Reevaluate your insurance needs after retirement
A lot changes when you retire. Your day-to-day life is different and you may do more traveling, have new hobbies, or even a new home. Life may be different now—but you still need to protect yourself and your family with insurance that’s appropriate to your circumstances.
Old policies may no longer meet your needs, but be cautious about cancelling policies without doing a careful evaluation first. One size does not fit all. Here are a few guidelines to consider.
As you age, your health care costs tend to increase, so health insurance is vital. If you retire before the age of 65 and no longer have health insurance from your district, go to healthcare.gov to view your insurance options. If you lose your health care coverage not by choice, you have some flexibility and potential benefits for purchasing insurance.
Once you’re on Medicare, you may want to consider a supplemental policy to help pay for services not covered by the basic plan.
Consider dental insurance and vision insurance to help cover preventative checkups and new health issues as you age.
Long-term care insurance
Our life expectancies are longer than ever, which means we’re more likely to need some sort of long-term care during our lifetimes. Most costs for extended care needed during recuperation from strokes, accidents, illnesses, and operations are not covered by health insurance or Medicare.
You may want to keep your life insurance for the next generation. Beneficiaries on your retirement accounts may need to cash out within 10 years, and life insurance can help offset that.
It’s important to maintain coverage on your home and possessions. Without insurance, any loss you suffer would have to come from savings. If you move, be aware of any new hazards in your geographic zone or how your needs might change (with a new pool, for example) and how that could affect your liability coverage.
Don’t crack up over windshield damage
A windshield is a crucial part of the safety system of your car. It provides strength and structural support to the vehicle, allows air bags to be deployed properly, and helps prevent you and your passengers from being ejected during an accident. In a front-end collision, the windshield provides up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle and in a rollover, up to 60% (Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC)).
A windshield also protects you against extreme weather conditions. Changes in weather can expand or contract the windshield, which can cause cracks or chips to expand. Dirt and debris can also become embedded in cracks, making a repair less effective or impossible. So even if the damage to your windshield is minor, it’s important to get it repaired as soon as possible.
Newer windshields are specialized equipment
Many windshields today have safety and navigation sensors added, so repairs can be costly. For example, front collision sensors may be mounted on the car’s rearview mirror stand just inside the windshield. For these sensors to work properly, the windshield glass has to meet very specific requirements for clarity and lack of distortion. So even if your windshield has minor damage, it may mean you’ll need to replace it with an original equipment manufacturer windshield, not the less expensive aftermarket glass. Adding to that cost is the specialized technician who must recalibrate the front collision sensors for the new glass.
Repairs (if appropriate) are generally much less expensive than replacement, which is a good reason to take care of them as soon as possible before minor damage gets any worse.
Be prepared before you repair or replace
Before you choose a repair shop, safewindshields.org suggests you ask them the following questions:
- Are you an AGSC-Registered Member Company?
- Do all the materials you use meet or exceed ANSI Z 26.1 and all pertinent Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards?
- Does your adhesive manufacturer certify you, and who is the manufacturer of the adhesive?
- What type of warranty can I expect?
- How soon after my glass is replaced will I be able to use my vehicle?
AGSC provides a certification program for installers as well, so ask if a company’s technicians are certified and by whom. If someone tells you they are certified by an insurance company, that is most likely not true. Member Benefits does not certify windshield technicians.
In most cases with your Member Benefits policy, if you file a claim for damage to your windshield and the glass company determines it is repairable, your deductible is waived. If the windshield needs to be replaced, it is subject to the comprehensive deductible.
Questions about your insurance coverage?
Protect your home and the people you love
While deaths from home fires in the U.S. have steadily gone down since 1980, even one death from a preventable fire is too many. Here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe.
Be alert and stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove top.
Keep all flammable items at least three feet from a space heater, stove, or fireplace. Never leave portable heaters unattended and be sure fireplace embers are extinguished before leaving the room.
Other common causes of fire
Smoking, electrical problems, and candles are common hazards. Institute a “no smoking” policy in the house, check cords for damage or wear, and switch to flameless candles.
