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Buying Peace of Mind: How to Buy a Used-Car Warranty

A certified pre-owned car with a warranty provided by the manufacturer is the safest bet in the used-car world. But if you’re not buying a CPO car from a franchise dealer, can you still get a warranty? Yes, but buying one can be tricky. The fact is, we all hope to find a company that will warranty a used car with 150,000 miles on it, sight unseen. But such companies don’t exist because there’s no way they can, as an example, buy everyone a new engine and transmission and still stay in business. So let’s look at the realistic options: Some dealer groups and used-car chains offer their own CPO warranty programs, but coverage is usually minimal. CarMax, which has more than 100 locations across the country, certifies its own cars, and everything it sells has a “limited 30-day warranty,” which is actually 60 days in Connecticut and 90 in Massachusetts due to local laws. CarMax also offers “MaxCare,” an extended service plan that expands the coverage to most of the mechanicals except for wear-and-tear items, fluids, wheels, glass, and trim. Check the website, which details what is and isn’t covered. Prices vary according to the coverage and car.

2010–2012 Chevrolet Camaro: A Certified Pre-Owned Guide
Feature: Pre-Owned Programs by Make and Model
Certified Pre-Owned: 2005–2009 Ford Mustang GT
There are also aftermarket warranties: In December 2009, we checked these out, and we didn’t like what we saw. A cluster of companies, most based in the St. Louis area, used high-pressure tactics to get signatures on warranty deals. One of the biggest, US Fidelis, previously known as National Auto Warranty Services, went bankrupt, and at least two of its executives went to prison. To avoid a scam, look for a company that has been in business for a long time. EasyCare, for instance, has been around since 1984. It was formerly purchased and owned by Ford, but the company’s employees and equity partners bought it back in 2007. The company sells its contracts outright, or through more than 2000 dealers, and while it recommends that you use the selling dealer for service, any licensed repair facility is acceptable. There are four different levels of coverage, and price varies by the level, the vehicle, and its mileage. The costs, however, are often negotiable.

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Residential Security Made Easy

As a resourceful hub for all topics residential security, we plan to cover the latest in industry trends, technologies, and applications. But, most importantly, we'll explain what it all means to you as a homeowner.

Planned blog posts span six core topics:

  1. Safety: Technologies and tips to create a personalized, supportive and responsive security system that keeps your family safe.
  2. Tradition: Lessons learned, best practices and insight drew from more than 40 years in the industry.
  3. Innovation: Highlights from industry trends, so you can make smart choices that meet your needs today and into the future.
  4. Partner: Purchasing considerations when evaluating potential vendors, and pointers for a smooth installation process. Plus, news and updates from Vector Security.
  5. Convenience: Solutions and applications for nonintrusive, integrated systems that make life easier.
  6. Quality: Insight into top technologies, manufacturers and service levels to ensure your system is crafted for top performance.

That said, this blog is created with you in mind, so please share any topic suggestions or questions you'd like answered in the comments section below.

The industry is on a transformational cusp, and we look forward to sharing it with you!

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Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance a Good Option?

We often get asked questions along the lines of “My aging parent is very ill and medical bills have drained his/her savings account, but I cannot afford to pay for the funeral if he/she should pass away.  Can I buy life insurance on my parent?”  In this scenario, we do not advise purchasing “regular” fully underwritten life insurance.  More often than not, term life insurance is going to be ideal for most people, but not in this scenario.

Why we wouldn’t recommend term insurance in this case…

Term life insurance would typically not work in this case because the coverage amount would be too small, the client would likely be uninsurable because of health issues, and the client’s age would be outside the range a life insurance company would approve coverage for.

What we would recommend…

When we get this question, we usually tell inquirers that they have two options:

  1. Take the money you would have spent each month on term insurance and instead put it into a savings account so it can start accruing interest. You can then access these funds later when in need of money for your loved one’s final expenses.
  2. Purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

What is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy?

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that you cannot be denied coverage on, hence “guaranteed”.  There are a few things you should know about this type of insurance.

