NAVIGATION - SEARCH

Health Insurance Options: A Guide for Young Adults

Too many healthy, young adults, skipping health insurance sounds like a fantastic idea. Health insurance is confusing, downright expensive, and doesn’t feel like it’s worth the cost, especially if you don’t need frequent medical care.

The problem, though, with not having health insurance coverage is you never know when a catastrophic accident or illness may strike. Without health insurance coverage to protect you from skyrocketing medical costs, you can quickly end up in serious financial trouble.

The bigger problem, I believe, for many young adults when it comes to getting covered is that they just don’t know where to start.

Where do I even go to get a health insurance plan? 

Is there anybody I can talk to?

How long am I allowed stay on my parent’s plan?

Should I get coverage through my job or an individual plan?

So, instead of just telling you “Hey! You need to get covered. It’s the right thing to do! and leaving it at that, we’re going to help educate you on the different options available to you as a young adult getting started in this big scary world of health care.

Health Insurance Through Your Employer

Many employers offer health coverage to employees as a benefit of employment. In addition, the ACA currently requires certain large employers (with over 50 full-time equivalent employees) to provide affordable, minimum value health coverage to their full-time employees working over 30 hours per week.

Keep in mind that the above could change under President Trump’s plan to repeal and replace the ACA, although historically most large groups have always offered benefits as a recruitment and retention tool.

There are several advantages of choosing an employer-based health plan:

  • The risk is spread among the entire group so plan premiums are usually lower.
  • Your employer may also cover part of the premium cost.
  • You may be able to choose from a number of different plans, depending on the choices offered by your employer.
  • Participants in group health plans are also covered by federal benefits laws, which guarantee things like special enrollment rights and protection from discrimination based on your health status.

Enrollment in an employer-based plan generally occurs through two regular opportunities: an initial enrollment period when you are hired (or first become eligible) and an annual open enrollment period. In many cases, the only exception to these enrollment rules is if you qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP).

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that requires employers to provide a SEP of at least 30 days following one of these situations:

  • Loss of eligibility for other coverage (such as turning 26 and losing coverage on your parent’s plan).
  • Getting married or divorced.
  • Having or adopting children.
  • Becoming eligible or losing eligibility for Medicaid.

If you’re interested in learning about your job-based coverage options, the best person to speak with is your company’s HR representative.

Health Insurance Through Your Parent’s Plan

Quite often, young adults are able to be covered under a parent’s health plan until the age of 26. If your parent’s plan offers dependent coverage, you are eligible until you turn 26, whether or not you are married, living with your parents, eligible for coverage through your own employer, financially dependent on your parent or are a student. However, it is up to your parents whether you can be covered under his or her plan.

One advantage of being enrolled in your parent’s plan is that you don’t have to shop for coverage. 

Finding your own health coverage can be an intimidating and confusing process. If you’re already familiar with the benefits and medical providers you have access to under your parent’s plan, it can be stressful to seek out new providers.

Another advantage is that the premium cost may be lower than the cost of coverage you would get on your own.

The coverage you get through your parent’s plan may be less expensive per person than individual plans, and, if there are already other dependents on your parent’s plan, adding you may not cost them anything at all.

Better yet, If you live near your parents, you can avoid paying the expensive out-of-network rates you may face if you were living far away.

Remaining on your parent’s plan has its fair share of disadvantages. 

Many employer-based plans stop providing coverage for young adults on their parent’s plan during the month of their 26th birthday leaving you high and dry to find a new plan elsewhere.

Another disadvantage is that, because policyholders receive a comprehensive summary of benefits, your parents may potentially get more information about your health care than you would like. If you prefer privacy or independence, you should consider seeking coverage on your own.

Also, if you are planning to get married or have a baby, your own dependents aren't eligible for coverage under your parent’s plan.

In order to best prepare for your future, you should consider one-day finding health insurance for you and your family.

Health Insurance Through the Marketplace

The Marketplace allows individuals to compare health insurance options and purchase coverage online. Some people are even able to receive subsidies to help pay for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

However, you will not be eligible for subsidies if you were offered health insurance (for example, by your employer or a spouse or parent’s plan) that was affordable and covered at least an average of 60 percent of health care costs. Even without subsidies, you may be able to find a health insurance option that fits your budget.

In addition to comprehensive health insurance coverage, you may be eligible for a “catastrophic plan.” These plans are available only to those under 30 years of age and generally have very low premiums and very high deductibles. Although this type of plan covers only the most essential health needs in order to fulfill the ACA requirements, the main purpose of this plan is to protect you from the substantial medical costs that can be incurred from a serious accident or illness.

Marketplace enrollment is only available during an annual open enrollment period unless you qualify for a SEP. The rules for SEPs in the Marketplace differ from those that apply to employer-based plans.

Health Insurance Through an Individual Plan

Many health insurance companies offer individual plans off of the Health Insurance Marketplace (otherwise known as Healthcare.gov). Obtaining health insurance through a third party may be the best fit for you if you know exactly what you want. Because this option is not a group health plan, individual health insurance may be more expensive than other options.

The level and quality of the coverage will vary, depending on the specific policy. Typically, higher quality plans come with higher premiums.

In addition, carriers may limit enrollment to specific times during the year, similar to the Marketplace.

Health Insurance Through Medicaid

Medicaid is a program that is designed to help provide health coverage to low-income adults. Medicaid does not have a specific open enrollment period, which means that you may apply at any time.

 

We’d be happy to help get you off on the right foot on your health insurance journey. If you’re in Florida and in the market for a Florida Blue plan, we can help you narrow down your choices and get you enrolled – at no additional cost.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook

Best Term Life Policy An Ultimate Guide For You

What is a term life policy?

