Who Needs Disability Insurance

There is a lot to know about disability insurance. Basically, disability insurance is an insurance plan that is used to partially pay your salary if you are ill or injured and unable to work. You can get this type of insurance through an employer sponsored plan or privately. There are a lot of terms that are defined in a plan that will determine the cost, just like most insurance policies. For example, is it short term or long term insurance? Are you covered for own-occupation or any-occupation? What is the plan’s definition of disabled, totally disabled or partially disabled.  All of these terms are very important to know prior to investigation in this type of insurance. Based on this information, who do you think needs disability insurance the most? 

Sole Providers

If your family is dependent on one person earning the main source of income then disability insurance may be a good idea for you. If you only have one person working or paying your bills, then it would be a hard situation for you and your family if you were to lose that income. An illness or injury may not be expected but it is responsible and smart to think about the possibility in this situation to avoid any sort of mishap for your family. Why make them struggle when you could be looking out for their best interest?

Physically Demanding Careers

There are certain careers that require more physically. When a job is more physically demanding than that also means that injuries could occur. If you are a construction worker who deals with machinery and heavy materials all day then you have a higher probability of getting hurt than someone sitting at a desk all day. Being injured leads to days off of work which means lost pay. Regardless if it is own-occupation or all occupation, disability insurance would help you with that.

Recurring Injuries

Even if you are someone who sits at a desk all day, you still may have a recurring injury that could potentially pop up. If you are someone who has a bum knee that needs surgery every once in a while then it may be a good idea to think ahead. If you are someone who struggles with substance abuse or mental health issues that could require you to miss work for long periods, then again you may want to think about disability insurance.

Look at your situation as well as your family as a whole to see if these sorts of issues could arise and potentially cause a problem.If you can potentially see these situations as a risk then it may be a good idea to start doing your research to buy a plan.

A Guide to Choosing a Financial Planner That is Right For You

Financial planners are important for not only business owners and managers of companies, but also anyone who wants/ needs help in managing their finances. Financial planners are professionals that will assist people with organizing, managing, and paying attention to their finances as well as teaching them how to invest and save for retirement. Overall, any person making significant amounts of money could benefit from a financial advisor.

If you are in the market for a financial planner or in need of a new one, finding the one that is right for you can be challenging because there are so many to choose from. As you look into financial planners, you want to make sure that the one you chose is perfect for you and will take care of your finances in the best and most efficient way possible. Below is a short guide to help you choose the financial planner that is right for you.

Ask Yourself, Why Do I Need a Financial Planner?

Financial planners can be used as often or as little as needed; you can meet once for a one-time financial plan, or you can meet monthly or yearly to discuss financial plans for the future.

A life insurance attorney pointed out that it’s a good idea to get a financial planner to help you make proactive choices about your future; most notably about retirement, estate planning, future investments, and life insurance policies.

If you are overwhelmed or need assistance planning your finances and don’t know how to choose a financial planner, here are some things to keep in mind:

What Kind of Financial Planner Do You Want?

As stated above, financial planners can assist in a number of different areas of finance. As you look for financial planners, consider what kind of financial assistance you need the most. Do you want a financial planner that will help you plan retirement? Are you looking for a financial planner that will help you choose the right life insurance based on your current financial situation? Or, do you want a financial planner that will help you invest in the right things? These are all questions to ask yourself as you choose a financial planner.

In addition to planning your future finances, financial planners can also assist with the following situations:

  • Inheriting money from a deceased family member
  • Recently married couples that want to combine finances
  • Newly divorced people
  • Newly widowed people

Decide what kind of financial planner is right for your wants and needs.

Do Your Research

Tying into what kind of financial planner is best for you, make sure to do proper research. It’s possible that you may not know what kind of financial planner you need, doing research will help you figure this out.

