Four Ways a Condo Warranty Can Benefit You

We have all had a dishwasher that puttered out or a washing machine that sat idle with clothes floating in a well of water. Fixing creaky old appliances can be costly, and it often seems there is no way of avoiding such expenses. However, many owners and renters have found a solution: purchasing a condo warranty.

Unlike insurance-which covers natural disasters, calamities, and theft-a warranty is a service contract that, among other things, covers major appliances for members of a condominium. These warranties are specifically designed to work within the existing support structure and services provided by your association, so you only pay for the protection you need. Here are four ways a condo warranty can benefit you.

Covers Major Home Appliances and Systems

While the definitions of major systems and appliances may vary from policy to policy, a condo warranty will typically cover HVAC, plumbing, electrical, hot water heaters, garbage disposals, dishwashers, stoves and ovens, washers and dryers, and garage doors. Refrigerators are often covered when they are in the property at the time of purchase. This can be even more beneficial in the event that a retailer or chain goes out of business and/or any coverage you have on the product lapses.

Enhances Market Value

Condo warranties are, in general, cost-saving tools when it comes to maintenance. However, they can also be an enhanced benefit in a competitive seller’s market because they increase a unit’s marketability. According to the National Home Warranty Association, units on the market that covered by warranties tend to sell about 50 percent faster than homes that are not.

Protects from Potential Post-Sale Legal Disputes

Warranties generally protect the condo’s seller from post-sale legal disputes. They allow for the purchaser to invest with confidence, as they are given more security than what is offered by a statute of limitations, which, in most cases, only lasts four years. On the flip side, sellers can avoid legal disputes based on faulty or dysfunctional appliances and systems because they are covered. Of course, reviewing the fine print for specifics is always highly encouraged before purchasing a property.

Provides Peace of Mind

Out of the nine most crucial appliances in the home, at least one is expected to break down at some point in its 13-year average lifespan. A new buyer is assured some peace of mind in knowing that if something goes awry with any of the condo’s major appliances or systems, they will likely be covered by the warranty.

Are You Self Employed?

Running your own business can be a rewarding experience.

You can make your own decisions, avoid the daily commute and choose to work only with those people with whom you feel compatible.

That is not to say that it is all plain sailing. You may have to deal with unhappy clients or customers, there will always be one or two that don’t pay your invoices and you also bear the costs of both buying, maintaining and replacing equipment.

There are several types of insurance that can take some of the potential worry out of being your own boss, depending on the nature of your business and its location.

If you are providing services primarily from an office, are you working from home? Do you have customers or clients coming to see you?

If you are working from home and do have visiting clients, you may have to consider taking out some form of public liability insurance since you might be liable to a claim if they suffer an accident or injury while on your premises.

While you may do your utmost to provide the best service possible for your clients, problems can occasionally arise where a client is dissatisfied with the work. Professional Indemnity insurance is offers professionals with the protection they need against liability as a result of such claims.

Whatever the type of business it is likely that you will have to provide your own equipment to do the job. This can be anything from IT equipment to the tools of a trade. Setting up with the right gear can be costly and if anything is either damaged or stolen the consequences if you are self employed can be considerable if it means you are unable to continue earning a living.

It is particularly important to those whose business means they have to visit customers’ premises to carry out work, meaning they will have to have a van and carry their equipment and tools with them.

In some cases loss of or damage to essential equipment can be added to a professional indemnity policy but it may be that the limit on the value of what is covered means that it would be better to take out separate cover for expensive tools and equipment, as well as van cover.

Specialised professional insurance for anyone who is running their own business can take away a lot of the worry and uncertainty that comes with the territory.

4 Pillars of Protection – Products To Consider In Your 4 Pillars of Protection Insurance Portfolio

With a wide range of insurance products available today it is important to understand the differences and benefits to you and your specific situation. A basic portfolio for any person but more specifically for a self-employed person should encompass the 4 following aspects.

