Month: March 2019

Is My Insurance Score Important?

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Deciphering Your Insurance Score

Many people are familiar with their credit score, and its importance in determining what kind of loans and terms financial institutions can offer. Fewer people have heard of an insurance score, and even fewer people know precisely how it’s calculated or what it means.

A person’s insurance score will greatly affect the insurance you’re able to acquire, the terms of insurance, and the direct impact on the overall budget you keep for your family. To maximize what’s possible, you must first understand your insurance score so you can understand what’s possible and what to do about it.

What Is An Insurance Score?

Much like the credit score, an insurance score is a number rating given to people to predict their risk. The calculations that determine an individual’s insurance score is the product of a complex and non-public calculation intended to boil down someone’s risk factors into one single number. The goal of doing this is to determine what a person’s premium should be on their insurance, the higher the number – the lower the premium.

What Types of Insurance Use An Insurance Score

Insurance scores are mainly for insurance on property. Auto insurance and homeowners insurance are the two most common types to use an insurance score to determine the terms of insurance acquired. However, insurance scores are sometimes used to determine premiums required for renters insurance, boat insurance, RV insurance, and motorcycle insurance.

How Is The Insurance Score Calculated

Despite the differences between an insurance score and credit score, they end up using a lot of the same factors. Studies done by insurance companies have found quite a strong correlation between credit scores and the number of insurance claims filed by an individual. However, your insurance score will also heavily factor in additional variables – namely the history of insurance claims filed in the past. These data points are considered effective at determining the risk an insurance agency takes when offering insurance.

Improving Insurance Scores

Given the importance of insurance scores in determining the price of necessary coverage, many will find it advantageous to work to improve their insurance score.

Individuals can undertake actions that are known to effectively increase credit scores. By paying all debts on time, keeping the oldest lines of credit open, decreasing overall debts, and increasing overall credit limits, a person can improve their credit score, bringing the insurance score up with it.

Filing fewer insurance claims, or even allowing time to pass with no insurance claims – the insurance score will naturally rise as a result.

Unfortunately, these tactics both take time. There’s no quick fix to improving your insurance score overnight, and insurance companies are instead looking for long term records of reliability and low risk.

Want to find out more?

Schechner Lifson Corporation is an independent insurance agency that can offer  you guidance and help pick out plans. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right coverage at a price that may be more affordable than you think. Contact us today to see how we can make sense of the often overly complicated and confusing world of insurance, providing you with the best and most affordable coverage possible.

No Health Insurance: The Employer Mandate For Small Businesses

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No Health Insurance? Changes For 2019

From battles over the Affordable Care Act and the rising costs of medical care that makes insurance critical, as a new law declares that businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees be exempt from the employer mandate fine – group health insurance should remain a top priority for business owners regardless. The importance of offering group health insurance to all full-time employees and providing affordable minimum value coverage should remain in full effect.

It is a possibility that some small businesses are ill-informed about the benefits of group health insurance or they are unsure whether they are eligible to offer it to their employees at their size. Here’s what we know.

The benefits of group health insurance

With the Affordable Care Act, a primary aim of this piece of legislation is to ensure that no business operates without providing health insurance. But what about businesses with less than 50 employees? The employer mandate was implemented to guarantee full-time workers affordable coverage, reducing the number of people without healthcare and avoiding an increase in costs for health insurance for the rest of the population. Just because the fine no longer stands doesn’t mean these realities disappear. Offering your employees health insurance goes beyond its respective medical benefits. It’s an incentive for loyalty, providing your employees with a peace of mind that their needs are carefully looked after. In return, you will see more productivity and less turnover.

Your group

So, if you’re wondering if your business qualifies for group coverage, the answer is yes. Owners, partners, and sole proprietors are all considered employees. The good news is, every state guarantees access to group health benefits for businesses between 2 to 50 employees, and in some states, coverage is even available to groups of 1. Because of the nature of a small group, to reduce risk, insurance providers do require a minimum participation requirement to offer these policies. 70% of full-time employees must be on board or at least have coverage from another source.

Establishing your eligibility to offer group health benefits to your employees and navigating health insurance options can be a lot to keep track of. With the help of experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can offer your business health insurance, making sure you get the right coverage at a price that may be more affordable than you think. Contact us today!

Is Now a Good Time to Buy Life Insurance?

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Is Now a Good Time to Buy Life Insurance?

Life insurance is one of those considerations you know you should have, and you hope you never need. But if you’re one of the many people who has not bought life insurance yet, how do you know when the right time is? There are a couple of factors you can take into account.

