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Classic, collectible or antique cars are not ordinary, everyday cars. This means that general auto insurance cannot fully protect this type of vehicle against damage or loss. There is not a book definition of a classic car. If a car’s value exceeds its original selling price, then it might be considered collectible and a candidate for specialized classic car insurance. In general, vehicles that might warrant classic car auto insurance include:

  • Antique and classic cars, usually at least 25 to 30 years old
  • Hotrods and modified vehicles
  • Exotic and luxury autos
  • Muscle cars
  • Classic trucks

How To Qualify for Coverage

The age of a car is usually not enough to qualify for specialized classic car insurance. Requirements will differ from company to company. Below is a list of requirements that most cars must meet in order to qualify for classic car insurance:

  • Limited use – The classic car in question cannot be used for everyday commuting or errands. It is possible that the policy will include mileage limitations and proof that the classic car is being properly garaged. In this case, your insurance may require you to own a personal vehicle.
  • Secure storage – When your classic car is not in use, it must be stored in a locked and enclosed private structure. This could be a residential garage or storage unit. 
  • A clean driving record – If you have serious offenses on your driving record, such as reckless driving, repeat speeding violations, or driving while intoxicated, you may not be qualified for class car insurance. 

Classic Car General Policies

Classic car policies include provisions that are found in standard auto insurance policies. Typically, these provisions are property damage and bodily injury liability coverage. There are some differences as listed below:

  • The car’s value – There is not a set “book value” for specific makes and models because every car’s condition is unique. Your initial step for your classic car coverage is to work with your insurance provider to agree on the value of the vehicle. This agreed value will be specified in your policy and your car will be covered up to that value without depreciation. 
  • Specialized repair or restoration – With classic car coverage, you should be given the flexibility to bring your classic car to a specialist—even if the rates are twice or three times the cost of a typical car repair at a traditional auto body shop.
  • Special towing and spare parts – Coverage for towing and spare parts coverage need to be aligned with the cost of the service provided. Towing with the special demands of transporting a classic car. Spare parts need to be aligned with the cost of replacing valuable and perhaps hard-to-find vehicle components, such as wheels, transmissions, and engine parts.

Keep your prized automobile well protected. Speak to your agent today about adding specialized classic car insurance.

It’s no contest that your home is considered your most valuable possession. This is also one of the most vulnerable items in your possession. From weather accidents to flooding to property mishaps, damage can be easily done. It’s not just the outside of your home that will sustain the damage; your possessions inside will also require unique coverage. Valuable items insurance was created to help protect your possessions inside your home when problems arise. 

What Does It Mean To Have Insurance On Your Valuable Items?

When it comes to insurance most home, condo, and renters’ policies automatically cover most of your personal property anywhere in the world. This coverage typically includes items like furniture, clothing, and appliances. When it comes to items that are considered high value, there are some restrictions if the items have come into unfortunate circumstances (such as theft or item loss). Valuable items are considered to be items like jewelry, furs, silverware, or firearms. The basic policy will usually only cover upwards to $1,500 theft coverage for jewelry, watches or furs, $2,500 for theft of firearms, and $2,500 for theft of silverware. As a tip: there is no need to specifically list items that are covered. As the owner, you will only need to provide documentation of ownership to make a claim for the lost, stolen, or damaged item.

Is Valuable Items Insurance Right for You?

Do you think that the items in your possession are worth more than the limits of your homeowner’s insurance policies? If so, it may be a good time to invest in valuable items insurance. When the damage has already been done, it’s too late to purchase coverage. 

What if you own a piece of jewelry that may be worth almost $10,000? If this piece is stolen, your personal property insurance may only cover fifteen hundred dollars to replace the stolen piece. If this is the case, you would be at a personal loss of $8,500! Let’s say that you have several items that are of lesser value (gold necklaces or bracelets). This insurance policy would be worth investing in. It may appear as though you have plenty of coverage, but for valuable items, you need an extra layer of protection. No matter if the valuable items are jewelry or a nice set of silverware, you’ll want to take extra precaution to ensure that you have coverage for these items if something were to happen in the future. Valuable items insurance can provide you that protection – and some valuable peace of mind, too. 

Our pets are more than companion animals – they’re our family members. They live in our homes, sleep in our beds, and some people celebrate a pet’s, and even involve them in wedding ceremonies. Pets have become irreplaceable and hold such a huge value for the modern family. So when they get sick, we will do anything to make sure they are properly cared for. Here is where the big questions come in: is pet insurance worth it? What are the major benefits of having pet insurance? 

