Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: insurance

How to Determine the Top Rated Auto Insurance Carriers

Trust plays an important role in auto insurance contract that you need to confide on your carrier to help you out in case you are involved in an accident unexpectedly. Here you need to rate the carriers before entrusting them for your safety. You need to look for the financial stability of the company initially, since the company will need to pay out for your claim at any economic condition. Companies which are top rated are generally more financially stable comparatively. Those unstable companies will eventually end up in bankruptcy or exit the industry. Customer of such companies since they become responsible for their accidents themselves and most can not afford to pay for the damages.

So you must be aware of how these companies are rated. There are independent rating agencies like AM Best that screens each company independently and rate various companies. Based on the financial stability of the auto insurance companies, AM Best grades them with a letter. This enables the customers to know if they are buying insurance from a well rated company. A summary of the letter grades are as follows

  • A ++, A + (Superior) – the company has superior ability such that they can meet the ongoing restrictions of their policyholders easily.
  • A, A (Excellent) – the company has excellent ability to meet the obligations of their customers.
  • B ++, B + (Good) – the company has good ability to meet the obligations of their policyholders.
  • B, B- (Fair) – the company has fair ability to meet the obligations of their customers.
  • C ++, C + (Marginal) – the company has a marginal ability only to meet the obligations of their policyholders.
  • C, C- (Weak) – the company has a weak ability to meet the obligations of their policyholders.
  • D (Poor) – the company has a poor ability only to meet the obligations of their customers.

Since buying auto insurance from a good company is very important, better knowledge of these grades is good. The ratings are available free from many online sources. The auto insurance companies themselves post their rating in their websites but some low rated companies do not. Here is the best option is to go to a comparison site to find stable companies. Many such sites only offer companies rated B + and above to attract customers to their sites. In addition to the companies, these sites also thrive for customer satisfaction. As a result, the customer can get a policy from a stable company without further doubts. Apart from the rating, other things to be noted in a company are

  • Pricing
  • Range of offers catering to different insurance requirements
  • Average customer's overall experience with the company
  • Billing costs
  • Payment options available
  • Ease of contact
  • Customer service

A complete analysis of all these factors will certainly help you to choose the best rated company. Many online auto insurance comparison sites will give you the best companies themselves. They enable you to search in a short time. Since you trust …


Riding With Green Car Insurance

With global warming becoming more of a threat than ever, the need for people to chose something a little more friendly to the environment when purchasing a new motor vehicle is more important than it has ever been.

Motoring around in an eco friendly automobile depends mostly on how much the driver wishes to do to what is best for the greater good. However, new studies indicate that there is a reason of even greater importance for motorists to purchase a green car. Green car insurance is tackling the feat of offsetting damage caused by vehicles that are not friendly to the environment by donating a portion of policy premiums to charities that are fighting the battle against global warming.

Green car insurance is a rapidly growing phenomenon, and it seems that green car insurance companies are steadily becoming more and more competitive. Drivers of automobiles that have high emissions should consider green car insurance providers in your search for insurance cover. It seems that the general consensus among motorists is to change the things the way things are some direction needs to come from the country’s government. For example, the government could cut the Insurance Premium Tax on green cars as incentive. Today, drivers generally pay about £50 extra for cover on a green car; it is as if drivers are being punished for purchasing green cars. This is not much of an incentive to go green.

Cheaper insurance cover quotes would definitely be a step in the right direction, but for drivers who are being put off by the present green car insurance quotes, the main attraction is the financial savings. By purchasing a vehicle with low emissions, which is more economical, emitting 17% less carbon dioxide, then the fuel-operated equivalents, drivers of green cars are reaping the benefits and cutting costs on fuel by as much as £165 each year and the road taxes are each being cut by £125.

The car insurance industry has planned in advance and is already making way for a more cost friendly green solution and offering the best cover quotes. For instance, when they offer new products, the insurance providers now offer to donate to green charities and invest in green technology as a way of offsetting the damage caused from car emissions.

