Month: November 2023

9 Types of Insurance Coverage and What You Should Know

You can’t prevent the unexpected from happening. Life is full of surprises. Today, you might be living a fulfilling life with everything going as planned, and tomorrow, you are in a sudden crisis and lose everything. That’s why insurance is necessary. It protects you and your loved ones from the financial consequences of unforeseen events.

Insurance coverage comes in many forms, each with its unique benefits. Some protect your property and belongings, while others safeguard your health and well-being. Understanding them can help you secure the best plan. Here are nine types of insurance coverage you should know about.

1. Auto Insurance

Among the different types of insurance coverage you need is auto insurance. Despite improved automobile safety technology over the years, traffic fatalities are still rampant. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42,795 people died in road accidents in 2022. And that’s not all. There were 6,102,936 police-reported vehicle accidents in the previous year.

While every accident doesn’t result in fatalities, they can lead to physical injuries and car damage. As a result, you can suffer financial loss and even lawsuits. For this reason, you need auto insurance coverage. Besides, most states mandate it, and the few that don’t will hold you financially responsible for any injuries and damage.

Auto insurance provides financial protection against accidents and damages to your vehicle. However, there are different types of auto insurance. For example, liability coverage is an insurance cover that pays for property and injuries you may cause to others. It also pays for your accident lawyer, judgments, or settlements in case of a lawsuit.

Comprehensive and collision coverage is insurance coverage that pays you for damage to your vehicle, no matter who is at fault. Comprehensive offers protection against damages not caused by accidents – for instance, vandalism, theft, floods, fire, and hail. On the other hand, collision insurance pays for things like auto AC repair and vehicle replacement after an accident.

2. Home Insurance

Unlike auto insurance, not having home insurance is illegal. However, if you want a mortgage, lenders require you to have homeowners insurance. For most working-age Americans, mortgage is the popular route to homeownership. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau estimated that the U.S. had about 14.3 million home loan applications in 2022. That shows most people will need homeowners insurance coverage at some point.

Home Insurance falls under property insurance. In this category, the coverage protects you from damage to your house and personal belongings inside. For example, if a covered risk, such as a natural disaster, e.g., a hurricane, damages your roof, your insurer will help cover the cost of repairs. You won’t have to pay roofers out of pocket.

A standard home insurance wraps up six primary types of insurance coverage. They include dwelling, personal property, loss of use, liability coverage, medical payments, and other structures. Each has its limits, and some are more comprehensive than others.

Dwelling coverage protects against physical damage to the structure of your home caused by unexpected events like wind, fire, theft, or vandalism. For instance, if a hurricane destroys your Hawle external stairlift, dwelling coverage will pay stairlift installers to install a new one.

3. Renters Insurance

Even if you’re not a homeowner, that does not mean you don’t need an insurance cover. For renters, there is renter’s insurance. It’s a policy that protects your personal belongings, such as furniture, electronics, and clothing, against theft or damage. It covers liabilities caused by fire, explosions, tornadoes, and more.

While your landlord has a home insurance policy that pays for structural damages, it does not cover tenant property. If you do not have renters insurance and a mishap happens, you’ll lose everything and have to replace it with out-of-pocket money. Taking a renter’s insurance guarantees you compensation for everything in case of any unexpected losses.

It’s easy to assume that nothing can ever happen to your property, but accidents do occur. For instance, the National Fire Protection Association reported 382,500 residential structure fires in 2020. Additionally, break-ins and burglaries happen anywhere. According to Statista, there were 386,489 reported burglaries in the United States in 2022. With renter’s insurance, you can rest assured that you won’t face financial strain in case of any unforeseen events.

Renters insurance comes in three types of insurance coverage. They include personal property, liability, and additional living expenses. Personal property coverage reimburses you if your belongings (furniture, clothes, dishes, etc.) get damaged or stolen. Liability coverage covers legal fees and medical bills for someone injured in your rented home. Additional living expenses pay for the costs you may incur if your rental is uninhabitable due to covered losses, such as fire.

4. Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance is among the different types of insurance coverage available for individuals and businesses. It provides extra liability coverage beyond your regular policy’s limits. For instance, if you have substantial assets, your homeowners, auto, or renters liability insurance policy may not provide enough coverage.

Moreover, if you’re liable for an accident, and the damages exceed your policy’s limit, you’ll have to pay for the remaining balance from your pocket. However, you won’t have to worry about this additional liability with umbrella insurance. For instance, let’s say someone sues you for medical bills worth $1,000,000 after tripping and falling on your property. If your homeowner’s insurance policy has a $600,000 liability limit, you must pay the remaining $400,000. But if you have umbrella insurance, it will pay for the remaining amount.

