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Disaster Strikes Your Second Home: Are You Prepared?

Once you decide you’re financially ready to buy a vacation home, one important step is insuring your new pad. It’s different than buying insurance for a primary residence. Factors such as where it’s located, who stays there and what amenities are available will help determine your home insurance needs. Your Vacation Home Versus Mother Nature For many people, the whole idea of a vacation home is to be closer to a sandy beach or among the crisp mountain air. That perfect location for rest and relaxation may come with some additional insurance costs. Hurricane season and intense rainstorms underscore the importance of knowing your coverage. The point applies to primary residences and vacation homes. When hurricane Florence hit in September 2018, more than 30 million people were under a flood watch and media outlets reported only about 3 percent of North Carolina and South Carolina homeowners held insurance policies.  And…

Retaining Life Insurance for Peace of Mind

As a driver and homeowner, you are required to carry home and auto insurance. If all goes well, you’ll never experience a car accident, home invasion or natural disaster that makes that insurance worthwhile. The peace of mind it brings is worth it. And although life insurance isn’t mandatory, it provides an immeasurable benefit to loved ones when we pass away. When we think about family, the real value of life insurance becomes evident. Family Values Every single one of us will face the end of life. When that time comes, what will your life insurance be worth? Not in dollar value, of course – that’s a question for your SelectQuote licensed agent. But what will the value be to your loved ones? Will it mean a stay-at-home spouse can continue caring for the family instead of scrambling to find work and affordable childcare? Will it mean the relief of not worrying…

What to Know About Retiring at 62 Versus Retiring at 70

Ah, retirement. That long-awaited life stage when all your hours of working, saving and family-raising efforts finally pay off. You’ll be free to travel, spend time with friends and family and enjoy the hobbies you never had time for. No worries, no stress, nobody to answer to. Except, without careful planning that scenario could be a fantasy. A 2017 Ipsos/USA Today poll found 45- to 65-year-olds surveyed, 30 percent had less than $100,000 in savings. Another 30 percent had no savings at all. No matter how much money you have invested for your retirement, deciding when to make the leap can drastically affect how far those investments can carry you. Trying to decide when to retire? Here are some things to consider if you decide to retire at age 62 versus age 70. Your Social Security Benefits At age 62: More people (42 percent of men and 48 percent of…

Insurance 101 for House Flippers

Flipping houses hit an 11-year high in 2017. It’s no secret why. Television shows such as “Flip or Flop” and “Rehab Addict” flaunt how flipping houses can provide a lucrative career or side hustle. But it’s not always an easy one. Many things can go south during a flip, including stolen materials or structural damage while the house sits empty. Mishaps that eat into potential profit. Most people go into a flip thinking about asking price, cost of renovations and earning potential. It’s important to add insurance coverage to the early list of considerations. Below we answer four common insurance questions from flipping newbies. What Type of Insurance Policy do I Need for my Flip? New house flippers may think general homeowner’s insurance will cover their needs. The type of insurance policy needed for a flip depends on the stage of the project. Here are four policies to consider. A…

Getting on Medicare Before Age 65

Among the many questions people have about Medicare benefits is, “Can I get on Medicare early, before turning 65?” The annual Medicare enrollment period is about to begin, bringing with it a lot of questions about how to get on Medicare early, choosing your coverage, understanding the alphabet soup of its various parts and finding out why and how to get supplemental coverage. Before we start talking about that, let’s get some perspective on Medicare by looking at some statistics from the 2018 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds. It’s the annual report of the boards that oversee the trust funds that provide the money behind the program we all know as “Medicare.” According to the report, “In 2017, Medicare covered 58.4 million people: 49.5 million aged 65 and older, and 8.9 million disabled. Total expenditures in 2017…

In the Driver’s Seat: Understanding Auto Insurance For Business

For many companies, business depends on cars. This is true whether the business is a sole proprietorship or a corporation with hundreds of employees. When it comes to insurance needs, the type of policy can vary widely. It all depends on the type of business, who owns the vehicles, who’s driving them, and how often. Coverage Needs In most states, business vehicles require liability insurance for both bodily injury and property damage  that may result from an accident involving someone from the company. Many states also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and/or personal injury protection (PIP). If the business owns or leases the vehicle, physical damage coverage is also often purchased. The typical insurance policy that covers your business operations—a Business Owners Policy (BOP)—does not cover vehicles. A separate policy is needed for autos. In most cases, it will be a Business Auto Coverage Form (BACF). The BACF doesn’t require the same…

Ready to Buy (and Insure) Your Vacation Home?

There’s something so enticing about the idea of owning a vacation home. It’s the vision of a special place that feels both familiar and an escape at the same time. It is a place to make memories. And a place your hard-earned dollars translate not only into luxury, but a return on investment. However, like all large purchases, a vacation home isn’t something you should jump into without lots of thought and number-crunching. Here are five things you need to consider before making an offer on a vacation home:   Practicality Okay, so being practical is probably the furthest thing from your mind when you’re dreaming about a vacation property. But you need to make sure your choice is the best one for your lifestyle. Is the location somewhere you’ve visited often? Can you travel there easily from your primary residence? Are there activities you’ll be able to enjoy as you…

How to Plan for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

Every year, the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) or Open Enrollment kicks off Oct. 15 and closes Dec. 7. Whether you are newly eligible for Medicare or already in a plan, you’ll want to consider several items in preparation for the enrollment period. We outline steps to help ensure you get the most out of your planning. Already Enrolled in Medicare? The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is an important time for you. Before the AEP starts, it’s always good to review your current needs and anticipate what you might need in the coming year. Perhaps you now need prescription drug coverage. If your current coverage is not providing everything you need, you can now modify your plans for next year. Or conversely, maybe you obtained services this year that are no longer of value. The AEP provides an opportunity to drop or switch plans. Furthermore, Medicare health and drug plans could…

Renting Cars Through an App and How It Impacts Insurance

Most cars stay parked more than they roam the road throughout most of their lifetimes. Seems like a waste. What if, simply by using an app, you could not only get additional use from your car, but also make a little money on the side? Perhaps to help finance the payments or insurance, take a trip or just to save some extra cash? Copying business models similar to those of Uber and Airbnb, peer-to-peer car-sharing services use apps to make this happen for folks across North America and the world. What do you need to know about any rules, regulations and insurance before trying to turn your extra vehicles into cash cows? Why Peer-to-Peer Sharing Appeals to Users Peer-to-peer car-sharing companies such as Turo and Getaround appeal to customers for reasons of convenience, value, variety and location. Peer-to-peer renters can bypass busy airport counters and all of the paperwork processing…

Choosing the Right Medicare Coverage

,As you approach age 65, Medicare is on your radar. Medical expenses are one of the biggest costs you’ll face. Making a smart decision about Medicare coverage can do a lot for your health and your wealth. To get started, you will want to make sure you are choosing the right coverage option and considering any extra coverage you may need. But how do you enroll in the plan that keeps you covered at a price point that fits your budget? These steps will show you how to do exactly that. Choosing Between Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage The alphabet has never seemed so confusing as it does when most people start looking at Medicare options for the first time. Think of your coverage options as Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage to help you pick the option that is best for you. Original Medicare is Medicare Part A and Part…