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5 facts to discover when buying car insurance


Getting auto insurance, or even renewing your policy once a year, is a job that most people don’t enjoy. For this reason, they rush through it and spend as little time as possible. The problem is that it’s easy to make small mistakes that can lead to significant costs later on.

It’s worth slowing down and checking out the details. Take the time to ask your insurance broker any questions that may affect the type of coverages you buy and the amounts you buy. The information you discover may even prompt you to switch to another auto insurer. Below are five details to discover when seeking cover or renewing your policy.

#1 – What Auto Insurance Do You Need?

Some coverages are mandatory in almost every province and territory (although the minimums required vary). This is the case with Accident benefits, third-party liability insurance and coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists. Other coverages are optional. While they are valuable to have in certain circumstances, they end up costing more than they are worth. You can drop them and lower your auto insurance rates.

Think, for example, of collisions and extensive coverage. The first covers damage resulting from an accident. The latter covers damage from non-accidents, such as a tree falling on your vehicle. If you’re driving a new $80,000 BMW 7 Series, it’s a good idea to carry collisions. On the other hand, if you drive a 1997 Toyota Corolla with a market value of less than $2500, these coverages may be too expensive.

When do you draw the line on collision and extended? As a general rule, you do this when their combined annual costs exceed 10 percent of your vehicle’s value.

#2 – Are you driving a “risky” vehicle?

Auto insurers in Canada refer to the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system when calculating their policyholders’ rates. This is a score that indicates how likely it is that your car (based on make, model and year) is part of a claim. It also reflects how expensive that claim is likely to be. The CLEAR ratings are based on historical data that has been collected for years.

It’s worth finding out if a potential auto insurer considers your vehicle “high-risk.” If this is the case, your rates will likely be higher than usual.

#3 – Discounts you qualify for

Nearly every auto insurance company grants discounts to their policyholders. Unfortunately, most policyholders fail to verify their eligibility. Examples include discounts for a good driver, installing an alarm system in your vehicle, and consolidating your auto and property insurance policies with the same company. These and other standards can lower your premium.

A “good driver discount” can be automatically added to your policy (but don’t assume it). Your insurer has access to the information it needs to make this decision. Other discounts remain unclaimed until you investigate.

#4 – Type of Used Replacement Auto Parts

Suppose you are involved in an accident in which the alternator of your car is damaged. It must be replaced. Some auto insurance companies pay for original manufacturer parts (OEM). These are made by the automaker to their own specifications. Other insurers only cover the cost of remanufactured parts, the quality of which can range from good to bad. A poorly rebuilt alternator could leave you stranded in the future.

Ask your insurer or insurance broker to clarify what type of replacement parts are covered. Keep in mind that OEM parts generally offer higher quality but cost more. This will likely be reflected in your premiums.

#5 – Are there lower rates available elsewhere?

Never assume that your auto insurance company offers the lowest rates. In many cases, competing companies will be able to match your insurer’s quote while offering more comprehensive coverage. Or they can give a lower quote. Most consumers simply renew their policy without taking the time to look for lower premiums. As a result, they pay more than necessary.

Whether you’re switching to another insurer or renewing your policy, compare quotes from different carriers. You may find a cheaper package of coverage elsewhere.

Few people enjoy the process of buying car insurance. But discovering a few key details can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars in the long run.

Select a motorhome


Recently my wife and I were talking about our upcoming long term tour of the country. I’m turning 62 and we’ve both dreamed of traveling across the country and seeing everything we’ve always wanted to see. We have a 32 ft. travel trailer and a double Dodge 3500 diesel we would pull it with. For some reason, I was starting to think it would be nice to get a grade A. Apparently she had thought the same. So off to the dealers we went.

Having no idea what to look for, what kind of budget would be needed for the installation, or even the running costs, we decided it would be a good idea to ask as many questions as possible. We are not new to the RV world, having lived in a fifth wheel full time for 10 years taught us a lot. We know the problems of freezing water pipes, dumping the tanks, setting up and breaking down. How to save on storage space and shopping while living on a budget. So we knew what we wanted inside. But a class A is completely different from the outside than a fifth wheel.