With this new way of thinking that has been adopted by insurance providers and commercial realities, there is no better time than the present to purchase a green car. With the cost of petrol rising to new heights almost daily, drivers are finding themselves more and more interested in a fuel-efficient green car with lower tax. Customers are finding out first hand that not only are these new green cars better for their wallet but they are also better for the environment as well. Everyone in the UK should be thinking about what they can do to improve the environment and a great place to start is with the purchase of a new green car and green car …


Health Insurance Is a Very Important Investment

Health insurance continues to be a subject that sends shivers down the spine of many individuals. The main reason for this is that insurance by itself is already a daunting subject, and specific insurance categories such as health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance and critical illness insurance (only to mention a few) can be quite confusing and the associated costs thereof may appear to be quite astronomical.

Fortunately, the insurance industry is a very competitive industry and provides specialized packages (such as health insurance) for people with different needs and requirements. By making an effort to understand the different types of insurance a bit better, you will soon realize that obtaining insurance is to your benefit, it is not at all a matter of throwing your hard earned money in the water.

When obtaining a health insurance policy, you need to familiarize yourself with the terms and phrases that are most often used. This will help you to not only choose the best policy for your needs and requirements, but also to be fully equipped for having to claim from your insurance, as you will then know exactly what to expect.

Your insurance policy may expect you to make use of an accredited provider. This simply means that the service provider has received a stamp of approval and that this specific supplier is meeting very specific quality standards. This is very important, as a health insurance policy provider needs to ensure that you only make use of skilled professionals.

It is a good idea to also inquire about the aftercare stipulations of your insurance policy. In some instances you will require care or follow-up treatment after an operation or a long stay in hospital. Some health insurance policies will cover the aftercare treatments and follow ups, while others might not, so make sure to know what your policy includes and excludes.

When your insurance broker or insurance agent returns to the annual maximum benefit amount, they are referring to the maximum amount that your policy will pay out per year. It is understandable that insurance providers have to set such a limit to protect themselves. Do not forget to find out what your annual maximum benefit amount is.

Once you have chosen a insurance policy and have completed all the necessary forms and documentation, you will receive a certificate of coverage. This certificate is proof that you have obtained a policy, and it furthermore describes the limitations, exclusions, benefits, maximum benefit amount and all factors already mentioned in this article. Make sure that you read through the entire certificate and familiarize yourself with the policy's terms and conditions.

A health insurance policy can generally be obtained as a standardone policy, or as an add-on to an existing policy. Spend some time on the internet to explore possible available packages, and discuss any questions with your insurance agent or insurance broker. Obtaining a insurance policy is the responsible thing to do – you never know when you might need the cover! …


Insurance Agents Are Like Toasters

We work in a unique industry – one in which insurance agents are like toasters. Let me explain …

Everyone owns and uses at least one small appliance at home. It may be a toaster, a garage door opener or a microwave oven. No doubt it's something we use every day. And yet, we can not recall the brand name of the appliance. We all know what it looks like and how it works, but generally can not remember who the manufacturer is … until it breaks. When it breaks, we check to see what brand of "widget" it is and whether repair or replacement is covered. We decide whether we want to purchase the same brand or try a different brand altogether. It takes a problem to draw our attention to the brand – and until that time, since we are not really aware of the brand we're using, one brand is as good as another ! Insurance agents are essentially like toasters. We're generally not thought of by policyholders until something breaks – that is, until there's a claim.

Once there's a claim, we have the ability to really shine. We're responsive and concerned. We work to expedite things and look out for our policyholder's interests. We end up creating more of a relationship with our clients. When there's a claim, we get the opportunity to really shine in the eyes of the policyholder. The problem arises when everything is going well!

When all is well and there are not any claims (which is most of the time), we are not thought of. And when we are not thought of, our clients are easily persuaded to consider using another agent or finding a better rate. The real challenge with keeping clients is not mishandling a claim. It's being faceless. The danger lies in being a nameless toaster.

