Insurance Column

Insurance is never a fun topic, as you’re essentially preparing yourself for some future calamity, but it’s something every responsible adult needs to tackle every once and a while. Whether it’s auto insurance, health insurance, or something more morbid like life insurance, if the article relates to the topic it’ll appear in this column.


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 Health Care, Insurance 
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Are You Ready for Obamacare in 2014?

ObamacareBack in 2010, Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA). In spite of the fact that the legislation ended up being passed without a key feature that President Obama wanted — a public option that would have allowed Americans access to the same plan Congresspeople have — the measure is popularly known as Obamacare.

After clearing the Supreme Court last year, mostly intact, Obamacare is getting ready to roll out in full force in 2014. Some of the provisions have been phasing in gradually, but 2014 marks the year that the provision to buy coverage or face a fine goes into effect.

Are you ready for Obamacare? Here are a few things that you need to know before January 1, 2014:
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 Insurance 
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How to Choose Health Insurance as a Young Professional

health insuranceOne of the rites of passage for those emerging into adulthood is choosing health insurance. Making this decision isn’t always easy, but it’s important.

If you go long periods without health care coverage, you might not be able to get on the plan that you want in the future. While some aspects of the recent health care reform law have changed the way coverage is provided, you are still better off with continuous coverage when possible.

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 Health Care, Insurance 
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Get the Best Health Insurance Plan for You

best health insuranceAccording to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, health care expenditures in the United States approached $2.6 trillion in 2010. On top of that, between 2002 and 2010, employer-sponsored health  care  premiums (many Americans still rely on the workplace for coverage) rose 97%.

Health care costs continue to rise, and families find that an increasing chunk of their budgets go toward paying for health insurance. If you want to use your health care dollar to best effect, you need to be careful about getting the right health insurance plan for your situation.

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 Insurance 
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Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?

Buying Life InsuranceOne of the most important things you can do for your family is to make sure that you have adequate life insurance. Life insurance isn’t for you; it’s meant as a way to financially provide for your family after you are gone.

It’s not pleasant to think of your own demise in this way, but you need to prepare. And it doesn’t matter how young you are. It’s important to be ready with life insurance anytime there are people relying on you.

According to recent research by ING, more than 80% of the population has life insurance. However, most of those with life insurance (66%) get a benefit through an employer. While this can be helpful to your family, you might not actually have enough life insurance to help your family replace your income.

Instead of relying on a minimal amount provided by an employer, it’s a good idea to think about your life insurance needs on an individual basis.

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 Insurance 
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We Finally Got an Umbrella Insurance Policy

Umbrella InsuranceBack in 2006, in the first few years of running Bargaineering, I asked you all whether I needed an umbrella insurance policy. Practically everyone said yes. I even went as far as asking GEICO for a quote on a $1 million dollar umbrella insurance policy, which would’ve cost me $124 a year – or about on par with renter’s insurance.

It’s so cheap, probably because it’s not used very often. You have so many other insurances “in the way” that you don’t get to the umbrella policy unless things get pretty bad. Then again, that’s why you get insurance. It’s to protect you from the “pretty bad” stuff right?

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 Insurance 
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5 Natural Disasters Not Covered in Your Homeowners Policy

natural disasterWe pay for homeowners insurance in the hopes that when something goes wrong, it won’t devastate our finances because the insurance company will cover the costs involved — including possibly paying to replace the home and everything in it.

And, while most natural disaster events, including fire, lightning, windstorm, and hail, might be covered by your homeowners policy, there are plenty of other disasters that aren’t covered. If you run into the following problems, you might find that your homeowners policy won’t cover your costs, and that could, in turn, cause serious problems for your finances:
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 Insurance 
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Do You Know What Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Covers?

Homeowners InsuranceDo you know what your homeowners insurance policy covers? If your house was damaged or destroyed, do you know how much you would get to rebuild?

If you don’t know, you are not alone. According to U.S. News, “Almost half of all homeowners” in a recent MetLife survey “didn’t know how much insurance coverage they had for the contents of their home, and 1 in 3 didn’t know how much their home was insured for.”

Ignorance is not bliss in this case. In fact, it can be quite costly.

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 Insurance 
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Remember to Update Insurance Riders

RingsWhen was the last time you did a home inventory? What about updating any policy riders? If you’re like me, it’s been a while. We keep our home inventory up to date when it comes to the big items (mostly because we don’t buy that many big items) but I haven’t updated our jewelry riders since we got them four years ago.

Normally, this isn’t that big of an issue but the price of precious metals have skyrocketed in recent years because of a variety of economic factors.

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