Working smoke alarms are a must
About three out of five fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or nonworking smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside of sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries annually—same for your carbon monoxide detector. Replace alarms that are 10 or more years old.
Make an escape plan
Visit the National Fire Protection Association to learn how to make a fire escape plan for your family.
Source: National Safety Council
Two products to help ensure your financial security
Member Benefits is very pleased to announce we have partnered with Associates of Clifton Park (AoCP) to offer life insurance to our members.
Life insurance not only helps ensure your family’s financial security, it provides peace of mind.
It’s also an important part of your family’s financial stability and well-being. If anyone depends on your income, they would likely struggle without it if you were to pass away.
Have you considered life insurance and what it might mean to your family? We answer some frequently asked questions to help you decide.
When is the best time to buy life insurance?
Now! You will never be younger or healthier. Life insurance costs less the younger you are.
Why should I purchase life insurance?
Life insurance is essential when there’s someone you care about who would suffer if you and your financial contributions were no longer in the picture. This could include a spouse, children, disabled family members, aging parents, or anyone else who depends on your earnings to make ends meet. It’s a simple answer to a very difficult question: How will my loved ones manage financially if something were to happen to me?
What does life insurance cover?
Some common immediate and everyday expenses people use life insurance for include:
- Funeral and estate settlement costs.
- Healthcare and health insurance bills.
- Mortgage or rent.
- Credit card debt and other loans.
- Childcare expenses.
In addition to letting your loved ones maintain their standard of living now, life insurance also helps ensure their future. Some common non-immediate expenses life insurance covers include:
- Future college costs.
- A spouse or partner’s retirement.
- Planned inheritances.
- Special charitable giving projects like a memorial fund.
What type of life insurance should I have?
While there are several different types of life insurance to consider, what they all have in common is that they pay cash to your loved ones in the event that you pass away.
Steve Gregory, Principal at AoCP, explains, “We offer life insurance from a variety of insurance carriers, including term insurance and universal or whole life insurance policies. Most people purchase life insurance to provide benefits to their loved ones when they are no longer here, but there are also a variety of ‘living benefits’ that life insurance can offer. We can review options to help you decide what best meets your needs.”
Who needs life insurance?
This question is a very personal one. Some of the people who commonly consider life insurance include:
Married or partnered people. Those left behind often find it difficult to cover daily and future living expenses without a partner’s financial contributions. This is often as true for young couples as it is for empty nesters closing in on retirement. Life insurance can help ensure your surviving spouse or partner can maintain the standard of living you worked so hard to achieve.
Parents. It is estimated that it costs $233,610 to raise a child to age 18 (USDA). And that number increases if you plan on contributing to your child’s college education.
Statistics like this underscore how incredibly important it is for parents to consider life insurance. This is as true for working parents as it is for stay-at-home parents whose unpaid contributions to the family would be expensive to replace. And single parents supporting families on their own have an especially important need for financial protection in the form of life insurance.
Retirees. Surviving partners often have to make do with less Social Security and pension support. They may also have unforeseen funeral costs to cover. This can seriously hamper their finances.
What’s more, if you’re planning on leaving money to heirs, they could be required to pay estate taxes of up to 45%. Life insurance, which is almost always exempt from federal taxes, can be immensely helpful in any of these situations.
Business owners. Surviving family members are often not prepared to take over a business when an owner passes away. This pain is only compounded when a business has debts that are backed by assets like the family home. What’s more, a family that wishes to continue running a business may need to buy out a partner’s shares.
Those who only have group insurance through work. Group insurance is usually limited in amount and scope, and only covers you while you remain an employee. Individual insurance can be purchased for any amount needed and allows you to choose your own time period of 10, 20, 30 years or more.
What life situations would warrant life insurance?
There are certain life events that should make you ask, “Do I need life insurance?” They include:
- Changing jobs or starting a business.
- Buying a house.
- Getting married or divorced.
- Having or adopting a child.
