc. leading to irreparable loss.

How Do You Recoup?

It will be difficult to get back on your feet after a blow like this without financial help. You will need to renovate your space and refurnish it. You may have to refund clients if you can’t deliver the goods that they ordered. You may not be able to get your office space and your business functional for months. If you had been covered for such an eventuality, the insurance could have eased the financial burden to a great extent.

What Should You Look for in Commercial Property Insurance?

When you go through the commercial property insurance policy, you need to ask the right questions! Does it cover all of your property? What kind of cover does it provide if your small business is affected by a natural disaster? Does the commercial property insurance cover damages done to interiors and electronic equipment? Would it cover loss of goods?

You need to find a good insurance company or an insurance agent who is knowledgeable and will answer your questions patiently. They should be able to explain what the policy offers and make sure that whatever you need is covered. Visit or call 650-328-1000 to speak to one of our experienced insurance agents to find out what kind of cover would work best for you.

Why Do You Need Supplemental Insurance?

When you are young unless you have some kind of chronic illness or need specialized medical treatment or expensive medication on a regular basis, a basic medical cover would suffice. But as you grow older, it is important that you take a long, hard look at your health insurance and see what you are covered for.

Healthcare is very expensive. If you fall ill, you need money for consultation fees, specialist fees, medications, tests, hospitalization fees, ambulance fees and so on. Indeed, the list is endless. Finding out that your medical insurance isn’t enough for your treatment can be traumatic. This is where supplemental insurance can help.

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What Is Supplemental Insurance?

It is additional insurance that you can take, over and above your medical cover. It can help take care of a lot of things that your regular medical cover may not. Supplemental insurance can take care of deductibles (amount of money that you would pay at the hospital before the coverage kicks in) and copayments (amount which is in addition to the sum that your health insurance has given you assured coverage for) when you fall sick.

Common Types of Supplemental Insurance

Critical illness insurance is usually specific to a disease. Some illnesses that are chronic or long-lasting may need long term care. Your medical insurance may run out long before you get better. Supplemental insurance can ease the financial burden of a serious illness.

Accidental death policies include Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) and accident health insurance. They are usually combined and sold together. It will not only include medical insurance in case of accidents but can also include other related problems that may arise through accidents like wage loss, expenses that arise due to loss of mobility, etc. In case of accidental death, the benefit of the accidental death insurance will go to your loved ones and can be substantial.

Supplemental insurance also includes dental insurance for adults as well as vision insurance plans. Regular health policies may not cover these two expensive health issues and it would be a wise idea to get these policies.

Long term care insurance is supplemental insurance that covers hospitalization and home care or assisted living care for people who have been diagnosed with long term illnesses. There are also supplemental insurance plans that offer cashback benefit if unclaimed. It will be given to you over a period of time or as a whole sum.

There are many kinds of supplemental insurances available. Medigap is common supplemental insurance. This is taken by people who are enrolled in Original Medicare. It covers many things that your original medicare won't.

Visit to take a look at our supplemental insurance policies or call 650-328-1000 to talk to one of our insurance agents and they will work out the best one for you.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

How much Life Insurance do you need?

Awareness of the necessity of life insurance is one thing. Having a clear idea of how much of it you need is another. Different people have different opinions on this subject. One may have the minimum that will cover just the funeral costs; another may plan giving the dependents at least a small cushion to help them recover from your bereavement and pick up the threads.

The reality is that there is no single right answer to the question of how much life insurance you should have. The best way to find an appropriate answer is to contact a life insurance professional, who will be able to analyze liabilities, the short- and long-term needs of your dependents and other relevant factors.

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However, if you want to do some research on your own, so that you have issues to discuss with the expert, you could use these two formulas:


L.I.F.E. stands for Liabilities/debts, Income to be replaced, Final expenses and Education and/or other expected costs. You can calculate your life insurance needs based on these factors.

