Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance a Good Option?

We often get asked questions along the lines of “My aging parent is very ill and medical bills have drained his/her savings account, but I cannot afford to pay for the funeral if he/she should pass away.  Can I buy life insurance on my parent?”  In this scenario, we do not advise purchasing “regular” fully underwritten life insurance.  More often than not, term life insurance is going to be ideal for most people, but not in this scenario.

Why we wouldn’t recommend term insurance in this case…

Term life insurance would typically not work in this case because the coverage amount would be too small, the client would likely be uninsurable because of health issues, and the client’s age would be outside the range a life insurance company would approve coverage for.

What we would recommend…

When we get this question, we usually tell inquirers that they have two options:

  1. Take the money you would have spent each month on term insurance and instead put it into a savings account so it can start accruing interest. You can then access these funds later when in need of money for your loved one’s final expenses.
  2. Purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

What is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy?

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that you cannot be denied coverage on, hence “guaranteed”.  There are a few things you should know about this type of insurance.

  1. Guaranteed issue life insurance is typically known as “last resort” life insurance. It’s meant for those who may have been denied previously and/or are not in good health.
  2. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are designed so that surviving loved ones can pay for your final expenses, such as a funeral, burial, and medical bills.
  3. Guaranteed issue life insurance premiums will never increase.
  4. A guaranteed issue life insurance policy accumulates cash value.
  5. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies have significantly lower death benefit amounts compared to term or permanent policies.
  6. There is no medical exam or questionnaire required for guaranteed issue life insurance. The only factor that is really taken into consideration is the age of the insured.  Because of this, guaranteed issue life insurance premiums are higher per thousand than most other types of life insurance.
  7. Benefits are limited to the first two years. This is called a Graded Death Benefit period.  What this means is that if you die within two years of buying the policy for any reason other than an accident, your beneficiaries typically only receive the total amount of what you paid in premiums.  (This can vary depending on the carrier.)

So, if you’re in relatively good health, fully underwritten life insurance may be a better option for you.  However, guaranteed issue life insurance is a great option for those with a desperate need.

How much does guaranteed issue life insurance cost?

While you can get millions of dollars’ worth of term life insurance coverage, guaranteed issue life insurance coverage often caps at $50,000.  Again, its design is based around simply helping your surviving loved ones pay for your final expenses.

Quotacy works with Gerber Life to provide guaranteed issue coverage options.  Gerber’s guaranteed issue policy is available in all U.S. states except for Montana.  Take a look at the examples and table below to get an idea on what a guaranteed issue policy can cost.

Example #1

 John Smith is 55 years old and has been denied for traditional life insurance because of his Stage IV prostate cancer.  He does not want to burden his children with his final expenses so he plans on purchasing guaranteed issue life insurance.

He’s automatically approved without having to undergo a medical exam or fill out any health forms.  John obtains $20,000 in coverage and his premiums are $91.30 per month.

If John passes away within two years, Gerber Life will refund to his beneficiaries all premiums that had been paid plus 10% interest.  However, if John happens to die because of an accident unrelated to his health within those two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full $20,000 death benefit.  After two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full death benefit regardless of how he dies.

Example #2

 Jane Doe takes care of her 79-year-old mother Sally.  Sally does not have any life insurance and Jane is worried that she won’t have the funds to give her mother the funeral she deserves.  Jane decides to buy a guaranteed issue life insurance policy on Sally.

A $12,000 policy is enough for Jane to ensure she can pay for a proper funeral and burial.  Sally is approved for coverage and the policy will cost $165.70 per month.

Although this type of policy is easy to acquire, it offers less coverage and higher premiums than traditional life insurance, so explore all your options.  If you aren’t sure if guaranteed issue life insurance is the best choice for you or want more information, contact us here at Quotacy and we can help you.

Recap of Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance:

  • If you’re between 50 and 80 years old, you can be accepted for guaranteed issue coverage regardless of your health.
  • There are no medical exams to complete or health questionnaires to fill out.
  • Cash value accumulates within the policy.

Remember, term life insurance quotes are free to run on E-Exchanger.com and there is no penalty for applying.  It doesn’t hurt to apply for term life insurance, then opt for the guaranteed issue if you end up being denied.  The more options you have, the better decision you can make.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis

5 Types Of Life Insurance For Seniors

Here is the ultimate truth about life insurance: the only policy that matters is the one that is in force on the day you die. – Tom Hegna, economist, author, retirement expert

Tom Hegna’s quote is powerful. If you have loved ones who would suffer financially should you pass away, you need a life insurance policy that is in force.

Seniors generally have five options for life insurance. We’ll review each type to help you make an informed decision.

When you’re ready to apply, you can be confident that you’re purchasing the best policy you qualify for at the most competitive price.