- Deciding to go back to school.
- Becoming a single parent.
- Supporting someone financially.
- Saving for a child’s college education.
- Getting close to retirement.
Learn more from Associates of Clifton Park
There are many reasons to consider life insurance. The good news is that getting life insurance is simpler and more affordable than most people think. One of the best ways is to work with a licensed insurance agent who can walk you through the entire process.
Adds Steve, “Educators love to teach and learn, as they know knowledge is power. The life insurance world has changed beyond comprehension in the last couple of years. For example, did you know there are programs that reward healthy living, with the potential to earn lower premiums, and other rewards? Contact us to learn more about all of your options.”
Do you have health concerns or questions? AoCP shops over 70 policies, so chances are they can find the right policy and price for your situation.
Do you have a quote from an agent or company and want an education or second opinion? We can help. You DO NOT need to provide any personal information to compare life insurance quotes with us. If you have questions about your quote and if there is a better fit, we may tell you to go with it or give you better alternatives.
Contact us and speak with a Licensed Life Insurance Advisor. Fill out our online information request form or give us a call.
Long-term care insurance
Long-term care (LTC) has been called “the greatest uninsured financial risk today.” That’s because most costs for extended care needed during recuperation from strokes, accidents, illnesses, and operations are not covered by health insurance or Medicare.
LTC is the care you may need at home if you are unable to perform daily activities on your own, such as eating, bathing, dressing, or going to the bathroom. It may also include care in the community, such as in an adult day care facility.
Long-term care insurance (LTCi) provides coverage for quality LTC that may be needed at any time in life. Without LTCi, these costs are paid from one’s personal savings and assets.
Fortunately, LTCi policies can be tailored to cover varying circumstances. They are not one size fits all. When deciding which coverage you’ll need, here are some things to consider:
- How much can you afford to contribute toward the expense of your care?
- For how long might you need LTC services?
- How much time will pass before you need to start receiving benefits from the policy?
- What’s the anticipated cost of LTC?
Because your first claim might be years into the future, it’s essential to obtain your policy from a trusted source to ensure that customer service and insurer funding will be available at the time of need.
For more information, contact Associates of Clifton Park.
Home and car safety tips
But during the pandemic, some localities have seen an increase in home burglaries, theft from autos, and theft of autos. So it’s important to remain vigilant. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Keep exterior doors, garage door, and windows locked at all times when you leave the house—even for a few minutes.
- Package thefts from homes are on the rise. Consider sending packages to work or a neighbor’s home, use “ship to store” instead, or add detailed delivery instructions to place packages in a less conspicuous location.
- Keep bushes and trees well trimmed to eliminate hiding places.
- Keep your home well-lit on the outside, and use timers to keep lights on inside when you’re not at home.
- Stop mail and newspaper deliveries when you’re away for an extended period of time and have a neighbor keep an eye out on your home.
- Make sure keys, purses, wallets, etc. are not visible through a window or door.
- When parking at home, remove keys and garage door openers from the car to prevent access to your home.
- Make sure your recreational toys (boats, motorcycles, etc.) are secured and properly insured.
- Consider scheduling valuable items on your home insurance.
- Do a home inventory of your possessions and keep it up to date. Download our free home inventory booklet.
- Car theft is usually a crime of opportunity. During the pandemic, it has been easier to steal cars due to fewer people circulating outside and more cars available.
- Remove all valuables from sight—loose change and gift cards are some of the most common items taken. Even if you’re only going to be away from your car “for a minute,” secure valuables in the trunk or remove them from the car.
- Park in well-lit areas when in public. When parking at home, park in the garage or close to the house if possible.
- Lock your doors, windows, and sunroofs. The majority of car break-ins reported involve cars parked in the owners’ driveways that are unlocked. No matter where you park—always lock your doors.
Need an insurance review?
If you’re curious about whether your home and auto are adequately covered, we can help! Call 1-800-279-4030 and talk with a Personal Insurance Consultant. Or sign up for a personal consultation.