  1. Guaranteed issue life insurance is typically known as “last resort” life insurance. It’s meant for those who may have been denied previously and/or are not in good health.
  2. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are designed so that surviving loved ones can pay for your final expenses, such as a funeral, burial, and medical bills.
  3. Guaranteed issue life insurance premiums will never increase.
  4. A guaranteed issue life insurance policy accumulates cash value.
  5. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies have significantly lower death benefit amounts compared to term or permanent policies.
  6. There is no medical exam or questionnaire required for guaranteed issue life insurance. The only factor that is really taken into consideration is the age of the insured.  Because of this, guaranteed issue life insurance premiums are higher per thousand than most other types of life insurance.
  7. Benefits are limited to the first two years. This is called a Graded Death Benefit period.  What this means is that if you die within two years of buying the policy for any reason other than an accident, your beneficiaries typically only receive the total amount of what you paid in premiums.  (This can vary depending on the carrier.)

So, if you’re in relatively good health, fully underwritten life insurance may be a better option for you.  However, guaranteed issue life insurance is a great option for those with a desperate need.

How much does guaranteed issue life insurance cost?

While you can get millions of dollars’ worth of term life insurance coverage, guaranteed issue life insurance coverage often caps at $50,000.  Again, its design is based around simply helping your surviving loved ones pay for your final expenses.

Quotacy works with Gerber Life to provide guaranteed issue coverage options.  Gerber’s guaranteed issue policy is available in all U.S. states except for Montana.  Take a look at the examples and table below to get an idea on what a guaranteed issue policy can cost.

Example #1

 John Smith is 55 years old and has been denied for traditional life insurance because of his Stage IV prostate cancer.  He does not want to burden his children with his final expenses so he plans on purchasing guaranteed issue life insurance.

He’s automatically approved without having to undergo a medical exam or fill out any health forms.  John obtains $20,000 in coverage and his premiums are $91.30 per month.

If John passes away within two years, Gerber Life will refund to his beneficiaries all premiums that had been paid plus 10% interest.  However, if John happens to die because of an accident unrelated to his health within those two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full $20,000 death benefit.  After two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full death benefit regardless of how he dies.

Example #2

 Jane Doe takes care of her 79-year-old mother Sally.  Sally does not have any life insurance and Jane is worried that she won’t have the funds to give her mother the funeral she deserves.  Jane decides to buy a guaranteed issue life insurance policy on Sally.

A $12,000 policy is enough for Jane to ensure she can pay for a proper funeral and burial.  Sally is approved for coverage and the policy will cost $165.70 per month.

Although this type of policy is easy to acquire, it offers less coverage and higher premiums than traditional life insurance, so explore all your options.  If you aren’t sure if guaranteed issue life insurance is the best choice for you or want more information, contact us here at Quotacy and we can help you.

Recap of Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance:

  • If you’re between 50 and 80 years old, you can be accepted for guaranteed issue coverage regardless of your health.
  • There are no medical exams to complete or health questionnaires to fill out.
  • Cash value accumulates within the policy.

Remember, term life insurance quotes are free to run on E-Exchanger.com and there is no penalty for applying.  It doesn’t hurt to apply for term life insurance, then opt for the guaranteed issue if you end up being denied.  The more options you have, the better decision you can make.

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An Auto Warranty Can Help You Avoid Paying Unnecessary Car Costs

Motorists tend to become obsessed with their cars. They wash and wax them constantly to keep them looking brand new. Even though we love our cars so much, it is still important to not pay unnecessary car costs. Here are some things that you may be wasting your money on:

1. It is not always a necessity to fill your tank with premium gasoline. Regular gasoline is cheaper and if it does not cause engine knock, then it is okay to use. The purpose of octane grades is to avoid engine knock. Therefore, if regular gasoline does not cause engine knock, it is okay to use in your tank.

2. Usually car manufacturers advise getting an oil change done on your car every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. However, some motorists think that it is a necessity to get it done every 3,000 miles. This is only a necessity if you are very hard on your car.

3. Lastly, motorists will waste money getting car repairs done by a dealer. Independent shops can do a great job and at a cheaper price. Having an auto warranty can help you save money on maintenance and repairs.

It is good to know where you are wasting money on your car so that you can break those habits and be a bit nicer to your wallet. Do not let other people talk you into paying for car costs that are not a necessity.

