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How to Save Money in Your Health Insurance Plan?

Health insurance, as the word suggests, insures the risk of a person’s medical expenses. It is a type of insurance coverage that pays for all health related expenses from surgeries to small injuries or regular medical check-ups. Health insurance either reimburses the insurer or pays the medical authorities directly. It is often offered by companies to their employees to ensure quality workforce.

 

Why is Health Insurance valuable?

Health insurance is valuable owing to many reasons. People with no health insurance are likely to get poor medical services, no timely checkups, and quality health becomes a financial burden for such people. Health in Pakistan is a privilege, and health insurance makes certain that you are provided with that privilege in the best way possible.

Reasons Why Health Insurance is Expensive

Health insurance tends to get really expensive because of multiple reasons.

1: Administrative Costs

The top most reason of health insurance being so expensive is the administrative cost. The administrative cost of our health care is huge. Running the health care sector costs a huge amount of money in terms of management staff and administrative staff. More than anything else in the medical department, costs are associated with administrative costs, which is higher than any other department.

2: Drug Costs

Another major factor that makes health care an expense that is out of reach of most people is the cost of drugs. Even the government tends to understand that drugs are really expensive and people under a certain wage cannot afford basic healthcare and lose lives to easily curable diseases like pneumonia. The government tries to negotiate with the drug makers to lower the prices, but because of the fact that most drug making companies are private, they are unable to do much in this regard. Medicines that are provided by the government hospitals are free of costs for a certain class, but it is not enough. The quality of such medicines and the limited amount of the dosage provided is not enough to cure the diseases.

3: Defensive Medicine:

One reason for health care being expensive is defensive medicine. Doctors sometimes, because of their own benefit or sometimes because they are genuinely scared of being sued, do not conduct a proper diagnosis until they have run all sorts of medical tests. Multiple tests can cost a lot, and some tests are too expensive to be affordable for poor people. And the government only provides certain tests free of costs to people under a certain wage and to government employees.

4: Expensive Ways Of Treatment

Because of no or very less concern from the government on health issues, government and private practitioners offer expensive ways of treatments to patients. For example, they may prescribe a medicine from a company they have contracts with, even though a similar medicine of another brand is available at a cheaper price. Personal interests come into play and people are robbed of the opportunities to get right medical treatments. This also happens because of lack of knowledge of the patient or the family.

5: Branding

As mentioned above, the brands play a vital role in over pricing the healthcare. A certain medicine with the same salts can be available in the variety of prices. Practitioners tend to have a certain understanding with these drug making companies and they prescribe their medicine to their patients not considering if they can afford it or not. They tend to forget that not just their health but their lives are at stake.

How To Save Up on Health Insurance Plan

There are multiple health insurance companies, but how to decide which one meets all your expectation of ensuring a healthy life for you and your family? 

Here are few of the factors that you must keep in mind while choosing which plan to go for.

1) Lower Premiums are Not Always The Most Affordable Option

While lower premiums will sound great initially, it might also mean that you will have to pay more for deductibles. These things have to be kept in mind of course. For example, if you go for a high deductible policy, there are chances that you might pay less premium. But then you will have to pay more for the deductible.

2) Compare

Always calculate how much health insurance subsidy can you get and comparing different policies from different companies can help you get a much better deal.

3) Know If A Certain Health Insurance Plan Covers Insurance for All Members

If you are married and have kids, be very careful while choosing a plan. Your health insurance must cover a quality healthy life for all your family members, not just for yourself. By looking for a plan that is perfect for you and your family, you can end up saving a lot of money.

4) Compare the Coverage Of Existing Plans

Some people tend to overlook the benefits that two different insurance plans can give you. This can just help give you an advantage in a maximized way.

5) Health Insurance Waivers

Health Insurance waivers allow a person to get the space to decide with one group of insurer and then after discussing things and thinking them over, they can go for the one that benefits them the most, without any pressure on themselves for selecting a certain plan over another.

6) Health Insurance Agents

One of the wisest things to do would be to get a health insurance broker. It is their field and they can guide you the best as to which plan is perfect for you. These professionals know this field inside out and can help you find whatever you are looking for. Trust us: it is not an unnecessary step.