Along the way we had to look differently. Our current fifth wheel is 42 ft long. It is a toy transporter or garage box. The aft 14 ft. was used as an office instead of carrying toys (motorcycles, ATV etc). Storage on the outside was just the basement. With a Class A you have much more storage space. But even that seemed to raise questions. Why were some models allowed through and others not? Why do some models have a lot of storage space and others don’t? Also, almost all class A motorhomes have a generator, why? What kind of maintenance do they need? How big would we need? How long does it take, etc.? It seemed like the more we started looking, the more questions we had. Then the really big question, gas or diesel.

We really needed to narrow down the selection and get an idea of ​​the cost of a Class A. If you’ve looked around at Class A’s, you know that diesel engines cost more than gas engines. Sometimes much more. But are they worth it? Our first problem was actually justifying a grade A on the setup we already have and paid for. My son more or less answered that. His feeling was that a Class A offered more options. If you were on the road and had a breakdown, you had your TOAD (car you dragged behind the Class A to get around town) that you could unhook and drive to get help. Second, there was the storage. Regardless of the Class A type (gas or diesel), you still have a lot more storage space than a travel trailer. The operating costs of a class A compared to the truck and trailer are also better. My truck gets an average of 8 MPG with the trailer. A diesel class A is about the same. But once camped, my car (TOAD) gets 30 MPG and the truck 16 MPG. Gas is currently 30 cents a gallon cheaper than diesel. Our total travel costs would be cheaper.

Next was the size of the rig. We found that if you want to keep your camping costs low, it’s best to opt for national and state parks along with dry camping. Many parks have a limit on the size of the installation they allow. The closer you get to 40 ft, the more parks you will limit. 36 ft. seems to be a good place. Lots of storage space and comfort and small enough to get to the maximum number of places. It’s funny how a little bit of information can go a long way. Just knowing we wanted to stay around 36ft helped eliminate a lot of the rigs.

So now tackle the big problem, gas or diesel. At first this seemed like a simple problem. Gas is cheaper, motorhomes with a gas engine are cheaper. All Class A’s offered a comfortable ride. All Class A’s offered ample storage space. Having worked on engines in my youth, I knew that a petrol engine wouldn’t have the lifespan of a diesel, but I also knew that you could rebuild or replace them fairly cheaply when the time came. SO petrol it was…but why was there so much demand for diesels? That bothered me, so I started asking questions. It seems that diesels have better mileage, go up and down the mountains more, have more towing capacity, have better basement spaces (storage) and generally last much longer. When I applied my math skills to the numbers, it turned out that diesels had lower running costs, had a better resale value, and lasted longer than the gas-powered RV. Now I was really torn, petrol or diesel? Enter my son-in-law, a mechanic. He had a simple advice… buy a diesel. They’re quieter (the engine is normally in the back), have a bigger generator (more electric to run things), and last forever. Now we knew where to refine our search. A diesel plant about 36 feet long.

Living space has always been a concern for me. I get a little claustrophobic at times. Add a few people in a small space (think elevator) and I sometimes almost lose it. So living in an 8 ft wide house on wheels can be a problem. The answer is slide outs. Diesel RV can have many slide outs. These expand the interior space considerably. But the more slides, the more expensive the device and the more potential problems. After thinking about it, we decided that two slides would be enough and one large slide in the living room would be our minimum. After all, we only sleep in the bedroom. But we eat, read, entertain and relax in the living room.

We no longer have children living with us so a single room was our next thought. Then the mother-in-law said that she would very much like to travel around the country. My wife also mentioned that she would like the grandchildren to travel with us from time to time. I know some of you also have kids that you can’t leave at home (although sometimes you wish you could). We did see a few Class A’s with bunk beds and they were actually really nice. That might be an option.

It was time to look at the budget. We had a basic idea of ​​what we now wanted in a motorhome. The issue became how much we wanted to spend and could we afford to buy what we needed.

I’ve always had expensive taste. When I went to RV shows I quickly learned that if the price of the RV was under $300,000 I really didn’t like it. I also knew we couldn’t afford to pay $300,000 for a new RV. With the budget and financial information, we figured out what we could afford. We have a situation that’s a little different from almost all of you and that’s a pending settlement of an insurance claim for my wife. For us, the settlement will be a determining factor for how much of a rig we can buy. But for now, we knew a new rig was out of the question, was going to be used.

