Archive for 2009

Applying for Disability Insurance

While it’s not terribly difficult to apply for disability insurance, there are some hoops to be jumped through.
To get disability insurance an individual needs to fill out and submit an application form and deal with a few other details that an insurance agent will outline. Once that application is completed, it’s sent to the insurance company who gives it the fine tooth comb treatment and then makes a formal decision on whether or not to offer disability insurance. Again, while this isn’t the same thing as applying for life insurance, it is a good idea to have realistic expectations about pricing, potential exclusions and the timing of the policy ultimately offered for consideration.

One of the first things to remember when applying for disability insurance is that a quote is just that, a quote. It is not guaranteed. It boils down to being a guess and projection about what your agent feels you will be offered. In order to fine tune a quote and to have it be more realistic according to the circumstances of a person’s life, there needs to be discussions about an individual’s medical history, personal history, income and occupation.

Once the agent knows these details, there is going to be a more accurate quote. Generally speaking, expect a quote in the range of 1% to 4% of yearly income. Don’t be surprised if the occupation stated involves things like skydiving, to have the insurance company express a certain amount of reluctance to offer a policy.

After getting several quotes, a person needs to decide which insurance company to work with and then hand in all the rest of the required material: the application, a personal history interview, insurance medical exam and tax forms from two years previously. The only item that is not required is the personal history interview, but this does give the underwriter a much better overall picture of the person they are considering for disability issue.

Underwriting normally takes about 4 to 8 weeks, rarely 4 weeks unless the application is totally perfect in all ways and the applicant is in prime physical health, something that doesn’t happen all that often. To shorten the underwriting process, provide all the information requested and then add more. Usually though the hang up is getting medical records from the family physician.

The medical portion of underwriting is the most critical. Perfect health means you’re good to go and don’t have a medical condition and haven’t been seen by a doctor. Understandably, this is pretty rare, and those with medical conditions need to know about price rating and exclusions when it comes to disability insurance.

Price ratings come into play when the company is offering coverage to an applicant who is considered to be a higher risk than average, e.g. someone morbidly obese. Exclusions are amendments that come with the policy and spell out that a specific condition or even body part is not covered under the policy. Put another way, those with existing medical conditions being treated should expect exclusions for those conditions. The exclusions tend not to affect pricing, but to be sure, talk to an experienced insurance agent to get all of the right answers in a timely, no hassle manner.

To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Sunday, December 13th, 2009 Press Comments Off on Applying for Disability Insurance

Cheaper Health Care Is Totally Possible

Cheaper health care is available by doing some comparison-shopping.

Everyone loves a bargain. Why wouldn’t they be overjoyed to get something at a better price than they thought they might have to shell out in the first place? This is why it actually does pay to shop around for cheaper health insurance premiums.

This doesn’t mean dive right into the first, less expensive option found. It means taking the time to compare what’s on one site with another one. It might sound like a major drag to do that, but if it saves money and gets what’s needed for health care, then it’s well worth it.

Once something is found that should work, this is where people need to fish or cut bait. Pick up the phone and call the health insurance agent on duty and start asking some pointed questions about the plan(s) listed on the website. Talking to an agent is the best way to find out the rules and the exceptions to the rules – which are often more important that what is covered.

Just because something on a health insurance website that has a “to die for” kind of price, don’t take it as being the absolute truth. The sites are designed to provide general information only. Each case will be different and this is why expecting to get what is on a website won’t work. For instance there may be an example of what a person may pay if they happen to be XX age, in XX health without XX illnesses.

Confused? This is one of the reasons people prefer talking to an agent and getting instant feedback. Reading information on a website, while good for generalities, doesn’t do much for the specifics of particular situations. This is particularly true if pre-existing conditions are brought into the equation. Those make a significant difference to health insurance premium rates.

While shopping for health insurance is not the most fun thing in the world, it can be a lot easier and less expensive if done the right way. Take the time to find all the options before making a final decision.

To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Thursday, December 10th, 2009 Press Comments Off on Cheaper Health Care Is Totally Possible

Aetna to Expand Individual Insurance to Monroe County

Aetna,  one of the largest providers of florida health insurance will begin offering covering for there individual plans in Monroe County on January 1st, 2010.

Traditionally the only providers in the Florida Keys have been: Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna & Avalon Health.

To get a quote on an Aetna individual plan contact Evan Tunis at 800.946.3157.

Evan Tunis is with FloridaHealthcareInsurance.com, the leading provider of Florida health insurance quotes. To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Monday, December 7th, 2009 Blog Posts Comments Off on Aetna to Expand Individual Insurance to Monroe County

Long Term Care Insurance

With the country deep in a nasty recession, it should come as no surprise that new statistics show roughly 64% of those soon to retire won’t have enough money saved to maintain their lifestyles.

