It is a fact that the country is yet to face another economic recession. Thus, it is expected also that in the coming months the financial security of America will become unstable. Because of this, many Americans are thinking of ways to protect themselves from facing the harsh effect of the economic instability. Other than that, they take all the safety measures to ensure the safety of their financial state by investing in insurance. With the belief that insurance will be the best defensive strategy to secure their financial stability, most of the Americans invest their hard earned money in car insurance.
In signing the insurance policy, these Americans have transferred the risk of some financial losses that they might encounter to the insurance company, and in return, they pay the regular monthly payment, in which the number of years depends on the premium that they choose.
Cars are among the most expensive investments that an individual could venture into. Although they are dead investments, still most of the people insured their cars in order to protect them from financial and civil damages.
Buying insurance for your car will be beneficial for you. For instance, you get involved in a road accident which is not your fault, who would cover for damages to you, your car and the third party? Of course, it is your insurance company that will settle all the financial damages that are incurred during the road mishap including legal matters if the third party will sue you. Indeed, car insurance can help you a lot especially during these trying times.
On the other hand, when you plan to buy an insurance policy for your automobiles, you should take into consideration factors like auto insurance quotes and the stability of the insurance company.
Obtaining the best auto insurance quote necessitates you to do some advanced research for insurance quotes online. Doing so will allow you to gather many insurance quotes and make a comparison of each quote so that you can find the best deal for you. However, before you can get the best deal for you, you need to determine what you want covered in your car insurance in order that each quote includes similar coverage; hence, allowing you to make a fair auto insurance quote comparison.
Stability of the Insurance Company
Another important factor that you need to consider is the stability of the insurance company. Do not forget that vehicle insurance companies are business. Hence, the possibility of being affected by the economic meltdown which can lead to bankruptcy is inevitable. Find those insurance companies whose reputation is proven by the number of years of their service to the people and the company’s ratings.
Putting these factors in consideration before you make the final decision on getting car insurance will help you find the best deals on car insurance.
Death is a difficult time and most people tend to shy away from its potential financial consequences until it becomes too late. Typically people shy away from dealing with estate planning issues as long as they can. Unfortunately, when the time comes, survivors have to make critical financial and legal decisions for which they may not be prepared. Moreover, for a survivor grieving the death of a loved one, the pressures of making haste decisions can be emotionally overwhelming. However, there are steps you can take today to prepare yourself for the death of a loved one.
When someone you love dies, there is a lot of confusion about what happens next for you. Below you will find financial planning considerations that you can prepare for in advance that may help you make important financial decisions when the time comes of a loved one’s death, such as concerns over honoring your spouse’s wishes and caring for yourself and your family.
Settle your spouse’s estate
Dealing with an estate transfer and settlement can be a very complicated process and potentially can drag on for an extended period of time such as a year or more. The estate settlement process includes decisions about the distribution of your spouse’s assets and how to handle liabilities such as those that come about from estate taxes. If you are named the executor of your spouse’s estate in your spouse’s will, you will be responsible for making all the financial and legal decisions related to the estate.
Before you make any decisions, the first step is to obtain a copy of your spouse’s will and death certificate. Generally, you will be able to get a copy of the will from your estate attorney that created the document since they usually retain copies. Also, you can get copies of your spouse’s death certificate through your state’s vital statistics office.
Your spouse’s death certificate is important to gain access to bank account information, transfer ownership of securities such as stocks, bonds, and the like, apply for Social Security benefits, and to collect life insurance proceeds and other benefits.
Expenses related to your estate such as outstanding loans, leases, or taxes lower the total value of your estate. Consider having a separate bank account to handle and monitor all of the incurred estate expenses. Make sure to monitor where the money is going and keep accurate records.
Paying off debt
As the executor for the estate, you are required to settle any outstanding debts that are solely in your spouse’s name such as credit card balances and other debt. You can contact any of the credit bureaus to get copies of your spouse’s outstanding debts. You should also provide the credit bureaus a copy of your spouse’s death certificate so that they remove his name from their files. Also, notify all the creditors of your spouse’s death to close all credit cards listed solely under your spouse’s name and transfer any jointly help cards to your name only.
Every state has a probate process and as the executor you play a critical role in the distribution and sale of estate valuables and properties according to the will and your spouse’s wishes. If the will is lacking certain information, the executor would take the responsibility in distributing the decedent’s property at his/her discretion.
With predictions of a second global financial crisis making headlines, the number of people seeking income protection insurance in case of unemployment has risen considerably. Credit rating agencies are forewarning about a bigger financial crisis which is expected to have a harder and deeper impact than the previous one especially on Asia and Australia. As a result, the fear of losing their regular income is haunting both workers and businessmen.
Income Protection Insurance: Features And Benefits
Income protection insurance comes to the aid of workers who are unable to earn their regular income due to illness, accidents or injuries. In general, people depend on their income to meet regular financial needs except for the rich upper class. The sudden loss of regular income can lead to a financial crisis, with devastating effects on their lifestyle.