New set of problems. Used means someone else’s problems. Now there are all kinds of things you can do to mitigate the problems you encounter. Insurance and aftermarket warranties, proper pre-sale inspections by a qualified mechanic, talking to the previous owner, buying as new as possible, reading reviews on the forums, asking questions of professionals and users. In short, do as much research as possible.

So how used is used? If you search the internet, you can find all kinds of used Class A rigs. Some with very low mileage. All different sizes and all different ages. When I took my list of requirements, I started looking at the local dealers, then eBay, then Internet searches. I can tell you this; there is no shortage of Class A Diesel RV for us to look at. Good Sams covers a rig up to 14 years old. But every year it gets more expensive. This way you can cover yourself for major problems.

So there you have it, how to select a motorhome. With a lot of research and a little luck, you can find the perfect rig for your travels. Determine what you need, what you want and what you can afford. Then search the local dealers so you can see what you say you must have versus what you want. Then search the web for units in your price range.

There are many good quality checklists on the internet that you can use to view the motorhome of your dreams once you have narrowed down a few. Use them too. Do you know a good mechanic? Take him/her with you; it never hurts to have an unbiased view on a major purchase.

The do’s and don’ts of marine insurance


If your business involves shipping goods locally or overseas, whether inland or across the ocean, you need to realize that the moment those goods leave the door, they change hands. many, many times, and we don’t know what can happen.

To protect your property and your business, you must have marine insurance. But how to choose the right one? Here are some do’s and don’ts:


1. Do not confuse marine insurance with boat insurance. Boat insurance protects boats and their passengers. It’s like car insurance, except the car floats on water.

Marine insurance is an entirely different banana. Despite its name, it is not limited to the protection of ocean freight. It also protects the cargo transported on land, in addition to protecting the ship carrying the cargo.

That is why there is such a thing as “dry” shipping, for cargo transported over land, as well as “wet” shipping, for cargo shipped via real ships.

2. Don’t lie on your application form. Also, don’t conceal relevant information. There’s a fine line between the two: lying on your form means you deliberately provided the wrong information. Withholding information means that it was not mandatory for you to disclose the information, but you know that disclosing it would adversely affect your policy.

Either way, if it were to be discovered that you lied or withheld relevant information, it would most likely void your policy, defeating the purpose for which you purchased the insurance in the first place.

3. Don’t break your warranty. In insurance law, the guarantee is fundamental for the performance of the contract. In the event of a breach, the non-offending party may terminate the contract in addition to claiming damages.

A common implied warranty in marine insurance is the seaworthiness (or seaworthiness) of the vessel.

Be aware that if a warranty is breached, this will not help the insured to remedy the warranty; the policy will be rendered null and void regardless.

So, before purchasing a policy, make sure you know all the guarantees included and make sure you are not violating any of them. Which brings us to our first action…


1. Read the fine print. Although the fine print can be tedious to read, we all know – some from painful experience – that ignoring it is like parking under a construction site: it’s only a matter of time before something hard and heavy hits you in the head, and you can’t live to regret it.

The thing is, unless you’re a first-grader learning to read, it won’t take you five minutes to read the details of the contract you’re entering into. (It doesn’t matter if it feels like an hour – it really isn’t.)

The fine print will tell you details of what you are paying for, rights you have that you may not have been aware of, conditions that are not covered by your policy and actions that will render your policy void and void. . For example, poorly packaged goods are generally not covered. Dangerous items such as fuels, firearms and chemicals are also not. Others may not cover food, wood and animals. There may also be browsing limits which, if exceeded, will void your policy.

2. Compare policy offers. And don’t rely on price alone.

Perhaps the reason this policy is so cheap is that it only covers the actual value, which is the value of your insured item at the time it was lost – and that includes depreciation, so you’ll end up probably getting a lot less than you expected.

On the other hand, this other policy may cost more, but it insures your item for the amount you had agreed (agreed value), on paper, so when the item is lost, you are compensated for the exact amount that you’re waiting. , which will allow you to immediately replace the lost item with a new one.

What about the causes of loss covered by the policy? Unregistered policies only cover specific types of loss and may not cover natural disasters. Then again, maybe they do.

Read the fine print to find out exactly what you’re paying for. Just because it’s the cheapest marine insurance politics doesn’t mean it’s the best. And if you’re in business, you should know that you should only invest in the best, or suffer losses later.

