Everyday life is expensive. Between the mortgage, college, food, car payments, and everything else – it all adds up. So help your family and plan ahead of time with Life Insurance so they can continue their lifestyle after you are gone. Watch this short presentation to learn more.
To help break up some of the confusion about life insurance, we have put together a list of 8 myths to debunk and separate
facts from fiction.
Myth: It is really expensive.
According to the 2015 Insurance Barometer study conducted by Life Happens, 80% of consumers misjudge the cost of term life insurance. Respondents gave a median estimate of $400. Millennials put it at $600. The actual price is about $160 annually, which averages to about $13 a month.
Myth: If you are a stay-at-home parent you don’t need it.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent, life insurance is still important. You may not bring in an actual paycheck for the household, however you likely provide services that could cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace each year. These may include child care, daily transportation, home maintenance and cooking, to name a few. If you were to pass away, life insurance may help cover some of these costs.
Myth: Only the breadwinner needs coverage.
Even if you don’t have the biggest paycheck in your household, your family still relies on your income for day-to-day operations. Unless your family would have that extra income to spare, you need coverage on both spouses.
Like many industries, the world of insurance has its own unique set of terms to describe its products that can be hard to understand unless you work in insurance. This is funny because everyone needs insurance, so why not make it easier to comprehend? To help you understand the information included in a life insurance policy, we’ve gathered some basic terminology in this easy-to-reference overview.
Types of Policies
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is a standard insurance policy that provides coverage for a specific period of time. This means if you don’t die within the term, your beneficiary doesn’t get the death benefit and the policy expires. You can select the term that works best for you, and common lengths for term life insurance are 10, 20, or 30 years. One of the challenges for people who purchase term life insurance is deciding how long the policy should last. You may want to have the policy last until you retire or as long as your youngest dependent will need financial support.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance covers you for as long as you live (as long as premiums are paid on time), at a locked-in rate that won’t increase as you age or if your health status changes. It may also build “cash value” over time, which is money that gets set aside with each payment you make, like a nest egg for the future.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is a form of permanent insurance, meaning coverage can last for your lifetime as long as premiums are paid. This can be purchased by individuals but is also regularly offered by employers as group universal life insurance.
Variable Life Insurance
Variable life insurance is a permanent life insurance policy with an investment component. Coverage will remain in place for your lifetime so long as premiums are paid. Every variable life insurance policy has three primary components: Death benefit, Cash value, Premium. Every time you make a premium payment, a portion of it goes towards the cost of insurance and insurer’s fees. This is the money that essentially pays to keep the death benefit in place. The remainder of the premium goes towards the policy’s cash value, which is similar in structure to a brokerage account. The cash value can be invested in certain securities (often called sub-accounts) which resemble mutual funds.
The person or party named by the owner of a life insurance policy to receive the policy benefit.
The person to receive proceeds of a life insurance policy if the primary beneficiary passed away before the insured.
The savings element of a permanent life insurance policy, which represents the policy owner’s interest in the policy.
Convertible Term Life Insurance Policy
A term life insurance policy that gives the policy owner the right to convert the policy to a permanent plan of insurance.
A return on part of the premium.
The amount of the death benefit payable under a life insurance policy.
The person on whose life the policy is issued.
Permanent Life Insurance
Life insurance that provides coverage though the insured’s lifetime and also provides a savings element. Also known as whole life.
As a general rule, the date on which coverage under an insurance policy became effective.
Amount paid to the insurance company to buy a policy and keep it in force.
Renewable Term Life Insurance
A term life insurance policy that can be renewed at the end of the policy term.
Interested in getting a Life Insurance quote or learning more? Visit our website.
There is no doubt that Covid-19 has affected every aspect or life. From jobs, to school, to shopping, to childcare, plus everything in between. Did you know that Covid-19 can also affect your personal insurance policy? You can save money by not driving your car as much or you might have to let your agent know you have recently gotten a pool or trampoline. Read below to find out 5 ways Covid-19 might affect your insurance policy:
Here are 5 ways Covid-19 can affect your personal insurance policy:
It is summer and everyone is home, so many people installed pools! Why not? It is great for family fun, be outside, and stay active. Having a pool can affect your Homeowner’s policy. Damage to your pool would be covered under the “other structures” portion of the policy. Most homeowners policies automatically have a certain percentage of the primary dwelling coverage for other structures. It is a good idea to call to verify your policy has enough coverage for your pool along with any additional detached structures you might have.If you’re adding a pool to your home, please let us know, since your insurance company may not cover a claim if they aren’t aware of it. You’ll have liability coverage for injuries sustained because of the pool. Liability coverage helps cover bodily injury, medical expenses and legal fees.For example, if a windstorm caused a tree to fall on your pool or blew patio furniture into your pool and tore the liner, your homeowners policy can help cover the costs to repair or replace the damages.
