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Insurance Doesn’t Have To Be Confusing

Business Entrepreneurs: Why Term Life Insurance Matters

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Business Entrepreneurs: Why Term Life Insurance Matters

You’ve had a great idea for a new business venture.  After developing a sales plan and securing a few investors, everything seems ready to go.  The only thing is that you need to think about insurance.  Along with business coverage, you also need some personal insurance.  One of the best options for the present is to secure a term life policy. Why Personal Coverage? Entrepreneurs often plan for using something like commercial insurance Meyer’s Insurance Ltd to cover their investors in the event that the great idea turns out to be not so great after all.  The right business insurance will cover many of the expenses associated with shutting down or exiting a business operation.  What these plans will not do is provide much protection for the family if the founder and owner should pass away without warning. This is where the concept of term life coverage comes into the picture.  In Canada, it is possible to secure this type of life insurance with a 25-year term, or terms that remain in effect until the age of 65, whichever comes first.  Having this coverage in place will mean that even if all the business assets are exhausted as part of the shutdown, there will still be money to support the family and cover any final expenses. The Affordability of Term Life Coverage Unless you have a great deal of personal wealth, term life coverage offers the benefit of a low premium in exchange for a cash disbursement to the beneficiary when you pass away.  While it does not include perks like building cash value of serving as a way to bundle assets the way some forms of whole life will, it does fit into your limited budget much easier.  Dealing with End of Life Expenses During the first few years of your business venture, money will be tight.  After all, it takes time to grow a business and turn a profit.  What would happen if your operation was not quite there yet and you are killed in an accident?  How would your family deal with the sudden loss of whatever income the business was providing at the time, and could provide in the future?  The disbursement from the term life plan will keep the family afloat and give them time to decide if exiting the business is the right move, or if continuing the operation is viable. Taking Care of the Deemed Disposition Tax While Canada does not impose a death tax, there is an obligation that is referred to as a deemed disposition tax.  Essentially, this is a tax that is imposed on any investment assets you own as of the day of your death.  Even if those assets are not sold, they are still assessed based on what they would bring in if they were sold.  If some of those assets happen to be associated with your business, things could get complicated quickly.  This is especially true if your survivors have no desire to liquidate and need money to pay the tax. With enough term life coverage, there will be money to pay the deemed disposition tax and not touch the company assets.  As it does grow to the point of profitability, the investment will provide ongoing financial support for your survivors, up to the time they choose...

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Livestock Insurance For Cattle: 5 Ways To Make Sure Your Insurer Doesn’t Decline Your Claim

Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Livestock Insurance For Cattle: 5 Ways To Make Sure Your Insurer Doesn’t Decline Your Claim

Farming is a risky business. Predators, disease and environmental disasters all pose serious risks to your livelihood, and without livestock insurance, one serious adverse event could cause financial ruin. As such, it’s vital that you take out the right type of livestock insurance, and it’s also crucial that the policy underwriting is right for your herd. Make sure an insurer never declines a valid claim, and consider the five following underwriting issues when you next renew or take out livestock insurance for your cattle. Get a professional valuation for blanket coverage Underinsurance is a common problem with any policy, but this issue could ruin a cattle farmer. Generally speaking, insurers will pay the lesser of the market value of your cattle as agreed at the time of death or the sum you originally agreed with the underwriter. As such, you need to make sure the policy value is enough to cover the full value of the herd. It’s generally better to get a professional valuation from a third-party because the value of your herd depends on many factors. Not only must you consider feed costs, yardage costs and other expenses, you must also take into account the value per hundredweight of the breed(s) you own. As these costs change all the time, only a professional valuation can really give you the confidence you need. List high-value animals individually Some unusual or rare breeds are considerably more valuable than others. Indeed, the Rare Breeds Canada Conservation List recognises thirteen rare breeds. The Galloway, Braunvieh and Dexter are vulnerable, but the list describes the Milking Shorthorn and Kerry as critical. As such, if your herd consists of these (or other) more valuable breeds, you will need to list the animals individually on your policy, particularly if you have a bull for breeding. Again, you may need an expert valuation, but you should also make sure the policy documentation clearly lists these valuable assets. Decide if you want extensions for disease General livestock insurance terms will protect your herd against disease, but some insurers exclude certain conditions as standard. For example, some livestock insurance policies will not automatically cover your herd against foot and mouth disease, brucellosis or hepatitis. As such, you should talk to your insurer about any extensions for disease you think you may need on the policy. Some conditions, like mad cow disease, are rare in Canada, but an outbreak can wipe out entire herds. Indeed, in 2002, an outbreak of mad cow devastated the Canadian cattle industry, so for these conditions, you may need to pay a higher premium to protect your cattle. Other diseases may not kill your herd, but you may still face significant financial losses. For example, salmonellosis doesn’t often kill cattle, but the cost of treatment, abortion and lower productivity all continue to pose a risk to your livelihood. As such, you need to make sure your policy gives you the protection you need. Confirm full coverage for animals in transit Most cattle farmers must regularly transport animals. While livestock insurance policies generally include transit cover, the terms of coverage can vary considerably. It’s important to consider what sort of insurance you need, according to the type of herd you own. For example, some policies do not cover the loss of an unborn foetus...

