Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bryan Insurance Agency, LLC : Blog has Moved

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

'Tis the season for back to school: A parent's guide to the hidden dangers of carpooling

What is it about back to school that makes you think of getting organized, new school clothes, and a brand new set of colored pencils? While kids are full of excitement and jitters of the new school season, seeing their friends and making new ones, as parents, you are probably just as excited to get them back to the normal routine. And if you are like most busy parents that means you are driving your kids to the thousands of afterschool activities like soccer, dance, football, band, concerts, etc. In some cases, this means you are also carpooling everyone else’s kids around as well. And why wouldn’t you? If I am taking Tommy to football, of course I am going take his best friend Frankie who is playing on the same team as him. But did you know that as a parent, your good deed could come with consequences? And those consequences could come with law suits if say you ended up in an accident with other people’s kids in the car.
Yes, in the event of an accident, especially in today’s litigious society, if little Frankie got hurt, Frankie’s mom and dad are most likely going to sue you. So, what can you do to prevent this? I mean after all, you don’t want to be rude and leave Frankie on the side of the road because you are afraid of all of the “what-ifs” that could or would happen. And I am sure he would look at you like a crazy person if you told him, “I’m sorry I don’t want your parents to sue me for my house and Tommy’s college fund if I accidentally crash my car with you in it.”  I’m way over 10 years old and even I would look at you like a crazy person if you told me that.
But you can do what I suggest all of my clients to do, prepare for the worst but hope for the best. I know that may sounds a bit dramatic, but there is a method to my madness. There is…a plan. You can do this by starting to take a closer look at your auto liability insurance and even look into an umbrella policy.
Umbrella policy? I know, many people, even my brother did not know what an umbrella policy was. No, it’s not protection for your umbrellas, which is the first image that comes to mind. An umbrella policy is additional liability insurance which covers you over your auto insurance and your home insurance. In other words, this would pick up where your auto policy drops off, in the event that you didn’t have enough insurance. Usually this coverage starts at $1,000,000 in additional coverage over your auto insurance and can go up to $25,000,000 or higher depending on your needs. I know your next thought is probably, “$1,000,000? That sounds expensive!” But surprisingly for an extra $15-$20 per month, you can purchase this coverage and the best part is…it covers over the home insurance as well.
Now for the auto, my suggestion to many people is to take as much coverage as you can afford. I know things are tight today, so if you cannot afford to take the umbrella policy in addition to the car insurance, I would increase that liability to the highest your company will allow you to go. Usually this increase is not as much as you think it would be. It could be as little as an additional $5 a month for twice the amount of coverage. It’s a lot cheaper than having Frankie’s parents sue you and finding out you don’t have enough coverage.
And what happens then if you don’t have enough you ask? Well they can garnish up to 25% of your wages and go after any assets you own – i.e. your home. Does the $5 extra a month sound like a good deal? Heck, to me $20 a month sounds like a good deal at that point.
I know that this might sound a little overly prudent, but I wanted to make you aware of the risks of carpooling. And although I know your intentions are good, nobody plans to have an accident. That is why they are called accidents. And while Frankie’s parents might come over for game night at your house, if you got into an accident with their child, they most likely will sue you if it was bad enough.
Better to know you have the proper coverage now, than to find out later when you really need it. Not sure how much you have or what is enough? Or do you not know what everything means? We speak insurance here and can help you figure out how much is enough insurance.
Call me, Amy Bryan at 845.565.2200 or 888.565.2212 or email me at today to find out more information about how to protect your family the right way. You can also visit us online at

Monday, August 13, 2012

Top 5 Questions To Ask Before You Go On Your Next Vacation

Planning a quick getaway or an extended vacay for the end of the summer? Check out the top 5 questions to ask before your next vacation. Have questions or want more information? Call us! We love to talking to clients like you and answering any questions you have. We want you to have as stress free a vacation as possible.

1.) How can I secure my house or apartment while I'm away?

Create a lived-in look to deter burglars. Do this by stopping newspaper and mail deliveries; asking a neighbor to park a car in your driveway occasionally; and putting lights on a timer or asking a neighbor to turn lights on in the evening. Use a telephone answering machine or call forwarding to quiet ringing telephones. And, make sure all windows and doors are locked to make entry difficult for intruders.

2.) If my home is burglarized or damaged by fire, are all of my possessions covered?

