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Is Minimum Coverage Enough?

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Why Minimum Coverage For Auto Insurance Is Risky

Millions of drivers every year get new insurance coverage for their cars, and when they do, they are presented with a variety of choices in terms of the level of coverage and any types of extras they may need. Naturally, many drivers will gravitate towards the minimum coverage that they are legally allowed to drive with, thinking that the need for better coverage is slim, and they’d rather save money.

While saving money is an understandable goal, this minimum coverage approach increases your chances of trouble down the road. It may even wind up being more costly to take this corner-cutting approach. So, what exactly are the risks of only purchasing minimum coverage?

You’ll be uncovered for other uninsured drivers

While you’re doing the responsible thing by purchasing car insurance, even if it’s only the bare minimum, not every driver on the road is making that decision. As a result, if you get into an accident with one of these uninsured drivers, even if it’s not your fault, you won’t be covered. One of the first upgrades beyond minimum coverage is uninsured driver coverage, which will ensure that you’re still covered even if the other driver does not have coverage.

You’ll be out of luck for damages on your car

The minimum coverage you purchase is only the legal protection to make sure that if you are at fault and damage property or another car that your policy will pay for those damages. However, by purchasing the minimum coverage, you haven’t done anything to ensure that damages to your car will be covered in the case of an incident. When you purchase the minimum coverage, any damage to your car will be coming out of your pocket.

You’ll be liable for medical expenses if an accident is your fault

In the worst-case scenario, where an accident is your fault, and the other driver must receive medical care, you are opening yourself to liability and their medical expenses. A policy that goes above minimum coverage can take care of this for you.

You’ll be left stranded without those much-needed extras

Lastly, as minimum coverage gives you no more than it has to, some of the premium add-ons you can attach to your car insurance policy are incredibly useful and could ensure you don’t get left stranded. Roadside assistance, rental car coverage, mechanical breakdowns, and more are the type of additional add-ons you can get that can save you more from costs and inconveniences down the road.

Want to find out more?

Schechner Lifson Corporation can provide assist you with your car insurance policy. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you’re on the right path!

Can’t Decide Between A New Or Used Car?

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Considerations When Buying A New Or Used Car

Because the average car is purchased somewhere in the range of seven to ten years in the United States, making the right decision about which one you buy is of the utmost importance. One of the first decisions you’ll likely make when you’re in the market for a car is whether you want to go with a new or used car. Whichever direction you pick, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Let’s walk through some of them with you!

Car Insurance Cost

You can’t drive a car off the lot without insuring it, whether that’s new or used, but the amount you’ll pay for car insurance coverage will vary based on whether it’s a new or used car. The amount you’ll pay in car insurance, though, is directly tied to the car’s worth. And because a new car costs more than a used car, your insurance coverage costs on your new car will be more.

Depreciation

One of the most frustrating parts of owning a new car can be how much of its value is eliminated the moment you drive it off the lot. Depreciation typically reaches 20% the moment this happens. However, the more you drive the car, the more it’ll continue to depreciate, which will be felt if you end up trying to sell or trade-in the car. Of course, the used car will depreciate over time and miles will climb as well, but because you didn’t pay the ‘off the lot’ price, it won’t be as large a percentage of your initial purchase price.

Features

While the costs may weigh in favor of buying a used car, new cars are more likely to have new and exciting features that you want to take advantage of. And these features aren’t just novelties or ‘nice to have’ aspects, like stereo or digital gadgets but include safety features that can keep you and your family more protected. It can be hard to put a price on feeling and being more secure in your car, so if that weighs heavy on you, it may be important to buy a new car to get the safest experience possible.

Financing Options

While the cost of the new car may be higher, getting a new car instead of a used car will typically come with more financing options and incentives. Cash rebates, new car loans with great interest rates, and more come into play on the new car lot that are simply not there for used cars.

You have a lot of decisions to make when you’re purchasing a new car, and there’s no right or wrong answer when opting for a new or used car. It comes down to what your preferences are and what you can afford. If you want to find out more and talk through your options, Schechner Lifson can offer you the right guidance. Get in touch with us today to find out more!