Five Types Of Life Insurance For Seniors:

1. Term

2. Whole

3. Guaranteed Universal

4. Universal

5. Final Expense

Next Steps:

How To Apply

1. Term

As the name implies, term life insurance provides a benefit for a specific amount of time. Contrary to popular belief, term life insurance is purchased by seniors regularly.

Primary components to understand about term when deciding if it’s a good fit for you:

  • How old are you? At some point, your age can disqualify you from purchasing term. Each life insurance carrier is different, but generally age limits look like this:
    • 80 years old – 10 year term
    • 75 years old – 15 year term
    • 70 years old – 20 year term
    • 65 years old – 25 year term
    • 58 years old – 30 year term
    • Unsurprisingly, term life insurance premiums increase with age.
  • How is your health? Less than perfect health means higher premiums or a possible decline. As we age, it's common to develop chronic health conditions including:
    • hypertension
    • diabetes
    • cardiovascular disease
    • anxiety

Bottom line – your age and health are two main components to securing life insurance. It’s possible you will need to complete a para medical exam that often includes an EKG.  Typically after age 70, many carriers will include a cognitive and physical function test.

One more thing – there is no exam (simplified issue) term life insurance options for seniors, too. At up to age 65, healthy seniors may be able to purchase a moderate amount of term life insurance (up to $500,000). From ages 66 – 75, healthy seniors may have the options to purchase a modest policy of up to $99,000.

2. Whole

Whole (permanent) life insurance provides a death benefit for the rest of your life and also accumulates a cash value. Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance remains in force as long as you pay your premiums. Additionally, your premiums remain the same amount for the life of the policy.

What is a cash value?

Cash values, which accumulate on a tax-deferred basis just like assets in most retirement and tuition savings plans, can be used in the future for any purpose you wish. If you like, you can borrow cash value for a down payment on a home, to help pay for your children’s education or to provide income for your retirement. When you borrow money from a permanent insurance policy, you’re using the policy’s cash value as collateral and the borrowing rates tend to be relatively low. And unlike loans from most financial institutions, the loan is not dependent on credit checks or other restrictions. You ultimately must repay any loan with interest or your beneficiaries will receive a reduced death benefit and cash-surrender value. – Permanent Insurance, Life Happens, a nonprofit life insurance awareness organization

Whole life insurance has some main characteristics:

  • Not common for seniors to purchase, however can make sense in some instances:
    • Desire to leave a specific amount to a beneficiary (i.e. family member, university or charity).
    • Utilize the policy loan option.
    • As a strategy to minimize estate taxes.
  • Policy lasts a lifetime.
  • Premiums are more expensive than term life insurance.
  • Accumulates cash value.
    • Ability to take policy loans from the cash value.
  • Underwriting guidelines are similar to term life insurance for seniors.
    • Usually the cutoff age for purchasing whole life is 75-80 years old.
    • Your age and health factor into whether or not you qualify for whole life insurance.

Bottom line – whole life insurance isn’t purchased by seniors all the time, but it can make sense in certain circumstances. Underwriting is similar to term life insurance.

3. Guaranteed Universal

Think of Guaranteed Universal life insurance (GUL) as a branch between term and whole life insurance. GUL is regularly recommended to seniors because it has some of the appealing aspects found in both term and whole life insurance.

Key features of Guaranteed Universal life insurance:

  • More affordable than whole life insurance.
  • Tends to be more expensive than traditional term life insurance.
  • GUL is technically not considered permanent life insurance because you select the length of the policy.
    • However, the policy length is routinely expected to outlast your life.
  • Does not accumulate a cash value.
  • Premiums can be level for a lifetime.
    • Premiums are not tied to investment volatility or interest rates.
  • GUL is often often used for:
    • Minimizing estate taxes.
    • Providing a legacy to a beneficiary.
    • Financing end of life expenses.
  • The underwriting process is often the same as a term life insurance application.

Bottom line – Guaranteed Universal life insurance is commonly purchased by seniors. Level premiums, a policy term that outlasts your life, and the ability to leave a legacy to your beneficiary(s) are primary reasons many seniors select a GUL.

4. Universal

Universal life insurance (UL) lasts a lifetime. The name implies that it’s similar to a GUL. However, there are some key differences and Universal life insurance is usually not purchased by seniors.

Let’s examine the specifics:

  • Universal life insurance is considered a form of permanent life insurance as it lasts a lifetime.
  • UL does have a cash value component.
    • Cash value is directly linked to policy’s investment performance.
    • Ability to take policy loans against the cash value of the policy.
  • Designed to provide flexibility in your policy:
    • Premium payments must be made to cover the cost of the policy.
    • Additional premium payments can be made to the savings component of the policy.
  • Policy is directly affected by the volatility of its investments.
    • In other words, the investment earnings are not guaranteed.
    • Depending on the policy’s performance, premium payments may need to be increased to maintain the policy.
  • Death benefit is adjustable.
  • Underwriting guidelines for UL are usually the same as a term life insurance application.