Quite simply, a term life policy is insurance protection that provides your beneficiaries with a cash death benefit if you pass away during the term of the policy.  For help understanding the difference between a term policy and a permanent policy, you can visit Us.

Life insurance companies will offer a term life policy for those individuals who qualify under a company’s underwriting guidelines. 

Underwriting guidelines are the criteria that insurance companies use to determine if you are an acceptable risk.

It’s important to remember that each life insurance carrier has different underwriting guidelines. They will all look at your health and lifestyle differences.

How do I know which life policy is the best?

To determine which life policy works best for your situation it is important to do a little bit of homework. By reviewing this article and with the help of google you should be able to gather enough information to make a wise decision regarding your life insurance needs.

Let’s break down some of the common questions surrounding a term life policy and how to go about finding the best plan.

How much coverage do I need?

This is probably the best starting point when purchasing life insurance protection. Here are some of the common reasons individuals purchase life insurance:

  • Replace income– this is probably what most people think of when trying to determine how much life insurance protection to buy. If you are not around to earn an income, then your family will suffer a significant lifestyle challenge. Six to Ten times income is a good starting point.
  • Mortgage Protection– another common reason a family might purchase life insurance is to make sure the mortgage balance is paid off in case of an untimely demise.
  • Children Education– Planning for a college education can be very expensive. Who knows where your child may want to go to college. And with college costs rising every year, protecting this need with life insurance makes a lot of sense.
  • Final Expenses- the cost of final expenses such as funeral and burial continues to rise. Also paying off any outstanding credit card or auto loans may be something that needs to be planned for.
  • Estate Planning Needs– Life insurance can often time be a good tool for those who expect to have a large estate tax due upon death. Other estate planning needs that life insurance can assist with include college endowment or charitable giving.

Now, it is important to remember that each person’s needs are different and we recommend a complete needs analysis from an insurance professional, CPA or estate planner to determine exact needs.

But, if you wish to do a quick needs analysis in order to get coverage in force as quickly as possible, the link here will help you narrow down your coverage needs.

To this point, we have primarily talked about term life coverage for personal family needs. But, term life insurance can also be used the same way for business needs. Here are some of the common ways that term life insurance can satisfy business protection needs:

  • Key Person Insurance– Life insurance protection on a key member of a business or organization. Someone who is vital to the continuation of the business.
  • Buy-Sell Insurance– A buy-sell agreement between two business partners can be funded with life insurance. This insures an easy transition of the business if one of the partners dies.
  • Collateral Assignment– Many times banks want a life insurance policy assigned to them as the lender on a business loan.
  • Executive Bonus– Often times a life insurance policy can be used as a special bonus to an important member of the business. This type policy can offer extra protection for the employees family.

 

Who is the life policy for?

Another important question that must be answered when you are thinking about purchasing a life insurance policy is who actually is the policy for?

Most often this is fairly straight forward when a personal policy is a purchase. Many times the spouse is named as primary beneficiary. But, the need for coverage may be more complicated than this.

What if you want to leave money to your kids from a previous marriage? What if you have a former spouse that must have her as the beneficiary due to a divorce decree? Are there step-children involved? If leaving to minor children is there a guardian or trustee set up?

These questions on the surface may sometimes seem simple, but often times can get confusing. Again, it is important to know who the benefit of the life policy is for and make sure to update any necessary beneficiary changes.

How long do I need the protection?

Okay, this question is sometimes the most difficult to answer. After all, most people want the coverage to be in force for as long as possible. But, it is very important to remember that term life insurance is temporary protection, not permanent protection. This simply means that at some point when the original term period has expired the rates will increase dramatically if you want to continue the coverage.

Term life insurance by its very nature is the least expensive type of coverage you can purchase. It is meant to provide you with the most death benefit protection for the least amount of premium. So, it is important to know why you are buying the coverage and how long you want the coverage to offer protection.

Let’s look at a few examples of term life policies that are offered in the marketplace:

  • 10 Year Guaranteed Level Term–  This policy offers a guaranteed level premium for 10 years. At the end of 10 years, the rate will adjust higher. This policy should only be for a short-term need. An example would be perhaps someone who has just 10 years remaining on a home mortgage. A 10-year term policy would not make sense for someone who needs protection to last 20, 30 years or longer.
  • 15 Year Guaranteed Level Term- Offers guaranteed level premiums for 15 years. Rates for this policy will be more expensive than a 10-year policy, but will also offer an additional 5 years of coverage. This policy could make sense if your needs are limited to around 15 years. An example might be a married couple with a young child that will be through with their education/college within 15 years.
  • 20 Year Guaranteed Level Term-  A 20 year guaranteed level premium plan offers many people a good compromise. The rate will be more expensive than a 10 or 15-year policy but offers an additional number of years of protection. An example of this policy would be an individual who is age 45 and wants protection to last until they retire at 65.
  • 25 Year Guaranteed Level Term- The 25-year term policy is not offered by as many insurances carries as the 10,15 and 20-year plans, but can be a great fit for someone that has a new baby or new mortgage and wants to have coverage with guaranteed level rates for 25 years.
  • 30 Year Guaranteed Level Term- The 30 year guaranteed level term is very popular especially for young families and those with new mortgages. The rates are higher than those of the other terms but provide excellent long term protection during most of the working years.
  • Return of Premium Term– The return of premium term policies offered in the marketplace allows you to still lock in most of the guaranteed level rates mentioned above, but with one caveat. These policies allow you at the end of the return to recoup most if not all of the premiums you have paid in. Of course, these rates are higher priced, but for those individuals who may need a simple way to ensure and save, this product can be a solution.