Is it better to buy a life insurance policy at the beginning, in the middle or towards the end of the year?


When it comes to determining the premium rates associated with different types of life insurance policies, there are a few factors that are generally considered by companies.

Two of the most important are interest and mortality. In addition to this, expense is another deciding factor that has a lot to do with premium rates for insurance policies, especially in the case of life insurance. This can be the amount of money the insurance provider is expected to add to its costs to cover different types of overhead costs such as business operational costs, premium investments and to pay massive sums of money for claims filed by various customers. Some details on these factors are discussed in the paragraphs below.


The essence of a life insurance policy may depend on a large group of individuals who co-share the risk of the insured person’s death. In order to make a forecast calculation of the cost that each member of the group should be responsible for, insurance companies normally try to calculate the risk of death of the insured person in the coming years. Mortality tables are very useful in this regard, as they provide insurers with a basic estimate of the amount of money they should pay each year in the event of death. Using mortality tables, life insurers typically determine median life expectancies for different age groups.


Interest is the second most important factor involved in the process of calculating premium rates in interest earnings. The amount of money paid by the customers is usually invested by the insurers in different types of opportunities like real estate, mortgages, stocks, bonds, etc. The idea behind these investments is to earn a nice sum of money which could be adjusted on interest account for the invested funds.


Expense is the third most important consideration when determining premium rates for a life insurance policy. Expenditure involves the operational costs of the business to ensure its optimal functioning. These expenses are usually estimated by the insurance company on the basis of different costs such as salaries, port charges, legal fees, rent, agent fees, etc. The total amount charged to an insurance policyholder for operational expenses is normally referred to as expense loading. It can be considered as a variable cost area which may differ for different insurance companies depending on their efficiency and expenses.

In addition to the factors mentioned above, there are a few others that have a minor effect on the cost of premium rates associated with life insurance policies. For example, the time of year you purchase an insurance policy also has an effect on the overall price. As a general trend, life insurance policies can be purchased relatively cheaper if you purchase them during the first quarter of the year. This is because the majority of insurance companies use mortality tables and age tables to determine rates for different policies. Consider the example mentioned below to develop a better understanding in this regard.

If the insurance premium for a 60 year old is $70.00 per month, it can be $75.00 for a 60.5 year old while the premium rate can go up to 80, $00 for a 61 year old. In simpler words, it is highly recommended to purchase the life insurance policy earlier in the year, because according to the age charts, you might fall into an age group with older people if you only wait a few months and your premium rates might eventually increase as well.

Cheap Student Car Insurance


There are many reasons why young people pay more for their car insurance. This includes the obvious, such as lack of driving experience and high accident statistics. The good news is that it’s possible to get cheap student car insurance by taking advantage of all the discounts available. Almost all car insurers offer discounts, even to teenagers. You can also get estimates in just seconds by entering a few quick bits of information about your age, car, and zip code. Here are some of the most common discounts young drivers can take advantage of.

1. Good student discounts

High school or college kids can get a car insurance discount just because they’re a student, but there’s a catch. The student must have and maintain good grades. Students can save a lot of money by working hard in class and getting good grades. Auto insurers have amassed huge amounts of accident data and statistics show that drivers who excel academically are also much safer drivers. Car insurance companies set premiums based on perceived risk and thus give discounts to less risky drivers, such as those with good grades. Achieving good marks requires discipline and sustained control, qualities that make good pilots.

Good student discount qualifications

*Most insurance companies offer these discounted rates to active students who maintain a B GPA or higher during an academic year. The good student discount is usually 10% on the car insurance premium. Hard work pays off in the classroom and also saves you money, so study hard!

* You must be a full-time student. Part-time students may not qualify for this type of discount.

* There is an age limit for students of 25 years old.

If you’re a parent paying for your child’s car insurance, use that discount as a motivator. If your child misses out on this great student discount this year, help them improve their grades and qualify for it next year. One idea is to offer to help pay for a new car with the insurance savings they’ll get from getting great grades.

2. Safety classes of certified drivers

Another smart way to get cheaper student car insurance and learn a lot is to take a certified driver training course. These courses are usually taught by highway patrol officers and other very experienced drivers, who have a wealth of driving knowledge to share. Not only will you learn to drive better, but after successfully completing the course, you can save up to 10% on your cover. A good tip is to make sure the course you intend to take is certified, so insurance companies recognize it and give you that big discount.

