Does Your Car Insurance Cover Everything Important?

It is important that you do take good care of your car. After all, possibly like most people, it would be one of the most expensive investments you might ever have spent on. To protect you and your car as well for any other excess expenses due to accidents or other untoward incidents, vehicle insurance could do just the trick. However, keep in mind that to actually purchase insurance for your car would also mean that you would have to spend a considerable amount.

Vehicle insurance, or car insurance or auto insurance or whatever term you may want to call it, is mainly used to provide protection against losses that could be incurred as a result of being part of traffic accidents. You see, accidents could lead to huge damages which equate to huge expenses as well. Vehicle insurance covers that so that you would not have to shell out any more money. In fact, there are even some insurance companies whose coverage includes you, your car, and even other parties included in the accident.

Of course, you should try choosing the right kind of auto insurance for your car. Remember that the wider and the greater the range of coverage also means that you would have to spend more. If you have a limited amount of finances, you can try to simply ask around and inquire about auto insurance quotes. Also inquire about the areas covered. Try to find out also if you have the option to include or not to include certain areas.

Bodily injury liability insurance covers the other party’s medical bills if you actually hurt someone in an accident that was purely your fault. If you have property damage liability as part of your auto insurance, you would not have to worry much if you drive your car into another car or into a streetlight or bus stop.

Does My Child Need Life Insurance Coverage?

Whether or not a child needs life insurance coverage is a widely argued debate. If you examine the following information and feel that you are in a position that would benefit from life insurance being placed on your child, then this would be the best decision for you. Some people are not in a situation that would be helped by their child having life insurance. The conclusion to this debate will vary from person to person and you will only be able to get to the appropriate answer for your situation by thinking about the main points of such coverage.

Many people argue that children do not need life insurance. Being as the mortality rate for children is much lower than that of adults, some people feel that such coverage is an unnecessary economic drain on a family. On top of that, insurance is given out to individuals who have something to lose in the event of the untimely death of the individual insured. Adults often provide for their family. While children are beloved and indispensable on an emotional and mental level, they very rarely offer their family financial or monetary stability. As such, it is unlikely that, from a financial standpoint, individuals would have something to lose from the death of a child.

On the other side of the argument, some people feel that having a life insurance policy on a child is a good thing to put in place since it is never too soon to get life insurance coverage. Everyone dies, and these people will be prepared from a fiscal standpoint. As a person gets older, their life insurance premiums almost always increase over time. This is because individuals often open themselves up more to either short-term or long-term life-threatening practices, such as smoking, drinking, driving vehicles including motorcycles and the like. Children are still fairly innocent and limited in their exposure. Children can get some of the lowest insurance premiums offered by life insurance companies. In addition, many life insurance companies that offer coverage for children will keep the premiums the same, no matter how old the child eventually gets. There is definitely an advantage for individuals who have their insurance premiums set when they are three years old as opposed to fifty years old.

For the most part, a family’s financial situation will help them to determine which decision might be best for them. If a family has the extra money needed to pay for such a policy, it might be good for the child when it comes to the long-term experiences of their life. Specifically, it would be great for the child when it gets to the point that they would eventually need to file for life insurance coverage. However, if a family does not have the money needed for such a venture, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Most families do not need the policy coverage that the child’s policy would offer. The benefits are often established and developed later, when the child needs to take over such payments and they find out they will be paying a lot less compared to other people their age who are just now taking out life insurance policies.

Do You Understand Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance?

Sadly not many people do truly understand mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI), yet each year many buy it alongside their mortgage thinking that it will provide them with the income needed to keep the roof over their head if they should come out of work. While in most cases it can do this there are certain exclusions which mean it you could be ineligible to claim. Unless you know about these and have checked them in the small print to make sure your circumstances would permit you to make a claim, then your cover could be nothing more than a waste of money.

Mortgage payment protection insurance can work but it is essential that you understand what you are buying and what a policy can and cannot do. Typical reasons which could mean you would be ineligible to claim include if you are only working part time, are of retirement age, self-employed or if you have a pre-existing medical condition at the time of taking out the policy. Policies differ and while these are the most common you can find others listed in the small print of the policy so it is essential to read them from top to bottom.