Bottom line – Universal life is not usually purchased by seniors. The policy does last a lifetime and provides flexibility, however, there are risks associated with the structure of the policy.

5. Final Expense

Final Expense (FE) life insurance makes all the sense in the world for seniors under certain circumstances. Aptly named, Final Expense works well for those seeking funds to cover end-of-life financial needs.

What you need to know:

  • Final expense is permanent life insurance and lasts a lifetime.
  • FE secures funds for end of life costs:
    • Funeral and burial expenses.
    • Medical bills.
  • Policies amounts typically range between $50,000 – $100,000.
  • Often FE policies can grow a cash value, meaning that you can access funds during the life of the policy (policy loans).
  • Underwriting for Final Expense is different than standard term life insurance:
    • Approval can be instant after you pass the health questionnaire.

Bottom line – Final Expense is a popular life insurance option for seniors. While the policy amounts are modest compared to other life insurance options, it may be the right amount of life insurance needed for your family. Further, the underwriting process is more lenient and instant approval is possible.

How To Apply

Your life insurance needs determine which policy is the best fit for you. Seniors have specific life insurance considerations and as an independent life insurance agency, we’ll collaborate with you to find the best policy at the most competitive price. Independent agents are not held captive to a particular life insurance carrier and you will receive multiple quotes from multiple carriers.

This is important – Some life insurance is better than none. And, the best time to become insured is today.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis

6 Holiday Headaches You Can Control with Home Warranty

The holidays can be both joyous and stressful. With a home warranty, unexpected repairs can be fixed by reliable technicians. Save yourself a headache!

While many of us look forward to the holiday season all year, it can also be a time of great stress. In between all that cookie-baking and gift-buying, it can be challenging to get someone to fix your broken dishwasher or HVAC system. Fortunately, there’s a solution for any unexpected breakdowns that might put a damper on your holiday spirit: a home warranty plan.

home warranty is an excellent way to protect your home from unforeseen and unexpected expenses. The Home Warranty Plan is a one-year service contract for the repair or replacement of covered home system components and appliances that typically break down over time.

Take a look at these five common holiday season headaches that can be easily managed with an Home Warranty Plan.

1. Finding reliable help around the holidays

It can be just as challenging to find reliable home-repair help during the busy holiday season as it is to get that Thanksgiving turkey just right. With a home warranty plan, you’ll have access to industry-leading expertise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. E-exchanger will find the right licensed personnel and eliminate the need for you to locate qualified help during the busy days leading up to and during the holidays.

2.Unforeseen expenses 

Repairing something as major as your home heating system could cost you thousands of dollars. Such a huge expense can be stressful at a time when you’re already spending money on gifts, food, decorations and other miscellaneous holiday expenses. But with a home warranty, you’ll only need to pay the monthly fee along with a trade service call fee, which is a fixed amount that's easy to plan for.

3. Dealing with insurance companies

With a warranty plan, you can skip the whole process of filing claims and deal with insurance, and spend that precious time shopping, wrapping gifts, cooking delicious meals, or decorating your home with family and friends.

4. Playing host with a broken appliance

A broken dishwasher or refrigerator can really put a damper on your holiday festivities. A home warranty plan offers an expedited repair process on covered items. You no longer have to worry about a crisis caused by appliance or system breakdowns at a time when your house is swarming with guests.

5. Paying the full cost of repair or replacement

In the event of a breakdown, insurance usually reimburses the value of the item minus depreciation. This means you will not be reimbursed the full amount paid at the time of purchase. With a warranty plan, you won’t have to pay for the actual repair or replacement of covered items, and your contract will cover repair or replacement of covered items regardless of age, make or model.

6. Not enough time to coordinate home repairs

Finding reliable help that suits your budget, following up and replacing parts all involve a considerable time investment. Since the costs associated with repair and replacement are so high, it is not possible to skimp on the research and effort needed to get a satisfactory solution. A warranty plan will save you time when you need it the most this busy holiday season.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis

Why You Might Want Wedding Insurance

If you’re busy planning a wedding, you might want to consider insuring it.

Wedding insurance policies are relatively easy to understand, and the two main types are both inexpensive compared with the cost of a ceremony and reception:

  • Liability insurance covers you in case of an injury or property damage at the wedding. Liquor liability, sometimes a separate coverage, pays out if someone drinks too much and causes an injury or damage.
  • Cancellation coverage reimburses you for costs such as deposits and guests’ airfare if you need to cancel or reschedule the wedding for an unforeseen reason. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include a change of heart.

The most common wedding cancellation claims involve:

  • A vendor, such as a venue or a caterer, going out of business or being otherwise unable to fulfill its agreement.
  • Extreme weather, such as a hurricane or tornado.
  • A member of the bridal party or family being too injured or ill to participate.