Disability

By far one of the most important products for anyone, specifically self-employed people is disability insurance. We all work to handle our weekly and monthly expenses in addition to providing the “little extras” if we have anything left over. Employees of a company for the most part will have benefits provided to them however, being self-employed our livelihood depends on our ability to go to work and earn an income. In the event your ability to work is suddenly removed, disability insurance could be the key to your survival. Your income is the fuel for everything. Remove that and over time all else will fall apart.

Life Insurance

Life insurance has so many uses that it could essentially apply to everyone. However, the general consensus of life insurance is that it is suitable only for people with a family. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Life insurance can be used to protect a debt over a period of time, provide for your survivors after final expenses, or give to a charity upon your death. For people who would like the idea of having a benefit as well as a savings or investment vehicle, life insurance could also be an option for you. Life insurance must be carefully evaluated to ensure that it is structured properly based on your specific situation.

Critical Illness

In my experience I have seen this product misunderstood the most. The important thing to understand about CI is that it will pay a lump sum benefit in the event you’re diagnosed with a “specific” covered illness. Most CI products will protect against heart attack, cancer, and stroke however, each policy will differ between companies for other covered illnesses beyond these. Do not make the mistake like most do in thinking that this operates like disability insurance. Yes, they are both living benefits but they provide protection in varying ways.

Investments

Within financial circles it is encouraged to have a minimum of 6 months of disposable “liquid” income saved. For most people this is a tremendous feat and some people often throw their hands up in the air and forfeit the idea that they too can have investments. Life insurance can be designed in such a way that not only do you have protection but also an accumulating asset. Outside of life insurance there are many ways to protect and grow your money. The concern for most people is having a large sum of money lying around to be able to invest. If you don’t have a large capital to start with always remember that it is better to start somewhere, even small if needed than to not start at all.

As an independent insurance advisor and income protection specialist for almost a decade, Ryan has been providing clients with customized personal insurance and financial solutions through disability, life, critical illness, long-term care, and other personal insurance products while providing strategies for hedging income and preserving wealth.

Why Do I Need an Appraisal on My Taxidermy Mounts?

The phone rings and the first question is “why do I need an appraisal for my taxidermy mounts”? Answering this question is easy, do you realize what you have invested in your trophies? Do you know the current replacement value of each taxidermy mount? Most hunters have never stopped to actually think about the investment that they have in all their taxidermy mounts. Also they don’t have a list or pictures of each mount.

It is very important to have all your mounts cataloged and multiple photographs of every trophy mount available incase of a disaster. Keeping an electronic copy in the cloud or burnt on a CD in multiple places is and excellent idea. You could also have a bound copy or two at different locations, copies can be printed and bound at most office supply stores.

I would highly suggest getting a certified personal property appraiser to do this all for you, they will provide you an insurance appraisal. This report should include three photographs of every taxidermy mount along with the current replacement values for each trophy. The appraiser should deliver to you at least one printed and bound report and a PDF copy of this report. I would suggest burning the PDF on a number of CDs and file them away at other locations then where your trophies are located.

So the answer to why you need an insurance appraisal for your taxidermy mounts is because you don’t have one and the information is vital to have available. Getting an appraisal is a small investment to cover your large investment. Your appraiser is required to keep on file your information for 5 years, this is another place where there will be a copy of your investment in your taxidermy mounts.

You can search taxidermy appraiser and find a qualified person on the internet, feel free to call them and ask questions.

Look Beyond Traditional Ways to Take Care of Your Newborn Baby

A newborn baby brings bundles of joy and happiness in the family. When a baby is born, it is said that the parents are blessed with the baby. This statement in itself is sufficient to explain the importance of a newborn in the family.

It is the prime responsibility of parents to take care of the newborn in the best possible manner. There are times, when a baby requires to go through some immediate medical care in order to adjust as per the world. Sometimes, babies are born with some birth related issues and thus, require treatment.

In India, a large number of people get health plans so that their health care needs are met. If you are working in private sector, then your company may have taken a group insurance policy under which maternity is covered comprehensively.

But, most of the times, medical insurance including the group insurance policies do not cover a newborn baby. The reasons are quite apparent. There are lot of possibilities that a newborn requires medical treatment immediately after birth and thus insurance companies do not want to spend their revenues on such well-recognised possibilities.

Is there any way out? Yes, of course, if your employer’s group health insurance policy does not cover newborn baby, do not worry. There are some specific health plans, which cover newborn babies right from the birth.

In order to avail this facility, you have to buy a separate policy. Star Comprehensive Insurance, for instance, is one such policy which covers delivery related complications as well as the newborn baby.

The plan covers delivery whether it is normal or caesarean plus all the pre-natal and post-natal expenses are also covered up to a certain limit. This limit is ascertained as per the amount of premium you pay.

The plan also covers vaccination of the child. Yes, only a handful of plans cover vaccination because that is a sure shot expenditure one must incur.

The only thing which you have to take care is that you have to be the policy holder for at least thirty six months prior to taking the above benefits.

Religare also offers a health insurance plan called ‘Joy’, which covers maternity as well as newborn baby without any condition on a specific period.

If you have any other Medical plan, then you must check its conditions. Most of the times, policies provide coverage to newborn babies after 90 days of delivery. This way, a health insurance companies saves itself from settling claims arising out of health care for the newborn baby.

Comparing health insurance plans is a cake walk, today. Just visit a credible insurance comparison portal and shortlist the best-possible plans. The best part is that you can buy your insurance plans online and make payment through credit card. This provides you benefits of cash back and credit period offered by credit cards.

Plus, you become eligible for better coverage and facilities since your health insurance company does not have to pay hefty commission to an insurance agent. This benefit is passed on to you, in many ways.

The Importance of Having Robust Insurance Coverage

While we wish for a fun-filled and smooth-sailing life with no accidents, illnesses or damages to our property, the unexpected can sometimes occur in the most unlikely of timing. These unexpected misfortunes can wreck our lives or even the lives of our family members.

While we cannot predict the future, we can still prepare for any misfortunes that might arise. One of the best way to do so is to get appropriate insurance coverage to cover you financially for any accidents or illness that fate can throw at you. You can also apply for appropriate insurance schemes for your family members.

Insurance is thus necessary as it helps to elevate your financial burden in the event an unfortunate accident were to occur. It also lifts the financial burden your family will have to bear in the absence of insurance. Insurance is thus a vital component of your financial health. The key is to select the appropriate insurance plan for your varying financial needs.

This article will touch on the key types of insurance coverage that you can seek out for your respective needs.

Life Insurance

Life insurance policies will pay out a sum of money to your beneficiaries (usually your family members) in the event of your death. This is important especially if you are a key bread-winner of your family and your family relies on your income for their daily living expenses.

Term Insurance

Term Insurance will pay out a sum of money to your beneficiaries in the event of your death, but this arrangement is enforceable for only a period (e.g. 5 years, or 10 years). Thus, term insurance is a temporary policy that can be used as supplements to your life insurance policy.

Annuities

Annuities are usually beneficial for the retired or old-aged. Annuity plans pay out a regular income (usually on a monthly basis) that the retired or old-aged can use to cover their monthly expenses. Some annuities have payouts that last until the death of the individual. A good plan to have especially if you are expected to live a longer life after retirement since the mean lifespan of individuals living in developed countries (and many developing countries) are increasing statistically every generation.

Disability Riders

Pays out a sum of money to cover your medical and hospital bills in the event of a disability (e.g. due to an accident). Disability riders are usually created as an ‘add-on’ to your life insurance policies.

Critical Illness Riders

Pays out a sum of money to cover your medical and hospital bills in the event of a critical illness. Critical illness riders are usually created as an ‘add-on’ to your life insurance policies.

Investment-Linked Plans (ILPS)

This policy is a hybrid between a life insurance plan and a mutual fund (also known as unit trust). Part of your premiums can be used to fund a life insurance plan, and part of it can be used to invest in a mutual fund of your choice. Sometimes, earnings from your mutual fund can be cashed out, or be used to purchase additional units of your life insurance policy to increase your insurance coverage.

Endowment Funds or Savings Plans

These are savings plans that usually requires you to save a sum of money every month or every year. Under this plan, your savings will benefit from interest given by the insurance company, and you will be able to cash out your savings with interests after a pre-decided duration. This is a good plan to have when you are saving for your children’s college tuition to be expensed some years from now.

Conclusion

Selecting the appropriate financial plan is essential as it provides you with coverage that are suitable to your needs and the needs of your family. It is thus vital to understand the different types of insurance products listed above before committing to an insurance plan.

About The Author

Kwan Hong delivers impactful workshops and seminars in public speaking, communication skills, career skills, leadership, personal peak performance, entrepreneurship and business development. He has synthesized knowledge from 8 Degrees and Diplomas, from over 100 certifications and from 1000 books to bring his clients the best tips, tricks and techniques for personal success.

Till date, 120,000 participants from over 100 organizations and events have benefited from his speaking engagements.

Never Compare Insurance Based On Price Alone

Insurance comparison websites simplify the insurance buying process and most people now buy insurance through these sites. Once you know the class of cover you need, you type a few details into any of these sites and instantly gain access to multiple insurance companies with the cheapest quote displayed in a few seconds.

While the process of buying insurance especially car and home insurance appear simplified, same cannot be said of the products.

The insured enters into a contract every time he/she buys an insurance policy and like any contract needs to be examined carefully to ascertain its suitability for the buyer.

The frequency of advertisement in both the print and electronic media by the owners of these sites drowns out complaints and muttering of people who may have had a claim declined because they based their insurance purchase decision on price (premium) alone.

As a way of illustrating how the use of price alone to select an appropriate insurance policy could be problematic, let us look at how the price of a burger is determined.

£0.99 could fetch you a burger at a McDonald’s restaurant but that same store will also have a burger made with a bun of similar size for £5.99. The difference in the price of the two burgers being the topping.

While the cheaper burger may only contain beef, the more expensive offering will probably have a better quality beef, possibly bacon plus lettuce, onion, Mayonnaise, mushroom and pickles.

The £0.99 burger (let’s call this the bare-bones burger) may appeal to some but may not necessarily be what others want.

The £5.99 burger (ROBUST burger) though more expensive, may just be what the other person needs to satisfy his appetite and is willing to pay the extra to meet his needs provided he is aware of the extras which add up to make this other burger expensive.

Bare-bones vs Comprehensive policies

Much like the example above, insurance policies can also be said to either bare-bones or ROBUST/comprehensive. However, it is not always easy for every insurance buyer to tell the difference between the bare-bones policy and the comprehensive, especially when presented in abridged versions with the cheapest ranked topmost.

Risks covered as standard by insurance company ‘A’ could be sold as an add-on by company ‘B’.

The premium quoted by ‘A’ may thus appear higher than that of ‘B’ because the standard policy ‘B’ is offering is a bare-bones cover. If you then opt for this policy because of the cheaper price without realizing that some of the risks you need are not included, this could lead to a dispute when a loss/claim is reported.

Possible Conflict of Interest

Some of the comparison websites are either wholly or partly owned by Insurance companies and thus a conflict of interest may arise. Results of premiums quoted could thus be skewed in favour of the parent or partner companies.

Operators of these sites may also be swayed by the offer high commission rates resulting in the sites promoting particular brands.

Some Insurers are not Included

As at a time of writing, some of the largest insurance companies in Britain notably Aviva and Direct Line are not listed on comparison websites so it is possible that improved terms could be obtained from companies not listed.

Finally, it is worthy of note that these comparison sites only serve as a go-between, linking the prospective buyer to the insurance companies. They only present premiums generated using algorithms furnished by insurers and afterward direct a buyer to the website of the insurer with the chosen quote. In the event that a dispute arises, traceable to a misunderstanding at the point of quotation, these firms are unlikely to assume responsibility.

Ikenna is a Chartered Insurance practitioner based in London with over two decades experience in Insurance operations. He has sold Insurance policies in the past, and at other times been involved in drafting / wording insurance contracts as well as helping customers through the insurance claims process.

Telematics and Big Data: Next Generation Automotive Technology

Telematics, Big Data, and Analytics are the three big important ways that are driving the auto industry forward. In this article, we will see how big data analytics, with the insights of information processing, can help transform the automotive and transportation industry globally.

The future of telematics is with big data.

Traditionally, in most automotive and transportation enterprises, specialized business processes have always been analyzed and modeled on whatever limited empirical data or contextual information was available to them. Proper data was few and far between. Or, even if the required data was available, enterprises hardly had any technological know-how with them to harness all the information necessary for their use. It was quite a difficult task to deal with such a situation where enterprises heavily relied upon conventional methods such as going through previous driving records, including taking into account people’s age and gender, locale demographics to accurately predict risk levels among its consumer base. This was something haphazard, awkward and unreliable.

Now with the advanced big data analytics, accessibility to scores of information and the science of telematics are putting the current understandings in new light, offering new conversation starters, and creating new potential outcomes that were not really possible before. “Big Data” as we know it is changing everything for the better. It is changing how the vehicles are built, how they work, how we use them and how they collaborate with everything else in this world: From vehicle-assembling to insurance underwriting, to traffic modeling to optimizing traffic routes, Big Data is changing the world of car/fleet transportation industry in a big way.

Big data analytics plays a very important role in the telematics field. The fact of the matter is that the science of telematics which involves telecommunications and vehicular technologies demonstrates how big data analytics can improve supply chain management, fleet management, increase yield and drastically reduce material costs, not to mention the quality and safety issues that never get compromised using proper big data analytics. In fact, the use of relevant data directly leads to more opportunities. It is in this context we will see how Big Data is bringing transformative elements into the various industry sectors especially in insurance, financial, automotive and transportation and other sectors and improve their business processes.

Telematics All The Way

Telematics is ushering an era of big changes. The way vehicles are insured and how they are driven or repaired are all changing for the better.

Earlier, we have seen that insurance and maintenance standards of vehicles were based on some kind of conjecture and the rough utilization of crude data that was available at hand. But with the use of telematics, a strong evidence of data is promptly accessible that can revamp entire branches of the commercial enterprises and change drivers’ driving behaviors.

Thanks to telematics, the wealth of data that can be derived from vehicles can also be made available to drivers. This is also one of the big changes that telematics promises. As far as valid data is concerned, there are simple ways people can immediately access from their connected car, and this same data can also be transmitted to the manufacturers or insurance companies for that matter. So when data is available and is accessible to users then there is going to be better understandings of their vehicles’ performance, ultimately resulting in helping drivers adopt good driving behavior. Drivers will have access to GPS-related data that will let them know their driving styles, including real-time information on fuel consumption, speed limits, hard acceleration, braking, phone distraction, etc. All this useful information can impact not only their driving performance but also can extend the longevity of their cars.

Driving Innovation and Continued Growth for Auto Insurance

To give you just one example: Consider the insurance industry. Using the great combination of telematics and big data analytics, insurance companies are able to enhance their business processes to an extent that was not possible before.

Basically, the insurance industry is based on analytics and probability. Therefore, to have a proper access to accurate and in-depth data that identifies with every customer’s lifestyle and risk always works in the best interest of the insurance industry. This is an area where telematics has been adding quite a lot of significant value propositions that matter greatly to both insurance companies and their paying clients alike.

With telematics and big data analytics, insurance companies don’t have to resort to guesswork to fix premiums for their customers. It has enabled insurers to reward policyholders, who display good driving conduct and check their vehicle health stats, with lower premiums and rebate offerings by taking the guesswork out of the equation. This is nothing but a big data approach to telematics insurance.

Telematics is a positive trendsetter and has grown exponentially in recent years. The positive impact that it has over companies and consumers alike is proving to be a win-win deal for everyone. And as far as telematics is concerned Big Data would be there too, working hand in hand. Not only consumers but automotive manufacturers and service providers as well are going to get greatly benefitted from the marriage of big data and telematics. And since the relationship is really symbiotic, big data is going to be the future of telematics. Embrace big data and telematics in a big way!

What to Know About Child Insurance?

Life insurance plans are designed to make life easy for their beneficiaries. The life insurers study the problems that a person can face and device financial solutions to ease them. One of the big problems many people struggle with is to provide a sound future to their kids. Cost of higher education is really back breaking and is one of the biggest stress causing factors among parents. To ease this problem to a good extent life insurance companies have come up with a specialized plan called child insurance.

Child insurance plans carry dual benefit for the child. First, they help generate a good corpus by investing the premiums in a fund that can either be endowment based or ULIP based. Second, they provide a life cover to the investing parent of which the child is the beneficiary. In case of the death of the policyholder, the insurance company waives off the future premiums and continues to invest in that fund on the policyholder’s behalf. Moreover, it pays a lump sum or period amount for the maintenance of the child. Thus, these plans protect the interest of the child even when you are not with him/her.

Saving money on our own can be difficult as we cannot be that much disciplined unless we enter into a plan which necessitates us to deposit a particular amount or else it would lapse. Such routine is mandatory for systematic saving and investment. The returns from other funds or investments can get spent on other things. That is why it would be better if you have a dedicated child plan in your investment portfolio of which only your child would be the beneficiary.

As per financial experts, investing in such a plan should be started as early as possible to have more time for your money to grow. Ideally you should start comparing child insurance plans of various companies as soon as you know about the pregnancy. There are over a score of companies selling such plans and offer differentiated plans to stay competitive. Effective plan comparison and market research shall ascend you towards the most suitable plan from a reputed company.

For effective comparison you may try services of an insurance web aggregator. On a web aggregator website you can compare plans of scores of companies at a single web location and that too free of cost. Such effective comparison brings more confidence in your purchase and helps you take educated steps in selecting your plan type. Based on such comparison and analysis you can decide whether to go for an Endowment based child plan or a ULIP based child plan. Comparing premiums with your budget you can decide how much cover to go for.

If you are a parent then initiate the process now without wasting further time. Your smart actions now would earn you enormous gratitude from your kid in the future. Don’t miss the opportunity to have that puffed up chest when your kid makes a lucrative career for himself. His hard work won’t do that alone. He needs your financial support to climb that ladder.

Three Ways to Reduce Your Insurance Premiums

In today’s world, insurance premiums and related costs seem only to increase. That doesn’t change how important it is to maintain your coverage to protect yourself, your family, and your assets. So as you survey the market, consider utilizing these cost-saving measures that can lower your premium while maintaining all your current levels of protection.

Get more information

Most modern cars are equipped with a variety of smart technologies that can help you gather useful information about your vehicle. These “connected” features collect data from your driving habits and the vehicle’s maintenance needs. Understanding where to find and how to understand this data can help you spot issues early and repair your car before more serious and expensive issues arise. They can also help you achieve higher fuel efficiency to save you money at the pump.

Additionally, many companies offer incentives for good driving. If your insurer offers this type of program, they will send you a device that can be quickly connected to the information system in your car. The device will then observe your driving habits for a short period. At the end of the trial, your insurance premiums could decrease based on the data collected. In other words, if you drive safely, you could see a reduction in your monthly premium. Some companies offer upwards of 15% discounts for safe drivers.

As an extra tip, be careful with your quick accelerations and hard stops as this data could impact your savings.

Explore available partnership discounts

Nearly every insurer offers a wide range of discounts to members of various groups. Being a good student, part of a university alumni association, or a member of a partner organization could help you find savings. You can usually see a detailed listing of these partnerships and discounts on your provider’s website.

If you find you might be eligible for savings, contact your insurance representative to discuss applying the discount to your account. The company will be ready to help you with the process as they look forward to building positive relationships with their customers and partners.

If you aren’t a member of one of these groups, you can research their membership options. Sometimes even a small donation to a non-profit organization can earn you a discount with your insurer.

Combine plans

Lastly, most people carry a variety of insurance plans these days. Car, home, and rental are a few examples of policies that people own. Some insurers will offer customers a discount for carrying multiple policies with the same group. So if you own several plans, you should research options for combining each into one plan with the same provider. This small change won’t impact your coverage while potentially reducing your combined payment each month. If you end up switching companies, you might even qualify for a new customer bonus!

Spending time researching and learning about the features of your insurance plans can help you better understand what you are paying for and where you might cut costs. Each of these options can help you save money and time. Watch and be surprised at how quickly your savings add up!