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Valuable Articles Insurance

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What You Need To Know About Valuable Articles Insurance

While the majority of homeowners have appropriate insurance coverage, when it comes to protecting both their home and the possessions inside, all policies have a limit on how much property is actually covered. If you have valuable items inside your home and you’re aware the value to replace them might exceed what your typical homeowners insurance policy covers – valuable articles insurance may be for you.

Whether it be art, jewelry, expensive medical equipment, antiques, collectibles, or something else – you can add valuable articles insurance. This coverage ensures that you can replace and pay for these particular high-ticket items should the unexpected happen.

How valuable articles insurance works

Valuable articles insurance is not a standalone insurance policy, but rather a type of coverage that is added on to a new or existing homeowners insurance policy. So, the first step in exploring whether valuable articles insurance will make sense for you is by getting in touch with your homeowners insurance provider.

There are two different types of valuable articles insurance coverage available:

Grouped Coverage

This is the valuable articles insurance policy that will provide you with broad protection for all of your valuable items as a whole. You may add this feature on to your existing homeowners insurance policy. You may receive upwards of $5,000, with a deductible of $500 or less. Articles do not need to be itemized, nor do you need to provide proof of ownership before getting the coverage.

Itemized Coverage

On the other hand, a valuable articles insurance policy that includes itemized coverage gives even greater protection, as you specify the items for which you want coverage. If any articles need replacing, you’re not required to pay a deductible and will receive a previously agreed-upon payout from your insurance provider. However, articles will have to be listed in advance with proof of ownership.

Which items qualify for valuable articles insurance?

Providers of valuable articles insurance will be able to provide coverage on most property or equipment you deem worthy of this extra protection, so you should speak to an agent to find out more about your specific needs. Generally speaking, items that are most often covered by valuable articles insurance includes the following:

  • Fine art
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Expensive electronics
  • Musical instruments
  • Collections of fine wine
  • Medical devices like prosthetics or scooters
  • High-end fashion items like handbags or shoes
  • Jewelry and loose precious gems
  • Professional sports equipment like bicycles or golf clubs
  • Pedigreed dogs
  • Stamp and coin collections

Whether items of yours are valuable enough to warrant valuable articles insurance is a personal decision. To learn more and consult with an expert – reach out to Schechner Lifson Corporation. Schechner Lifson is an independent insurance agency with experienced and caring agents who can make sure you get the right coverage.

Key Person Life Insurance Plan

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Does My Business Need A Key Person Life Insurance Plan?

Key person life insurance is a type of insurance that protects a business in the event of the unexpected passing of an irreplaceable and critical member of that business. The policy is for the key employees; however, the business is the beneficiary and pays the premiums. If you run a small business that has a handful of irreplaceable members, you may want to consider purchasing a key person insurance plan to protect your company and prepare for the unexpected.

How does key person life insurance work?

If you’re considering key person life insurance, the first step would be to determine what the monetary value of the key individuals in your business is. Once you map out the financial effects of losing that person, whether it’s through lost sales, the cost to find that person’s replacement, or costs to close the business and pay off its debts – you can make a decision. The insurance provider would look at your company’s legal structure and determine how it would work for your unique business. It’s important that the key employees in question provide explicit and written consent to the company to own such a policy.

Do I need key person life insurance?

As every business and their respective employees are unique, there’s no one size fits all situation. That being said, there are some traits and circumstances to look out for.

  • If the reputability and ability to draw new business opportunities are explicitly tied to a single individual, then they could be critical to insure.
  • Some employees, particularly in sales, can be a huge asset in bringing in new business and maintaining pre-existing relationships.
  • When a couple of partners jointly own the business, and each partner would want the opportunity to buy out the others’ shares in the case of death, a key person insurance policy would aid in the financial viability of this scenario.

Key person life insurance can help protect your small business from collapsing under the weight of unexpected circumstances. If you think any individuals are essential to your business, you should definitely consider a key person life insurance policy.

Want to find out more?

Schechner Lifson Corporation is an independent insurance agency that can offer you help in key person life insurance for your small business. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right coverage at a price that may just be more affordable than you think. Contact us today!

Whole Life Policy Benefits

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How Would A Whole Life Policy Benefit Me?

When shopping for life insurance, you’ll likely wonder whether you should buy term life insurance or whole life insurance. While term life insurance is more common, a whole life policy might be the right fit for you.

Whole life insurance is a lifetime commitment. Once coverage has been paid for and issued, it can no longer be taken back, canceled, or even have its terms reduced. This finality is unique when compared with term life insurance and requires a degree of certainty before purchasing a policy. Be sure to consider your options and look at your custom whole life policy benefits.

To help you get started, here’s an overview of what a whole life policy can get you and what you need to know.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance is permanent. As long as you pay the premiums, your policy stands. A unique part of whole life insurance is that it comes with an extra savings component known as the ‘cash value.’ This cash value is essentially a savings account funded by the premiums you pay while living. Your payments slowly shrink the death benefit, which in return increase the cash value component. At one point in time, you may be left entirely with the cash value. As that savings account earns interest and dividends, you will see a minimum yearly return.