Income protection insurance covers up to seventy five percent of income, in case a person is incapable of earning regular wages. To claim the benefits, the policy holders will have to prove that they are incapacitated and unable to perform an occupation that is suited to their educational and training level. The benefit is paid after a deferred period, the time between the claim and actual commencement of payment.
Income protection insurance typically covers:
* Mortgage payment
* Credit card payment
* Payment of bills
* Day to day living expenses
* Medical and rehabilitation costs
* Maintenance costs for businesses
The insurance companies tailor the policies to meet the specific risk profiles based on the occupation. Income protection policies are able to meet the specific needs of white collar workers, blue collar workers and self employed people.
How Income Protection Insurance Can Help during Global Financial Crisis:
Generally income protection insurance does not cover unemployment due to redundancy but income protection policies are flexible and can be customized to meet the current crisis situation and needs.
With the predictions of a second global financial crisis, the threat of unemployment is looming large which has led to surge in inquiries about income protection in case of unemployment due to redundancy. To meet the crisis, insurance companies have come up with policies to meet the specific need of the current financial situation. On an average, a policy holder pays approximately two percent of their annual income as premium for the policy. For a higher premium, a worker can get income protection which will cover involuntary unemployment, lying to rest the looming fear of loss of income due to recession.
How To Choose The Perfect Policy
With wide array of policies available for different types of income protection, the task of choosing the right policy is tough. Every policy will have different terms and conditions for the claims, which if overlooked can lead to loss of requisite coverage. The premium charged for this kind of insurance will depend on several factors like:
* Pre-existing health conditions
* Addictive habits
* Deferred period
* Benefit period
* Additional features of the policy
It is sensible to visit a reliable website which provides information on income protection coverage available, premium rates and deferred period of the policies. The online calculators available on the websites can help you find the best suited policy for a specific income type, based on the information you provide. Insurance companies also provide free insurance quotes to help customers make the right choice.
It is sensible to protect yourself from the upheavals caused by the global financial crisis with comprehensive income protection insurance which is tailored to suit the specific income group and current financial situation.
Financial planning is not limited to asset allocation, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments – planning should include every aspect of your life.
Should you apply for that credit card? What type of car insurance should you buy? Should we save for our child’s college or put money in our IRA’s instead? These and many more questions are all part of financial planning.
The Larry Rule – A Little Known Financial Planning Fact
Larry Lindsey is not a famous name, even in financial circles. Currently, Mr. Lindsey is the chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration. In 1996, he was a Federal Reserve Board Governor – and he was denied for a Toys ‘R Us credit card!
To apply or not to apply, that is the planning question. Larry Lindsey, who had excellent credit and a high-income level, set out to demonstrate a flaw in credit scoring algorithms.
He simply applied for every retail store credit card he was offered, and in no time he had “too many inquiries.” Never mind the fact that he had millions in assets and nary a late payment in his 30-year credit history.
Knowing the Larry Rule is key to your financial planning. If you apply for retail store credit cards every time you are asked to do so, it will have negative effects on your credit.
You may then be asked to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage or home equity loan, which could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Sacrificing $10,000 for a 10 percent discount at Fashion Bug is not smart planning!
Auto Insurance and Financial Planning
Most people think of insurance as a legal necessity, but in reality, it is a financial product, and that’s important to keep in mind. Don’t ever buy insurance just because it’s legally required or in order to give yourself peace of mind. Insurance must serve a financial planning purpose!
You need to have a planning strategy in mind when you purchase auto insurance. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to pay more in premiums than you take out in claims – thus, they profit.
Your goal should to pay as little in premiums as possible in order to be adequately covered. You don’t want to have to use your auto insurance, but at the same time, you don’t want to be subsidizing the bad drivers who take out more in claims than they pay in.
In order to develop a financial planning strategy for auto insurance, it’s important that you become as educated as possible on the subject. Luckily, there are dozens of great sites on the internet that provide free information on the various types of auto insurance plans, and the particular laws of your state.
Everyone has to own some form of auto insurance, and thus it should be the cornerstone of any intelligent planning strategy.
The Financial Planning Dilemma – College vs. Retirement
American parents love their children and will do almost anything to ensure they have every possible advantage. As a result, many parents save for their children’s college instead of saving for their own retirement. This act of selflessness is usually not a good planning strategy.
In order to avoid this mistake, one must have a decent understanding of financial planning tax implications. Most college savings accounts are taxed on some level, whereas financial planning products for retirement purposes generally are not. What’s more, saving for your child’s college can prevent him or her from receiving the maximum financial aid available.
In other words, by foregoing your retirement in favor of your child’s college, you are actually subsidizing the children of less responsible parents – or smarter parents who chose to save for their own retirement, in light of these facts.
College savings plans normally make financial planning sense only for parents with such high incomes that their children would not qualify for financial aid.
There are several good reasons why it is important to review your life insurance coverage periodically. For one thing, when you took out a policy your financial situation was different from what it is today. You may have got married, had additions to your family, got a new job or risen in rank and position at your place of work. Assessing your current financial position will help you adjust your life insurance coverage so that your death benefits will adequately cover your family’s financial needs and keep them well-protected even after you have gone.
Why should you consider increasing your life insurance coverage? Here are a few reasons to review your life insurance coverage:
Marriage. Many people choose to take out a life insurance policy when they are single. This works out to your advantage as the younger you are, the better chances you have of getting premium rates. When you get married, you should consider increasing your life insurance coverage to make sure your surviving spouse is protected against financial loss in case you die an untimely death.
Starting out your life together, you and your spouse may want to consider purchasing a house or beginning a family. You should increase your death benefit to cover the loss of your income, any outstanding debts you may have such a mortgage, and future expenses such as retirement. This may amount to paying a higher premium, but it will ensure that your spouse will not be left in dire financial straits trying to pay off loans and struggling to make ends meet.
Children. The first time you should consider increasing your life insurance coverage is when you get married and the next time you should consider an increase is when you have children. Having a child means a lot more joy in the home, but also a lot of added expenses. You should consider your child’s education fees and college tuition in your death benefit. This amount can be kept as an endowment for your child. With each additional child you have, remember to review your life insurance coverage and make the necessary increase. Your death benefit should include your salary for a number of years, the cost of day care along with education fees and other household expenses you incur within a year. If you cannot increase your coverage to include all of these expenses, you should try to increase the coverage as much as your budget permits.
Getting a hike in salary! A raise in salary should be followed by an increase in life insurance coverage. Why? When your salary gets hiked, you automatically begin enjoying a higher quality of life. Your death benefits should be increased to cover the higher lifestyle that your family will get used to.
Calculating your life insurance coverage
You’ll find online life insurance needs calculator an easy way to arrive at how much life insurance coverage you need. You will need to estimate costs of various categories of expenses. The categories are added up to give you the total amount of life insurance coverage your family will need. Subtract the amount of life insurance you already have. The balance left will give you the amount you need to purchase.
How can you bump up your existing coverage? Ask the life insurance company or the agent who sold you the policy to find out how you can add more life insurance coverage to your existing policy. But remember you do not need to add to your current policy. You could purchase a new policy from a different life insurance carrier. Many people have multiple life insurance policies through different carriers. You would need to mention the various life insurance policies you already own when applying for a new one.
Whether you add to your current coverage or purchase a new life insurance policy to your portfolio, you will need to go through an underwriting process. You may be required to go through a medical and disclose personal information regarding your finances, occupation, etc.
Getting low cost life insurance!
Remember, too, to shop around and buy life insurance online. This is the most convenient and quickest way to get low cost life insurance! Most people don’t realize that life insurance is a competitive business. Rates may differ from carrier to carrier. Some life insurance companies may also offer free riders that could save you money in the future. For instance, if you have a waiver option, your policy will not lapse if you miss a payment. Always shop around for the best bargains and purchase your policy from life insurance companies who have excellent financial strength and ratings to prove it.
Online insurance providers allow you access to instant life insurance quotes. You’ll get the best life insurance quotes from carriers who have an excellent reputation for payouts. Receiving multiple quotes allows you to compare life insurance rates and products. Many of these online life insurance providers also offer their professional services. They can answer any questions you may have about life insurance, identify important issues and present meaningful recommendations to you
Deciding on how much life insurance you need to take out and the type of policy that you need is hard enough as it is, after all you are facing the fact that this would be paid out should you die. Recently the Financial Services Authority has been looking into the financial sector and life insurance is just one of them.
The Financial Services Authority is the regulator for all financial service providers in the UK and looks out for the consumer when it comes to buying products. Recent findings have shown that when it comes to life insurance consumers don’t get enough information about this type of cover and can’t always make the best choice when it comes to buying their policy.
One of the main problems when it comes to buying insurance is that the consumer doesn’t understand what a policy involves and what it covers. The with-profits policy can be particularly confusing; this type of policy is a combination of cover and investment, in this case the holder of the policy benefits and so does the insurance company. This type of insurance is particularly attractive to the younger people as you gain benefits over the years.
However while it is a very popular policy there are many holding them that have to rely on the information that came with the policy they bought many years ago which leads them unable to make informed decisions regarding their policy.
As a result of this the Financial Services Authority are now asking insurance providers to start making changes when it comes to the selling practices of life insurance policies. They are asking that insurers ensure that the consumer understands the policy that they are buying and what is involved in it and to give advice when needed.
When it comes to buying life insurance then the best way to do so is by using a specialist broker. They can give you a vast amount of information concerning life insurance polices and are also able to get quotes which you can compare to make sure that you get the cheapest deal when it comes to you life insurance policy.
As with any type of insurance, life insurance policies have many hidden exclusions in the small print, it is essential that you understand this and read them. This is where you will find what you are and are not covered for in your policy.