When you retire, you have expectations of being able to do pretty much what you want to do. But what if you don’t have enough money to do that? What if your standard of living dropped instead, to a level you never imagined was possible?

If you don’t have medical issues, things might be just dandy. However, with the advent of better technology, we are living longer. Living longer may well mean some type of long-term care. While this may be a reality, there are a lot of couples that are not prepared financially to pay that kind of expense out of their pockets. This is where long-term care insurance comes into the picture.

While you might get tired of hearing that insurance of any kind is easier to buy when you are younger, that’s the truth; it is easier. Sure you wonder if it’s worth the expense when you are in your 40s or 50s and in pretty good shape. Even if you are in relatively good health, thinking in advance is a smart thing to do for your future and that of your family as well. The other hard core truth is that if you wait too long to buy the kind of insurance that you need, you might not be able to buy it.

Here are a couple of statistics that will get your attention and get you thinking. They’re from the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance who reveals that virtually 70% of all those who apply for long-term care insurance who are 45 to 54 get accepted. Those in the age bracket of 65 to 74 don’t always get accepted, and the approval rate plummets to about 40%. Policy costs also double for those 65 and over; that is double the cost of what it would have been had you applied when you were 55.

It never hurts to think that you will always be healthy and never need long-term care, but to be blunt, that is honestly not a very realistic point of view. Other studies have indeed shown that just about half of us will need some form of long-term care. Sure you might think that long-term care insurance is expensive and you might not need it and besides, you have a higher chance of being hurt in a car crash or your home going up in flames. That well may be true, but you “do” have insurance for both of those events, so why not have insurance for the possibility of long-term care? It only makes sense and protects you later when you need it the most.

The American Stroke Association says that about one-third of stroke victims become permanently disabled and that one-third of stroke victims are under 65 years old. Those under 65 would not have had the chance to finish stashing money in their retirement fund before losing their ability to work. Think about this – the costs of long-term care. On average it runs about $75,000 a year with one in five Americans needing care for at least a year and about 3% requiring care for more than five years. Some patients with dementia will need care for longer. There is no way your family will be able to afford those costs.

On the other hand if you did buy long-term care insurance early and paid $100 a month, that total at the other end when you really needed it would far outweigh any retirement savings or financial reserves you may have at your disposal. Which chance would you rather take? Not having long-term health care and being unable to afford it? Or having long-term health care and knowing your care will not be a problem for you or a burden to your family. These are tough questions and ones that should be discussed with an expert insurance broker. They won’t sugarcoat what you need to know and will tell you precisely what would work for you for the long-term.

Evan Tunis is with FloridaHealthcareInsurance.com, the leading provider of Florida health insurance quotes. To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Saturday, December 5th, 2009 Articles Comments Off on Long Term Care Insurance

Short Term Disability

The facts are that every American faces the possibility of being disabled before retirement. Statistics show that it averages about three out of every ten people, but those odds may change.

Disability is not just something that should be considered a physical threat; it needs to be regarded from the financial point of view. Being disabled and not having the ability to work will eat through your savings at a good clip, much faster than you ever thought possible.

What do you do in the event of an injury that lays you out flat for the short or long-term? More insurance industry gurus recommend you have savings of up to six months in order to pay expenses. How many people actually do that? Not many and therein lies the problem. There is a solution to this problem though and it involves short term disability insurance.

Short term disability insurance is available to offer protection to people who don’t have significant savings or for those who can’t pay bills out-of-pocket if they are laid up. In fact, short term disability insurance pays out a percentage of lost wages that ranges anywhere from 50 to 70 percent. That however does depend on the policy, and for a policy that pays out at a higher rate it’s smart to talk to an expert insurance broker who can fill you in on what you need to know.

Here is how a policy like this may work. It makes a payout for a specified time period that may be anywhere from 10 to 26 weeks. While that might not seem like a long time, it’s not meant to be. It’s considered to be a safety net to help a temporarily disabled worker pay their bills for a short time.

Coverage like this is quite often obtained through an employer or even as a part of a worker’s group policy. While that might be a nice thing, you need to know that generally speaking, there are some hoops you may have to jump through. For example, your company might want a doctor to certify your disability, or you might have to use all your sick days first.

As with many insurance contracts, each one has different things that will either benefit you or not. This is one of the major reasons to speak to a fully qualified health insurance broker to get a full explanation of the policies you may be considering.