Costs

Cancellation and liability coverage are sold separately. Prices are based on the number of guests or the wedding’s price tag, depending on the insurer, but each can cost under $200 for a wedding with fewer than 50 guests.

How to buy it

You can buy wedding insurance through an event insurer, such as Wedsafe or WedSure, or large insurers such as Travelers Insurance. Some insurers sell “event insurance,” which can also cover a wedding. Ask your agent if your current insurer has any options.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis

Life Insurance for Business Owners

Are you a small business owner or a co-owner of a company? Among the many days to day responsibilities you encounter, you also are responsible for your family. You need to protect your family at home as well as your business family.

Life Insurance for Business Owners

Life insurance for business owners can help lay a proper financial foundation by protecting your current and future business. Let’s look into the different situations that life insurance can benefit your company or business.

Collateral Assignment Life Insurance

A life insurance policy can be used for business owners that require cash to begin a business or buy a company. Typically, when you buy a life insurance policy you will name a beneficiary. This beneficiary has an insurable interest to the insured. This beneficiary can be a family member, spouse or a business partner or company. When you’re getting a life insurance policy for an SBA loan or bank loan – it is the same overall concept. You have to assign a primary beneficiary, however- the lender will be named the collateral assignee. If you were to die the lender will get the balance of the loan from the life insurance death benefit. Your primary beneficiary will then get the balance once the loan is paid off.

What would happen in the event that you didn’t use a collateral assignment? If you had the lender the sole beneficiary, the lender would then collect one hundred percent of the life insurance policy’s death benefit. E-exchanger life insurance can help you avoid that.

Executive Bonus Plan Life Insurance

With an executive bonus plan, you’re using a compensating method for specific employees by paying the life insurance policy premiums on the key employee’s life. The employer or business owner will pay for a benefit that is owned by the executive or employee. There are benefits to both the employer and employee when it comes to Executive bonus plans.

For the employer, there is no administration needed, the plan is simple, and costs are tax deductible. For the employee, the executive is the owner of the life insurance policy and of the cash values. The policy is not lost if they were to change employers. The death benefit can be income tax free.

Key Person Life Insurance

The purpose of key person life insurance is pretty basic:

A company buys a life insurance policy on a key employee, business owner or executive who is very important to the business. The company will apply for a life insurance policy, pay for all of the premiums and own the policy. The business is also the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. If the key person were to die, the company will receive the death benefit of the key person. The tax-free benefit can be used in a variety of ways. It can help make up for company sales as well as lost earnings. The benefit can also help cover some or all of the costs of finding a good replacement and provide proper training.

What would happen if the key person were to die unexpectedly? Could your business move forward without a hiccup? The life insurance death benefit can provide liquidity quickly so you can provide ongoing financial demands.

How about securing loans for your company’s growth? Sometimes loans are needed to help with the financing opportunities of expanding a business. Your lender will often seek collateral as security and the death of a key employee may pose too much of a risk to your lender. It is very common for a lender or bank to require key person life insurance on anyone that is vital to the life of your company.

One of the most important uses of key person life insurance is when there’s a need to buy out a deceased co-owner's interest in a company. There are some unfortunate situations that can arise if a key person policy isn’t in place. How would the deceased co-owner's family receive their share of the interest in the business without selling it off? How would the surviving owners pay off the dead owner’s family in order to avoid becoming partners with them?

Buy Sell Agreement with Life Insurance

When you’re an owner of a company or a partner in a business, a buy sell agreement can be an excellent way to avoid uncertainty. When a partner or company owner dies, the life of the business and it’s future are uncertain. With a buy-sell agreement, you can make sure you’re helping to protect you and your company from the unexpected or unintended transfer of ownership. By considering a buy sell agreement and funding it with life insurance, you can provide protection and extend the life of your company.

The buy sell agreement will aid the sale and purchase of a company based on a specified event. The most common events are retirement, disability or death of the owner of the company. The buy-sell will lay out specifically who will get what with regards to shares of the business. It will define how much and it will guarantee the buyer at a predetermined price. The buy-sell agreement also allows for the purchasing of company shares from the estate of the surviving family. Lastly, a buy-sell can be beneficial with creditors. Creditors will most likely be much easier to deal with when they can see that a company has protection established to make the loan decisions easier.

Business Succession Planning

Life insurance plays an important role as the driving force in succession planning. It is key that you have adequate coverage for you and your business partners. You need to get a formal valuation of your company and make sure that your coverage is updated with the growth of your company. Succession planning is a very important topic and can be vital to your business. If you let the estate plan dictate how your company transitions, it may cause significant issues. There are many companies that have had disastrous results due to poorly designed succession plans. Just ask the Robbie family and the Miami Dolphins.