Another fun family activity, especially for the kids, is having a trampoline in the backyard. The statistics show that having a trampoline increases the likelihood that someone will be injured on your property. Therefore, it increases your chances of having a liability or medical payments. A trampoline is similar to having a pool or a playground, there can be a chance of someone getting hurt. These types of items are very attractive to kids in the neighborhood. The more kids or people on your property, the greater the likelihood that someone could be injured on the property. This increase in risk is something you should talk to your agent about adding extra coverage to your homeowners insurance policy.
There has been an adoption boom in cat and dogs during quarantine because everyone is home. It is great for all those homeless animals to find forever homes, but a lot of people do not know that having a dog may affect your homeowner’s policy.
Dogs are one of the most common pets, and they can also be the riskiest. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year. Many homeowners insurance policies cover dog bites and other incidents. Your policy’s liability insurance is intended to protect you financially by covering medical expenses if someone is injured on your property. A liability claim can come from any breed. Your insurer could have statistics that may inform its decisions about your homeowners policy.
A positive spin on being stuck at home so much is all the home improvements people are doing! However, if anything results in an increase in rebuild cost of more than $5,000, you should let your agent know. You may run a risk if the limits on your homeowners insurance policy aren’t high enough to cover the increase in your home’s reconstruction cost after a home renovation. Before construction begins, you may want to ask your agent whether your existing homeowners policy should be updated. Insurance Journal says that it often makes sense to incrementally increase your coverage limits as the project progresses. If it’s a major project — you’re adding on a new room or finishing your basement. If you plan on a do-it-yourself project and expect to have friends or family lending a hand, you should also check that your own liability coverage is up to snuff.
What car you drive, where you live, and your driving history are all determining factors of your Car insurance rates. It also includes how much time you actually spend traveling. If you don’t have a commute, that’s a lot less time on the road which translates into a lot fewer chances to get in an accident. Some insurance companies have caught on and now offer special telecommuter rates. And even if your auto insurance company doesn’t, it’s worth calling us to let us know about the reduced number of miles you’re now driving if you work at home.
If you have any questions or concerns about your personal insurance policy, contact us and we can help you. Visit our website to call us at 815-464-8800.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Many distractions exist while driving, but cell phones are a top distraction. So many drivers use them for long periods of time each day. Almost everyone has seen a driver distracted by a cell phone.
Every year in the U.S., almost a half million people are injured or killed in traffic accidents attributed to the combination of texting and driving. The statistics are shocking, especially in view of the fact that this danger could be completely avoided. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2019, distracted driving was a reported factor in 8.5% of fatal motor vehicle crashes.
Texting can make vehicle accidents 23 times more likely to happen.
Many people wonder, “Is umbrella insurance worth it?” A case can be made that just about everyone can benefit from umbrella insurance.
An umbrella insurance policy is extra liability coverage that exceeds the limits of your typical home and auto policies. Its main purposes are to protect your assets and to provide extra security should you be at risk for being sued for causing damage to someone’s property or injury in a personal liability situation. And as an extra benefit to you, if you add umbrella coverage to your existing home/auto policy, you may be eligible for a discount which would further reduce your auto and home insurance premiums.
Let’s look at some instances where umbrella insurance would pick up where your other coverage leaves off:
It’s determined by a court that you’re liable for causing a car accident with multiple vehicles, and the cost to cover the damages and injuries is $850,000. However, the liability limit on your auto policy is only $300,000. In this case, your insurance would pay only $300,000 for the entire accident, and you’d be responsible for the remaining $550,000 out of your own pocket!
With an umbrella policy, however, you could extend your liability limits beyond the maximum provided by your underlying policies. In this case, an umbrella policy would provide liability limits above the $300,000 limit of your auto policy, up to the limit you choose for your umbrella policy (typically anywhere from $1 million to $5 million in coverage).
In other words, you wouldn’t be left paying the remaining $550,000.
Let’s say your homeowner’s insurance has a personal liability limit of $300,000. You throw a large holiday party and one of your guests slips and falls on your icy front steps. She ends up with a concussion and some astronomical medical bills, and she decides to sue you. In court, the jury sides with your party guest and awards her a judgment of $1 million. This judgment is $700,000 higher than your homeowner’s insurance liability limit. Remember, think of umbrella insurance as a fail-safe for your savings and other assets.