How do you avoid the misfortune of being forgotten? Let me share a lesson I learned many years ago when I was working to succeed as a small business consultant. I have a pretty strong business background and I knew I could help most any small business in any area they needed help with – finance, marketing, systems, personnel, etc. I marketed to businesses far and wide – businesses in various industries and of various sizes. I was open to any assignment I could attract. After all, I could not afford to turn any opportunity away. I worked hard at developing my consulting practice, but never achieved more than mediocre results. After a few years of struggling, I ended up moving on to other things (read that as, "I had to get a job."). Just after accepting an executive position with a company, I gained an important marketing insight. Here is the insight I got:

If you're not known for something, you're not known for anything.

I had been a toaster. People hard thought of me. They rarely referred others to me. Only a small number of them chose to give …


Recognizing Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud is one of the most costly and fastest growing white-collar crimes in America today. In fact, it is the second most common white-collar crime, behind tax evasion. The effect of this crime should not be underestimated, and is reported to cost Americans over $ 86 billion per year. That means that each household incurs losses of around $ 1,000 per year due to policy increases caused by fraudulent coverage claims.

Insurance fraud is described as any deceptive means used in order to gain from an insurance policy. Fraud may be committed at any time during a transaction by applicants for coverage, policyholders, third-party claimants or professionals who provide services to claimants.

Insurance fraud is commonly described as being 'hard' or 'soft'. A hard form of this crime is one in which an accident, etc. is certainly caused, or a claim is completely fabricated in order to receive financial gain from a policy. These types of scams can range through many insurance fields including auto, home, life, medical, fire, etc.

Soft fraud describes a case where claims are falsely exaggerated, often to cover a policy's deductible. This is far more common than more elaborate hard frauds, and are sometimes referred to as 'opportunistic frauds'. Falsely exaggerating automobile damage in an accident and embellishing the value or amount of items lost in a fire or robbery are both common forms that are included in the soft category. Similarly, soft fraud also encompasses withholding of information when applying for insurance. Commonly, people will neglect to report aspects of their medical history when applying for medical insurance, or will falsify information about their vehicle when applying for auto coverage, such as mileage, location, etc. This is most commonly done in an attempt to receive lower premiums, or to ensure coverage in the first place. This is illegal and considered deception.

Types of fraud can be found throughout all fields, from health and life, to travelers insurance. For each industry, different methods are used in an attempt to profit from bogus claims. According to the industry's statistics, up to 10% of all claims, averaged throughout all fields, are fraudulent.

While most people committing this crime may feel they are only taking money from the insurance company, they are actually stealing from each policy holder's pocket. Every fraudulent claim is reflected back to the consumers through increased policies and higher deductibles. …


Whole Life Insurance – What It Is And When It's A Good Option

A whole life insurance policy provides coverage for an insured's entire lifetime provided there is no default in premium. It builds cash value and guarantees a death benefit irrespective of when the insured dies.
Here are its main features …

1) It gives a fixed amount of coverage through the policyholder's entire life provided the policy remains active.

2) The premiums are usually fixed throughout the policy holder's lifetime provided the policy remains active.

3) Benefits are either payable on the maturity date (which is usually set at the policy holder's 100th birthday) or the death of the policy holder. Whichever comes first.

4) The face value is fixed once the policy is purchased.

5) Coverage can be increased only by: Buying an additional policy, dividends or additional riders to the original policy.

6) Cash value is accumulated and increases over the years from premiums paid.

7) The total amount accrued minus the total premiums is reported to as earnings. They do not usually attract any tax if you do not surrender the policy. However, if you do, you may owe taxes. To be sure ask a competent professional.

8) A policy holder may draw loans up to the amount of the cash value. Repayment of such loans is not compulsory. However, such unrepaid loans will reduce the death benefit paid. The insurance company will simply deduct the owed amount with the accrued interest before paying out the benefit.