Get Started

If you’re ready to get started, make sure you work with the following 3 resources:

  • Attorney
  • CPA
  • Life Insurance Broker

You’ll need experts in each of these areas in order to secure the best strategy and policy for your business succession plan.

How to Get Quotes and Apply

Once your plan is in place you can begin shopping for your life insurance policy. Simply use the free quoter on this page to get an idea of rates.

However, the best way to secure coverage is to have our research customized quotes. You can simply contact us at E-exchanger.com.  We’re independent and licensed life insurance agents. We’ll find you the best policy at the most competitive price from dozens of top rated life insurance companies. Once we find you the lowest rate, we’ll help you apply conveniently online or over the phone. We’ll help you from start to finish.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis

10 ways to save money around the house



Have you ever considered how many ways you can save money around the house? Here are 10 of them:

1. Unplug your electronics at night
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. household spends about $100 per year to fuel appliances left on standby mode. Save some money by plugging your devices into power strips and switching them off before bed.

2. Collect spare change
That loose change you find around the house can really add up. Start collecting coins, and then take them to the grocery store to exchange for dollars at the end of every month.

3. Use what you already have
Instead of going on a shopping spree every time the refrigerator seems bare, browse through the pantry and eat the items you already have.

Browse your pantry before making that emergency trip to the grocery store.

4. Start clipping coupons
If you collect the newspaper and have time to set aside on a Sunday morning, start clipping coupons. But don’t just use them to buy something because it’s on sale and seems like a great deal – only make the purchase if it’s an item that won’t go to waste.

5. Grow your own herbs and vegetables
Why buy herbs and vegetables when you can grow your own? Even if you don’t have room for a full garden of veggies, U.S. News & World Report said you can likely find enough space inside or outside to plant herbs. Try growing your own dill, basil and mint to save money and spruce up your dishes.

“Baking soda and vinegar can sanitize most of your appliances.”

6. Clean with baking soda
Who needs expensive cleaners when you have baking soda? You can replace most chemicals when you mix a natural solution of baking soda and vinegar. The combination can clear out a clogged drain, remove dirt and grime from your kitchen sink and sanitize most of your other home appliances.

7. Use a programmable thermostat
By using a programmable thermostat, you can set your heating and cooling systems to turn down when you’re gone for the day. The Environmental Protection Agency said this update can save you up to $180 every year in energy costs.

8. Consider streaming
With all of the options you have for online streaming nowadays, you might want to give it a try. Consider lowering costs by joining , two options that you can access on your laptop or other connected devices.

9.  Seal your windows and doorways
By sealing your windows and doors, the EPA estimated that you can save about 15 percent on heating and cooling costs every year. Consider adding insulation in the attics and crawl spaces, and use caulking to seal any cracks in your window and door frames.

10. Invest in a E-Exchanger Home Warranty
What happens when one of your heavily used appliances breaks down? You can’t just avoid getting it repaired or replaced. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to put down an entire paycheck to get it up and running again. When you invest in a E-Exchanger Home Warranty, you’ll receive a plan that helps cover the cost of repairs or replacements in your major appliances and systems. With a home warranty, you can rest assured knowing you won’t have to hand over an arm and a leg when an issue occurs.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis

The Real Benefits of Home Service Contracts

It's Saturday morning. With a cup of coffee in hand, you flip open the blinds and gaze out at your backyard. Despite the sunny morning, you notice standing water in the corner of your lawn.

Your heart sinks as you realize the water is your flooded leach field.

The home warranty contract you had when you first bought the house a year ago would have covered this, but you opted not to renew it last month.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract and covers wear and tear related repairs or the replacement of important home system components and appliances that break down over time.

A home warranty protects you and your family from bearing extreme expense and hardship from breakdowns not covered by your home insurance policy. Plans vary and can cover major home systems such as air conditioning, heating, electrical and plumbing as well as major home appliances such as kitchen ovens, stoves, refrigerators, and washers.

"I'm never going to have to pay for anything again!"

This isn't true.

Home warranty service contracts can cover a lot of major repairs or replace important systems and appliances, but only if you're signed up for the right one.

And there are a lot of companies out there advocating on behalf of these service contracts and the warranties they offer, and just like anything, they're not always truthful and the expectations they set with consumers can be misleading. They advertise that, under their umbrella policies, homeowners will never have to pay out of pocket again for repairs and services for their homes.

This isn't true.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of gross misrepresentations within home service contracts and the advertisements promoting them. Where, homeowners are led to believe if they spend more for what looks like an all-inclusive contract, they'll never have to pay for repairs or services to their home again, no matter what they are.

This isn't true.

