Personal Lines – Fall 2017

Five Practical Tips for Buying the Right Car Insurance at the Right Price

phoneIf you need insurance for a new car or you’ve been routinely renewing your car insurance with the same coverage and limits every year, it makes sense to evaluate your options before buying or renewing. Here are five practical tips:
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Protecting Your Family from Dog Bite Liability

cashThe Insurance Information Institute (III) reported that dog bite claims cost an average of $33,230 in 2016, an increase of 36% since 2008. If you own one or more dogs, do you have the insurance coverage to protect you from dog bite liability? Read on for details.

Do You Know What’s REALLY in Your Homeowners Policy?

framesMany homeowners don’t. The Insurance Information Institute surveyed homeowners to find out how well people understand their policies. Here are some of the findings of the III’s 2016 Consumer Insurance Survey.
Read on for details.


What Is a “Bite”?

Sometimes legal disputes arise over what exactly constitutes a “dog bite.” If the laws of the community where the bite occurred do not specifically define “bite,” courts generally hold that the dictionary definition applies. Webster’s Dictionary defines “bite” as: “To cut, tear, or grip with or as if with the teeth.”
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Life & Health Insurance Advisor – Fall 2017

Individual Health Care Marketplace Faces Serious Hurdles

benefits gapThere is good news and bad news on the individual health care front. First the bad news.
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Smart Ways to Plan for Retirement Savings

vision insuranceIf you have already started saving for your retirement, congratulations! You’re on the right path. However, just saving money will not be enough to ensure a comfortable retirement if you don’t make the right decisions concerning your plan.
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Critical Questions to Consider When Designating a Life Insurance Beneficiary

life insuranceLife insurance is a wonderful gift to leave your beneficiaries. They can use the proceeds to meet their financial needs, such as paying for housing, or helping them to reach their goals, like going to college.
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Should You Insure Your Loan Payments?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows you to deduct medical expenses on your tax return — potentially saving you a significant amount in taxes. To get these savings, you must keep detailed records. Therefore, it’s never too soon to start planning for the April 17, 2018, tax deadline.

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Employee Benefits Report – July 2017

The American Health Care Act: A Bill in Transition

association health plans
Wondering how the changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect you? You’ll have to be patient. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill is still in flux. Possible enhancements or repercussions are only educated guesses at this time. Read on for details.

Voluntary Benefits: The Upside of Giving Employees a Choice

2Many employers rely on a robust benefit package to attract and retain employees. The challenge is determining which benefits will appeal to a diverse employee base.
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It’s the Law: Benefits You Must Provide Employees

3Employers have a lot of options for increasing the appeal of their benefits plans. But there are also certain minimums to comply with — benefits required by law. Read on for details.

Want an Edge Attracting and Keeping Millennials? Consider Offering Pet Insurance

The Nationwide insurance company estimates that 65 percent of Americans own at least one pet. Of those pet owners, the American Pet Products Association estimates 24 percent are millennials.
Read on for details.

Personal Lines – Summer 2017

What If Somebody Sues You?

phoneIn many instances, your homeowners insurance will cover you. You buy homeowners insurance to protect your home and your personal property. Many people don’t realize their policy also protects them from liability lawsuits and claims.
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Do You Need a Boat Insurance Policy?

cashIn 2015, the Coast Guard counted 4,158 recreational boating accidents that involved 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million dollars of damage to property. If you own or regularly operate a boat, you probably need more coverage than your homeowners policy provides. Read on for details.

Identity Theft — Bad News and Good News

framesIn 2016, financial losses due to personal identity theft totaled $16 billion and affected 15.4 million U.S. consumers, according to the 2017 Identity Fraud Study, released by Javelin Strategy & Research. In the past six years, over $107 billion has been stolen by identity thieves.
Read on for details.

Are Telematics in Your Future?

If you own, drive or even ride in a car, the answer is yes. By 2022, there will be an estimated 2 billion connected vehicles on the road worldwide. “This transformation will impact insurers, repairers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), creating new risks and opportunities,” according to Mac Fraser, a spokesperson for CCC Information Services.
Read on for details.