If a policy is suited to your circumstances then it would begin to give you the tax free sum you agreed upon at the time of getting your quote, which was based on your age and amount needed each month to make sure that you can carry on servicing your mortgage repayments. You do have to be out of work for a set period of time before the policy kicks in and again this can vary with providers but is usually anywhere between the 31st day and the 90th of being out of work. Once the policy has kicked in then it would continue to pay out for between 12 and 24 months, which means that you have plenty of time to recover and get back to work without the added worry of finding the mortgage money each month.

Some of the biggest problems with mortgage payment protection insurance cover have been the lack of information regarding the exclusions, how much the cover costs in total over the term of the mortgage and the high cost of the premiums. High street lenders charge way over the odds for the cover and this can add hundreds more onto the cost of the mortgage than it should if you had gone with a specialist provider. Besides saving you a great deal on the premiums each month and total amount you pay for the cover, the standalone provider will give you all the information you need to ensure that a policy is suitable for your needs before you buy, this means you are able to make an informed decision regarding the suitability of the policy before you buy.

One of the biggest changes to come out of the investigation by the Financial Services Authority which started in 2005 after a super complaint was made to the Office of Fair Trading by the Citizens Advice, is the planned introduction of comparison charts in March 2008. The charts will allow the consumer to make an informed decision after answering a set of questions in relation to policies, along with this it will show how much the cover will cost and also highlight the fact that there are exclusions, something which at the moment is clearly lacking.

Mortgage payment protection insurance has to be understood and right now the only place where you can get the information needed to determine if a policy is suited to your needs is to go with an ethical specialist in payment protection.

Do You Really Need Disaster Insurance?

The expenses involved with owning a home can be overwhelming at times – routine maintenance, repairs, seasonal preparations, improvements. Not to mention taxes, fees, and all those monthly bills. Some homeowners, in trying to reduce their expenses, wonder if they really need disaster insurance.

Disaster insurance is typically defined as additional homeowner’s insurance to cover events like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods. Home insurance policies typically cover hurricanes and tornadoes (review your policy to be certain in covers damage from such events). But often damage from floods and earthquakes isn’t covered. This extra insurance, if desired, must be purchased in addition to your standard homeowner policy, and it can be expensive, depending on where you live.

Because disaster insurance can be expensive, it’s a type of coverage some homeowners opt not to buy. But in some cases they are required to buy. For example, mortgaged homes in the US that are located in designated flood hazard areas are required to buy flood insurance through the US National Flood Insurance Program. Of course, once those mortgages are paid, there is no longer a requirement to buy such insurance. But homeowners in those areas should carefully consider whether they really want to take the risk that their home and everything in it could be swept away, leaving them with nothing but an empty lot. Homeowners that aren’t in designated flood hazard areas should still know that floods can cause plumbing problems, like sewer and septic backups. These often aren’t covered in a standard homeowner’s policy, and they may want to consider an endorsement for coverage.

In the US, many tend to think that only the area along the west coast is subject to earthquakes. This isn’t true however, and 39 US states have some potential for earthquakes. Coverage for seismic events can be very expensive in California and other western states, but homeowners in other states should evaluate the cost vs. the earthquake risk for the area where they live.

Do You Need Rental Insurance?

Many renters don’t stop to think about what happens if there is a fire, someone breaks in and steals their new TV or stereo, or a visitor slips and falls on their property. The sad truth is; you will be responsible! While your landlord has

insurance that covers the actual building, that coverage does not include your personal property or liability for injuries which occur in the space you rent ~ be it an apartment or a house and yard.

If a fire should destroy or damage your home, your landlord’s insurance will cover the structure. It won’t cover damage or loss of your belongings. Neither will it provide for the cost of temporary housing for you and your family.

You may think you don’t own enough personal property to make the cost of insurance worthwhile. You’re probably wrong! If you sit down and add up the cost of everything you own, you may be in for a big surprise. Consider what you have invested in such things as:

Furniture and accessories

Electronics like TV, stereo, computers

Small appliances like microwaves, toaster ovens, etc.

