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Open Enrollment – Quick Tips

Posted by on Nov 9, 2018 in Personal Insurance | Comments Off on Open Enrollment – Quick Tips

Forms and application for health insurance coverage

The Open Enrollment for 2019 Marketplace plans began November 1st, 2018 and will close December 15th 2018.  All plans purchased during this time will go into effect on January 1st, 2019.

Many people find the process of enrolling on the Marketplace to be both intimidating and frustrating.  Here are some tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Open Enrollment – Quick Tips

1. Find out if you are eligible.

A complete list of criteria can be found at https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-guide/eligibility/

2. Gather up all your documentation before you begin your application.

This includes current coverage information, household financials and size.  For a complete check-list of required information follow this link cms.gov/outreach-and-education/marketplace-application-checklist.pdf.

3. Pre-filled Applications

If you are using the pre-filled application because you had Marketplace coverage in 2018 it is still important to review your application. Update any changes to your household and income to ensure you are getting the correct rate.  Failure to do so could result in being over-charged or receiving fines for under payment.

4. Give yourself plenty of time to enroll.

Open enrollment ends December 15th, and it is easy to let the time slip by.  Set a reminder in your calendar to complete the process well in advance of the closing date.  This way if you have any challenges there is time to address them.

5. Remember there are 5 ways to apply for coverage:

 

1. Online

Visit the www.healthcare.gov/login website to apply online

2. By phone

Call 1-800-318-2596 to apply by phone

3. With in-person help

Visit https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/#/ and enter your zip code to find the closest in-person location to you.

4. Through an agent or broker

Contact our very own Kim Mondus will be happy to assist you.

5. With a paper application

Download the application  and instructions.

 

Will I be penalized if I don’t get insurance?

With the repeal of the Individual Shared Responsibility Tax in 2019 persons who do not get minimum essential coverage in 2019 will not be charged a penalty.  However, the mandate that each person have essential coverage is still in effect, and the penalty will still be enforced for 2018 on persons who did not meet the coverage requirements in 2018.  The decision to not get Health Coverage should not be entered lightly.  If your main concern for not seeking coverage is due to cost, please reach out to your local agent today.  There are more options than you may realize, and many benefits for the unemployed, students and elderly.  Please contact us today.

5 Tips for Purchasing Investment Property Insurance

Posted by on Oct 25, 2018 in Property Insurance | Comments Off on 5 Tips for Purchasing Investment Property Insurance

5 Tips for Purchasing Investment Property Insurance

A wise way for homeowners to make additional income is to invest in properties to rent, manage, or renovate and sell. But without the right kind of insurance, these properties could potentially lead to lawsuits that could put homeowners’ other properties and assets on the line.

Many landlords don’t realize they need additional insurance policies once they purchase additional properties to sell or rent to residents. Making sure you choose the right kind of insurance for your investment properties is an essential part of the purchasing process. If you’ve recently acquired an investment property, keep these five tips in mind while looking for the right insurance policy.

1. Purchase the right insurance type.

The investment properties you buy will determine the insurance you need. If you are purchasing a home with the intent of renovating it and selling it — with no plans to rent the home to other residents — you may be able to cover it with a home insurance policy separate from your current policy.

However, if you are renting the property to residents — as is the case for most investment properties — you’ll need a landlord insurance policy. This type of policy is usually required for investment properties and protects owners from damage to the property and liability damages to residents.

2. Select a policy with the right coverage.

If you are purchasing landlord insurance, you’ll want to consider the coverage types included in your policy. Numerous types may be included, but each policy will differ. The most important types are dwelling and liability coverage.

Dwelling coverage covers costs related to property damage in the event of a disaster. A few different levels for this coverage include basic “perils” such as fire or theft — all the way up to earthquakes, tornados, and floods. Depending on where your property is located, you may want to pay more for a more comprehensive coverage policy.

A liability policy will cover physical injuries to residents and their guests that occur on your property. If they sue for damages and you aren’t covered, you could be held responsible.

Other types of coverage may include rental income protection, which covers a certain amount of income lost in the event of uninhabitable conditions, and personal property coverage, which covers personal property you leave in the rental unit for your residents to use.

3. Lower your premium with extra property protections.

You can control certain things affecting the amount you pay for your landlord insurance policy. Insurance companies may lower your premium if you can prove you’ve installed fire sprinklers and other protective systems, such as flood lights, deadbolts, or security systems. Additionally, maintaining property upkeep can be another potential money saver.

4. Understand the differences between landlord and renters insurance.

One major difference between landlord insurance and renters insurance exists. Specifically, landlord insurance will not cover damages to your residents’ personal property. Therefore, you should encourage residents to purchase separate renters insurance. To be safe, you may even want to require proof of renters insurance when leasing.

5. Talk to your provider to purchase landlord insurance.

Many options exist for landlord insurance, but working with the insurance company you already have policies with may help you lower your premium. However, not all companies will offer landlord insurance because investment properties come with significant financial risks. Be sure to check with your provider as soon as possible to make sure you don’t need to find an alternative.

Once you decide to purchase your next investment property, don’t delay in contacting an insurance provider to discuss your options for keeping your assets safe. Consider the type of property, its location, and what you can do to lower your premium to ensure you’re getting the right coverage.

Want to learn more about insurance for your investment properties? Contact a Concklin Insurance expert today to better understand your policies and ensure you have the insurance coverage you need.

Is an Umbrella Insurance Policy Right for You?

Posted by on Oct 11, 2018 in Personal Insurance | Comments Off on Is an Umbrella Insurance Policy Right for You?

Is an Umbrella Insurance Policy Right for You?

umbrella insurance policyOne major lawsuit can have the potential to drain a bank account and leave those involved with nothing — even if the incident was a complete accident. Therefore, nearly every state requires drivers to carry auto liability insurance and many protect their property with homeowners liability insurance. However, basic coverage might not be enough in certain situations.

Accidents could easily become costly. If expenses exceed what liability insurance covers, the remaining damages become out-of-pocket costs if umbrella insurance policies aren’t in place.

☂️ What is an umbrella insurance policy?

An umbrella insurance policy is essentially a safety net that helps cover damages other liability policies don’t. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as “excess liability insurance.” Umbrella insurance policies sometimes also cover libel, which isn’t usually included in base policies.

Umbrella insurance is not required by law, but it can be extremely helpful in situations in which policyholders owe far more in damages than their base policies will pay. It typically covers things like injury costs and property damage to others, policyholders’ legal defense costs, and other associated costs. However, umbrella insurance usually doesn’t cover the cost of policyholders’ own injuries or property damage.

In most cases, those looking to add umbrella policies must already carry another type of base insurance policy with the same provider, such as auto insurance or homeowners insurance. That being said, some providers offer standalone umbrella coverage, but policies are usually more affordable when bundled with existing coverage.

Are you an ideal umbrella insurance carrier?

While an umbrella policy is a great option for some, not everyone needs this type of insurance. If you’re unsure whether you should purchase an umbrella policy, look at your existing assets and potential income. If you own several assets, and those assets exceed your liability insurance coverage, umbrella insurance can help you protect them. The more your assets are worth, the more umbrella insurance coverage you may need to purchase.

You might also want to consider purchasing an umbrella insurance policy if you are at a significant risk of being sued. This may occur if you

  • own property;
  • are a landlord;
  • spend a lot of time on the road, increasing your risk of an auto accident;
  • own things that could lead to injury lawsuits, like pools or trampolines; or
  • participate in sports in which you could accidentally injure other people.

To be an ideal umbrella policy candidate, you’ll also need to meet certain liability insurance limit requirements. Typically, before you can add umbrella insurance, your base liability insurance must cover at least $250,000 for auto and $300,000 for home. Fortunately, the cost of an umbrella insurance policy is relatively inexpensive when you consider how much it could save you in the event of an accident.

Do you think an umbrella insurance policy is the right choice for you? Contact a Concklin Insurance expert today to better understand your policies and ensure you have the insurance coverage you need.

3 Must-Haves on Your Auto Insurance — and 3 Should-Haves

Posted by on Sep 27, 2018 in Auto Insurance | Comments Off on 3 Must-Haves on Your Auto Insurance — and 3 Should-Haves

3 Must-Haves on Your Auto Insurance — and 3 Should-Haves

Most of us rely on our vehicles to get to work, the store, and to social engagements every day. Because of this reliance, it’s important to get the insurance coverage you need to protect both yourself and your vehicle in case of an accident. Automobile accidents can cost thousands of dollars of property damage and bodily injuries — and that might just be to one driver!

That’s why almost every state requires motorists to have insurance for their vehicles. The minimum amount of insurance you need varies by state, but most states require you at least carry liability insurance. In most cases, though, you don’t want to settle for the minimum amount of required insurance.

Your auto policy must protect you and other people on the road. On top of these must-haves, you should consider adding a few other types of coverage that can really save you money in the event of an accident.

Must-haves for auto insurance

Three types of auto insurance exist that you always want to have. You may even be required to have these types of coverage in your state. Required or not, these insurance types help protect you from extremely high damage expenses in the event of an accident.

1. Liability insurance ☂️

Liability insurance comes in two forms: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Bodily injury liability pays for injuries to other drivers and their passengers if you are at fault in an accident. Property damage liability pays for damage to other vehicles.

Most states require some form of liability insurance at a minimum, but these minimum levels often don’t cover actual bodily injury or property damage costs, forcing drivers at fault to pay for additional damages out of pocket. Because of this, it’s a good idea to opt for a higher-paying policy if you can afford it.

2. Personal injury protection (PIP) 💔

PIP is not required or offered in every state but, where applicable, it pays for your and your passengers’ medical expenses, regardless of whether you are at fault in an accident.

3. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage 💸

If you get into a car accident and are not at fault but the other driver is not insured or is underinsured, you could be left paying for damages yourself. With uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you are covered if the other driver is not. Some policies may cover both bodily injury and property damage.

Should-haves for auto insurance

When you have liability insurance and the other required forms of coverage on your auto insurance policy, you’re not required to purchase more coverage. However, you should realize that this could leave you open to potentially high costs for personal bodily injury and vehicle damage. By adding on these three types of auto insurance coverage, you’ll be covered in almost every possible situation.

1. Collision insurance 💥

Collision insurance helps pay for the damage to your vehicle if you caused the accident. This type of insurance is an especially good idea if you have a newer car that would be expensive to replace.

2. Comprehensive insurance ✔️

Comprehensive auto insurance pays for damage to your car by severe weather or fire. It also pays if someone were to break into or steal your vehicle. Consider this insurance if you have a newer car or live in an area with a history of car theft.

3. Medical payments 🏥

Medical payment coverage is not always necessary if you have good health or personal injury insurance because those types help pay for your own bodily injuries in a crash. However, this type of coverage is a smart choice if your existing policies cover only a certain amount or percentage of your or your passengers’ medical bills in a collision.

It’s better to be prepared

You never expect to get into a car accident but, if it happens, you’ll be thankful your insurance policy helps reduce — or completely covers — the amount you’ll owe in medical expenses or other damages. With high risks, it’s much better to be prepared. That’s why getting the right type and amount of auto insurance is so important.

Want more information about which auto insurance policies are right for you? Contact a Concklin Insurance expert today to better understand your policies and ensure you have the insurance coverage you need.

6 Traits to Look For When Choosing an Insurance Provider

Posted by on Sep 13, 2018 in Insurance Providers | Comments Off on 6 Traits to Look For When Choosing an Insurance Provider

6 Traits to Look For When Choosing an Insurance Provider

Insurance is a necessity in today’s world. One car accident, fire, or other disaster could leave you paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, legal fees, or hospital bills. Because of this critical need to protect yourself, your family, and your assets, you’ll want to select a great insurance plan.

With so many insurance providers on the market, however, selecting one can be difficult. If you choose the wrong company, you might have to deal with endless claim headaches, misunderstood policies, or much worse. To save yourself this hassle, you should put time and effort into researching your potential insurance provider before purchasing a policy.

6 traits to look for in an insurance provider

Research is easy now thanks to the internet. Head online to check out your provider’s reviews, online ratings, and product selections to get a better feel for their service and see if they may be the right fit for you. While you’re browsing your options, look for these six must-have traits:

  1. Proper licensure in your state — Governments regulate insurance at the state level, so you should always purchase a policy from a provider who is licensed in your state. Not only can this ensure that you get help from your state’s government if you run into an issue but it can also show you that the company is more likely to follow rules and regulations.
  2. History of success and stability — You rely on your insurance company to pay out when you file a claim. If the company is not financially stable, you could run into trouble monetarily. Check your potential provider’s history to make sure they have been successful over the years. Additionally, check online ratings services to get an idea of how financially stable the company is right now.
  3. Good service reliability — Nobody wants to deal with a company that offers poor customer service. You need your insurance provider to answer your questions quickly and lay out your policies clearly to make claims easier. Look for company reviews to determine how good their customer service is.
  4. Competitive price offering — Insurance companies offer all different levels of pricing to customers. Don’t jump at the first one that catches your eye. Get quotes from different companies to compare them and go with the one that offers a low but competitive price.
  5. Claims made easy — When you submit a claim against your insurance policy, you want it to go through quickly and smoothly. After all, that’s what insurance is for. A provider who gives customers hassles every time they submit a claim is one to avoid.
  6. Comprehensive product selection — The insurance provider you choose should offer numerous types of insurance options so you can get all the coverage you need in one place from one trustworthy provider. Your provider should also know the legal aspects of each policy well and be able to recommend particular products and services individually to you and your family members.

You shouldn’t have to settle for a sub-par insurance provider. With so many options available on the market, taking the time to do thorough research will help lead you to an insurance provider who not only follows the rules but can also offer good pricing, a wide array of products, and top-notch customer service.

Looking for a reliable insurance provider you can trust for years to come? Contact a Concklin Insurance expert today to better understand your policies and ensure you have the insurance coverage you need.