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When an Extended Car Warranty Is Worth It

 

 In our survey, only about half of people who bought an extended warranty for a used car filed a claim

Most new- and used-car dealers offer customers a free, limited warranty that covers a car for the first 60 to 90 days of ownership. In fact, some states require a minimum warranty period on any used car sold by a dealership.

Yet relatively few problems arise during that time period. That’s why dealers and third-party companies offer customers an extended warranty.

Think of it as repair insurance once the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. With such coverage, used-car owners reported paying a median of $1,000 for future service work they may never need if the car is reliable. But if hit by an expensive doozy of a problem—such as a busted camshaft or a blown head gasket—car owners may be glad they have an extended warranty. That is if the warranty company pays the claim.

Consumer Reports has discouraged consumers from purchasing an extended warranty for a number of products, including cars. Why? It’s rare that the premium you pay will equal the amount of a paid repair claim down the line.

On the flip side, it’s just as rare to find a used car that has a confirmed history and all maintenance and repair receipts since it was new. And Consumer Reports has found that vehicle-history firms like Carfax and AutoCheck don’t catch all of the accidents that cars may have been involved in, especially if no insurance paperwork for the accident was filed or if a salvage history was “wiped.”


Learn why haggling for your next car really pays.
 

Wasted Money?

According to our survey, only about half of those who purchased an extended warranty for a used car from the model year 2000 or later actually filed a claim over the past five years. That’s a lot of money spent for peace of mind. But most of those who filed repair claims wound up relying on their extended warranty multiple times.

About 30 percent of used-car purchasers who had owned their car for a year or less and purchased an extended warranty to cover it needed to use that warranty in the first year of ownership.

But two-thirds of drivers needed that additional coverage in years two through five of ownership.

And while the extended-warranty industry has taken a bad rap for not paying claims, 84 percent of used-car buyers who had to use their extended warranty said that all of their claims were honoured. And 82 percent of all extended-warranty buyers said they would consider getting one again.

That said, we suggest setting aside the money you would spend on a warranty premium for a rainy-day repair instead.

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Going in for Surgery? Avoid Surprise Medical Bills

It’s always a good idea to confirm that your hospital is in your health plan’s network before you go in for a procedure – but this proactive step still may not be enough to avoid surprise medical bills.

Millions of Americans get surprised bills from doctors who don’t participate in their health plan but who practice in hospitals that do. This often happens when an anesthesiologist or assistant surgeon you didn’t even know was going to be in the room during your surgery (and who doesn’t participate in your health plan), scrubs up and steps in during your procedure. When it’s all over, the out-of-network doctor bills you for the difference between what your insurer paid and what the doctor charges. The practice is called “balance billing.”

The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover out-of-network emergency services at in-network rates. But the law doesn’t stop doctors from balance billing, and it doesn’t release patients from their responsibility to pay surprise medical bills.

Although you don’t have complete control over whether or not you’ll get a balanced bill, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood and to fix the problem once it happens.

Plan ahead. Before a planned surgery ask about the team of healthcare providers who will treat you while you’re hospitalized.

It’s very difficult to control who sees you at the hospital or to know which doctors participate with your health plan. But it can’t hurt to ask that they keep non-participating providers out of your room.

Check for mistakes. It may be that an in-network provider got recorded incorrectly as out-of-network in your insurer’s system when your claim was processed.

When you get a bill, don’t pay it right away. Instead, call your health plan to discuss the bill you received and ask if you can get the charges removed if they’re incorrect.

If you get health insurance at work, your employer may be able to help dispute the bill.

Talk to your doctor. Physicians are sensitive to the financial burden patients are under these days, including those caused by surprise medical bills. It’s worth calling to ask if the doctor is willing to reduce the price of the bill.

Your health plan should also be able to step in and help. In some cases, your insurer will negotiate for you with physicians to either lower or waive out-of-network charges.

Check your state. Federal law does not protect patients from balance billing. However, about a quarter of the states do have laws in place that protect consumers from balance billing by health care providers that don’t participate in their health plan. Check with your state’s department of insurance to learn about the protections where you live.

File an appeal. The law entitles you to both an internal appeal with your insurer and an external review by an independent third party. Your health plan must provide guidelines about how to go about the appeal process.

