Summer Break: Protect Yourself Before You Travel

It’s that time of year when the kids are off school, and families travel to their favorite destinations. It’s Summer Break!

So while you’re planning the trip of a lifetime for the whole family, make sure you have all your bases covered. That includes protection in case the unthinkable, such as an accident or severe illness, were to happen.

Keep yourself prepared by purchasing insurance. There are many different ways to ensure your family’s protection whether you’re traveling in the US or abroad. Here are a few common types of insurance to consider before you step out the door.

Travel Insurance

Travellers insurance covers a wide range of “what ifs,” from lost luggage to injury-related incidences. Here is a basic summary of what travel insurance can include:

Trip Cancellation: Certain packages will include trip cancellation coverage. If for some reason you need to cancel your trip or cut your vacation short because something unforeseen comes up, this insurance will cover the cost of otherwise non-refundable expenses, such as hotel bookings. But make sure to read the authorized reasons for cancelling a trip.

Luggage Coverage: Sometimes your luggage doesn’t make it to your destination on time, or it just doesn’t make it at all. Some travel insurance packages have luggage coverage if your belongings are lost, damaged or stolen on your trip.

Medical Coverage: If you become ill or are seriously injured while travelling, the expenses could be thousands of dollars. For this reason, it’s crucial to have health coverage, whether that means purchasing insurance for your trip, or confirming with your current health plan if you need approval for any certain type of care. If you choose to purchase insurance for your trip, there are two common types: travel medical insurance for short trips, and major medical for stays of six months or longer.

There are many other reasons to purchase travel insurance before you leave. For example, some policies provide coverage if severe weather damages your destination. You can even get coverage for a lost passport, which would help speed up the process of replacing it.

Life Insurance

If you don’t already have a life insurance policy, you should strongly consider getting one before you leave. Just as travel insurance prepares you for the unexpected while on vacation, life insurance prepares you for the unexpected in life.

You plan for a safe trip, but in reality, some circumstances are beyond your control. Life insurance can provide financial protection for you and your entire family. If you were to pass away unexpectedly, life insurance could cover the cost of funeral expenses or for the loss of income to help provide a financial cushion for your family during a difficult time.

There are many policies available to you, including term life insurance, which is very popular. Term insurance is coverage for a set period, after which you have the option to renew the policy.

Before you leave for your trip, talk to your insurance professional to help find a trustworthy insurer with options that best suit your needs.

Other Protection Tips

There are other things you can do to help protect you and your family while on vacation. A good idea is to make a copy of your passport and ID, and leave the copies behind with someone you trust or in a place that a friend or family member can access. This way, if your identification is stolen or lost, you have documentation.

Another tip is to only bring what you need, and this includes your wallet. It’s possible your wallet could get lost or stolen, so make sure you’re just carrying the cards you absolutely need.

So while you are planning your itinerary, make sure to add some of these tips to the checklist. Seriously consider travel and life insurance before you take off. Make sure you are going to a trusted company and are getting what you need.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

9 Money Goals Everyone Should Have

Rich or poor, working or retired, blue collar or white collar.  None of those things or any other will get around the simple fact that money is important.  As such, there are certain things that everybody should do with their money.  These don’t mean that everybody should approach money the same way.  It just means that in some fashion, each of the below items should be on everyone’s list of money goals.

Have A Rewarding Career

Don’t hate your job.  It’s just not worth it. You don’t have to love every minute of the day that you’re at work.  That’s just not reasonable.

But you should enjoy what you do.  You should feel that you’re making a difference.

Make Your Job About More Than Money

Money is great, but it’s not everything.  You want to have enough to pay the bills and enjoy life, but always look at the trade offs.  If you’re missing your kids grow up or losing your friends on account of your job, reconsider your priorities.

Money is a means to an end.  Treat your career accordingly.

Have A Fallback Plan For Your Income

Your job may seem like the most secure thing in the world.  It might not be tomorrow.  You might love your job more than anything.  That could change in an instant.