Insurance Buyers’ News – May/June 2017

Business Income Coverage: Survival Plan for Small Business

non-profits liabilityIn survey of business owners by Trusted Choice a few years ago, more than half of the owners said they didn’t have business income coverage. But more than half of businesses without business income insurance will close within three years of a serious loss. Business income insurance would “have protected those small businesses from that fate,” according to Trusted Choice spokesperson Madelyn Flanagan. Read on for details.

Why Private Companies Need D&O Insurance Too

data management planningPrivate corporations and nonprofits are less likely to be targeted in multi-million dollar directors and officers liability lawsuits than publicly traded companies. They still have risk exposures, though. In fact, in a recent survey by Advisen, 25 percent of D&O claims among private companies settled for $1 million or more. Could you protect your directors and officers from claims that large?
Read on for details.

What’s the Difference between Arbitration and Mediation?

additional insuredHow many times have you signed a contract that requires mediation or mandatory arbitration of disputes? Do you know what you’re signing?
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D&O Trends

These current trends affect both public and private companies:

  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Emerging risks
  • Changing policies

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – April 2017

President Trump and House GOP Introduce Obamacare Replacement Plan

association health plans

Republicans Withdraw American Health Care Act

The American Health Care Act of 2017 was withdrawn by Republicans from the House on March 24, 2017 for lack of sufficient votes. However, even though the bill is moot at this point, the underlying issues, problems and possible solutions associated with the bill are still valid and significant, which is why we have left the following article as is and unedited. Read on for details.

Millennials Driving Growth of Health Savings Accounts

2As more employers offer high-deductible health plans amid rising healthcare costs, health savings accounts are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace — especially among millennials.
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Employees Overwhelmed by Complex Health Options

3As the healthcare market shifts toward individual responsibility, a survey found many workers are overwhelmed by the complexity of their healthcare options and many have a poor understanding of the benefits of health savings accounts. Read on for details.

Pension Plan Decline Prompts Interest in Annuities

While fewer employers are offering workers defined pension plans, a growing number of companies are taking a renewed interest in providing annuity income options to their employees, the Employee Benefit Research Institute found.
Read on for details.

Personal Lines – Spring 2017

Insuring Art and Collectibles

phoneIf you have artworks, antiques and other collectibles, your collection might be worth more than you realize. Does it have proper coverage?
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The Insurance Checkup: Good for Your Financial Health

cashHaving too little or too much insurance can cost you money. A regular insurance checkup can help ensure you have the amount and type of coverage you need.
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Protect Yourself from Volunteer Liability

framesAmericans are a charitable group. One-fourth (24.9 percent) volunteer for a nonprofit or school*. Most people volunteer because they believe in a cause, want to help others or want to improve their community. Although volunteering might feel good, it’s not always risk-free.
Read on for details.

Smartphone Use = Higher Insurance Rates?

Fatal accidents are on the rise, and so are consumers’ auto insurance premiums. Allstate President Matthew Winter told shareholders that “the correlation between smartphone ownership and accident frequency is striking,” according to a Wall Street Journal article.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – February 2017

Insured and Broke: The Problem of Underinsurance

benefits gapUnfortunately, having health insurance doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by your insurer.
Read on for details.

How to Be Financially Fit

vision insuranceTwenty-eight percent of participants in a 2015 LIMRA Insurance Barometer Study have no confidence in their ability to make important financial decisions. If that sounds familiar, a financial wellness program can help.
Read on for details.

Long-Term Care Insurance Carriers Face Challenges

life insuranceMany Americans have bought long-term care insurance to pay for nursing home care in later years. Unfortunately, many insurers underestimated the cost of providing long-term care benefits. As a result, many have increased premiums dramatically, and many stopped offering coverage altogether.
Read on for details.

Saving Money on Prescriptions While on Medicare

Original Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors, does not cover prescription drugs. If you want coverage, you can buy a Medicare prescription drug (Medicare Part D) plan through a private insurer. Medicare Advantage policyholders typically have prescription drug benefits.