Pros and cons of whole life insurance

When deciding whether whole life insurance benefits are right for you, take into account the following factors:

Pros

  • The death benefit is fixed and won’t expire. So, if you buy a $1,000,000 policy when you’re in your twenties and your passing comes much later in life, your family or other beneficiaries will still receive the full death benefit.
  • Because you sign and buy your life insurance policy once, you agree to pay a single premium, and the monthly payments remain consistent. This provides security and value compared with term policies that may increase.
  • The cash value can be looked at as an involuntary savings account.

Cons

  • While the benefits are higher with whole life, the policies do cost more than term policies, sometimes even upwards of 10 times the amount.
  • If you fail to keep up with your payments, you will have to surrender your benefits. Unfortunately, this can happen when people overestimate their ability to pay, with over one-quarter of policies abandoned within the first three years.
  • Due to the high cost, it can happen that people are buying less coverage than they need.

Is whole life insurance right for you?

While the benefits of whole life insurance policies are clear, you’ll have to pay a premium to unlock those rewards. Determining what’s right for you will depend on your unique circumstances. Schechner Lifson Corporation, an independent insurance agency, can offer you help to determine which type of policy is best for you. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right coverage at a price that may just be more affordable than you think. Contact us today!

Negative Equity Gap vs. Finance Gap Insurance

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Deciphering The Differences between Negative Equity Gap and Finance Gap Insurance

When you buy a brand-new car and drive it off the lot, 10 to 30 percent of the value of that car famously disappears. This depreciation is jarring and may seem excessive, but the idea is that once a car can no longer be labeled as new, the selling price takes a dramatic hit on the market. That first mile off the lot may likely end up being the most expensive mile you drive. In addition, in those first moments of driving the car, you will likely owe more for the car through loans or leasing fees than the car is actually now worth.

If you owe more than the car is worth – this is called negative equity, and negative equity can cause you serious issues if your car gets totaled or stolen. If your car insurance policy only pays you for the value of the car – that negative equity gap creates a discrepancy in what they pay and what you owe.

For people who need a car but don’t have the finances readily available – this is where finance gap insurance comes in. Finance gap insurance covers negative equity in most situations, though there are some essential factors to consider.

Loan Terms: The down payment amount or duration of the loan on the new car will dictate the amount of negative equity you’re driving off the lot with. These loan terms will also control how much negative equity gap there is and what level of finance gap insurance is necessary.

Leased vs. Bought: Leasing a car will typically result in more of a negative equity gap, as they don’t require a down payment, the lease payments are smaller, and they only cover depreciation of the vehicle. If you’re leasing a vehicle, check the car lease carefully. They will often include finance gap insurance in the terms of the lease and the required monthly payments, but if they don’t – you should consider separate finance gap insurance coverage. Should a total loss occur – you won’t owe a penny.

Auto Insurance Policy: Similarly, your typical auto insurance plan might include coverage for the negative equity gap and supersede your need to purchase finance gap insurance. However, such inclusions are not automatic, and they may require that certain conditions be met first, such as a large enough down payment and whether the finance terms were within certain bounds, etc. Call your auto insurance provider or read the fine print first, because you might not need extra finance gap insurance coverage.

If you do need finance gap insurance – contact us at Schechner Lifson Corporation, an independent insurance agency that can offer you help in acquiring important auto insurance coverage. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right coverage at a price that may just be more affordable than you think.

Home-Based Business Insurance: Am I Covered?

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What To Look For In Home-Based Business Insurance

As telecommunication and the ability to work remotely becomes more prevalent, millions of Americans are deciding to take the plunge and become self-employed. Running a business from your home has many advantages – such as the freedom to work for yourself, flexible working hours, no daily commuting, and more. Of course, operating a business out of your own home comes with its own set of unique considerations, and self-employed individuals must take these into account.

If you do decide to make the jump from being an employee to being self-employed, it’s important to get home-based business insurance. This coverage will protect your critical business files, equipment, and operations should anything happen to your home. While you may assume your home insurance would cover the business assets in your home, this is not the case. Using home insurance to cover your business activities could actually end up voiding your home insurance policy!

The circumstances surrounding home-based business insurance can be a little tricky. To make sure you and your business are adequately covered – the following considerations are key:

Business Property Insurance

Regardless of your home insurance policy – home-based businesses must be sure to have additional insurance to cover their business equipment and content. Assuming the home-based business utilizes different devices, electronics, or computer equipment, the value to replace these important tools could easily cost thousands of dollars in the event of a loss.

Product Liability Insurance

If you sell products – an important part of the home-based business insurance coverage is product liability. Such a policy is important to protect you and your business in the event of a product’s failed performance, ensuring a bad shipment won’t bring down your business’s viability.