A. Total up everything covered by the L.I.F.E. needs. Ensure you leave nothing out. That is the total coverage you need.

B. Subtract all the assets and savings that will be available to your family on your passing. It is tempting to inflate the amount by taking into account expectations from your stock market investments etc. Do not commit this mistake; they are volatile investments.

C. Also, subtract any life insurance you currently have and any coverage provided by your employer etc.

The gap between A and B+C = the amount of additional life insurance you need.


This stands for Debts, Income, Mortgages, Education and Final expenses.

  • Debts: These would be every liability you have and everything you owe, including credit card debts, car payments and so on.
  • Income: What is the income that will be lost to the family? This is your current income and what you expect it to be when you stop working; this expectation is normally part of a family’s financial planning.
  • Mortgages: How much is required to pay off your mortgages? Do not think that the amount will be less the following year. No one knows when a claim may have to be filed. If the amount to be repaid is lower in the future, that is an extra cushion for the family and will help cover the unexpected.
  • Education: What do your dependent children want to do with their lives? How much will it cost to educate/train them for the careers they want to pursue? Include any reasonable financial cushion you would like to give them when they start out.
  • Final Expenses: The cost of death is far greater than most people imagine it is. You may desire a small budget funeral. Nevertheless, your family might have an elaborate one in order to ease their pain. Life insurance is to care for those you leave behind and this is a part of that caring. Budget for the final expenses might not be what you desire, but what your family will.
These tests will give you an idea of the coverage you need. To be sure about the protection you require, it would be better to consult an insurance agent.

Evaluating Insurance Policies

Insurance is a competitive industry and insurance companies market their products by making them appear to be as much attractive and user-friendly as possible. That makes choosing the right product difficult. People spend a lot of time comparing breakfast cereals to find the one that best suits them. It is surprising that they do not take the same trouble over their insurance.

It’s not that insurance companies are out to rip you off or mislead you – they are just promoting the sale of their policies. If the policy was not properly evaluated, and if you made the wrong coverage choices, you would live with a false sense of security. However, that would be shattered when a claim is filed, and you find that the coverage is not what you thought it to be.

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Policy comparison

In order to compare and evaluate the benefits of different policies for the same type of coverage, you need to be cautious about the following six key factors, known as the 6 C’s:

1. Cost: Though important, cost should not be the deciding factor. No one wants to pay for insurance more than what is needed. However, if a few extra dollars can fetch you many times the amount of coverage, it might be wrong to brush aside the option.

2.Convenience: Insurance companies make it as easy as possible for people to buy their policies. However, there are industry and legal mandates that need to be followed. At times, these could make one policy easier to obtain than another could. What you need to ensure is that the policy that is easy to get gives you the coverage you need.

3. Coverage: Is the protection available under the policy complete? Do the basic policy terms and available riders meet all your requirements?

4. Customer service: Is there a helpline, chat option on the website or other ways to contact easily the company? If you have to file a claim and need some guidance on how to do it, you should not be made to run from pillar to post. The insurance company should help you all along the way.

5. Claim Settlement: What is the company’s record and reputation for settling claims? When a claim is filed, the payment should in no way be delayed. A company with a record of prompt settlement of claims and payments is the right option.

6. Credentials: You need to be certain of the credentials of the insurance company in general, and settlement of claims in particular. You opted for the policy hoping that the insurance company would protect you when the eventuality against which you are insured occurs. If the company fails, you are going to be left without the resources to recover.

Do it the right way

Doing your own research on the insurance you need is a good idea – the more you know, the better for you and your family. However, with a subject as complex and specialized as insurance is, it is easy for a layman to make a mistake like overlooking a key factor or misunderstanding the extent of coverage.

An insurance agent has the experience and expertise in all aspects of a policy. If the agent is with an insurance broker that deals with multiple insurance companies, he will be able to give you a clear, unbiased and accurate picture of all the favorable and unfavorable aspects of each policy. That will lead you to opt for the right coverage at the right cost.