Under a standard homeowners insurance policy for a single-family home, the contents of the home normally are covered for at least 50 percent of the amount of insurance on the building ($50,000 contents coverage on a house insured for $100,000). A renters policy is written for a specified dollar amount, based on what you own, to cover the loss of personal belongings in your apartment. There are special limits of liability on certain items in certain situations, however. Typically, there is a $200 limit on money and $1,500 on securities, passports, tickets and stamps. There is generally a $1,500 limit on watercraft, trailers and outboard motors. For fine jewelry, furs and watches that are stolen, a usual limit of $1,500 is set. And, there is typically a $2,500 limit for theft of guns and a $2,500 limit on theft of silverware, goldware and pewterware.

A home inventory is important to have should you become the victim of a burglary or fire. The inventory is a list of your possessions, including makes, models and serial numbers. Photographs or a videotape of your belongings are other ways of recording what you own. These records should be kept in a safe place away from the house or apartment so they would not be lost in the event of fire.

3.) What if the items I take with me on vacation are stolen?

Your belongings generally are covered by your homeowners or renters policy anywhere in the world, including items in storage facilities, suitcase contents and items lent to friends. Exceptions to this are items usually kept at another residence of yours, which then would be limited to the greater of $1,000 or 10 percent of the personal property limit shown on your policy (some restrictions also apply to theft). Typically, you would have another policy to cover all the eligible property at that location, including loss by theft.

4.) We'll be traveling by car on vacation. Do you have any suggestions?

Check with our agency to make sure that your policy is up-to-date, and make sure the car is in good running condition. While traveling, be sure your passengers wear seat belts and young children ride in car seats at all times. Also, keep cameras, purses and other valuables with you while on vacation; never leave them in the car.

5.) I plan to rent a car for this trip. Is it necessary to buy the insurance the rental agency sells?

It may not be. Prior to leaving for vacation, check with your professional insurance agent to determine if your personal auto insurance policy covers damage to a rented vehicle, as many policies do. You may want to contact your major credit-card company to ask if a rental car charged to that account is covered for damage. If you don'tt have one of these pre-existing coverages, it may be wise to purchase insurance from the rental agency.

Have more good questions? We love them! Call us or email us. (888) 565-2212 or  or visit us online at

Friday, June 22, 2012

Graduation Parties - Are You Covered?

By Guest Blogger: Nelson Rivera Jr.

It's that time of year...graduation time. This is the crowning moment in any teenagers life – graduating high school. And as many of you as parents can attest to, it is not without hard work and perseverance from both your children and you. So, to recognize this great achievement, what better way to do that than have a graduation party? Something that you, your child, their friends, and the rest of the family can do to celebrate.

Like any responsible parent, you will have drinks for the adults only and soda for your child and his or her friends. Your child is a good kid, so you have made it clear that there will be no drinking at the party, and they have agreed.

The party day arrives and all the friends and family show up. However, you, being busy hosting the party, are unaware that some of the friends show up and end up drinking in the garage and others even show up drunk to the party. They drive off to the next party and get into an accident with another vehicle. The police show up and in the report, they tell them that they were leaving your house from their friend's graduation party. Weeks later, some legal papers show up at your house for the accident, showing that you may be liable for hosting the party. What do you do now? You wonder, am I covered for this?

While this scenario seems bad, it is possible, and it is important to know where you are liable in a party. Now the question is, is this covered under your homeowners insurance? The answer is, it depends.

Here are the top questions we get around this time of year to think of when planning your party:
Q: My kids are going to drink anyway, so can't I serve them? This way I can monitor what happens.
A: If you are knowingly serving alcohol to minors, while you are covered under the liability on your homeowners under the "Social Host Liquor" rules, serving alcohol to minors is not legal and therefore may not be covered under your homeowners policy. And if you are charging for alcohol, you could fall under the "Dram Shop Liabilty" and your homeowners would not cover you for that.

Q: What if I have a party outside of the house, like at a park or clubhouse?
A: Good news! Your homeowners liability and umbrella policy will cover you outside of your home. What this means is that if you have your child's party at a park or other area, the Social Host Liquor rules will extend from whatever the limit on your homeowners insurance policy provides.