Professional Liability Insurance

If you are in the business of providing services to people and companies, including professional liability insurance in your home-based business insurance coverage will protect you and your clients from any damages claimed through your actions and services. Again, this type of coverage will make sure your business remains viable even if something goes wrong, protecting your assets and paying for your legal defense.

Business Interruption Insurance

Another important type of coverage to consider is business interruption insurance. While your business property insurance will cover replacing your equipment in the event of a fire, flood, or other covered disasters, your business will also have to deal with interruption of services until you can get your equipment back up and running. Business interruption insurance will cover you in instances where business activities are suspended.

Want to find out more?

Schechner Lifson Corporation is an independent insurance agency that can offer you help in acquiring home-based business insurance. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right coverage at a price that may just be more affordable than you think. Contact us today to see how we can make sense of the world of insurance, providing you with the best and most affordable coverage possible.

Are You Shopping For Better Group Benefits?

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These Are The Main Advantages Of Group Benefits

An employer will typically offer group health insurance policies to all of their employees, an arrangement that comes with a bevy of advantages for employees and their families. In fact, these group benefits are one of the most attractive selling points for being an employee in the first place, though the offering of group benefits can actually benefit the employer as well.

Employers should shop around annually to adapt to the growth of their business or make any adjustments when needed. Offering the best group benefits available to their employees should become a top priority.

Employee and employer savings

Finding the right level of group benefits is critical for both parties involved. Not only are group benefit packages almost always more affordable than private coverage, employers who don’t seek out the best group benefits will also pay higher insurance premiums. Periodic assessments regarding whether the group benefits offered are the best and most affordable is a good idea for the bottom line of employees and employers alike.

Economies of scale

Simply put, the more people who purchase coverage under the same plan, the more affordable it will be for each person. Health insurance providers are willing to offer better group rates for businesses than they would when offering individual coverages. The larger risk pool spreads out the costs. Insurance providers can provide specific types of coverage that would not be financially viable for individual buyers, such as identity theft insurance. The result is a win-win, as employees get better coverage for less money, insurance companies get more business, and employers get to offer great group benefits to attract and retain the best talent.

Tax incentives

Businesses are incentivized by the tax code to offer group benefits to their employees. The small-business health care tax credit is provided to businesses that don’t just give employees insurance, but also pay a portion of the premiums. This process makes the financial benefits of offering group benefits even easier and more rewarding for the business owner.

Better work environment

The financial advantages of group benefits should not be the only reason employers offer it. When employees receive great healthcare coverage, the general work environment will improve. Employees are more likely to remain loyal and work harder because they feel valued and appreciated. As any human resources representative will tell you, these benefits may be more important than your salary.

Want to find out more?

Schechner Lifson Corporation is an independent insurance agency that can offer your business help in navigating group benefits offerings for your employees. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right coverage at a price that may just be more affordable than you think. Contact us today to see how we can make sense of the world of insurance, providing you with the best and most affordable coverage possible.

Business Errors & Omissions Insurance

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Which Businesses Need Errors & Omissions Insurance?

When running your own business, having the right type of insurance coverage is vital. Protecting your business equipment, your clients, your business processes, and yourself are essential. Once you’re a business owner, the buck stops at you and not a higher up employer who will clean up the mess. This sense of responsibility can be quite exciting and is a motivator for many to run their own business, but undoubtedly these hefty responsibilities come with unique risks.

What would you do if you made a damaging mistake with one of your clients, an error that caused them financial harm? To avoid the courtroom, legal fees, a harmed reputation, and more – it’s important for your business to have business errors & omission insurance.

What is business errors & omissions insurance?

Business errors & omissions insurance also called professional liability insurance, is a policy that covers you and your business in the event of errors or oversights. If an error or omission in service were to occur, a business errors & omissions insurance policy coverage would help pay for the legal fees and actions necessary to rectify the situation.

Typical business errors & omissions insurance policies will cover professional mistakes, failure to deliver promised services, or professional negligence. Unfortunately, the claims made under these circumstances don’t need to be valid to cause damage: even frivolous lawsuits require a business to take on a load of legal fees in defense, and that can be enough to harm the business irreparably. Business errors & omissions insurance coverage will ensure that won’t happen.

Who needs business errors & omissions insurance?

Lawsuits for a typical errors & omissions lawsuit can run higher than $140,000, and that’s before adding the business’s legal fees, which can also run greater than $100,000. If the occurrence of such a financial hit would put your business at risk, then errors & omissions insurance is a great idea to cover yourself.

The most common business types that require business errors & omissions insurance coverage include the following:

  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Architecture
  • Insurance
  • Accounting
  • Engineering
  • Software Development

Any single unintentional mistake in services provided to a client in these industries could result in financial damage for the client – a financial loss they may feel justified to pursue restitution.

How do you get started?

Schechner Lifson Corporation is an independent insurance agency that can offer you help in acquiring business errors & omissions insurance. With experienced and caring agents, Schechner Lifson Corporation can make sure you get the right coverage at a price that may just 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.

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.

Schechner Lifson