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Blood Cancers and Buying Life Insurance

According to the American Society of Hematology, blood cancers affect the production and function of your blood cells and end up preventing your blood from performing many of its functions, such as fighting off infections or preventing serious bleeding.  Approximately every three minutes, one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer.  September is both Life Insurance Awareness Month and Blood Cancer Awareness Month.  In this post, let’s discuss the different types of blood cancer and how these conditions can affect buying life insurance.

What are the different types of blood cancer?

There are three main types of blood cancer: leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.  An estimated 1,290,773 Americans are either living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma.

Leukemia – cancer of the body’s blood forming tissues.

  • Mainly affects bone marrow and the lymphatic system
  • Usually, affects white blood cells – the infection fighting cells
  • There are many types of leukemia

Lymphoma – cancer of the lymphatic system.

  • Affects the lymphatic system – the body’s germ-fighting network – which includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow
  • There two categories: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Myeloma – cancer of plasma cells.

  • Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce disease- and infection-fighting antibodies
  • Cancerous plasma cells release too much protein and can cause organ damage
  • Cancerous plasma cells can also crowd the normal cells in your bones and weaken them

How does leukemia affect buying life insurance?

Leukemia can be either acute or chronic.  Chronic leukemia progresses more slowly than acute leukemia, which requires immediate treatment.  There are five types of leukemia: acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL), hairy cell leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).  ALL is the most common form of childhood leukemia and AML and CLL are most common in adults.

Although individuals who have been diagnosed with leukemia generally cannot get preferred life insurance risk classes, that is Preferred Plus or Preferred, once treated with no recurrence, individuals can be considered for Standard life insurance rates.  Risk classes are dependent on the type of leukemia, your age at diagnosis, and how long it has been since completion of treatment.  The more years that have passed since treatment, the better your chances are for qualifying for Standard or Standard Plus.

Risk Classes
Preferred Plus
Preferred
Standard Plus
Standard

If you do not qualify for standard risk classes, you may be table rated and/or be required to pay a flat extra.  A table rating typically means you will pay the standard prices plus a certain percentage.  A flat extra is an additional fee that cushions the risk for the insurance carrier.  A flat extra can last the entire life of a policy or just a few years.

Table Rating
(alphabetical)
Table Rating
(numerical)
Pricing
A 1 Standard + 25%
B 2 Standard + 50%
C 3 Standard + 75%
D 4 Standard + 100%
E 5 Standard + 125%
F 6 Standard + 150%
G 7 Standard + 175%
H 8 Standard + 200%
I 9 Standard + 225%
J 10 Standard + 250%

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Example 1

 

Jane Doe was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when she was 8 years old.  She is now 30 years old and it has been over 20 years since treatment was completed.  Jane is a non-smoker and aside from her history of childhood cancer, she has a clean bill of health.

She applies for a 30-year $500,000 life insurance policy and is approved at Standard Plus.  Her monthly premium payments will be $50.

Example 2

 

John Smith was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) when he was 18 years old.  Part of his treatment was a bone marrow transplant.  He is now 32 years old, does not smoke, and it has been 13 years since treatment was completed.

He applies for a 20-year $500,000 life insurance policy and is approved at Table B.  His monthly premium payments will be $60.

Keep in mind that no life insurance company underwrites the exact same way.  (Underwriting is the process of evaluating an application and determining a risk class.)  Some will be stricter with leukemia than others.

How does lymphoma affect buying life insurance?

There are two categories of lymphoma: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin.  The difference between the two is based on the type of cancer cells present.  According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Hodgkin lymphoma is rare, accounting for about .5 percent of all new cancers diagnosed.  Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common being the seventh most diagnosed cancer.

In the majority of cases, applicants with a history of lymphoma will be assigned a flat extra for the first few years, unless a good number of years (like ten) have passed since treatment.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Example

 

John Doe is a 54-year-old male, non-smoker, applying for a 20-year $250,000 term policy.  He was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma five years ago.  He went through chemotherapy that same year and continued preventative treatment for two years following.  There has been no sign of recurrence.  He gets check-ups once per year.

