In the United States, our largest generation is aging; when combined with increased longevity and higher ages among the older population, it means that many Americans are at risk of outliving their benefits and life retirement savings. While it would be hard to find anyone that would say that living longer is a bad thing, the reality is that it can cause a number of financial and logistical issues for those who do.
Fortunately, there is a solution: long-term care insurance, an important consideration for anyone who may need to live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. Not only can long-term care insurance cover the cost of any long-term care needs that are related to age and disability, but it can also prepare for a future you might not be able to see coming.
What is long term care insurance and why do you need it
Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance coverage that pays for health care needs not covered by Medicare and Medicaid. This includes nursing home costs, assisted living facility expenses, adult day services, personal assistance and other types of long term care.
When you buy long-term care insurance, you are essentially pre-paying for your future health care needs. The policy will usually cover at least some (or sometimes, all) of the costs of long-term care, depending on the type of coverage you choose.
There are two types of long-term care insurance policies:
1. Indemnity policies.
With an indemnity policy, the insurance company will pay for any approved long-term care services that you need.
2. Benefit period policies.
With a benefit period policy, the insurance company will pay for a certain number of years’ worth of long-term care services. Once that number of years is up, the policyholder is on their own. Some benefit period policies can be renewed after the initial time period ends, but will usually incur a higher cost.
What are the benefits of having long-term care insurance?
There are a number of benefits to having long-term care insurance, which is why it is crucial that anyone close to retirement considers it as an option in their portfolio.
Peace of Mind.
You will have peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to worry about paying for long-term care services in the future, should you outlive some of your other financial means.
Immediate Medical Help.
With a long-term care policy, you receive financial assistance right away – so you don’t have to wait until your condition worsens to get help with daily activities and health care costs that aren’t covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
Wide Coverage Options.
Long-term care insurance helps cover assisted living facility expenses, adult day services and personal assistance required for those who suffer from disabilities as a result of age or other health conditions.
What are some disadvantages of long-term care insurance?
Of course, in contrast, there are always things you need to weigh against when considering purchasing a long-term care policy.
First, long-term care insurance policies can be very expensive and usually require you to pay an up-front premium, plus a yearly premium after that that can continue for as long as your policy is still in effect. You may also be subject to a waiting period before benefits start paying out – meaning you’ll have to pay for any expenses incurred during this time yourself.
Also, be prepared to pay more in premiums as you age; premiums on long-term care policies increase as the insured gets older.
Finally, if for some reason the costs of long-term care exceed the amount paid by your insurance company under your policy, any additional expenses you incur will need to be covered by another source—possibly Medicaid—but it is not a guarantee. Make sure you talk with your trusted agent to determine where your gaps in coverage may be and how they can be shored up before you need them.
If you’re close to retirement, looking to plan ahead, or simply want to know your options in healthcare and other forms of insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to let us know. We at Penny Insurance are dedicated to helping you find the best solutions for whatever you need. Should you like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.
People have been riding horses for centuries, and they remain a popular choice for recreation and transportation even today. There may be many reasons why people invest in horses, but regardless of the reason, it’s important to protect your investment—for work, fun or just companionship—with equine insurance. Not only can this help cover any injuries or illnesses that might happen to the animal, it can also provide coverage should the animal be stolen or lost. In this article, we’ll discuss the main types of equine insurance, and other considerations for horse owners.
What is Equine Insurance?
Equine insurance is insurance for horse owners that generally covers the loss or injury of the horse. In this instance, we will define equine insurance as insurance on the horse itself, although there are often many different types of insurance that can sometimes fall into this category—including farm property coverage for paddocks and land and liability insurance if your horse is used for business purposes.
The 2 Types of Equine Insurance
Although there are different types of policies and coverage options to choose from, most equine insurance boils down to two types: Mortality and theft insurance, and Medical/Surgical coverage.
All-Risk Mortality and Theft
Typically only issued for horses under 20 years of age, a mortality policy covers the loss of a horse due to death, or even theft. This type of coverage is typically available for both personal use animals and trail horses, and in the instance that your horse needs to be put down, is stolen or dies, a mortality policy will reimburse you for the loss, based on age and health of the horse at the time the policy is taken out.
Available as an add-on to mortality plans, these plans can cost anywhere between 2.5 and four percent of the animal’s value. Medical/Surgical policies can be considered like health insurance for your horse—covering medical costs in case of illness or injuries—and similarly, cover everything from prescriptions to surgery. However, most policies will not cover basic or preventative care like vaccinations or dental care.
Other Insurance Considerations for Horse Owners
If you are considering equine insurance for your horse—whether it be a work asset or more of a family friend, there are other things to consider when considering an equine policy.
The right policy matters
While there are two common policy types that we’ve covered above, the reality is that there are many options for different types and forms of coverage for horse owners. Liability insurance covers injury and property damage to others, horse transit policies cover the transportation risks of horses that are constantly on the move. One should also consider the surrounding policies that will help protect the investment and the horse itself—like property or dwelling damage for structures like barns, and farm coverage for a larger land property.
Because the uses of horses differ, as does each household or business, it’s important to understand that policies can vary widely. Some mortality policies may pay out a mere thousands, while others pay multiples of that in case of loss, but the premium will match the back-end payouts, as well. As with any other insurance consideration, navigating the many options and finding the best selection for you (and your horse!) is key. Make sure you engage an agent you trust along the way to make the process easier, and to nail down the right policies for you and your large animals.
Policies are non-transferrable
A policy on a horse is similar to a policy on a human—they are for that specific individual, and cannot be transferred to another. While it may be an option to add more animals (read: horses) to your policy, they would need to be listed as separate individuals. What’s more: if you sell or give the horse to a new owner, the policy cannot go with the horse. Instead, that owner would need to take out a new policy for the animal, and you’d need to cancel yours.
Timing is key
If you already carry a policy on your horse—or once you have one in place—understand that most policies require immediate notification if the horse becomes ill or injured. Know what your policy covers—and what it requires of you for claims—before they become an issue later on.
However your horse fits into your family, and whatever the type of coverage you may need, Penny Insurance is here to answer any questions and help you select the best plan possible to cover your equine investment. Should you have any questions about coverage or insurance types, or if you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.
With the seasonal shift to fall comes cooler weather, earlier nights, and bonfires to gather around with friends and family. But when it comes to lighting a flame outdoors there can be risks—and how those risks relate to your homeowner’s insurance bring about another level of concern. In this article, we’ll explore basic fire safety for all the cozy nights (and productive days!) you have planned this autumn.
Types of outdoor fires and how to make them safer
There are a lot of reasons to be outside once the fall air turns crisp. From cleaning up fallen leaves to celebrating with those closest to you, here are some of the most common reasons people light up outside, and how to make them a bit safer.
With football tailgates comes outdoor barbeques, and you may find yourself at the grill a bit more often than before. But if you find yourself watching over the cookout, make sure you practice grill safety: stay with the grill the entire time it’s on, move the grill away from decking or siding that may be more flammable, and keep your grill clean so a grease fire doesn’t catch you unaware.
Nothing says “fall” more than sitting around a fire pit or bonfire with s’mores on hand, but a fire pit is also a common way for fire to get loose in the yard. If hanging around the fire with friends is on your fall to-do list, make sure your fire is at least three feet away from the house as well as anything that could easily catch fire, and use a metal screen to keep sparks at bay. When you’re done, check that the fire is out completely before you leave it alone for the night.
When the fall leaves make a dense carpet in your backyard, it’s natural to want to clean them out—whether to keep underlying grass healthy or to prevent snakes and other pests from taking cover. There are a number of preferable ways to clear out dead leaves other than a burn pile—such as bagging them up in biodegradable bags or chopping them up in the mower to mulch the lawn for the winter—but if you must burn, there are a few precautions you should take.
Firstly, check the weather, and never burn on super dry or windy days, when flames could jump or scatter. Also, look for a place that is flat, and never under branches or power lines. Add a moat around the perimeter of your pile for added safety, and make sure you douse the pile—not once, but twice, once you are done for the day.
Are outdoor fires covered by insurance?
While many will assume that a runaway fire would be covered by homeowners’ insurance, the reality is a bit more complicated. Grills and fire pits are typically considered personal belongings, as well as an “unattached structure.” This means that—typically—any damage will only be covered at a percentage of the insurance you carry for your entire home, usually about ten percent. So if an ember sparks something bigger and affects your shed or garage, it could mean big bucks out of pocket.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to know your coverage limits and liabilities—before you start up the fire pit for the season. Talking with your insurance agent about your own practices, hobbies and concerns is a great way to determine if you’re at risk, and if so, how much risk you’re taking on when you light the match.
For your homeowner’s policy, or any other insurance requirements you have, Penny Insurance has the experience and expertise to walk you through, every step of the way. Should you have any questions about coverage or insurance types, or if you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.
How to Buy Hurricane Insurance
With hurricane season now upon us, it’s crucial that those with homes along vulnerable coasts know that their homes and belongings are protected. If you’re looking to buy hurricane insurance, you know that it can be complicated—from changes in what policies are required to how coverage differs from state to state. However, with the right advisor in your corner, you can have coverage from all the storms that may head your way.
What is hurricane insurance?
The first thing that’s important to understand is that not only will standard homeowners’ insurance not cover damage from a hurricane, but that there is really no such thing as a hurricane policy. Instead, homeowners will need to merge two types of policies—a flood policy, and windstorm insurance. Flood insurance will help cover the cost of damages incurred by surges of water into the home (rising water damage is typically not covered by a standard homeowners policy), and windstorm insurance covers damage from any sort of high wind, not just hurricanes.
How much will hurricane insurance cost?
To protect your home completely from a hurricane, you’re looking at pretty high premiums. While the standard homeowners’ policy will cost, on average, somewhere between $1500 to $1900 a year, adding flood coverage ($700-1000/year) can increase that significantly. In addition, you’ll want a windstorm insurance policy that can add an additional $700 to $2,600 a year, depending on your location, deductible and home build. Once added up, you’ll be paying significantly more to ensure that your coverage is gap-free.
What to know about hurricane deductibles
While most homeowners plans have a set, flat deductible per claim (like $1,000 or $2,500), oftentimes a hurricane deductible will be based on the value of your home (like one or two percent over your estimated value). That means your deductible could be much higher than you’re used to—a $1 million seaside home could require $10,000 deductible if calculated at one percent of the home’s value. These deductibles may also be called “Named Storm” deductibles, as they are triggered when the NOAA names a storm.
While the risk is small that you will need to use it, you’ll want to talk through your options with a trusted advisor who can walk through the options, and ensure you don’t get hit with a deduction that’s high during an already stressful time.
Top tips for purchasing hurricane insurance
If you’re considering purchasing hurricane insurance for your home, there are a few things you should consider.
Understand your coverage—and its gaps.
As you walk through your coverage options, you’ll want to make sure that you understand what is covered—inside and out. Does your payout cover the cost of a full rebuild? What is your deductible? How is your premium billed, and what is covered? All of these are things you’ll want to know in case of a storm-based emergency.
While hurricane season is somewhat predictable between June 1 and n=November 30 of each year, some policies have wait times before they are active, so you don’t want to wait until a storm is headed your way to figure all this out.
Compare your quotes.
Quotes can vary, and with such a high price tag attached to hurricane coverage, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best rates.
Get an advisor to help.
Because hurricane policies include many different variables, you’ll want to make sure you have someone who knows the industry and the coverage, so they can help you identify gaps in coverage and shore them up. But having someone knowledgeable alongside you can not only help while you’re going through the purchasing process, but can also give you a little peace should something happen, knowing they are helping you along the way.
If you need a hurricane insurance policy, Penny Insurance has the experience and expertise to walk you through it, every step of the way. Should you have any questions about coverage or insurance types, or if you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.
The Basics of Equine Insurance
In recent years, pet insurance has become more and more popular, offering owners peace of mind to cover sudden illness. But for larger members of the animal kingdom like horses, insurance is either not available, or can be cost prohibitive. For that reason, equine insurance exists—to protect horses used for business or personal use in the case of illness, theft or death.
What is equine insurance?
Equine insurance is a type of insurance purchased for the care of a horse—for either personal or business purposes. This type of insurance provides coverage in case of illness or death, injury or property damage.
What types of equine insurance are there?
Generally, there are two types of equine insurance: all-risk mortality and medical insurance. Each type focuses on a different facet to insure; we’ll break them down here.
All-Risk Mortality and Theft insurance
All-Risk Mortality insurance protects you, the owner, from loss if your horse must be put down, dies, or is stolen. Most policies will cover any type of death, but can only be purchased if the horse is between 2 and 17 years of age; typically, a horse 20 years old or older will not be eligible for coverage. Additionally, policy premiums are based not only on the age of the horse, but also with the following considerations:
- Purchase price.
- Training or competition records.
- Breeding record.
- Appraisals and Market comparison.
Medical and Surgical insurance
Medical insurance covers your horse if they need veterinary care or treatment in order to recover from an illness or injury—costs that can be significant, depending on the situation. However, medical insurance can usually only be purchased as an additional policy to a mortality and theft policy.
What should I know if I am considering an equine insurance policy?
While all insurance policies have basically the same functionality, equine insurance policies have many parameters that should be considered. For this reason, finding an agent who understands policies and coverage is very important. However, here are a few things to understand if you are considering purchasing an equine insurance policy.
Policy Terms Matter
If you are considering a new policy, it’s vital that you understand the details of the policy. As an example, in a mortality policy, the payout may be made in a previously-agreed-upon amount (that will be reflected in the coverage), or at a fair market value. Either can provide good coverage, but if a horse dies after illness or injury has taken a toll, it may also affect what is considered “fair market value.” Talk through your questions or concerns with your agent to ensure you have a clear understanding of what is covered, and how much it will return in case of a claim.
Policies are Non-Transferrable
It’s important to know that equine policies are non-transferrable, which means that if something happens to an uninsured horse, you cannot use the policy from another horse to cover the costs.
Insurable Value is Not Always a Fixed Number
While many equine policies only cost a few hundred dollars each year for coverage, the value of a horse is not a fixed amount, and neither is the cost of coverage. As you talk with your agent, make sure you discuss coverage terms in detail, as well as the different aspects of your horse that might affect your coverage or premium.
If you’re considering equine insurance, Penny Insurance has the experience and expertise to walk you through it, every step of the way. Should you have any questions about coverage or insurance types, or if you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.