The Honest Benefits of Owning a Home Service Contract

  • 1.The ability to call on a network of available pre-screened contractors for whatever their specialty is.
    • Instead of choosing a contractor blindly, a home service contract includes the right people to call on for the right jobs, mitigating the frustration of doing your own, unadvised research and dealing with the costly repercussions of illegitimate contractors who overcharge or are unfit to do the job. Not to mention, you'll never be covered for an all-out replacement.
    • In the earlier example of the flooded leach field, the service company the homeowners call on independently – because they no longer have the benefits of in-network contractors included in a home warranty – could falsely charge them. Instead of only replacing the sewage ejector pump causing the problems, the contractor might also cite septic tank malfunctions and replace the line from the house. How would the homeowner know?
    • Most homeowners don't have the time to manage what a contractor is doing or the knowledge to determine what repairs are needed and which are unnecessary. They just know they need it fixed. Home service contracts and their representatives are motivated to do the right thing on behalf of the homeowner because they are the ones who are paying for it.
  • If you pick wisely, you really will save money. Home service contracts really do pay claims.
    • The best part about the home warranty is when the consumer walks away without a penalty for wears and tears that naturally will happen to their home over time. Protect yourself, your family and your home by preparing for – not if, but – when your home systems and appliances malfunction or need repair or replacement.

 

 

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis

Can I Buy Life Insurance on My Significant Other?

Americans are waiting longer to get married.  This doesn’t mean that today’s couples love each other less than generations past.  Most couples are postponing marriage because they want to be financially secure first.  Part of being financially secure is owning life insurance.

It’s very common for married couples to purchase life insurance on one another or name each other as beneficiaries of their policies.  When you buy life insurance on someone, you need to have consent and insurable interest.  Insurable interest exists when one person financially benefits from another person living.  Essentially, they are worth more to you alive than dead.  With married couples, it’s obvious that they have an insurable interest in one another.  They live in the same house, both contribute toward bills and maybe raising children together.

The life insurance industry changes and adapts to keep up with societal norms.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of U.S. adults who are unmarried yet cohabitating has risen 29 percent since 2007.  For couples that aren’t married but want to buy life insurance on one another, you may need to check a few more boxes, but it isn’t as difficult as it used to be.

Buying Life Insurance on Your Fiancé/Fiancée

Being engaged shows a higher level of commitment and financial dependency than dating – in the eyes of the life insurance company.  It’s typically not an issue for engaged couples to buy life insurance on one another.  Some life insurance companies will want to know that a wedding date is set, but this isn’t always required.

How to Buy Life Insurance on Your Significant Other

If you’re looking to get life insurance on your significant other or name them as the beneficiary of your policy, E-exchanger can help.  We have helped many married and unmarried couples purchase life insurance.  Start the process by running a free and anonymous term life insurance quote.

If you want to buy life insurance on your significant other, be sure to complete the online quote and application using their information.  (Remember: You can always contact us directly if you want one-on-one assistance.)  After running quotes, when you’re ready to apply you will be brought to a page that looks like the screenshot below.

You can see it asks that you fill out the form with the insured’s information (your significant other.)  The life insurance company will need to personally contact the insured (your significant other) to verify application information and, if necessary, to schedule the medical exam.

Remember, you can’t just buy life insurance on anyone.  Consent is required.  If you believe life insurance is important for your significant other, but he or she doesn’t agree, you can’t just buy it on them anyway without their knowledge.  If you’re having trouble getting them to understand the importance of life insurance, check out our blog post How Do I Get My Spouse to Buy Life Insurance?  There are some tips that may be helpful.  We look forward to helping you and your loved one buy life insurance.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis

Do You know What a Home Warranty is?

A home warranty is often a feature in the sale of a home.  In that scenario, the seller typically pays a few hundred dollars for a one-year warranty covering the home’s major fixtures such as the furnace, water heater and kitchen appliances.  This gives the buyer some protection during that first year of ownership knowing that if something major breaks down it will be covered.  Many homeowners choose to continue paying an annual premium rather than risk-bearing the full replacement cost of a major item.

Although technically not insurance, warranties are very similar in that the homeowner is paying an up-front fee to protect against a potentially huge replacement cost.  If nothing breaks during the coverage period, the customer may in hindsight feel the fee was a waste of money, but that’s what managing risk is all about.  Are you financially prepared to replace major components as they are needed, or would you rather pay a set amount per year whether something breaks or not?

One important difference between insurance and a warranty is that the homeowner must go through the warranty company to arrange for service, and this can be another point where a customer might be dissatisfied.  Home warranty companies establish relationships with service providers in the areas for which they provide coverage.  So whether customers are satisfied with the warranty company depends in large part on whether they are satisfied with the repairmen whom the warranty company has hired.

Even though home warranties aren’t considered insurance, the companies that sell them are typically regulated by each state’s department of insurance. According to the Service Contract Industry Council, 32 states require home warranty companies to register or obtain a license with that state’s department of insurance. This state agency is responsible for licensing the entity, examines the company for compliance of applicable laws regarding home warranty services and monitors the financial condition of the company for the protection of their clients.