Additionally, research will also help you find a list of financial planners in your area, making the choice a bit easier by narrowing down your options. As you do research, make sure to look into what that financial planner specializes in; don’t hire any financial planner, he or she may not know much about the area in which you are needing assistance in.

Look at His or Her Credentials

In addition to doing research, make it a point to check the financial planner’s credentials. Make sure that your financial planner has the experience and/or education that specializes in your area of financial interest. If his or her credentials are not clearly stated online, you can visit websites such as  brokercheck.com or adviserinfo.sec.gov to find out about his or her background.

It’s also okay to ask about his or her credentials if you decide to go in and meet with him or her; if he or she has valid credentials, he or she will not be offended by this inquiry.

Get Referrals

This is perhaps the best way to find the financial planner that is right for you. Ask friends and family who their financial planner is and have them put you in contact with them. Talking to people you know about financial planners will make it easier to choose one that is right for you while also allowing you to gain a sense of trust.

After you have received referrals, look into credentials and then schedule a time to talk on the phone or in person.

Talk to Multiple Financial Planners

Though this will be a bit time consuming, it’s important to talk to multiple financial planners in order to find the one that is best for you and your financial needs. After you have narrowed down your list of potential planners, call them to get to know them or to set up a time for you to go in and ask further questions. Talking to multiple financial planners will give you a good understanding of who will help you the most.

It’s important to have a good relationship with your financial planner, so meeting with a few until you establish trust is a good tip to keep in mind.

Upon meeting, make sure to have a list of questions you want to ask your potential planner as well; this will allow you to make your choice much easier depending on their answers.

Get the Best Financial Advice

At the end of the day, it’s most important to get the best financial advice that is available. Financial planners’ purpose is to help you- find the one that will do just that. Keeping this guide in mind, you will be one step closer to finding the financial planner that will benefit all of your financial needs.

 

About the Author

Veronica Baxter is a blogger and legal assistant living and working in the great city of Philadelphia. She frequently works with Chad Boonswang, Esq., a busy life insurance beneficiary attorney.

5 Types Of Surety Bonds For Financial Protection

Surety bonds offer business owners a legal guarantee to performance. As a business owner, you need all of the protection you can get in order to continue to grow your company without risk. Obtaining relevant surety bonds is a great way to achieve the security you need. These types of bonds work by involving three parties in the agreement. The business owner (also known as the “obligee”) receives a guarantee from the surety. The surety guarantees the performance of the agreed upon obligation by the principal. Read this post to understand the most common types of surety bonds for businesses so that you can protect yours. 

Contract Bond

One of the main types of surety bonds for businesses is the contract bond. This type of surety bond guarantees that your contractor will complete the work they agreed to. Moreover, it states that the contractor will properly pay their employees during the project. Contractors, who are the principals in this situation, are the ones who purchase this type of bond. Most large construction companies, general contractors and trade contractors purchase this contract bond. Keep it in mind when determining which types of surety bonds you need for your business. 

Judicial Bond

Another type of surety bond to consider is judicial bonds. These bonds are often referred to as “court bonds” because they come in handy for business owners entering court cases. There are multiple types of judicial bonds to keep in mind. For instance, bail bonds benefit business owners undergoing criminal cases. Meanwhile, business owners involved in civil cases typically use appeal bonds, attachment bonds and injunction bonds. These types of bonds protect business owners through legal matters. Whether your business is being sued or not, you should keep this surety bond in mind. Judicial surety bonds can protect you during a future lawsuit. 

License And Permit Bond

Additionally, license and permit surety bonds are the most common for business owners. Most trades require business owners to obtain a professional license within the industry. For instance, auto dealers need professional licenses in order to legally conduct business. If you work in an industry that requires you to obtain a license and/or permit, you likely need to post a license and permit bond. Depending on the state or local law ordinances, a license and permit surety bond could keep your business compliant with the law. The process to apply for a bond is fairly simple. Moreover, the issuance can be done within minutes. Apply online, get a quote and await your application to get approved. Do not hesitate to apply if you need this type of surety bond. 

