Wednesday, November 17, 2010

7 Reasons To Read An Insurance News Magazine

Do you work in the insurance markets? If so, here are 7 reasons why you should be reading an insurance news magazine.

1. Your industry is one of the most competitive in the business world, and it's a good bet that your rivals will be reading a relevant trade publication. By not doing the same, you risk being left behind.

2. The sector is subject to a number of changes throughout the year, with ground-breaking developments frequently impacting on the sector. By reading insurance news, you can react quickly and appropriately.

3. Success in the insurance markets is as much about planning as it is about your current performance. By reading a publication that brings you details of the latest trends, you can prepare for what's ahead.

4. If you're based in London, you may benefit from knowing what's happening elsewhere in the world - especially as those markets can have a big impact on the sector.

5. If a big story breaks, many good insurance market news magazines will cover it in more detail. That may include analysis, comment from experts, statistics and much more. That means you know how it's going to impact on your business.

6. If you work in one specific area of the industry and feel your knowledge of other parts of it are not up to scratch, such as underwriting news, reading the relevant trade press can help bring you up to speed.

7. Whether you're a rival company or someone looking to progress in their career, it can be useful knowing what mergers and acquisitions are taking place in the sector. Having a good overview of the industry's landscape could prove extremely helpful.

A Few Things to Remember to Get Good Insurance Deals

Do you find it hard to get a good insurance deal in Las Vegas? If so, the first thing that you need to do is learn where to look for reliable insurance agencies who can give you a personalized quote at a very affordable rate. Expensive insurance deals and high interests are often caused by abrupt decisions and lack of preparations. If you don't want to end up paying much on your insurance then you should make preparations which include looking for alternative agents rather than focusing on a single provider.

Remember not to ever grab the first insurance plan that might come your way, always consider other options because they might be much better deals and less costly ones. By doing such, the chance of ending up with the best insurance deal is just next to you. By looking at the offers of the different agents, you will be able to evaluate and study thoroughly which among them can provide the coverage that you need with a much lower insurance premiums and interest rates.

One easy way that you can try is by searching the Internet, where you can find almost all resources that you need to know the different Las Vegas insurance policies. By going online, you can immediately get insurance quotes and avail of the discounts which you might qualify for. One advantage of getting quotes earlier than when you exactly need it, is that, you will have enough time to prepare for the expense and settle your credit history.

Many factors influence insurance quotes. The level of benefits that you are getting from your auto insurance, small business insurance or homeowners insurance in Las Vegas influences the amount you are paying. Hence, you should be keen enough to evaluate the coverage of the insurance policy that you got to make sure that you can get your claims when the unexpected occurs.

Getting a very good insurance policy is as easy as one-two-three when you know what to do and where to look for good insurance deals in Las Vegas. It will not just guarantee you with quality insurance products but also get rid of the pain of paying very high insurance premiums.

Risk Insurance - Tax Implications

Taxes on your life insurance

Life insurance and income protection policies are very popular. The implications of a claim in relation to tax and other government benefits are sometimes overlooked however.

Tax refund

The premium you pay on "income protection insurance" is tax deductible. So at the end of the year you can claim 100% of this as an expense, even if you are on wages. If you were to make claim on "income protection insurance" you will generally get 75% of your pre disability income paid to you on a monthly basis, before tax. However note that if you receive the sickness benefit or ACC, the amount of your claim will most likely be reduced. This may not be the case with mortgage repayment insurance.

Lower your ACC levy

ACC covers you for the loss of income and medical expenses for an accident. Many people decide that they want cover for illnesses as well, so take income protection insurance. This means that in many cases the cover for an accident is duplicated. If you are self employed however, you could reduce your ACC levies by using ACC "cover plus extra". This enables you to set a lower amount of cover from ACC for a lower levy which is handy if you know you will be covered from your own income protection insurance anyway.

Do I pay tax on my life insurance?

Taking a life cover under your company name may seem great for tax deductibility of the premiums but this will most likely mean that the company will pay tax on any claims arising as well. This can end up being a lot of money and may mean that you need a lot more cover to do the same job. To avoid this it could be cheaper to take non tax deductible cover for a lower amount under your personal name. When taking income protection for a business it is also important to be aware of the kind of proof of income might be required when and if you may need to make a claim. Indemnity type policies require proof of income at claim time which can be a challenge for many self employed people. You could look at an agreed type cover or business overheads insurance to avoid this challenge.

Fringe benefit tax

If you own a business and run your personal insurances through the business as expenses, you will probably be liable for fringe benefit tax. It is important to check how much this might be with your accountant.

In summary the key points to remember are:

- Income protection insurance is tax deductible even if you are on salary
- ACC cover plus extra can be a good way to avoid duplicating cover for accidents
- Any claim on an insurance owned by a business may also be liable for tax

Ask your accountant about the implications of your insurance structure or find a good insurance broker who can liaise directly with your accountant

Knowing Contents Insurance

A number of insurance options are available to consumers these days. One of those is contents insurance.

Contents insurance is a type of insurance which offers complete protection against all types of movable contents of business or home. It may include several things like electronics, clothing, furniture and several others. This kind of insurance in fact comes with property insurance and this product is mainly for the homeowners. It is one of the common insurance types and these days most homeowners and business owners are opting for it. It can prove to be very beneficial because replacing the contents of home is really expensive these days. It is advantageous in case of burglary, fire, flood and other damages.

The price and premium of contents insurance varies accordingly. Mainly it depends upon the structure's contents and area. However, interestingly the price is not very high and it can come along with other types of insurance as well. There are several contents available in the houses which are at a bigger risk of getting damaged or stolen. To be very frank, this kind of insurance is not responsible for the items or contents of other people. One should be clear that not everything is covered in this type of insurance. The items like jewelery, bike or car is not covered under contents insurance, there is a need to purchase other insurance for it. The contents which are used outside the home are not covered under this insurance. So, it is recommended that one should choose an insurance agent wisely who has good experience and reputation in the same.

Looking for Taxi Insurance: All You Need to Know

If you are a private hire driver you will need to obtain a private hire insurance policy in order to use your vehicle for business purposes. There are often lots of different options available to choose from when it comes to taxi car insurance.

If you are a minicab driver who has a fleet of minicab cars then a taxi fleet insurance policy may work out as a cheaper and easier option. By having a fleet insurance policy you will also be saving yourself the stress of handling many individual policies. Often insurers offer packages like this for companies with two or more vehicles.

If you are looking for taxi car insurance then it is wise to look around even if you are only looking for an individual policy, lots of online insurers will offer discounts and quotes via their websites. There are many different levels of cover available some taxi cars can be insure under fully comprehensive cover whereas other taxi cabs can be covered under a third party policy. Also the vehicles can be a mixture of public and private hire cabs.

Another plus point to private hire taxi fleet insurance is that policies often cover a variety of different vehicles meaning you can insure your minibus taxi as well as your saloon taxi under one policy. It is usually very easy to add new vehicles to the policy too.

One way to help reduce the cost of your policy is to carry out a risk assessment on your fleet. Make sure you name your drivers in the policy and that you have copies of their license documents to hand. Keeping an ongoing record of mileage and accidents and bumps can also work in your favour with insurers.

Some insurers offer policies via an 'any driver' basis but these are usually more expensive than policies where drivers are named.

Determining Insurance Settlement Taxes Items

Many people are unaware of whether they should list insurance settlement taxes as part of their yearly taxes. The upside is that this form of tax is quite simplified as insurance benefits are usually not taxable. Legal fees, court fees and other expenses are not taxable.

In the case of a person receiving any money for damages paid to him or her, this amount will be taxable and has to be listed as part of the taxes for that particular year.

When one pays premiums, one can make use of those deductions to determine the exact amount of insurance settlement taxes that have to be recorded. Insurance companies are more than willing to provide statements to their customers on the exact amounts that were paid. It is also very important to obtain this information in written format so that it can be submitted as supportive documentation.

In the event of personal injuries, the money that a person received is not taxable as this money is used for medical care, rehabilitation and the loss of income. More exceptions are those for suffering of pain and for psychological injuries.

Earned interest on any settlements may be taxable and this is where most people are clueless whether to list these as taxable income or not. This interest on the settlement may be from non taxable items, but the interest itself will be taxable.

The best advice is to make use of a professional tax consultant to complete the tax return. These professionals are fully aware of which items are taxable and which are not.

Seeing as each person will have a different list of insurance settlement taxes, the professional consultant will make use of individual avenues and calculations to determine whether the items are taxable or not. No one person has the same tax return in this case and that is why it is most beneficial to turn to the professionals.

The Insurance Premium - The Good, The Bad and The Why

Whatever type of insurance you obtain, it does not come free. Insurance coverage is provided by a company that takes on the risk of the value of what you are insuring. When you buy insurance, you become an insured with the company providing the risk (the insurer) and the contract that is created between you and the company is the insurance policy, thus, making you the policyholder.

When you "buy" insurance, the company charges you a premium that is based on many variables. If you are buying health insurance, the premium is based on your age, your health, the pool of people you are in with, etc., etc. Health insurance is such a different animal that we are not going to discuss it here - too many variables. It tends to make my eyes glaze over! Life insurance is also a different animal and one we'll discuss at a later time.

For my discussion here it's more appropriate to discuss premiums for auto and home, etc. The premium, the amount you pay for the insurance, is based on a set of statistics known as actuarial tables. These "tables" are math formulas that consider the item being insured, it's use, the longevity or how long you'll probably own it or how old it is, the original value, and on and on. The company writing the policy is spreading the risk of damage or loss of the insured item amongst others of like kind, referred to as a "pool".

In the case of an auto policy, some of your premium will be based on your being a good driver (no tickets, no accidents). It may also be based on your occupation. Age may come into play, as well. All elements considered relate to the risk of loss that the company has by insuring you and/or your property.

Remember that the premium charged is a fraction of the value of the risk. If you are one of those people who think an insurance company "gets rich and fat off premiums", you might think again.

Let's say your auto premium for a year is $2,000 for full coverage. One day you have an accident - your fault. Your vehicle damage is appraised at $3,500 and the damage to the other guy's vehicle is $4,000. You sprained your wrist during the accident and go to the doctor for a total cost of $200. The driver and passenger in the car that you hit are claiming injuries and end up having claims worth over $3,000 each. Quick total? $13,700+. Oh, and if a lawsuit is filed? The company hires you a lawyer and pays for your defense! Your two thousand in premiums is only a fraction of what the company has had to pay out. Hopefully, your insurance company has taken some of your premium dollars and invested them wisely and successfully. The earnings from these investments are also used to pay claims and losses.

All States require that insurance companies doing business in their State maintain a very specific level of solvency. That means they require them to show a profit, make money and be financially sound in order to be allowed (licensed) to do business. The states watch them like hawks and those that fail are shut down and the policy holders loose big time. It's ok to shop for low premium rates but you might want to inquire as to the financial health of the company you go with. There are ways to check on the financial health of your insurance company through A. M. Best or Standard and Poors, two financial services companies that rate the financial strength of other companies. I'll discuss that another time.

Finley Keller has spent nearly 30 years in the insurance industry, beginning as a licensed agent with a CLU then moving into claims. Auto, homeowner, worker's comp and other liability-only type policy claims. Casualty and material damage.

Her last ten years were spent in SIU (Special Investigative Unit), working with fraud detection. The last four years she was manager of SIU, responsible for working fraud cases and the training of employees in compliance with state regulations as related to fraud. She is a retired member of NCFIA, Northern California Fraud Investigators Association.

She has a Senior Claims Law Associate (SCLA) designation through the American Educational Institute, Inc.

Insurance Reviews

The personal insurance contracts you own may need to be updated frequently. The life, health, disability, auto and homeowner's insurance that you have may no longer meet your needs. Each contract should be looked at and adjusted as necessary.

Your family's need for life insurance may have changed since you reviewed it. You may have too much coverage. You may have too little coverage. You may have the wrong type of coverage.

If you are earning more you may need to adjust the dollar amount of the life insurance you own. One of the more important purposes of life insurance is to replace lost income. Having too little life insurance can mean that your family has too little income.

If you have more obligations now than when you bought your plan you may want to update your contract. A new baby can increase your requirements for insurance. The reverse is also true. If your children are fully grown and self sufficient, you may need less insurance coverage than you did previously.

Have you recently reviewed your health insurance plan? Your medical insurance contract may have a maternity rider that you no longer require. Or, it may not have coverage for pregnancy and you are planning to have more children.

Your insurance policy's deductible may be too low or too high. You can easily pay too much by buying a policy with a deductible that is too low.

The limits on your contract may be lower than you need. The cost of a hospital stay goes up each year. Medical providers charge more each year. Unless your policy has no lifetime maximum on benefits it may fall short if you have a major health problem.

Disability insurance gives you an income when you are unable to work due to a sickness or accident. If your income has risen, your disability insurance should also rise.

If your need for income is now lower, you may want to reduce your insurance for disability. If you are able to live off of your investments now you may no longer need this coverage.

Your auto insurance policy has probably been adjusted when you bought and sold cars. It may not have been updated to make sure that you have adequate liability limits. It may not have been updated as your automobiles have grown older and perhaps no longer need collision and comprehensive coverage.

Your homeowner's insurance needs adjustment on a regular basis. The amount of coverage you have on your dwelling needs to equal the cost of rebuilding your home. (Not the cost of buying a similar dwelling.) This amount changes from year to year and your policy should be adjusted.

If you have bought jewelry since you bought your homeowners' contract, you may want to make sure that you have enough coverage. You may need to purchase a rider or a separate policy to cover your jewelry. The standard homeowner's insurance policy will only cover a small amount of jewelry.

Price shopping to get the best rate is an important part of reviewing your insurance. Your needs change as time passes. So do the prices of the various insurance carriers. Although it is more important to be sure that you have the right type and amount of insurance, it is also important that you not pay too much for it.

The best way to make sure that your insurance policies are still adequate for your needs is to review your needs and your insurance policies one by one. Having too much coverage means your coverage is more expensive than it should be. Having too little coverage means that you your insurance can fail to pay you what all that you need.

Structured Insurance Settlement - The Facts

The word insurance often frightens people, because it immediately implies the incurrence of damage or loss. This initial fright is then followed by the annoying realization that the situation will probably involve complicated insurance procedures before compensation is received. Insurance claims are often difficult because the average person is ignorant when it comes to the forms of settlement commonly offered as compensation. By simply understanding the difference between a lump sum payment and a structured insurance settlement you place yourself in a more comfortable position to deal with consequences of suffering damages.

Settlement options

When a person suffers loss (the plaintiff) which is caused by another party then he or she is entitled to compensation for this loss. The party that caused the harm (the defendant) will then have to pay an amount of money which is deemed sufficient to compensate the plaintiff for the wrongdoing. The two forms of compensation payable to the plaintiff are either a lump sum or a structured settlement.

Lump sum: this form of settlement requires the defendant to pay the entire amount in a lump sum. Plaintiffs often find it difficult to receive payment when a lump sum agreement has been reached because of the large amount of money involved in many damage claims.

Structured settlement: in an effort to lessen the shock of having to pay the full amount in a single lump sum, legislators have developed the structured settlement form of payment. The defendant will then be expected to pay the amount in installments which are calculated to cover the loss over a set period of time. The full amount will eventually be paid, but the defendant is given the leniency of paying smaller amounts instead of a burdensome lump sum.

What are structured insurance settlements?

The sheer extent of claims for damages has resulted in a burgeoning insurance industry. An insurance company offers to take the risk on behalf of the defendant and will therefore cover the cost of losses in the event of damages.

By taking the place of the defendant, the insurance agency is in a position to exercise the same options as an ordinary defendant. The insurance agency can thereby reach an agreement which allows for the payment of a lump sum or a structured insurance settlement. When an insurance agency pays compensation in installments it is called a structured insurance settlement.

Benefits of structured insurance settlement

Having the amount paid off on the basis of monthly installments is much more secure, because it is very uncommon for an insurance agency to default on a payment. It is also beneficial because it ensures a steady inflow of money on a monthly basis. This money can either be saved or used for usual expenses. Structured insurance settlements are such a reliable source of payment that third parties are often willing to purchase them at very competitive rates.

Is a structured insurance settlement the way to go?

Structured insurance settlements are a reliable payment option when seeking compensation for the damages that you have suffered. This form of payment minimizes the need for additional legal battles because defaults are rare. The added benefit of being able to sell the settlement onto a third party means that you will always be able to access a large sum of cash, if this is what you require.

The Benefit Period in Long Term Care Insurance

The benefit period plays a significant role in determining the price of long term care insurance premiums. By having precise plan and sufficient knowledge, you can maximise your health coverage while save on LTCi premiums at the same time.

The long term care insurance benefit period is the duration or length of time that the insurer will pay for your care. The period is often translated in years that can range from two to five years and more. The unlimited benefit period means the policy will pay out benefits as long as you want. It is always crucial to predict the future risks and average number of years for a typical nursing home stay to avoid overpayment and other unlikely financial mistakes.

Some policies follow a "pool of money" approach. The benefits for this type may be higher than the actual period, even if it is expressed in years in the policy. For instance, if you have a policy with five-year length and pays out $100 a day, but you use only $50 per day, the amount that has not been used will be kept in a pool of money and your policy. Also, some policies can pay maximum dollar amount rather than the benefit period.

The daily benefit amount, on the other hand, is the maximum dollar amount that a policy pays out per day that can range from $10 or more. However, other policies can pay benefits on weekly or monthly basis. This provides flexibility for consumers on how they would like to pay their benefits.

If you opt for a daily benefit amount, you should learn all the in and out of this feature. You need to consider the costs of institutional care in your area and the types of services offered. The prices are higher in larger metropolitan areas such as Texas, Washington, New York, Florida, and California. It would be better to canvass the costs of nursing homes, assisted living, and home care to determine how much daily benefit you deserve accordingly. The insurance agent must inform you about the costs and help you decide on the suitable daily benefit.

Many insurance experts advise to get a daily benefit that pays at least half of the costs, and the rest will be paid with out-of-pocket to prevent expensive premiums. However, you can still get full coverage if you have enough to pay the premiums. It is still better than having no coverage at all.

Moreover, there are some factors to consider when determining the appropriate benefit period. If you have family history of Alzheimer's or dementia then a longer benefit period of about five to 10 years is recommended. Nevertheless, longer benefit period means higher premiums.

An Insurance Agency Means Efficiency And Dependability

Life has always been uncertain. You are on your way to work as usual, but suddenly a car rams into your vehicle. Although your vehicle gets damaged, you escape unhurt. But what if the accident had involved loss of life? You have a family to take care of, so it is your duty to make sure that in the event of something happening to you, they do not face any financial constraints.

That is why it is better to be prepared from before. A life insurance policy is your best option to secure the lives of your loved ones. In the event of some unfortunate incident, your family will be paid a certain sum for their living expenses. Burial and funeral expenses are also covered under this type of policy. This is all the more necessary if you are the sole earning member in your family.

While you are buying a life insurance policy for yourself, it is also advisable that you purchase an automobile insurance policy as well. If your car has suffered a lot of damage, then you will have to spend a lot of money for the repairs and restoration. Auto insurance will cover the costs to a certain extent. Even if you have to pay from your own pocket, it will be much lesser than what you would have to fork out if you did not have an auto insurance policy. Did you know that women above the age of 60 pay almost 130 dollars more for auto insurance than the men of the same age?

If you are clueless about the different types of insurance policies and how they can be of use to you, then it is better to get in touch with an insurance agent directly. He will be able to explain all the details to you and then help you to decide which policy is the most apt for you. You have to pay a certain amount as premium to the company and thus the sum keeps on accumulating till the time you need the money.

Looking For An Insurance Company?

It has been observed that people often choose to ignore the important facts of life. The reason for that is the same everywhere: no one wants to understand the harshness and severity of life. For instance, no one wants to die early or think about their impending death. When it comes to opting for a life insurance policy a lot of people feel they will buy it when required and keep on postponing it, thinking that they may never need it.

But this can have a huge consequence. What if the only bread winner in a family dies in an accident? How does his family cope with the loss and the financial crunch that they will face? That is why it is imperative that you buy a suitable life insurance policy immediately. Initially it may seem like you are just paying the money uselessly, but in the long run it will be hugely beneficial to your family in times of crisis.

Buying a life insurance policy is not enough. You may have an accident by colliding with another car and in the process your vehicle gets extensively damaged. Have you ever given a thought to the hefty bills that you would be paying to restore your vehicle to its original condition? If you have an auto insurance policy from before, then this possibility is averted because the policy will cover all or most of the expenses that will be incurred. You can also opt for a boat insurance policy if you own one. Did you know that auto insurance claims rose by almost 10% during the week of Halloween?

A homeowners insurance policy is also equally important if you own a house. This type of policy will cover the cost of repairing any structural damage to the house. In case your house is destroyed by a fire or a flood, you will be paid adequate compensation. However, you must pay the premiums regularly or there is a chance that the policy may get revoked.