What if I have health problems? Can I still get a term life policy?

Okay, so you have determined you have a need for life insurance. You know the amount of coverage you desire. You know the plan of coverage you want, but what happens if you have a history of pre-existing medical conditions? Or perhaps you scuba dive, race cars or have a high-risk occupation.

Finding affordable protection for those who may be in less than perfect health is possible. But, there are a couple of things you need to do to help your cause. First, you must work with an agent or agency who specializes in this niche area of underwriting.

Any agent in the marketplace can write a term life policy on someone who is in perfect health. But, only agents who have years of experience and knowledge working with all kinds of health impairments can find you the company that specializes in your particular risk.

As we mentioned earlier, all life insurance companies have certain criteria they look at when evaluating someone for coverage.

But, there is also a handful of companies who underwrite certain risks better than others. The secret is finding the company that will offer you the lowest rates for your condition.

Fortunately, you have landed on the right page. We are experts at finding the companies who do this type of underwriting the best. In fact, with our over 30 years of experience, we often times can instantly tell you if an offer is possible and what even give you a quote.

Optional riders that can be added to a term life policy

Many of the hundred, if not thousands of life insurance carriers offering term life policies also offer riders that can be added to the base policy.

A rider is simply an additional benefit added to the base policy at an additional charge. Here are some of the most common riders that can be added to term life policies.

  • Waiver of Premium– this benefit which is typically available up to about age 55 allows the insurance company to waive your premium should you be disabled.
  • Child Rider– A child rider offers a low-cost way to add child(ren) coverage to your policy. Most child riders are limiting to $10,000 of benefit per child.
  • Spouse Rider– Much like the child rider, the spouse rider allows you to include your spouse on the base policy. The benefit amount for the spouse is usually limited to $50,000. Important to note that all riders are subject to same underwriting review as the base policy.
  • Long-Term Care or Critical Illness Rider– these riders are fairly new and only a few carriers offer them. But, they do offer you the ability to accelerate your death benefit and use for a long-term care or critical illness. The definition of the long-term care or critical illness rider is different for each carrier, so it is important to review carefully.
  • Accelerated death benefit rider–  This rider has become very common on most term life contracts and often times has no additional premium charge. Most define this rider as the ability to accelerate up to 50% of the death benefit early subject to a maximum amount if you are diagnosed by a doctor with a terminal illness and have less than 12 months to live.

Real Life Example of the use of Term Life Insurance

David is a 35-year-old married man with 3 children ages 8,5, and 3. David has a small amount of life insurance at his work but feels the need to have more coverage. David has approximately $225,000 left on his mortgage. His income is 85,000 per year. David wants to be sure that his wife and kids have enough money to pay off the mortgage, put the kids throught school and still have the income to live off of. David calculates his needs at $1,000,000 of coverage.

David would also like a policy that will stay in force until he retires in approximately 30 years. In order to keep his premium cost down, Dave wants to ladder his policies. This laddering will help his coverage stay in effect for the needs as he goes thru his life. Dave decides to purchase a $225,000 15 year level term to match the approximate time left on his mortgage.

Dave’s youngest child is 3 so he determines that a 20 year guaranteed level term policy for $250,000 should be set aside for education purpose. The remaining $525,000 of coverage will be carried under a 30 year guaranteed level policy.

Dave would also like to add some coverage for his wife and kids. So, he decides to add a child rider for $10,000 of protection for each child and he places a spouse rider of $50,000 for his wife.

Dave now has a complete line of protection for most of his foreseeable needs.

Conversion option with term insurance

One of the most important features that is offered for free with most term life policies is something called the conversion option.

The conversion feature is included in most term policies, but it is important to check your particular proposed plan to see the details of this option.

Some companies only offer the conversion option for a limited time. Perhaps only during the initial guaranteed level period or to a certain age. Knowing how long your conversion option is offered can be particularly important if or when you need it.

Here is exactly what the conversion option is. The conversion option allows you to convert any or all of your term death benefit to a permanent lifetime death benefit with no medical underwriting or health questions.

Now, you may ask why is this so important. Here is why. Suppose your needs change and so does your health. Let me give you an example.

Joe purchased a 10-year level term to cover him until is youngest kid gets out of college. Joe has originally issued a $250,000 policy at super preferred non-tobacco rates. Approximately 5 years into the term policy Joe is diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. Joe also finds out a new surprise. His wife is pregnant.

Joe knows his current 10-year term policy only has 5 years remaining. He is worried if he will not be able to qualify for new insurance protection due to his medical history.

Fortunately,  Joe has the conversion option on his current policy. He can now convert any or all of his current term policy to a new guaranteed lifetime level premium policy with no medical exam or health questions. The conversion option is guaranteed.

When or if he converts his current coverage to a new plan he will receive the super preferred non-tobacco risk class that he was originally approved at 5 years earlier. This is a huge advantage for those whose health has changed but still need insurance coverage.

Bottom line is, you never know if you will need to extend your coverage. You also never know what your health will be. It is vital that your current term life policy has the conversion option included just in case.

Who are the best term life policy companies?

In the life insurance arena, it is common to see some of the same company names show up year after year as having the best term plans. Of course, occasionally you will have a company that wants to make a splash in the term market and they will lower their rates to be competitive.

Or, you may find a company that wants to be more competitive in the “impaired” risk marketplace, so they begin to price their rates better for those with diabetes, heart disease, etc.