Control your own health care choices with a long-term care plan
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, patients 65 years and older represented nearly 40 percent of hospitalized adults, accounting for nearly half of all health care dollars spent on hospitalization. However, they comprised less than 13 percent of the population in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). And according to the most recent data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 47% of all Wisconsinites are over the age of 60.
With age comes the increased probability of requiring assistance to stay at home. If you live to age 65, you have a 58% chance of needing long-term care at some point in your life. Regardless of your current health or your financial situation, these statistics are certainly a cause for concern as health care costs continue to rise.
The good news is that there are steps you can take today to protect yourself against the potential financial and personal costs of needing long-term care. Eileen Dunn, Geriatric Care Manager at Associates of Clifton Park (the firm providing life insurance and long-term care insurance support for WEA Member Benefits participants), has worked on the front lines of long-term elder care for over 30 years. “The single most important thing you can do is to include a long-term care strategy within your retirement plan,” she states. “Having a plan that looks at your assets, income, lifestyle, goals, estate plan, and tax situation is critical. But nothing is more important than protecting yourself, your family, and your life savings from the financial devastation of an extended chronic illness.”
Long-term care insurance policies are specifically designed to provide the protection you need by giving you the power to decide where you get your care and who gives it to you. Most people go to nursing homes because their spouse or family cannot provide the care, they simply can’t afford home care, or their care has become too complex to receive at home. Eileen shared a story of a 92-year-old client who was recently hospitalized and had surgery for a blood clot behind his knee. “Upon discharge from the hospital, they were going to send him to a rehab facility for six weeks,” she recounts. “But due to the current COVID situation, the family was adamant that he go home. He required 24-hour care, physical and occupational therapy, and nursing services for wound care. Fortunately, he had a long-term care insurance policy and was able to be discharged to his home with all the services he needed, including additional physical therapy and home health aides that enabled him to remain safely and comfortably at home.”
The state of Wisconsin gives residents another reason to consider long-term care insurance: the Wisconsin Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program. This is a joint effort between the federal Medicaid program, private long-term care insurance companies, and the state. Under the program, a long-term care insurance policy holder’s assets are protected up to the full amount the insurance policy paid out should they outlive the benefits. This guaranteed asset protection potentially allows you to retain thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money.
The reality is that everyone needs a long-term care plan. What’s important is to get started today by reviewing your options and creating a plan that works for you. After all, we’re not getting any younger.
To get help making informed decisions about your long-term care insurance options, call 1-800-893-1621 or fill out our long-term care insurance information request form.
Source: Paul A. Werlin, President, Human Capital Resources, Inc.
Wisconsin OCI press release: Be attentive and alert when driving this fall
October 28, 2020
Madison, Wis. – The deer population in Wisconsin becomes more active in October and November, during hunting and mating season, increasing the chance of vehicle-versus-deer accidents.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), last year in Wisconsin there were 18,414 reported deer/vehicle crashes resulting in injuries to 556 motorists and nine fatalities (six were motorcyclists).
“With the likelihood of hitting a deer increasing in the coming weeks, it’s important for drivers to be alert to deer and to understand their auto insurance coverage,” said Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable. “Deer-versus-vehicle collisions can lead to costly repairs without proper auto coverage.”
It is important to know that most policies cover hitting a deer under comprehensive, not collision, insurance. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your auto for causes other than a collision, including fire, vandalism, wind, hail, falling objects, or hitting an animal.
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) urges drivers to check their policies and call their insurance company or agent to see if they have comprehensive auto coverage.
Even seasoned Wisconsin drivers can be taken by surprise by a deer darting across the roadway. To avoid deer crashes and motorist injuries, WisDOT provides the following tips:
- Slow down, eliminate distractions, and make sure all vehicle occupants are buckled up.
- If you see one deer cross in front of you, watch for more. One long blast from your vehicle’s horn may frighten the deer away.
- If a collision with a deer is unavoidable, brake firmly and stay in your lane. Avoid sudden swerving which can result in a loss of vehicle control and a more serious crash. If you hit a deer:
- Get your vehicle safely off the road if possible and call law enforcement.