Q: If one of my kids friends shows up intoxicated to the party and I send them away, am I still liable?
A: Yes, you could still be found liable because you knowingly sent him/ her away in a vehicle when they were visibly intoxicated, and they are underage. Now, this may or may not be covered by your insurance as well.

Q: What if I am away, and my kid throws a party on their own?
A: As the owner of the house, it doesn't matter if you are there or not there. If someone gets hurt on your property, or was drinking at your house, you could be held responsible. Depending on the situation, the liability coverage of your homeowners may come into play here as well to protect you.

Q: What if someone trips and falls or gets hurt otherwise?
A: Most likely, you are covered in this event. Although each policy varies from coverages and the limits, if someone is injured on your property, you have medical payments and liability coverage on the standard homeowners policies, which protect you in this event. If you are not sure, you should check your policy or call your agent and have them review it with you.

Q: What else can I do to protect myself?
A: In today's litigious society, I always recommend to take as much liability on your homeowners as you can and take an umbrella policy as well, especially with children in the house. They are covered under your policies as a resident relative of your household as long as they are living there. An umbrella policy is extra liability that would cover over your home and auto policy and can be purchased for less than $13 per month for an extra $1,000,000 in coverage.

It is also important to review your current coverages to see what you have. If you are unsure, you should review them with your agent or insurance company.

Also, it is a good idea to have an agreement with your child. Let them know the implications of their choices and how it can affect you as well. This way, everyone can enjoy the party and celebrate what really matters, your child and their great accomplishment!

Congrats to all of the Graduates of 2012! We at the Bryan Agency wish you all of the best in your success!

Have more questions? Call our office (888) 565-2212 or stop in at 3068 Route 9W Suite 500, New Windsor, NY 12553. We love questions. Email us at  ***If your question is featured in one of our blogs, we will send you a thank you gift card in the mail. ***

You can also visit us online at or

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pet Safety: The Safest Way to Drive Your Pet Around

The Safest way to Drive Your Pet Around

What dog doesn’t like to go for a car ride every once in a while—and what dog owner doesn’t like to indulge that? And cats, while not friends of automobile transportation in general, need to visit the vet annually in order to ensure their continued good health which means they, too, must travel by car on a somewhat regular basis. But driving your pets around isn’t just a matter of throwing them into the car and hoping for the best. Here are some tips on the safest ways to transport your favorite four-legged family member.

Tips for Dogs
  • Close the window: This may be heartbreaking to read, but allowing your dog to ride in the car with his head out the window is actually dangerous. Debris in the air can get into his eyes or lungs, and according to the Humane Association, cold air forced into their lungs can cause illness.
  • Use a harness: Just as it is dangerous with a small child, it is dangerous to travel with your dog unseatbelted. Dogs should either be in a carrier while you drive or in a harness that connects to your vehicle’s safety belt system. This will prevent them from getting thrown and injured in an accident.
  • Only bring pets to pet friendly locations: No animal should be left unattended in a vehicle, no matter how comfortable the weather is. If you are driving to a destination that does not allow pets to come inside, leave your dog at home.
Tips for Cats
  • Use a carrier: For the safety of both the cat and the people in the car, trips with cats should always be conducted with the cat inside a carrier. Frightened cats are a danger in terms of their claws and their small size, so keep them in a carrier at all times.
  • Get the cat used to traveling: It can be extremely stressful to your cat to go on a long car ride, even when she’s in the safety of her carrier. To get your cat used to the car, recommends you take her on short trips a few times a month and reward her with treats afterward. You can gradually lengthen the trip times in order to get her ready for a multi-day trip.
It doesn’t take much effort to keep your pet safe and comfortable when traveling. Taking these extra steps will help add years to their lives.

Did you know?Did you know that Progressive Insurance is one of the few companies which provides injury coverage to your pet in the event of an accident? They offer up to $1000 of coverage if your pet is injured in a car accident.

For more tips and information on Pet Safety, call us at 845-565-2200,
email us at or visit us online at Bryan Agency or on Facebook

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Top 7 Camper Claims...Did you know?

Camper or RV insurance is a must-have for people with travel trailers or motor homes, because insurable incidents don’t leave you alone just because you’re on vacation.

Take a look at the top 7 claims experienced by camper and RV owners, and you’ll see just how necessary insurance is whether you are on—or off—the road.