But, as of the time of this blog, below are the companies that typically show up as being competitive both in price and underwriting. In addition, all of these carriers are rating excellent by most of the rating services such as A.M. BEST, Standard & Poors and Moody’s. In no particular order:

  • Protective Life
  • Banner Life
  • Prudential 
  • Lincoln National Life
  • Principal National Life
  • Cincinnati Life
  • Ohio National Life 
  • American General Life
  • John Hancock
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Pacific Life
  • Assurity Life 
  • North American Life
  • Mass Mutual Life
  • Savings Bank Life 
  • Independent Order of Forresters

How to apply for a term life policy?

Nowadays there are many ways to buy life insurance. Below are some of the ways you can purchase a term life policy.

  1. Online from a big box quoting service perhaps hundreds of miles away.
  2. From your hometown property and casualty company
  3. Direct toll-free number to an insurer
  4. The use of an independent insurance adviser
  5. A bank
  6. Financial Adviser or CPA

It’s important to keep in mind, how much assistance you will need when purchasing coverage. Will you need help finding the lowest rates? Do you want to be sure to have somebody to call on policy issues that come up after the policy is placed? Do you have a pre-existing medical condition that needs an expert assistance? Do you need to know every detail about the policies? (conversion, riders, etc.)

Most people buying life insurance know that somebody will get paid a commission to help with your policy. All life insurance policies pay a commission to someone- no matter how much assistance you get. The commissions are already built into the price of the policies, so there are no negotiations on commissions like with a car sale or any other large ticket item.

In other words, let’s say you buy a Prudential policy from an agent in California even though you are located in Georgia. The rate would be the same in Georgia as it would be in California. So, what you are paying for is the service you get into helping you obtain the protection and the service you get once the policy goes into force.

So, although a quick toll-free number to someone sitting in a stall may be a quick way to get a quote- what actual personal service will you get thru the underwriting process and after the policy is completed? I mean will you ever be able to get a hold of the person again from the 1-800 number.

Of course, we are probably biased, but we feel you will get the best rates, knowledge, and service from an independent agent who has been in the business for 20+ years.

An independent agent will represent hundreds of companies and will be able to give you expert advice on the questions you need to be answered. Also, an independent agent who has been in business for many years is here to stay. No worries about not being able to reach your agent when the time arises.

Remember, someone on the end of that phone is getting paid to sell insurance. We think it should be someone who will be there to answer any questions that arise and represents your best interest, not theirs.

Information needed to quote on a term life policy

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Amount of coverage needed
  • Type of plan (if known)
  • Tobacco use within 5 years
  • Family history of cancer or heart disease before age 60
  • Current medications
  • Brief medical history
  • Any foreign travel
  • Any motor vehicle violations
  • Any hazardous activities or hobbies

Exam or non exam term life policy

Many insurance companies offer individuals the opportunity to purchase life insurance with or without an exam depending on the circumstances. If you are a relatively healthier individual less than 50 years of age, you can typically buy coverage up to $1MM without a medical exam or blood work.

Now you will typically pay a bit higher rate to buy insurance without an exam or labs, but if you are in a hurry for protection and a few extra dollars does bother you, then a no exam policy could be a good idea.

If you are not in a hurry and want the absolute lowest rates than a fully underwritten policy with exam and lab work will give you the best chance for the lowest rates.

Again, an experienced agent who offers all the different options will give you the information you need to make the best decision.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook

3 Health insurance options for college graduates

If you recently graduated from college, you may have new options for getting health insurance. Check out these 3 options for a range of plan types and costs:

Buy your own Health plan

You may be eligible to enroll in Csezone health insurance for the rest of 2017 if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You may qualify if:

  • You’re moving to or from the place you attended school
  • You lose other health insurance, like if your student health plan has run out or you’re dropping off your parent’s plan
  • You experience other life events, like having a baby or getting married

Get added to your parent’s plan

If your parent’s health insurance plan covers dependents, you can usually be added to their plan. They may be able to add you to an existing Marketplace plan through a Special Enrollment Period, as long as you’re under 26.

See if you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP

If you’re working part-time, planning your next move, starting a business, or otherwise aren’t making much money, you may qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). To see if you qualify, enter your household income and size. We’ll tell you the programs you may be eligible for. If you qualify, your coverage can start right away.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook

When Does a 10-Year Term Policy Make Sense?

Term life insurance can be seen as income replacement if you were to die prematurely.  It’s affordable and customizable.  One of the ways you can customize your term life insurance is with the term length.

The term length of a policy determines how many years you have insurance coverage for.  A permanent life insurance policy lasts forever – hence calling it “permanently.”  A term life insurance policy lasts a specific number of years – a “term”.  The typical term length options are 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.  So, if you were 30 years old and you purchased a 25-year term policy, you would be insured until you were 55 years old.

A 10-year term policy is one of the cheapest life insurance policies you can buy, which makes sense because the coverage it provides lasts the fewest amount of years.

The Estimated Monthly Cost of a
$250,000 10-Year Term Policy
for a Healthy, Non-Smoker

Age

Male Female
25 $11

$10

30

$11

$10

35

$12

$11

40

$14 $13
45 $20

$17

50

$28 $23
55 $41

$31

60

$63

$46

Even though a 10-year policy may not last very long, there are still situations in which it makes sense to purchase one.

Buy a 10-year term policy if it’s all you can afford.