Clothing

Art work like paintings or prints

Dishes, silverware and cookware

Sporting equipment

Books

Jewelry

Could you afford to replace all of these things?

Even worse, what would you do if a friend is injured on your property and decides to sue you for medical costs and more? It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

Are you beginning to see why rental insurance may be a very wise investment?

The cost of rental insurance is based on several factors:

The dollar amount of your coverage

Deductibles

Whether you choose to be reimbursed for Actual Cash Value or Replacement Costs (more about that in a minute)

Where your rental property is located and the number of previous claims made, not only by you, but by others living in the same area.

Let me explain the difference between Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Replacement Costs. ACV is the value of your property at the time a loss takes place. For example, if your television set is five years old, it’s valued at much less than if it were brand new. The lesser amount is what you are reimbursed.

However, if you opt for Replacement Cost, you’re paid whatever it costs to go out and buy a new TV with similar features. Insuring for replacement cost raises the amount of your premium so it’s a good idea to get quotes for both ACV and Replacement Cost policies. Then you can decide which option fits your needs and budget.

Another thing to keep in mind is that jewelry, valuable collections, and guns are usually covered under a separate policy or “rider”. If you own these kinds of items, be sure to tell your insurance agent. You don’t want to find out after disaster strikes that they aren’t covered or that they aren’t covered for their true value.

One way you can reduce the cost of your rental insurance is to check with whichever company insures your car. If they provide rental insurance you may be eligible for a multi-line discount.

Rental insurance may be worth the investment just for the peace of mind it offers you.

Do You Need Life Insurance

It can be very difficult to decide if you need life insurance. Life insurance can be an extremely onerous financial commitment and investment, and it will also last for a considerable period of time, so you should take careful consideration in deciding if it is the best way of achieving the financial and other goals you and your loved ones may have.

Life Insurance Policy

Basically, a life insurance policy will cause a sum to be paid to the named beneficiary upon the death of the insured. This sum will generally be paid to the beneficiary, free of income tax. So in which instances is life insurance generally used above its alternatives? Well its primary function is to provide death benefit protection in a tax efficient way. For example, if you would like to transfer wealth from your estate to your beneficiaries you can do it through life insurance.

You should now that it may still be liable to federal estate taxes. It can also be used to ensure the continuation or protection of a business and to provide financial benefits to your partners or employees who may otherwise be at risk financially. It may also be used to support your family or other dependents that rely on your income during life. It can replace this income and support them in your place for a period. It can also be used to supplement retirement income in various instances when other contributions are not possible.

Be Aware

You can access the money in your policy unless it is a Modified Endowment Contract. What’s more, it will be federal income tax free so long as you make the withdrawal by borrowing against the policy and do not exceed what you have paid into the policy. Withdrawals from an MEC are subject to federal income tax on the gains they have made. There is an additional 10% tax in certain situations.

You should be aware that all withdrawals and loans against a permanent life insurance policy would reduce the policy’s value and the amount of any pay out upon death of the insured. There may also be various fees and penalties associated with accessing the money early so you should be aware of these and if they are very onerous, you may wish to look for an alternative source of funds so that you don’t have to fall prey to these. Also, if your policy is invested on your behalf, the amount available for withdrawal or loans may be less or more than what you have paid in, depending on how your investments perform.

Do You Need Identity Theft Insurance? And What Is It Anyway?

With the serious nature of identity theft, many people are turning to identity theft insurance as a method of protecting themselves from the ramifications resulting from this crime. But what exactly is identity theft insurance? Do I really need it and how much will it cost me?

Identity theft insurance coverage varies in coverage, deductible and costs, just like many other forms of insurance. In most cases identity theft insurance will cover lost wages due to time taken off work to correct or repair damages due to identity theft. However, this coverage often carries a limit, in the approximate amount of $2,000.00. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse estimates that victims spend on the average the equivalent of 22 work days trying to correct the damage from identity theft.

Identity theft insurance usually also provided benefits coverage for: attorney fees (which may or may not be necessary); notarization of documents, mailing, postage, supplies, copy costs, and phone bill charges which you may incur in an effort to correct the damage done to your credit and financial reputation.