5. Life Insurance

Life insurance is among the most essential types of insurance coverage. It offers a financial safety net for those you love if you die. If you have someone or several people who depend on you financially (such as a spouse, children, or disabled relative), you should consider getting life insurance. It can replace your income and help pay for expenses like mortgages, college tuition fees, and final costs.

According to LIMRA (a research firm for insurance and financial services), about 44% of American households would face financial difficulties within the first six months of the primary wage earner’s death. 28% would only last one month. With life insurance, you can secure the life of your dependents even after you’re gone.

There are different types of life insurance coverage: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. The first one (Term life insurance) offers coverage for a specified duration (usually 10-30 years) and pays your beneficiaries a lump sum within that period. It is generally more affordable but does not accumulate cash value. Permanent life insurance covers your whole life and has an investment component that gets cash value. It is more expensive but offers lifelong protection, and you can also use it as a retirement savings tool.

6. Health Insurance

Your health is unpredictable, and medical care can be expensive. In fact, medical bills are the number one cause of financial hardship for most Americans, according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. estimates that the average cost for a three-day in-hospital stay is about $30,000.

Most Americans can’t afford that kind of expense out-of-pocket. Health insurance helps reduce the burden of medical costs by covering all or a portion of your healthcare expenses. For example, if you have a dental problem and need dentistry treatment, it will pay for your visit to the dentist. Some plans may even pay for braces and other orthodontic treatments, which are often costly.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, most Americans have health insurance coverage, nearly 92.1% of the population. Sixty percent get it through their employers or private insurance providers. The rest have government-based plans such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare.

Health insurance comes in different types of insurance coverage plans. They include HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), and POS (Point-of-Service). Additionally, there are HDHP (High-Deductible Health Plan) and EPO (Exclusive provider organizations). Each type offers a different coverage level and has pros and cons.

7. Disability Insurance

You might never think of disability insurance until you work in a job involving dangerous manual labor. However, the leading causes of disability are not work-related. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and back pain are the most common causes of disability among adults.

In a 2021 report, U.S Census Bureau data estimated that 42.5 million Americans were living with a disability. That represented about 13% of the total population. The numbers show how much you may need disability insurance coverage. It provides financial assistance if you can’t work due to an injury or illness.

Disability insurance coverage supplements a portion (usually 40% to 70% ) of your base income. Some insurance plans can pay for other health needs, such as physical therapy and chiropractor visits. Usually, your employer provides disability insurance coverage as part of the employee benefits package.

You can also apply for a government-funded plan such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). It has specific eligibility requirements; you must meet the stipulated qualifications to receive benefits. Applying for SSDI can be daunting, and seeking guidance from an experienced SSDI attorney is often helpful.

8. Long-Term Care Insurance

Old age comes with complications. For instance, it can limit your ability to perform daily activities, making you rely on others for assistance. According to the Administration for Community Living, adults 65 and over have a 70% chance of needing long-term care. Most seniors will need help at some point, whether at home or a nursing home.

Considering this reality, it’s crucial to consider long-term care insurance coverage. It covers in-home care, nursing home stays, and adult daycare expenses. The insurance coverage also extends to assisted living facilities and hospice care.

Long-term care insurance policies have different terms, so it’s essential to understand the specifics of your plan. Some plans may cover services such as help with daily activities, while others may only cover skilled nursing care. Researching and comparing different options is crucial before choosing a long-term care insurance plan.

One way to secure a long-term care insurance plan is through your employer. Some companies offer group plans with lower premiums and no underwriting process, meaning preexisting conditions won’t affect your eligibility. Another option is to purchase an individual policy from an insurance company or through an agent. Additionally, you can opt for the government-backed program Medicaid for long-term care coverage.

9. General Liability Insurance

Small business owners face various risks, from accidental property damage to reputational harming lawsuits. They can be costly, especially for companies with limited resources. Businesses can secure General Liability insurance coverage to protect against these risks.

General Liability insurance covers legal and financial obligations that arise from third-party claims of property damage or bodily injury caused by business operations or products. It also includes claims of false advertising, slander, or libel. If you get sued, liability insurance can cover legal defense costs and settlement expenses up to the policy limit.

General liability insurance comes in different types of insurance coverage. They include body injury liability, property damage liability, advertising injury, copyright infringement, and reputation harm. Each type protects against different types of claims, so reviewing your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage carefully is essential.