3. Buy a cheaper car to insure

The vehicle you insure is one of the most important factors that will impact car insurance rates. When you’re a young student driver, you’re already facing rates that are on average double those of most drivers over the age of 25. The car you drive can help you get lower rates or significantly increase your premiums. Stay away from exotic sports cars like a Porsche, expensive new cars, and vehicles that always top the most-stolen list. Consider buying a used car like a Toyota Camry which is fun to drive, safe and cheaper for students to insure.

4. Get resident student discounts

Students going to a college or university in another city or state (often more than 100 miles away) may qualify for a resident student discount. This little-known discount applies to students who plan not to drive while enrolled in school and only on limited occasions, such as winter and summer holidays. A student who wishes to avail of these special reduced rates must provide proof, such as an admission letter, with the college address. Additionally, the auto insurer will require valid proof of mileage and may also impose other restrictions on the driver.

5. Find the cheapest student car insurance online

Thanks to the web, finding the cheapest rates on student auto insurance has never been easier. Plus, you can compare multiple rates in minutes and find the policy that’s right for you.

Save money on auto insurance, business insurance, health insurance


These days, insurance companies abound in every corner of the United States. Like it or not, insurance is a need. Why? There is no denying that a disaster can have a devastating effect on a business, a family and an individual. These can include damages, bankruptcy and death, to name a few. What are the factors we should consider and how can we know the insurance we need.


Consideration should be given to the purpose of its possession, whether for personal use, for public transport use such as a private taxi, or for transporting goods and industrial materials. Age is also an important factor. Old vehicles pay a higher premium than new ones. The type and model of the vehicle also has a major role. When buying car/auto insurance online, some sites offer automated tools. They use an auto coverage analyzer where you have to answer a few questions about your financial situation, the condition of your automobile, etc. From this information, it will generate the coverage category you need.


There are insurance companies that have policies that combine protection for all major property and liability risks in one package. But you can also opt for separate coverage called a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). To protect yourself against flood damage, check to see if your office is in the flood zone. And if so, you should opt for a policy that offers flood coverage. A special earthquake insurance policy or commercial earthquake endorsement may cover you if you live in an earthquake-prone area. However, its policies have different deductibles. Meanwhile, business interruption insurance, which reimburses you for lost revenue during a shutdown, only applies to damage covered by this policy. On the other hand, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act 2002 covers losses due to any terrorism only for companies that have this cover. Injuries and deaths due to acts of terrorism are exceptions in workers’ compensation.


With health insurance, you protect yourself and your family in case you need medical care that could cost you dearly. If you have insurance, many of your costs are covered by a third-party payer (insurance company/employer), not by you.


Collective insurance

Most Americans get health insurance through work or are covered because a family member has insurance at work. Group insurance is generally the cheapest. In many cases, the employer pays part or all of the cost.

Some employers offer only one health insurance plan. Some employers offer a choice of plans. These are:

a) Fee-for-service

Insurance companies pay fees for services provided to policyholders covered by the policy. This type of health insurance offers the most choices of doctors and hospitals. You can choose the doctor of your choice and change doctors at any time. You can go to any hospital in any part of the country. The insurer only pays part of your doctor and hospital bills.

b) Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)

Health maintenance organizations are prepaid health plans. As an HMO member, you pay a monthly premium. In return, the HMO provides comprehensive care for you and your family, including doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency care, surgery, lab tests, X-rays, and therapy.

c) Preferred Supplier Organizations (PPOs)

The preferred provider organization is a combination of traditional fee-for-service and an HMO. Like an HMO, there are a limited number of doctors and hospitals to choose from. When you use these providers (sometimes called “preferred” providers, other times called “network” providers), most of your medical bills are covered.

Individual Insurance

If your employer does not offer group insurance, or if the insurance offered is very limited, you can take out an individual policy. You can get paid protection, HMO or PPO. But you should compare your options and shop carefully, as coverage and costs vary from company to company. Individual plans may not offer benefits as extensive as group plans.

