Is a medical exam always required for Life Insurance?

Been thinking about getting life insurance, but the long process has left you with second thoughts? Changes to the underwriting process may save you some of that headache.

What changed?

It’s a tale as old as time. If you want life insurance you have to go through a weeks or even months-long underwriting process. Your insurance company has to evaluate things ranging from prescription drug records, medical exams, auto records, and more. Proving the information correct in all of these exams further delays you obtaining coverage. According to a study by LIMRA, more than 18.7 million people had given up on securing coverage during this long underwriting process.

Insurance companies are trying to automate the system so you and I can secure coverage without taking up as much time. Companies are employing technology to screen candidates based on key indicators. If you fit the criteria then the process moves along without the need for a medical exam. Please note that if you are flagged the process may require an exam.

What carriers offer this method?

Several carriers are beginning to use this accelerated program of underwriting, including:

  • Banner
  • Lincoln
  • Minnesota Life
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Nationwide
  • Principal
  • Protective
  • Prudential

This process is still being perfected, but if you are interested in whether this option could apply for you don’t hesitate to give us a call at 352-371-7977 or email our Financial Insurance Advisor Nick Deas at nick@mcgriffwilliams.com.

 

Mortgage vs. Term Life Insurance

When it comes to life insurance it’s important to understand what you’re purchasing in order to keep your family and loved ones covered. One aspect of life insurance to understand is Term vs. Mortgage.

 

What is Mortgage Insurance?

As the name implies, mortgage insurance will cover your remaining balance on your mortgage in the event of your passing. One pro of mortgage insurance is that it is typically very simple to obtain. The amount of coverage you receive is directly tied to your mortgage so as you pay down your mortgage over the years the amount you receive decreases. The issue with the decrease in coverage amount is that your premium stays the same. The beneficiary for this insurance is owned by the bank who holds the mortgage.

 

What about Term Insurance?

Term life insurance provides coverage for a defined period of time, such as 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. As a term insurance policyholder you pay an annual premium amount for the defined period of time and the insurer, or the company you purchased your policy through, will pay your beneficiaries the pre-determined policy amount. There are many advantages including the cost, but it only covers you during the term.

 

For many cases, mortgage insurance will not be enough for your loved ones. Even though your mortgage would be taken care of there is still the cost of living and funeral costs that will burden your family.

 

The video below provides additional information about both types of insurance. If you would like to discuss your options call us at 352-371-7977 or email our Financial Insurance Advisor Nick Deas at nick@mcgriffwilliams.com.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUNloFs2Rx0

Lowest Priced Prescription Drugs in Gainesville

Ever consider price shopping prescription drugs before filling at your usual pharmacy? Your answer is most likely no, as most people just have their doctor call it into the place closest to your house or even who may have a drive-thru, whatever is most convenient.

Prescription drugs can get very expensive so it may be worth your time to see who has the least expensive medications in your area. A good tool to use is www.goodrx.com. On this website, you can search by specific drug in your zip code to get a full comparison of all pharmacy charges, with or without a coupon, and even print cost savings vouchers. Here is an example of a search we did for 5 of the top 10 most filled drugs in 2017:

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Whether it be your personal wallet or your employer’s, you could save a lot of money by doing a little bit of homework before filling your next prescription. If there’s ever any way we can assist with your prescription drug or health insurance questions, please call (352)371-7977 or email info@mcgriffwilliams.com.

 

Are you prepared for hurricane season?

Hurricane season making you nervous? Many people may have post-Irma jitters after the storm we had in the fall. Worry no more with these tips on how to prepare and understand the protection you have.

  • Storm deductible vs All Peril deductible…. There is a difference. Most home insurance policies have a standard “AOP” (All Other Peril) deductible of $500, $1000 or even $2,500. This would apply for damage such as fire, theft, water, etc. The storm or “hurricane” deductible applies to damage directly caused by any named storm. Even if the damage can be proven to be from a spinoff tornado, wind or lightning, the storm deductible applies if it was a result of a named storm. This is typically 2% (but sometimes can be offered at $500), which is calculated from the dwelling coverage amount on the policy. Example: $200k dwelling, hurricane deductible: $4k.

 

  • Flood insurance isn’t always available right away so you have to plan ahead. Most times, there is a 30 day waiting period for flood coverage to be effective. Damage from rising water is covered by a separate flood policy, rather than the home insurance policy. Some may think they only need flood insurance if they’re in a designated flood zone or low lying area but flooding can still happen with heavy rain. If you are not located in a flood zone (per FEMA: https://msc.fema.gov/portal), you can still purchase elective flood coverage and simply wait 30 days for the coverage to be effective.

 

  • Other Structures can add up. This coverage on your home policy is usually 2% of the dwelling amount, automatically included on the policy. This covers things like a fence, shed, workshop, and sometimes a screen enclosure. There are typically endorsements you can add if you need more than the provided coverage. These items are commonly damaged by wind so it’s imperative to be sure you the coverage you need for repair or replacement.

 

  • Storm damage to a vehicle is covered under Comprehensive coverage on the auto policy. This applies for falling/flying objects, wind, rain, water as well as vandalism, theft, fire, glass, contact with an animal, etc. Comprehensive is exactly that… it covers a lot. If you have a lien holder on your car, your lender requires this coverage. Double check to be sure you have it as it’s an important one.

 

  • Helpful hints to prepare your home before a storm approaches: trim any trees or branches hanging over or posing as a threat for damage, tidy up any loose debris in the yard or equipment parked around the house, secure windows with shutters or boards, have your roof inspected to ensure no missing shingles, nails or clips. You can also be certain to have plenty of water, nonperishable food, batteries, flashlights or even a generator and coolers of ice in the event of a power outage.

Follow these steps and rest assured that you’ve done all you can for whatever mother nature sends our way. Contact us at 352-371-7977 or info@mcgriffwilliams.com anytime you have further questions.

Disability Insurance Awareness Month

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month. Sometimes disability insurance is overlooked, but if it weren’t important would it have a whole month dedicated to its awareness? It’s safe to say that many Americans are unaware that they may need disability insurance beyond what their employer offers.

Do you need it though?

When most young people think of disability insurance they may think of ailments relating to age or serious occurrences. In reality there are several common and chronic injuries or illnesses that could keep you from working. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, more than 25 percent of 20-year-olds today can expect to be out of work for at least one year before they reach the age of retirement. With odds like that it seems that many young people need the coverage.

What could keep me from working?

The Council for Disability Awareness has released a great website for learning about all things disability insurance, RealityCheckup.org. The top five reasons they listed, according to an Integrated Benefits Institute database, are:

  1. Back and joint pain
  2. Cancer
  3. Pregnancy Complications
  4. Mental health challenges
  5. Accidental injuries

Even if you believe you are being careful or that nothing could happen to keep you from work there are instances that throw wrenches in your plan. Wouldn’t it be better to be prepared?

Why do I need more coverage than my employer offers?

Disability insurance is a great benefit that an employer may offer you. The only problem is that this coverage may come with limitations, as Nick Deas, our Financial Insurance Advisor, discusses in the video below. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, you will likely need 70 percent of your income covered. If your employer does not offer this then you may need private supplemental coverage.

If you have questions about disability insurance please give us a call at 352-371-7977 or email Nick at nick@mcgriffwilliams.com.