What is Experience Rating for Workers Compensation?

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Experience Rating is a method to tailor the characteristics of a specific employer when determining costs associated with their workers compensation insurance premiums.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance, (NCCI), is the experienced provider of workers compensation insurance information, gathering data and preparing industry trends to help prepare objective insurance rates and loss cost recommendations.  The Plan helps develop loss experience where it can predict whether loss to a specific employer will be better or worse that average risks with the same industry classification.  The main objective of the Plan is to provide an in incentive for employers to reduce their frequency of claims and to encourage the injured employee to return to work within a reasonable time frame.

The Plan modifies the employer’s workers’ compensation premium by a factor developed from the employer’s past loss experience in an effort to project future losses.

The factor can be both a debit or a credit modification to the employer.  This rating gives employers an incentive to implement loss control measures to help eliminate or reduce injured employees, and develop return-to-work programs to reduce their costs and additional exposures to loss.

Risks in the same industry utilizing the same classification will experience a reduction in workers compensation premium for better than average claims experience.  Those employers in the same group experiencing debit modifications for worse than average loss have an opportunity to work towards improving their risk management programs to help control these costs in the future.

There are premium eligibility requirements developed by each State.  Depending upon these requirements will determine if the employer will be eligible for the experience modification rating factors.  The other factors to be considered are the employer’s past payroll and individual loss experience.  Keep in mind a risk that has one large loss in a three-year period may yield a better modification than an employer that has five or ten much smaller claims.  Claims frequency will usually generate a higher modification over the employer that has suffered only one large loss in that same experience period.

While the qualification factors will vary by state, usually the employer must meet the state’s established premium by one or two methods.  One is to have enough premiums in the most recent 24 months, or to achieve the state’s established premium threshold on average over the entire experience period.

Insurance is the spread of risk and costs associated with the loss from specific groups will most likely incur similar losses.  Perhaps the costs associated with a group can have some predictability of injuries, while it is not possible to determine which employer in this group will actually incur these costs.

Identify your potential exposures to loss, implement a good risk management program for your employees, and continuously monitor the performance and programs you have developed to control loss.  While loss cannot always be avoided, reducing the costs associated with the loss and reducing the number of losses within an employer organization will benefit the employer in the application of the experience modification.

If you would like further information or would like to discuss this important topic, please feel
free to contact Roseanne Gedman at 908-598-7853 or 
Roseanneg@slcinsure.com

Stay Up To Date With These Life Insurance Facts

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Are You Well-Versed On These Life Insurance Facts?

Life insurance is misunderstood by many people, whether that’s because it’s a complicated topic or because it’s neither easy nor fun to think about. However, it’s crucial to you and your family that you have the right type of life insurance policies to fit your needs.

To help you along the way, we recommend that you make sure you’re up to date on these five critical life insurance facts:

Choosing the right plan isn’t a one-time activity

It’s tempting to choose a life insurance plan one time and then assume that you’re done with it, but the truth is that you and your family’s needs may evolve over time. Whether it’s because of a change in financial situation, a growing family, a change in marital status, or the death of a family member, there are many reasons you should be sure to continuously review your life insurance needs.

Not all life insurance plans are the same

No life insurance plans are one-size-fits-all, and your needs and financial situation will dictate the important decision you’ll make on which policy is right for you. Choosing between term and whole life insurance is one such critical fork in the road, as term life insurance provides coverage for a set period of time (typically your main working years) whereas whole life insurance lasts your whole life. Knowing which is the right move for you is imperative, so don’t assume the first plan you see is the only type of plan available.

Life insurance doesn’t cost an arm and a leg

Far too many people fail to get proper life insurance, and one of the primary reasons for this is the misconception that it is too expensive for their budget. However, life insurance is typically affordable for most families, especially when you contact a professional in the industry to walk you through your options. You could be spending more on coffee each month than you would for a life insurance policy.