Did you know that many pet owners don’t register for insured pet policies? As we will discuss below, pet insurance is just as necessary as any other insurance we normally get. In view of this, here are a few reasons why getting pet insurance is a wise choice:

1. Peace of Mind

Having pet insurance can give you and your family peace of mind with the reassurance that your pet will be taken care of in the case of any unfortunate event that they may encounter. This allows you to choose the best medical treatment available so you will not have to worry about your pet’s health.

 

 

2. Saving Money

With pet insurance, you can refrain from using an emergency fund or travel savings when an issue with your pet arises. This can help you save thousands of dollars on unexpected times when your pet gets sick, get an injury, or needs surgery. Did you know that pet insurance can cover various injuries such as cancer, digestive issues, and diabetes?

3. A Rise in Veterinary Costs

The average veterinary bill can cost around $500 to $3000 depending on the pet’s reason for the visit. While veterinarians claim the inflation is caused by the development of drugs and medical technologies, many pet owners are not able to afford costs like these. Unfortunately, due to the expenses of veterinary visits, many pets die of sickness or not having proper medical care. Having pet insurance will give you financial solutions from pricey veterinary bills to allow you to take good care of your furry family member. 

 

 

 

 

4. Potential to Cover Pet’s Hereditary Condition

Many pets suffer from serious health problems and congenital conditions during their lifetime. Some of these conditions are inherited or caused by severe inbreeding. Experts have recommended getting pet insurance as quickly as possible if you wish to protect your family pet. Many pet insurance providers will include age limits or restrictions that may require you to pay an extra fee.

 

 

5. Flexible Policy Packages

An upside to investing in pet insurance is the option of flexible packages that fit your needs with your budget. You could choose to get an annual maximum package, deductible, or reimbursement percentage for services such as veterinary exams, surgeries, therapies, breed-specific conditions, and general pet care.

Living in a world with constant hustle and bustle can lead to accidents or illnesses occurring at the most inconvenient times. This could cause you to need to visit the hospital. You may be thinking, “If I have insurance through my employer, I don’t need any additional services.” But what if we told you that wasn’t necessarily true? What would you do if there was an emergency that you needed to go to the hospital? Your insurance received from your employer is not guaranteed to cover you when you go into the hospital. This is why Hospital Expense insurance was created. Hospital Expense insurance is there to protect you and your family from expensive out-of-pocket costs of hospital stays. 

The Drastic Rise in Hospital Costs

As we mentioned earlier, the world is full of hustle, bustle, and illnesses as we maneuver throughout our daily lives. It’s important, now more than ever, to prepare for the future. Protecting you and your family’s health has been pushed to the forefront. Here are some numbers of recent studies:

In 2018, the average annual premium for family coverage rose 5% to $19,616. For single coverage, premiums rose 3% to $6,896. Covered workers contributed 29% of the premiums for family coverage and 18% for single coverage. This means, on average, average workers will spend $5,688.64 for their family insurance premiums this year, and their employer will contribute the remaining $13,927.36. As shared above, the IRS defines an HDHP as any plan with a deductible of at least $1,350 for an individual or $2,700 for a family. But these are just base numbers. The average deductible for silver plans in the Affordable Care Act exchange this year is almost $4,000. And in the fast-food industry, many employers are only offering plans with the maximum out-of-pocket allowed. Currently, that’s a $7,150 deductible for an individual and double that for a family. The average amount of workers paid toward their deductibles rose 229% between 2005 and 2015, yet wages rose just 31% during the same period.

Are You Able to Cover the Cost on Your Own?

Everyone knows that hospital visits are expensive. When it comes to medical bankruptcy, hospital bills are the largest out-of-pocket expense people face. To truly see how expensive hospital visits are, look at the statistics below:

  • Common ER procedures can cost as much as $17,797
  • The average hospital stay costs over $10,700
  • Fixing a broken leg can cost up to $7,500
  • The average cost of a hospital stay for a heart attack is $20,086

Not to mention that for those with private health insurance, the out of pocket cost for a hospital stay is more than $1,000. According to a recent report by Bankrate, just 39% of Americans can cover an unexpected $1,000 bill with funds from their savings. When you put into consideration deductibles, copays, premiums, surprise bills, and everyday living expenses, $1,000 is a conservative amount but for the average American family, it’s still a very large sum. 