John is approved at Table B with a flat extra of $15 per thousand for five years.  Here’s what all that means.  John is getting $250,000 in coverage, so to calculate the flat extra you multiply 15 by 250.  John will have to pay an extra $3750 per year on top of his normal premiums for five years.  Once year five is over, his premiums will drop to the regular Table B premium which will be $140 per month.

Again, no life insurance company underwrites the same way.  There are insurance carriers that would decline John outright.  This is why working with an independent agency like Quotacy is beneficial.  We have contracts with multiple A-rated carriers, so your chances of being approved are better.

How does myeloma affect buying life insurance?

Myeloma has different forms, but 90 percent of people who have been diagnosed with myeloma have multiple myeloma.  It’s called such because it affects several areas of the body versus just one site.  There is currently no cure for multiple myeloma, so life insurance approval may prove difficult.  Unless you have had a bone marrow transplant, an applicant diagnosed with multiple myeloma will typically be declined for life insurance.  Myeloma is, however, the least commonly diagnosed type of blood cancer.

Plasmacytoma and localized myeloma diagnoses, these are forms of myeloma in which cancer cells are found in only one site, have higher chances of life insurance approval.  Standard rates are even possible if enough years have passed since treatment.

If you have a history of blood cancer, don’t hesitate to apply for life insurance.  Applying for life insurance is free and there is no commitment to buy.  Here at Quotacy we have access to many life insurance carriers and will help to get you approved for coverage.  Start out by using our term quoting tool to run as many quotes as you would like – no contact information required.  We look forward to helping you get life insurance.

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What You Need to Know to Choose the Best Monitoring Plan

Installing a home security system is essential in order for you to protect your home, family, and valuable possessions. Having a home security system installed affords you the peace of mind you need in order to live without fear for your home’s safety.

However one of the most important things you need to consider when installing a home security system is the type of monitoring plan you wish to have. Here are a few things you should know when you’re trying to find the best monitoring plan for your home security system.

What is Monitoring?

To put it simply, monitoring refers to the way in which your home security system communicates with a device or center which monitors the information it is receiving. Essentially, a monitoring center processes the information to determine what action or steps need to be taken in the event of a security breach.

Types of Monitoring

When it comes to monitoring for home security systems there are generally two different types of monitoring methods: personal and professional. Personal monitoring is very rare and is usually carried out when you’ve purchased and installed a lower grade home security system. This type of monitoring involves all of the information from the home security system being redirected to you directly. That means you have to keep a vigilant eye on what is happening in your home in order to keep on top of things.

If your attention slips and something happens during that time, nothing can be done because you were the monitoring center so to speak. It was your responsibility to identify a threat and report it to the relevant authorities.

As you can see, this type of monitoring is very cumbersome on the homeowner and can prove to be grossly ineffective in most cases.

The other method of monitoring is professional. This means that the alarm company is the one keeping a tab on all the signals that your house is emitting. If there is a security breach or threat, the alarm company will inform the relevant authorities and help will be sent to your home right away. Alarm companies pride themselves on having fast response times which is what makes them so attractive to customers. The faster the response time, the less likely it is that you and your family will incur serious harm, damage, or losses.

Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for a Monitoring Plan

With respect to monitoring plans, they are typically divided into two broad categories: basic and advanced/interactive. The two different plans differ in how much control you are afforded. The general features of the two plans are outlined below.

Basic Monitoring Plans

If you’ve just gotten a home security system, basic monitoring packages are a great way to start out. This is especially true in today’s day and age because now, the more advanced packages require smartphone and tablet use. If you don’t have a smartphone, basic monitoring is perfect for you.