It pays off not to wait

Young and healthy people might too often opt to delay purchasing life insurance policies, thinking that with less financial obligations and lower budgets that they can afford to wait until they’re older. The truth is that if you lock in a life insurance policy when you are young and healthy will typically require a lower monthly payment than if you wait until later. Life insurance policy costs only rise over your lifetime.

If you want to get in touch with experts and discuss your life insurance needs, contact Schechner Lifson Corporation today to see how we help.

Deciding on a Beneficiary

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Considerations For Choosing A Beneficiary For Your Life Insurance Policy

Buying life insurance is a critical and responsible action to take, requiring careful consideration of your loved ones’ needs should something happen to you. Making sure they’re taken care of is very important, and consequently so is choosing the right life insurance policy. But the key decisions don’t stop there, as you’ll have to know who to designate as the beneficiary of the policy.

What does that mean and how do you choose the right beneficiary for your life insurance plan?

Beneficiaries: what are they and how do you choose?

If you’re buying a life insurance policy for the first time, or if you’ve just never paid close attention to this type of coverage, you might not be aware of what a beneficiary is or why it’s important. A beneficiary that you name on your life insurance plan is the person or institution that will receive the monetary payout from your policy should something happen to you. The whole point of life insurance policies is to ensure that those who are important to you are taken care of financially in your absence, so naming a beneficiary is the first step in allocating those ultimate funds.

Choosing the right beneficiary matters because it will determine the person or entity responsible for making sure those funds are properly used. They will be able to carry out the use of those funds in whichever way you wanted.

Who can be your beneficiary?

When choosing your beneficiary, you should consider who would be the most financially strained in the event of your death, such as your spouse or family. These are the most common selections of beneficiaries, as your insurance policy will make sure they aren’t financially burdened by paying for funeral costs, by any outstanding debts you left, by meeting payments on loans and mortgages if you were the primary family earner, or by future college and living costs for children that you would have paid for.

Beyond that, however, some people go a different route for their beneficiary. You can designate a trust as your beneficiary, which assigns the long-term responsibility of handling your money to a financial and legal institution. Using a trust allows you to plan for specific payments to your children at designated ages or for certain pre-determined purposes, like paying for education or purchasing a house.

Another less common option is to name a given charity or organization as your beneficiary. This is a common option for those who perhaps may not have family, or the family they do have is already financially taken care of, and so a preferred charitable organization can be a suitable payee.

Updating your beneficiary

When you first purchase your life insurance plan, you’ll be required to select a beneficiary, but keep in mind that you can change it as time goes on. In the event of major life events, it may be appropriate to reevaluate your choice of beneficiary. Such events include marriages, births, deaths, divorces, and more.

If you find yourself purchasing a life insurance policy and wondering what the right beneficiary to select is, contact Schechner Lifson today to discuss your options.

Taking Care Of Your Financial Wellness

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How Can We Really Improve On Our Financial Wellness

We all know the steps we must take to maintain our health and wellness. Getting regular checkups from the doctor, recognizing changes, and staying on top of good habits is essential. In some ways, financial wellness is actually quite comparable. Unfortunately, too many people don’t give their financial wellness much of a second thought and assume that they’re on track without actually checking in.

Since you don’t want any surprises, here are a handful of tips to help you take care of your financial wellness.

Plan for Financial Wellness

To stay on top of your financial wellness, the first critical step is to have a plan. You have to know what sort of expenses you can handle, consider what type of life you want to have when you retire, and prepare for some unforeseeable bumps along the way. This type of planning starts with creating a household budget, and with it – having a healthy amount going to savings each month. Those savings can be a nest egg, your children’s college funds, or for retirement. Whatever your priorities may be, you need to plan so you know how much you should set aside.

Keep Up On The Latest Options

The long-term tracking of financial wellness is often separated from your daily financial considerations. People set up their long-term financial planning, such as a company-sponsored 401(k) retirement plan, and then don’t think about it again. In reality, you should be checking in on what new financial tools are available and relevant to you as the years move on. Maybe you need to look into stocks and bonds, perhaps interest rates have changed, or maybe your employer has offered a new alternative plan. Either way, don’t assume that you can set and forget your financial wellness, you have to check in on it.