Health insurance is a basic necessity these days. With the increasing amount of health issues, one must ensure that they can cover their health expenses without a worry. Health insurance also provides a healthy life for your spouse and your kids and is an essential part of modern life.

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Lost Your Job? These Are Your Health Insurance Options

Losing a job is one of the worst feelings on the planet, especially if it’s a job you actually enjoyed.

In addition to the feelings of anger, depression, fear, and grief, you’re now saddled with the responsibility of finding new health insurance if your company was the one providing your coverage.

Luckily, you have a number of options available to you after losing job-based coverage that you should begin to explore as quickly as possible, starting with ...

Primary Options For Coverage After a Job Loss

Coverage from Your Spouse or Domestic Partner’s Employer

If your spouse or domestic partner’s insurance plan is open to family members, you may be able to join now that you no longer have insurance through your employer.

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you have 30 days from the time that your former employer stops paying for your insurance to enroll in your spouse or domestic partner’s plan. This rule stands even if your loss of coverage doesn’t occur during an open enrollment period.

Coverage from the Marketplace

 

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you can enroll in a health plan in the Marketplace during a Special Enrollment Period if you lose your job-based coverage outside of the normal open enrollment period. You may even be eligible for subsidies for reduced premiums and you might qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs.

 

Coverage from the Individual Market

 

If you don’t qualify for a subsidy for reduced premiums from the Marketplace, you can simply sign up for a new plan off of the marketplace through the individual market. Not sure whether or not you’ll qualify for a subsidy? This interactive tool on the Marketplace’s website can help you determine that.

Continuing Current Coverage Through COBRA

 

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives you the right to remain on the health plan that you had with your former employer. (COBRA does not apply if your employer had fewer than 20 employees, if your employer went out of business or if you were fired for “gross misconduct.”)

If you are eligible for COBRA benefits, you will receive notice from your former employer or the health plan and can enroll within 60 days after receiving the notice.

  • COBRA generally guarantees coverage for 18 months but may be longer depending on your circumstances.
  • Each family member can make a different COBRA election, even if your entire family was once covered under your employer’s health plan. Or, your child(ren) may elect COBRA on your plan and you may find coverage elsewhere.
  • You are responsible for paying the full COBRA premiums, which includes the amount you used to pay while employed, the amount paid by your former employer and an administrative fee. This can make COBRA coverage very expensive.

We recommend exploring the first 3 options above before looking into COBRA coverage as COBRA is likely to be your most expensive option for continuing coverage.

Secondary Options for Coverage After a Job Loss

State-Sponsored Programs

There may be state laws that complement federal COBRA regulations or other consumer protection statutes. They include:

  • Mini-COBRA plans. If you worked for an employer with 20 or fewer employees, your state may have mini-COBRA laws that allow you to obtain the same benefits by paying the full premium (or more in some states).
  • Conversion policies. If you cannot continue coverage with your former policy, your state may require insurers to convert your policy into an individual plan.

Protections Under HIPAA

Under this federal law, at least one insurer must sell you a health plan if you can meet the following conditions:

  • You previously had 18 months of coverage without a break for more than 63 days.
  • The last day of your coverage was through your employment.
  • You do not have a COBRA or mini-COBRA option available.

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Reauthorization Act and Health Coverage Tax Credit

If you lost your job due to a trade policy (moving your job overseas), you may qualify for 72.5 percent of the cost of your health insurance for up to three years under TAA. 

Medicaid, The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or VA Coverage

Medicaid is available for low-income individuals and children, parents with dependent children, permanently disabled individuals or those over 65. Eligibility varies from state to state.

  • Though you may not qualify for full Medicaid benefits, you may be eligible for screenings for breast and cervical cancer or assistance with tuberculosis or sickle cell anemia treatments.
  • Consult your local health department for more information about public coverage options in your area.
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Term Life Insurance for 35 Years

35 years is a long time.

Think about some of the things that happened or were popular in 1981.

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • MTV began
  • Prince Charles and Lady Diana married
  • Hall & Oates
  • The Rubik’s Cube
  • Donkey Kong

A lot can happen in that time of time. The fall of The Soviet Union. The Internet. Mobile phones. Emoji. 35-yr term life insurance.

