What Workers Need to Know About Group Life Insurance

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Voluntary group life insurance is offered to employees as an optional benefit, and often employers will pay the small premium as an employee retention tool and provide workers some peace of mind for their families. There are various avenues for funding these group plans and different underwriting criteria that can either reduce or increase the premium amounts. The employer may cover the premium directly, or employees may share in the premium burden through payroll deductions after tax. In most cases, life insurance face amounts will vary from policy to policy and will usually be based in part on each employee’s…
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Insurance Checklist for the New Year

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Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? Besides making time to rid your life of bad habits or setting goals to improve your life and health, the start of the year is also a perfect time to re-evaluate your insurance coverage needs. This is especially true if you’ve had any significant life changes or made large purchases during the prior year, like: Having a baby Getting married or divorced Making add-ons to your home, like a new deck, a man cave or swimming pool Making any major purchases, like a new entertainment system or new appliances. You can…
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Innovative Solutions Reshaping Long-Term Care Insurance

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Long-term care costs can be devastating. According to the “Genworth 2017 Cost of Care” study, the average cost of a semi-private room in a skilled nursing facility is $7,148 per month. But many people have not bought long-term care protection, even though they medically qualify, because they don’t want to pay premiums for a plan they may never use, or they are concerned about future premium increases. In recent years, insurers have created a number of innovative solutions that may address these concerns.   Life insurance/long-term care hybrids These are essentially life insurance policies that come with a meaningful long-term…
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When to Call Your Financial Advisor

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If you’re experiencing a major life change of any kind, or facing a crucial financial decision, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your financial planner. Here are some examples of major life passages when you may need some good financial advice – and some action items to bring up: 1. Marriage. At a minimum, it’s critical to have life insurance in place to protect both spouses. Many planners also assist with budgeting tools, provide advice about spousal communications concerning money, and can help you develop a long-range financial plan together, as a couple. Other critical items to…
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Unreported Changes Can Mean Big Costs, Be Sure to Tell Your Insurer of Any Material Changes

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One important risk that many policyholders are not aware of is failing to notify their insurer or broker about material changes that could affect their coverage. Various events should trigger you to inform your carriers – for example, if you purchase new equipment, hire new staff, buy a new building, or expand your operations. And depending on the type of change, it could cut across different lines of insurance, like workers’ compensation and employee benefits. Here are a few examples of how these potential changes can affect your policies, both commercial and personal. Workers’ compensation Hiring new employees – While you…
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Annuities: What Are They and How Do They Work?

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An annuity is a contract with an insurance company. The insurer promises to provide a certain stream of income – which could start immediately or at some point in the future – in return for your contributions, or premium. If the stream of income begins immediately, the product is called an immediate annuity. If the income stream is to commence at some point in the future, the contract is called a deferred annuity. Annuities vs. mutual funds Because annuities are contracts, they are very different products from mutual funds, which are simply baskets of securities run by a professional money…
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What to Do with an Old Life Insurance Policy

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As people prepare to retire, it’s not uncommon to find an old life insurance policy in their portfolio. Sometimes the policy has accumulated thousands of dollars or more in cash value. Other times, the death benefit is worth millions of dollars – if it can be kept in force until the insured dies. Fortunately, those who find themselves with old life insurance policies they’ve been paying on for years often have several good choices. The one you choose should depend on your income, the policy, the death benefit, the insured’s health, and your financial goals. Before you cancel a life…
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A Buy-Sell Agreement Can Save Surviving Business Partners from Uncertainty, Turmoil

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Life is unpredictable, and sometimes the unthinkable happens and we lose a loved one or a business partner. For many small businesses, the passing of a partner could lead to a number of issues regarding ownership, with the future of the organization in doubt if the surviving family members of the deceased want to sell their stake. That could bring in a new partner that may not share the same visions or operating culture as the remaining owners. To avoid this turmoil, you should consider a buy-sell life insurance policy agreement that sets the stage for an orderly sale of…
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Group Life Insurance a Smart Move for Your Staff

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Group life insurance is among the most popular offerings in the employee benefit market today. Furthermore, millions of American families rely on it to provide desperately needed protection against the devastating risk of the unexpected death of a family breadwinner. The overwhelming majority of workers typically sign on to the program, when offered. Group life represents about 41% of all life insurance policies in force, according to the American Council of Life Insurers, and provides an estimated $8.2 trillion of protection. Employees need the coverage The average American family is woefully underinsured. Most families say they want or need enough…
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Why You Need ‘Key Man’ Insurance

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If you are operating a small business, you are likely relying on a small staff to get the job done. Many employees in small firms have to wear many hats and if one of them or an owner should die, the business could suffer greatly from that sudden loss of talent. If you don’t have “key man” insurance, that setback could be devastating to the viability of your operations, whereas coverage would provide you with extra funding that you would need while recovering from the loss. Key man insurance is simply life insurance on the key person in a business….
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