Thursday, December 22, 2011

Four Ways To Protect Yourself When Hiring A Contractor To Remodel Your Home

Remodeling a home is a major financial investment. There are many pitfalls that you may encounter during the process. Among of the most potentially costly are those that involve disputes with the contractor. Even with the best of contractors, misunderstandings and communication gaps can turn what should be happy experience into a situation filled with acrimony and financial loss. Here are four simple things you can do to protect yourself from contractor related losses:

1. When signing a construction contract, be sure the General Contractor adds the homeowner as an additional named insured on his liability policy. He should also provide a certificate of liability and workers compensation insurance. The certificate must state that the homeowner is given two weeks prior notice of cancellation and if no insurance is in place, the work will either stop or the homeowner can purchase replacement coverage at the contractor’s cost.

2. Ensure that all payments to subcontractors are made only by the General Contractor. This places primary liability on the General Contractor and his insurance.

3. Ensure that the General Contractor’s policy limits are more than the complete value of the home. If the coverage is not sufficient, an additional amount can be added at a nominal cost.

4. Before buying into an HOA, check who is responsible for replacement, repair and/or rebuilding of damaged property. Every HOA is different but the most common split is that the HOA is responsible for rebuilding all the original building from the interior walls out. The unit owner is responsible for floor coverings, interior walls, fixtures, plumbing, appliances, cabinets etc. along with all of the unit owner’s personal property.

To know more about the insurance precautions that you should take before remodeling your home, contact Allied Brokers. Our many decades of experience in all types of insurance and our focus on client service means that we provide not just the best in insurance policies, products and services but also the advice you need to stay protected at all times and under all circumstances. Visit our website: http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ for information on the services and insurance policies we offer. Call 1-888-505-7988 (toll free) for a free rate quote.

The above information has been provided courtesy of the Law Office of Peter N. Brewer Esq. Palo Alto, CA (phone: 650-327-1900)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Year End Tax Saving Tips

The end of the year is the time when most of us think about taxes and ways to save on them. Two common and effective ways are:

By deferring income. If you are planning to sell off investments on which you have made a profit, consider the potential tax savings if the sale is deferred till next year. Similarly, if you expect a year-end bonus, you could defer the receipt for a month and take the money in January, thus deferring the tax liability till 2012. The same applies to any stock options you may be entitled to. While exercising the option may not be taxable, selling the stock is. For the self-employed, examine which invoices and bills can be deferred (thus deferring the
income) till January 2012.

You can also accelerate deductions. Make a reasonable estimate of your state tax and pay the installment in December rather than the January due date. You can also pay your complete property tax bill for 2012 in December 2011. Please note that this is not applicable to mortgage escrow accounts. Medical and other “threshold” expenses are deductible only to the extent they exceed a defined percentage of the Adjusted Gross Income. If you can group all these expenses into one year, the chance of exceeding the threshold increases; as does the amount of deduction.

At Allied Brokers we do not just sell insurance policies. We work with our clients to provide them the optimum insurance coverage at the right cost. Whether it is life insurance, health insurance, home insurance, various types of business insurance, auto insurance or any other kind of insurance, we customize solutions that are right for our clients. We have been in business over 50 years and are proud of the reputation we
have built. Visit our website at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to learn more about Allied Brokers and the insurance services and products we offer. Or call 1-888-505-7988 (toll free) for a free quote.

Information courtesy Orlando, Mitts, Moore & Company, San Jose, CA. Phone: 408 278-0300.

Is It Worth Hiring a Public Insurance Adjustor To Handle Your Property Damage Claim?

As an insurance broker for 25 years, I ALWAYS refer Ken Crown of the Greenspan Company Adjusters International to any client of mine who has a property damage claim over $250,000. Think of Ken as a hired-gun- he will go up against your insurance company’s claims adjuster and usually increase and settle your claim for far more than his 10% fee.

Although your company's claims adjustor is a professional and will treat you fairly, he or she is still the opponent. Your interests are better served by hiring your own professional. It’s like getting a high powered CPA to help fight the IRS- the IRS agent is outmatched.

Case-in-point: My family owns a cabin in Idaho that is part of a 21 member HOA. In 2000, 17 of the cabins burned down. We got burned again when our insurance company offered us only $150,000. We had the Greenspan Company on the job and they did an inventory of everything- down to how much toilet paper was lost. We settled for over $1,000,000!

As a broker, Allied is not involved in the day-to-day claims process. Instead, we act as an advisor to our clients and advocate for them when there is a problem. A Public Insurance Adjustor, on the other hand, is a claims specialist who is involved in every aspect of the process. Having a big fire claim is a traumatic experience. There is a lot of work to do to rebuild and to settle the claim. Ken does a great job shouldering most of the load for my clients. He also keeps me in the loop on about the progress of the settlement.

The bigger your claim, the more you stand to lose. One of my clients had his $1.5 million home burn down. I recommended he call Ken but he chose to handle the claim directly with his insurance company instead. As his advocate, Allied Brokers advised the client not to sign any releases without our first reviewing them. The settlement dragged on for two years until two insurance company executives contacted my client without telling us and pressured him into settling for $500,000 less than he should have gotten. The client explained that he was so tired of the whole thing that he just wanted to get it over with. He wouldn’t have caved if he had hired Ken.

On a happier note, another client of mine who lost his business to fire won a $2,000,000 settlement and was able to relocate and rebuild in a year. He told me the best decision he ever made was taking my advice to hire Ken and the Greenspan Company.

This article provided courtesy Chris Grammar, President, Allied Brokers. Contact Allied Brokers for all your insurance needs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blue Shield and Lucile Packard Work It Out- Finally

Two of the region’s leading pediatric care providers were locked in protracted negotiations with Blue Shield of California which caused them to remain outside the Blue Shield network from August 31st to October 19th of this year. With the signing of a new two year contract, both Lucile Packard Children’s Medical group and Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital are once again part of Blue Shield of California and Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company Networks.

It must be noted, however, that since the new contracts are not retroactive, any services provided by the Medical Group and Hospital during the out-of-contract period will be treated as out-of-network or as being non-participating and will be paid at out-of- network rates. However, if the member was approved for Continuity of Care (COC) during that period, services that are covered under the COC will be paid at the old contract rates. These agreements will once again allow Bay Area residents to have a wider choice of pediatric care providers.

Such contract negotiations with health care providers are Blue Shield’s attempt to contain the ever rising costs of medical care. As a result, Blue Shield customers enjoy lower co-payments, deductibles and premiums.

Health insurance is a complex and often confusing subject where potential health risks and care costs have to be balanced against the cost of the policy. Working out the best balance is something that requires both experience and an expert knowledge of health care costs and options. Allied Brokers has over 50 years of insurance experience and expertise which is always at the disposal of our clients. Contact us for all your health and other insurance needs. Call 1-888-505-7988 (toll free). Visit our website at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to find out more about us and the insurance products and services we offer. You can also ask for a free rate quote.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Attention GEOVERA policy holders!