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6 Facts To Consider About Commercial Property Insurance

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Facts To Consider About Commercial Property Insurance

As a small business owner, purchasing insurance is important to properly protect your business. While there are many different plans you should consider, commercial property insurance is one of the most important. If you’re shopping around for a commercial property insurance policy, check out these six facts to consider and help you pick the right plan and add-ons for your business. All-Risk Policies Cover Most Common Risks When choosing a policy, there are two different options: all-risk and peril-specific. All-risk policies are designed to cover standard risks that any business faces, but they don’t cover everything. They come with a list of exclusions, and everything not mentioned in the exclusions is covered. Common exclusions include war, earthquakes, flood, pollution and wear and tear. When an accident does occur, you don’t have to prove it is covered. Instead, it is up to the insurance company to prove if it was or was not covered. Peril-Specific Policies Only Cover a Handful of Risks A peril-specific policy is designed to cover you from accidents and disasters that are common for the area. They only cover what is mentioned in the policy. Common examples of covered perils include hail, windstorm, fire, riot and vandalism. These plans are less expensive than all-risk plans, but when it’s time to file a claim, it’s your job to prove the damages were caused by a covered peril. Commercial Property Insurance Covers the Physical Location If you own the building in which you run your business, commercial property insurance is definitely a must because it protects the physical building. If the building is damaged in a covered disaster/accident, you get reimbursed to repair the building. However, it isn’t just the building that commercial property insurance protects. It usually covers any outdoor signs, fences and even landscaping. It Also Covers the Property Inside the Building Commercial property insurance is also there to protect the property inside the building. This usually includes inventory, furniture and equipment. Basically, anything your business owns and needs to run is usually covered. Even employee’s belongings are often covered. For example, if an employee flees the building during a covered disaster but leaves behind their personal laptop, commercial property insurance usually covers the cost to replace the laptop. Commercial Property Insurance Doesn’t Cover Data There are some things, however, that commercial property insurance doesn’t cover, such as data. Obviously, an insurance policy can’t return lost data from a disaster, hacker or virus. That information can only be regained if you have a protected backup. However, the time it took to gather and enter that data or information cost money, and commercial property insurance won’t reimburse you for that money. Unless you have a backup, you’ll have to gather the information again with money from the business. It Doesn’t Cover Business Interruption Perhaps the most important thing commercial property insurance doesn’t cover is business interruption. A disaster doesn’t just destroy your property, it can halt your business entirely. While you’re rebuilding and purchasing new equipment, your business may not be able to make any money or pay the employees, and these losses are not covered by standard commercial property insurance. To protect yourself fully, you should bundle your commercial property insurance into a business owner’s policy (BOP).A BOP can be crafted to fit your personal business,...

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Shopping For Health Insurance? 2 Ways Insurance Brokers Provide Excellent Service

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You might feel proactive attending open enrollment meetings at work and calling health insurance companies on your own, but how much do you really know about picking a medical insurance policy? If you choose the wrong plan, you might end up without the coverage that you need during an emergency. Fortunately, independent insurance brokers can act as your guide along the way. Here are two ways an insurance broker can provide you with excellent service: 1: Help You To Find A Customized Plan Wouldn’t it be great if you had access to an insurance insider who could explain different policies and help you to find the perfect plan? Because independent insurance brokers don’t work for one insurance carrier in particular, they have the opportunity to offer valuable, objective advice that can help you to find the best plan. In addition to being able to compare complicated policies side by side and explain the particulars, insurance brokers can also take the time to understand your personal situation and customize a policy just for you. Here are a few things your broker might take into account before recommending a medical insurance policy:  Budget: What good is an insurance plan that you can’t afford? To keep you covered, insurance brokers can carefully evaluate your budget so that enroll with the right company. They can even walk you through hypothetical insurance situations so that you understand which types of expenses you might be faced with.  Special Situations: Do you have a large family or several pre-existing conditions? Special situations might require additional insurance riders. Fortunately, your broker will know which carrier to use and how to amend your policy.     Network: Where do you live? Which hospitals and clinics do you have access to? Insurance brokers can evaluate each plan and decide which policy would cover the doctors and medical facilities in your area.   Customer Service: Insurance companies might seem the same until you need a little help. However, since your insurance broker works with carriers day-in and day-out, he or she can help you to track down a company that you will enjoy working with.   Although most people assume that they couldn’t possibly afford this level of customer service, the fact of the matter is that working with an insurance broker is typically free of charge. Customized plans can even drive the price of your insurance premium down. Because insurance brokers help people to find the right plan, people typically find they have coverage for what they need—which means less risk for the carrier. Because of this fact, policies purchased through an independent insurance brokerage are typically lower than policies purchased directly from an insurance company.  2: Help You With Claims Have you ever received a medical bill that you knew wasn’t correct? Although it might seem like an anomaly, medical billing mistakes are incredibly common. In fact, one study found that 30-40% of medical bills contained errors, although some research suggests this number could be as high as 80%. Unfortunately, if you spot a mistake, you might find yourself contacting insurance companies, verifying coverage, and arguing about contract rates. However, you don’t have to resolve billing problems on your own. In addition to finding the perfect policy for you, independent insurance brokers also help you with claims issues. If you receive a bill that doesn’t seem right, you can simply...

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5 Ways To Save Money On Your Home And Car Insurance Policies

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As a home and vehicle owner, insurance is a necessity. Without proper insurance, you can be left facing an astronomical repair bill if something unexpected were to happen, like a natural disaster or an auto accident. Don’t let the cost of your premiums get you down – here are five ways to save yourself a little money on your home and auto insurance plans: Raise Your Deductibles A great way to keep your insurance premiums down is to select the highest deductible possible. A higher deductible means having to pay more out of pocket when filing a claim than if you were to select a low deductible, but the money you save on premiums can more than pay for a deductible that you end up facing once in awhile throughout the years. If you’re willing to pay $1,000 dollars or more as a deductible, you can finagle significantly lower price points for your policies – sometimes up to 25 percent lower. Combine Your Policies Another effective money saving option to consider is combining your car and home insurance policies into one premium. Many insurance brokers who offer several types of insurance policies are able to provide small discounts for policy bundling, and those small discounts can really add up by the end of the year. You can sometimes even combine business liability and life insurance with home and car policies if you are working with a large enough company. Another way to save a little money on your premiums is to combine the policies for all of the vehicles in your household that your family drives. This is especially helpful if you’re insuring a teenage driver because their policy prices tend to be some of the highest in the industry due to being a high accident risk. Adding your teen’s vehicle to your policy will yield you quotes based on your driving history as opposed to that of your child. Invest In Some Security Some insurance companies are willing to offer discounts for extra security put into place at home and in your vehicle. Invest in a monitored security system for both home and car, and implement the following security measures if possible: Fire Protection – consider electronic a fire alarm for home and fire-retardant seat covers for the car. Upgraded Locks – try keyless entry options for your vehicle, and dead-bolt locks for the house. Lighting – install motion-sensing floodlights at home and illuminating lights on your vehicle. It’s a good idea to verify the types of security that will get you discounts before making any investments, but any additional security built into your home or vehicle lowers your risks of having to file an insurance claim throughout the years. Pay For Policies A Year At A Time Skip all the additional administration fees that tend to come with making monthly payments, and buy your insurance six months to a year at a time. Avoiding those administration fees can save you upwards of $100 a year, and may even get you a small discount on the overall cost of your home and auto insurance premiums. That savings can go toward a towing membership for the year or be used to pay for security monitoring fees being accumulated at home. Choose Paperless Documents And Bills You’ll find that many...

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Lower Your Car Insurance Premiums By Paying Off Your Credit Cards

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What do your credit cards and auto insurance policy have to do with each other? According to the Federal Trade Commission, a lot. In 2007, they conducted a study that showed a correlation between drivers’ credit scores and insurance claims. Drivers with lower credit scores had more auto insurance claims than those with higher scores. Insurers use this study, along with several other studies cited by the FTC, to justify basing auto insurance premiums on drivers’ credit scores. You can use the knowledge to lower your auto insurance premium by paying off your credit cards. Credit-Based Insurance Scores The vast majority of insurance companies consider drivers’ credit scores when underwriting policies. Citing a figure from the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) estimates that as many as 95 percent of insurers use a credit-based insurance score in states that permit it. (Massachusetts, Hawaii and California have banned the practice.) Several factors affect your credit-based insurance score. Your credit score is one of them. Improving your credit score will improve your insurance score, which will lead to lower car insurance premiums. Credit Scores Your credit score is a number that represents how reliable your credit history is. Investopedia lists five factors that directly affect the number: payment history amounts owed length of credit history new credit types of credit Of these, your payment history and amounts owed have the greatest impact on your credit score. Combined, they account for 65 percent of your score. Credit Cards Paying off your credit cards’ balances will significantly improve both your payment history and amounts owed. When looking at your payments history, creditors want to see that you pay your bills on time. Each time you are late on a credit card payment counts as a strike against you. If you are not currently paying at least the minimum amount due on each card, you are not just racking up late fees. Your failure to pay on time is also being reported and affecting your credit score. Even if you cannot pay off an entire credit card, beginning to pay the monthly minimum will have a positive effect on your score. Amounts owed is a ratio of your current debt levels to your available credit. Only using a small percentage of your available financing is better than maxing out all your available lines of credit. Paying down credit card balances is one of the quickest ways to improve your amounts owed. As an example, assume you have a $100,000 mortgage and a balance of $10,000 on a credit card. You also have $1,000 to pay off debt with. Putting that money toward your mortgage will only improve its debt-to-credit ratio by 1 percent. Paying off $1,000 of your credit card, in contrast, will improve your card’s amounts owed ratio by 10 percent. Ultimately, it is best to pay both down, but starting with the credit card will more quickly impact on your credit score. Car Insurance Premiums When you pay down your credit cards and improve your credit score, car insurance companies will consider you a safer driver. They will reward you with lower premiums. While a reduction in your auto insurance premiums may seem small compared to how much you will save in credit card interest, every little...

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6 Ways to Decrease Your Auto Insurance

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you feel like you are paying too much for auto insurance, you just might be. There are a number of ways that you can save on your auto insurance. If you have never looked into potential ways to save money, here are a few simple ways that you might be able to reduce your car insurance. Check Around for a Better Rate Car insurance rates vary quite a bit from company to company. It is always worth your time to check around every so often and make sure you are getting the very best rate out there. Any major insurance carrier will offer quick online price quotes; you may have to call in to get a quote from smaller companies. Some insurance companies will even offer you comparison quotes from their competitors so you can get a full picture of the options available to you. It’s a good idea to get a minimum of three quotes. If you find a rate you like but you don’t want to deal with the hassle of switching companies, call up your agent and see if they would be willing to match your new quote. Bundle Your Car & Home Insurance If you are a homeowner, you may be eligible for a reduced rate on your auto insurance through your current homeowner’s insurance company. If not, check around and find a company that offers a reduced rate for insurance bundles. It may end up saving you money to switch insurance companies. A Change in Lifestyle Could Save You Money Many insurance companies offer lower rates to individuals who have achieved certain milestones in life. Turning 25, graduating from college, and getting married are all examples of life events that could result in a rate reduction on your car insurance. Call your agent after a major life event and see if there are possible discounts you have become eligible for. The most obvious one is a change in location. If you change zip codes, your car insurance rate is also going to change. Moving to the suburbs from the city is likely to come with a sizable drop in your insurance premium. Reducing the number of miles you drive regularly by carpooling or working from home could also reduce your rates through a low mileage discount. Improve Your Credit Score to Lower Your Rates You might wonder what your credit score has to do with your insurance rate.  Many companies now look at your overall creditworthiness when determining your insurance premiums. Individuals with better credit scores are less likely to be involved in claims and as such, qualify for lower premiums. Work on improving your credit and check with your insurance company to see if you qualify for any discounts. Maintain a Safe Driving Record It’s not a guarantee, but many insurance companies offer discounts to proven safe drivers. If you have not had an accident or a moving violation in several years, it might pay to check with your agent and see if your clean driving record qualifies you for a discount. Change Up Your Insurance Coverage If you’ve tried everything and you’re still paying too much, your deductibles might be too low. Your rates can decrease dramatically if you increase your deductible, which is the amount you must pay out of...

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Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Sinkholes?

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although Canada doesn’t have the sinkhole problem plaguing the state of Florida in America, the country has had its fair share of incidents. In 2013, flooding in Calgary led to about 200 sinkholes opening up on highways and in other areas in the province that has cost millions of dollars to repair. If the unthinkable happens and a sinkhole opens up under your home, does your homeowner’s insurance cover the damage? Sinkholes May Sink Your Savings Most homeowner’s insurance policies do cover some disasters such as: Damage from windstorms Fire, lightening or hail damage Explosions Damage caused by vehicles or planes crashing into the home Cave-ins caused by ice, snow or sleet Riots Some accidental flooding Damaged caused by some power surges Vandalism and malicious mischief Smoke Though this sounds like a fairly comprehensive policy, it does not cover everything. In particular, most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage caused by earth movements such as earthquakes, snowslides, mudflows, landslides, shockwaves or sinkholes. So if the ground does cave in under your home and swallows it whole, you could be stuck paying for the damages out of your own pocket. Does Any Type of Insurance Cover Sinkholes? Unlike Florida insurance companies, Canadian insurers do not offer policies that specifically cover sinkholes at this point in time. However, you can get earthquake insurance which may cover a variety of earth movement incidents beside quakes including sinkholes. You’ll have to carefully review the policy language to be certain the insurer will pay if your home sustains damage in this manner. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure you can file a claim if a sinkhole appears anywhere on your property. Some policies may only pay out when the damage occurs to the home. For instance, a woman in Bexleyheath had a sinkhole open up in her garden. When she called her insurance company, however, she was surprised to learn that her policy only covered the home itself. She’s on the hook for paying money out of her pocket to fill the hole before it destroys her house. While this particular incident occurred in England, insurance companies tend to operate in similar ways the world over, so it’s essential that you read the fine print to make you’re covered in any eventuality. Cost of Earthquake Insurance Earthquake insurance premiums vary according to the region. You can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $515 per month (based on a home valued at $300,000) depending on the risk factors in your area. People who live in high-risk areas can expect to pay more for the insurance. Additionally, you may be required to pay a deductible before the insurance benefits kick in. Do You Need It? Sinkholes can occur as the result of natural phenomenon (e.g. an underground river wearing away the supporting rock) or manmade problems (e.g. a water pipe bursts that goes unrepaired and causes subsurface damage). Although Canada doesn’t have the geology that causes the type of sinkholes that occur in other places on earth, there are some areas that have a higher risk of these geological anomalies forming because of various underground conditions. For instance, in many parts of western Canada—such as British Columbia—there are small underground cave systems that may collapse in on themselves due to contact with an erosive...

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