If you've made up your mind on the best life insurance policy for you get it at the best price possible by obtaining and comparing quotes from insurance quotes sites. Your whole life insurance premium will be far less if you do this well. …


Unlisted Drivers Can Cause Your Auto Insurance Rate to Skyrocket

Very few circumstances can cause your auto insurance rates to rise the way an unlisted driver can.

First, the basics. Auto insurance policies are written to cover your car, not necessarily the operator. What this means on the surface is that as long as you have given an individual “permissive use” of your vehicle, should that person become involved in an automobile accident, there should be coverage. The type of coverage that can be applied, of course, would depend on the type of car insurance you originally purchased. For instance, in the event your “permissive driver” is involved in an at fault accident, and you have purchased collision insurance coverage, collision would pay for the damages to your car, minus your deductible. But conversely, even if that driver was involved in a not at fault accident, you can expect your insurance company to take a closer look at your policy come renewal time.

As an example, assume that you loan your car to a friend on a one time basis for whatever reason. You can establish that this friend is not a consistent driver of your car, and you can verify that your friend does not live with you. What happens if your friend, the unlisted driver, becomes involved in an at fault car accident? Under the circumstances, your insurance policy would pay for the damages to your vehicle. Even if your friend has his own policy, that policy is not responsible to pay for your damages.

Will this create problems for you with the insurance company? Probably.

Normally, when insurance companies pay for an at fault accident, you can expect to suffer the consequences. Even though you are making payment on the relevant premiums, your insurance company will “penalize” you if you are involved in at fault accident. How is the penalty imposed? By way of a higher auto insurance rate.

And what about the fact that you permitted a friend to drive? Will that also boost your chances for a higher auto insurance rate? Probably so. Insurance companies tend not to respond well to “unlisted” drivers, at fault or not. In fact, with an unlisted driver in the driver’s seat, count on your insurance company to launch a claims investigation into the circumstances. More specifically, they will be looking into the possibility that the driver could live in your home. And, more than likely, they will also examine the driving history of the unlisted driver as well as whether or not that driver has insurance of his own.

Should you expect an increase in your auto insurance rates? Most definitely if the investigation divulges factors that increase your risk rating.

If the insurance company investigation reveals that the unlisted driver has a poor driving record, you can be fairly sure that this will be used against you when your auto insurance rate is calculated at the end of your insurance policy period. By association, if you allow an irresponsible driver to operate your insured vehicle, your risk scoring …


Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance

Why Should I Have Health Insurance? Why is it so Expensive? Should I Get A new Quote?

You pay a set monthly rate for Health Insurance basically to stop yourself from financial loss. Accidents can happen and if you were to be flown in a Helicopter plus spend one day in the Hospital it would be at least $ 26,000. The average day in the Hospital is $ 12,000.

What are the differences between a PPO and HMO?

PPO is Preferred Provider Organization: a list provided by each Insurance Company. In general, the higher the deductible, the lower the monthly rate. Each PPO has a different calender year deductible. Plans with a lower deductible have more generous prescription drug benefits and lower visit co payments. Overall all PPO's will have a Maximum coverage the same approximately $ 5,000,000.

HMO is a Health Maintenance Organization. With an HMO you and your family must live or work in an area served by the plan. For instance, if you live on Catalina Island and the Hospital is in Los Angeles this would not be a ideal plan to choose.

Deductibles and how do they work? You must pay the deductible on your plan before coverage starts to kick in. Some plans have $ 0 deductible and go all the way to $ 4,000 deductible (Health Saving Accounts).

Co-payment is the fixed fee for visiting and using the services of in a network such as a doctor, Emergency Room, or filling a prescription. If your co-payment is $ 35, you pay tat every time you see a doctor and it does not go to your out of pocket maximum.

Coinsurance is the percentage the patient must pay. For example if the permitted amount is $ 100 for a visit and your coinsurance is 20%, you pay $ 20.

