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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

Tips to Find the Best Car Insurance Quotes

If you want to save money on car insurance, then you can’t just choose any old provider that you see on television. Every car insurance provider is unique and there are many different factors that affect the price of your insurance. The price you pay depends on the area that you live, your driving history, the type of car that you own and any extra costs that the car insurance provider has. The truth is, getting the best car insurance quotes is about how hard you look for them. Searching online is a great way to compare the prices of competing companies. By doing your homework, you will walk away with a lower monthly price.

Locate a car insurance comparison company

A true car insurance comparison company should not charge you any money to use their services. Car insurance comparison companies are paid commission for referring customers to the actual car insurance provider. This is why car insurance providers give them access to their pricing information. Without doing so, these comparison companies would send customers to a different company.

Be sure to locate a car insurance comparison company that can give you up to date pricing information on multiple car insurance providers. This will help you save money on your bill every month because they will direct you to the lowest cost company in the area.

Don’t be afraid to provide detailed information

Often times, people are hesitant to enter in any kind of personal information on the Internet. If you take this approach when comparing car insurance quotes, then your search is not going to be successful. It’s very important that you supply car insurance comparison companies with the information that they need to locate a low cost provider. Typical information that is asked of you will include your driving history, accident history, the type of car that you own and the area that you live. These are important factors when it comes to determining your car insurance costs.

Know your environment and understand how pricing is determined

Car insurance companies use a lot of different factors to determine the costs of your insurance. If you live in a highly populated area, the chance that you will get in an accident is greater, so this will increase your insurance rates. Similarly, if you are a teenager, your insurance rates will increase as well because of your lack of experience behind the wheel. These are all things that you need to be aware of so that you can do what you can to reduce your insurance because some car insurance companies will allow you to do things to bring down these related costs. For instance, students can submit their grades or you can even relocate to a more densely populated area to save money.

Only pay for full coverage if it’s absolutely needed

Full coverage insures your vehicle in case you are the causer of the accident. It’s usually not necessary to pay for full coverage on a vehicle that is used, aged or has very little value. It’s important to consider whether or not your vehicle really needs full coverage and if it’s a necessary expense. Full coverage can more than double your insurance rates, so you can save a lot of money without it.

Passing on perks can lower your monthly payments

Often times, car insurance companies will try to package in special perks, provided that you pay a little bit more money every month. These perks can start to add up and they probably aren’t something that you use very often. If you can live without them, it’s a good idea to throw perks aside.

Author Bio: Larry Smith works for CarInsuranceQuote.net as an associate.  Their website is focus on providing information about car insurance. 

Insurance

Full-Proofing Your Wedding Plans with Wedding Insurance

Everyone wants their wedding day to be perfect and for the most part, it’s quite rare to hear of a wedding that went awry. Still, despite the very slim chances that something big comes down on your wedding day enough to set it back, it does happen. Just this week, news of flooding inAsiawas accompanied with pictures of a bride and groom kissing in knee-deep flood waters. Yes, they managed to push through with their wedding despite torrential downpour and raging flood. Not everyone can be as “fortunate.” 

This is where securing a simple wedding insurance can come in handy. There are offers like the Debenhams wedding insurance that provides some level of security against unforeseen circumstances so all your wedding preparations need not go down the drain. If you’ve booked a big venue, for example, chances are that a cancellation would not be allowed for free – if it will be allowed at all. A handy wedding insurance can help ease all your worries knowing you have a fallback plan that will answer all the necessary bills for rescheduling the wedding. 

So what can one expect from the best wedding insurance offers available? Here is a sampling of the more prominent features of the best wedding insurance packages available: 

  • Coverage for a fraction of, or the full, wedding cost amounting to as much as £70,000. If you want to be secure in your planning, you just know you will need to have this as a back-up option.
  • The best wedding insurance packages can actually be used to cover overseas wedding arrangements for the same cost as the local versions. If you are feeling romantic and would want to plan an exclusive beach wedding in, say, Costa Rica and you want to be sure with all the necessary details, there is no better way to be secure than with a wedding insurance policy.
  • Coverage for supplier failures. Yes, you can always choose the best and most reliable suppliers but even they can fall on hard times when emergencies pop up left and right. A £10,000 maximum coverage for supplier failures will certainly not hurt your wedding preparations. 

The allures of the perfect wedding are spellbinding and mesmerizing but even the best laid plans of mice and men can encounter unforeseen issues. Prepare the right way by picking up a contingency option in the form of a wedding insurance. That way, you can be certain that come heat or high water, you are well taken cared of and set for a rescheduling without as much as a single worry on the expenses. 

If you want to start the rest of your life in the right way, you can never go wrong by starting the planning habit with your wedding.

