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Insurance

New Surgeries and Medical Treatments Can Save Your Pet’s Life — At a Price

Pets are members of the family. We want them to be happy and healthy. With new medical treatments and surgeries available, dogs and cats are beating cancer, overcoming genetic defects and improving heart conditions to live longer, higher quality lives. These new surgical techniques and medical advancements come at a hefty price, however. No one wants to have to euthanize a beloved pet because they can’t pay for treatment. There are cost-effective ways to keep pets healthy and give them the best veterinary care possible. Here are three tips to do just that.

  1. Purchase pet insurance:  A quick look at this infographic about pet insurance shows the average costs of a variety of veterinary procedures. For example, cancer treatments can cost over $5,000. Treating a pet with pneumonia can be as much as $8,300. Surgery to remove a foreign object can cost $3,000 or more. Even routine treatments, such as annual wellness exams, vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries can wreak havoc on a budget. Pet insurance is affordable. Costs depend on the coverage you choose and specific factors about your pet. Shop around to find the best coverage at the best price. Pet insurance is an investment in your pet’s well-being as well as a smart way to pay a little and avoid unexpected high costs in the future.
  2. Feed your pet right: When you’re on a budget, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeding pets the least expensive food. The problem is that dog or cat food that does not meet the pet’s nutritional requirements can cause health issues that are expensive to manage. Cheap pet food is often full of “filler” ingredients that cause the pet to eat more and lead to obesity. Speak with your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional requirements. By spending a little more for a higher quality food that meets your pet’s needs, you may avoid some of the illnesses related to poor diet later on.
  3. Pet-proof your home: Ingestion of foreign or poisonous objects is one of the most expensive and common reasons for emergency vet visits. A few precautions can save you from high veterinary bills and save your pet from suffering or even death. Lock cleaning supplies up. Keep human medications out of reach. Grapes, raisins, onions and other human foods are dangerous if ingested. Some plants are toxic. Electrical cords are attractive to some pets, particularly the young. Fix problems before something bad happens. Make sure your home is pet-safe.

The Humane Society of America offers this advice if you are having trouble affording veterinary care:

  • Prepare by purchasing pet insurance.
  • Negotiate with your vet. Ask for a payment plan.
  • Call different veterinarians around your region. Charges often vary substantially from one office to the next.
  • If you need help with vaccinations or spay/neuter surgeries, look for low-cost clinics or programs.
  • Look online for veterinary care assistance programs.
  • Contact local shelters and ask about low-cost services. Many have in-house clinics or work with veterinarians who are willing to reduce their rates in specific circumstances.

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Infographic from https://www.petinsuranceu.com/pet-insurance-infographic

Insurance

Insurance For Single People

When you have a family, the need for insurance is pretty obvious, and the bill for it all can be a real expense of its own. For single folks, though, it’s easy to think that all insurance is just wasted money. Although that’s true for some coverage (most notably whole life), other forms are just as important for you as for others.

LIFE INSURANCE

If nobody relies on your income, you don’t need to take steps to perpetuate that income once you’re gone. However, it’s good form to have enough coverage to handle the kind of sendoff you asked for in your will. If that’s just donating your body to science, you really don’t need any coverage at all. If you want an old-fashioned wake and a big marker for your memorial, a term life policy can provide the funds at a low cost.

DISABILITY INSURANCE

You don’t need life coverage to handle your expenses when you’re gone, but you still need to eat and pay rent if you’re hurt or seriously ill. Disability insurance does exactly that by replacing your income while you recover. This is the only form of insurance that’s more important for single people than for people with families, since married folks can still rely on a spouse for some income while they’re ill. Inexpensive disability coverage is often available through your employer, or you can shop through a broker to get the most appropriate policy for your needs.

RENTER’S INSURANCE

Single people who have bought a home should carry the same kind of homeowner’s insurance as a married couple with the same property. If you’re still renting, a renter’s insurance policy is designed to provide the same protection against theft and damage that a homeowners policy would. In most cases, this kind of policy – though very inexpensive – is usually unnecessary. If there’s a fire or catastrophe, your landlord’s insurance will cover damage to the building. As for your possessions, a typical apartment or home doesn’t have enough of value to bother insuring. Homeowner’s insurance is important because of the value of the home. The only exception is if you own collections or other items of exceptionally high value, in which case you should insure those items specifically as normal renter’s coverage won’t typically cover them.