What’s covered?

Most home warranty companies offer a variety of plans, each providing different levels of coverage, so be sure to read the details of any contract before buying. Even if you choose to renew the contract from year-to-year, double-check the details of your plan because coverage can change annually. Here is a general idea of what a homeowner can expect to find in each tier of service:

BASIC COVERAGE

  • Plumbing systems
  • Range/oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Garbage disposal
  • Exhaust fans
  • Sump pump
  • Water heater
  • Ceiling fans
  • Heating and electrical system components
  • Built-in microwave
  • Whirlpool tub

ENHANCED COVERAGE

  • A/C
  • Washer/dryer
  • Refrigerator
  • Garage door opener

OPTIONAL ITEMS

  • Pool
  • Spa
  • Well pump
  • Septic system
  • Standalone freezer
  • Central vacuum

For newly constructed homes

Many states require that all home builders and contractors warranty their work on a newly constructed home.

This provides the homeowner with the assurance that should any major defects or repairs become necessary within its new home for various time periods up to ten years following construction that is not the fault of damage or negligence by the homeowner then the repairs or replacements necessary will be covered.

The workmanship of the home construction, materials used and performance of major systems such as the plumbing, electrical and HVAC are all covered under these types of home warranty services. This includes the overall integrity of the structure. Each state monitors the specific requirements in these situations.

For pre-existing home purchases

When buying a pre-existing home, buyers can choose to purchase home warranty coverage. This will provide them with coverage against for repair or replacement costs that they may incur with existing mechanical systems or appliances in their new home within a specific time frame following the purchase date. Major mechanical systems that are covered include plumbing, electrical, heating, and air.

For seller solutions

Homeowners that are trying to sell their homes may want to consider the benefits of offering a home warranty on their home. The seller can choose to pay for the home warranty coverage on his or her own or ask that the buyer pay for a specified portion of the cost. By including a home warranty option on their home, homeowners can get the maximum selling price for their home, be relieved of further obligations should repairs or replacements become necessary after the final purchase is completed and interest buyers in a tough market. Home warranties can be purchased through independent home warranty companies of the seller or buyer’s choice or through the real estate agent that will handle the paperwork with the home warranty company for the parties.

What do home warranties cost?

The average cost of a basic coverage plan ranges from $350 to $500 a year, with the cost of an enhanced plan adding $100 to $300. Prices reflect not only coverage but also a company’s loss history, which is determined by how often an item breaks down and the cost to repair it. Some home warranty companies offer additional coverage for certain items, such as a good pump or pool, for an extra fee. Regardless of the type of plan, homeowners typically pay an additional service fee ranging from $50 to $75 for each repair job.

The majority of home mortgage companies have a set price for their basic home warranty plans that they offer. The type of housing such as townhouse, condominium, single-family residential, duplex or apartment often determines the set cost of the home warranty coverage.

While detached garages are generally covered under the basic home warranty plans that are offered, most separate buildings on the premises are not. Extended home warranty plans are available at additional costs for these building structures.

Costs for home warranty plans are paid upfront before the coverage goes into effect. Some companies offer their clients the ability to make payments on their home warranty plans if it helps to secure the sale or they have a long standing with the client.

Complaints about home warranties

Among the many negative reviews submitted by Angie’s List members about warranty companies, the key complaints are: (1) Something wasn’t covered that the customer assumed was covered, and (2) although the item was “covered” there was still a service call fee that the customer didn’t expect.   Although this expectations gap can also occur with insurance policies and other purchases, home warranties may be particularly prone to it because so often they are purchased by one owner (the one preparing to sell), but used by another owner (the buyer). Most plans do require an additional service fee to be paid by the homeowner. Typically, the least expensive plans cover the least amount of items and require the highest service fees.

In order to minimize misunderstandings, experts stress the importance of reviewing and understanding a service contract before purchasing a home warranty. For example, if a certain appliance needs repaired or replaced, a homeowner should know how much money will need to be spent out of pocket.  Also, how comprehensive is the potential repair or replacement?  If one component of an appliance break but the unit needs replacing, is the warranty company responsible for replacing the unit or the component? That’s an essential question that needs to be answered. It’s also important to review at least three warranty companies, understand what it is covered and what is excluded.