You may have a lot of bills.  Maybe you’ve got credit card debt.  You couldn’t possibly afford to buy life insurance now, right?  Wrong.  It’s in situations like these when you likely need life insurance the most and can’t afford not to have it.  If your income were to suddenly disappear, what would happen to your family?  If you were already struggling financially, your death won’t make things easier.  Final expenses – such as any debt you had and your funeral costs – would be up to your family to somehow pay.

A 10-year term policy can protect your income and your family’s future while you work toward paying off debt.  A little bit of life insurance is always better than none at all.  Once your finances are more secure, if you decide you want to purchase more life insurance this is always an option.  You can either convert your 10-year policy into a permanent policy (if your policy is convertible) or you can purchase a new term policy.

Buy a 10-year term policy if you are close to retirement.

Most of the time term life insurance policies are purchased to cover the most financially-vulnerable years, such as when your children are small and you have quite a few years left on your mortgage loan.  Other times term life insurance policies are purchased to protect financial responsibilities that may crop up later in life, such as the purchase of a vacation home or your adult child’s graduate school tuition.

As an example, let’s say you are 55 years old and you and your spouse pull the trigger and finally buy that dream condo on the ocean.  It will be a great place for your children and grandchildren to visit.  However, one of your children isn’t quite done with graduate school and tuition isn’t decreasing anytime soon.  You have savings, Social Security benefits will be starting soon, and even though you’re healthy, you still want to be sure that if the unexpected happened, your spouse wouldn’t have to sell the condo and your child could finish school.

The Estimated Monthly Cost of a
10-Year Term Policy
for a Healthy, Non-Smoking 55-Year-Old
Coverage Amount Gender
$100,000 Male = $22
Female = $20
$250,000 Male = $42
Female = $32
$300,000 Male = $48
Female = $37
$500,000 Male = $73
Female = $55
$750,000 Male = $107
Female = $80
$1,000,000 Male = $136
Female = $102

Buy a 10-year term policy to supplement your existing life insurance.

Perhaps you planned ahead when you were young and bought life insurance right after your first child.  You locked in a great low premium payment for a 30-year $250,000 term policy.  Perfect.  Your child will be financially protected through her college years and your spouse could pay for your funeral and rent each month.

Now, fifteen years later you’re 40 years old and realize that your $250,000 policy won’t cover your $400,000 mortgage loan.  Instead of applying for a brand new 30-year policy with a $500,000 coverage amount, you can opt to add to your current coverage with a new 10-year policy $250,000 policy.  This will ensure you have an appropriate amount of coverage for the next ten years while you’re paying off your mortgage and through your daughter’s college years – without being over-insured.

Buy a 10-year term policy to protect a loan.

Whether you need to take out a personal or business loan, lenders need to know how you plan on paying back the loan.  They also like a backup plan as assurance that they won’t lose money should you die unexpectedly before the balance is paid in full.  One such option is to assign a term policy as your payment backup should you die.  Lenders will be more inclined to approve your loan if they see you have all intentions of paying it back – even in death.

Interested in a 10-year term life insurance policy?  Finding out how little a policy may cost you is incredibly easy.  Visit Csezone.com/lifeinsurance. – run as many quotes as you want without being required to enter contact information.  We look forward to helping you purchase life insurance.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook

How to Turn Your Old iPhone or iPad into a Home Security System?

Let’s face it, home security services aren’t cheap. On top of costing a pretty penny, installing them can be cumbersome, especially if you are thinking of wired home security systems. Wireless home security systems are also available, however, it all depends on your security needs and the layout of your house. Here your old iPhone/iPad can be turned into a wireless home security system, with the help of some apps.

Manything                                                                               

Did you know that you could turn your old iPhone/iPad into a motion-sensing security camera? It’s true! Manything is an app which can do that for you. All you need to do is install this app on your new and old iOS device, place your old iPhone/iPad in the area which needs monitoring (front door or living room) and that’s it. You can monitor on your new iOS device in real time. The app also enables live video streaming.

Some of the distinctive features of the Manything app are:

·         It automatically begins recording as soon as it senses motion

·         You can set it to notify you when it begins to record

Presence

Presence performs the same functions as Manything with a little extra topping. When you download Presence on your iOS devices, your new phone becomes the monitor and the old phone turns into a camera. Just do what you would in the case of Manything – place the old phone in an area which needs monitoring (kitchen, backyard, basement, etc) and watch real time video on your new phone.

Some of its features include:

·         You don’t have to look at the monitor all the time. Saves time

·         Your old phone, which is now functioning as the motion detector, will notify you when it senses something moving

·         And if movement is detected, it will send you an email with a 5-second video clip of the incident

An Important Tip – For these apps to work, you will need a reliable Wi-Fi connection. And it goes without saying that your old iPhone needs to have a working camera.

Are you thinking…

But what good is the old iPhone/iPad for when it’s visible and can be stolen by the burglar? It’s true that the device can be taken by the burglar but do not forget that by the time they steal the phone, you will have a nice selfie of the burglar on your new iPhone.

Canary – Smart Home Security

Canary is another home security app for iOS devices, which not only provides you with video but audio feeds. Like other apps, Canary also notifies you when there is movement.

Some of its distinctive features of are:

·         This smart monitoring system does not require tools to install or set up

·         Alerts you when anything out of the ordinary happens, so that you don’t have to watch the monitor all the time

·         Canary can differentiate between a pet and an intruder so that there are no false alarms

Vivint Classic

If you want to get the most out your iOS app, this is it. In addition to what has already been said above, this app provides you with the ability to remotely control lighting. This is a great feature to beef up your home security. Let’s say you are coming home late or stuck in traffic. It’s getting dark and your drive way or backyard’s lights are not turned on. You can light up these areas with this app, even when you’re miles away from home.

Some of the features include:

·         Remote access to your home

·         You can save up on your energy bill

·         User-friendly app

Vivint Sky

Another home security app by Vivint, Inc, Vivint Sky requires you to have Vivint SkyControl Hub. This app secures a home like a fortress, since it helps you remotely lock the doors. It can also allow your neighbors to check up on your house by allowing them into your garage. You can also remotely adjust the thermostat.

Some of its features include:

·         Remotely lock doors

·         Save money on energy bill by remotely adjusting the thermostat

·         See and talk to visitors

Cloud Baby Monitor

There are apps specifically designed for kids as well. Cloud Baby Monitor is an ideal app to keep an eye on your baby. It provides you with both audio and video feeds. You will need two devices, one in the baby’s room and the other will be with you. Due to encryption, only you will have access to your baby’s video and audio feeds. The two devices can connect via 3G/4G, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It also enables you to select songs and lullabies for your child from the iTunes library. You can also talk to your baby. This app is also compatible with the Apple Watch.

This app comes with the following features:

·         Live video and audio streaming

·         Easy to use

·         Comes with a night light

·         Multiple children can be monitored from the same device

With technology aiming for new horizons, your security and that of your loved ones is in your hands. Apps have, to some extent, replaced traditional home security systems that require extensive wiring. With iOS apps installed on your iPhone/iPad, you can turn even your old iOS device into an instrument of security. These apps have breathed a new life into an otherwise worthless commodity, which was destined for an online sale or a donation.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook

3 Reasons You Should Sign up for Health Insurance

Early this year, a spike in flu cases was seen across the country. According to the CDC, 104 children died across the country during the 2016-2017 flu season. The CDC doesn’t track how many adults die from influenza each year. To prevent yourself and members of your family from falling ill, being hospitalized, and missing work and school, be sure to get a flu shot. The CDC recommendations for 2017 include getting vaccinated before the end of October. If you’re wondering whether health insurance will cover the injection, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) says your health insurance company is required to cover flu shots without charging a co-payment, but you may need to visit a specific facility.

“Some insurance plans only cover vaccines given by your doctor or at a limited set of locations,” says the HHS.

Here are three more reasons to sign up for health insurance during the 2017 Open Enrollment period.

Accidents Happen

If you get into an accident while driving to or from work, and you don’t have health insurance, you could wind up having to pay a few thousand dollars for an emergency room visit or tens of thousands of dollars for long-term care.

Health care plans vary, but all of them at least partially cover the following:

  • Emergency room visits
  • Outpatient care
  • Inpatient care
  • Lab tests
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy and psychiatrist appointments
  • Dental and vision care
  • Pre- and postnatal care
  • Substance abuse rehab
  • Preventive services, such as screenings and vaccinations

In case you’re still on the fence about whether you want to part with a monthly payment, more than half of consumers who signed up for 2016 Affordable Care Act coverage selected a plan with a monthly premium of $100 or less after tax credits. That $100 per month is a lot less than you’ll spend if you’re hospitalized after a car accident and, unfortunately, odds aren’t in your favor. According to the Department of Transportation, someone was injured in an accident every two minutes and eight seconds in 2016. Additionally, the US lost 35,092 people in traffic crashes in 2015, ending a 5-decade trend of declining fatalities with a 7.2% increase in deaths from 2014.

Some Colleges Require Health Insurance

Not only may the federal government charge a penalty for not having health insurance, some universities require students to have their own plan or remain enrolled on their parents’ policy. If you’ll be attending college this year, contact the admissions department to see how this affects you.

It’s the Law

The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance. If you don’t, you may pay a penalty to come tax time.

Should You Sign up During the 2017/2018 Open Enrollment Period?

Health insurance is a wise investment, but if you can’t afford any of the plans on the Health Care Marketplace, contact Freeway. Our friendly, knowledgeable representatives will help you find a plan that fits your budget. 

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook

Life Insurance for Business Owners

Are you a small business owner or a co-owner of a company? Among the many days to day responsibilities you encounter, you also are responsible for your family. You need to protect your family at home as well as your business family.

Life Insurance for Business Owners

Life insurance for business owners can help lay a proper financial foundation by protecting your current and future business. Let’s look into the different situations that life insurance can benefit your company or business.

Collateral Assignment Life Insurance

A life insurance policy can be used for business owners that require cash to begin a business or buy a company. Typically, when you buy a life insurance policy you will name a beneficiary. This beneficiary has an insurable interest to the insured. This beneficiary can be a family member, spouse or a business partner or company. When you’re getting a life insurance policy for an SBA loan or bank loan – it is the same overall concept. You have to assign a primary beneficiary, however- the lender will be named the collateral assignee. If you were to die the lender will get the balance of the loan from the life insurance death benefit. Your primary beneficiary will then get the balance once the loan is paid off.

What would happen in the event that you didn’t use a collateral assignment? If you had the lender the sole beneficiary, the lender would then collect one hundred percent of the life insurance policy’s death benefit. E-exchanger life insurance can help you avoid that.

Executive Bonus Plan Life Insurance

With an executive bonus plan, you’re using a compensating method for specific employees by paying the life insurance policy premiums on the key employee’s life. The employer or business owner will pay for a benefit that is owned by the executive or employee. There are benefits to both the employer and employee when it comes to Executive bonus plans.

For the employer, there is no administration needed, the plan is simple, and costs are tax deductible. For the employee, the executive is the owner of the life insurance policy and of the cash values. The policy is not lost if they were to change employers. The death benefit can be income tax-free.

Key Person Life Insurance

The purpose of key person life insurance is pretty basic:

A company buys a life insurance policy on a key employee, business owner or executive who is very important to the business. The company will apply for a life insurance policy, pay for all of the premiums and own the policy. The business is also the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. If the key person were to die, the company will receive the death benefit of the key person. The tax-free benefit can be used in a variety of ways. It can help make up for company sales as well as lost earnings. The benefit can also help cover some or all of the costs of finding a good replacement and provide proper training.

What would happen if the key person were to die unexpectedly? Could your business move forward without a hiccup? The life insurance death benefit can provide liquidity quickly so you can provide ongoing financial demands.

How about securing loans for your company’s growth? Sometimes loans are needed to help with the financing opportunities of expanding a business. Your lender will often seek collateral as security and the death of a key employee may pose too much of a risk to your lender. It is very common for a lender or bank to require key person life insurance on anyone that is vital to the life of your company.

One of the most important uses of key person life insurance is when there’s a need to buy out a deceased co-owner's interest in a company. There are some unfortunate situations that can arise if a key person policy isn’t in place. How would the deceased co-owner's family receive their share of the interest in the business without selling it off? How would the surviving owners pay off the dead owner’s family in order to avoid becoming partners with them?

Buy Sell Agreement with Life Insurance

When you’re an owner of a company or a partner in a business, a buy sell agreement can be an excellent way to avoid uncertainty. When a partner or company owner dies, the life of the business and its future are uncertain. With a buy-sell agreement, you can make sure you’re helping to protect you and your company from the unexpected or unintended transfer of ownership. By considering a buy sell agreement and funding it with life insurance, you can provide protection and extend the life of your company.

The buy sell agreement will aid the sale and purchase of a company based on a specified event. The most common events are retirement, disability or death of the owner of the company. The buy-sell will lay out specifically who will get what with regards to shares of the business. It will define how much and it will guarantee the buyer at a predetermined price. The buy-sell agreement also allows for the purchasing of company shares from the estate of the surviving family. Lastly, a buy-sell can be beneficial with creditors. Creditors will most likely be much easier to deal with when they can see that a company has protection established to make the loan decisions easier.

Business Succession Planning

Life insurance plays an important role as the driving force in succession planning. It is key that you have adequate coverage for you and your business partners. You need to get a formal valuation of your company and make sure that your coverage is updated with the growth of your company. Succession planning is a very important topic and can be vital to your business. If you let the estate plan dictate how your company transitions, it may cause significant issues. There are many companies that have had disastrous results due to poorly designed succession plans. Just ask the Robbie family and the Miami Dolphins.

Get Started

If you’re ready to get started, make sure you work with the following 3 resources:

  • Attorney
  • CPA
  • Life Insurance Broker

You’ll need experts in each of these areas in order to secure the best strategy and policy for your business succession plan.

How to Get Quotes and Apply

Once your plan is in place you can begin shopping for your life insurance policy. Simply use the free quote on this page to get an idea of rates.

However, the best way to secure coverage is to have our research customized quotes. You can simply contact us at CseZone.com.  We’re independent and licensed life insurance agents. We’ll find you the best policy at the most competitive price from dozens of top rated life insurance companies. Once we find you the lowest rate, we’ll help you apply conveniently online or over the phone. We’ll help you from start to finish.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook

The Effects of Childhood Obesity

September is not only back to school month, but it’s also Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States that affects more than 30 percent of children. This number has tripled since 1980 making it one of the biggest threats to the health of American children. If trends continue, children today could be the first generation to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.

When you are a parent, your goal is to protect your children. While you don’t have control over everything your children encounter, you play a major part in their health and wellness. Preventing and managing childhood obesity starts in the home. It’s easy to put the TV on for the kids while you get caught up on household chores. Sometimes that’s the best fix for that particular situation. It becomes a problem when this behavior becomes a habit and a lifestyle for your family.

Why is childhood obesity a health problem?

Childhood obesity has negative immediate and long-term health concerns. Obese children are being diagnosed with health conditions that used to be only seen in adults. Unhealthy weight can lead to medical problems such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Liver disease
  • Bone and joint issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Respiratory problems such as asthma
  • Sleep apnea

Unfortunately, obese children may also face psychological difficulties such as:

  • Being teased and bullied
  • Becoming a bully
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Depression
  • Poor social skills
  • Stress and anxiety

Being a parent is stressful enough without having to think about your children dealing with health and/or emotional problems. And being a child these days can’t be easy with social media and unrealistic “expectations” that exist. There are simple ways to help establish good habits and encourage healthy lifestyles for your family.

Develop healthy eating habits.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes you need a reminder on how you can encourage healthy eating at home.

  • Eat lots of veggies, fruits, and whole-grain products
  • Choose lean meats
  • Limit sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Limit saturated fat
  • Recognize portion control

Get active.

Again, this may seem like common sense, but keep in mind how easy it is for kids to get in the routine of watching TV, playing video games or spending endless hours on the iPad.  As a parent, encourage your kids to get involved in sports or other physical activities at school.

Here are few ways to sneak some physical activity into family time:

  • Make a game out of household chores. After completing a chore list, have a reward of a dance off or play catch. If you’re feeling really creative you could pretend that all the toys need to be saved from the dirty floor and put safely in the toy chest. Be as fun and creative as you want to encourage everyone to help out.
  • Take pre and post dinner walks. If it’s a struggle to get the family to get out and go on a walk, make it interactive by playing “I spy” or a similar game.
  • If you have that TV show you just have to watch, use the commercial breaks as quick fitness breaks. Get the kids up and dancing or have a sit-up or push-up contest. It’s amazing how much kids love burpees!
  • Get extra steps in whenever possible. Take the stairs, walk to the store or park at the end of the parking lot. Just like adults, kids can benefit from the extra activity.