Advanced and Interactive Plans

These plans are a little bit more complex and give you the chance to be more involved with the monitoring process. If you want to be kept in the loop with everything that’s happening in and around your home, these sorts of monitoring plans keep you updated via your smartphone or tablet. You can expect to get texts and alerts as to the status of your home, remote access to various home security features, as well as access to the cameras and sensors if there are any.

What to Expect from any Monitoring Plan

Generally, all monitoring plans have certain key features. Some of these include:

  • 24/7 monitoring and surveillance of your property for everything from break-ins to the state of the environment. This means that your monitoring system is also keeping an eye out for things like excess carbon monoxide, water levels, and smoke.
  • Primary contacts – These are generally two numbers which the alarm company calls first in the event of a security breach or problem.
  • Secondary contacts – If they can’t get in touch with your primary contacts, the company will attempt to get in touch with your secondary contacts. You can give up to five numbers as secondary contacts.
  • Cellular connection – This is the means by which your alarm system forms a connection to the monitoring service. It uses cellular connections as opposed to landlines which aren’t very reliable. A landline can be cut by a burglar to try to cut you off from protection. Cellular connections don’t require wires and are therefore a more reliable way to connect to your monitoring service.

How to Choose Which Monitoring Plan is Best for you

Choosing which monitoring plan is best for you involves a consideration of your personal preferences and circumstances. For instance, are you looking to have more control over what’s happening inside your home when you’re not around or are you comfortable with giving that responsibility solely to the monitoring service?

There are certain cases and situations in which a more interactive/advanced system would be more effective. These include:

  • When your kids are at home alone
  • If you’re going on vacation and want to keep tabs on the house
  • If your elderly parents are living with you and you want to monitor them

In these cases, being able to see and know what’s happening at home while you’re away is very beneficial.

As you can see, what monitoring plan you end up choosing largely depend upon what degree of control you want over the surveillance of your home. If you’re looking to be more involved, an advanced plan is best for you; if not, you can easily settle for a basic plan.

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Auto Warranty Scam Warning

It has been reported that a variety of companies and marketing firms have been making unsolicited calls to offer customers an automotive extended warranty. When a customer is told that the warranty is about to expire, if they are not educated to the warranty business or their vehicles coverage may sometimes believe anything a telemarketing agent says. Unfortunately, in almost every case they are creating this information out of thin air with the hope that they can scare or pressure a customer into purchasing warranty coverage for their vehicle. This is obviously a dishonest practice but is borderline illegal as well.

It is also been reported that a variety of third-party companies have been sending a postcard a flyer in the mail with the same general information hoping to coax a customer into calling them so they can attempt to sell them warranty coverage. This process is a high-pressure process, usually involving several levels of sales professionals to try and close the deal.

What these companies never tell you is that in many cases, your car may still be covered by an existing warranty as they have no knowledge of the vehicle’s actual existing warranty status.

Also, there are many levels of warranty coverage that are available that are generally not explained in clear detail to a customer. They simply sign you up, collect your money, and then send you documentation later where you find out there are many loopholes that would allow a claim to be denied. This is assuming the company even has a claims department and any legitimacy at all.

In most cases, you may have simply given money for a product that either doesn’t exist or is not an actual insurance company product.

If the company does have any legitimacy, not having an underwriter simply means that in the event that they have any type of claims activity at all, they can easily be wiped out as they very rarely leave much money in a claims fund to protect the consumer.

The bottom line is a customer’s best option is to reach out to a legitimate warranty provider that is directly underwritten by a US-based, “A” rated carrier. The other option, of course, is to visit a local dealership and find out what they are offering. The downside to this is that dealerships are generally 50-100% more expensive the same level of coverage you can get in the automotive warranty aftermarket.

The bottom line is you will almost never hear a radio ad or receive a notice by mail from any legitimate warranty company so buyer beware!

If you are looking for warranty coverage a great place to start would be www.csezone.com where you can get wholesale pricing for the industry’s highest level of coverage.

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