Other scenarios umbrella insurance may cover include:
- Your dog bites a neighbor’s child.
- A fire at your condominium spreads to other units.
- An accident occurs at your rental property.
One costly incident like those listed above that exhausts your auto or home policy could result in financial ruin. For a relatively low annual rate you can get a significant umbrella policy to protect you, your family, and your assets. Contact Gnade today and talk to one of our knowledgeable insurance agents to find the best insurance coverage for you.
This blog was written by Gnade Insurance Group and West Bend Mutual Insurance Company.
OPEN ENROLLMENT: NOVEMBER 1 – DECEMBER 15
Apply by December 15th for your 2020 health coverage to be effective by January 1, 2020.
It is that time of the year again, Open Enrollment for Individual Health Insurance. During this time of year you can renew, update and compare your current health insurance plan.
Whether applying for the first time of renewing your coverage, it is a good idea to gather essential information for your application.
Information to have available for your application:
- Social security numbers, date of birth for you and whoever will be on your plan.
- Your estimated gross household income for 2020.
- An understanding of plan for your medical needs for the year, including a list of current medications.
- The names of any doctors you would like to have in your network.
Timeline for Open Enrollment:
- Nov. 1, 2019: Open Enrollment starts — first day you can enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2019 insurance plan. Coverage can start as soon as Jan. 1, 2020.
- Dec. 15, 2019: The last day to enroll in or change plans for coverage to start Jan. 1, 2020. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
- Jan. 1, 2020: Coverage for the year starts for those who enroll or change plans by Dec. 15, 2019.
Schedule an appointment with one of our Health Insurance specialists online HERE.
You can also call our office to make an appointment at 815.464.8800.
The process of buying insurance can seem like a heavy load. Many people are under-educated on insurance; but they all know one thing: They need coverage. Historically, that hasn’t always been the case.
Why has our society shifted this way? Is it tradition? Is it law?
It’s both. Even in the democratic/capitalistic society we live in, insurance is mandated by both tradition and law.
Traditionally being uninsured/under-insured is a recipe for financial disaster. Drive with state minimums on your car coverage? Boom, a 3-car pile-up suddenly has you facing bankruptcy. Not properly covered with your home insurance? Boom, one bad storm and you’re homeless. You went the cheap route on your business or commercial insurance? Yep, that’s right, one bad liability claim and you’re suddenly updating your resume. Even reading this now, you probably aren’t getting that worried though, because insurance has been ingrained in your head since before you ever thought about buying it. Everyone knows someone that once had a life changing event from not having the right coverage; and they made a point to make it very clear to learn from their mistake.
Even after being in business for 30 years, we still get asked all the time, “How do you say Gnade?”
Especially after opening a new office in Dubuque, Iowa where the Gnade name is less known – we thought it would be a good idea to help answer this question! Although, it is always fun to hear how people think it should be said. ?
We also get asked “Where did Gnade come from?” It is the last name of the owner, Gary Gnade. ?
Gnade Insurance Group came into existence back in 1988 shortly after a Gary decided to leave an eight-year career selling life insurance door-to-door for Prudential Insurance. By mortgaging his and his wife’s home, Gary started his agency in a small office in Tinley Park by hiring one agent and a part- time receptionist. Over the years as the business continued to grow along with the family, the two oldest sons Gerard and Bryan came on board. The company has grown to its current status of 29 employees with two locations; one in downtown Frankfort, IL and a new office in Dubuque, IA.
When it comes to protecting your assets, one of the most important things you can insure is your ability to work and earn a living with Disability Insurance.
With disability coverage you can continue to pay your bills and keep from going into serious debt.
If you were to ask yourself, “What the longest vacation I’ve ever taken?”, you’re probably right there with most people at two weeks. The reason is that the average person cannot go without income for more than two weeks. This is where disability coverage can help when the unexpected happens. If the average person cannot make it more than two weeks unpaid, why go months without any income, neglecting bills or payments, when disability insurance can help you?
Life does not stop when you are disabled and cannot work.
While you might not get you full salary, you will be covered. Here is an example of how it works:
Disability Insurance can help pay for other expenses while you are unable to work. Investments like health insurance, retirement, health expenses and college funds are just some of the life expenditures you might have to keep up with.
Want to know how much Disability Coverage you need?
Here is a document to help you figure that out: Disability Insurance Calculator