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.