Critics of identity theft insurance claim that it is “not worth the money,” (Consumer Reports magazine, as reported on MSNBC.com) or that it does not provide enough benefits. The concerns include: identity theft insurance does not provide reimbursement for money that is stolen or for identity theft expenses that occurred because of who the “thief” was. Most commonly a family member is the culprit in the case of identity theft and in that instance most insurance does not pay benefits. A word of caution by The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is that insurance “cannot protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft and does not cover direct monetary losses incurred as a result of identity theft.” Although, an unfair criticism, some conclude that the purchase of identity theft insurance may create a false sense of security, thus consumers may not be as careful with their credit and financial information.

The cost of identity theft insurance cost varies on both the coverage and how you obtain your insurance. Identity theft insurance can range from free to approximately $200.00 a year depending on how you have purchased it. There are three main ways to obtain identity theft insurance:

- As a provision in your homeowners or rental property insurance

- As a service of your credit card company, bank or lender

- By purchasing it as an individual-”stand alone” policy

The first step in obtaining identity theft insurance is to contact your banks, credit cards, lenders and insurance providers. Determine what coverage you have, how much it will costs to add additional coverage or to add identity theft to an existing policy and get details of the existing provision if it exist. You may need to purchase it as a “rider’ or extra to your existing policy much like purchasing flood or earthquake insurance but not as expensive.

In some cases credit lender; such as the credit card company, mortgage or other loan provider, provide identity theft insurance. This coverage may be free or it may require a yearly service fee through the lender. For example, American Express provides some form of identity theft insurance to its card holders free of charge; MasterCard offers it through the specific banking partners and VISA may do a combination of both options. One word of caution, make sure that the identity theft insurance covers all your existing credit, not just the one card associated with the coverage. If it only covers one card, that what happens to the remainder of your credit?

One other option is to purchase your own “stand alone” policy through most of the major insurance providers such as Nationwide, State Farm, and/or Farmers Group. If you are not using a “major” player in the insurance field be sure that the company you are purchasing from is reputable. Sometimes these are the most dangers purchases of all as they may be an effort to gain your credit information for the sole purpose of identity theft. If your insurance provider bills this coverage monthly, be sure to multiply the monthly cost by 12 to determine the yearly costs. Most importantly make sure to keep your coverage current.

Another consideration when utilizing identity theft insurance is the level of deductible. Generally the range from $100 to $250, but some may be as high as $1,000. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that the average victim spends less than $1,500 to recover from identity theft so it important to do the math and determine if your insurance premium plus deductible is a good value as well as provides the right level of protection for you and your family.

Nothing can protect you completely. It is important to follow all the basic rules for protecting your credit, identity, and financial information like: keeping your personal and credit information in a safe place, not releasing the information to others and shredding all documents. But it is also good to know that you can also have for free or purchase additional assistance in the form of coverage and monetary support during one of the most difficult financial times in your life.

Finding out about damages to your identity and credit is just the beginning. After that begins the time consuming and often frustrating process of repairing the damage and correcting the mistakes. Identity theft insurance may be your choice to help you through this expensive and frustrating task. Make sure you know what options and coverage are available to you.

Do You Need Health Or Travel Insurance?

Obtaining medical treatment and hospital care can be costly for travelers who are injured or who become seriously ill overseas. The Social Security Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical services outside the United States.

Before you leave the United States, you should be informed about which medical services your health insurance will cover abroad.

Senior citizens may wish to contact the American Association of Retired Persons for information about foreign medical care coverage with Medicare supplement plans.

If your health insurance policy does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs abroad, you are urged to purchase a temporary health policy that does provide this type of coverage. There are short-term health and emergency assistance policies designed for travelers.

You can find the names of companies that provide such policies from your travel agent, your health insurance company, or from advertisements in travel publications. In addition to health insurance, many policies include trip cancellation, baggage loss, and travel accident insurance in the same package. Some traveler’s check companies have protection policies available with the purchase of traveler’s checks.

Medical Evacuation

Although some health insurance companies may pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for medical evacuation back to the United States. Medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000 or more, depending on your location and medical condition.