1.) Fire Damage

Gas leaks and unattended indoor cooking sessions are often to blame for the fire damage claimed by RV owners. To avoid them yourself:
  • Use leak detector solution to check for gas leaks.
  • Don’t leave cooking food unattended.
  • Do not use a grill inside the camper.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions when using portable heating devices 
2.) Roof Damage

 Claiming damages that occur after driving into overhangs, signs and bridges is a common activity for RV owners. To avoid this:

  • Know the height of your RV from the ground to its highest point.
  • Always check clearances before driving underneath something.
  • Remove antennas before driving if they extend higher than the highest point.
3.) Damages after a Tire Blowout
Tire blowouts can be easy to prevent:
  • Keep tires properly inflated.
  • Check tires at least weekly when the camper is in use.
  • Keep weight appropriate to limits on the tires.
  • Keep tires rotated and replaced when tread is low or tires cracked.

4.) Body Damage

Body damage can occur to any RV owner, but it can be easy to avoid if you::

  • Take a course in learning how to back in, how to use your mirrors, and understanding your blind spots.
  • Keep the RV or camper parked level and wheels secured so that it can’t roll.
5.) Damage to Awnings and Steps
Always retract steps and awnings before moving the RV or camper—even if you aren’t moving it far.

6.) Infestation

An unused RV makes a nice home for rodents and bugs. To lessen this risk:

  • Drive the RV occasionally when not vacationing.
  • Keep food and liquids out of the camper when stored.
  • Keep mouse and bug traps in the camper and replace them as often as necessary.


When travelling around from campsite to campsite, your RV can easily become the target of thieves, but you can reduce risk by:

  • Keeping your RV locked whenever it is unattended.
  • Keeping expensive items such as personal electronics out of view from the outside. 

For all your RV and camper insurance needs, give us a call 845-565-2200 or visit us online at Stay safe this summer!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Your young drivers—help them play it safe

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 74 percent of 16-year-olds’ crashes are caused by driver error. Young licensed drivers, ages 15 to 24, account for the highest fatality rates.

Alarmed by the high number of serious accidents involving teen drivers, our agency urges you to help your teen driver slow the transition to the road and give him or her more time to learn and mature.

What can I do as a parent of a teen getting ready to hit the road?

As a concerned parent, there is much you can do to help make your teen a safer driver. Set time aside to help your teen prepare and practice, and set limits for your young driver.

Encourage awareness of traffic safety.

  • Talk to teens and pre-teens about driving etiquette while they’re driving with you. Set an example of safe-driving practices—wear your seat belt, obey the traffic signs and don’t speed.

  • On the road, emphasize to your teen the importance of being aware of vehicles and hazards and leaving an adequate safety margin around the car.

Gradually increase your teen’s driving privileges commensurate with his or her developing skills and good judgment.

  • Limit night driving until your teen has more experience behind the wheel. Most teen drivers’ nighttime crashes occur from 9 p.m. to midnight, so teens should not drive much later than 9 p.m.

  • Require permission for your teen carrying passengers (especially other teens) and restrict the number of people in the car.

Set and enforce important rules.

  • Negotiate an agreement regarding your teen’s responsibilities for gas, insurance, upkeep costs and maintenance. Be sure your teen understands that he or she is responsible for paying all traffic and parking tickets.

  • Enforce zero tolerance for alcohol use, yet make sure your teen knows if he or she gets into a situation in which alcohol use has made it unsafe to drive, he or she should call you for a safe ride home.

  • Make sure your teen understands the importance of using safety belts. Insist upon full safety-belt use for everyone in the car at all times. It is the law!

Is there a way to lower the auto insurance rates for my young driver?

Automobile rates tend to be higher for drivers under age 25 because as a group, they are involved in more crashes than people of other ages. As your professional, insurance agent, it is our job to see that you get the best coverage at the best price. Check with our agency to see if your auto insurance company offers any of the following discounts.

  • Driving the family car—Rates usually are higher for young people who own their own cars than for those who drive family cars.

  • Good student discounts—Full-time students age 16-25 who are in the upper 20 percent of their class, maintain a B average and/or make the honor roll or dean’s list may be eligible for discounts.

  • Driver-training discounts—Discounts may be available for drivers under 21 who have completed an approved driver- training course. Some companies give discounts to individuals of any age who complete “defensive” driving classes.

  • Resident student discounts—Families with a young driver without custody of a car who resides at college more than 100 miles from home may receive discounts.

Remember, you also may elect to take on a higher deductible for collision coverage, which will lower the premium. Or, if you have an older car, you may wish to drop the collision coverage.

Be sure to contact our agency when you are ready to add your teen driver to your auto policy. Call us at 845-565-2200 or 888-565-2212 or visit us online at today!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Factors that Affect Your Life Insurance Premiums

If you have ever applied for a life insurance policy then you know that your initial rate quote comes from the list of rates that the insurance company creates based on the age, gender and smoking status of the applicant. But there is more to the actual premium you are charged than just this simple formula. Here are some of the other factors used to determine your final life insurance premium.

The Proposed Insured’s Health
When you think of risk in terms of a life insurance policy, the first thing you consider is the health of the applicant. There are many different things to consider when looking at a life insurance applicant’s health.

These include:
1.) Medications – The medications you take show both existing diagnoses you have received and potential future health complications that require preventative treatment. For instance, you may not have had a heart attack yet, but if you’ve been prescribed a blood thinner and a cholesterol reducing medication then it is likely your physician thinks you are at risk for one and is trying to prevent it through medications.

2.) Chronic conditions – Chronic conditions like muscular dystrophy, heart disease and diabetes can shorten your life span and increase your risk as a life insurance applicant. Other chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, when not combined with other heart or circulatory issues may be less risky but still affect your overall risk.

3.)Potential future conditions – Over time, seemingly unrelated conditions and diseases can work together to create dangerous health consequences. For instance, diabetes and high cholesterol are not necessarily related (although they can be). But diabetics with high cholesterol might be more likely to have a hardening of the arteries, making stents harder (or impossible) to place in arteries, and therefore making bypass surgery necessary after a cardiac incident. Underwriters must look at all these unrelated factors and determine how they might come together to impact the applicant’s health in the future.

4.) Paramedical exam – A paramedical exam, when required by the insurance company, can give even more indication of an individual’s health and may show potential problems that the individual isn’t even aware of. During a paramedical exam, the proposed insured has his or her weight, blood pressure and sometimes urine and blood checked. Someone who hasn’t been to the doctor in years may seem healthy because they have no prescriptions or medical records indicating compromised health, but if the paramedical exam shows a problem then the underwriter knows his or her lack of a health history does not equal a diagnosis of good health.

5.) Age – While your age doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your health, it does indicate a statistical life span.

6.) Weight – Individuals who exceed standard life insurance company weight charts may not have been diagnosed with any of the problems or diseases that can strike the obese (like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease) but their weight indicates a higher likelihood that they will in the future.

7.) Medical Information Bureau – The Medical Information Bureau (MIB) keeps track of all your health issues that are reported by other insurance companies. Insurance companies pull your MIB report when you apply for insurance and the codes on this report will list all the reported health issues found during other application processes. This information may not lead directly to higher premiums, but it can cause an underwriter to delve deeper into your history, request more supporting materials and documents or even decline your application. The Proposed

Insured’s Gender
Because of differences in life expectancy among genders, your policy premium will be affected by whether you check the Male box or the Female box on your application for life insurance.

The Proposed Insured’s Lifestyle
The way you live your life will have a great effect on the life insurance premiums you are charged. From dangerous careers to death defying hobbies to questionable moral turpitude, every aspect of your life may be examined by the underwriters, depending on the amount of insurance you apply for. Each of these items will be analyzed to determine how much more risky it makes insuring you.

You may be asked to fill out supplementary questionnaires depending on your occupation and hobbies or the insurance company may ask to contact friends or business associates in order to ask them a set of questions about you during a telephone interview.

Driving History
Your underwriter may or may not request a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) to see what accidents and tickets you’ve had over the past few years. This report can indicate how careful you are as a driver, what risks there may be of your having a fatal car accident, and your propensity to abide by posted speed limit and other traffic laws. As you might have already guessed, there is almost no stone that goes unturned when you are applying for a life insurance policy. This gives the insurance company greater control over the risks they undertake.

The Death Benefit
Your death benefit is the amount of money that the insurance company promises to pay your beneficiaries. The larger that amount is, the greater your premiums will be.

Additional coverage options such as spouse and child riders, accidental death benefits, benefit acceleration and return of premium riders (among others) add additional cost to your premium because they provide greater benefits and risk. Keep in mind, as people are living longer, rates are getting better. Also, if you have lost a significant amount of weight or have quit smoking, you may be elgible for a better rate on life insurance, depending on what your needs are.

If you would like to inquire more about what life insurance would best fit you and your families needs, please call at (888) 565-2212 or email us at . We are now proudly offering excellent Term policies through William Penn!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March is National Umbrella Month!

Did you know that March is National Umbrella Month!
Ok, so National Umbrella Month it's really this umbrella...

But the REAL umbrella I want to talk to you about is the one that covers not just your head, but your home, your family, your cars, your business, your rental properties, your kids friends that you carpool, your motorcycle, your boat, your ATV and much more. I know what you are thinking...1. ) that's a BIG umbrella, and 2.) that must cost a lot. But did you know, that for less than $0.50 a day, you could buy $1,000,000 in extra liability to cover all of these things? Who says you can't buy a million dollars today? Not me!Here are some answers to questions many of you have asked about why they should purchase an umbrella policy. (Also, make sure you check out the end for a special offer until the end of this month just for getting a quote on an umbrella policy!)

Q. Wouldn't I be covered under my homeowners policy if I am sued by someone who was seriously injured on my property?
A. Yes, your homeowners policy will protect you, but only up to the liability limits of your policy and, then again, only if the injury did not involve molestation, physical or mental abuse or corporal punishment. In today’s lawsuit-oriented society, your homeowners policy may not provide adequate liability coverage in the event you are involved in a significant lawsuit.

Did you know that you didn't even have to be home for someone to sue you? Someone can just be walking across your property, trip and fall and get injured and you could be found liable.

Q. What about my car insurance, wouldn't that protect me?
A. Yes, Similar to your home policy, your auto policy provides coverage in the event of a vehicle-related lawsuit, but only up to the limits of the policy.

Did you also know that you don't just have to have a teenager to be exposed in a car claim. If you carpool or carpool your kids friends to afterschool events and get in an accident, you may not have enough coverage.

Q. Ok, I get that, but what would happen if I was held liable for a settlement that exceeded the limits of my insurance coverage?
A. You would be held personally responsible for paying any portion of the settlement that your insurance company did not pay. Your present assets—your home, your savings account, your car and any other assets you might have—as well as your future earnings could be taken from you to pay the settlement. They can also garnish up to 25% of your current wages.

*** Take the test: Do you need an umbrella policy?
1.) Do you have a car?
2.) Do you own your home?
3.) Do you own a business or rental properties?
4.) Do you have teenage drivers in your household?
5.) Do you drive your kid's friends to and from events or other activities?
6.) Do you volunteer?
7.) Do you have a motorcycle, boat, camper or other specialty vehicles?

If you answered "YES" to more than two of these, you may need an umbrella policy to protect you, your family, and your assets.

Find out if you qualify by calling our umbrella specialist today. 888-565-2212 or go online at Bryan Agency. The price for protection and peace of mind is more affordable than you think!

**Also, for everyone who gets a quote on an umbrella policy for this month, will receive a complimentary umbrella (yes, the umbrella that protects you from the rain!) Call or go online to get a quote today!

You can also the test on facebook!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How Much Life Insurance Should I Have?

The answer to the question, “How much life insurance should I take out?” is often met with the seemingly counter-productive question, “How much life insurance do you need?” This is not because life agents wish to be difficult or mysterious but because this question is not one they can answer for you but one you must answer for yourself.

Uses of a Life Insurance Death Benefit
Life insurance is the only type of insurance policy that you can use to create a lifestyle for your heirs after you pass on. This makes it an extremely individual product. Instead of deciding what the value of an object is and then insuring said object for that amount, with life insurance you must decide how powerfully you want your death benefit to affect the lives of your beneficiaries and assign a value to that power and legacy creation.

The first step toward deciding how much life insurance you need is to really understand what your beneficiaries can use the death benefit for. These uses include:
- Paying off debt
- Saving for retirement
- Supplementing an income
- Replacing your income
- College tuition
- Starting a business

Considering Your Situation

When you look at the above list of possible uses for a life insurance death benefit there are probably some that immediately appeal to you and others that don’t. Those that do are based on your lifestyle, your family and the people that you have chosen to receive your death benefit.