There is a new 10% earthquake retrofit discount available to you at no cost. If your home was built after 1975 it is almost certainly already up to current earthquake building codes. If your home was built prior to 1975 but has been retrofitted, you are still eligible for the discount. If you have your contractor complete the attached form we can apply for the discount.

If you do not have a contractor we would like to refer you to our client Guillaume Peters, owner of Sunviva construction who has done quality work for many of our existing customers in the past. Email him at gheeom@sunviva.com or call him at 650-380-4804. Guillaume will inspect your home to determine whether it meets the GEOVERA requirements. His inspection fee is $125.00. However, as a special promotion Guillaume has agreed to credit the cost of the inspection as payment towards any retrofit work that you hire his company to perform.

Download Retrofitting Information Form!

The Giving Season Is Here

The time is here to start collecting toys, coats and blankets for those less fortunate. Allied Brokers is proud to support the following organizations:

Toys For Tots: Now until December 16th you can drop off new, unwrapped toys at the UPS Store in either Sharon Heights Shopping Center in Menlo Park or the Ladera Shopper in Portola Valley.

Stuff The Bus With Toys: Saturday, December 3rd, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Ladera Shopper Holiday Fair is where to bring a toy for the San Mateo County Sheriff's Toy Drive. The toys will be distributed to needy kids within our county.

One Warm Coat: Bring new or gently used coats, blankets or towels to Konditorei in the Ladera Shopper now until December 16th.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When Your Teen Starts Driving

Every parent has nightmares when a teen begins to drive. Even the safest of cars can become a dangerous tool in the hands of an inexperienced driver. Allied Brokers is here to offer you the kind of auto insurance you need to stay fully protected when your teen begins driving. But we know that your priority is to protect your teen and prevent any kind of accident, and insurance coverage, although essential, comes in second. That’s why we offer you these tips to help keep your teen safe when he or she begins driving.

• Teens can irritate their parents in unimaginable ways. When teaching your teen to drive stay calm. Your anger will rub off on him or her and affect the driving skill.

• Allow your teen to drive you around as much as possible after getting the learner’s permit. Practice does make perfect and this is the best way to do it.

• The vehicle that the teen drives may not be new but it should be mechanically sound and clean.

• Whether it’s you or the teen driving, turn off the radio and talk about the hazards of the road and how to avoid them.

• Set a good example by always using a seat belt, avoiding using a cell phone while driving, sipping coffee, eating or doing anything else that could distract you. Insist on the same from the teen.

• Driving at night is a whole new ball game. Make sure the teen is a good daytime driver before allowing night time driving.

Allied Brokers has been part of the Bay Area community for over 50 years. We sell insurance of all kinds, but we never forget that insurance is for people and people always come first. Contact us for your car insurance or any other insurance needs. We’ll give you the insurance policies that are right for you. Call us at 1-888-505-7988 and ask for a free insurance quote. Visit us at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to find out more about the insurance products and services we offer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Auto Insurance Do You Need?

Car Insurance is a complex subject with a variety of coverage options to choose from. The more coverage you have and the larger the loss covered the higher will be the premium. So it is always a good idea to assess the risks and costs to find the type of insurance coverage that is right for you. To be sure that you are making the right choices and not leaving yourself dangerously uncovered, consult an insurance professional.

To drive in California, liability coverage is mandatory. This will pay for damage and injury caused by your fault. Since even the cost of legal services to defend you are covered, it is advisable to take coverage above the minimum legal requirement. Collision coverage will pay for repairing damage to your car, irrespective of who is at fault. Personal injury protection will pay for any medical expenses you may incur and for any loss of wages arising from reasons covered by your insurance. Comprehensive insurance protects you from damage to your vehicle due to reasons other than a collision. If you are a frequent user of rented vehicles, getting an insurance policy that covers you when using a rented car is a good idea.

To have all your auto insurance question answered and for expert advice on what type of auto insurance coverage is right for you, contact Allied Brokers. Call 1-888-505-7988 (toll free) and ask for a free quote. Or just go to http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to have a look at all the car and other types of insurance that you can choose from.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Understanding Condo Owners Insurance

It easy to confuse condo insurance with home insurance. But they are two distinct insurance categories and need to be viewed as such. If you own a condo, here are a few important issues you should keep in mind when choosing your insurance provider and the terms of the insurance coverage. A good condo owner’s insurance policy should cover:
  • Personal Property – This will cover loss of normal household items in case of fire, theft or other covered contingencies.
  • Additional Personal Property – If you own antiques, valuable art works, large amounts of jewelry and other such items, you need this protection.
  • Improvements – This will cover improvements you have made to the condo and additional fixture you have installed
  • Additional Living Expenses – This will cover your living costs should your condo become uninhabitable due to any factor you are insured against.
  • Guest Medical Coverage – This will cover the medical expenses of guests injured while in the condo
  • Worker’s Comp Coverage – This will pay for the medical expenses of any personal employees such as nannies, cooks maids etc.
  • Personal Liability Protection – This coverage will pay for liability due to damage or injury resulting from a covered incident.
  • Loss Assessment – This often overlooked coverage covers you, should the condo association levy an assessment on each condo owner for the repair of common areas. 

Building coverage is needed for the portion of your unit not covered by the HOA homeowners association policy. We will help you review your CCR's to determine the correct amount of coverage. This is the most common error on condo policies. Contact Allied Brokers to find out more about condo insurance and the coverage options that meet your specific requirements. All you need to do is call 1-888-505-7988 (toll free) and tell them what you are looking for in the way of condo or any other insurance. They will be glad to give you a free quote. Or visit the company website at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to learn more about the insurance products and services on offer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Importance Of Personal Umbrella Insurance

You have all the home and car insurance you need. Auto liability insurance, collision insurance, comprehensive insurance and the rest. The same applies to your homeowner’s insurance, home liability insurance etc. But suppose you have a teen that has just begun driving – the accident risk has increased. Or if you bought a dog and it bites a neighbor. A pizza delivery person could trip over a crack in your driveway; a tree in your yard could fall on your neighbor’s house and damage it. All kinds of things can happen to increase your risk and liability. And the insurance policies you have may not cover you completely.

 That’s where an umbrella insurance policy protects you. Umbrella policy is meant to cover the gap between the liability coverage you already have and the claims that could be made against you. Different companies offer different types of umbrella policies with a range of coverage options, so choosing the right one for you can be extremely confusing. Why not contact Allied Brokers and allow us to work with you to analyze your insurance needs? We’ll present you with the information you need in clear and direct terms and then, if required, help you find the umbrella or other forms of insurance that will give you the coverage you need. Call us at 1-888-505-7988 to get started. If you have any specific insurance needs, why not ask for a free quote? If you would like to know more about Allied Brokers visit http://www.alliedbrokers.com/.














Friday, September 30, 2011

Evaluating Your Business

Evaluating your business is an essential ingredient in financial reporting. The evaluation is used for various purposes such as an IPO, obtaining financing, calculating taxes and stock options and for legal issues. There are various ways of calculating your business’ value, but when it comes to business insurance, there are many factors that need to be added to the calculations.