Tips when buying individual insurance:

o Shop carefully. Policies differ significantly in coverage and cost. Contact different insurance companies or ask your agent to show you policies from several insurers so you can compare them.

o Make sure the policy protects you from major medical expenses.

o Read and understand the policy. Make sure it offers the type of coverage that’s right for you. You don’t want nasty surprises when you’re sick or in the hospital.

o Check that the policy states: the date the policy will start paying (some have a waiting period before coverage begins) and what is covered or excluded from coverage.

o Make sure there is a “free visibility” clause. Most companies give you at least 10 days to review your policy after you receive it. If you decide it’s not right for you, you can return it and get your premium refunded.

o Beware of single health insurance policies. Some policies only offer coverage for one disease, such as cancer. If you already have health insurance, your regular plan probably already provides all the coverage you need. Check the protection you have before taking out any other insurance.

Five Tips for Buying Supplemental Medicare Insurance


When you turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, you will have to make another important decision.

You can choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. About a third of Medicare enrollees choose an MA plan. In some states like California they are readily available. However, in other states there are few MA options.

One of the other most popular options is a Medicare supplement plan. These are sometimes referred to as Medigap plans and we will use these two terms interchangeably. About 15 million Americans currently have a Medigap plan that provides complete freedom to see any medical professional who accepts Medicare.

We’ll focus on several important facts about Medigap insurance that can help you get the best coverage at the best cost. In fact, the information shared can help you save a lot of money. It’s always good.

But saving money today isn’t the only reason to read the tips shared here. They can also save you heartache in the future. Indeed, when you choose a Medigap plan option now, it could be an irrevocable choice limiting your future.

TIP #1: Don’t overpay. Why pay double for the same package?

Medigap insurance prices vary widely. Rates are usually set by county and it is common to find one company charging twice as much as another.

According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance’s 2020 Medicare Price Index, a 65-year-old woman in Chicago could pay as little as $92 per month or as much as $234 per month for a identical coverage. The Price Index reports the lowest and highest prices for Medigap Plan G for some 100 cities across the country.

No company has always offered the lowest cost. And no company was consistently the most expensive according to the price index. In fact, in some cases, the company that had the lowest cost for men did not have the lowest cost for women. Frustrating? Not really, it just means asking the “right” questions.

TIP #2: Buy for price stability

Insurers can and do raise rates. A policy that seems cheap today may be expensive tomorrow.

Some insurance companies are new to the Medigap industry and may not have real experience on which to base their rates. Others may offer lower premiums in order to get more initial sales.

This sometimes results in above-average rate increases in future years. For this reason, you will want to compare current costs as well as price stability.

TIP #3: Discounts can add up

Today, many Medigap insurance companies offer spousal and/or household discounts. Not all do. However, discounts can range from 5 to 14%. The savings can reach hundreds of dollars per year. And since you’ll probably live another 10 or 20 years, you’re talking about real money – so don’t pass it up.

TIP #4: Get savings and points

Some insurers will give you a discount when you set up automatic payments. Some offer discounts when you pay annually. Some will allow you to charge payments to a credit card. You can see where we are going.

Let’s say your monthly Medicare Supplement insurance premium is $300. Starting at age 65 and paying for 20 years, that equates to $72,000 in premium. If you are married, double that. A credit card that offers a 2% discount means you’ll save nearly $3,000. If your credit card grants airline points, you will have earned some nice credits.

Tip #5: The easy way to compare prices

You sometimes hear the saying that if you act like your own lawyer or doctor, you have a fool for a client. Choosing the right health insurance plan can be confusing.

There’s nothing wrong with calling one of the dozens of 800 numbers vying for your attention and your business. But, often, they may only represent one company or have a particular preference.

For this reason, it’s usually beneficial to compare your choices and recommendations by researching a health insurance agent. Some will focus only on the Medicare supplement, but today many offer comprehensive options, including Medicare Advantage.

It’s nice to have an unbiased agent in your back pocket when you have questions. A national directory of Medicare insurance agents lists some 1,000 specialists by zip code. Access is available for free and, perhaps best of all, is completely private. You get to see their information without having to enter any information.

A great resource for the latest information is the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance website. This is where you will find the 2020 Health Insurance Price Index and access the agent directory.