Fidelity Bond

Fidelity bonds also offer business owners the guarantee that they need. This type of surety bond protects business owners on an internal level. Unfortunately, business owners suffer losses due to dishonest employees frequently. Such employees conduct fraudulent activities within their companies. While you should always foster a company culture of high integrity, loyalty and ethics, sometimes employees make the wrong choices that could have damaging impacts on the business. Fidelity surety bonds protect business owners when they suffer losses caused by this type of fraudulent activity. Because the losses can be significant and because all companies are at risk of employing dishonest workers, every business owner should apply for a fidelity bond. 

Business Service Bond

Finally, business service surety bonds are worth looking into. These surety bonds entail protecting customers from dishonest employees. If an employee steals information or items from one of your customers, your company would be at fault. In turn, you could get sued by the customer. When companies have business service bonds, however, they stay protected during such an instance. This type of surety bond offers security for the customer, which protects your company from a lawsuit and from building a bad reputation. Thus, consider getting a business service surety bond.

If you want to grow your company with as little risk as possible, you need to get surety bonds. To determine which ones you need, you need to familiarize yourself with the most common types for businesses. For instance, many business owners in the construction industry get contract bonds. Judicial bonds protect business owners during criminal and civil lawsuits. Business owners need license and permit bonds when they work a trade. Fidelity bonds offer protection against dishonest employees. Business service bonds provide customers with security against any dishonest workers that you may employ. Consider these common types of surety bonds for businesses.

6 Factors that Affect Life Insurance Rates

Life insurance rates vary from person to person based on a number of factors. Some insurance companies use up to 30 different pieces of data to set an applicant’s rate. However, the majority of carriers tend to rely on some combination of six pieces of demographic information to come up with rates for individuals who apply for life policies.

In addition to the obvious age and gender questions on a typical application, there are usually places on the form for you to list your hobbies, health history, your occupation and whether or not you are a smoker. Even if you do smoke or take part in risky hobbies, it’s possible to buy high risk life insurance. In fact, some carriers cater to high-risk applicants.

Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list. Many insurers want to know about an applicant’s criminal record, credit-worthiness, marital status and more. The key thing to keep in mind is that even when insurance companies ask about items other than the six things on the list below, those six are usually given the most weight when determining a final rate quote. In no specific order of importance, some of the factors that affect a life insurance rate are:

Age

The first question on most applications usually is “What is your age?” In most every case, insurers give this factor the most weight when setting a premium. Younger applicants pay less than older folks. It’s just a fact of life that as we age, our risk of death rises. People of any age, usually up to almost the point of retirement age, can apply for life insurance and get it. For the oldest applicants, however, rates can be very high.

Job

Pilots, foundry workers, and loggers are just three occupations that will put you on a “high-risk job” list. Each insurer has its own preferences in this category, but you can expect to pay more for life insurance if you work with toxic substances or perform dangerous tasks. If your job is not on a high-risk list, then you’ll be described as having a “no-risk” or “low-risk” occupation, which means a lower rate.

Gender

Women tend to live about 2.5 years longer than men in the U.S., on average. For purposes of life insurance, that translates to lower rates for female applicants.

Whether or Not You Smoke

Different insurers handle the “smoker vs non-smoker” issue differently. In all cases, smokers will pay more, but there are some variations in how that works. If you still smoke, for example, you’ll pay more than non-smokers. But if you recently quit, some insurers will give you a break based on how long you have been “tobacco-free.” If you already have a policy and quit smoking after you got it, remember to notify your carrier and tell them you are no longer a smoker. You might have to wait a few years for a rate reduction, but the savings can be substantial. Also, remember that some insurers only ask about “smoking” while others inquire about “any tobacco products.”