Obviously you will take your assets and liabilities into account when deciding the amount of commercial insurance that is right for you. But there are the intangibles like your expansion plans or retirement which are going to happen but are now still ideas in your head. Or your plans for your children to inherit the business from you. All these and other factors which may not have a major role in a normal evaluation come into play when business insurance policies are being considered but also cannot be ignored. At the same time, insurance policies cost money and paying for insurance coverage that you do not need will hurt your cash flow.

The best way to go about getting the right amount of and right types of insurance for your business is to consult Allied Brokers. The company is a fuller service insurance brokerage with decades of experience behind it. It represents the leading insurance companies in America and offers a range of insurance products to meet all business and personal needs. Call 1-888-505-7988 (toll free) to talk to the business insurance experts or to ask for a free quote. Visit http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to learn more about the company and the company and the services and products available.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

Life insurance is intended to offer financial protection to your dependents upon your
death. Obviously the greater the value of the life insurance policy you purchase, the more
security there will be for your family. But as size of the premiums you need to pay depends
not the value of the policy, a balance must be struck between managing your current cash
flow, liabilities, investments and the size of the policy you take. A few of the basic facts to
keep in mind when evaluating the amount of life insurance you need are:

• The younger your children, the more money that their care and education will
require. The life insurance you have should reflect this.
• If both spouses are earning, then each one should have a life insurance policy and
each policy should be adequate to cover the financial loss of a spouse’s death.
• If one spouse works in the home, that spouse should be insured for at least the
amount that will be needed to cover the costs of paying for the work that spouse
used to do.
• Even if you have no dependents and you have enough in the way of savings for one
spouse to live comfortably after the other’s death, there are still estate taxes and
funeral costs to be met and the insurance coverage should meet these demands.

There are many other factors that also need to be considered when calculating the amount
of life insurance you need. Allied Brokers, with over half a century of insurance expertise
behind it, will be happy to help you get the life or other insurance that is right for you
and which will provide you and your family the maximum protection. Visit the website at
http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ or call1-888-505-7988 to ask for a free quote.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Insurance As An Investment

Life insurance is usually seen as a form of risk coverage, meant to provide for dependents
upon the policy holder’s death. This is true in the case of term insurance, which is the
most popular of life insurance products and among the cheapest. But insurance can also
be a form of investment,which is where permanent or universal life insurance enters the
picture. This is a life insurance policy that is more flexible and offers both death benefits
as well as accumulated cash value that will come to the policy holder if he survives to the
end of the policy term. Additionally, the policy holder may borrow or withdraw from the
available cash surrender value of the policy.

The potential of receiving the cash value on policy maturity as well as the liquidity benefits
the borrowing or withdrawal options easy and makes universal life insurance an investment
option worth considering. Such policies usually cost more than term insurance of equivalent
value but the flexibility that these life insurance policies offer often makes the additional
cost worthwhile.

If you would like to examine the potential advantage of universal life insurance Allied
Brokers will be happy to help you. Our 50 years of life and other insurance knowledge is at
your disposal and our dedication to client service means that we will always work to ensure
that the insurance coverage you get is the best and most suitable for you. Visit our website
at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to learn more about the insurance products and service we offer
and to ask for a free insurance quote. Or call us (toll free) at 1-888-505-7988.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Type Of Life Insurance Do You Need?

Everyone knows the importance of life insurance. It is meant to provide for a person’s
family in the event of his death. But there are two ways of looking at this type of insurance
and there are life insurance products that provide for both types of demand. The most
common type of life insurance policy is term insurance. In this case your life is insured
for a defined period of time. If your death should occur during that period, the value of the
policy will be given to your beneficiaries. If you should survive this period, the policy will
lapse and you get nothing.

The other option is that of universal insurance of which there are various types, which
contain an investment element and has a cash value. As in the case of term insurance,
if the policy holder dies during the validity of the policy, the policy value goes to the
beneficiaries. However, if the policy holder survives, then the cash element of the policy
is payable to him at the time of policy maturity. The premiums for permanent policies are
higher than those of term policies, so the cost and benefits of both options need to be
carefully considered before life insurance is purchased.

At Allied Brokers we have been dealing with life and other insurance products for over
50 years. During that time we have earned a reputation for dedication to client service.
We will be happy to discuss your life and other insurance requirements with you and find
you the type of insurance coverage that best suits your needs. You never know what
tomorrow holds for you, but with Allied Brokers, you will know exactly what your insurance
will give you and your dependents. Call us at 1-888-505-7988 to get started on getting the
insurance that’s right for you. Visit us at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to learn more about us and
the services we offer and to ask for a free quote.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

When Insurance Is A Disaster

The number of insurance agents who commit fraud against policy holders is growing. It’s a simple matter of collecting premium with no intention of paying any claims that arise. Insurance regulators across the country are warning consumers to be on their guard. One of the most common ploys is to offer seemingly great coverage at below market prices. People are being warned to be on guard against door to door insurance selling, high pressure sales tactics and TV advertising that involves toll-free numbers.

Collecting premium and not forwarding them to the insurance companies is another common tactic. As is misleading people by promising them full benefit health insurance coverage but delivering only a basic policy with the minimum coverage. Not having the insurance protection you need is bad enough but thinking you are protected when you are not can be disastrous. The issuing of fake policies is becoming more common and is sneaking unwanted coverage into a policy to boost commissions. Insurance experts also warn of agents who ask for cash payments and avoid giving receipts. This makes pocketing the money very easy.

The bottom line is that any offer that sounds too good to be true probably is. That’s why contacting Allied Brokers for your insurance needs is such a good idea. With 50 years of experience in meeting the insurance needs of the Bay Area and a reputation of integrity and client service, this is a company you can trust, to steer you in the right direction. With a focus on building long term relationships and representing the leading insurance companies of the country, Allied Brokers does not just sell insurance; it offers its clients the protection they need to secure themselves, their families, their businesses and their futures. Health insurance, business insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, home insurance – Allied Brokers will help you find and get the type of insurance coverage that is right for you. Go to http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to find out more. Or call (650) 328-1000. It’s the safest way to stay safe – in every way.

Content sourced from: http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2011-05/how-dishonest-insurance-agents-leave-a-path-of-destruction(2).aspx?storyid=74224

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When The Ground Shakes, So Does Your Future – Part 2

When people know the kind of damage an earthquake can cause, why are they still so reluctant to invest in earthquake insurance? A major reason is the infrequency of the occurrence. Hurricanes, tornadoes and floods are far more common and although the damage they cause will be less than that of a major earthquake, people are aware of the dangers and protect themselves in varied ways, but having a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers these eventualities is not enough. You need earthquake insurance to protect you when the ground slides out from under you. The storms that lashed the Mid-West in the middle of April left a trail of havoc and loss in their wake, but no one was surprised that this should happen. These are common occurrences and people are aware of the dangers and loss potential.


Think about the frequency with which hurricanes happen. Everyone knows the damage they cause. And hurricanes can be predicted in advance so people have time to prepare. But even them, huge damage and loss of life happens. In the case of an earthquake, there is no warning. And they are not annual occurrences that people are used to. But a major quake can result in devastation far worse than a hurricane can cause. Hopefully, it will be many years before a major quake strikes California and the science of earthquake prediction will have advanced in that time. But it could happen tomorrow. If you are among the 9 out of 10 homeowners who do not have earthquake insurance, it is time you did something about it. 