When you are deciding how much life insurance to take out, write down all the things you want your death benefit to be used for and then estimate the amount of money that goal or use would take.

For instance, let’s say you want your beneficiaries to be able to use your death benefit to pay off your home and car, replace your salary for 3 years and pay the college tuition expenses for your child. Write down each of these uses and the amount of money each requires. The final amount that you get is a good reflection of the actual death benefit you probably want to purchase.

Adding in a Dash of Budget

Now that you have the amount of life insurance you’d like to have, it’s time to deal with your budget. Using the death benefit amount you have chosen, ask your agent to give you a quote for both term insurance and permanent insurance. Compare prices and see if you can afford one type of coverage with your actual desired death benefit. If not, then consider shaving off a little here and there until you reach an amount that gives you a premium you can afford.

And that’s it—you’ve created an individual life insurance policy with a death benefit that reaches as far as you want it to and a premium you can sustain.

If you would like more information or a quote on life insurance, please call us at (845) 565-2200 or visit us online to get a Life Insurance Quote

Also, visit us online for a free Life Insurance Calculator

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Life Changes...So Should Your Insurance. When to Review your coverages.

Insurance is a static product—but it shouldn’t necessarily be. Your insurance plan should be dynamic and should respond to the changes that you go through over the course of your life. But the only way for your insurance policies to be dynamic is for you to review them regularly so that you can ensure that they keep up with the pace of your life. Here are six different life events that should prompt you to review your insurance coverage and come up with a more fitting plan.

College graduation: When you graduate college, you might not have much more than an auto insurance policy. But this is the time to consider life insurance and, if you move into your own apartment, a renter’s insurance policy. After college you will probably have a lot of debt to deal with. A life insurance policy will ensure that your family isn’t responsible for the debt that you leave behind. Renter’s insurance will protect your contents from possible damage and will protect you from liabilities if anyone is hurt in your home, because the last thing a new college graduate needs is a lawsuit form someone who is injured in their apartment or the expense of replacing items damaged during an insurable incident.

Getting married: As a Newlywed you face the challenge of adjusting to the idea you are now, and will be, part of united partnership. You are no longer a single individual trying to make your way through the financial pitfalls of life. You must now consider joint expenses, joint financial responsibilities and a joint future. You may need to increase your life insurance death benefit while changing your primary beneficiary, talk about changing the limits and deductibles on any renters or homeowners insurance policies since living together could double the value of your personal contents, add your spouse as a driver to your auto insurance policy and consider an umbrella policy to fill any liability gaps you might have.

Having a baby:
With a new baby on board, your life is going to change completely—and so are your insurance policies. This is a good time for you and your spouse to increase your life insurance death benefits, adjust your contingent beneficiaries to whomever will get custody of your child should you both pass away, increase the limits on your homeowners or renters insurance and even consider reducing your deductibles so that you have fewer out-of-pocket expenses to worry about. You also should consider adding a life insurance policy for your child so that you can lock in rates that they will still be able to pay once they have children of their own.

Moving: When you move to a new home or apartment, you must consider the new area you live in and any additional risks it might bring. You must also think about any new furnishings you will be adding to your new residence and the possible increase in insurance limits they might require. Lastly, consider any new debt you’ve taken on in the move and adjust your life insurance policy to account for that.

Changing careers: If you change careers, you might have a longer drive to work which could require an adjustment to your auto insurance policy. In addition, if your income has increased along with the change, then you will need more life insurance coverage. If your new career involves working from home or for yourself, then you have new liability issues that your homeowners insurance policy will not cover, so you need to make the proper adjustments there as well.

Divorce: The ending of any relationship is sad and requires a lot of lifestyle and emotional adjustments. But it also requires some adjustment to your insurance policies. You might need more life insurance coverage depending on how much debt you are left with after the divorce and depending on your future childcare needs. You also need to adjust your life insurance beneficiary information. Your homeowners or renters insurance may need some changes in deductibles and limits and you might want to consider adjusting your auto insurance coverage especially if the divorce results in your driving more to see your children, driving further to work or simply being forced to drive around more often during the course of the day.

While these examples all give you a starting place for determining when you might need to update your insurance policies, they certainly don’t represent every change you could encounter that will result in the need for an updated insurance policy. At a minimum, make sure you review all policies annually to catch any other changes that need to be made along the way.

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