Always have an idea of what you could do next.

For some this could be another position or a contract job.  For others, maybe you have a side hustle that you could do full time.

Whatever the case, be prepared.

Save Money

Whether you’re just starting off and on an entry level salary or you’re rolling in it, save money.  It’s important.  Even if you’re paying off debt, save money.  It’s a cushion to fall back on that everybody needs.

Budget And Track Your Money

Do you know where your money goes? Do you know where you want it to go?  You should be able to say yes to both of these questions.

Now, you might not want to track down to the level of every dollar.  Or maybe you do.  Whatever your style is, you need to do both of these things for money success.

Understand Your Investments

If you invest on your own or through a 401(k), it’s important to know what you’re investments entail.  Even if you have an adviser, you need to know where they’re putting your money.

This won’t guarantee you will never lose money, but chances are, if you understand where your money is, you’ll end up with more of it than someone who doesn’t.

Be Well Insured

If you drive, you need auto insurance.  A homeowner? You need insurance on your property.  What if you rent?  You need insurance on your property.  If you have family that counts on your income, life insurance is key.

Understand the different types of insurance and know what you need.  Make sure it’s current.  Your needs today might be different than tomorrow.

Look over your policies and your needs at least once a year.  As part of that, bid out your insurance to see if you can find a better price.  This is one area that changes often.

Know Your Credit Like You Know Your Family

Your credit is the basis for almost anything you do with money.  You can’t get loans without good credit. You can’t pay your bills if you have too much credit.  Some employers won’t hire you if you have bad credit.

The bottom line is that you need to know your credit.  Know what you owe.   Know your score and what it means.  Keep track of such things regularly.

It’s one of the most important things you can do for your money.

Have Vision

What’s the use of money if you don’t have a plan for what to do with it?  Of course you have your needs today that must be accounted for.  But also know what it’s there for long term.  Plan.  Have a vision for what your money will be doing for you down the road.

These are some items I think are of utmost important for anybody that thinks money is important.  That’s you, right?

Readers, what do you think of this list?  What are some of your personal money goals that might not be on this list?  

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Tips for Buying Long Term Care Insurance

As we age, we start to think about our future and what it will look like. How much do we want to have saved for retirement? Where do we plan to live and will we have family around for support? On top of that is the financial stress of making sure you can afford everything once you retire.

The price for living seems to go up year by year, making it difficult for some to cover all the costs. Throw in a serious illness or disability in which you can no longer care for yourself, and the costs are even higher.

Luckily there is long term care insurance that can help cover some of those costs. This type of insurance provides coverage for someone who needs services like assisted living, nursing homes or in-home care.

How do you know if you will need this type of insurance? Well, as for other forms of protection, like health and life insurance, you never really know if you will use it. However, if the time comes you do need it, you will be glad you have coverage.

If you have a retirement plan in place, or just starting one, it is a good idea to include long term care insurance. So here are a few tips for buying long term care insurance.

Consider the Company

You will be buying insurance from an insurance company, so make sure you are going to a reliable and reputable one. There are many long term care insurance companies to choose from, so don’t feel like you need to buy from the first company you see.

Consider the company ratings as this will tell you lots about the company’s performance and stability. Usually the higher the rating, the better the company, but that doesn’t mean they have the right policy for you. Shop around until you find a reliable company that can offer a flexible insurance plan that suits your needs.

Consider the Purpose of the Coverage

As with many insurance policies, you want to consider ahead of time the purpose of buying coverage. With long term care insurance, will you need the coverage for medical bills due to pre-existing medical conditions? Look at any possible hereditary conditions in which you have a chance of developing.

You also want to consider where you will be living. Do you have family close by that you can remain at home? Or will a nursing home be more suitable to provide any care you need? These are all factors that should be considered when you purchase long term care insurance.