AUTO INSURANCE

The law says you should carry auto insurance if you want to drive, and each state mandates a certain minimum level of bodily injury coverage. However, that minimum amount may not be enough to pay for your entire recovery – including lost income – if you are at fault in a serious auto accident. It’s a good idea to increase your bodily injury coverage to an amount that realistically pays out what serious medical care is likely to cost.

Read also: How Do You Prove That A Parent Is Unfit?

Insurance

What should you do if your insurer is in trouble?

insurer

Is it possible to have a highly successful and seemingly profitable insurance provider to be in trouble? YES. A good example is the American International Group (AIG) $85 billion dollar bailout that happened in 2008 where the shaky foundations of the world’s largest insurer caused consumers to go into widespread panic.

Ironic, isn’t it, considering if there’s no ASSURANCE in INSURANCE, then the industry is basically devoid of any substance. Fortunately, insurers do not go bankrupt every other day, so it’s safe to say that you need not bail out of your policy this very moment. 

Reasons why insurers fail

With the existence of so many insurers in the world, it’d be understandable for some people to play the ‘What If’ game. The main question in everyone’s mind is: What IF insurers fail? This is a completely valid question to ask, because it’s happened before. Insurance companies HAVE failed in the past, and it will happen again.

Luckily, there are less insolvent insurers compared to failed financial institution. For example, approximately 700 insurers across the world failed to uphold their business (and their promise to consumers). This happened within the 30 years between the 1970’s to year 2000. Now, compare this number against the 500 financial institutions that went insolvent during the infamous economic crisis of the 1980’s. This figure is applicable to establishments that existed in the United States ALONE. So if you think about it, the low insolvency rate of insurers is pretty encouraging to instill high consumer confidence.

Main reasons why insurers declare insolvency:

  • Underreserving: This is usually caused by poor insurance practices.
  • Lack of insight: Inability to forecast risk of catastrophes will also cause insurers to close up shop.
  • Rapid growth: Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, right? CORRECT. When an insurance company expands too much and too soon using underpricing procedures, it stretches itself thin and pretty soon, causes its own downfall.
  • Fraud: Needless to say, fraudulent activities will cause ANY company to fail. When profitability is manipulated or incompetent management left to run the business, you can be sure that trouble will be brewing very soon. 

What happens when an insurance company goes bankrupt?

Should you hear that your insurer is going bankrupt, don’t panic just yet. Your insurance company may yet be saved by the state Department of Insurance which will decide to put the firm into rehabilitation in order to salvage the situation. If this isn’t possible, they will start the liquidation process.

 You have a guardian angel in the form of your state’s insurance guarantee association. They will do all they can to transfer policies belonging to the insolvent firm to other stable (rival) companies. Policyholders will still enjoy coverage that’s capped up to $300,000. 

Looking for the next best thing?

Should you have the misfortune of having your insurer fail, you should immediately make plans to shop for new coverage. You should have plenty of time before your old policy expires so do take the time and read up on these pointers to make an informed decision regarding which new insurer’s offer to take up.

  • Think about your needs before choosing a new policy. You may be tempted to take on a larger one (thanks to a possibly over-zealous insurance sales rep), but if you assess your needs and financial standing, you should be able to make the right decision and settle on a policy that fits you just right. A cheaper policy won’t provide as much coverage, but it won’t cost you an arm and leg either.
  • Shop around for price quotes. Don’t discount independent agents as they may have their own repertoire of insurance products that fulfill your needs.
  • Before enjoying a payout from your insurer, you must pay an amount called the deductible. Some policies come with higher deductibles, thus lowering your premium, but may not be such a wise choice as more money has to be paid out before your claim will be processed.
  • Contrary to popular thinking, it’s NOT all about the money. An insurance policy may catch your interest with its low premium but what’s even more worth your money is to sign up with a trustworthy insurance company that enjoys excellent financial standing.
  • Don’t be shy in asking for discounts from your sales rep. Some companies may offer discounts at their discretion so do take the initiative to ask if you’re eligible to have your premium lowered. 

Knowing when to quit

They say breaking up is hard to do. Not so, if you’re trying to sever relationship with your insurance company. If you’re not happy with your current insurer, it’s better to throw in the towel early than suffer heartache later. Here are some issues to mull over if you are thinking about switching insurance providers:

–          Are you kept in the dark when you have a question (or a series of questions) to ask? Are your insurance customer service personnel knowledgeable enough to satisfy your curiosity?