Consult Experts And Professionals

While you may want to plan and keep up with the latest trends, sometimes it may become intimidating. Consult experts whose job it is to give advice and check in on your progress, goals, and financial wellness.

If you want to get in touch with experts and discuss your needs and priorities when it comes to your financial wellness, contact Schechner Lifson Corporation today to see how we help!

Financial Milestones And Upgrading Your Life Insurance Policy

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Does Hitting Financial Milestones Mean You Need A New Policy?

Most people would agree that a 20-year old entering the workforce for the first time has different financial needs and priorities than a 40-year old with a family and a mortgage. What’s more, many people who buy a life insurance policy will seldom think about the terms of it again. However, life insurance policies can be dynamic, your requirements will likely evolve as you get older, and the policy should be checked periodically.

There are some typical financial milestones you’re likely to encounter in your life that will serve as good reminders that it might be time to reconsider your life insurance policy. Keep reading to find out what these might be:

A New Home

Taking on a mortgage will likely be your most significant source of debt in life until it’s paid off. Once you go from renting a home to owning one, the obligations set in. If your income is critical towards paying off that mortgage, the need for life insurance immediately escalates. Use this financial milestone as a reason to upgrade your life insurance policy.

A Growing Family

Another significant expense for a couple is children. It’s reasonable to upgrade your insurance policy to add more of a payout because the costs of raising a child and sending them off to college are steep. The right life insurance policy can ensure that each child will be able to have the funds to go to college, continue to be raised comfortably by your remaining partner, and that all the bills can still be paid.

A Change In Income

A key reason life insurance exists is to ensure that the life your family has gotten used to because of your income can persist forward should anything happen to you. As such, the amount of coverage typically offered will change if you have a significant change in income. If there was a significant pay increase, you’d want to increase your coverage so that level can be matched. If there was a significant decrease, you might want to downgrade the payout of your insurance plan, so you aren’t paying much into it each month.

Want to find out more?

Schechner Lifson Corporation is an independent insurance agency that can offer you help in deciding what level of life insurance policy is appropriate for you and your family. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right type of plan for you and your employees.

2019 Insurance Barometer Study

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What Did The 2019 Insurance Barometer Study Tell Us?

Taking the pulse of the insurance world is a critical exercise in understanding how the industry is evolving and what customers can and should be doing to stay on top. Life Happens and LIMRA team up to create an annual Insurance Barometer Study, with the results of the 2019 version being published earlier this year. You can read the full 2019 Insurance Barometer Study here, but here are some of the most important takeaways from this report.

Disability Insurance: Not Enough Americans Are Covered

Disability insurance is a critical tool to ensure you don’t descend into debt because of an unavoidable accident that puts you out of work. While some employers offer disability insurance, it is by no means automatic. The 2019 Insurance Barometer Study found that only 1 in 5 Americans currently has disability insurance. You don’t want to be caught by surprise, so make sure you’re not in that group who has ignored disability insurance.

Perception Of Insurance Costs: Way Overestimated

Unfortunately, there are many factors behind households not having the right type of coverage. Whether it be a lack of understanding, paralysis of choice, or not knowing where to start – many Americans may choose to ignore their insurance needs because they don’t think they can afford the expense. To combat this, the 2019 Insurance Barometer Study asked average people how much they thought different policies would cost, and it showed that this perception is, in fact, false and insurance is much more affordable than the average person thinks. For example, a majority of Americans overestimated life insurance cost by a factor of 3, while over 40% of millennials surveyed overestimated the cost of a life insurance policy by over a factor of 5.

Desire To Learn About Insurance: High!

The takeaway from the 2019 Insurance Barometer Study is that the number of American consumers who are eager to learn more about insurance is high. The Barometer Study points to the fact that there are 42 million people who are currently seeking out financial guidance in the United States. More specifically, the ways in which people are learning about these financial tools are expanding, with almost 40 percent looking for financial help do research via social media.

