Travel Insurance For Backpackers And Hikers

If you have a tour in your mind and you want to travel the free way, a good backpacker travel insurance policy is a thing you must consider before tour. Backpacking trips are bit riskier than regular planned travels. So in such case good backpacker travel insurance becomes a mandatory criterion for a hassle free tour.

Most of the insurers don’t know all the benefits of insurance as they are unaware but these insurance policies help a traveler in many ways.

A Backpacker insurance policy is basically for those who are low on budget. You don’t have to pay high for regular insurance policy but you will surely get the essential coverage with backpackers travel insurance policy. It covers you and your luggage at very less cost, as this type of insurance is designed for backpackers who are known for their low budgeted and unplanned travel schedules.

Before going through you must know backpacker insurance policy and its features.

Features provided by backpacker travel insurance

There are some important features and coverage that backpacker travel insurance policy can provide, these are as follows;

  • In case if you have to extend you trip due to any unexpected reason, backpacker insurance covers it too.
  • You get all covers round the clock all the year no matter what time or circumstances are there.
  • If you get sick during you trip, all the medical expenses will be covered by backpacker insurance providers. Most of the time such insurance policies also covers personal incidents that occur during travel (please confirm this before buying insurance policy from you insurance provider).
  • Many travel insurance firms provide option to opt out which they don’t want to be covered and ask for the things which they want to be covered. This flexibility is an added advantage for insurers.
  • Many travel insurance firms provide the option to the insurer that what they really want to be covered in their policy. This flexibility is an added advantage for insurers.
  • Many backpacker tours for winter sports, some travel for scuba diving. Such adventurous sports have high risks involved which can lead you to physical damages. Covers for such sports are also available as an optional measure. You can add such sports covers in your existing insurance for added safety.
  • You can extend you insurance any time with a single click sitting at your home in front of your computer.
  • Make sure that insurance policy covers the location in which you are planning to travel. Some travel insurance companies provide insurance policies only for a certain country.

Now the biggest which every travelers generally asks is “Do I really need a backpacker insurance policy? And is it really worth it? ”

Backpacker travel insurance is surely recommended for you if you fell into any of these categories

  • You travel alone at places which are expected.
  • Your travel schedule is unexpected and never planned.
  • You have medical history or you are above 50 years of age.

Backpacking is surely an adventurous trip but it has its own risks too. Backpackers are very prone to injuries, robbery and related issues. There are some possible issues in which backpackers can easily get coverage. These are as follows:

Tour cancellation – Trips are cancelled many times due to many issues. Sometimes due to bad weather and sometimes due to some personal reason, one has to cancel his/her trip.

Emergency medical care – backpackers are very much prone to issue like food poisoning, diarrhea and other infections. Such diseases can lead to serious health issues which can be covered by purchasing insurance.

Accidents – accidents are common and can be occur at any time. Insurance not only covers for your injury but also the person affected by your mistake.

Theft or robbery – backpacker usually travel alone. They also stay at budget hotels. All this makes them prone to things like baggage theft and robbery.

Considering the current global scenario which is quite unsafe, having proper backpacker travel insurance is very necessary.

A backpacker insurance policy can be a great help for every traveler who wants to travel the free way. So what are you waiting for? Get a backpacker travel insurance for yourself and roam free

Author is an travel insurance adviser who is spreading awareness about backpacker travel insurance

Fire Insurance Coverage

Home-InsuranceThe term ‘insurance’ is a written guarantee, which safeguards an insured individual and his/her assets in troubled times. For this guarantee, the individual needs to pay a substantial amount to the relevant insurance company, periodically, which is called a ‘premium’. This same money (and more) is used to help the insured individual in times of trouble.

Thus, when we talk about health insurance, it means that when we fall ill/undergo a surgery, the arising expenses will be borne by the insurance company. When we talk about car insurance, the cost to repair the car in case of damage will be borne by the company, and so on. All this certainly involves a lot of paperwork and legal jargon. In this article, we will learn about the importance of fire insurance coverage, its types, limitations, etc.

The Theory Explained

-Fire insurance is a type of insurance in which an individual pays some amount of money to the insurance company periodically, and in exchange, the company helps him/her out if and when that individual suffers loss or damage of property due to a fire.
-It should not be confused with property insurance, as it covers repair, reconstruction, even replacement costs much beyond what is covered in the latter.
-There is a maximum limit up to which the costs may be covered, this depends on the conditions written in the contract and the amount of loss that has occurred.

Coverage Conditions and Limitations

As mentioned earlier, this policy helps recover whatever is lost in case of a fire accident. However, in most cases, the contract will have a specified amount that is agreed to, mutually, at the time of signing the contract. This amount is what the affected person can claim at the time of loss. And it may not be equal to the loss that occurs. Also, there are exceptions to what a fire insurance can cover. Losses incurred due to a fire that is caused by natural causes―lightning strikes, or earthquakes―are not covered by fire insurance. According to the insurance companies, a ‘fire’ means the production of light and heat by combustion or burning. Thus, the loss that occurs should be the result of accidental ignition. The loss also includes the damage caused by efforts to extinguish the fire.

Therefore, a claim for loss by fire must satisfy the following conditions:

-The reason for the loss or damage should be an actual fire, i.e., it should not be caused by just high temperature or so.
-It should be accidental, not intentional. If it is deliberately caused, the insurer is not responsible.
-The damage must relate to the subject matter of policy.
-The goods damaged must be on the premises where the incident occurs.

Types of Losses

Losses covered by the policy include:

-Wages paid to fire-extinguishing staff.
-Furniture/other items that are destroyed in the process of saving them.
-Items damaged due to water that is used to extinguish the fire.

Losses that are not covered by the policy include:

-Damage caused by spontaneous combustion (if a bomb explodes due to its own defect).
-Damage caused due to wars, riots, earthquakes, rebellions, mutiny, enemy hostilities, etc.
-Damage caused due to burning of property by public authorization.
-Damage due to a theft occurring before or after the incident.

Types of Policies

Actual Value Policy
It pays you the full value for your current house minus any depreciation. There are certain limits regarding the maximum payout available in the event of a fire. This is decided by the insured individual and the insurer at the time of signing the contract.

Replacement Value Policy
It covers the cost of replacing the existing home. However, this can get a little complicated, because if the value of the property has depreciated since its purchase, the payout also decreases. However, if the value has gone up, the payout increases.

Floating Policy
It covers the damages to property that belongs to the same person, but which may be located at different places. This is done under a single sum and for a single premium. For instance, this policy might cover goods lying in two warehouses at two different locations.

Specific Policy
It covers the damage up to a pre-decided, specific amount. The selected amount is less than the real value of the property. The actual value is not taken into consideration while determining the amount of indemnity. In such policies, the ‘average clause’ does not exist, which makes the insured individual liable to take some damage upon himself.

Some other types are valued policy, comprehensive policy, etc., which more or less contain the same clauses and conditions of the above mentioned policies.

Importance – Why is it Needed?

The importance of this policy can be ascertained after listing down its benefits, as follows:

-It covers the damages occurred to the building.
-It covers for damaged home decor (if any), like carpets, clothes, wardrobes, plywood furniture, etc.
-It pays for the expenses incurred due to damaged electronic items, like television, cooler, computers, etc.
-In case of a business, i.e., if an office building or factory is destroyed, it covers the price of the shares broken.
-It covers the medical expenses for the employees if they get injured.
-In case of loss of life, it provides the loss of life advantages to the employee’s family.
-It pays for repair and replacement of the machines and other electrical/electronic items, and assets that are destroyed due to the incident.

A fire accident can incur heavy property and financial loss. Having a fire insurance coverage saves you from financial disaster and bring you back from the cold. Of course if the incident is natural or intentional, the policy may or may not cover the damage; however, at a turbulent time when you’ve probably lost your house, money, assets, this policy will help you. You can already fathom this by reading the advantages mentioned above. That is why a fire insurance is so very important. It is a safety net that will protect you when you are threatened by a fire accident.

A fire accident may or may not occur, but do not risk the chance. You have worked all your life for your house and other belongings, do not ignore the importance of this policy, for it will safeguard you in trouble.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowners insurance policies, better known as HO policies, have been designed to help home owners safeguard their home and personal belongings. Considering that they have the responsibility of protecting their home and personal property, they should definitely opt for insurance. In fact, they can be sued by people who accidentally fall and injure themselves on their turf. Moreover, a homeowner may also be forced to vacate the home and arrange for alternate accommodation in case the home gets damaged. Thankfully, a wide range of insurance policies are available in the market.

Basic Homeowners Insurance
The most basic policy insures the property against damage due to 11 factors or perils of nature. Some of these factors are: fire, lightning, smoke, vandalism, theft, ice, snow, windstorm hail, riot, and volcano eruption. The popularity of this policy, better known as HO-1, has diminished over the years, since the policy does not protect against loss or damage to property on account of plumbing issues as a result of freezing. Loss on account of heating system malfunction is, again, not covered by this policy. HO-2 is also a basic policy, but with a wider scope of coverage. HO-2 protects the property from damage on account of 17 factors, and hence, it is a marginal improvement over HO-1.

Popular Homeowners Insurance
It’s evident that both HO-1 and HO-2 provide only minimal coverage. For people who live in areas that are not prone to floods or earthquakes, HO-3 is a good policy, since it provides peace of mind to the homeowner on many fronts. For instance, this policy provides protection to the homeowner who may get sued by people who meet with an accident on his/her turf. Damage to the residence and personal property are also covered by this policy. As far as damage to the home is concerned, the insurance company agrees to pay the price that is equal to the cost of replacing the property (replacement cost). In case of personal property, the homeowner is entitled to receive the actual cash value of the property. For people living in flood prone areas, flood insurance should be purchased in addition to HO-3.

Actual Cash Value = Cost of Replacing the Property – Depreciation of the Property

Most Comprehensive Policy
The HO-5 policy or Comprehensive Form Policy, is equivalent to purchasing an HO-3 policy with a ‘Special Personal Property’ endorsement. This would help protect unscheduled personal property from all possible risks, except those that are specifically excluded. It’s no wonder that the cost of this policy is 15% more than the cost of the most popular coverage provided by HO-3.

Insurance Policy for Older Homes: In case of older homes, the cost of replacing the property is usually more than the market value of the property. This is on account of depreciation. Hence, for older homes, insurance will not cover more than the actual cash value of the property. This is where the HO-8 policy, which is a modified version of the HO-1, assumes importance.

Since homeowners insurance is indispensable, the owner should shop around for the best homeowners insurance quotes after settling on the appropriate insurance policy. Tenants can also ensure that their personal property is protected by opting for HO-4, better known as Contents Broad Form or Tenants Policy.

Home Improvement Addition

Renovating your home is certainly the best opportunity, not only to step-up your living space, but also to add to the value of your house. There are many ways in which you can increase the value of your house. You can get attractive interiors done, expensive furniture installed, and even build a fireplace. However, all these things would not add as much value as a complete well-planned home re-modeling would. When you think of financing the plan, you need to be well-prepared by considering many factors. Getting to know all the important aspects such as home market values in your locality, minor home upgrade expenses, architectural plans and patterns, home improvement loans, timetable, and schedule for completion, can save you valuable time and preclude unnecessary stress.

Considerations

Zoning Policies and Regulations
The first thing you need to do is receive permission from the local government authorities to commence with the construction. In a majority of regions, you are required to abide by your city or town zoning policies and ordinances, and also obtain a construction license before building an extension to your home. The expenses for such licenses may differ from state to state. However, you need to be ready for spending around 2 – 5% of the entire cost of the renovation on this license.

Structural Specifications
You are required to carry out soil testing which would evaluate the stability of the soil on which you intend to build the addition. If you reside in a coastal area which has a substantial amount of loose soil or clay in the soil, such tests can help find if you would need pilings to hold the structure firm. Most of the contractors provide such services as this is a decisive step in the renovation.

Choosing a Contractor
You need to be very careful when choosing the appropriate contractor for the work. Get referrals from your friends, family, and colleagues for a good contractor, or look out for builders who provide special services in the type of architecture you desire. When choosing a suitable contractor, ensure that he is licensed, bonded, and covered with insurance. This not only ensures that you employ one of the best contractors around, but also protects you in the situation of a mishap. Finally, choose a contractor who will suit your needs, and most importantly your budget.

Considerations for Unexpected Errors
Plan your budget according to some costs that may not be anticipated. Probably, after deciding on a firm budget, you might think of adding more to the existing plan. You also need to consider the expenses which may incur due to some unfortunate occurrences such as damages to the house’s power supply. Irrespective of the possibilities, you need to include a margin for errors in both the estimated budget and also the approximate completion date for the project.

Home Insurance Updates
In a majority of cases, making an preferment increases the value of the house. It is crucial that your home insurance policy covers the changes and modifications that you are anticipating. To avoid any issues later, it is recommended that you consult with your insurance agent before you start with the construction.

While planning your house renovation, make sure you consider these important points for a hassle-free execution of the plan.

Get The Best Homeowners Insurance

A homeowner has the responsibility of protecting his home from unforeseen events that can cause irreparable damage to his property. Homeowners insurance policies, also known as ‘HO Policies’, protect the home against damage, and provide insurance against loss of personal belongings.

Choosing the Appropriate Policy

HO-1: This is the most basic policy that covers damage due to the following factors: fire, lightning, smoke, vandalism, theft, ice, snow, windstorm hail, riot, and volcano eruption. Since this policy provides very basic coverage, its popularity has faded over the years.

HO-2: In addition to insuring against the above mentioned events, this policy protects against loss due to the following: freezing of plumbing, flooding due to plumbing overflow and heating system malfunction. Generally, mortgage lenders insist on a homeowners insurance. This is because the house functions as their collateral. While HO-1 covers damage due to 11 factors, HO-2 protects against 17 factors that may result in loss of property and belongings.

HO-3: This policy provides protection against the perils of nature. The premium may be higher in case of homes located in areas prone to hurricanes and windstorms. The policy also covers up to $2,000 worth of jewelry against loss due to theft. It covers the cost of rebuilding the house in case it gets destroyed. Just like the HO-2 policy, HO-3 covers the cost of damage to the house on account of flooding due to plumbing overflow and heating system malfunction. Liability suits that may be filed against the homeowner by people who may get injured on the property are also covered by this policy. However, it provides no protection against floods and earthquakes, for which, a homeowner is expected to buy additional insurance.

HO-4 and HO-6: These policies do not cover any damage to the building. They only provide protection against loss of personal property. Hence, it is ideal for condominium owners and tenants.

HO-5: This is the most comprehensive policy. The cost of the policy is 15% more than the cost of HO-3. In addition to including the coverage provided by HO-3, this policy insures against loss of building and property due to a number of factors. Buying a package that provides protection against a number of factors gives peace of mind to the owner. Also, it is cheaper to buy a single policy that protects against a number of factors, rather than buying individual coverage.

Shopping for the Best Quote

A homeowner should shop around for the best quote after deciding on the appropriate policy. He/she may get a good quote by installing motion sensors and surveillance cameras. In general, arming the house will help get a good deal on the policy. The insurance company should have strong fundamentals and should not be involved in any insurance fraud. The homeowner should also be aware of any consumer complaints against the company.

The amount of HO policy coverage for personal belongings is generally half of the amount of coverage provided for the home. Although a HO policy remains in effect, a landlords insurance policy is a must for houses that have been rented out or leased. This is because, ‘HO policies’ are only designed to provide adequate coverage for owner-occupied houses.

Life Insurance Benefits

The death of a family member is traumatic, especially if he or she was the breadwinner of the family. At such times, the bereaved family members have to cope with not only a personal loss, but a financial crisis as well. This is where life insurance comes into picture. It guarantees that in your absence, your loved ones are taken care of, and are financially secure.

What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a legal contract between two parties, namely the insurance company, and the policyholder. It ensures that the beneficiary receives financial support in the event of the insured’s death or accident. The terms of the insurance policy state that the policyholder agrees to pay the specified premium at regular intervals. Life insurance depends on a host of factors, including the age, income, expenses, outstanding loans, number of dependents, health, etc. It is mainly of four different types, universal life insurance, term life insurance, whole life insurance, and endowment life insurance. Described in detail below are the advantages life insurance offers.

Benefits of Life Insurance

-Life insurance provides monetary coverage to the family members in the event of the policyholder’s demise.
-It acts as an excellent investment, protecting your assets. Life insurance provides custom-made investment options that are suited to one’s changing financial needs at different ages. Planning for your children’s higher education, marriage, a home, and even retirement options can all be taken care of by investing in life insurance. For a young couple with kids, life insurance can provide education as well as wealth insurance. Whereas for an elderly couple, the same can offer retirement and mortgage plans. Whatever money you saved when you earned, now serves as a source of income when you retire.
-After the demise of the insured, life insurance can be a constant source of income for the bereaved family members, making it easier to fund children’s education and pay bills on time. If the policyholder has incurred any debt during his lifetime, a policy cover will help his spouse/family to repay the debt.
-Funeral expenditure nowadays is costly. Paying for the services, at a time when you are still numb and reeling from the sudden loss of a loved one can be hard, to say the least. In such cases, a life insurance policy can come to your aid, by taking care of the funeral expenses.
-You can add riders or health insurance plan to your life insurance policy, and have guaranteed protection against the increasing hospitalization costs and critical ailments.
-When you apply for a policy, you need to pay the stipulated premium at regular intervals. This practice gets you into the habit of saving a certain amount of money for long-term use, which is essential to satisfy your financial needs.
-Life insurance is non-taxable, and hence makes for a great source of savings.
-In case of a cash crunch, when the policyholder needs a loan, he can avail of one through the insurance policy, without having to worry about the hassles of repayment. The insurance carrier deducts the loan amount from the life insurance policy upon maturity.
-If the policyholder owns a piece of land, he has to pay estate taxes. If he intends to transfer the possession to his heir, a life insurance policy can help by offering the required funds.

Thus, you have seen how essential it is nowadays to opt for a life insurance policy. If you haven’t yet applied for one, do it without delay. Do it at a time when you are young and healthy, with no major ailments. The sooner you apply, the lesser the premium amount you have to shell out. Compare insurance quotes from several companies. This way you can make a wise and informed decision based on what’s best for you and your family’s requirements. In case anything happens to the breadwinner of the family, life insurance can come instantly to rescue. It can be your ally in the worst of times, working like a protective blanket, offering monetary assistance and peace of mind.

Whole Life Insurance Advantages

Whole life insurance is also called cash value insurance or permanent life insurance or straight life insurance. It provides coverage for the entire life as long as premiums are being paid. These premiums are decided at a fixed rate. Further, the insurance company invests some part of the premiums and creates a savings account or cash value that gradually accrues, and is tax deferred. This cash value can be withdrawn or borrowed. However, such a transaction can cause a decrease or cancellation in the death benefit. In case of the following four conditions, a whole life insurance may be purchased.

-It is possible to pay the premiums and obtain the required coverage
-The savings in the life insurance policy won’t be required for minimum ten years
-The policy is affordable and has good rates
-There is a need of more tax deferred savings

Advantages

Some of the major advantages are described below:

1 – Constant or Fixed Premium
In term life insurance, the premium increases on renewal. In case of whole life insurance, the premium remains constant. It does not increase with time. Also, if dividends are used, the premiums that have to be paid are minimized.

2 – Death Benefit
The death benefit does not decrease in case of whole life insurance. When demise occurs, this death benefit is not subjected to federal income taxes. As per the requirement, the death benefit can be accepted as a lump sum amount or a monthly income.

3 – Cash Value
In contrast with other life insurance policies, the whole life insurance policy accrues usable cash. As the policy holder pays premiums, this cash goes on increasing. In case the policy is surrendered, the policy holder gets the cash values. This cash value is tax deferred.

4 – Dividends
A participating whole life insurance policy has a feature of dividends. These are received as cash. They can be used to minimize premiums, to generate interest or purchase paid up additions.

Other Advantages

-The policy guarantees a high degree of safety.
-This insurance provides coverage for a lifetime.
-It generates tax deferred cash.
-Some withdrawals and loans are tax favored.
-A non-participating insurance has relatively less out-of-pocket premium payments.
-In participating insurance, the dividend can be used to purchase paid-up additional insurance, and this results in increasing the face value of the coverage.
-In limited payment insurance, the premiums are paid for a limited number of years, while the coverage is for the entire lifetime.
-In single premium insurance, there is only one large premium, and hence, the policy has an immediate cash value.
-In indeterminate premium insurance, the premium is adjustable, but never more than the maximum value stated in the policy.
-The policy holder can borrow a loan using the cash value as collateral.

Types of Whole Life Insurance

As is obvious from the above information that these benefits can be gained through different types of whole life insurance. Now, let us take a look at the major types, and understand their features in brief.

In non-participating whole life insurance, the premium and face value remains constant for the insured’s entire life. The costs of this policy are fixed, but it does not pay any dividends.

A participating whole life insurance has a feature of paying dividends. These dividends are a consequence of favorable mortality, excess investment earnings and expense savings. However, it is not warranted that these dividends would be paid to the policy holder. They may be used for a variety of purposes.

The above-mentioned categories have a variety of options which are mentioned below:

-Level premium whole life insurance
-Limited payment whole life insurance
-Single premium whole life insurance
-Indeterminate premium whole life insurance

The final decision to opt for insurance should depend on what sort of coverage you want and your current physical and fiscal health.

About Life Insurance Premium

The purpose of a life insurance policy is to provide financial security to the family of the policy holder, in the event of his/her death. Insurance premium is the amount paid to the insurance company at regular intervals for providing insurance cover to the person availing this facility. Before you go ahead and purchase an insurance policy, you should take time to shop around to find out which insurance company asks for the lowest premium.

Many of us believe that people who are healthy and fit, pay the least premium. However, this is not always true, because our current state of health or fitness is not the sole deciding factor. So, which factors decide the premium?

10 Factors that Influence your Life Insurance Premium

In this article, we shall focus on the many factors that determine your premium amount, so that you don’t end up paying a higher premium than what you should be paying. The bottom line is that the higher the risk of the applicant’s death, as assessed by the insurance company, the higher the premium he/she is asked to pay.

1. Your Age
The biggest deciding factor when it comes to determining your premium amount is your age at the time of applying for the policy. The younger you are when you apply for insurance cover, the lower your premium will be. This is because someone who is young is less likely to die a natural death during the time of coverage, as compared to someone who is in their 60s or 70s. A young person has many years to go before the company has to make payouts, and till then, he will have paid a lot of money as premium. This reduces the risk incurred by the insurance company, which automatically translates to lower premium amount.

However, old people are asked to pay a higher sum as premium to compensate for the risk incurred by the insurance company, as the probability of claim being filed after a few premiums, is higher. To avoid paying high premiums, it is recommended that you apply for a policy when you’re young.

2. Your Current Health
Along with your current age, your current physical health also plays a key part in determining your premium. Your insurance provider either asks you to fill in a questionnaire, or conducts a medical examination. If you are found to be in good health, with no major health issues in the recent past, you’ll be eligible for a lower premium. However, if you’re diagnosed with any form of severe health problem, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you’ll be asked to pay more.

3. Your Health History
Along with your current health, insurance companies also take your medical history into account. If your medical records indicate chronic illness or other severe health problems, you are required to pay a higher premium. This is because a chronic illness increases the chances of an early payout.

4. Your Family’s Health
The fact that insurance companies take account of your family’s health in order to determine your premium, can be disappointing, because it’s something that’s totally beyond our control. However, the sad truth is that if you have a parent or sibling who has died of cancer or heart disease before the age of 60, it is highly unlikely that you will be charged a lower premium. In fact, some insurance companies charge you with higher premiums even if a member of your family has been diagnosed with one of these conditions before 60, but has survived.

5. Your Occupation
If you didn’t know, your life insurance premium can be affected largely by your job because some professions are riskier than others, which increases the chance of a payout by the insurance company. Just compare the job of a software engineer and a firefighter. Which one do you think is more hazardous? Surely, that of the firefighter, and this means he has to pay a higher premium. Other high-risk professions include those of a stuntman, construction worker, airline pilot, police officer, soldier, mine worker, etc.

6. Your Lifestyle
Do you smoke or enjoy your drink often? People who are chain smokers and/or drink frequently, are required to pay more because smoking and drinking take a heavy toll on your health. A smoker or a drinker is considered a high-risk individual by the insurance companies. However, if you quit these habits, you can be eligible for lower insurance premium after one year. However, the insurance company will ask for blood test results as evidence. Now, isn’t that reason enough to quit?

7. Your Recreational Activities
Not only does a high-risk job cause your insurance premium to go up, but also a recreational activity with substantial amount of risk involved. In other words, your love for extreme sports can translate into a higher premium, because getting involved in such dangerous activities can increase the risk of untimely death. Here’s a list of such activities.

-Skydiving
-Private aviation
-Scuba diving
-Motorsports
-Rock climbing
-Bungee jumping
-Paragliding

Note that different insurance providers have different opinions regarding which activities are riskier, as compared to the others. Also, your experience, level of skill, and how often you indulge in these activities, are taken into account.

8. Your Credit History
This factor has to do with your ability or willingness to pay the premium on time, and not any risk that could cause an untimely death. Before they decide on how much premium you would pay, insurance companies check your credit score and credit history, to determine if you’re financially responsible. People with a bad credit score are required to pay higher premiums, just to compensate for the risk involved.

9. Your Driving Record
Road accidents are one of the leading causes of death and severe injuries, and being a reckless driver only adds to the risk of an untimely death. Insurance companies ask for your driving record when you apply for an insurance cover, to verify if you are an irresponsible driver. If you are, you are required to pay a higher premium. However, most companies are only interested in your recent driving record, and do not raise the premium if you haven’t committed any major violations in the past five years.

10. The Type of Policy
Are you planning to apply for a policy for whole life or a fixed term? How much is the amount you want as death benefit? All these factors can influence the premium you pay for your life insurance cover. The premium is higher for whole life insurance because in that case, the insurance company has to pay you the money, sooner or later. In case of a term insurance, the premium you pay is less, because there is little or no chance of a payout by the insurance company. Also, opting for a group insurance is a good idea, because the premium amount is inversely proportional to the number of members in the group.

Some insurance companies also consider your gender when calculating your insurance premium. This is because statistics show that women have a higher life expectancy as compared to men, and hence, are required to pay less.

Finding an Affordable Life Insurance

A term policy is the simplest form of life insurance wherein the policyholder is covered for a predefined period. These type of policies provide a death benefit to the nominees or beneficiaries, if the insured were to die within the term. The policy does not provide any other returns other than the stated benefit. In other words, if the insured survives the coverage period, he or she will not get any benefit on maturity. However, he or she may choose to renew the policy.

There are several such insurance providers operating in the market, and selecting from among them can be quite perplexing. To add to the misery, the plans of all these providers have several differences between them.

Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for the best deal:

Tip 1 – Search in the right places

It is recommended to begin by checking with your own bank, and see if they are affiliated with any such providers. If you are connected with a financial institution in any way, then you can check there too. But the problem is, because of their affiliations, banks and financial institutions will generally try to push those products onto you. Also, their variety will be quite limited. The best option is to search on the Internet. You will find several options, and there will be no excess baggage of someone hard-selling these products to you.

Tip 2 – Ask for quotes

Once you have begun your online hunt, you will need to ask these providers for quotes. Many of the companies provide their quotes for free. Try to benefit from these. Since there are vast differences in the structure of the cover provided by various companies, their costs will vary too. In fact, some of the top providers can have a difference of as much as USD 300 in the amount of premium. The idea is to take at least ten to twelve quotes before you can compare them.

Tip 3 – Compare the quotes

It is absolutely vital that you compare the quotes in the right way. It is not enough to compare them just by the premium, but also check what they have to offer. Some of these policies will take lesser premiums, but will pay less too. Then there are other services, too, that need to be taken into account. The best thing to do is a like-to-like comparison, comparing every feature and not just the cost. If you are not sure about making the right kind of decision at this point, ask someone who knows about finance, to help you out.

Tip 4 – Be truthful

Your application will have several things to be filled in, and you must be absolutely truthful about these points. Common facts like age and gender cannot be fabricated, but there are things like smoking, alcohol intake, and medical conditions that people tend to lie about. However, this is a very foolish thing to do. When the claim is made, all these points are easily verifiable. If factually incorrect information is found, the policy payouts would be forfeited and the cover declared null and void. For example, the premium amount for a smoker would be a little higher than one who is not, but the benefits will be paid out on death. However, if you lie about it, your beneficiaries will not get that amount too, and the premiums paid will be forfeited leading to financial loss. Honesty is really the best policy here.

Tip 5 – Do not procrastinate

With the advancements in medical treatments in recent times, the cost of life insurance is going down. Prices are already much lower than they were about a decade ago, and they are still going lower, as more inventions are being made. But that does not mean that you should wait any longer. Accidents can happen anytime, and this cover could be a big boon if anything untoward were to occur.

Health Insurance for Low Income Families

Health Insurance

Health insurance is very important to safeguard oneself and their family from the issues related to health. Low-income families have less access to employee sponsored insurance covers as compared to the higher-income groups. Health insurance is very important for every family and it would help get quality medical care. Health care costs are skyrocketing and these insurances would help one pay for the more serious and costly medical issues in future.

The government has tried to introduce affordable health insurances for the families with insufficient income for health care. Different states offer the programs according to their state laws. The various affordable programs are given below.

Medicare
This insurance program is jointly funded by the state and the federal governments. This policy is available to senior citizens, children, low-income parents, unemployed individuals, and people with disabilities. One has to be a U.S. Citizen to become eligible for these policies. The other eligibility criteria depends not only on the income, but also the assets of the applicant.

Mediaid
Mediaid is jointly funded by the federal and state government. Senior citizens, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and blind people are eligible for this program. The policy covers outpatient hospital services, doctor’s visits, and long-term in-patient services.

State Children’s Health Insurance Programs(SCHIP)
This program was an effort to try to insure the health of every child in the U.S. Children can be eligible for either Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP programs of the state of residence, even if the parents are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.

Private Health Insurance Companies
There are many companies which offer health insurance coverage which are quite affordable. Many companies have family health insurance plans, which do not offer routine medical care, but protect the families financially in case of serious injury or illness.

Health Savings Accounts
These are savings accounts which can be used for expenses in case of medical care, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medical supplies. They are used in conjunction with a high deductible health plan (HDHP).

Mini Medical Insurance
This policy may cover a pre-determined number of doctor visits, prescription medicines, daily hospital benefits, and limited accident coverage. The cost of this policy may be as low as $50 per month.

Health Maintenance Organization Plans (HMO)
This is a group health insurance plan. The medical care is provided through a network of doctors and medical facilities who work directly for the HMO. The person availing medical care under HMO has to make small co-payment at each visit. The annual premiums are slightly lower than the other insurances.

Low-income families can always visit the local social services and discuss the various options available. The government is trying hard to cover all the families in the low-income group. The standard of health care provided to low-income families has considerably improved over the years. The state and federal governments are trying their best to work together and introduce more policies so that health insurances are provided to all such families in America. It is always advisable to insure one’s family with a health plan that suits their budget. Thus, one would be able to ensure a better medical care for their loved ones.