Evan Tunis is with FloridaHealthcareInsurance.com, the leading provider of Florida health insurance quotes. To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 Articles Comments Off on Short Term Disability

Doing It Before One Dies

Not a lot of people like to talk about life insurance as it reminds them of their mortality.

It’s understandable that people don’t want to discuss their own death and thus would put off buying life insurance as a way of “avoiding” the issue. Delaying a life insurance purchase will often make it much more expensive and if this delay is combined with other health factors, this might reflect a picture of a high risk individual to insure; not a benefit for life insurance companies.

Buying life insurance needs to be an informed process where the consumer knows about the options available to them, such as knowing the reasons why they want life insurance, what level and type of insurance they want, and what life insurance broker is able to provide what they want.

One rather common perception is that if a person has no dependents, then they don’t need life insurance. The reality is that people choose to get coverage for a variety of reasons that may include the wish to provide for loved ones after death. It may be just the simple wish of providing life insurance funds to cover funeral expenses or a small sum for the beneficiary to live on. The reasons don’t matter, but the comfort such insurance provides is tangible.

It’s also a good idea to have in mind whether a level term or decreasing term would suit present circumstances. Factor in the amount available to budget monthly and if the overall amount to be insured for is flexible or fixed. An expert life insurance broker will tailor a quote to suit those needs. Always include things like car loans, credit card debt or mortgages into the initial calculations for insurance coverage.

Don’t lie on the insurance application form, as this will be caught later and it may result in the suspension of the policy. If the “fib” is caught later, the insurer may refuse to payout on any claims.

Try online life insurance quotes, however remember that at best many of them are “general” in nature and don’t always address specific concerns or needs. To address those things, speak to an expert life insurance broker about the proper cover.

To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 Press Comments Off on Doing It Before One Dies

The Myths of Insurance

Insurance is an area that everyone seems to have an opinion, and often that opinion is completely wrong.
It’s a reality that most insurance policies are filled with so much jargon, it’s really hard to make sense of what they are really saying. It’s not much wonder that people make up what they think it says and then try to deal with it later, and pass along those misconceptions to others.

The bottom line is that there are a number of myths that people need to know about to set the record straight about insurance. For instance that famous myth about a person’s job disability will cover them. It’s amazing how many people think lost wages will be covered through their employer’s long-term disability insurance plan. Don’t look now, but that is definitely a myth.

Generally speaking a typical group policy pays about 60% of a person’s wages up to a specified “limit,” such as $4,000 a month. The policy won’t replace bonuses or commissions either. Know what the policy says before assuming something that turns out not to be true and affects the ability to pay bills. Make it a point to speak to an expert insurance broker who will explain what to do if there is not enough insurance, e.g. buy an individual plan that pays up to 70% to 80% of an individual’s salary, etc.

Another prevalent myth is the one that says the homeowner’s policy will cover a lot of things. The problem here is that a lot of homeowners think they are covered for everything including the kitchen sink, and they might “not” be. Read the fine print. A standard homeowner’s policy has limits, and riders are usually needed for things like damage due to power outages, wind storms, earthquakes and sewage backup.

Interestingly enough, many Americans don’t feel they need long-term care insurance; it’s only for seniors. The thing is everyone ages and not always gracefully as one would like. In addition, people think the government helps with long-term care, but in reality Medicare only offers short term care after hospitalization. Look for coverage earlier in life and be prepared.

Drivers often think low deductibles are better for home and vehicle policies. This is definitely a myth because the lower the deductible, the higher the premiums. In addition if a person tends to make a lot of small claims, this works against them because they are costing the insurance company money.

There are more insurance myths that make the rounds with amazing regularity and many of them can be explained by an expert insurance agent who has seen just about everything and cares about his customers. Ask around and find out the “real” truth about insurance and what it does. The answers may be rather surprising.

To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Sunday, November 8th, 2009 Press Comments Off on The Myths of Insurance

The Necessary What-Ifs of Life

One necessary “what if” in life is life insurance, but during this recession, life insurance seems to be the “last” thing that people buy.

Buying life insurance during a recession is one of the last things that people tend to do, rationalizing that any spare money they have needs to go toward keeping food on the table and a roof over everyone’s heads. It goes without saying the many business sectors have been drastically affected by the stunning drop in the economy, and the life insurance business is no exception.

You should be aware that despite the tough times, life insurance “does” make a great deal of sense. It is one of the smartest investments you can make. What makes life insurance slightly different from other financial sectors is that most bill payments are binding and can’t be allowed to lapse without some serious consequences.