Body injury liability covers physical harm that occurs due to your business operations or products (not to your employees). That includes slip and fall accidents or injuries caused by faulty equipment. Property damage liability covers accidental damage to your property. For example, it helps you pay phone repair companies for broken phones.

Advertising injury protects against false or misleading advertising claims that harm another business. Copyright infringement covers any legal action brought against your business for using someone else’s copyrighted material without permission. Reputation harm coverage protects against claims of libel, slander, or other reputational damage caused by your company.

As a small business owner, it’s essential to have general liability insurance coverage to protect your business from potential lawsuits and financial losses. You never know when an accident or mistake could occur. Therefore, having the right insurance can protect your business’s future.

Different types of insurance coverage protect individuals and businesses from various risks. Whether it’s protecting your finances in case of unexpected events or ensuring that you have access to necessary healthcare services, insurance plays a crucial role in our lives. It’s essential to carefully consider your insurance needs and make informed decisions when choosing the proper coverage. Remember, having multiple types of insurance coverage can provide comprehensive protection and peace of mind.


Creating Your Do it Right Home Improvement Checklist

Working on home improvement takes a lot of time and money, so it’s a good idea to make sure that you do it right the first time. Here’s a helpful do it right home improvement checklist that you can use to make sure that you don’t miss any crucial projects and have to go back to the hassle of looking for professionals to work with and having to deal with your home being a construction site for a while. The main projects that you need to prioritize are outlined below, so get ready to have every detail checked to get a reasonable outcome.

Assess if Your Septic System Needs Professional Support

Start by assessing your septic system to see if it needs the attention of a professional. While this is the best solution for the environment in terms of your home’s wastewater management, it could land you in a lot of trouble if you’re not careful with maintenance. This means that you need to make sure that you’re keeping up with the necessary maintenance and service so that you can stay aware of any issues that may come up with your unit as time goes by early enough to solve them before they get out of hand.

One of the signs that you need to add septic services to your list of the do it right home improvement projects you need to work on is having slow drains. This could indicate a backup in the tank or problems with its outflow pipe. More signs of trouble include detecting a strong, foul odor coming from your drains or around the tank and seeing pooling water or marshy ground around the septic tank. Gurgling sounds when the drains are used, sewage backing up into your home, and contaminated water are also signs that you need the help of a professional to remedy whatever issue your septic system may have.

Schedule for an Expert to Clean Your Drains

You should also have drain cleaning services as one of the items on your do it right home improvement checklist. That’s because clogged drains can leave you dealing with issues like drain flies in the home and trouble whenever you try to use water indoors. If you see these signs and you also hear strange sounds coming from the drains, then you need to call a professional to do an inspection as soon as possible. Clean drains should flow without any trouble and there should not be foul smells in rooms where you have drains, as this is a sign that something is out of place.

While you can get some drain-cleaning fluid from your local store, it may not do as good a job as would have been done by a professional. The expert is going to use tools to manually unclog the drains and clean them up thoroughly so that they’re in great shape. From this point, you can manage the drains by keeping them free of material that could cause a clog such as excessive grease and food particles or even dirt which may find its way into the drains. This is going to leave you less reliant on chemicals to unblock drains that might be quite costly and end up being the wrong choice for the environment.

Ask a Roofer to Look at Your Gutters

The gutters of your home play the important role of ensuring that water drains off the roof fast and easily. If they don’t work as they should, they might leave you with a damaged roof and more. The other parts of your home that could be impacted are the walls, the foundation, and the driveway. That’s why it’s a good idea for you to call local gutters companies to help you repair or replace the gutters if they’re damaged in some way or another. This is a crucial part of your do it right home improvement list that you must remember to work on the moment you realize that something is out of place.

You can get this project done either as an individual project or work on it alongside a roof repair or improvement project to ensure that you get a complete package in the end. Some of the signs that your gutters need expert attention include noticing excessive rust and peeling paint on the gutters, and having massive cracks and holes that don’t allow water to flow right to the downspouts without impacting the walls. Local gutters professionals are going to help you figure out what the best type and material of gutters to get for your home is. As a result, you can be sure that you won’t install gutters that don’t stay put through more than a few storms.

Hire an Electrician for Any Electrical Issues

A local electrician should help you remedy any electrical issues that you may have as a part of your do it right home improvement project list. You should never consider working on any electrical issue as a DIY because of the risk that comes with it. If you lack the training and equipment to handle electricity, the best decision is to simply call an expert to look at it as soon as you can. Regardless of how small the issue may seem, it’s best to keep yourself and your home safe as well, since failing to do a good job places your house and entire family at risk. This is based on the fact that a large number of residential fires are caused by electrical issues.