Owner-operator insurance – Definitions and impact of non-trucking, bobtail and empty liability


As with any business model, motor carriers (MCs) using owner-operators (OOs) enjoy certain benefits while assuming additional risks. One such risk is the potential “uninsured” exposure of the OO while not in a “commercial use” capacity for the motor carrier. MC’s Trucking or Commercial Automobile Liability (AL) policy provides coverage for units owned by motor carriers as well as all leased tractors and trailers during their lease period. Coverage ceases for an owner-operator once he is no longer in “commercial use” capacity for the motor carrier. The problem is that the OO continues to use their vehicle while displaying the MC plate and may not have any other insurance available. Many times the “deep” pocket of the MC is called upon to repair the injured third.

Three products have been developed to fill the coverage gap for the owner-operator.

Liability not related to trucking:

Cost: Low

Protection of motor carriers Automobile liability: low

Market availability: high

Non-trucking liability provides coverage for “personal use” by using a trucking or commercial auto liability policy form and attaching a “business use” exclusion. The difficulty stems from the fact that the definition of “commercial use” is generally not defined in the policy, but stems directly from various decisions of state and federal courts interpreting this term.

Unfortunately, “commercial use” has been interpreted very broadly and extends beyond “shipping”. Here are some typical scenarios that would not be covered by the Non-Trucking policy due to the broad interpretation of the “business use” exclusion:

  • OO drops the charge and goes home to include a grocery trip gap (courts rule OO owes a return trip)
  • OO takes vehicle to garage on weekends for maintenance (courts determine OO maintains unit per MC lease requirements)
  • OO is out of town, between loads. He’s going to the cinema. (courts rule OO is out of town under MC’s direction)

Cover example: OO uses his truck in his spare time to go to the grocery store and hits another vehicle.

Bobtail Liability:

Average cost

Protection of motor carriers Automobile liability: average

Market availability: low

Many in the transportation industry use the same terminology for Bobtail liability and non-trucking liability, when in reality they are very different. Bobtail defines coverage as “whenever the trailer is unattached” whether or not the OO was shipped by the motor carrier.

Cover example:

  • OO drops the load and bobtails to pick up the next load.
  • OO drops the charge late in the day and bobtails the houses.
  • Be aware that the Bobtail policy will not respond every time a trailer is attached, even if it is truly in a personal situation, for example:
  • OO brings home an empty trailer and goes to the store on the weekend.
  • OO uses his tractor to move a mobile home on the weekends.
  • OO helps a friend move by pulling a trailer with household items

Empty liability:

High cost

Protection of motor carriers Motor vehicle liability: high

Availability on the market: very low (per class)

No-Load Liability provides the least ambiguous coverage and broadest level of protection for the MC and OO. This policy provides coverage while bobtailing (no trailer attached) as well as while empty (trailer does not contain or carry cargo – no bill of lading), regardless of the shipment. The difficulty with this line of coverage is low availability (usually not available in a primary settlement deduction program; rather the OO’s need to obtain on a direct basis).

Each of the coverage models has advantages and disadvantages that vary depending on the risk tolerance and activities of the motor carrier and owner-operator. Deciding on the right program can be key to managing your risk. Seek the assistance of a qualified insurance broker to review your current insurance programs and operations and to provide suggestions and options that best meet your needs.

Why Insurance Agency Websites Need SSL


There are many compelling reasons why insurance agency websites should migrate to SSL, including security, encryption, and trust. Google is making a big push to move all websites to SSL and said in October 2017, “Passwords and credit cards aren’t the only types of data that should be private. Any type of data that users type into websites shouldn’t be accessible to others on the network, so starting in version 62, Chrome will display the “Not Secure” warning when users type data into HTTP sites. term, we plan to display the “Not secure” warning for all HTTP pages, even outside of private browsing mode.”

What is SSL and why is it secure?

When browsing a website, you may see a resolved domain name beginning with http: Sites that begin with http: are not SSL sites. All SSL sites begin with https:. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is the de facto standard used to establish an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. The SSL link ensures that all data communicated between a web server and a browser remains private.

In other words, SSL keeps information sent over the Internet secure and private, allowing only the intended recipient to receive it in an understandable format. Many people don’t realize that the information they send over the Internet is transmitted from one computer to another before finally arriving at the selected destination server. This means that any of these computers, which communicate your information in this chain, can intercept important information such as user names, passwords, credit card information, medical information, etc. SSL encrypts this data, making the information unreadable to anyone except the final destination server. This is important for increased security and to protect confidential information from hackers and identity thieves.