 To keep from getting fooled by your contract, consider the following tips:

  • Check with your state’s department of insurance to verify if the home warranty company you’re considering is properly licensed to do business. If licensing isn’t required in your state, inquire about the company’s status with your local consumer protection agency.  If you join us you can search for home warranty companies that serve your geographic area and find out which have received positive reviews from past customers.
  • Be sure to read the fine print and ask the company any lingering questions before deciding if a home warranty service contract is right for you.
  • Tell your real estate agent about any denied claims. Oftentimes, he or she will have a relationship with the home warranty company and can make a call on your behalf.
  • Be sure to tell the home warranty company if their network contractor did a good job or not. Most keep a rating system on their contractors and disperse the work accordingly.
Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis

What to Ask When Choosing a Home Warranty

There are a number of things to know about before getting your first Home Warranty Plan. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself and the provider when comparing your options.

Purchasing a home warranty to cover your major appliances and system components (refrigerator, dishwasher, garage door entry system, HVAC unit, etc.) can be tricky. You have to balance consideration of each warranty's options, premiums, deductibles, terms, and conditions. At the end of the day, what you really want is some assurance that, in times of need, you and your family will remain safe, comfortable and suffer the least amount of inconvenience.

What should you look for in a home warranty? There is no simple answer, and there is no one-size-fits-all home warranty solution. As with all your other investments, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to enter negotiations as well-prepared as possible. So we’ve assembled this checklist of questions to ask before you commit to a home warranty agreement to help you better understand your needs, your expectations, your reservations, and your own attitudes towards what makes a house a home.

1. How much wear and tear do your appliances already have?

Appliances exist for one reason: to make our lives easier and that means taking on the dirty work (literally, in the case of a dishwasher or washing machine). Some of us use them harder than others and age can add up over the years, but as long as you use your appliances according to manufacturer's instructions, a home warranty can help you keep your machines running without worrying about unexpected repair or replacement costs. Should your appliance's or system's major components break down due to your normal use, a home warranty can be there to help cover the costs to get back in working condition.

2. Do you plan on upgrading or replacing your appliances any time soon, even though they are still functioning?

New appliances and systems come with manufacturer's warranties which are great protection, however, they run out and are unit specific. A home warranty can provide more of an umbrella of protection for your home to cover multiple appliances and systems. Plus, some companies, E-exchanger, for example, provide programs such as the Appliance Discount Program that can save you money on the purchase of brand new, brand-name appliances.

3. Are you aware of any pre-existing conditions or problems with your appliances that have gone unaddressed?

Home warranty companies want to help you keep your home in working order but there may be some limitations when it comes to addressing certain pre-existing conditions. Check with your potential provider.

4. Are there any essential components on your appliances (e.g., your refrigerator’s ice-maker; your HVAC system’s ductwork) that may not be covered by a particular warranty?

Today's appliances are amazingly complex machines with evolving pieces and parts. However, they still basically rely upon essential core parts to perform their necessary duties. Those components are what require protection and often can be most expensive to repair. Your home warranty should cover these core components.

5. How does a particular warranty complement or supplement your existing homeowner's insurance policy?

Home insurance is great protection for your home for what MIGHT happen (fire, flood, natural disaster, etc.). However, what about protection for things that WILL happen? For example, your air conditioner condenser finally giving out or your clothes dryer refusing to dry your clothes. Having a home warranty plan to work side-by-side with your home insurance can greatly help your home remain a comfortable and happy place.

6. Will a specific home warranty policy help you pay for routine preventative maintenance of your major appliances?

A home warranty may not cover your routine preventative maintenance, however, they may penalize you for NOT taking that action. American Home Shield will not do that. We understand you're busy and that time gets away from you. That's why we can help cover you when your major system and appliance components break down from normal use.

7. Will a specific home warranty policy help you to pay for significant cosmetic damage to your major appliances?

Home warranties are designed to cover parts and components that are designed to wear down from normal wear and tear. If that normal use causes cosmetic damage, you should be covered. However, if an overly excited family member causes damage to your dishwasher door, for example, you will not be covered.

8. Are any repairs, services or appliances too minor (e.g. your microwave oven) to be covered by a specific warranty?

It all depends on your provider and your contract. An E-exchanger Home Warranty Plan, for example, covers every part of your refrigerator. Other companies may exclude coverage for a dozen or more parts. 

9. What is the upper limit for repairs and replacement that the warranty will cover?

This depends on your prospective provider, but AHS offers some of the most competitive levels of coverage. In some cases, E-exchanger provides twice or even five times as much in terms of replacement coverage.

10. When can you make a claim with your prospective warranty provider?

You may currently have appliances in need of repair. Most companies may make you wait 30-60 days before you are able to submit a service request. 

So, which home warranty combines the best reputation, the greatest expertise, and the most satisfactory customer service?

That warranty is the one that can be of the most benefit to you when the time comes for you to maximize your home’s equity. And American Home Shield is confident that the home warranties we offer are world-class in that regard. As the home warranty industry creator and leader, we are proud to offer the best, most comprehensive and award-winning home warranty plans. Learn more about E-exchanger Home Warranty Plans and get a quote today.

Share or Bookmark this post…
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis