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Life Insurance


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Life Insurance

Why should I purchase life insurance?
The primary reason for life insurance is to provide income for your dependents if you or another family income provider should die prematurely.

How much life insurance should I purchase?
If you have a family, many experts suggest that you need an amount equal to 5 to 10 times your annual salary. However, many people own higher coverage's to provide more income for their family.

When does my coverage start?
Most companies provide temporary or conditional coverage during the application process (assuming the conditions are met), but such coverage is limited in time and amount. The availability, amount and conditions vary from company to company. If you are replacing existing coverage, you should not drop your existing coverage until your new policy has been approved, and your first premium has been paid.

Is a medical exam necessary to qualify?
In most cases, an exam is required. If so, the insurance company will pay the costs and have it done at a time and place convenient for you-- usually right in your home. The exam is usually conducted by a licensed paramedic or medical doctor, and generally involves a blood test, urine specimen, blood pressure reading, height and weight measurement, and a series of questions about your health history. The whole process usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

When I send in my application, should a check be included?
If you send the first premium check along with your application, most insurance companies will provide limited temporary or conditional coverage during the application/underwriting process. Although most people do, there is no requirement that you submit a check with your application. The premium can be paid once the policy has been approved.

What's the difference between standard and preferred rates, and how do I qualify for preferred rates?
Most often, you must be in excellent overall health. There are strict limits on height, weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. And you must not have a family history of any significant health impairments. You also cannot use tobacco in any form. You must have no history of drug or alcohol in any form. You must have no history of drug or alcohol abuse, and you cannot be engaged in any hazardous activities.

Should I get coverage on my spouse and/or children?
Often, families have coverage on both spouses. Beyond the obvious final expenses, the financial strain on a family after the loss of a spouse can be significant, even if the deceased spouse wasn't working. Often the surviving spouse will take time off work, or change jobs in order to spend more time with the children. Coverage for children is also available to cover final expenses and/or to guarantee insurability for the child's future.

Will my policy ever be canceled for health reasons?
As long as you keep your premiums current, your policy will never be canceled because of a change in your health, and you will not be asked to provide evidence of good health in order to renew your policy each year. However, you have the right to cancel your policy at anytime.

Does smoking cigarettes affect my rate?
Rates for smokers are higher than that of non-smokers.

What happens if I become disabled?
Many policies include a rider which provides a "waiver of premium" for total disability. In the event you become totally disabled for a certain period (typically six months or longer) then the insurance company will pay your premium for you until you are no longer disabled. This rider is optional and available at an extra cost, and must be chosen at the time of your application. The rider is not available for purchase after age 55 (60 in some cases) and, even if elected, will automatically be removed from most policies at age 60 (65 in some cases).

After the initial period of guaranteed premiums, what will my insurance cost?
Whole Life insurance policies typically have a level premium for life. However, term life insurance policies typically only guarantee the premium for a limited number of years.

Each renewable term policy has a contractually guaranteed maximum renewal premium which can be illustrated, and which is shown in the policy. This amount is the most you'll have to pay to renew the coverage.

Insurers also illustrate current renewal rates, which represent the expected future renewal rates, which are lower than the maximum renewal rates. These rates are not guaranteed, and can be higher or lower than expected, but never higher than the guaranteed maximum renewal premium.

After the initial guarantee period ends, you can re-apply for new coverage and, if you qualify, you can begin a new period of guaranteed rates (in effect, a new policy), which will generally cost less than your current or maximum renewal rates. This process is referred to as 're-entering,' or 're-entry.' Since your future good health is not guaranteed, the ability to 're-enter' is not guaranteed.

Is there a money-back guarantee or free look period?
If, at any time during the life insurance application process, you change your mind for any reason, you will receive a full refund of premiums, no questions asked. This guarantee continues until ten full days (up to 30 days in some states) after your policy is delivered to you.


Auto Insurance

What's "full coverage?"
The term "full coverage" is a term that means the legally required or most commonly requested coverage's The term "full coverage" does not mean that everything is covered no matter what happens.

"Full coverage" typically includes Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist, damage to a covered vehicle (also know as Comprehensive and Collision) and any other coverage's available such as: rental car towing, road service or additional equipment coverage. Your auto insurance policy declaration page lists the coverage's you have selected.

Am I covered for use of my vehicle for my business?
If you use your vehicle in business, check with you agent to make sure you have the proper coverage.

Am I covered if I drive someone else's vehicle?
The coverage provided varies from state to state and you should consult with your agent for details. Generally, you are covered only for liability to the third parties unless the owner is a resident of your household, or the vehicle is furnished for your regular use. In many states, you are not covered for physical damage to the borrowed vehicle. Any coverage provided is over and above the collectable coverage provided by the owner of the vehicle.

Will my policy be canceled if I have an accident?
Generally, just being in an accident will not cause your policy to be canceled. However, after the facts of the situation are reviewed, you may be required to pay more premium for your policy upon renewal.

What is Optional/Add-on-Equiptment coverage?
When coverage is afforded under the Comprehensive and Collision portion of your policy, optional equipment (a CD player for example) is covered only if permanently installed in the opening of the dash where the manufacturer would normally install such equipment

In addition, an endorsement is available which provides coverage for optional equipment no permanently installed in the dash and for theft of items such as tapes, discs or other equipment designed for the reproduction of sound. Consult your policy booklet and contact your agent for more information especially if you are thinking about adding equipment to your present vehicle.

What should I do if I'm in an accident?

  • Notify us promptly, either directly or through your agent.
  • Give names and addresses of witnesses and injured persons.
  • Promptly send your agent copies of notices or legal papers you receive about the accident.
  • Cooperate with the investigation You might have to submit a "proof of loss" form and, if you have injuries, undergo a medical exam.

When I'm involved in an accident, when should I notify my insurance company?
notify your agent.

What can I do to keep my auto premiums down?
Be sure to talk to your agent about all available discounts such as: multi-car, renewal, claim-free, student discounts, driver course, anti-lock brakes, air bags, anti-theft devices, and auto/home discounts. Ask how much you can save by increasing your deductibles.


Home Insurance Questions

When should I contact my agent to see if I should add coverage?
Generally, when something significant about your home or its contents has changed you should check your coverage with your agent. For example, putting on an addition to your home, starting a business that is run out of your home and major purchase items such as: jewelry, a computer, a boat or other recreational vehicles would be significant change.

What types of coverage is available for renters?
A renters policy provides coverage for much more than just your belongings. It provides you with world wide coverage for your personal property above your policy deductible. This protection is limited to losses resulting from the perils which are listed on your policy. Some of the most common perils include fire or lighting, windstorm or hail, vandalism and theft. In addition to covering your belongings world wide, a renters policy also provides liability coverage.

What sort of insurance is available for a computer?
Our homeowners insurance policy provides up to $5,000 for a covered loss to home computer equipment, not used in business. This limit can be increased to $10,000.

What kind of records are needed to substantiate a homeowner claim?
It is recommended that you keep a booklet detailing the items or a videotape of your personal property. Having a complete inventory record at the time of loss could save you thousands of dollars because no one remembers everything, and unless written down, lost items will go unclaimed. The booklet should be kept in a safe place, preferably not at home. Keep it in a safe deposit box or with your insurance agent. It is also a good idea to retain all bills for major purchases and additions to the structure of your home. These could serve as proof of purchase in the event of a claim and should also be kept in a safe place.

Finally, take pictures or videotape of all these items. Lay china and silverware on a table so that the picture will show the number of pieces and other details such as the design. Keep the pictures and all receipts in a safe place.

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