Yes, you read that right. You can now buy term life insurance with a term period of 35 years from American General Life Insurance Company.

Until now, the longest term period available was 30 years. But with the new term length, you can lock in a low rate up to age 45 and keep it until you are 80 years old.

Will you need term life insurance for 35 years?

Maybe and maybe not. It all depends on your unique circumstances. Things to consider include:

  • How many years until your youngest child leaves home?
  • How many years until all your children (and perhaps grandchildren) graduate college?
  • How many years until you pay off your mortgage?
  • How many years until you retire?

This is a start, but there’s more to it. Thankfully, we’ve written a thorough guide to help you find out how long you will need term life insurance.

It’s important to note that you are never ‘stuck’ in a policy for the entire term length. Meaning, you can always cancel the policy before the term expires without incurring any penalties or fees. Most life insurance companies will refund any unused premiums as well. Just in time for last-minute holiday shopping!

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3 Ways Life Insurance Can Benefit a Charity You Love

Would you like to make a charitable gift to help organizations or people in need; to support a specific cause; for recognition such as a naming opportunity at a school or university? Perhaps you would do it just for the tax incentives. There is any number of reasons, and life insurance can be one of the most efficient tools to achieve these purposes. So the question becomes, how does this work?

Let me list the ways.

1. Make a charity the beneficiary of an existing policy. Perhaps you have a policy you no longer need. Make the charity the beneficiary, and the policy will not be included in your estate at your death. This also allows you to retain control of both the cash value and the named beneficiary. If you want or need to change the charity named as beneficiary, you can.

2. Make a charity both the owner and beneficiary of an existing policy. This gives you both a current tax deduction along with removing the policy from your estate. Once you gift the policy, you no longer have any control over the values.

3. Purchase a new policy on your life. Life insurance is an extremely efficient way to provide a large future legacy to a charity in your name without needing to write the large checks now. The premiums are given directly to the charity which then pays the premiums on the policy. The charity also owns the cash value as an asset. I am using this concept in my own planning.

Many charities would prefer to have their money upfront, but if you cannot write that large check or don’t want to part with your cash today, a gift of life insurance is a most efficient method to leave a large legacy in your name.

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How and when you can change your coverage

Medicare's annual open enrollment has ended, but there are still opportunities to change to your coverage over the next 10 months.

Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D coverage ended on December 7, but if you’re thinking about changing your coverage, you’ve still got options.

  • Starting December 8 – and through November 30 – you can actually switch to a new Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan – if you enroll in a plan in your area that has earned the government’s five-star (excellent) rating.
  • You can apply for a Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) plan at any time during the year. If you’re within the six-month open enrollment window that begins when you turn 65, the coverage is guaranteed issue. That is also the case if you’re in a special enrollment period triggered by a qualifying event.
  • You can still apply for a Medigap plan outside of open/special enrollment periods – though carriers will use medical underwriting to determine whether to accept your application and how much to charge you.
  • There are several ways to leave Medicare Advantage, including the annual Medicare Advantage disenrollment period – which runs from January 1 to February 14 each year.

For a thorough overview of the changes, you can make to your coverage, read How do I change my Medicare coverage?

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CAN YOU BE DENIED AUTO INSURANCE IF CONVICTED OF A MOVING VIOLATION?

A moving violation can be a serious mistake or a minor one. In many situations, your auto insurance provider is there to help you through mistakes you might make. However, there are some situations where it can become difficult to obtain auto insurance. If you are labeled a high-risk driver, it may be hard to obtain car insurance or affordable plans. There are several things to keep in mind in this situation.

Can You Be Denied?

Most states have requirements that those who operate a motor vehicle (or own one) must have auto insurance in place. This is required for nearly all drivers. However, car insurance providers are able to deny individuals coverage if the driver is too high of a risk to insure. It can be hard to obtain insurance if you have such a label because the risk of another mistake, accident or moving violation is high.

By definition, a high-risk driver is someone who has a higher potential of filing a claim at some time in the future. Insurers view these individuals as high risk and costly, therefore charging a significant amount more to cover individuals, or simply denying coverage altogether. There are many reasons for this outcome, including a DUI/DWI conviction, illegal street racing, excessive speeding, reckless driving, driving without licensing and traffic violations in which a person died or got seriously injured.