SSL authentication

SSL provides authentication in addition to encryption. As mentioned earlier, your information will generally be transmitted through a series of computers. A good example of this might be a quote form, which might contain confidential information about potential insurance customers. Any of these temporary computers could potentially impersonate the final destination website and hijack your confidential information. This security issue is thwarted by using a public key infrastructure (PKI) and obtaining an SSL certificate from an authorized SSL provider. SSL certificates are provided to verified entities such as your insurance agency, after undergoing several identity checks to prove that they are trustworthy. Insurance agencies wishing to accept credit card payments will be required to use SSL for their sites.

Browser warnings and visual cues

Major web browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla, Safari and Edge now provide indicators to help users determine if an insurance website is secure. Sites with SSL indicate that the site is secure in the upper left corner by using the word secure or by offering visual cues. For example, the word “Secure” may appear, or a padlock or other icon. Conversely, a site that is not SSL may contain a warning icon or otherwise indicate that your site is not secure, warning users not to send sensitive information. using your website.

It’s only a matter of time before all insurance agencies and brokers are forced to migrate their sites to SSL. SSL certificates are inexpensive, typically costing between $50 and $70 per year depending on the hosting provider, and many offer multi-year discounts. Our recommendation is that insurance agencies that have not yet converted to SSL do so immediately. SSL certificates will help protect your agency, your clients, your prospects and your confidential data. Agencies that need help updating their insurance agency website or moving to SSL can contact a knowledgeable insurance agency marketing agency.

How Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts Provide Tax and Liability Protection


Many people don’t realize that proceeds from a South Florida life insurance policy are added to your estate for estate tax purposes if the policy was owned by the deceased within its last 3 years. of life. This is the case for more than 90% of all life insurance policies. Although the beneficiary is not taxed directly on the proceeds, the estate will be taxed at 55% starting in 2011. In most cases, the life insurance beneficiary is also the representative of the estate. This means the government can tax your family’s comings and goings if your plan isn’t properly structured.

Due to the massive tax implications, an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (“ILIT”) is very useful for estate planning purposes in South Florida. An ILIT is a legal instrument written by a South Florida estate planning attorney to remove life insurance from your estate to reduce taxes and increase asset protection. You can designate your spouse, child or any other appropriate party as the beneficiary of the trust.

You can also provide detailed instructions to the ILIT trustee, including how the life insurance payment should be distributed, when the trustee should make payments, loans or investments, what to do with the family business , who receives the assets upon the death or disability of your original beneficiaries, and when to terminate the trust. ILIT gives you control over money from beyond the grave and protects your children from unnecessary liability.

As you can see, structuring your life insurance policy so that the ILIT owns the life insurance benefit is helpful in achieving a number of goals, including:

1. limit or abolish inheritance tax;

2. increase the level of assets available to your spouse, children and other loved ones or entities after your departure; and

3. Provide additional cash to a cash-strapped estate or business.

Because ILIT is a separate South Florida legal entity that is not part of your estate, the IRS is unable to levy a inheritance tax on the assets within the ILIT since they are beyond your control. Since you are able to lay out all of your goals and desires in the trust document, and because normally the only asset inside the trust during your lifetime is your life insurance, it makes sense to give up control in exchange for all the tax benefits. The trustee will be the applicant, owner and beneficiary of your life insurance, so the proceeds will never pass through your taxable estate and estate tax will be reduced by 55% of the total insurance benefits. life.

Having your spouse or child own and act as beneficiary of a South Florida life insurance policy on your life is another way to avoid estate tax on your life; however, ILIT has the added benefit of also keeping undistributed proceeds out of your beneficiaries’ taxable estates. Properly planned ILITs will limit or eliminate inheritance taxes and generation skip taxes for multiple generations.

An ILIT can also help you increase the assets available to your beneficiaries because it makes it easy to hold one or more life insurance policies. The South Florida trustee has the trust document as an effective road map to follow regarding purchase, payment of premiums, and distribution of proceeds. ILIT injects money into your estate by making distributions, purchases or loans as needed. The ILIT Trustee makes appropriate distributions of cash proceeds to cover debts, taxes, and funeral expenses. The trustee could even buy part or all of the business with the cash proceeds and professionally manage the business until the children are old enough to take over. The trustee could also make appropriate loans to the spouse, children and business.