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5 Ways Critical Illness Insurance Can Be a Financial Life Saver

It was a world-famous heart surgeon, Dr. Marius Barnard, who created critical illness insurance, as he saw how the financial stress that accompanied cancer, heart attack and stroke was killing his patients. This type of insurance typically gives you a lump-sum cash payment if you are diagnosed with one of the illnesses specified in your critical illness policy.

No matter how you’d use the money, critical illness insurance always does one thing: It reduces financial stress.

But one of the challenges of critical illness insurance is understanding the many ways you can use the benefit—the money paid out—if you ever need it. Here are some of the ways I have seen:

1. To pay for deductibles, co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses related to health care. This is the most obvious use, especially as deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for health insurance plans continue to increase.

2. Expenses not covered by health insurance like travel, hotels, babysitting, etc. I know a person who had a great health insurance plan. He was diagnosed with colon cancer. His doctor told him, “You need to go to MD Anderson.” Complicating the whole issue, he and his wife had just had a child. So, they took his father-in-law along to watch his son. He had to charge airfare, meals and the hotel costs to his credit card. Several years later, he was still paying off that credit card.

3. Income protection, especially for the self-employed. If a self-employed person has an income-protection plan, including disability insurance, it most likely will have a 90-day elimination period before benefits are paid. One self-employed person I know was diagnosed with cancer. She would take her chemo treatments on Fridays. Then she would use the weekend to recover and try to be back at work on Monday or Tuesday. She did not miss enough days from work to meet her elimination period. Did cancer impact her income? Significantly!

4. Mortgage protection. Many people purchase life insurance so that if anything happens to them, the family’s home will be paid off and the family will be able to stay in the home. But what’s more likely to happen while paying on a mortgage—death or a critical illness? Depending on age, you could be as much as four times more likely to suffer a critical illness while paying a mortgage than to die.

Typically, insurance that covers from two to five years of mortgage payments will help significantly through the transition. A great thought-provoking question is, “Would it reduce your financial stress if you are diagnosed with cancer to know your mortgage will be paid for two years?”

5. Retrofit a home or car. I had a woman tell me that her husband had had a stroke. The couple had to take out a second mortgage to make modifications to their home, including a wheelchair ramp, significant changes to their bathroom, and the widening of doorways to accommodate the wheelchair.

No matter how you’d use the money, critical illness insurance always does one thing: It reduces financial stress. There is always emotional stress for a family with a family member who has a critical illness. Emotional stress increases directly with financial stress. A critical illness plan reduces the financial stress, which then reduces emotional stress. If you’d like to learn more about this important coverage, contact your insurance agent or advisor.

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Keeping Your Teen Safe at Home

When I was a teenager, I would come home from school hours before my parents got back from work. Sometimes I wonder if they ever worried about me being at home alone—whether I was getting up to any teenage mischief or not. Unless they called, there was no way for them to know.

Nowadays there’s texting, which certainly helps this problem. But your security system can also be a huge help in knowing your kids are home safe and behaving well.

SimpliSafe Components That Go the Extra Mile:

SimpliSafe has lots of customizable features that allow you to create a solution that fits your family’s needs.

The SimpliSafe security camera records videos any time your system is tripped, but did you know it also records a short clip anytime the system is armed or disarmed? It’s great for checking in on who’s home. You can see which friends your teen has over. Is it their study partner or that bad apple from down the block? You can check in any time. And don’t worry. The privacy shutter on the camera gives you and your family privacy when they’re home.

You can also set up your system so that each member of the family has a unique PIN. That way you’ll know who’s arming and disarming the system. Not only will you know your teen got home safe, but you’ll know they remembered to arm the system again after.

Another great feature to take advantage of is the SimpliSafe app. With interactive monitoring, you can arm your system remotely when your teen forgets. You can also check to see when they armed or disarmed the system (a surefire way to know if someone’s been breaking their curfew).

If your kid is old enough to stay home alone overnight, SimpliSafe will give you the peace of mind they’re protected, even when they’re asleep. They’ll have the backup not just from our monitoring center, but from the local police as well. Plus, you’ll also have the peace of mind that if they throw a wild party you’ll catch them red-handed.

Entry Sensors & Secret Alerts:

We’ve heard of customers using SimpliSafe sensors in creative ways to keep an eye on their teens. Some like to install Entry Sensors in unusual places like liquor cabinets to know when someone is getting into somewhere they shouldn’t be.

Of course, you probably don’t want the police called if your kid happens to open the liquor cabinet. That’s why SimpliSafe has Secret Alerts. You’ll get a text if that sensor is tripped, but the alarm won’t sound and the message won’t be sent to SimpliSafe’s monitoring. It’ll be between you and your teen.

You can also use Secret Alerts to get a text if they’re sneaking out at night, or if they’re taking a peek at those Christmas presents hidden in the closet (we never get too old for that, do we).

Give Them Responsibility:

Part of keeping your kids safe is teaching them how to keep themselves safe. So give your teen some responsibility in protecting your home. If your teen is the most likely person to be at or near your home, consider making them a primary or secondary emergency contact. Teach them what to do and practice the emergency plan together.

If there are younger siblings, have your teen teach the little ones how to use the system and what to do in an emergency.

You can also give your teen access to the app. This way they can also arm and disarm from a distance, and check in on what’s going on at home. You can even work the app as part of their chores, like keeping an eye on the pets.