Instill good habits into your kids while they are young so that healthy living becomes a way of life. If childhood obesity isn’t managed, it can lead to serious health issues as an adult.

Obesity not only causes serious health conditions, but also leads to increased health care costs and higher life insurance premiums. One of the first things life insurance companies look at when determining your premium is your height to weight ratio and your health status.

Here at Quotacy, our goal is to get you the best price and policy for your unique situation. We work with multiple insurance carriers to shop your case and compare pricing and options. Feel free to contact us with questions or use our free quoting tool to see how much it would cost to protect your family.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook

HOME SECURITY: ANYTIME, ANYWHERE ACCESS

With smartphone and tablet use on the rise, many of us have grown accustomed to anytime, anywhere access to information.

Thanks to advances in technology, the same real-time availability is now available as part of many home security solutions. Through a mobile app or your desktop browser, interactive services, let you easily:

  • Log in to view your system’s status.
  • Monitor activity at your home.
  • Watch live and recorded video.
  • Arm and disarm your system.
  • Set up user codes.
  • Manage many other features.

For you, mobile access means ultimate freedom, control, and convenience, whether you’re on the couch or across the globe.

Mobile Security Solutions in Action

Below are some sample scenarios to give you a glimpse of how mobile security solutions are simplifying lives.

  • If you have kids, elderly parents or even pets at home, mobile security solutions give you the ability to check in 24/7 via real-time video to ensure everything is okay in your absence.
  • Remotely unlock or lock your doors - a convenient capability to let cleaning services, unexpected visitors or caretakers in without having to give them a key.
  • View activity reports that let you know if doors, windows, safes, etc., have been accessed to guard against intrusion or unauthorized entrance. Set up real-time notifications to send you alerts when questionable events occur.
  • Program your lights from afar. Put them on a timer when you’re away so that your home looks occupied, making it less susceptible to burglary.
  • Forget to turn your lights off or to adjust your thermostat? No worries; with mobile security, you can control connected appliances from anywhere, effectively lowering your energy bill.
  • Manage and monitor second, rental or vacation homes without having to step on site.
  • Remotely set up interactions between sensors and lights. For example, if you're coming home alone, maybe you want the hall light to turn on when the front door opens, so you don't have to stumble through a dark house.

When it comes to mobile, the possibilities and applications are limitless, and all available at the swipe of your thumb. Based on your unique needs, your home security specialist can recommend the best setup and interactive services.

Purchasing Tips for Interactive Services

When evaluating systems and vendors, a few key features to look for include:

  • Secure, password-protected applications, protecting you even if your device is lost or stolen.
  • An easy-to-use mobile app interface that is intuitive and simple to navigate. Ask your sales rep to give you a demo of the solution to see it up close, or if custom onboarding or training is available for purchase.
  • Clear contract and service-level agreements with no hidden charges or fees. Don't get fooled with gimmicks that promise discounts up front, but tack on added costs later.
  • Quality service and support. A lot can be said about a company by the way their employees treat you during the sales process. Place your bets with a vendor that has your best interests at heart, not a quick sale.
  • An assessment of your needs and property so that solutions match well with your lifestyle and security goals.

With a trusted partner, mobile home security solutions can give you the comfort and convenience you expect, and deserve.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook

How to Reduce your Risk of Water Damage

Water damage is one of the leading causes for personal property insurance claims in Ontario. Learning how to deal with preventable water damage is essential for everyone who lives in Ontario.

Water damage has surpassed fire as the leading cause of personal property claims in Ontario.

The challenge with water is that even the smallest amount of water can be a major headache, resulting in the homeowner having to claim under their personal property insurance. Intact Insurance classifies water damage as the following; flooding, broken pipes, sewer backup, and leaky plumbing.

Protecting your home from water damage

Since water damage is so widespread throughout Ontario, it’s important that you inform yourself and ensure you have the coverage you require to protect your home. Speak to your insurance broker to confirm what your insurance coverage protects and adjust if necessary. Furthermore, we suggest contacting your local municipality to find out if there are any special programs that may be in place to protect your home against water damage. 

Reducing your risk with preventative tips

We cannot control Mother Nature; however, we can implement preventative tips to help reduce our risk of having unwanted water in our home. The following checklist has been adapted by Intact Insurance.

Tips for Preventing Water Damage outside your Home

  • Clean eaves troughs and downspouts to ensure proper drainage
  • If you have any damage on the outside of your home (including cracks, etc.) repair them
  • Ensure you caulk window trim and door frames
  • Check your roof and flashing for repairs
  • Install weather stripping on exterior doors and windows
  • Winterize your pool or hot tub
  • Turn off the water supply to outdoor taps after the taps have been left open to drain completely. Leave the taps in the open position until the spring
  • Always clear snow away from the foundation of your house

Tips for Preventing Water Damage inside your Home

  • Check heat-duct and water pipe insulation
  • Inspect any washing machine and dishwasher hoses for cracks or leaks, and clean the filters
  • Water shut-off valve - learn the location of it and learn how to use it
  • Have the furnace and air conditioner professionally serviced annually
  • Have any chimneys cleaned annually and repaired as needed

We’d love to help you navigate water damage prevention - Contact Us if you have any questions or would like a no obligation CseZone home insurance quote. 

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook