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Insurance Learning Center

  1. Ways to Save on Homeowners insurance
  2. Renters Insurance: Why you need it
  3. How to Save on Car Insurance
  4. Understanding Medicare Supplement Insurance
  5. Government Assistance for Elderly (Commonly Called "Aid and Attendance")

 


1.

Ways to Save on Homeowners Insurance

Increase Your Deductible
Increasing your deductible by just a few hundred dollars can make a significant difference in your homeowners insurance premium. Most deductibles start at $500—if you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000 or even $2,500 you could save 20% or more on your rate.* Remember, raising your deductible means more out-of-pocket expenses should a disaster occur, but the lower rates may be well worth it.

Buy Your Homeowners and Auto Insurance from the Same Carrier
Purchase your homeowners insurance and car insurance from the same insurance carrier and you may be eligible for a multi-line discount, and just about any insurer that provides both home and car insurance will offer one.

Insure Your Home, Not the Land Under It
Homeowners often overpay for homeowners insurance by including the value of their land in their replacement cost coverage level. Remember that you only need to insure the home itself and your possessions, not your land.

Take Advantage of Discounts
There are multiple homeowners insurance discounts that you might not know about. And what you don't know could cost you. Common discounts include:

  • Home Security and Safety Features: Smoke detectors, security systems, deadbolt locks, storm shutters and fire-retardant roofing can help you lower your rates.
  • Not Smoking: Some insurers charge lower premiums to smoke-free households.
  • Senior and Loyalty Discounts: Insurers often offer discounts to seniors and long-term customers.

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2.

Renters Insurance: Why You Need It

There is a common misconception that when renting a place to live, you are covered under your landlord's homeowners insurance policy.

This is a fallacy, as most landlords' policies only cover the outside of the building and its infrastructure.

But an apartment renter insurance policy will cover your belongings from theft and damage and destruction from fire, lightning, smoke, windstorm or hail and vandalism while living in an apartment.

In addition, some renters insurance policies provide liability coverage should a guest sustain an injury while in your home or if their property is damaged while on your premises.

Some apartment renter insurance policies will even cover your living expenses if you're forced to live elsewhere due to a covered loss.

Do I Really Need Apartment Renter Insurance?

Look around each room of your home and take a mental inventory of your personal belongings.

Now imagine if it were all stolen, damaged or destroyed. Could you afford to replace all your furniture, clothing, electronic equipment, CDs and DVDs, etc.?

An apartment renter insurance policy can enable you to protect thousands of dollars worth of property for only a few hundred dollars a month. When you factor in the liability coverage included in most policies, renters insurance is a great value, and an investment in peace of mind.

What Types of Apartment Renter Insurance Policies are Offered?

There are two main types of apartment renter insurance policies you can purchase; actual cash value or replacement cost.

An actual cash value policy will reimburse you for any property stolen or damaged after taking into consideration the depreciation of each item.

A replacement cost policy will reimburse you the full cash value of the current market price for each item.

Renters may also want to consider adding on flood and earthquake coverage to their standard apartment renter insurance policy.

Just like homeowners insurance, these features are additional add-ons. You can also purchase identity theft insurance with most renters insurance policies.


How Much Renters

Insurance Coverage Do You Need?

To accurately figure out what coverage amount you need to purchase, you should take an inventory of all your possessions in your rented living quarters. While doing the inventory, make sure you note the purchase price of each item, model numbers, as well as serial numbers.

If you are living in a complex that allows pets, such as large dogs, you should consult your insurance agent to make sure all liabilities are covered.

Also, if you are living with a roommate, each one of you needs to get your own renters insurance policy. A roommate's policy won't cover your assets and vice versa.
If you are living in rented home, make sure you protect your assets with a renters insurance policy.

For a relatively low monthly payment, you can purchase enough renters insurance coverage to protect all your assets, giving you the peace of mind that your possessions are safe.

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3.

How To Save On Car Insurance

It is common for insurance companies to offer discounts on auto insurance but you should make a point of asking. Discounts can vary widely by company as well as by state but here are some discounts to ask about are:

Combination Discounts
You can often knock off 10% to 20% from your premiums if you insure both your home and your car with the same company, or by insuring more than one car with the same company.

Defensive-Driving Classes
This can often merit a 10% discount on premiums.

Good-Student Discounts
Students with GPAs of 3.0 or higher can be eligible for discounts of as much as 25%. In some cases, young male drivers may benefit from this more, since their premiums are typically higher.

Retirement Discounts
Be sure to let your insurer know when you retire — particularly if you retire at a relatively young age. Since you're likely to be driving less once you're working days are over, this can often earn you a break on premiums.

Association & Group Discounts
Discounts may be available for affiliation with all sorts of associations — your alma matter, a military group, a professional organization, even Mensa. If you work for a large employer, that could earn you a discount as well.

College-Kids-Who-Are-Far-Away Discounts
If at least 100 miles separate your kid from your car, you could save up to 40%.

Safety Discounts
This varies by state. In some states, including New York and Florida, drivers must be rewarded for having certain safety features on their car, such as antilock brakes, airbags and automatic seat belts. Certain antitheft devices could be eligible for a discount as well.

Loyalty Discounts
Stick with the same company for more than one year, and you could earn a break of 10% or more on your premiums.

Looking for a free car insurance quote?

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4.

Understanding Medicare Supplement Insurance

Click on links below to read more...

Medicare Part A - Hospital Insurance:
is coverage for inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing, hospice and some home healthcare...

Medicare Part B - Medical Insurance:
is coverage for the services of medical professionals and supplies....

Medicare Part C - Medicare Advantage:
is private insurance that you can obtain by dropping traditional Medicare. "Medicare Advantage" is private insurance PPO or HMO that has coverage Networks...

Medicare Part D - Prescription Drug Coverage:
is a prescription drug insurance coverage that is added to traditional Medicare

2011 Medicare.gov handbooks available for you to read below

How Do I Sign Up For Medicare?
If you wish to sign up for Medicare you may do so 3 months before your birth month, the month of your birth, or up until 3 months after your birth month.

You may sign up for Medicare at http://www.medicare.gov or:
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

You can contact the Social Security Administration:
Call 1-800-772-1213

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5.

Government Assistance for Elderly Care (Commonly Called “Aid and Attendance”)

Estimates are that approximately 10 million seniors -- about 25% of all people over 65 -- could qualify for monetary assistance by meeting certain requirements. That's how many war veterans or their surviving spouses or their living spouses there are in this country. Unfortunately, few people know how to get this benefit and currently only about 543,000 individuals are actually receiving it. This represents only 5.4% of those who could be eligible.

What is Pension?
Disability Pension and Death Pension are disability income VA programs available to veterans or to the single surviving spouses of deceased veterans. The veteran had to have served on active duty at least 90 days with one of those days during a period of war. Service in combat is not required, only that the veteran was in the service during wartime and was discharged honorably. Charts showing the available amount of income and the dates for wartime service are included below.

There is a sister benefit to Pension called Compensation. This is for veterans who are disabled because of injuries or illnesses incurred while on active duty. A veteran household cannot receive Pension and Compensation at the same time. A decision must be made as to which benefit is better and the veteran must choose only that benefit.

Period of War Beginning and Ending Dates
World War II December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946
Korean Conflict June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955
Vietnam Era August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975; for veterans who served “in country” before August 5, 1964, February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975
Gulf War August 2, 1990 through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation

For more information about your specific situation please visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.vba.va.gov and Search for "Aid and Attendance".

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