Out-of-pocket-maximum is a dollar limit on the total amount you have to pay for covered services in a calender year.

Best thing to do is ask yourself: How often do I visit the Doctor a year. If it is two times a year at about $ 100 per visit then get the lowest monthly plan such as a Health Savings Account so you will still have $ 5,000,000 coverage and will receive medical attention. If you have a family probably want HMO for the kids and PPO for the parents. …


17 Year Old Car Insurance – Are You a Parent Having Trouble Keeping Up With Payments?

It can be quite challenging for a 17 year old to find car insurance. Affordable plans are hard to come by-especially for younger drivers. Still, there are ways in which you can find inexpensive policies for your teen. There are also some things your son or daughter can do themselves to decrease the costs.

To begin with, they can drive a sensible vehicle. These days, fast, sports cars are considered to be high risk. Young drivers are better off waiting until their mid-twenties before driving fast cars. For now, make sure your teen is driving a not-so-risky vehicle in order to save a lot of money.

Sometimes, companies will give 17 year olds car insurance at discount prices if they make good grades. If your teen serves good grades, check to see if this is an option in your area. If so, you could encourage your 17 year old to work hard at school by rewarding him or her with a car.

Try keeping your deductibles high. One way you can do this is by not turning any minor accidents in. Only inform the insurance companies whenever your vehicle is involved in a bad accident. If you keep the deductibles high enough, you can save a lot of money over the next few years.

Do some shopping around. There are comparison charts on the internet. You can also get free quotes online. Some sites even offer multiple quotes at once! See what you can find if you want your 17 year old to have car insurance. …


Dental Insurance – Understanding What it is and How it Pays

Traditional dental insurance is available for individual and families to cover the cost of dental care without paying directly out of pocket. The most common mistakes people make is failing to understand exactly what dental insurance pays for. Traditional dental insurance usually pays for three classes of service: preventative or diagnostic, basic and major services.

The first class of service is preventative. Usually dental insurance will pay 100% for preventative services with no deductible and no waiting period. That means that as soon as you purchase the dental insurance you can get your preventive services immediately and at no cost.

What are preventative services? Plans may differ slightly, but most insurance will pay 100% for an oral examination and dental prophylaxis (cleanings). Each person on the plan will get two of these services per year.

In addition, insurance will pay 100% for Bite-Wing X-rays once a year and a full mouth series every 2 to 3 years. For children, preventive services paid at 100% will also include fluoride treatments and sealants.

The next class of service is usually called basic services. Dental insurance will pay for a percentage, often 80%, of these services. Again, insurance plans vary, but most define basic services as fillings, space maintainers, root canals and root planning, simple extracts, periodontal surgery and palliative (relief of pain) treatments. The percentage paid on these services will vary based on the plan selected and the premium paid. The most common percentage paid is 80% but there are insurance plans that pay anywhere from 50% to 90% of the fee charged.

The last category of services covered by dental insurance plans is called major services. These are the most expensive services and also the cause of the most confusion as to what is covered. The kinds of things covered by this category are bridges, overlays, dentures and crowns or caps. Generally insurance plans pay only 50% of the cost of these services. However, patients expecting their plan to pay 50% of the cost of these service are very often done unawares because of another provision of dental insurance, the annual maximum.

Why is this so confusing? Let's look at an example. Say a person needs 4 crowns or caps. The average cost of a crown is $ 900. 4 crowns would there before cost $ 3600. Many people who have dental insurance think that the insurance will pay 50% of the total cost or $ 1800. But that is not the case.

Because dental insurance plans always have annual maximums written into the plan, the plan will only pay up to that amount for any single insured. The most common annual maximum is $ 1000 per person per year. In our example, therefore, the amount that will be paid to the dentist by the insurance for the 4 crowns will not be $ 1800 but only $ 1000.

Another thing that often results in the insurance not paying anything is the waiting periods. Preventative services typically have no waiting periods …