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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.

Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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?
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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?
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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?
Read on for details.

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.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – December 2016

Life Insurance Companies’ Dilemma — To Insure or Not to Insure Marijuana Users

benefits gapTechnically, it is a federal crime to grow, distribute or possess marijuana, or “cannabis,” its botanical name. And that can have implications for your insurance.
Read on for details.

What You Need to Know Before Purchasing Critical Illness Insurance

vision insuranceAdvances in emergency treatments and medical care make it more likely you will survive a critical illness. The question is whether you can survive the cost of recuperation.
Read on for details.

Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions – When You Can’t Be Denied Health Insurance

life insuranceThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a provision that prohibits health insurers from denying anyone coverage based on a pre-existing condition. But that provision does not apply to all types of coverage.
Read on for details.

Life Insurance as a Gift? It’s Not as Crazy as You Think

During the holidays, it can be difficult to think of just the right gift for everyone on your list. Wouldn’t it be great if you could give a loved one a present that would provide financial security for years to come?
Read on for details.

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.

Employee Benefits Report – October 2016

Why Most Employers Are Eyeing Public Exchanges for Pre-Medicare Retiree Benefits

association health plansA new survey by Willis Towers Watson found more than half of U.S. employers are confident that public health exchanges will be a viable option for their pre-65 retiree coverage within two years. As costs for health plans continue to rise, the survey also found that nearly three-quarters of employers plan to make substantial changes to pre-65 retiree health benefits in the near future. Read on for details.

Employers Offer Increasingly Generous Benefit Packages to Top Earners

2The rich get richer, and the wealthy get far nicer benefit packages too.
A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation found employers spend a median of 38 cents of each compensation dollar on benefits, and those earning more receive more generous benefit packages too.
Read on for details.

Average Age of Retirement Now 62—Up From 59

3At a time when people in the United States are working longer hours and taking second jobs to pay the bills and save for retirement, a new Gallup poll found the average age that Americans are retiring was 62 in 2014, up from age 59 in 2010. Read on for details.

Longer Lives Increase Need for Long-Term Care Insurance

A new study by the Urban Institute that found the more affluent live longer reinforces the importance of long-term care insurance planning for middle-income and affluent Americans, says Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.
Read on for details.

Personal Lines – Fall 2016

How Fire Protection Classes Affect Your Insurance Costs

phoneToday’s home-based businesses range from home day care centers to high-powered sales offices handling multi-million dollar contracts. Regardless of the scope of your business, if you work at home, you have insurance needs that go beyond your homeowners policy.
Read on for details.

The Auto Insurance Coverages You Need—and Why

cashLike cars, auto insurance policies have different parts with different functions. In this article, we’ll discuss the three types of coverage that most states require owners of registered vehicles to carry—bodily injury liability, property damage liability and uninsured motorists coverage. Read on for details.

Umbrella Policies: Protection for a Rainy Day

framesBad things happen: that’s why people buy auto and homeowners insurance policies. But America’s love affair with lawsuits means your coverage could fall short. That’s where umbrella policies come in. They provide a convenient and surprisingly affordable extra layer of protection for your key assets.
Read on for details.

Get a CLUE, Don’t Buy a Lemon!

Generally, your home will cost about the same to insure as similar homes in your neighborhood. A home’s prior loss history can affect your insurance costs, however. The more claims that have been filed on that property, the more the insurer will likely charge to cover it. While some claims are purely random, many claims can indicate structural problems or a lack of maintenance—both of which will affect your costs of ownership.
Read on for details.