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Be On The Lookout For Fraudulent Auto Warranties

Purchasing an auto warranty is a risk if you don’t know the rules and regulations of the warranty. It is wise for vehicle owners to think about hiring a professional car consultant who can help them through the sometimes-tricky process of buying an auto warranty. Buying an auto warranty without assistance poses a greater risk of purchasing a fraudulent warranty.

A fraudulent auto warranty is generally a warranty that offers a great variety of features and prices so well that it just too good to actually be true. However, the seller that is claiming that they provide this auto warranty won’t actually provide all of the services they are offering to the consumer. In the used car market, fraudulent warranties are common. This makes it important for consumers who are looking to buy used car warranties to be careful throughout the purchasing process.

Due to the circulation of fraudulent auto warranties, the US administration made a law that protects consumers that is called the used car warranty law. This law is also well known as the lemon law.

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What Home Insurance Companies Don’t Tell You

Home insurance companies don’t always tell you everything you need to know. If this means that as you look for home insurance in Oklahoma City, OK, you need to do your due diligence. It will allow you to get the insurance policy that will give you peace of mind throughout the year.

Basic Policies Don’t Include Everything

Every home insurance policy will cover protection to the home, your belongings, and liability. However, a basic policy may not cover the full extent of your belongings, such as if you have expensive artwork or art collector of something. At CseZone Home Insurance, our insurance agents will take the time to learn more about you and your home in order to build a more customized policy so that it does include everything needed to provide financial protection.

Not All Claims are Accepted

When you file a claim with the insurance company, is not automatically accepted. Often, research will be done in order to determine whether everything happened the way you said it happens or it additionally if you don’t have the coverage within your policy, you would be financially responsible for everything.

Deductibles Vary

Just as with every other type of insurance, you will have to pay a deductible before the insurance company pays anything. Deductibles can vary from policy to policy. This is why it’s important to know what yours is so that if you need to file a claim, you know how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket.

There are plenty of things you should ask when you are seeking home insurance in Oklahoma City, OK. The more you know, the easier it will be to develop a better home insurance policy. If insurance companies aren’t disclosing everything, it is within your right to ask questions and learn more about what is being offered to you. Contact Us today to learn more about home insurance policies.

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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.

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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.

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Residential Security Made Easy

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

Planned blog posts span six core topics:

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

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

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

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Love and Mortgage: Should Newlyweds Buy or Rent a Home?

Somewhere in your mind, you might have an idealized image of a newly married couple triumphantly sweeping into a dream home with the wife in the husband’s arms. As corny as the tradition might seem, you can also see it as a powerful symbol — two people making their first entrance into the home they now share as owners.

Should you and your new spouse follow that example, or do you have reservations about adding a mortgage to the mix? Consider some of the pros and cons of renting vs. buying as newlyweds, and then take your time in deciding whether home ownership is another threshold you want to cross together.

Your Solution Depends On Your Situation

You’ve probably made dozens of decisions together on your way to the altar, making the call on everything from the registry to the diplomatically arranged seating chart at the reception. And now’s not the time to give in to judgment fatigue.

Take some time to evaluate the respective merits. You may find that personal finances, career aspirations and even the value you place on independence vs. convenience could influence your decision of whether to rent or buy.

The Case for Renting

Some of the reasons that could make renting a home preferable to buying include:

Lower Start-Up Costs — Moving into an apartment typically means paying some moderate expenses, such as first and last month’s rent, specified deposits and the like. Buying a home typically means spending several thousand dollars on a down payment, closing costs, agent’s commission, attorney’s fees and more. If you still haven’t figured out how to pay off the honeymoon, the initial investment could loom large in your decision-making.

More Mobility — The U.S. Census Bureau reports that after age 18, the typical American can expect to move nine times. If you happen to get a new job in a different state, you’ll have a much easier time (relatively speaking) breaking a lease than you would be selling a house.

Repairs Aren’t Your Responsibility — If the toilet springs a leak at 3 a.m., a renter can call the landlord to get it fixed. For homeowners, the burden of arranging and paying for repairs, and possibly filing an insurance claim, falls entirely on them. When it comes to upkeep, a conscientious landlord can be a real convenience.

The Case For Buying

Factors such as these could tip the scales in favor of homeownership:

It’s Usually More Economical — For couples who plan to stay in the same area for several years, buying a house is generally considered the more affordable choice. The expert consensus favors ownership as a much better source of value than renting in just about every U.S. housing market. Also, you can help protect your investment with a home insurance policy that may provide coverage for weather damage, break-ins, and other hazards.

Ownership Builds More Wealth — One aspect of the pro-buying argument revolves around the central idea of wealth accumulation: Homeowners nurture an investment in something that will one day belong to them, rather than simply renting space from month-to-month or year-to-year. Even if you move to a new house before you pay off the mortgage, you still have the equity you’ve built up in your current home.

A Sunnier Market Outlook — Although memories of the housing bubble bust still linger, many indicators point to a stabilized recovery. New regulations have helped curtail risky lending practices, home prices have reached realistic levels and the economy has rebounded. With mortgage rates at historic lows, 2016 could be an advantageous time to become homeowners.

Whichever Way You Go, Go Thoughtfully

The decision to buy or rent as newlyweds depend on immediate realities and long-term possibilities. Do you have plenty of money on hand? Do you have job security? When might you start a family?

You’ll need to consider all these factors, and more, as you figure out whether crossing the threshold right away is a realistic option or just a romantic notion.

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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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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.

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.

About CompareHomeWarrantyQuotes.com

CompareHomeWarrantyQuotes.com 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.

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