Find out more information about insurance policies by contacting Schechner Lifson Corporation today!

The Cost Of Being A Caregiver

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How Being A Caregiver For Family Can Affect Your Finances

Should a family member or loved one require full-time care, the strain on you may become significant, and the decision about what to do, difficult. Whether it’s an elderly parent who can no longer take care of themselves, a family member who was in an accident, or a loved one with special needs, the emotional and financial tolls can be great.

When looking to avoid the costs of hiring a full-time caregiver, many people will choose to take the role of caregiver themselves. While the personal benefits of doing so are immeasurable, many people fail to take into account many of the direct costs that they will still have to incur.

Out-Of-Pocket Costs

Even without paying for a nurse or a live-in facility, when you become a full-time caregiver, you will still incur a significant level of out-of-pocket costs. According to the AARP, these out-of-pocket costs could average nearly $7,000 per year. These costs account for equipment for medical care and comfort, as well as household accommodations.

Lost Opportunity for Income

On top of the direct costs added to your household’s budget, caregivers could potentially lose a portion of their income. Depending on the situation, the caregiver might have to reduce the number of hours they work or even leave their job temporarily.

Insurance Limits

Adding to the financial costs, many insurance policies will have a limit on how much they will pay out during these times of medical hardship. A family who has budgeted for a certain amount of out-of-pocket medical costs will feel the financial effects when those limits are reached, and they are responsible for paying the rest of the accumulating costs.

Benefits

On top of that direct money saved, studies by the American Psychological Association have found that people with family caregivers, rather than professionally hired caregivers, tend to have reduced instances of hospital intakes and lower average hospital stays when they are admitted. Those benefits are hard to quantify in terms of happiness and quality of life. It’s important for families to really weigh all the pros and cons of every arrangement to determine what’s best for them.

If you’re navigating the multitude of caregiving options available for your family member and aren’t sure how your insurance policy will factor in – get in touch with Schechner Lifson today to discuss your options!

Whole Life vs. Universal Life Insurance

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Which Policy Is Best For Me: Whole Life Vs. Universal Life Insurance?

Life insurance is one of the most important purchases you can make in your life. Due to its significance, individuals make decisions on what type of life insurance to buy seriously, wanting to protect their loved ones as much as possible, and not leave them with a financial burden.

Despite these best intentions, the world of life insurance can be quite intimidating. A crucial decision when purchasing life insurance is choosing between whole life vs universal life insurance.

Need help getting started on this decision? Read on.

What is the difference between whole life vs. universal life insurance?

When purchasing life insurance, a whole life insurance policy is guaranteed and locked in. Upon signing the paperwork, your monthly payment rates will remain the same throughout your life, and the amount paid out to your beneficiaries is preset. There is no guesswork involved with whole life insurance, and the terms are spelled out clearly.

Comparatively, universal life insurance includes more grey areas. For starters, people with universal life insurance can choose to adjust their monthly payments. If the budget becomes constrained, they can choose to pay less. If they decide they want to increase their payments, this is an option as well. However, these payment adjustments will affect the amount paid out at the end of the policy. So, with that added flexibility comes variability in the actual benefits.

Which is best for me?

Choosing between whole life vs. universal life insurance is an inherently personal choice, based on your preferences. Some individuals like the stability in knowing exactly what they’ll have to pay each month, planning for exactly how much their beneficiaries would receive upon their passing.

For those individuals who require more flexibility in making payments, the universal life insurance option may be more beneficial. Once retirement funds have been filled, and mortgages have been paid off, reducing your monthly payments later in life with less of a payout may make more sense. Of course, these decisions would be best made with the appropriate guidance if you feel you need a more objective perspective.

To find out more information about your life insurance options, contact Schechner Lifson Corporation. Discover how we can make sense of the world of insurance, providing you with the best and most affordable coverage possible.

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