Family and Personal Health History

If you have a family history of something like cancer or heart disease, your rates will be higher than average. This is particularly true for illnesses that are deemed “hereditary.” Of course, your personal health history also affects rates, so if you’ve had a heart attack, have high blood pressure or suffer from some other serious illness, insurers will take those factors into consideration.

Hobbies

This is one of the areas where each company has its own preferences. If you engage in any high-risk hobbies, you’re likely to get a higher rate. However, while one insurer might define “ultra-distance running” as a risky hobby, another might not. What’s the solution for those who take part in questionable pursuits like hang-gliding, rock climbing, diving, and mountaineering? Shop around for a company that does not include your particular hobby on its “high risk” list.

5 Common Insurance Mistakes You Need to Avoid With Your New Business

You have just started a new business, and you are shopping around for a commercial insurance policy. The good news is that you can actually create a customized policy that will meet all your needs as a business. But the bad news is that many new businesses make costly insurance mistakes. Mistakes that can dramatically affect their future. Here are what these mistakes are, and how you can avoid them:

Paying Too Much

Business coverage typically includes policies such as property insurance, business interruption insurance and liability insurance. If — instead of buying all three of these polices separately — you buy them all together in what is called a business owner’s policy (BOP), you can save a considerable amount of money.

Also, never buy more coverage than you need. If you have an asset valued at X, do not buy coverage that pays out more than X.

Finally, be sure to shop around. Do not just take the first quote you receive. Prices of insurance can vary considerably.

Buying the Cheapest Policy

Saving money on insurance is a good thing, but not if it leaves you underinsured. Make sure that your commercial policy provides coverage for everything you might need, and in sufficient amounts. When comparing policies, do not just compare the total premium, but every line item as well.

Skipping Liability Insurance

While skipping liability insurance may be tempting, resist this urge. Remember, you are responsible for anything that might happen in your establishment, to both customers and to employees, and even to vendors. You are also responsible for anything you or your employees might do that causes harm to others. This includes damages resulting from making a defective product. By getting liability coverage, it will pay for any damages you are found liable for, including court fees and attorney costs.

Also, keep in mind that some insurance companies offer industry-specific liability policies. For example, Next Insurance provides contractors insurance, which covers contracting work, such as plumbing and electrical repair.

Not Properly Covering Your Online Business

If — like many companies today — you sell products and/or services on the Internet, you need a whole host of coverages that may not normally be included in a commercial insurance policy. This includes coverage against denial of service (DOS) attacks and other cyber attacks, as well as against interruptions of service and the theft of online customer data.

Remember, if you bundle these coverages into a BOP, you can save a lot of money.

Not Reading Your Policy

Unfortunately, many insurance policy holders do not read their policy until something bad happens. It is then — all too often — that they discover that their policy is missing a vital component. Remember, while you can add coverage to your policy later, it will not cover things that have already happened.

This is why it is so crucial to carefully read your policy right away, and read it in fine detail. You must make sure that it covers everything than can possibly affect your business.

In conclusion, now that you have started a business, it is important not only that you obtain proper insurance for it, but that you also avoid the mistakes outlined here. The future of your business may just depend on it.

WHAT AFFECTS YOUR LIFE INSURANCE RATES

All consumers are out there to get the best deal on things. You want to get the lowest cost for something at the best quality. Well the same goes for Life Insurance. Pretty much every adult looking for life insurance shops around to get the most quality coverage at the best price. There are different websites and professionals out there to help you research policies, but the basis of all life insurance research revolves around the cost. Who likes to pay for something you don’t know when and if you will benefit from? Well below are some key factors that affect rates of your life insurance premium so you know which policy to choose.

Health

An individual’s health is a key factor in pricing out a consumer’s policy. A person gets penalized if they are not currently healthy or have family history of bad health or susceptibility to certain health concerns. The reason this is so is because life insurance companies want to make the most money by enrolling holders who will live the longest. Poor health leads to short lives. A physical and blood test are often required prior to enrollment to make sure they know your current health status. Things such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems, etc. are all red flags for an insurer.

Age and Gender

The average life expectancy in the United States is 71.5 in the year 2016. The average life expectancy for males is 67 years and the average life expectancy for females is 71.1 years. With these statistics, you can deduce that a younger individual will get a better rate as an elder and a female will also get a better rate than a male.

Occupation

What you do for a living effects your life insurance premium because they believe it affects your life expectancy. For example, if you have a non stressful desk job you have less risk of getting into a freak accident than a road worker.

Location

In the United States, life insurance is regulated on the state level. This means that each state in the country has their own life insurance laws and regulations. The regulations and laws include many different things such as who the policy belongs to, who it will go to, guaranteeing amounts, financial responsibility, etc. It is best to speak to a professional and do research in your state because it may make a difference.

Overall it is hard to price out a generic policy for individuals because there are many factors that go into it and the factors mentioned above are the main ones that would affect you.

5 Reasons most people need life insurance

Life insurance is one of the most important investments that you’ll ever make for your loved ones. It’s one of the only ways that you can ensure that your family is taken care of, regardless of what happens to you.

While life insurance is one of the biggest purchases that you’ll ever make, but there are millions and millions of Americans that don’t have insurance coverage. Not having life insurance protection is one of the worst things that you could ever do for your loved ones. There are some reasons that more people should consider getting insurance coverage.

Spouse

One of the primary purposes of life insurance is to give your spouse the money that they need if something tragic were to happen to you. If your spouse doesn’t have a source of income, then your life insurance will give them the money that they need to pay for any necessary expenses. If you’re married, and your spouse doesn’t work, then you will need to ensure that you have the life insurance protection that they need.

Kids

On a similar note, if you have children, you will need to ensure that your kids have the money that they will need to get through the difficult time. The more children that you have, the more life insurance that you’ll need. If you have kids, but you don’t have life insurance, your children would be responsible for all of your debts and other final expenses.

New Home

One common reason that more people should buy life insurance is because of their mortgage. More than likely, your biggest bill is your mortgage. If something tragic were to happen to you, that mortgage payment is going straight to your family. Most family members are not going to have enough money to pay off a mortgage, and that additional financial strain is going to make the situation a thousand times worse.

Because the vast majority of Americans have a mortgage loan, that means that a great majority of Americans should also have a life insurance plans to take care of that mortgage.

Salary

As we already mentioned, your salary is going to play a huge role in life insurance. In fact, your income is one of the most important factors when looking at life insurance coverage. If you’re the main sources of income in your home, and you were to pass away, your family would struggle to pay for any basic expenses. In fact, your salary is the second thing that you should calculate when you’re shopping for life insurance protection, right after you’ve calculated your debts.

There is no “perfect number” that is going to work for everyone, but most professional insurance agents suggest getting at least ten times your annual income.

Your Work Coverage

A lot of large corporations have started offering life insurance coverage as a benefit to their employees. The problem is that life insurance from companies are typically not enough for most families. Not only that but if you were to lose that job, then you would no longer have the insurance coverage.

It’s important that you get life insurance coverage apart from your employer sponsored plan. These plans are excellent supplemental coverage, but you should never rely on that plan for your main coverage.

Not Having Life Insurance

Not having life insurance protection is one of the worst mistakes that you could ever make for your loved ones. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, which means that you shouldn’t wait any longer to get the coverage that your family needs.

If something awful were to happen to you, and you didn’t have life insurance coverage, then your family is going to be stuck with the mountain of debt. Losing someone that you love is never going to be easy, but all of the debts and final expenses is going to make the situation a million times worse. Not only are they going to experience the emotional grief, but they are going to experience financial strain as well.

Because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, you shouldn’t wait any longer to get the insurance protection that your family deserves. Your life insurance plan is not for you, it’s for the people that you love. Show them that you love them by taking the time to purchase a quality life insurance policy.