Sunday, August 7, 2011

Making a claim on your insurance

This summer I have assisted several clients making an insurance claim. Like everything else in life, they seem to come in batches. While none were happy to be making a claim, they were all pleased to receive the insurance proceeds.

Life insurance claims are straight forward – the insurance company needs a death certificate and a claim form. The money in most cases is paid out in less than a month from when you notify me. In both cases this summer (even with a mail strike), I managed to deliver the checks to the beneficiaries in about 2 weeks.

Disability claims require more time and more paperwork. The client I am working with is an employee at one of the groups I insure. I was called as soon as he was off work. The employer and employee have completed their paperwork; we’re just waiting for the doctor to submit theirs.

Do you have long term disability coverage? If you’re an employee – look at your pay stub. If you show an amount deducted beside LTD – you have Long Term Disability coverage that probably starts if you’re off work for 17 weeks. If you have an amount listed besides WI (weekly Indemnity) or STD (Short Term Disability), then you have Short Term Disability as well. As opposed to health and dental benefits, disability only protects your income and not that of your spouse.

You should review your coverage whenever there’s a change in your life. Whether you require Life Insurance to protect your family, Critical Illness Insurance to receive a lump sum payment should you get a life threatening or life altering disease or Disability Insurance to pay you monthly while you are unable to work or a combination depends on your specific situation.

Give me a call. I’d be pleased to walk you through the calculations to determine how much insurance you need and what type meets your specific need.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The more things change, the more they stay the same

We've all heard this proverb and have all probably used it, but what does it mean in your everyday life?

This week, I went on line and bought tickets, posted pictures and checked bus schedules - all activities that a few years ago would have required phone calls and / or a trip out of my office to accomplish. I spoke to a friend half way around the world on Skype for nothing (versus the expensive long distance phone call of 15 years ago). I could go on - we all have examples from our day to day lives.

The fundamentals of financial and estate planning have not changed. We are all concerned that we might outlive our money or whether we can maintain our standard of living for ourselves and our families - no matter what happens. What have you done about this? Many people bury their head in the sand and hope that nothing serious happens. Some people have reviewed their plans with a professional and know what would happen if - and many of these people are pleased to learn that they are in a much better position than they thought they were in.

Would you like to be one of the people who knows for sure? I am offering a confidential, complementary review of your current situation along with suggestions on how to ensure that you can maintain your lifestyle - to my clients and readers of this newsletter