Read on for details.

Insurance Buyers’ News – January/February 2017

2017: The Year of the Cyber Attack

non-profits liabilityCyber security problems will increase in 2017, warns Experian Data Breach Resolution, a branch of the credit reporting giant. Read on for details.

Don’t Get Shaken by Lack of Earthquake Coverage

data management planningWhen you think of earthquakes, you probably think of California, or maybe coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest. But 90 percent of the U.S. population lives in earthquake-prone areas. And a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey found that 7 million people now face the risk of human-caused earthquakes.
Read on for details.

Service Animals, Assistance Animals, Therapy Animals—What’s the Law?

additional insuredGuide dogs and service dogs have helped individuals with disabilities navigate life for decades. Now you also see assistance animals, therapy animals and emotional support animals. What’s the difference and what’s the law?
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Climate-Change Disclosures Recommended

Publicly traded companies should disclose their climate-change risks and what they’re doing about them, says the Financial Stability Board. The Board, an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system, includes members of the G20, government ministers and central bank governors of 20 leading economies.
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – December 2016

Tax Reform Proposal Would Undermine Health System

association health plansVarious proposals in Congress would eliminate or cap the employer tax exclusion for health insurance. Now’s the time to make your voice heard! Read on for details.

Why Life Insurance Is a Smart Investment

2It’s considered the cornerstone of sound financial planning.
Despite recent reports about sharp increases in some life insurance premiums, financial experts say life insurance is a vital part of a family’s financial stability and a smart investment.
Read on for details.

Asthma and Allergies: How Companies Can Breathe Easier

3About one in four Americans suffers from asthma today. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates the annual cost of asthma at about $56 billion. Direct costs, such as hospital stays, accounted for nearly $50.1 billion, while indirect costs, such as lost pay, accounted for $5.9 billion. Read on for details.

Sales of Long-Term Care Insurance Policies Rising

Although sales of traditional long-term care insurance have dropped 60 percent over the last decade, half of the insurance companies marketing the policies experienced increases in sales in the first half of 2016 compared to the same time period last year.
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Insurance Buyers’ News – November/December 2016

Website Accessibility Lawsuits Increasing

non-profits liabilityA whole subspecialty of law practice is emerging, focusing on website accessibility. That’s bad news for businesses that haven’t ensured their websites are accessible to people with disabilities. Read on for details.

Specialty Liability Coverages

data management planningIn our last issue, we discussed the liability insurance coverages that every business should have. In this issue, we’ll discuss some specialized coverages that are “nice to have” for some businesses, and “must haves” for others.
Read on for details.

Protect Your Cargo!

additional insuredEarlier this year, the FBI released its second annual compilation of cargo theft data. During 2014, 547 incidents of cargo theft were reported to law enforcement. The stolen cargo had a value of more than $32.5 million.
Read on for details.

Winter Prep Check-up

It’s that time of year when Mother Nature begins to get feisty—sending a late-season hurricane or an early blizzard or torrential rainfall your way. Don’t wait for her to remind you that now is the time to make sure your business is ready for winter.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – November 2016

Are You Choosing the Right Health Insurance?

benefits gapIt’s time to start thinking about your health insurance needs again!
The Affordable Care Act requires all U.S. citizens (with certain narrow exceptions) to have health insurance or pay a fine. If you don’t have coverage …

Read on for details.

Is it Time to See a Financial Planner?

vision insuranceSeeking advice from a good financial planner is investing in your future. It might be tempting to save some money and do your own planning, but hiring an expert can cost a lot less than making a costly mistake.
Read on for details.

Life Insurance Myths Debunked

life insuranceIf you’ve decided you don’t need life insurance, you might want to reconsider. Read on to learn why.
Life insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company. You agree to make monthly payments to them and they agree to pay your beneficiaries a lump sum upon your death.
Read on for details.

401(k) Saving Pitfalls

It might be tempting to view your 401(k) retirement fund as a savings plan you can borrow from in case of an emergency, but the price you pay for using that money before you turn 59 ½ can be steep.

Read on for details.