What Should You Do?

If you are a high-risk driver, you will need to work to minimize such risks going forward. More so, if you find a policy that offers coverage to you, be sure to do everything you can to reduce your points. In some cases, you may be able to take a driving course to reduce your points. You may need to obtain an SR-22 as well, which generally is a requirement by the department of motor vehicles. Most people can find a policy available to them, though it can be expensive and hard to do without the help of an independent insurance agent. The right auto insurance provider is likely available even for high-risk drivers.

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The Impact of Health Insurance on Your Life

For most of us, a health insurance policy is yet another document to be safeguarded in a cabinet in our house and/or a folder in our computer until circumstances require us to put it in use. Less do we realize how investing in a health plan transforms our life for better.

Uncertainty is a part and parcel of our being and a health policy plays a major role in helping us lead a peaceful lifestyle. It backs us up against any medical emergency that might strike unexpectedly.

 

We catalog here all the major health insurance benefits that you gain from your health insurance policy, in detail; Get to know your plan better, to live better:

Budgeting

Let us start from the foreground. The major purpose of buying a health plan is to ensure that you have adequate money to fund your medical treatment in the time of need, which translates to effective financial planning. This forethought also applies when it comes to making an investment in purchasing the policy, in the first place. Insurance companies offer a range of plans and premiums to fit everyone’s paying capacity.

Flexibility

Now the question arises, does spending what we can is evenly matched with what we should; or are we missing out on any important features? Fortunately, to match the changing healthcare needs, the insurers allow customization of health insurance policy at the time of purchase or renewal. So whenever an upgrade is available, use it to enhance your existing policy with a top-up feature. It can also be utilized to fit your changing needs. For instance, you might need a Family Health Insurance few years down the line.In that case, you’ll not have to sign up for a new policy as you will be able to alter your existing one. The mantra here is to pick the basics and load it up as and when you can.

Medical Concierge Services

To have the treasure and not know how to put it to good use is as good as no treasure. Not all of us are well-versed with our treatment requirements or the facilities available in our nearest hospitals. Our little knowledge further restricts in the state of panic, which often accompanies such situations. To support you through these perils, your insurance company provides medical concierge services that assist you through your illness—everything from making appointment and arrangements for the treatment to clearing off the bills.

Lifelong protection

Most of the health policies come with an upper cap on the age-limit of the individuals they cater to. This may mean leaving you unprotected at an age when you need it the most. However, certain insurance providers, like HDFC ERGO, offer policies with a lifetime renewability feature. Moreover, if you buy this policy before the age of 45, you would not even be required to take a preliminary health check-up.

Cashless Hospitalization

The help that you have when you most need it is the only help you have. Going through difficulties to arrange money for paying off your hospital bills and getting the reimbursement later cuts down your worries, but does not cease them completely. For your outright peace of mind, companies offer Cashless Hospitalization Service. Here, you just need to report your case and policy number at the insurance help desk in your desired network-hospital and the rest will be taken care of.

Recovery Benefit

The end of the course of hospitalization/treatment does not necessarily mean the complete recovery of your health. The best Health Insurance Policy will support you through the post-hospitalization period too. Here, your company provides extended financial aid, also called as convalescence benefit, to fund your daily expenses till you are fit to restore your daily lifestyle.

Attendant Allowance

Everything that is a part of your health re-establishment, be it your hospital or a loved one who takes care of you while you are sick, is your company’s responsibility. An attendant allowance pays towards the food and refreshment of the person who looks after you in the hospital.

Portability

Like I have mentioned before, you do not freeze the policy after you buy it for the first time. With changing circumstances over time your requirements may change too. To redesign your plan, in order to help it adapt to your present situation, you can transfer your existing plan to a different company that you may find better.