Age

When purchasing a life insurance policy, age is the first factor taken into account when setting the price. As such, the best time to buy life insurance will technically be as a newborn, as the policies become more and more expensive as you age and the risk factors increase. If you’re asking when the best time is to buy life insurance is, it’s likely too late for you to take advantage of policies for infants or minors. But as a parent, you may consider buying whole life insurance policies for your children. Upon turning 18 years old, the policy can be transferred to the insured for either further funding or to be cashed in if any equity is held.

If you missed out on the childhood life insurance policies, there’s still an optimal time to buy a life insurance policy while under the age of 35. Between 18 and 35 years old are the least likely to buy a policy. The largest advantage is the cost, as it’s so reasonable because the relative risk is low at that young age.

Marital Status

The purpose of buying life insurance is to protect your household. While young people may not see the value of a life insurance plan while single, getting married significantly changes that equation. Getting their partner protected should the unspeakable happen suddenly becomes a priority. As such, post marriage could be an ideal time for people to think seriously about buying life insurance.

Children

Even more than with a spouse, the arrival of children into someone’s life increases the need for health insurance. Life insurance is there to cover the amount of income you bring into your family should you not be there anymore. Having your family depending on you and your ability to provide only hastens the need to buy life insurance. Once your first child is born, if you have not yet jumped on the life insurance bandwagon, this landmark would be a good time to do so.

No Good Reason to Wait

The main takeaway about health insurance is that you’ll never know when you need it. Delaying buying it inherently puts you or your family at risk should something happen. The best time to act may have been yesterday, but the next best time to buy life insurance is today. Not only does going about life without it put you and your family at unnecessary risk, but it also increases the cost. For example, a 20-year policy with a death benefit of $500,000 would cost a 35-year-old about $430 per year, compared with $1,300 per year for a healthy 50-year-old. When you eventually come around and recognize the need to buy life insurance, you won’t be impressed with the extra costs.

Want to find out more?

Schechner Lifson Corporation is an independent insurance agency that can offer your business life insurance for your employees or a personal life insurance plan for yourself. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right coverage at a price that may be more affordable than you think. Contact us today to see how we can make sense of the often overly complicated and confusing world of insurance, providing you with the best and most affordable coverage possible.

How Will the Affordable Care Act of 2019 Affect My Company?

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Updates on the Affordable Care Act of 2019

Even though President Obama is no longer in office, his health care legislation continues to dominate discussions, evolve, and affect businesses and their employees everywhere. The Affordable Care Act of 2019 is no longer like previous versions, as legislation has removed or changed key provisions. So, if you’re relying on last year’s knowledge of how the Affordable Care Act impacts your company, then you’re already a few steps behind.

But fear not, the changes brought from the Affordable Care Act of 2019 are not difficult to wrap your head around. Read on to see what the key points are in how your company should expect to be affected so you can plan accordingly.

Increased Premiums

The part of the Affordable Care Act of 2019 that will be on everyone’s mind, of course, is among the most important: What will it cost me? The most significant change to the healthcare legislation was the repeal of the individual mandate, which does mean that certain customers and markets will see their premiums increase from year-before levels. These increases have the unfortunate effect of making healthcare more expensive for individuals and their families, pushing people to choose policies that are lower cost, but with higher deductibles. With these changes, it’s important for companies to communicate the new prices to their employees, while listening to concerns they may have.

Need to Shop for Best Rates

As a response to these higher premiums, companies and their employees will see an enhanced need to find the best rates. The jolt of potentially seeing higher rates will be shocking, but certain regions and providers out there will see a slight drop in rates. The difference now, though, is that it requires some hunting to find these opportunities for savings. All that to say, if the rate increases from the legacy health insurance provider look to be prohibitive to the company or the consumer, there is more incentive now to shop around.

Employee Response

As a business owner, one of the effects of these changes to the Affordable Care Act of 2019 that may not seem obvious at first, is how employees will treat health issues. If shopping around does not find you an option that is cost-effective for employees, the result will be employees who are more incentivized not to seek out healthcare. If they are sick, they could look at the high charges they’ll face when going to a clinic or hospital and decide that seeking treatment is not worth the price. This puts other employees at risk for contagious illnesses, lower performing employees, or even an increase in sick days as employees hope the problems simply go away. These real effects are important for employers to monitor and address with employees as issues arise.

Want to find out more?

Schechner Lifson Corporation is an independent insurance agency that can offer your business help in navigating the Affordable Care Act for you and your employees. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right coverage at a price that may be more affordable than you think. Contact us today to see how we can make sense of the often overly complicated and confusing world of insurance. We want to provide you with the best and most affordable coverage possible.