–          Does your insurer pay out quickly, or does it take a few angry phone calls to find out what happened to your claims?

–          Do you feel like you’re being short-changed by your insurer? Are their rates way higher than others? 

The conclusion

Let’s face it: finding crystal balls on the shelves of Wal-Mart isn’t as easy as we’d like it to be, so there’s really no way we can find out how to spot insurers that may one day fail to pay out.

The best thing is to only do business with companies that are licensed to sell insurance. It helps to keep yourself informed on the best life insurance companies around. Plus, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Know when you’re buying a product for protection (insurance) and when you’re paying for investment.

Insurance

A Few Reasons to Take Out Life Insurance after Turning 50

You might think that life insurance is for younger people but there are a few good reasons for taking out life insurance after turning 50. Each case is obviously different but many people benefit from a greater peace of mind after taking out a policy for one of the following reasons.

To Cover Loans

No matter what age you are you won’t want to leave the burden of an outstanding loan behind you. This is why a life insurance policy can give you great peace of mind. The amount you need to cover will determine the premium you need to pay and you might very well find out this type of insurance cover is a lot less expensive than you thought.

To Pay Inheritance Tax

If you are going to be leaving behind a substantial amount of property then inheritance tax could be a big concern for your heirs. One way of helping them out with this amount is with a life insurance policy. You may need to ask an expert in the field to help you work out the amount you need to be covered for but you will feel a lot better once you have the policy in place.   

To Pay Funeral Expenses

A worry for many of us is how our family are going to be able to pay for our funeral expenses once we pass away. As the figure involved in arranging in most funerals is relatively modest the policy in this case shouldn’t cost a fortune. Often you can start getting quotes beginning with the minimum sum insured on offer and take it from there. If you find that even the minimum amount on offer is pretty high then you will be in the pleasant position of being able to think about leaving being a bit extra for your family.

To Help Out Relatives

In other cases the person looking to get insured on an over 50 life insurance policy will simply want to leave some cash behind for their family. This is a fantastic thing to do and it is especially rewarding if you know that your family will find that the money comes in really handy. Organising your own life insurance policy isn’t always the most exciting or pleasing thing in the world to do but if you can at least think about the good things which the eventual payout could do then it will be something well worth doing.  

Insurance

The Need for Getting Pet Insurance

Most of us take our property insurance obligations very seriously because the last thing we need in life is to be able to lose something big and not be able to replace it. Every year, we spend billions of dollars worldwide insuring anything from our cars, houses, and our medical expenses. Heck, even Heidi Klum insured her legs just to be sure. 

This raises an interesting question that has to be answered in the context of personal savings. Simply put, have we considered something like pet insurance to ensure that we all have our expenses covered? Think about it; we treat our pets like family and go out of our way to spend for their needs, not the least of which is medical expenditures. When ours pets get sick, it does not take an hour before we find ourselves running to the veterinarian and spending hundreds of dollars for doctor fees and medication among other things. All that spending can easily total to thousands of dollars over the course of a year and in these tough economic times, that’s a little bit more spending than we would prefer coming out from our wallets. 

Pet insurance provides a practical solution to these problems. Working much like our own medical policies, pet insurance are bought to cover vet treatment fees, or even medication depending on the exact policy bought. It is a handy and workable solution that allows pet owners to rest easy knowing that their beloved are well-taken cared of and that their wellness is not compromised simply because we are working on a squeezed budget. 

Most of the pet insurance policies today actually sell for very affordable rates, as low as ₤4.50 gross for a month for a pet cat. Dog pet insurance can be bought for ₤5.60 for basic medical care. There are also other variations that would allow one to insure pets that may go missing or coverage for bereavement counseling services in the untimely event that a beloved pet passes away. 

The important consideration is to remember that pets are equally important to us so much so that saving money is a reason we would never use to compromise our pet’s health and wellness. However, if it can be done in a practical way such as through legitimate and proven pet insurance policies, then there is no reason to shy away from the most practical and ideal solution out there. 

The next time you find yourself in the vet having to pay a good amount for your cat’s latest illness, think of how pet insurance can help ease your spending without having to lower your standards for health care towards your pets. With pet insurance, you need not worry, and yet still be able to save. In a world were good breaks are hard to come by, that’s as good an offer as any you will ever find.