- It’s generally safest to stay buckled-up inside your vehicle. Walking along a highway is dangerous as you could be struck by another vehicle.
- Don’t attempt to move an injured deer.
Created by the Legislature in 1870, Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI’s mission is to protect and educate Wisconsin consumers by maintaining and promoting a strong insurance industry.
Don’t forget renters insurance
A renter’s insurance policy provides protection for your personal property as well as liability protection. If a fire or other disaster destroys your possessions, you could suffer a significant financial loss unless you have renters insurance. And unintentional bodily injury or property damage that you cause to others could be as financially damaging to you as a fire in your apartment. Liability protection against accidental occurrences (such as someone slipping on a wet floor and breaking an arm) comes standard with renters insurance policies.
Fortunately, renters insurance is affordable. Get a free insurance consultation and comparison quote, fill out our online quote form, or call us at 1-800-279-4030 to ask us about our renters discount programs and budget-friendly payment options.
Care for the long term
One of the greatest Americans who ever lived, Benjamin Franklin, “invented” the concept of insurance in 1752. Since then, a trillion-dollar business has grown with insurance companies around the globe offering products that provide all kinds of protection.
Today, people, businesses, and even governments buy insurance to protect cars, homes, businesses, and people from the dangers and unexpected mishaps that are a part of life—like fire, theft, floods, and many other losses. You have life insurance to provide protection to your loved ones in the event of your death or incapacitation, and health insurance to pay the doctor and hospital bills that can potentially wipe out all your savings. But what about you and your quality of life?
When you’re older, you’re more likely to need medical care. Medicare and other health insurance can pay the hospital bills, but what happens after that? Would you rather be in a facility or at home getting the care you need to have the quality of life you want? That’s where long-term care (LTC) insurance comes in. Most people want to receive care at home whenever possible. And over 80 percent of long-term care claims are for home care and community-based services.
Your LTC insurance options
Fortunately, today there are three different types of insurance options that can protect us and our loved ones against the catastrophic cost of long-term care.
Traditional LTC insurance. Dollar for dollar, it tends to be the most cost-effective way to purchase LTC insurance. In many states, LTC policies qualify for the National Partnership Program, which can also provide you some Medicaid asset protection. Under Wisconsin’s Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program, an amount equal to the benefits a person receives under a qualifying Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership insurance policy is excluded when determining:
- The person’s resources for purposes of determining Wisconsin Medicaid eligibility, and;
- The amount to be recovered from the person’s estate if the person receives Wisconsin Medicaid benefits. (Source: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/em/ltcip.htm)
Asset-based LTC insurance. This type of protection is funded by a lump sum payment. Particularly in this low interest rate environment, if you have excess cash on the sidelines that is not needed for an emergency, some insurance companies are offering extremely attractive plans that include a lifetime long term care benefit. The lump sum is often in excess of $50K to as much as $100K and more. These asset-based options may also include an enhanced death benefit if care is not needed, and some of them even have a limited liquidity feature, where all or a portion of the premium can be returned.
New and innovative care products. While we tend to think of life insurance as something for our loved ones and beneficiaries to use, we are seeing more companies offer living benefits as a part of life insurance. One of these benefits can include a chronic illness benefit, or a long-term care acceleration “rider.” These new features enhance traditional life insurance protections for loved ones but add the flexibility to use all or a portion of those benefits for your own needs if care becomes necessary. While this sounds attractive, keep in mind that as you draw down the benefit for yourself it reduces the remaining death benefit that your loved ones may receive.
LTC insurance gives you leverage to protect you and your family
Education is the key to understanding the importance of long-term care protection. In the financial world, leverage simply means protecting a large asset using a smaller asset or lower expense. In the care management/home care world, leverage means having the ability to choose from a wide range of care options versus a smaller, more limited menu of options. Long-term care protection is your leverage.
In the fall of 2020, Eileen Dunn, Care Manager at Associates of Clifton Park, a national firm with 25 years experience in LTC products, received a call from the wife of a gentleman who fell, broke his hip, and required surgery. After surgery he was to go to a nursing home for physical therapy rehabilitation. “His wife was genuinely concerned about him being in a facility given the current pandemic situation, and was looking for other options,” Eileen explained. “When she said they did not have long-term care insurance, I knew their options were limited.” Eileen, who has more than 20 years of experience, continued, “She could take him home, but public health would only provide physical therapy and a home health aide three days a week. He needed physical therapy five days a week and a home health aide 24 hours a day because his wife was unable to assist him with showering, dressing, or getting him up from a chair to go to the bathroom. After a few weeks of physical therapy, when he would be able to safely move about, the aide service could be cut back to four hours a day. She was shocked that the cost of care would be $4,500 per week for those first few weeks, then would be between $1,000 and $1,500 per week once he could walk.
“Unfortunately, she didn’t have leverage. She was willing to pay the $12,000 for that first month or two, and the $3,000-$4,000 per month after that, but he wasn’t. If their retirement plan included one of the long-term care solutions available, they would have had options. He could have come home, and the cost of his care would have been covered in the comfort and safety of his home.”
Eighty two percent of long-term care insurance claims are for home and community-based services. The reason? Your need for care comes about incrementally. First you may need someone to help with laundry, grocery shopping, or yard work. But as time goes by, your needs increase and you may need more assistance with bathing, dressing, and just maintaining your quality of life.
Plan ahead for potential pandemic effects
So why is now the time to define your own long-term care plan?
Because the life and long-term care industry has been tightening their belts over the past several years, making it harder to qualify for coverage and making benefits more expensive. When the pandemic hit, they tightened even more. Some are now asking specific COVID-19 questions and are considering age-restrictions on issuing new policies.
Eileen spoke about a recent situation related to COVID. “I had another client whose husband had Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and some other health issues. The wife had some health issues of her own and they were using their long-term care insurance to get assistance four times a week. However, when COVID struck, they weren’t comfortable having aides come inside their home knowing they work with other clients and feared they could contract the virus. One of their adult children lost their job but was able to move in with the parents to help. Because they had an indemnity policy, they received a cash payment they used to pay that child to provide their care, limiting their risk of exposure to the virus, and compensating their child for the lost income they had experienced.”
Explore your options today
No one has a crystal ball to see the future, but the reality is almost 70% of us will need some form of long-term care in our lifetime. So now is the time to evaluate your options, maintain control over where you get your care and who gives it to you, and protect your retirement plan with the leverage long-term care protection provides.
Sound complicated? Feel free to schedule a personal phone consultation with Eileen, or contact one of the licensed insurance professionals at Associates of Clifton Park for more information at 1-800-893-1621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filling in home insurance gaps
Your home is probably your biggest investment, so having the proper insurance coverage is paramount. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to purchase a home insurance policy and unknowingly leave important gaps in their coverage, putting them at unnecessary risk. Many people also have low expectations about the service they should expect from their insurance provider. That’s why it’s important to become an informed insurance consumer so you can ensure you have the right protection for yourself and your family—and so you feel comfortable with the level of service delivered. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your home insurance policy.
Have adequate coverage
According to Marshal and Swift/Boeckh, 64% of homes are underinsured. That could make it very difficult to fully repair your home if it’s ever needed, so it’s important to consider your coverage limits. Most standard policies include coverage for:
1. The structure of your home. This pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by disasters listed in your policy. It will not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake, or routine wear and tear.
Be clear about whether your insurance offers actual cash value (the cost of replacing damaged or destroyed property while factoring in depreciation) or replacement cost (the cost to replace damaged or destroyed property with an item of similar quality without considering depreciation). Replacement cost reflects how much it would cost to rebuild your house in the same spot, with materials of like-kind and quality. Purchase enough coverage to rebuild your home.
For homes built during or after 1950, Member Benefits’ home policy pays the full cost to repair or replace your home with materials of like-kind and quality without the limits imposed by most other insurers. For homes built prior to 1950, this coverage provides up to 125% of the dwelling limit on your policy.
2. Personal belongings. Your furniture, clothes, sports equipment, and other personal items are covered if they are stolen or destroyed by an insured disaster, generally 50% to 70% of the insurance you have on the structure of the house. At Member Benefits, if your personal property is destroyed or damaged, our policy provides coverage equal to 75% of your residence coverage limit. So for example, if your home is insured for $200,000 and there is a fire, you would have up to $150,000 coverage for your personal property.
Trees, plants, and shrubs are also covered under standard home insurance; however, they are not covered for disease or poor maintenance.
A scheduled property endorsement on your home policy can protect valuable items minus any deductible. Most of our coverage options have no deductible, and others offer small deductibles. This is one of the benefits of scheduling, as many members tend to carry larger deductibles on their home policy.
3. Liability protection. This coverage protects you from claims filed against you for injuries and damage you cause to other people—up to the limit stated in your policy documents. Liability limits on home policies aren’t usually high enough to realistically cover these types of claims, so you may want to consider umbrella insurance, which provides broader coverage and higher liability limits.
4. Additional living expenses. This pays the additional costs of living away from home if you cannot live there due to damage from a covered disaster. Keep in mind that this coverage has limits—and some policies include a time limitation. However, these limits are separate from the amount available to rebuild or repair your home.
Unfortunately, a lot of people jump at price without looking deeper. It’s becoming more of an issue as insurance is marketed as a commodity. However, at Member Benefits we strongly believe it should not be bought that way. Your insurance needs are not the same throughout your life, nor are they the same as your neighbors’.
Buy insurance based on value, not price. And when comparing insurance options, be sure you’re getting quotes for the same (or better) coverage than you currently have. Cheaper doesn’t always mean better, just like expensive doesn’t mean more value.
For more guidance on this issue, contact one of our personal insurance consultants who can help you attain a better understanding of your insurance needs and give you confidence to make the right decisions for you and your family—whether you choose our insurance or not.
Ask about discounts
Often there are a number of discount options available from your insurance provider. For example, simply bundling policies and staying with the same company for several years may provide some discounts. Not all providers will volunteer their discount options, so don’t be afraid to ask about all the discounts you qualify for.
Quality of service
If you’ve ever filed an insurance claim, think back…how was that experience? Was their response timely? Were they empathetic? Price and adequate coverage are important, but you also want to be satisfied with customer service when you need it. Ask family and friends about their experiences when checking out insurance companies.
It’s a relationship
Do you feel comfortable with your insurer? Do they offer you helpful information and resources? Are they easy to reach? While some companies have switched to bots, many people still appreciate the relationship and open communication they have with real people. And those people should help educate you on how to evaluate home insurance as well as keep you well informed when you have a claim.
Keep it on your radar
Your insurance needs can change over time. Too little insurance can leave you financially exposed, but too much may mean you’re paying more than you need to. Not only should you review your insurance annually, but also when you have a significant life change or major home improvement. Periodic insurance reviews will help ensure your coverage is still appropriate, which can mean eliminating coverages you no longer need or adding new ones you do.
If you have a home policy with us and haven’t reviewed it for a while, give us a call—what may have made sense a year ago may not make sense now.
Source: Insurance Information Institute.
Insurance advantages with Member Benefits
Guaranteed Replacement Cost. For homes built in 1950 or later, we pay the full cost to repair or replace your home with materials of like-kind and quality, even if the cost of the repairs exceeds your policy limits. Extended Replacement Cost provides up to 125% of the dwelling limit for homes built prior to 1950.
Educator Benefits. For those with owner occupied homes, we offer increased coverage for personal property losses on school premises—regardless of the cause of loss—to $2,000. No deductible.
Identity Theft Coverage. Covers up to $10,000 of costs associated with services you may need to help straighten out credit records and reclaim your identity.
We can help you compare policies and give you an unbiased insurance evaluation.