Life insurance may lapse if the premiums aren’t paid, but that is all that happens. The insurance lapses and you don’t pay any more premiums, but then, you don’t have life insurance coverage either. Yes, many people think that buying life insurance for those “what if” things that “might” happen in the future is not as necessary as buying food, etc.

Recognizing this, life insurance brokers have been taking a hard look at the products they offer. These days many life insurance companies are asking themselves what they need to do to retain their customers. On the other side of the fence, many customers are thinking that they can do without life insurance until their economic situation improves, and resume the same level of coverage when they are ready to start paying on premiums once again.

This is a misguided assumption as age is a critical factor in buying life insurance and in determining the premiums. This is a risk factor that all life insurance companies use to insure consumers. The older you happen to be, the higher the risk of the life insurance company paying out. That means higher premiums or a smaller sum on payout on death. Put another way, letting your life insurance lapse may mean your life insurance will be “more” expensive when you resume coverage than if you have kept the policy in force.

Perhaps the most critical point to remember is that life insurance is intended to take care of those left behind in the event of a death; to provide them with a safety net if you will. With insurance companies re-evaluating their customer service approach, there may be incentives available for you to retain your life insurance policy even during rough financial times. Ask your broker what options may apply to you.

Evan Tunis is with FloridaHealthcareInsurance.com, the leading provider of Florida health insurance quotes. To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Thursday, November 5th, 2009 Articles Comments Off on The Necessary What-Ifs of Life

Millions Don’t Have Life Insurance

It’s true, millions of people do not have life insurance and when life throws them a curve, it may spell disaster.

A little long range planning for your life is a smart thing, particularly if you have a family to care for and responsibilities to handle. Consider the case of the young family whose father was the picture of health at the age of 38 years old. Then one day, something went wrong and it was discovered that he had stomach cancer.

A few short months later, the young father died leaving two children and a wife to grieve for him and a pile of bills to boot. The thing that makes this scenario different is that this young dad had life insurance and because he did, he was able to provide for his family, even in death.

Life does have a way of biting one when they least expect it and it’s usually a good idea to be protected for those “what if” moments that tend to come along. Life insurance doesn’t have to be really expensive or even have a lot of bells and whistles, but if does need to keep your family safe. For this reason it’s a smart thing to speak to an expert life insurance broker who knows what products will suit each individual.

Statistics indicate that there are almost 68 million Americans who have no life insurance at all and conversely, those who do have it, often don’t have enough to cover what they need. This is where it makes good sense to speak to a life insurance broker with extensive experience in making sure your life insurance “thinks ahead” of you for just about any eventuality. Nobody wants to die early or suddenly, but it does happen; that “is” life, and what “life” insurance is all about.

One of the questions people ask most often is when they do decide to purchase life insurance, just how much they will need? Actually, the better question to ask is what would you like to have happen in the event of a death? Put another way, what do “you” want?

The more questions you ask, the better it is to get a life insurance policy and package that suits your unique needs. Dealing with a life insurance broker who knows the ropes is the first step in a lifelong relationship; one that will stand you in good stead if something ill fated transpires.

For instance if you think far enough ahead to make provisions for your family, they will not need to move out of their family home should a parent die suddenly. Nor will they need to substantially alter their lifestyles if they have the right plan done in concert with your life insurance broker.

While life goes on no matter what happens, it’s a smart thing to plan for the unexpected, even if it doesn’t happen. Being prepared for those detours in life is what life insurance in all about. You can’t get a better deal than knowing your family is protected should you not be here. Planning ahead and having the “right” life insurance means not having to deal with financial distress as well as emotional distress.

Evan Tunis is with FloridaHealthcareInsurance.com, the leading provider of Florida health insurance quotes. To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Monday, November 2nd, 2009 Articles Comments Off on Millions Don’t Have Life Insurance

Can I get Florida Health Insurance with a Pregnant Spouse?

I had a client recently who was looking to get insurance for her husband. She was on her company’s works plan which was covering the cost of her upcoming baby. Since the cost of adding her husband to her companies plan was more then she could afford, she asked me if it were possible to get him on an individual plan.

My response to this client was NO. All carriers in Florida will NOT cover the baby because the husband can claim the baby as a dependent; which means the baby’s on the policy non-underwritten.

If you have any questions regarding maternity or Florida Health Insurance please contact Evan Tunis at 800.946.3157.

To learn more about Florida health insuranceFlorida health insurance quotesFlorida life insurance,Florida life insurance quotesFlorida group health insurance visit Floridahealthcareinsurance.com.

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Monday, November 2nd, 2009 Blog Posts Comments Off on Can I get Florida Health Insurance with a Pregnant Spouse?