If you notice issues such as flickering lights whenever you turn on an appliance, electrical outputs that don’t work, crackling sounds around electrical fixtures, and smells of burning, don’t take too long to call a professional. The sooner you get these issues looked at, the easier they may be to fix and the less time and money they’ll cost to secure. The professional can also let you know if there are any steps that you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency, making this an amazing project to work on for now as well as the long term.

Inquire About Your HVAC System Quality

Air conditioning services are another important item to add to your list of do it right home improvement projects. That’s because this system directly impacts the quality of air that you enjoy at home as well as your family’s comfort as the temperatures outside fluctuate. With this in mind, note that it’s important to make sure that your air conditioner is in a position to work efficiently and filter the air that you get in your home while also keeping your home within a comfortable temperature range all year long. If you notice that your indoors are more stuffy than normal, the house is not evenly warmed or cooled, or people who have allergies are having a particularly bad spell, these are all signs that you need to call the experts as soon as you possibly can.

Even if there aren’t any issues that you can spot with your air conditioner, it’s good practice to have it inspected and serviced twice a year. That’s once during the hot season for the cooling, and once during the cold season for the heating. This way, little is likely to get out of hand and leave you in discomfort if your unit fails unexpectedly. By keeping your air conditioner in good shape, you’ll also keep your energy bills manageable and stay covered by the warranty of your air conditioner’s manufacturer if it’s still applicable.

Pay Professionals to Remove Any Dangerous Trees

Trees are an amazing addition to the landscape of any home as they help increase its value and appeal. This is only if they’re in good health, something that tree professionals can help you maintain as the case. That said, if any trees are either extremely aged, damaged, or even diseased, you should contact tree removal services in your area and have them get rid of the problematic trees. This is an important step to take because such trees can fall when least expected, making them a serious risk to your family and property.

It’s important to add this item to your list of do it right home improvement tasks to work on because it may take a little to fix, while the risk of ignoring it is quite high. If you suspect any trees of being likely to fall, you’re better off being safe rather than sorry as you’ll be able to take the right steps if something is wrong. If no trees need to be removed, you can always prune and take proper care of the remaining trees, something that will keep your home safe and presentable.

Update Your Fence to Protect Your Pets

A solid fence can help you keep your home safe, valuable, and attractive. That’s why another good do it right home improvement task to work on is ensuring that your fence is in great shape. This calls for you to contact a good local fence company and enlist their help in inspecting your current fence. If it has missing elements or it has serious damage and more, then you need to get it repaired as soon as possible. When you have a solid fence around your home, you can be sure that your small children and pets, if you have any, are safe and secure all through the year.

Move Certain Items Into a Storage Unit

You may be wondering whether it’s possible to get your home tidy and decluttered without actually disposing of your important items. The answer is that you can do this, and that’s by renting out a storage unit. This is a do it right home improvement task that you should prioritize if you want to make your home appealing and more spacious. Find out how much space you need depending on how many items you have, and what size they are as well. This is going to help you make the right call in terms of how much storage you need so that you neither get too little nor too much.

Install a New Water Heater

It’s a good idea for you to invest in water heater services to replace your water heater if it’s damaged or has reached the end of its lifespan. That’s because your family will be left in extreme discomfort if the water heater fails, especially if your home is in an area with a cooler climate. That said, keep an eye open for signs of trouble with the water heater so that you can act fast if necessary. Some of these signs are leaks from the water heater, being unable to get hot water, hearing noises like cracking, banging, and popping from the water heater, and getting discolored water. In case you notice these, you need to be on high alert and add this item to your list of do it right home improvement projects.

Rent a Dehumidifier When Needed

Last but not least, you should have a dehumidifier rental as one of the projects to tackle in your do it right home improvement project list. You may have to rent one if your home feels extremely humid and you can’t find a reason for this, you have water damage, or your basement feels damp. You’ll also need one if you experience regular water infiltration into your home or flooding, as these are activities that will leave your home with higher relative humidity. A dehumidifier can reduce allergens from your home, including mold, mildew, and dust mites. It’s also going to lower the risk of mold growth and lower your home’s energy costs. If you want to enjoy these benefits and handle a lot of humidity in the house. Shop around to see the best deals that you can find for dehumidifier rentals.

Using this checklist can help you get your home in perfect shape in a short time. Remember that you need to hire a professional for each task to make sure it’s done perfectly. This way, you’re going to get the maximum value for the money that you put into making the various repairs and replacements.