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Why Staying with Your Car Insurance Company Can Be a Good Thing

You’ve probably seen tips on other insurance blogs or heard advice through auto insurers directly about how important it is to shop around for quotes. While this is a strong practice to allow yourself access to the best rates for your car make, age, and driving history, it isn’t always the best idea. For some people, staying with the same auto insurer for an extended period of time has been the most cost-effective, practical solution for their circumstances.

What many people don’t think about when deciding to switch auto insurance companies is the quality of the services, not just the quantity of cash they’ll save. Just because a car insurance company is offering cheaper rates than your current insurance policy doesn’t mean it’s a better policy. Before you switch to a different insurance company that offers you a lower quote than the insurer you’re currently dealing with, make sure you weigh the options. Staying with your current car insurance company can be a positive decision.

 

Renewal Discounts

Many insurance companies offer discounts to customers that have been loyal to them for several years. Arbella offers an additional 1% loyalty credit for every year you renew with them. Ameriprise offers discounts to customers that have been loyal to them for three years. While some insurance companies offer discounts when you renew with them, most companies offer more substantial discounts on other fronts.

 

Bundling Discounts

A lot of insurance companies will give you a discount if you bundle your car insurance with your home or life insurance policies. Nationwide, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, and other insurance companies offer discounts to people who purchase multiple insurance policies with them. If you have bundled policies and have earned a discount as a result, you may have to prepare yourself for higher rates if you decide to switch insurance companies or forego a policy.

 

Accident Forgiveness

Nationwide, Allstate, Travelers, and dozens of other insurance companies offer accident forgiveness to their clients. Accident forgiveness refers to a park in which customers do not have to pay extra rates after their first at-fault accidents. Most accident forgiveness discounts can only be redeemed after 5 or 6 years of loyalty to the insurer. If you’ve been with the same company for long enough to qualify for this perk (or are close to this threshold), staying with your auto insurance company could be beneficial.

 

Overall Loyalty

As a general benefit from staying with your auto insurance company, you’ll have a better relationship with your insurer. Building trust with an agent creates a positive working relationship. This trust may help you in the long run; if you ever need to file a claim after an accident, this process should be simpler and more successful if you are speaking with an agent you’re very familiar with. If your agent knows your driving habits and history well, he or she will be able to recommend the best coverage for you. Getting acquainted with your insurance company is a huge perk to staying loyal to your insurance company.


If you believe none of these benefits affect you directly right now, you might want to shop around for auto insurance quotes. If one of these perks applies to your current policy, sticking with your current company could be the best option, especially if the quotes you’re seeing aren’t significantly lower than your current rate.

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How To Prevent Home Break-Ins

Alarm systems and motion detectors can offer you protection and security, but there are other steps you can take to prevent your home from being burglarized.

According to Statistics Canada, alarm systems have helped reduce the number of home break-ins. Insurance companies favor those who have such security systems in place, however, follow our additional steps to further prevent home break-ins.

Doors and windows MUST be locked.

To prevent a break-in, always lock your doors and windows, especially when you aren’t home. Make sure that windows can’t be open from the outside, but that you can unlock them from the inside in case of an emergency. It’s important to change your locks or combinations if you move into a new home or lose your key. You can also use security bars on basement windows or sliding doors. If you have a spare key outside your home, make sure it’s well hidden.

Keep valuables out of sight.

Closing your blinds and curtains at night can stop people from seeing in, but you should also keep valuables out of sight. If a thief can see valuable items, such as jewellery or electronics, they are more likely to break-in. Small valuable items can easily be taken from your home. Keep these items in a safety deposit box or an unlikely place. It is always a good idea to take an inventory of your valuables in your home with videotapes or photographs.

What to do while you are away.

Home break-ins are less likely if it looks like someone is home. Before leaving for vacation, stop your mail or have someone pick it up for you. To make your house look lived in you can keep your grass cut, a shoveled driveway, and a car in the driveway. You can also use timers on your lights. If you have a good relationship with your neighbour, let them know how long you will be away so they can keep an eye on your home. Avoid posting on social media that you are going away and wait until you are back to post those great vacation pictures!

Remember to limit the number of people who know you will be away from your home. We hope you have found our prevention tips useful!  

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