When shopping around for general health insurance, you’ve probably come across the term supplemental health insurance. Most will go with the overall health coverage and be done with the search, but what if something happens that isn’t covered by your overall care? That’s why supplemental health care options are created and offered – to cover any holes left by a health insurance plan. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some different types of supplemental health insurance coverage and how they can help protect you.

Dental Insurance 

Many people wish to prevent lasting damage to their teeth and gums that are essential to your long-term health. Some general health insurance plans will include dental coverage, but because dental insurance is not one of the required benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the majority of plans will not include dental. When it comes to children, dental coverage is considered a required benefit and comes standard with all ACA-approved plans. Dental insurance works the same as health insurance with monthly premiums, copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

Vision Insurance 

Under the normal health insurance terms, preventive care for your eyes, and prescription eyewear are not covered. Benefits like these, even laser eye surgery, can be acquired through vision insurance. Most vision insurance plans provide services at discounted rates in exchange for a monthly premium. 

Hospital Insurance 

This kind of insurance is also known as a “Hospital Indemnity Plan” and it provides coverage for hospital stays. The national average for an inpatient, single day hospital stay is more than $2,000, so hospital insurance can prove to be a worthy investment.

Accident Insurance 

Accident insurance is enacted to pay lump-sum cash benefits if you are injured in an accident. This supplemental insurance type can help to pay medical costs and living expenses while you are healing. The types of expenses that are covered often will include surgery, emergency treatments, hospital confinement, and physical therapy.

Critical Insurance 

Also known as “Critical Care Insurance,” this type of insurance provides coverage for illnesses like cancer, major organ transplants, stroke, heart attacks, kidney failure, and more. A few types of critical illness insurance plans are very specific to one particular type of illness or disease. If one is diagnosed, they may receive cash benefits paid per procedure or per round of treatment done. Typically, there will be a minimum daily benefit and a policy maximum.

Disability Insurance 

When you are sick or injured, health insurance will help out to cover the current medical bills coming your way. Disability insurance will help to retain some of your income if you become too sick or injured to continue working. Depending on the disability plan, some may pay out benefits only for an illness, while others pay for illness and injuries. 

With Summer officially starting, many people are beginning to hit the water. Are you looking to purchase a powerboat or a sailboat to use this summer? If you are, there is a good chance that you are looking into boat insurance as well. Did you know that only two states, Arkansas and Utah, legally require some type of boat insurance coverage? Make sure that you verify your state’s regulations on boating and boating insurance before committing fully to purchasing a boat for the summer months. 

What Does Boating Insurance Cover?

Below is a list of common boat insurance coverages:

  • Property Damage Liability – covers the cost of damages to someone else’s property after an accident that is caused by you. In most cases, your property damage will pay out when you are at fault for an accident that causes damage to someone else’s boat or Personal Watercraft (PWC).
  • Collision Damage – when your boat or PWC becomes damaged in an accident, collision insurance is an optional coverage that will pay for the cost of repairing or replacing your property minus the deductible amount.
  • Bodily Injury Liability – this is the part of your insurance policy that pays for the costs associated with injuries to other people involved if you are found legally responsible for a boating accident.
  • Hull Coverage – covers any physical damages that occur to your boat and generally includes trailers, equipment, motors and accessories. Common claims for this coverage include fire and windstorm damages.
  • Fuel Spill Liability – a policy that separates out fuel spill liability and provides coverage for any fines that may occur from an accident involving a fuel spill from your property. 

How Much Boat Insurance Do I Need?

The answer to this question may come down to your individual tolerance for risk. As mentioned earlier, some states do have a minimum requirement for liability insurance coverage. It’s always important to check with your state government to verify if you are required to meet a coverage threshold. The amount of boat insurance you may need can depend on a number of factors such as the boat’s value, motor size, and age. Like other vehicles, high performance boats will likely command a higher level of coverage to compensate for the amount of potential damage they are able to inflict.

Ultimately, your independent insurance agent is your best resource when it comes to determining the level of boat insurance you need to safeguard your summer fun.

If you are planning to move out on your own for the first time or maybe you are renting a room, chances are you’re going to need to invest in renter’s insurance. Only a staggering 41% of renters actually have renter’s insurance. Some building managers require tenants to get renters insurance, but many don’t. Just because no one is requiring you to buy it doesn’t mean you should write it off.

What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?

