Finance Sponsored

7 Ways to Have Your Identity Stolen

When one hears the term “Identity Theft,” they usually think about criminals racking up thousands of dollars in bogus charges on their stolen credit or ATM card.

While this type of fraud is common, there are several other types of identity theft as well, and they could be happening to you right now, including:

  1.  Insurance – Someone uses your Social Security number to obtain the insurance they need, such as home, automotive, etc.
  2. Medical – Someone uses your health insurance to get treatment, costing you money while placing incorrect and potentially harmful information in your medical records.
  3. Criminal – A person gets arrested and is able to believably claim that they’re you. Then they jump bail, and the cops are hunting for you.
  4. Driver’s License – Someone steals your license and makes a duplicate with their image.
  5. Social Security – This gives thieves open control of your life, including buying houses in your name and then defaulting on the loans.
  6. Synthetic – A person uses information from numerous victims, creating a new bogus identity; this makes it extremely difficult to figure out what’s going on and how many victims are involved.
  7. Child – Most children have Social Security numbers, but we seldom check to see if they have a credit file. That means criminals can use their identity for years and never be caught.

Many of us now keep multiple credit cards, bank accounts and loans – meaning there is more and more for criminals to work with.  For many people, it’s not a question of if – but rather when their identity will be stolen.

Little wonder then, that more and more people are starting to get identity theft protection. The leader in this field is LifeLock Inc.

LifeLock has been helping protect people from many types of identity theft for more than 8 years.  LifeLock standard identity theft protection monitors your personal information and alerts you when they detect someone attempting to open a new credit line in your name,† or if your information is being sold on a black market website.

LifeLock also offers a more robust protection service, LifeLock Ultimate™, adding features that protect you against more insidious forms of identity theft. It also monitors public databases for your personal information, so you know where it’s being used. Plus, they scan online court records in case arrested criminals attempt to use your identity.

LifeLock Ultimate provides alerts when new checking and savings accounts are opened using your personal information, and when they detect contact information changes on existing accounts.†

And when you suspect identity theft, nothing is worse than being told you have to call back during “normal business hours” to get anything accomplished. All LifeLock members can speak with a real human, standing by 24/7/365 to assist.

How It Works
In less than three minutes, you can be on your way to protecting yourself from many forms of identity theft.

Just Visit LifeLock, fill in your basic information, and their robust monitoring technology and tools get to work immediately.  You can also add as many family members as you want to ensure that everyone is protected.

The site’s dashboard gives you a snapshot of the pertinent information you’ll want to know—all your alerts and information, plus with LifeLock Ultimate, you’ll see your current credit score, annual reports and more. Simply give them an email address or mobile number so that LifeLock can alert you when there’s suspicious activity.

When it comes to identity theft, the world is becoming more and more scary.  While it’s impossible to stop all criminals, programs such as LifeLock Ultimate can alert you when it happens to you, helping you protect your identity in the most comprehensive way possible.

Click here to check out LifeLock Ultimate and how you can get instant protection.

Automotive

Why That High Auto Insurance Rate Is Your Fault

Everyone likes to score a great deal, and no likes to pay more for something than they have to. When shopping for auto insurance, many people try to find the average of what those around them are paying — thinking this is a “good” rate for the average person. It may seem like a smart strategy, but it won’t help you out. In fact, it may be a mistake.

Only liability insurance is used in annual statistics. That’s because it’s the only coverage that’s required by law for drivers to carry.  But many people also carry the recommended collision and comprehensive coverage, which raises the price of a policy even further. So if your neighbor is bragging about how he pays only $500 annually for car insurance, he probably carries the bare minimum of coverage and is assuming more risk than you.

It’s also well known that auto rates are determined by status and age. Teenage drivers (especially males) pay some of the highest rates in the country for auto insurance. This is because of their lack of experience behind the wheel, and the greater chance of accidents and citations. Senior drivers on the other hand, pay the lowest rates of any group, even though there’s a debate about whether or not senior citizens are actually safer drivers. Families—whether older or younger generations—pay less than the national average, as do married drivers over single drivers.

So, what are some other big factors that determine your annual policy rate?

1. Location
Urban areas in particular have higher traffic congestion, wages, gas prices, and car theft statistics. New Jersey and Washington DC residents have some of the highest premiums in the country. But, if you’re moving from Oregon to Florida, you’ll welcome the 7 percent drop in your policy rates. Those relocating from Nevada to Utah though will face sticker shock with a 5 percent increase.

2. Deductibles
Average drivers have a $500 deductible on their policy. It grants them reasonable rates and ensures they won’t have to pay too much out-of-pocket in case they need to file a claim. However, some people find $500 a major hardship. You can lower the deductible (depending on your insurance carrier) to $200 or $300, but your annual premiums will shoot up. On the other hand, some people prefer to raise their deductible to $1,000. It’s a quick way to instantly lower your rates.

3. Personal Driving Record
Citations, speeding, DUI’s and crashes all increase your rates or cause your auto insurance company to drop you altogether.

The quickest way you can find low auto quotes for your unique profile is to compare different insurance carriers online. You could see a major drop in price by perusing online quotes annually, so don’t cheat yourself out of your hard-earned money. After all, no one likes to pay more than they have to for car insurance.

Finance

What Everyone Should Know About Life Insurance

Do you have it or don’t you? Do you need it or don’t you?   Unfortunately, when it comes to life insurance, many people who need it – don’t have it.  One of the principal reasons is lack of understanding.  They think life insurance is expensive and complicated, so they simply don’t bother with it.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  The following facts are key to understanding life insurance:

  • The primary purpose of life insurance is to help replace the income of one or more wage earners in a family so that, in the event of their death, the rest of the family can continue living the same or similar lifestyle without being financially devastated. In families with non wage earners, the financial impact of replacing the non wage earner’s services (child care, maintenance of the home, etc.) should also be considered.
  • Life insurance payouts are income tax-free1 to the beneficiaries so they can also be used an important part of a family’s retirement planning. If structured correctly in an estate plan, it may be a way to pass wealth from one generation to the next, minimizing estate taxes.

There are several types of life insurance on the market today. The cost and features of these policies can vary tremendously depending on the options selected and the company that provides the insurance.

The two main types of insurance are term and permanent:

Term Life Insurance

Term Life insurance covers you for a set period of time, pays benefits in the event of your death during this period, but term policies do not build up a cash value.  That means if you die after the term ends, your beneficiaries do not collect on the policy.

Term Life is typically the least expensive option for obtaining pure life insurance protection for a specific period of time.  The payout is income tax-free1 to beneficiaries, and, depending on your age, amount of coverage, and other factors, payments can be as low as a $10 or $20 per month. Usually, term policies give you the option of converting the policy to a permanent policy quite easily and without complicated medical exams and the like.  Some people get term life insurance to supplement their permanent insurance until their expected retirement age, when they will receive retirement benefits that could help support their family if they should die.

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance provides coverage for the entirety of the insured’s life as long as the policy is in force.  As you pay in, it typically builds in cash value.  You can then access this cash value to take out a loan for emergencies, fund a major purchase, or finance college education for your children.   The death benefit amount is offset by any outstanding policy loans at the time of death.

Permanent Life Insurance Policies generally offer fixed premiums over the entire course of your life and, unlike term policies, the premiums generally do not go up after a certain amount of time.  The death benefit is income tax-free1 and the accumulated cash value is tax-deferred. However, due to the cash value feature of the policy, the cost of permanent insurance is usually more than term insurance.

 How Much Life Insurance Coverage do you need?

The best way to determine the amount of coverage you need is to consider, in the event of your death, what your loved ones will need in order to pay off the mortgage, handle other living expenses that you currently take care of, or cover future expenses such as college cost, that you would have taken care of.

How to find the best policy options?

Today, one of the best ways to find a term policy that meets your needs is to use an online quote service.  One option is a free service called Matrix Direct.

Matrix Direct works only with stable and respected premium life insurance companies.  It’s free online service is safe, secure, and you’ll be able to request multiple quotes in minutes.

Request your quote and reach out and let us know how your experience goes!

Uncategorized

10 Ways to Save on Health Insurance

With the wide variety of health insurance plans available, choosing the lowest cost option should not be the only factor influencing your decision. Instead, you should look for a plan that fits the needs of you and your family. After selecting a plan, there are ways to save on your health insurance costs. Here are 10 ways to save on health insurance.

1. Compare Multiple Health Insurance Quotes Online

When comparing plans be sure to evaluate the benefits as well as the monthly premium. Make sure your plan provides adequate catastrophic coverage, with preferably at least a $2 million lifetime maximum benefit.

2. Raise Your Deductible

The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium. Keep in mind, you will be responsible for medical bills out of your own pocket until this deductible is reached. However, there are plans that will waive the deductible for office visits, preventative care, prescription drugs, or accidental injuries.

3. Factor in Co-Insurance

Co-insurance is the amount the insurance company will pay after you meet your deductible. Most companies will pay 80% of the medical bill after the deductible up to an annual maximum of typically $5,000 to $10,000. Medical bills in excess of this annual maximum will be covered at 100% by the insurance company. Some companies offer 50% co-insurance plans which may lower the monthly premium. But if you visit your doctor frequently, the policy may actually cost you more in the long run.

4. Make Sure the Policy Covers the Doctors you Need

Most plans contract with a network of “preferred providers.” These “PPO” plans pay more of the medical cost if you use the services of doctors within this network. If go to a doctor or hospital outside the network, the insurance company may cover only part of the bill.

5. Consider Separate Policies for Individual Family Members

Age plays a role in determining how much a policy costs, and it may be more affordable to purchase separate health insurance plans for your family members. You might save if the older members of your family purchase their own policies. Or get health insurance coverage for children 18 and under.

6. Coverage Offered Through an Employer

Employers providing health care benefits will pay all or part of the premium for the employee but often do not contribute toward dependents. Adding your dependents to your employer plan may be the responsibility of the employee and can be expensive. If your dependents are relatively healthy, you may save money by purchasing an individual or family policy separate from the employer’s plan.

7. COBRA Alternatives

COBRA is a continuation of an employer-sponsored plan for a former employee where the premiums are usually paid entirely by the participant. If the COBRA participant is relatively healthy, they can usually save money by purchasing an individual policy instead of accepting the COBRA plan. Keep in mind that the insurance company may refuse to provide coverage based on past health history. Therefore, those with serious health issues or expenses should stay with their COBRA option or enter their state’s high risk pool.

8. Consider an HSA-Compatible High-Deductible Health Plan

An HSA (Health Savings Account) allows you to set aside money in a tax-sheltered, interest-earning account that you can draw on to pay most medical expenses. Because it works with a high-deductible health plan, you pay less premiums than you would with a more comprehensive health plan. In addition, the savings you accrue minimize the risk of not being able to cover unexpected medical bills.

9. Minimize your Chances of Being Denied Coverage by the Insurance Company

Most states offer high risk pools for those unable to obtain health insurance from the traditional carriers due to serious health issues such as AIDS, cancer, major heart disease, diabetes, or other chronic conditions. These high risk plans can be expensive. Therefore, it is beneficial to qualify for the plans offered by the insurance companies if possible. Rejection rates can be as high as 60% and often individuals without serious issues could have been approved had they provided an adequate explanation of past medical history. For example, be sure to explain clearly when a condition has been resolved and requires no further treatment or medication.

10. Government Assistance Health Programs

Obviously, those at or below the poverty level may have access to government assistance, but many people are unaware that some states offer programs for those above the poverty level as well. Usually, this assistance is in the form of a subsidy that will pay part of the premiums for traditional health insurance. Contact your state’s insurance department for details.

If you’re looking for affordable health insurance, compare free quotes at InsWeb.com and see if you can find an affordable policy.

Automotive

How Much are You Over-Paying for Your Auto Insurance?

In good times, it’s natural that we pay less attention to our individual expenses.  But, in today’s uncertain times, regardless of our current situation, everybody needs to save as much money as possible. 

When it comes to saving money the best place to start is with your auto insurance.

Most Americans can point to a similar list of monthly expenses, including mortgage or rent payments, auto expenses, utility bills, food and clothing, etc.  Many of these expenses are fixed and can’t be changed, so they offer few opportunities to save any significant amounts of money.  Financial experts agree, however, that the one monthly expense where people can, with minimal effort, often find real and substantial monthly savings is auto insurance.

Auto insurance is a necessary evil that responsible people know they can”t live without. In fact, for many of us, it’s a payment we make month-in and month-out, and never see the benefit of.  That”s okay, because the coverage has to be there if we need it–but, it also makes it all the more important that we don”t overpay.

How to make sure your insurance company is not getting rich off you.

Fortunately, today there are online services that let consumers quickly shop for the best rates from a nationwide selection of auto insurance companies, all competing for your business.  You simply enter your requirements and instantly receive quotes from a wide range of reputable companies.

One of the most comprehensive of these services is GoInsuranceRates.com.  They operate a free website service that will find you the best insurance quotes from a wide network of premium insurers.  The site also contains a wealth of reference information that helps you understand how different policies work and how to save the most money possible.

The fact is that auto insurance rates are constantly changing and, for certain policies, rates have actually dropped significantly in the past 12 months.  You can be sure, however, that your insurance company is not going to call you up and let you know their rates have dropped.  But, with a minimal amount of time on a service such as GoInsuranceRates.com, you may be able to quickly save hundreds of dollars.

So, if you’re into saving money, start by finding out how much you’re overpaying for your insurance coverage.  

Click here to start.

Finance

How to Qualify for up to $500,000 in Life Insurance with No Medical Exam

If you need life insurance and haven’t gotten it because you think it’s a hassle, help has arrived.  

How many of us really enjoy and look forward to going to the doctor or getting a physical? Let’s face it: Getting a physical or medical exam is a chore and an inconvenience.  Additionally, obtaining life insurance generally requires lengthy paperwork and underwriting.  No wonder so many people put off getting this much needed coverage. 

However, there is an alternative. You can now get life insurance online, with no medical exam, and you may even qualify for same-day coverage.

Life Insurers now offer a solution that is referred to as “no medical exam life insurance.”  No medical exam life insurance has a number of important benefits, and it has become quite an attractive option for many people.

There are many reasons for its increasing popularity:
 
No medical exam – Some people simply do not wish to submit to the indignity of a medical exam. No medical exam life insurance let you obtain the policy you need without the complete physical exam, blood tests, and other requirements of standard life insurance policies.

Privacy – Are you uncomfortable with a private company knowing so much about your health? No medical exam life insurance lets you obtain a policy without having to share much of the private information required on standard policies.

Less paperwork and hassle – Many people love the streamlined application process and speed of issuance of a no medical exam life insurance policy.

So, how do you find the best no medical exam life insurance policy for you?  The key to getting the best possible coverage at the best possible price is using a website like USAcoverage.com.

USAcoverage.com provides quotes from top rated life insurance carriers in no time.  Compare rates and benefits on no medical exam life insurance, term life insurance, and whole life insurance.

Life insurance as low as $6 month

Ultimately, rates are determined by your age, medical conditions, coverage amount and term, but it’s not uncommon to see extremely low rates for healthy adults looking for coverage. 

To see if you qualify for same-day coverage and low rates, fill out the short form on USAcoverage.com.

Click here to visit the site and learn more.

Finance

Life Insurance – Know The Basics

Content provided by InsWeb –  Most people buy life insurance to replace income that would be lost if a wage earner passed away. Life insurance proceeds are tax-free, and can play a role in estate planning, cash accumulation, retirement funding, and the transfer of wealth to beneficiaries. There are quite a few types of life insurance on the market today.

The cost of a policy and the features it offers can vary tremendously depending on the type of insurance you choose. Here’s a rundown of the major types of life insurance. There are also differences between insurance companies. For example, not all companies will charge the same price for the same type of policy. So it’s good to shop around.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance covers you for a period of time you select (for example, 10 or 20 years) and pays benefits only if you die during the time you’re covered. Term life is often referred to as temporary insurance. These policies do not accumulate cash value, which means if you do not die within the time you’re covered, your estate does not collect any money from the policy when it ends. However, most companies offer conversion privileges to permanent policies, which means you can turn your term life policy into a “permanent” one under some circumstances. With permanent policies, a portion of your premium goes to building cash value with interest.

Benefits of Term Life Policies

Term life insurance typically costs less than permanent insurance. Proceeds are not taxable to your beneficiaries. They supplement employer-sponsored life plans, or older policies that may be inadequate due to inflation. While in effect, you typically can convert to a permanent policy without evidence of insurability (that’s an official statement proving you’re an insurable risk).You can buy a large amount of term insurance to complement your permanent policy.

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance provides lifetime protection, and lets you build cash value over time. You can use your cash value to take out a loan for emergencies, fund a major purchase, or send children to college.

Benefits of Permanent Life Insurance

With permanent life insurance, your premiums remain constant over your lifetime. Death benefits will be paid when you die. Also, some insurance companies will advance death benefits to pay for nursing care or terminal illness expenses. These features are also available for some term life policies. You can accumulate cash value, tax deferred. Also, you can withdraw or borrow accumulated cash value.

How Much Life Insurance Coverage do You Need?

Your life insurance needs may vary depending on your particular stage in life. This means that an unmarried person who doesn’t own a home may not need as much life insurance than someone who is married with children. As none of us want to leave financial trouble for our loved ones, you should ask yourself what you need to make sure your dependents can continue to live the lifestyle to which they are accustomed.

Is the life insurance company I am considering financially secure? Companies, such as AM Best, and Standard and Poor’s, rate insurance companies on the basis of their financial situations. The more financially sound a life insurance company is, the less chance you will have a problem getting the funds you are entitled to.

Shopping around for a life insurance policy with InsWeb.com can help you find the coverage you need. It’s safe, secure, and you’ll be able to compare multiple quotes in minutes.

Finance

The Marijuana User’s Quick Guide to Life Insurance

By Liran Hirschkorn

With medical marijuana now legal in 23 states (recreational usage, too, in four of those states), the country’s opinion of the drug is steadily changing, and life insurance companies are reacting accordingly. Where any drug usage whatsoever would have resulted in a quick and firm denial of coverage 10 years ago, marijuana users can now get a comprehensive life insurance policy without hassle. Just keep these few things in mind when sitting down with an agent.

Honesty is always the best policy.
It’s tempting to simply lie about marijuana usage, and certainly many users have become accustomed to doing so — given the stigma associated with it — but hiding information from your insurance company is never a good idea.

The least of the potential consequences of lying to an insurance company is that you can be denied coverage. This is a small price to pay when you consider that lying could actually be considered insurance fraud, a punishable crime.

Worse still is that your insurance company can deny a claim if you die. This means that, though you think your family will be compensated to cover the expenses associated with your death, when the time comes, they’ll get nothing. This is a terrible shame considering what you now know: There’s no real reason to lie.

Work with an informed agent.
When sitting down with a life insurance agent, be sure to ask the right questions. If this particular agent is unsure of most companies’ policies regarding marijuana usage, you might seek an agent with more experience.

For example, does your agent know specifically which companies are most accepting of marijuana usage? Prudential is one of the go-to companies for such situations. In fact, it will offer nonsmoker rates to marijuana smokers as long as they don’t also smoke tobacco products.

This is where choosing the right agent and company is imperative; a company that doesn’t have this policy might charge smoker rates regardless, which are two to three times higher than nonsmoker rates.

Avoid marijuana use a week or two before your insurance health exam.
Despite the loosening attitude toward marijuana usage, daily users will still find it difficult to obtain insurance. Some companies will approve a client as long as he doesn’t test positive for THC (the main psychoactive component found in marijuana) in the urine sample provided at the time of the health exam.

While avoiding usage before the exam might seem as dishonest as flat-out lying about using, remember that admitting to marijuana usage is still the key to finding your best coverage. Then, your agent can help you identify and work around stipulations; the industry is still biased toward occasional users.

Don’t be discouraged by restrictions on life insurance for marijuana users. The taboo is losing steam in the U.S., and many insurance companies are following suit. Remember to find an agent who’s well-informed about the difference between insurance companies in regard to marijuana usage, and being honest about your usage is the best way to get that comforting peace of mind for you and your family.

Liran Hirschkorn is an independent life insurance agent and founder of BestLifeQuote.com, a national life insurance agency. His mission is to help individuals across the U.S. find the best rates on life insurance, specializing in helping those who have previously been declined coverage. Liran’s expertise is in high-risk life insurance and understanding the unique underwriting guidelines of more than 30 life insurance companies.