Allied Brokers has been meeting the insurance needs of Bay Area homeowners and businesses for half a century. We know the various risks your home is subjected to. And we have insurance solutions that can offer you the kind of protection you need to ensure that if the worst should happen, you will be in a position to rebuild. We do not just sell you insurance, we provide you with the right insurance – the kind you need to protect your family and your future. Visit our website at www.alliedbrokers.com to learn more about the full range of insurance products we can offer you. Call us at 650-328-1000 to get a free quote for earthquake or any other type of insurance you may need. Keep your future secure, even if the ground under your feet shakes.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When The Ground Shakes, So Does Your Future

 Everyone now knows the statistics of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. 9.0 on the Richter scale, 28,000 (and counting) people dead or missing and an estimated 143,000 buildings either destroyed or damaged. A price cannot be put on the loss of life, but the cost of the physical damage could be as high as $42 billion.
Could the death toll and damage have been reduced in some way? The simple answer is no. Even in a technologically advanced country like Japan, where earthquakes are a part of life, earthquake prediction remains an inexact science.  And if that is the situation in Japan, it’s much worse here in California.

Although the state is in an earthquake prone region, the small frequent tremors that are regularly felt act to desensitize people to the dangers they face – a small tremor and a few rattling windows never hurt anyone. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 is history and the one in Northridge in 1994 is now an unpleasant memory.  Sure, a lot of us know that a major seismic event is predicted to happen in California in the next 30 years. Add this 30 years to the 17 since Northridge and you have something that could occur once is 50 years. This could explain why only 10% of homeowners in the state have earthquake insurance.

But the prediction is not that a major earthquake will hit after 30 years – it will happen within that period and it could be next week, next month or next year. And even a less severe occurrence that that which Japan experienced could destroy homes and futures. If you have not thought about earthquake insurance, now is the time to do so. State and federal disaster relief assistance is meant to help people ride out the crisis, not the help them rebuild and get back on their feet – only insurance can do that. At Allied Brokers we have been in the insurance business for over 50 years and we know insurance, including earthquake insurance. We can help you understand the potential risks and give you insurance options to enable you to repair or rebuild a home after an earthquake. Contact us and we’ll explain your options and the costs involved in clear and simple terms so that you can make the best decisions to protect your family and your future. Call 650-328-1000 or go to www.alliedbrokers.com to learn more.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Could 1906 Happen Again? – Part 2

Once a homeowner realizes the need to have earthquake insurance, the question that arises is how much coverage is needed. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself while determining the amount of coverage you need.

  1. If your home suffers major damage or is destroyed, do you have the resources available to repair it or rebuild to the standard you enjoyed before the earthquake struck?
  2. Where will you stay until you can move back to your home? How long will it be? How much will it cost you and can you afford the expenses?
  3. What about all the possessions you have collected over the years? Do you have the funds to replace the furniture, kitchen appliances, TVs and other electronic goods and clothes that have been lost?
  4. What about your first or second mortgage? Will you be in a position to keep making the payments while financing the rebuilding of your home?
  5. How will the loss of equity caused by the destruction of your home affect you in other ways?

If you put all these factors together, you will find that an earthquake has financial implications that can have a huge impact on your family’s future. Only the right earthquake insurance policy can cover you from all these issues and more and allow you and your family to get back on your feet as quickly as possible and get on with your life. Allied Brokers has been meeting the insurance needs of the Bay Area for over five decades and one of our strengths is the expertise we have in matching insurance needs to the right policy. Representing the major insurance companies in the country, we are able to offer our clients a wide range of policy and overage options and are happy to assist them in making the right decision and getting the best coverage at a cost that is within their budget. Visiting our website at www.alliedbrokers.com will give you information about our services and the earthquake and other types of insurance policies we offer. To talk to us and ask for a free insurance quote, all you need to do is call 650-328-1000. A major earthquake is going to happen and having the right kind of earthquake insurance is the best way to prepare for and recover from a disaster you have no way of controlling.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Could 1906 Happen Again?

It has been over a century since the great earthquake of 1906 destroyed San Francisco. Although Californians are aware of the dangers of the San Andrea fault, are used to mild trembling of the ground under their feet and have lived through the Northridge quake, there is still a widespread lack of appreciation of the havoc and loss a major earthquake can cause. True, the news coverage of what happened in Japan in March did result in a few thousand more earthquake insurance policies being bought; but the number is just a drop in the ocean. Even now, 9 out of 10 homeowners in the state do not have earthquake insurance Even those who are aware of the devastation a major quake can cause are often under the mistaken impression that their homeowner’s insurance will cover them. It will not – a specific earthquake insurance policy is needed. Others presume that if natural disasters occur, state and federal assistance will protect them. These assistance packages are designed to help people cope with the immediate effects of a disaster and will not provide them with the resources to rebuild their homes.

Scientists say that it is not a question of whether a major quake will strike but of when it will happen. Studies predict that a major quake will hit us sometime in the next 30 years. This may sound like a long time in the future, but the key word is within. It could happen next week. Everyone knows about the need for life, health, auto insurance and all kinds of other protection. But to ignore earthquake insurance is to ignore the risk of the total loss of all that you have worked for. Allied Brokers has been meeting the insurance needs of the Bay Area for over fifty years and in that time we have developed an expertise in matching insurance needs to the right policy to offer the best and most cost effective insurance solutions. Click on www.alliedbrokers.com to go to our website and see the services and insurance policies we can provide you with. Or just call 650-328-1000 to talk to us and ask for a free insurance quote. Ignoring earthquake insurance can be a huge mistake. Just ask the people of Japan.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

When The Ground Trembles

Californians are not strangers to earthquakes. In most cases the vibrations underfoot and the rattling of windows are shrugged off with a knowing smile and life goes on. But once in a while, things can get bad; really bad. In 1994 the Northridge earthquake resulted in $20 billion in property damage. Surprisingly, only about 12% of homes in the state have earthquake coverage. Many homeowners are not aware that earthquake damage or loss is not covered by a basic home insurance policy. Those who are aware of this lack of coverage often comfort themselves with the thought that they live far from the fault lines or that their localities experience only mild shocks which do no serious damage. But the US Geological Service says the Bay Area and Sanford “experienced large and destructive earthquakes in 1838, 1868, 1906, and 1989, and future large earthquakes to relieve this continually accumulating strain are a certainty.”

A major earthquake can never be predicted or prepared for. Do you really want to put your home and your family’s future at the mercy of the unknowable? Getting earthquake insurance is easy and can be less expensive than you think. Contact Allied Brokers and we’ll make sure that you get the cost effective earthquake insurance policy that is right for you. We have been in the insurance business since 1954 and we mastered the science of matching our clients’ insurance needs with the insurance policies that are best for them. Talk to us and you will know why our clients’ are so happy with the long term relationships we have with them. Visit our website at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to know more.  Phone us at (650) 328-1000 or email abcosales@alliedbrokers.com to get started.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Under Insured Homes

A home is probably the biggest investment you will make. And with all the risks that surround us – both natural and man-made – no one knowingly under insures their homes. But when disaster strikes, that is the situation a large number of Californians find themselves in. In 2008, a survey found that 75% of the homes in San Diego and San Bernardino counties were under insured. Think of a worst case scenario where your home is destroyed by wildfire and you find the house rebuilding cost is $250,000 more than the insured value. Would you be able to go to the bank and withdraw that sum from your checking account?

The main cause of this problem lies a lack of clarity of the insurance options available. A homeowner gets his house valued and then looks for a home insurance policy that will cover that amount. This is what is known as cash-value insurance coverage. But when the time comes to make a claim, these cash-value insurance policies deduct the structure’s physical depreciation from the eligible repair cost. If the house is destroyed, these policies limit payments to the fair market value at the time the destruction occurred – the rebuilding costs are not taken into account. There are other policy restrictions that further limit the quantum of insurance coverage.

Although no one wants to spend more on home insurance than they need to, replacement-cost home insurance, which may be more expensive, is a far safer option. This will pay for the cost of rebuilding your home, irrespective of the fair market value. Even here there are different types of coverage to choose from. Why risk making a mistake that could affect your future? Why not contact Allied Brokers and make use of the expertise we have gained in our over 50 years of providing the highest levels of insurance services to Bay Area residents? We’ll clearly spell out the options you have, explain the pros and cons of each and help (but never coerce) you into making the right choice. All it takes make sure you and your home are fully protected is a phone call to (650) 328-1000, an email to abcosales@alliedbrokers.com or using the free rate quote service available on our website.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Is Your Business Process Perfect?


You have a revolutionary product or service and your startup business is going to be a huge success. But you will be swimming in uncharted waters and mistakes can easily be made. Or you may have a business plan that will knock the stuffing out of the competition. But you can’t win the war without getting into the trenches and in the heat of battle mistakes are made. Perhaps you have a successful established business. Unless you’re wearing a halo, you have made mistakes in the past and will make them again in future. In all these scenarios, the mistakes can be, at best embarrassing and at worst, ruinous.

You think you are protected from the financial implications because you have liability insurance. But general liability insurance policies do not cover your against errors and omissions (E&O). E&O insurance or professional liability insurance policies protect businesses and professionals against claims made by their clients for damages they have suffered due to negligence or inadequate work. Anyone who reads the newspapers knows that these claims are becoming more frequent and the settlements are often astronomical. Business owners and specified employees and subcontractors are protected under this policy for claims made against them. The amount of coverage is governed by the policy amount and it can be limited to a specified geographical location or to state, country and even worldwide coverage. In today’s world, even the most risk free of business is open to E&O liability. Suppose you run a tailoring business and a needle is left in a dress by accident. A customer claims that when trying on the dress the needle went through her skin and damaged a nerve. You could be sued for millions.

At Allied Brokers, we have been insuring businesses for over 50 years and we know all the risks they face. If you do not have E&O insurance or are not sure if you are properly covered, contact us and we’ll tell you where you stand, what the risks are and show you what you can do about it. All it takes is a call to (650) 328-1000 or an email. Click on http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to learn more about our business and other insurance services.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Business Insurance Is Our Business

The state of California has an economy that is larger than that of most countries in the world. There is not type or size of business that does not exist here. And for over half a century, Allied Brokers has been meeting the business insurance needs of California’s industries. Our objective is not just to sell insurance but to provide our clients with the protection they need to recover from unforeseen events and disasters that could ruin them financially.
As a business owner or manager you know the importance of insuring a business. But there is no such thing as a blanket business insurance policy that covers all eventualities. For example, suppose you run a business selling exotic and expensive food specialties. Your business is insured, but what happens if you experience a major power outage and all the food you have in stock goes bad due to lack of refrigeration? Will your policy cover you against this loss? With business insurance you need to think of all eventualities, no matter how unlikely the occurrence may be. Then check to see if your insurance covers them all. Coverages are defined in two ways – either specific coverage is mentioned in the policy or all risks are covered excepting those that are specifically excluded. Either way, if the risks you have listed out are not covered, you need to buy additional insurance to cover them. At Allied Brokers we will work with you to help you understand the risks your business faces – some of which may not have occurred to you – and then evaluate the costs and benefits of getting you the coverage you need. When making a commercial decision you want to have all the issues, fact and options clearly understood. That’s what we’ll help you to do in regard to your business insurance so that you can be sure of making the right decisions. Visit our website at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to find out more about what we can do for your business and commercial insurance needs. Talking to us is as easy as calling (650) 328-1000.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Insuring Your Home Against the Threat of Fire


Did you know that cooking and home heating are the top causes of residential fires? Did you also know that fire deaths in one- and two-family residences account for far more deaths in most years
than all natural disasters and terrorist actions in the nation combined (“Topical Fire Report Series,” (Volume 10, Issue 7, June 2010)?

How well are you protected against the threat of fire?

In 2009 alone, an estimated 356,200 residential building fires caused 2,480 fatalities, 12,600 injuries, and an estimated loss of $7,259,800,000, reports the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). According to a 2010 USFA report:

  • One- and two-family residential building fires account for 66 percent of all residential building fires, representing the largest subgroup of residential building fires.
  • Cooking fires account for 30 percent of one- and two-family residential building fires reported to the fire service.
  • The leading causes of larger fires (that are not contained in one room) are electrical malfunctions (17 percent), other unintentional or careless actions (14 percent), and intentional (12 percent).
  • One- and two-family residential building fires peak in January and December during the holiday season.

Whether you live in a fire-prone area or not, fire insurance is a worthwhile consideration. Fire insurance varies based on a variety of factors including the extent of coverage, the area where the home is located, market value of the home as well as other risks that might make the home more vulnerable to fires.

Start by assessing the value of your home and in-home assets. Compare that with a quote for fire insurance and calculate your long-term costs. Does your current homeowner's policy protect you against fire damage? Will the long-term cost of fire insurance outweigh the cost of your in-home assets?

Run your questions by an experienced insurance broker. Allied Brokers has over a half century experience in the field of insurance. Speak to an expert who will advice you on your insurance options. Call (650) 328-1000 or visit www.alliedbrokers.com for more information.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Should You Get an HSA Account?


What's it going to be for you this year? Tax-time gain or tax-time drain? Here's a tip that might help you save on taxes and save for future medical expenses.

If you have a high-deductible health plan, recent tax laws allow you to set aside money for your health expenses. Known as the Health Savings Account (HSA), the money in this account can be used to pay for your medical expenses, as well as other qualified expenses like vision or dental services that are not covered by your health plan.

There are two parts to an HSA: the health plan, which is administered by a health insurance services provider, and the savings account, which is administered by a bank or financial services institution.

Once you set up an HSA account, your money remains there for your medical expenses. An HSA is an attractive option because it allows you to save money for current and future medical expenses, tax-free! However, there is a maximum contribution limit for the HSA plan, depending on whether it's an individual plan or a family plan, as well as the age of the account holder.

Here's a quick recap of the benefits of an HSA:

  1. Tax-free savings and growth that you can use towards the deductible payments in a high-deductible health insurance plan.
  2. Fully tax-deductible contributions (for 2011, up to a maximum of $3050 for an individual HSA and $6,150 for a family HSA)
  3. Additional age-based contribution allowance of $1000 for individuals over the age of 55. If both, husband and wife, are over 55, each is allowed to make the additional contribution of $1000.
  4. No penalties as long as the money from the HSA account is used to pay qualifying medical expenses.
  5. No penalties if the money is withdrawn after you turn 65.

For more information and questions about an HSA account, contact an experienced insurance broker. Allied Brokers has been serving clients' insurance needs since 1954. Knowledgeable agents at the Allied office can help you determine whether you qualify for an HSA, and help you choose the best plan for your needs. Call (650) 328-1000 or visit www.alliedbrokers.com for more information.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CCNRs For Your Homeower's Association

What is Supplemental Insurance?


Ever seen the ad with the strange-looking goose quacking “AFLAC?” He's peddling supplemental insurance services.

Supplemental insurance takes charge where your regular health insurance fails. Consider a scenario where a sudden illness leaves you with large medical payments and loss of pay from being unable to go to work. If you have supplemental insurance, it will cover the lost income and living expenses.

Supplemental insurance can never be purchased by itself – it is only available in addition to an existing insurance plan. There are several different supplemental insurance plans available for a variety of needs:

  1. If you are on Medicare, supplemental insurance can be purchased to pay for medical expenses not covered by Medicare, such as co-payment, deductibles, co-insurance, long-term health care, prescription drugs, or in-home and nursing-home care. Supplemental insurance that complements Medicare is called Medigap. There are 12 Medigap plans (labeled A through L), each catering to a different set of needs and offering different benefits.
  2. Emergency hospital stays and outpatients services can be covered by supplemental insurances offering fixed cash benefits for these services.
  3. Basic supplemental insurance can be purchased to cover routine preventive care.
  4. Supplemental insurance can be used to cover expenses related to a pre-existing condition.

Supplemental insurance plans make the payment directly to you. This requires that you make the required medical payments to the provider upfront, before applying for the supplemental insurance payment. Do you have enough funds in the event of a medical emergency? This is an important consideration before you steer in the direction of supplemental insurance. There are many different companies, plans and limitations to supplement insurance.

Learn more before you commit your money. Experienced agents from Allied Brokers International can address all your insurance needs and concerns by phone at (650) 328-1000 or online at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When You've Exhausted the Limits of Liability Insurance

... take shelter under the expanse of an umbrella policy.

Very simply put, an umbrella policy does what its name implies—provide protection when your other insurances have been exhausted.

An umbrella policy is personal liability coverage that can be purchased only when you already have other insurance coverage. Think of it like a buffer, a cushion, that protects you when the limits of your individual policies have been exhausted.

Consider for example that you have homeowner's insurance that covers you up to a maximum of $500,000 in claims. You could purchase an umbrella policy that would extend this coverage to say $1 million, or an amount you decide. If there is a claim of $750,000 on your homeowner's insurance, $500,000 of the claim will be paid by your homeowner's insurance. For the remaining $250,000, the umbrella policy kicks in and pays the amount.

Umbrella policies are relatively inexpensive because a claim has to first be fulfilled by a primary policy before you start drawing from your umbrella. Premiums/costs of your umbrella policy will vary depending on the limit you set for your policy. Personal liability umbrellas for up to $1 million in coverage can cost between $150 and $300. Every additional $1 million in coverage incurs an added cost to your umbrella premium.

Umbrella pros:
- extension of liability coverage
- extendable coverage limits
- protection in the event of bodily injury, personal injury, or property damage
- wider protection if you are sued
- low annual costs

In order to purchase an umbrella policy, you need to have a base coverage of at least $150,000 to $250,000 for auto insurance and $250,000 to $300,000 for your homeowner's insurance. An umbrella policy does not cover you against business liabilities. Nor does an umbrella policy provide protection if you have caused damage or losses with ill intentions.

Talk to a trusted insurance agent or broker for more information on umbrella policies and to learn how they can protect you and your assets. For over half a century, Allied Brokers and their experienced agents have been helping clients assess and fulfill their insurance needs. Call (650) 328-1000to speak to an insurance specialist or visit www.alliedbrokers.com for more information.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's Never Too Late to Plan

Have you wondered about the safety and security of your financial future? Are you investing in the right places and doing the things needed to fund your post retirement life? Insurance is the right investment as it takes care of your health, wealth, family and other things you hold dear. Most people plan their finances based on their Social Security and pension plans. The only way to stabilize your finances during the long run is to get life insurance. Financial planning and Life insurance go hand in hand as they are integral aspects to maintain proper monetary control, protect your family's lifestyle, and accumulate wealth. Life insurance with the right amount of coverage helps you expect the unexpected head on, without worrying about the financial safety of your loved ones.

It’s never too late to plan for insurance. A leading insurance brokerage company like Allied Brokers will help you select the right policy suited for your requirement and budget plan. They offer term life, whole life, second to die and universal life insurance policies that have the potential to accumulate good cash value. For an initial consultation, call them at 650.328.1000 or visit their corporate website http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ for more information.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

HUGE California Traffic Tickets Fines Effective 01/06/2011


The next time you decide to park your car in the handicapped zone, think twice! You might have to pay a heavy parking fine. The State of California has made an unanimous decision to raise their traffic ticket fines by a huge margin. This is the time to exercise extreme caution in car registration and insurance matters, much less the way you choose to follow the rules of the road. The highway patrol is under a lot of pressure to issue a certain amount of parking tickets to careless drivers, so beware of highway and traffic cameras installed everywhere and tougher enforcement of parking rules. Have you ever stopped and thought whether your car insurance policy offers the adequate coverage you need in times such as these? This could be a blessing in disguise in case you are facing a huge fine for breaking any supposed rule.

Allied Brokers offers automobile policies from a range of insurers which include standard and optional coverages for liability, medical payments, under-insured/uninsured motorists, collision waiver, towing and labor costs etc. This insurance brokerage firm gives you the benefit of price and coverage comparison when it comes to selecting the right insurance plan for you. If you're thinking about automobile insurance, motorcycle insurance, or any other insurance for classic collectibles, boat/yacht, they can help you find the coverage that works best for you and your budget. What’s more, they have low premium payments for teen drivers. You can save possibly hundreds of dollars if you qualify for their auto discounts. Visit http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to request a quote or call 650- 328-1000 to speak to a live agent.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Everything you need to know about Auto Insurance


You may be the proud owner of a car and can’t wait to hit the road with your new set of wheels, but there are some facts you need to know before heading out. Buying a new car may be the most gratifying experience with many advantages but it could also lead to financial risks. Auto insurance can help you pay for repairs, cover medical expenses or other bills concerned with car accidents. There are some insurance facts that need some going over and better you learn them here than on the street – after encountering an accident. A few things may have not been discussed by your agent like liability, collision, deductibles and comprehensive coverage before setting out the plan to you. Before deciding to buy auto insurance, keep in mind these few pearls of wisdom and then take the plunge:-

  • Spend your dollars wisely
  • Don’t just look at the liability, look at the coverage per person
  • Consider buying an umbrella policy
  • Keep a good credit rating
  • Shop around for the best policy that offers the right price and coverage
  • Take advantage of discounts
  • Ask about diminished value for your car
  • Understand the claims process when you buy your policy
If you would like to find the best insurance policy at the right market price, contact Allied Brokers for a free quote. This insurance company offers their customers the chance to choose the policy that suits them best by benefit of price and coverage comparison. If you are looking to replace your existing policy, please contact an agent today at the Allied Brokers Office (650) 328-1000 or visit www.alliedbrokers.com for more information. They will make sure that you get the right insurance plan for your lifestyle, at affordable rates.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What will Health Insurance Plan Reform do for you right now?



For many Americans, the health insurance plan reform can be a hard pill to swallow, simply because they are being asked to pay for their coverage through various taxes and mandates. Supporters of this legislation bill believe that it could be termed as a good investment plan and also help in reducing monthly premiums in the long run and the uninsured population. Stringent regulations on insurance companies will take effect as soon the President signs a bill into law. As a result, the market for individual health insurance will become friendlier to consumers. For those who are unknowingly underinsured, these regulations include a ban on lifetime or annual limits on coverage. Treatments for serious diseases have proven to be expensive for middle and lower income individuals, forcing some to bankruptcy. The government has decided to enforce this ban six months after the healthcare reform bill passes, bringing peace of mind to the uninsured and underinsured.


Meanwhile, those with pre-existing health problems who have no access to buying a health insurance plan and for young adults who can’t afford an individual health insurance plan and/or lack full-time employment with insurance benefits will be able to get coverage much more easily. The health reform bill has been a ray of light for many, as such a regulation will either lower health insurance plan premiums or increase the quality of care in the individual health insurance market. For those who are looking for the complete package which is affordable and meets their healthcare needs, Allied Brokers can offer you good coverage and much more. This full service insurance brokerage represents the leading insurance companies of the country, the range of insurance products it offers and its dedication to quality customer service. For information on the specifics of health insurance, visit http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ or call (650) 328-1000 for a one-on-one consult. Maximize coverage and minimum expenditure is what Allied Brokers stands for and represents.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Impacts Your Auto Insurance Quotes

Most people think that it is the value of a car that determines the cost of car insurance. While it is true that the cost of the car does have a major influence of auto insurance rates, there are many other factors which also have a significant impact. These include:
  • The Type Of Car. A low cost but high performance car may cost more to insure than an expensive but safer sedan.
  • What Kind Of Coverage? Simple auto liability insurance, that covers only injury and damage to other people and property, is the cheapest. Adding additional coverage gives you more protection. But it will also cost more.
  • Spending a little more to equip your car with security features like alarms, tracking systems and immobilizers will reduce the chance of theft and increase the possibilities of recovery if it is stolen. Installing these features will result in a reduction of your car insurance rates.
  • Location has a major impact on your car insurance costs. If you live in an area that is known to have a lot of accidents or where the incidence of car theft is high, you will pay more for your insurance.
  • Your driving record will also influence your premium. A person with a large number of speeding ticket or DUIs in his record will pay a higher premium than one who has a clean record because that person is presumed to be the safer driver. 
Consult an insurance broker like Allied Brokers International to help you with your auto insurance needs. Allied Brokers is proud to offer insurance expertise developed over 50 years of service to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Allied agents can not only walk you through the various insurance options, but they can also provide you with a free quote. Don't forget to ask about liability insurance, comprehensive coverage and good driver discounts! Allied Brokers on (650) 328-1000 - http://www.alliedbrokers.com/auto_overview.html.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The significance of health insurance

In a world dominated by stress and an expensive medical environment, health insurance plays a significant role in every family unit. We all worry about investing in our homes, cars, and our children’s education, but do we stop and think about our family’s health and well-being? Every family is unique from the other and has a different type of health issue that needs to be addressed.  There are a few things to be considered before selecting a health insurance plan, since there are group and individual coverages. You can make a note of how many family members need insurance; for instance, you can select a plan for children which will provide coverage only when necessary.  Procuring a plan that is right for your family’s needs is imperative. The financial implications of a serious illness or injury can be catastrophic if there is no proper coverage to bail you out of expensive hospital bills and consultations. Prioritize and plan to get the coverage you need. If you still need help in deciding what best fits your health needs and budget, consult with Allied Brokers.

With 50 years of experience in insurance and a reputation for quality client service, this insurance brokerage will begin by understanding your health insurance needs, presenting you with the various options in a clear and concise manner and helping you to choose what is best for you. Comparing health insurance plans can be difficult and confusing, especially when there are no standard coverage plans. Allied brokers has partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Shield to provide you the best comprehensive coverage for individuals and families, as well as Medicare supplemental insurance for seniors.  You can compare different plans and get affordable insurance quotes by calling 650-328-1000. Visit their corporate website http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ for more information on other services or to request a quote online.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Individual Health Insurance – Questions To Ask Before Taking A Policy


Group health insurance is usually the cheapest option, but often a group plan may not be available to not suitable for your needs. If you are not eligible for a group plan or find that what is there is not right for you, the option is to take individual health insurance. This is something you buy for yourself and is not tied to the workplace. And although it is called individual health insurance, it can also cover your family. Health insurance can be expensive so it essential that you get the right type of coverage – one that give you the protection you need but does not cause you to pay more than you can afford.
Questions to ask yourself

Use your answers to the following questions to help you define the type of individual health insurance you need.

1. What are your family’s health care needs? Do people in the family have serious allergy problems; are they asthmatic; is here a family history of diabetes or other diseases? If the answer is yes, your health care needs will be frequent. If so, make sure you have adequate coverage.
2. Do you want to keep visiting only your doctor? If you are not happy with being tied to an HMO, take an insurance policy that will allow you to continue going to your doctor.
3. Low monthly premiums or out-of-pocket expenses coverage? If you want routine doctor visits and lab tests covered, your premium will be higher than if you bear these expenses yourself. A good thumb rule to follow is the larger the family, the more routine medical expenses and so having the health insurance plan cover these is a good idea.
4. Are Prescriptions and X-rays covered? Check to see if your current and anticipated medicine needs are covered. X-rays and scans are becoming a common component in many treatments so make sure that your coverage is adequate.
5. What will emergency care cost? Look at how a policy defines “emergency care” or the equivalent terms and see if the coverage is what you need.
6. What if you have a preferred specialist? Many plans limit the specialists you can consult. If you have specialist that you are comfortable with and don’t want to change. Make sure that to plan covers this.
7. What about mental health? Most policies usually have limitations on mental health coverage. Make sure you are okay with them.
8. Do you prefer nontraditional medical treatment? If you find naturopathy, acupuncture and other nontraditional forms of medicine best for you, make sure that your insurance plan covers these forms of treatment.

The best way to find the right individual health insurance plan is to contact Allied Brokers. Their reputation for client service is built on the way they explain all the implications of different plans, highlight the pros and cons and help their clients find the right ones. And with 50 years of experience behind them and representing the leading insurance companies in the country, the insurance products they have to offer are the best. Visit the website at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ to find out more about how they can meet your insurance needs and to get a free health insurance rate quote. Or just phone (650) 328-1000 or email abcosales@alliedbrokers.com.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Health Insurance: Understanding What It Covers


How much deductible are you paying? Does your health insurance cover you when you are abroad? What is in-network and out-of-network coverage? Does your health plan include dental coverage? Do you know who is your non-Specialist (Primary Care Physician)?

You need to be very clear about the nitty – gritty about your health insurance cover to avoid finding yourself in any vulnerable position, especially when you are travelling abroad. Finding yourself with a health problem in a foreign country without coverage can be scary and traumatic.
Screenings for pre – conditions

That said, before taking health insurance it is important to be very clear about the various terms and conditions offered by the health insurer in question and most importantly about your needs. Probe your family medical history if there is high incidence of any illness in your family such as diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer etc. Check if the preventive services offered by the insurer provides screenings for your hereditary risks. Additionally, find out what are all the preventive services offered by the insurer. For instance, Medicare offers preventive services for Bone Mass Measurement, Cardiovascular and Colon Cancer Screenings, Diabetes screening etc. Don’t forget to check for deductibles if any.

 
Does your health coverage travel with you?

If you travel overseas frequently, you need to make sure if your insurer will cover you for your medical expenses abroad otherwise you may need to take supplemental insurance. It is also important that you find out if your insurer will make payment directly to the healthcare providers or will reimburse you later for overseas healthcare expenditures.

Seeking the advice of an experienced health insurance broker would save you from a lot of hassles and the broker will explain everything to you in detail.

But it is very important that you read the terms and conditions on your own too. Don’t just depend on a third party to explain the needful to you. This will preclude any unpleasant misunderstandings about the extent of the coverage in the future.

For a detailed understanding of the nuances of a health cover visit

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Health Insurance Now or Later

Are you undecided about health insurance? Is too much information, advice and views from all around exacerbating your indecision? Well, you had better make up your mind fast because all this procrastination could hurt you? When it comes to health insurance, you just can’t afford to be indecisive. Countless families who are facing financial ruin because of high healthcare bills will vouch for this fact.

The best time to get health coverage is when you are in good health. If you are eligible for health coverage, then go for it now.

Always remember that newly-diagnosed medical conditions can increase the cost of health coverage.

If you delay, and suddenly find yourself with a serious health problem like cancer or arthritis, you are not going to get a health insurance easily or can be denied coverage. Don’t be complacent just because you are young and healthy because illnesses don’t come with a forewarning.
There’s one more thing.

The longer you have uninterrupted health coverage, you become eligible for many accumulated benefits such as those given for every claim free year.

The insurance benefits that you receive from your employer may not give you enough coverage so you also need to explore options for personal health coverage that will give you that extra cover you need.

You can shop around the net for the most appropriate cover. There are unlimited options in cyberspace but it would benefit you hugely to seek the advice of a seasoned health insurance expert.

Consider contacting a health insurance expert from Allied Brokers who will guide you on the plan that will best suit you and your family. Visit http://www.alliedbrokers.com/health.html
Or call (650) 328-1000 for a chat with their representative.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Health Insurance: How To Stay Ahead Of The Game

Health insurance is a complex subject, often far more difficult to understand than home insurance or life insurance. The rising cost of health care has caused health insurance rates to rise, but to be without insurance is to risk financial ruin if a serious sickness of injury should occur. Think about the cost of just one visit to a doctor – that is bad enough. Now consider the financial implications of a major illness. Keep the following points in mind when looking for health insurance.

  1. Shopping around to find the best healthcare insurance is essential. Even if you are employed and are part of a group insurance plan, check and see if the coverage you have is enough and if not get a policy of your own to supplement it.
  2. Comparing health insurance plans is difficult – there are no standard coverage plans. Costs and benefits are variable and you need to prioritize the health coverage that is important to you and ensure that this is what you get.
  3. Keep in mind that a low premium may not always translate into the cheapest insurance. A low premium may not have prescription coverage or check-ups and urgent care may not be covered.
  4. Low premium plans often restrict the doctors, hospitals and labs you can use. It’s worthwhile to pay a little more and have a wider selection, such a paying your family doctor’s bill or going to a hospital that you know and trust.
  5. Often spouses are both covered by employer provided health care plans. It is a good idea to examine the coverage each offers and the cost / contribution to be made and focus on the best option with supplementary insurance to cover any missing areas.
  6. Also when looking for a healthcare plan, consider your need for additional coverage like dental care or mental health coverage.

These are just a few points to consider. There is much more about health insurance and the layman can easily get confused when balancing the pro and cons of different policies. It’s always better to consult a professional insurance broker like Allied Brokers. With 50 years of experience in insurance and a reputation for client service, their reps will begin by understanding your health insurance needs, presenting you with the various options in a clear manner and helping you to choose what is best for you. Visit the Allied Brokers website at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ or call them on (650) 328-1000 to learn more. You can also request for a free health insurance quote online.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Are You Covered Against Holiday Mishaps?

One holiday season is over but there’s a long year ahead with many more holidays to come. Maybe it’s because we are relaxed and let our guard down, but holidays seem to be a time when the frequency of accidents and mishaps increases. And something unfortunate happening on or near the holidays can not only ruin the festivities, it can have serious long term implications. This does not mean that you should lock yourself in a room on holidays – if you do that, what’s the point of the holiday? But taking a few sensible precautions can give you the peace of mind to really relax and make the most of the occasion.

A few precautions you can take

  • Check to see if your homeowner’s insurance coves decorations stolen from your front yard. Decorations can be expensive and there are always creatures of the night ready to make off with them. You can’t stand guard all night long, but if the worst happens, at least you are covered financially.
  • Holidays are a time for shopping and when crooks are on the lookout for cars full of shopping. Your home insurance coverage should cover you from any loss, but check it up. And if a break-in should occur, does your auto insurance cover the cost of repairs?
  • Christmas candles and 4th of July fireworks are major causes of fires. In the best case scenario, there may be some damage to the interiors of your home and to some furnishings. In the worst case, a home can be seriously damaged or even destroyed. While home insurance will cover the cost of repairs and replacement, it is wise to check to see if your policy is up to date and covers any new expensive articles you may have installed recently.
  • Holidays are party times but what happens if a guest in your home has an accident and gets injured? Make sure that your home insurance coverage is enough to protect you from liability claims.
  • Holidays are a time when DUIs increase. Make sure that your auto insurance covers you from expenses resulting from accidents caused by under insured or uninsured drivers.
 If you are uncertain of the insurance coverage you have or want to increase it or perhaps take out a new policy, all you need to do is call Allied Brokers at (650) 328-1000, email abcosales@alliedbrokers.com or ask for a free online rate quote.