Renter’s insurance will generally offer two or more types of coverage: personal property protection, liability protection, increased living expenses and guest medical protection. Personal property will protect your belongings in case there is a covered loss, and liability protection can help protect you financially if someone is injured in your home and they file a lawsuit. In the case of increased living expenses, this policy helps cover the cost of staying someplace else after a covered loss renders your home uninhabitable. Guest medical protection is a coverage option that can help pay for medical expenses for someone who was injured at your home.  

What Doesn’t It Cover?

We’ve gone over what renter’s insurance covers, but what doesn’t it cover? The answer could vary based on different circumstances, but we will stick to the basics. Typically, renter’s insurance will not cover damage done by flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, sinkholes, pests, or terrorism. When taking inventory of your personal items, it is important to check with your policy to see if a higher-ticket item will be covered in the event of a loss. If not, you may want to raise your coverage limits. Another important note to keep in mind is that if you have roommates, they will not be covered by your policy unless they are directly added onto the policy.

What If I Don’t Own Much?

In the end, you may think that your belongings aren’t worth much, but when it comes down to replacing the electronics, clothing, furniture, and even appliances, the price tag will grow very quickly. If you had a small house fire, this could still lead to thousands of dollars in repairs and replacement if it is needed. As we mentioned earlier, renter’s insurance is there to help protect you in case of the unexpected. You may believe disaster could never strike, but truly you cannot know. 

How Much Does Renter’s Insurance Cost?

As with most things, the insurance rate depends on a few factors and may be different based on those circumstances. These circumstances can be based on where you live, the type of policy you are looking to buy, and the value of the property you are insuring. In general, a basic renters insurance policy can cost between $10 and $20 a month, or $120 to $240 a year. Reach out to your agent today to get a renters insurance quote and start protecting your belongings.

May is known as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Did you know that motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to crashes than other drivers? According to NHTSA, there were 5,172 motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes – a decrease of 3 percent from the 5,337 motorcyclists killed in 2016. Motorcycle safety is becoming a growing concern. Of the 5,172 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes, 94 percent (4,885) were riders and 6 percent (287) were passengers, says NHTSA.

Motorcyclists – How To Stay Safe

NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 749 lives could have been saved. An important note is to never buy a used helmet. A used helmet could have issues that are not noticeable on the surface and this could lead to a higher risk while operating a motorcycle. Helmets should not be worn after they have been through a crash. Here are some additional tips to help keep you safe on the road:

  • Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
  • Remember to position your motorcycle to avoid a driver’s blind spot.
  • Use turn signals for every turn or lane change.
  • Following the speed limits on the road can help lessen the likelihood of a crash occurring.
  • Do not weave in and out of lanes.

Drivers – How To Be Aware of Motorcyclists

It’s not only up to motorcyclists to be safe and aware while driving on the road. Other drivers need to be aware and cautious when driving on the same road as a motorcyclist. Taking precautions while on the road can help protect yourself and those on motorcycles from being involved in an accident. Here are a few helpful tips to help keep you and others safe:

  • Allow a greater following distance when you are driving behind a motorcyclist. 
  • Exercise extra caution at intersections. Most crashes occur when a driver fails to see a motorcyclist while turning.
  • Do not try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Give motorcyclists the full lane width.
  • Always be aware of your blind spots. Motorcyclists tend to be in the blind spots of a vehicle. 

If you would like to learn more about how you can help keep yourself and motorcyclists safe on the road, visit NHTSA. They have more tips and information on motorcycle safety while you are on the road.

Ray Silverstein, president of small business advisory group President’s Resource Organization, has said that there are specific benefits that good employees expect out of a job. Entrepreneur published his perspective that while medical insurance is at the top of that list of expectations, business owners should also be intentional about offering employees retirement plans, disability insurance, and life insurance as well. The reality is, only some benefit packages are required by law. These include withholding FICA taxes for the sake of retirement and disability; complying with FMLA; aligning with worker’s compensation requirements; and giving your employees time off for jury duty, military duties, or voting. However, it’s important to see why a great benefits package–including less traditional benefits like flex time–is key to showing your employees they have value. Here’s why.

Employee attainment and retention. 

Randstand US Research has noted that 61 percent of employees would consider accepting a lower salary if the company making the offer had a great benefits package. Forty-two percent of employees would actually consider quitting their current job and accepting a new one elsewhere because they are unhappy with current benefits. An attractive benefits package is basically viewed as a part of a salary offer and can, at times, make up for an annual wage that could be topped elsewhere.

Focus and attention. 