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Understanding the Key Terms on Your Warranty

If you're reading through your new car warranty for the first time, or you are considering purchasing a new car, there may be a few terms in there that you don't know. To help you understand your warranty, we've defined a few key terms:

  1. Bumper-to-Bumper: a type of warranty also commonly referred to as a basic or standard car warranty. All automakers offer a basic warranty for a set amount of time or miles. This warranty covers basic, non-engine parts of the car such as the power steering, fuel system, lights, sensors, audio system, brakes, and climate control. If any of these parts malfunction while you are covered with a bumper-to-bumper warranty, your dealer should pay to fix them.
  2. Deductible: the amount of money you pay the repair facility for repairs on your vehicle. Some warranties cover the cost of all repairs and labor, but others require you to pay a set amount out of pocket.
  3. Federal Emission Defect Warranty: a type of warranty that covers repairs your car needs to meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. This includes defective materials and repairs.
  4. Plan Term / Plan Expiration: the length of time or the amount of mileage your warranty covers. When you reach the end of your plan term, for example 3 years / 60,000 miles, your warranty plan will expire.
  5. Powertrain: a type of warranty that covers certain "powertrain" parts of your vehicle. These parts include the transmission, engine, and drivetrain (transfers power from the engine to the wheels and down). If your powertrain components are found defective or damaged before your powertrain warranty expires, the manufacturer will pay for replacements.
  6. Roadside Assistance: provides owners with assistance if the vehicle breaks down. This often includes a number you can call 24-hours a day, 365 days a year for emergency assistance, towing, help with a flat tire, or fuel problems.
  7. Surface Corrosion: rust on the outside of your car. Substances such as salt and iron oxide can make it easy for rust to form on your car. Some warranties do not protect against surface corrosion.
  8. Transferability: when you sell your car and transfer your warranty to the new owner. Car manufacturers may allow you to transfer the entire warranty, half, or none.
  9. Wear and Tear: when components of your car stop working due to external conditions. This means that your air system or radio stops working because of operational error, not because the parts can wear out. Some warranties cover wear and tear.
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When Should Parents Consider Child and Car Safety?

If someone asked us when parents should consider and begin to practice child safety as it relates to cars, we’d answer that these things should start before their child is even born.

This may sound strange, but as any mother will tell you, the impact from a child begins months before birth. Thus, our answer to the previous question. Since mothers are carrying unborn children for the gestation period, child safety is impacted by the mother’s safety.

While expectant mothers are undergoing physical changes to their bodies, such as the expansion in their abdomens and widening of their hips in the first trimester — changes that continue for all 40 weeks they’ll carry their child — we suggest the same for them as we would any other driver. Wearing their seat belts.

We’ve heard the myth that seat belts endanger the lives of the unborn, but it’s just that — a myth, as long as seat belts are worn properly. That means expectant mothers should wear their seat belts, with the lap belt should be across her hips and below her belly, and the shoulder belt should be across her chest, between the breasts.

Car Seat Installation

With the new arrival of a bundle of joy, we shift from the safety of the mother to the child itself. It may be easy to think that installing a car seat is a simple matter. Put the child seat in the car, insert child, and we’re done, right?

Not so fast. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 75% of car seats are installed and/or used incorrectly. Fortunately, many hospitals have Child Passenger Safety (SPC) Technicians who can help parents of newborns properly install and secure their car seats.

But what do you do if you’re on your own? While the documentation and instructions included with the child seat is a good start, we think the NHTSA’s free child safety seat inspection centersare also worth the few minutes of time they’ll take to visit. These government-funded centers are based throughout the nation, and they’ll help to ensure a child seat is installed correctly, preferably using the LATCH system.

LATCH, or the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children system, has been standard equipment on every car sold in the United States since 2002. All child seats produced since that time are also LATCH compliant. The system employs different sets ofÿanchors to be used with child restraints.

However, if you don’t have access to these resources then you’re left to install it yourself. With all the latches and straps installation may seem complicated. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered below.

Installation for Infants

The primary role of a car seat for infants is to protect the head and neck, which are the most vulnerable to long-term complications in the event of a collision. There are two types of car seats for infants: rear-facing, infant-only; and convertible seats. Rear-facing, infant-only care seats are ideal for newborns but they become obsolete once the child grows to more than 20 pounds. When you’re installing your little one’s car seat we suggest you follow the steps outlined in the manufacturer’s instruction manual. However, here are some general tips that will help you properly secure your newborn. If you’re more of a visual learner you can watch installation videos provided by the NHTSA.

  • If you can move the car seat more than an inch then the straps aren’t tight enough. To get them tight enough we suggest you find a way to put your weight into the car seat and then pull the straps as hard as you can. It’s important that the seat moves as little as possible while you’re in transit.
  • Ensure the carrier straps are tight and the harness clip is even with your baby’s shoulders or armpits and the straps are in the slot that lines up close to the infant’s shoulders.
  • If your baby has some extra space in the seat you can place rolled receiving blankets or towels on each side to keep him or her from wobbling. Avoid placing anything under the harness straps.
  • Locking clips are necessary for some vehicles made before 1997. This is necessary because these vehicles don’t have seat belts that lock when the brakes are slammed, so the clip keeps belt from slipping if an accident occurs.
  • Your baby’s head should be at least two inches below the top of the safety seat and make sure the seat is set at a 30 to 45-degree angle.
  • You can see more tips at DMV.org or Kids Health.

Convertible seats, the alternative to rear-facing, infant-only seats, are designed so that they can be used by infants after they’re heavier than 20 pounds. When the baby reaches that weight the seat can be turned to face forward and it’s secured with three types of harnesses: T-shield, tray shield, and five-point. All of these types meet required safety standards, but the five-point harness is regarded as the best option since it can be tightened to fit snugly and it doesn’t get in the way of the baby’s head. When installing a convertible seat you should make sure all straps are as tight as possible to prevent it from wobbling.

Ages One to Three

While infants should always be placed in rear-facing car seats, once a child has reached at least one year of age and weighs at least 20 pounds they can utilize forward-facing child safety seats installed in the rear of the car. That being said, they’re safer in a rear-facing seat, so keep them in one for as long as possible.Forward-facing seats, like the ones that come before, should be installed using LATCH rather than seat belts, if possible. Here are some other tips:

  • If you’re installing a forward-facing seat make sure it’s set directly against the back and bottom of the car seat. When you’re installing the seat make sure to put weight on the seat to push it back as far as possible so the straps will be as tight as they can be.
  • Make sure the seat can’t move side to side or tip forward more than an inch. If it does then unbuckle it and try again.
  • If your car was made before 1996 then you’ll probably need to buy a locking clip to prevent the lap and shoulder seat belts from slipping.
  • Make sure the straps lie flat and tug on them to make sure they’re secure once your baby is fastened into the seat.
  • If you can pinch any of the harness material between your fingers then it’s too loose and needs to be adjusted.

Ages Four to Seven

There are no rear-facing car seats available for this age group, and we don’t know of any children of this age group that would be content to sit facing the rear of the car. So, once a child reaches age four, you’ll have no choice but to move to a forward-facing seat.

Keep a child in this age range in their child seat until they outgrow either the height or weight limits specified by the seat manufacturer. Once this happens, it’s time to switch to a booster seat.

Ages Eight to Twelve

Once a child reaches eight years of age or is at least 4’9” tall, they should be placed in booster seats. Most booster seats simply elevate the child’s seating position and enable them to use the standard seat belts on a car. LATCH is not required nor should it be used with booster seats.

At some point during this period, you’ll likely transition the child from booster seat to just using the standard seat belt of the automobile with no otherÿencumbrances. Make sure they’re wearing the belt properly, with the lap portionÿacross their upper thighs and the shoulder portion across their chest.

Other Considerations

We’ve heard lots of chatter regarding the so-called “combination seats.” These seats are marketed as being able to go from a rear facing infant seat to a forward facing toddler seat and then finally to a booster seat for older children. A testing study performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found significant problems with these combination seats.

Children should always ride in the back seat of a car, if possible, no matter if they’re in a car seat, a booster seat, or if they’re old enough to wear seat belts.ÿAll modern cars now have both driver side and passenger side front airbags, which are designed for full-sized adults. Airbags can injure or kill a child, and the back seat is simply the safest place in the car.

Finally, don’t assume that just because your child isn’t in a car that all auto-related dangers areÿabated. Child pedestrians are killed at a greater rate than any other age group. In fact, male children, aged 5 to 9 years old, are the largest group of pedestrians killed every year. Children can still fall victim to an automobile by darting into a road without looking or by playing on a street.

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Home Insurance vs. Home Warranties

Homeowners insurance and home warranties are both designed for one reason: to protect your home and the belongings in it.

But, both cover very different things.

What's the Difference?

Homeowners insurance policies cover your home and belongings in the case of fire, damages from storms – other than flooding, which is oftentimes a separate policy – and damages or losses due to burglary.

Home warranties on the other hand, which are more accurately and often times referred to as home service contracts, cover elements of your home that almost all homeowners will eventually need to repair or replace due to daily or frequent use. Home warranties cover things like a leaky dishwasher, a water heater that's no longer working properly, stoves, furnaces or AC units – anything where normal wear and tear are to blame for malfunction.

Home warranties and the belongings they cover all have one thing in common, and that is the statistical likelihood of needing repair or replacement during the course of their lifetime.

Home Warranties

The "warranty" label when referring to a home service contract is really a misnomer. Home warranties are not a promise from a manufacturer or a builder, so they really do not fit the traditional definition of a warranty, nor are they administered by them. The term home warranty has simply become a convenient label that consumers and people in the industry use.

But, a "home warranty" is, in fact, a contract, not a warranty.

Let's Clarify: Warranty vs. Contract

A product warranty typically comes from a manufacturer and is essentially a pledge that its product will not fail due to design or manufacturing defect within a given timeframe, usually up to a year. If the product fails within that designated time frame, the manufacturer is obligated to repair or replace their product.

But, a product warranty doesn't generally specify a timeframe in which the product will actually be repaired or replaced if it malfunctions. In fact, the manufacturer may require that the product be returned to them in order to decide whether or not to repair or replace the item. Some manufacturers may send a replacement during this time, but not all, and the process can be quite lengthy.

A service contract, on the other hand, typically goes well beyond a standard product warranty. When home warranty companies talk about their service contracts, a large part of those contracts include which items they'll repair or replace and the timeframe they'll do it in.

Read Carefully

It is paramount that consumers carefully read both homeowners insurance policies and home warranty contracts in order to best understand any loopholes and exclusions that exist. This is also important because there's no need for overlapping coverage, which can sometimes exist not just between homeowners insurance policies and home service contracts but also in any pre-existing warranties already purchased for owned items.

Historically, in the insurance and home service contract industries, there are high rates of consumer complaints that can be traced back to disagreements between homeowners and home service contract companies about what is covered and what is not. Consult directly with the authorizing companies about any open-ended or vague wording in their contracts. Clarity, before there's a claim, saves both the consumer and the administering insurance or home warranty company frustration, dissatisfaction and a lot of back and forth.

Curious what your home is really worth?

Claim and Coverage Comparison

All homeowners insurance policies and home service contracts are different. But, below are a few common examples of the difference between what's typically covered by a homeowners insurance policy and what's typically covered by a home service contract:

  • 1.Claim: A tornado touches down in your neighborhood.
  • Coverage: Tornadoes, unlike a flood or hurricane, are generally covered under homeowners insurance and do not require a separate endorsement, or "rider."
  • 2.Claim: A kitchen fire.
  • Coverage: Standard homeowners insurance policies cover structural damage and belongings in your home damaged by fire.
  • 3.Claim: Your washing machine keeps going off balance and doesn't rinse your clothes anymore.
  • Coverage: A competitive home warranty will usually provide for repair work or replacement to appliances like your washer and dryer due to normal wear and tear. But, your appliance must almost always be in good working condition before a warranty is in place in order for it to be covered.
  • 4.Claim: A tree falls through your roof.
  • Coverage: Homeowners insurance covers the cost of removing a tree and repairing the damage it caused due to strong winds knocking it over onto your roof or lightning striking it. But, if a tree falls due to neglect, you may not be covered.
  • 5.Claim: Your dishwasher is leaking.
  • Coverage: A home warranty, or home service contract, will usually repair or replace your dishwasher due to normal wear and tear.

Check your home value

Csezone works with a great variety of home warranty companies in the home protection and residential service contract industry. In minutes, you receive quotes from the top home warranty companies in your area, with plan details and prices.

Our mission is to provide you with the best home warranty companies and options available to you – ones that both meet your family's needs and budget.

To see the top home warranty coverage options available to you in your area – start here, by searching your zip code.

For more information about CompareHomeWarrantyQuotes.com, visit our home page or Get Mortgage Refinance Info.

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