Don’t Wait

If you are serious about getting a long term care insurance policy, don’t wait until you need it. Instead, the earlier you buy it, the more likely you will be accepted. Many companies have medical exams that include blood work and family health history checks. This can make buying insurance harder when you are older and more likely to have health issues.

So consider adding long term care insurance into your retirement plan.  Having your long term life planned out now will save you any headaches down the road in case the unexpected occurs.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Be Like Me And Get Quotes To Save On Insurance

Insurance is one of those things that you have to have, but don’t want to use.  Paying for it is no fun, that’s for sure.  We are well covered (we think) but were recently able to save on insurance.

One Company

We use one company for our home and auto insurance needs.  We’ve also had an umbrella policy that provides additional coverage across both policies.  Bundling all of our insurance seems to be a good way to save money.

For years, we’ve been with Allstate.  I started off with them when I graduated college and needed auto insurance.  I’ve been pretty satisfied.  When I did have some claims, I never had a problem with the process.  All seemed pretty well.

Now and then, along the way, I’ve had to question their pricing.  This usually came after premium increases that I thought were excessive.  In the past, they were usually able to work with me to keep the increases to a reasonable level.

Unfortunately, with our latest premium increase, they were not able to meet this standard.  Our auto coverage renews every six months.  When I got our last renewal notice, I was flabbergasted to see that our rates were going up 10%.  That’s unreal, especially since we’ve not filed a claim in at least ten years!

I contacted our agent and this time they were unable to do anything.

Time To Shop Around

I haven’t been all that diligent about shopping around in the past.  This time, I was bound and determined to get new quotes to see if I could save on insurance.

As it turns out, I wouldn’t have to look too far!

I looked for quotes from four different sources:

  1. Geico – I did an online request.  Unfortunately, for some reason, they wouldn’t give me a quote online.  I thought the process was supposed to be easy.  So, I decided to move on.
  2. Citizens – My aunt recommended an agent that represents multiple carriers.  I contacted the agent and she ran numbers across different companies.  Citizens came across with savings of about 15%.
  3. Auto Owners – I did some online research and saw that Auto Owners typically had good prices in Michigan.  The agency that my aunt recommended also works with them, so I asked for a quote. Surprisingly, the price was practically the same as we were paying with Allstate.
  4. AAA – We are members of the roadside assistance offered by AAA.  They’re the largest around and since we travel all over the state, we like knowing we’re likely to be covered wherever we go.  We requested quotes from AAA, and they came in the cheapest.  We’re saving nearly 20%!

So, we are now AAA members.

Things To Look For To Save On Insurance

I learned a few things during the process.

  1. Get multiple quotes. As I found out with the Auto Owners quote, the carriers rated the cheapest may not be the cheapest for you.  Imagine if I had gotten their quote and not went further.  I figure it’s good to get at least three.
  2. Validate coverage limits.Every policy and quote lists things slightly differently.  As such, I had to do some
    image from Morguefile courtesy of finance

    digging and spend some time making sure that the quotes contained equal coverage.

  3. Consider payment terms. With Allstate, we were paying our auto premiums every six months, and our homeowners and umbrella annually.  This provided the cheapest costs.  With AAA, we are actually in a more favorable payment scenario.  We still pay our auto premiums every six months and umbrella annually, but our homeowners payments come out monthly.  This allows us to spread the payments out over the course of a year, keeping money in our pocket.  Citizens actually required us to pay everything annually to get the best price.  This would have been a pretty big up front payment!
  4. Look around more often.  I got complacent.  I admit it.  Looking at the fact that we got such a considerable discount by switching, it probably should have happened sooner.  I now plan to review our coverage every year or two. Shop it around.  Even if your rates don’t go up, you might still find better terms.

Switching insurance was a pretty easy process.  The best news is that it will keep a few hundred extra dollars in our pocket per year.  That’s definitely great news for us.

Readers, how often do you check up on your insurance costs?  Have you made the switch lately?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.