Insurance

The 5 Must-Have Kinds of Insurance

There’s a lot of insurance out there, from the extended service package on your newest iGadget to whole life policies with complex value schemes. Whether or not any given type of insurance is right for you depends on a variety of factors. However, financial experts consistently identify five kinds of insurance that most established families will need. 

Term Life 

Losing a family member is hard enough without adding financial hardship to the situation. Term life insurance pays out to help make up for the lost income and associated expenses. Unlike whole life insurance, which covers a person for the length of her life, term life policies can be bought for the length of your working life – making it enough less expensive that even middle-earning families can replace five or ten years’ worth of income. 

Only skip this if you have no dependents or other people relying on your income.

Homeowners/Renters

If you have a mortgage, your contract probably requires you to carry a homeowners policy. Even if you own your home free and clear, it’s a good idea to protect the largest investment of your life. If you don’t yet own a home, renters insurance is an inexpensive option for protecting your possessions against accidents, vandalism and theft. 

Only skip this if you don’t own a home, and have sufficient cash reserves to replace your belongings.

Auto 

In the US, if you have a car you’re supposed to carry this in order to protect other drivers from damage you might do – but it’s often worthwhile to carry enough comprehensive coverage to replace your car if you accidentally damage it yourself. In most families, the car is the second largest investment they make.

You’re not legally allowed to skip this one at all. Skip the comprehensive coverage only if you can afford to buy a new car out of pocket.

Disability

Consider this life insurance’s little brother. An injury or illness can take a person out of the earning pool for months or even years – a situation that’s little different from death in terms of the family finances. Long-term disability insurance protects for those longer periods of recovery, while short-term disability will help out during problems that last only a few weeks. 

Don’t skip long-term disability if you have any dependents, or if somebody could become liable for your medical bills. Skip short-term if you can weather one to two months without a paycheck. 

Disaster 

Homeowner’s insurance in areas where certain kinds of disasters are common expressly do not pay out for damage due to that sort of disaster. For example, if you live on a flood plain, your homeowners insurance won’t pay for flood damage. If you live in such an area, you might be able to find (often government-run) insurance coverage specifically for those natural catastrophes. 

Never skip on disaster insurance if you live in an area with frequent natural disasters.

Insurance

7 Reasons Why You Need Renters’ Insurance

Author Bio: This article is written by Charles Henry of http://www.rentersinsurance.net/

If you are entering into a new property rental lease, or perhaps have been renting for a while without insurance, you may think that getting a renters’ insurance policy is unnecessary for you, or at least a very low financial priority. Perhaps you don’t consider your possessions to be all that valuable, and aren’t sure it is worth paying a monthly premium just in case anything happens to them. However, renters’ insurance can be highly beneficial to just about all people renting houses or apartments, and doesn’t just cover the contents of your home. Here we take a look at seven reasons why you need renters’ insurance: 

1 – Replacing even your essentials after an emergency can run to a lot of money 

While you may not think you have anything especially valuable, could you afford to buy all new furniture, a new computer, a new TV, new kitchenware and a new wardrobe all at once? While you may not own anything all that expensive on its own, if an emergency wiped out all of your stuff, leaving you with nothing, in an uninsured situation that is what you would be looking at. 

2 – Insurance can cover even minor losses 

Insurance doesn’t just have to come into play if you lose a lot of the things you own in a major incident like a fire or flood – it can also help with more minor losses. Say a problem causes your freezer to stop working and all of the food you had stored in there became unusable – certain policies will cover this. 

3 – Most people have at least a few valuables 

How a valuable is defined is different for everybody. Sure, you may not have a bunch of diamond tiaras or priceless works of art, but in line with your standard of living, something like a games console, a designer purse or even your widescreen TV can be a valuable to you, and you will definitely want to know it is protected. 

4 – It can protect you from unscrupulous landlords 

If your landlord claims damage has been done to the property, and tries to take this out of your security deposit, your insurance may protect you. Accidents can happen and wear and tear on the property and its inventory are inevitable, but if you are insured you don’t need to worry about these things costing you dearly when you move out. 

5 – It can cover your liability if anything happens to a third party on the premises 

In certain legal situations, you may be considered liable if something happens to somebody while they are on the premises you are renting. As you might imagine, this can end up being extremely expensive, as you may have to pay compensation including hospital bills and more. Renters’ insurance will cover your liability. 

6 – It can cover your belongings even when they aren’t in your home 

Some policies will cover your belongings even when they aren’t at the insured address. This means that if you get mugged on the street, or items belonging to you get damaged while traveling, for example, you can still claim on your insurance. 

7 – If you need to stay in a hotel because your home is uninhabitable, your insurer will pay 

Another thing your insurance will cover is accommodation for you if your home becomes uninhabitable, for example after an emergency, or because of other problems with the building. Even if you just need somewhere to stay for a few days for building fumigation, this can end up being an expensive, unplanned cost, so this is one area where insurance can save you a lot of money.