Employees who aren’t worried about finances are employees whose minds won’t wander as much at work. When it comes to long-term financial planning, the difference between feeling focused and committed to the job you have (instead of daydreaming for what position you should pursue next) can be rooted in a healthy 401(k) match, life insurance, or college debt assistance.

Loyalty. 

You want loyalty not just from your customers but also from your employees. Employees who feel seen and understood seem to know that their employer recognizes the number of hours they are putting in, not just in the office but on the telephone at home and during what was supposed to be a lunch break as well. At times, this recognition looks like the benefit of flex time. This may mean permission to head home early on a Friday, or permission to work some days remotely from home. Flex time also recognizes the pull of family circumstances on full time employees. 74 percent of employees say they have missed work due to a family circumstance. Employers who offer benefits communicate that they understand employees are also parents, children of aging parents, and simply “doing life” with people they love who have unexpected needs. 

Overall general health. 

Employees who have a strong health insurance package are more likely to see a physician when health issues arise. Instead of avoiding astronomical bills and giving a potentially treatable problem a chance to snowball, employees with health care plans, co-pays, and reasonable deductibles are less likely to put off important procedures and more likely to seek care when needed. This is where dental and vision insurance also steps in. If the numbers are doable for you as a business owner, you want to communicate to your employees that you fully value their physical and mental well-being.

April has been Financial Literacy Month since 2004, when the Senate passed a resolution aimed at helping the public see just how important it was to pursue financial education. A person who is financially “literate” knows how to budget, knows how to invest, and knows how to manage long-term finances. In general, you can consider yourself financially literate if…

…you know how to take care of your debt.

US News & World Report suggests that the wisest strategy for paying off what you owe is to start with your largest debt and pay more than you owe each month. If you receive a bonus at work, put it toward your debt. Stop using credit cards, and remove your auto-saved credit card data from the places you shop online. Dave Ramsey offers another approach. The national household debt in the United States, he says, totals $13.54 trillion. This includes car loans, student loans, and credit cards. Your personal debt, says Ramsey, should never be handled with debt consolidation, dipping into your 401k, home equity loans, or debt settlement. What will work is setting a monthly budget and deciding how every dollar will be spent. He suggests the snowball effect, which means you ignore interest rates and make the minimum payment on every debt except the smallest. Tackle the smallest debt with every extra penny you can spare. When that debt is paid off, move all that monthly spending onto your next smallest debt. 

…you understand interest rates.

Interest is basically the cost of borrowing someone else’s money or the bonus you get for loaning your money to someone else. If you’re the one borrowing, it means what you owe is going up slowly over time. The lender charges a specific percentage–per year, per month (it depends on the loan)–and it adds up when calculating just how much you are going to pay back in the long-term. You want to keep this in mind when deciding just how quickly to pay the loan off. If you buy a house for $200,000 (with a $20,000 downpayment), and your interest rate is at 4.1 percent, interest will make a difference in your total cost should you take 15 years to pay it off or 30 years. If you can pay it back in 15 years, the total cost of your home, including interest, will end up $261,286. If you take 30 years instead, the added interest will raise the final amount you spent on your home to $333,114. That’s more than $70,000 extra spent simply because you took more time to pay it back.

…you protect your assets.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll want an insurance agent on your side to make sure you obtain appropriate business insurance, to make sure your personal assets aren’t at risk of being claimed by your creditors, and to obtain an umbrella policy. If you’re a renter or a homeowner, you need insurance that will step in and protect you financially should your property experience damage or destruction. If you’re a business owner, you may want coverage for work-related vehicle accidents in case an employee has an accident while on the clock, harming someone else or someone else’s property. You also want to learn about planning for how you would pay for being cared for in the event of an injury, or even the effects of aging. Long-term care insurance, for example, can protect your financial assets if you unexpectedly suffer a stroke or begin experiencing symptoms of dementia and you suddenly need to pay for care at a nursing home. 

…you know how much money you actually have.

In an age where we can swipe a credit card and debit card for any purchase, some individually truly do not know how much money they have from one moment to the next. While you don’t necessarily need to switch back to a checkbook with a spending deduction log in the back, you do need a plan for checking in on your spending in real time. This includes budgeting, regularly logging into online banking to check your balances, and knowing whether your credit card bills can actually be covered within your budget at the end of the month. Financial literacy also means knowing what a reliable cushion of cash looks like so you never creep towards that $0 balance in checking, which puts you at risk of additional fees and penalties.