One of the main advantages of health and emergency assistance policies is that they often include coverage for medical evacuation to the United States. Even if your regular health insurance covers you for emergencies abroad, you should consider purchasing supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Whichever health insurance coverage you choose for travel overseas, remember to carry with you both your health insurance policy identity card and claim forms.

Do You Need Travel Insurance?

You may not need travel insurance, if you are already adequately covered by other insurance policies.

Depending on the travel insurance plan, travel insurance usually promises to cover you for cancellation or interruption of your trip, some form of emergency medical care while you are traveling, lost or stolen luggage, and various other troublesome occurrences.

Before you decide on a travel insurance plan, it is wise to investigate the plan carefully and read the fine print. You should closely check any agreements with your travel agent, tour operator, airline, or other companies involved with your travel plans. The agreements may include written guarantees.

If you have a fully refundable airline ticket, you may decide that you would not need trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

On the other hand, it may be worthwhile noting that certain insurance plans can protect you by covering the financial costs in case of the following situations:

A sudden, serious injury or illness to you, a family member, or a traveling companion.

Financial default of the airline, cruise line or tour operator.

Natural disasters or strikes that impede travel services.

A terrorist incident in a foreign city within 10 days of your scheduled arrival in that particular city.

The fact that you, a traveling member of your family, or a traveling companion were quarantined served with a court order or required to serve on a jury.

A circumstance in which you were directly involved in an accident enroute to departure for your trip.

It is a good idea to check your other insurance policies. For instance, your homeowners or tenants insurance may cover the loss or theft of your luggage.

Certain credit cards may also provide additional travel insurance, if you have used them to purchase the ticket for your trip.

Your health insurance may provide certain coverage, regardless of where you travel. But it is very important to note that some policies only partially cover medical expenses abroad. Moreover, as previously explained in the section on Health Insurance, Medicare/Medicaid will not cover hospital and medical services outside the United States.

Your travel agent should be able to advise you about the right plan for you. Before purchasing travel insurance, review the plan carefully, and be wary of buying coverage that you may already have.

Do You Need Credit or Insurance?

Ever wonder how a lender decides whether to grant you credit? For years, creditors have been using credit scoring systems to determine if you’d be a good risk for credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages. These days, many more types of businesses – including insurance companies and phone companies – are using credit scores to decide whether to approve you for a loan or service and on what terms. Auto and homeowners insurance companies are among the businesses that are using credit scores to help decide if you’d be a good risk for insurance. A higher credit score means you are likely less of a risk, and in turn, means you will be more likely to get credit or insurance – or pay less for it.

What is credit scoring?

Credit scoring is a system creditors use to help determine whether to give you credit. It also may be used to help decide the terms you are offered or the rate you will pay for the loan.

Information about you and your credit experiences, like your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, whether you pay your bills by the date they’re due, collection actions, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts, is collected from your credit report. Using a statistical program, creditors compare this information to the loan repayment history of consumers with similar profiles. For example, a credit scoring system awards points for each factor that helps predict who is most likely to repay a debt. A total number of points – a credit score – helps predict how creditworthy you are – how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments when they’re due.

Some insurance companies also use credit report information, along with other factors, to help predict your likelihood of filing an insurance claim and the amount of the claim. They may consider these factors when they decide whether to grant you insurance and the amount of the premium they charge. The credit scores insurance companies use sometimes are called “insurance scores” or “credit-based insurance scores.”

Credit scores and credit reports

Your credit report is a key part of many credit scoring systems. That’s why it is critical to make sure your credit report is accurate. Federal law gives you the right to get a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three national consumer reporting companies once every 12 months.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) also gives you the right to get your credit score from the national consumer reporting companies. They are allowed to charge a reasonable fee, generally around $8, for the score. When you buy your score, often you get information on how you can improve it.

To order your free annual report from one or all the national consumer reporting companies, and to purchase your credit score, call toll-free 877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

How is a credit scoring system developed?

To develop a credit scoring system or model, a creditor or insurance company selects a random sample of its customers, or a sample of similar customers, and analyzes it statistically to identify characteristics that relate to risk. Each of the characteristics then is assigned a weight based on how strong a predictor it is of who would be a good risk. Each company may use its own scoring model, different scoring models for different types of credit or insurance, or a generic model developed by a scoring company.

Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), a creditor’s scoring system may not use certain characteristics – for example, race, sex, marital status, national origin, or religion – as factors. The law allows creditors to use age in properly designed scoring systems. But any credit scoring system that includes age must give equal treatment to elderly applicants.

What can I do to improve my score?

Credit scoring systems are complex and vary among creditors or insurance companies and for different types of credit or insurance. If one factor changes, your score may change – but improvement generally depends on how that factor relates to others the system considers. Only the business using the scoring knows what might improve your score under the particular model they use to evaluate your application.

Nevertheless, scoring models usually consider the following types of information in your credit report to help compute your credit score:

Have you paid your bills on time? You can count on payment history to be a significant factor. If your credit report indicates that you have paid bills late, had an account referred to collections, or declared bankruptcy, it is likely to affect your score negatively.

Are you maxed out? Many scoring systems evaluate the amount of debt you have compared to your credit limits. If the amount you owe is close to your credit limit, it’s likely to have a negative effect on your score.

How long have you had credit? Generally, scoring systems consider the length of your credit track record. An insufficient credit history may affect your score negatively, but factors like timely payments and low balances can offset that.

Have you applied for new credit lately? Many scoring systems consider whether you have applied for credit recently by looking at “inquiries” on your credit report. If you have applied for too many new accounts recently, it could have a negative effect on your score. Every inquiry isn’t counted: for example, inquiries by creditors who are monitoring your account or looking at credit reports to make “prescreened” credit offers are not considered liabilities.

How many credit accounts do you have and what kinds of accounts are they? Although it is generally considered a plus to have established credit accounts, too many credit card accounts may have a negative effect on your score. In addition, many scoring systems consider the type of credit accounts you have. For example, under some scoring models, loans from finance companies may have a negative effect on your credit score.

Scoring models may be based on more than the information in your credit report. When you are applying for a mortgage loan, for example, the system may consider the amount of your down payment, your total debt, and your income, among other things.

Improving your score significantly is likely to take some time, but it can be done. To improve your credit score under most systems, focus on paying your bills in a timely way, paying down any outstanding balances, and staying away from new debt.

Are credit scoring systems reliable?

Credit scoring systems enable creditors or insurance companies to evaluate millions of applicants consistently on many different characteristics. To be statistically valid, these systems must be based on a big enough sample. They generally vary among businesses that use them.

Properly designed, credit scoring systems generally enable faster, more accurate, and more impartial decisions than individual people can make. And some creditors design their systems so that some applicants – those with scores not high enough to pass easily or low enough to fail absolutely – are referred to a credit manager who decides whether the company or lender will extend credit. Referrals can result in discussion and negotiation between the credit manager and the would-be borrower.

What if I am denied credit or insurance, or don’t get the terms I want?

If you are denied credit, the ECOA requires that the creditor give you a notice with the specific reasons your application was rejected or the news that you have the right to learn the reasons if you ask within 60 days. Ask the creditor to be specific: Indefinite and vague reasons for denial are illegal. Acceptable reasons might be “your income was low” or “you haven’t been employed long enough.” Unacceptable reasons include “you didn’t meet our minimum standards” or “you didn’t receive enough points on our credit scoring system.”

Sometimes you can be denied credit or insurance – or initially be charged a higher premium – because of information in your credit report. In that case, the FCRA requires the creditor or insurance company to give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company that supplied the information. Contact the company to find out what your report said. This information is free if you ask for it within 60 days of being turned down for credit or insurance. The consumer reporting company can tell you what’s in your report; only the creditor or insurance company can tell you why your application was denied.

If a creditor or insurance company says you were denied credit or insurance because you are too near your credit limits on your credit cards, you may want to reapply after paying down your balances. Because credit scores are based on credit report information, a score often changes when the information in the credit report changes.

If you’ve been denied credit or insurance or didn’t get the rate or terms you want, ask questions:

Ask the creditor or insurance company if a credit scoring system was used. If it was, ask what characteristics or factors were used in the system, and how you can improve your application.

If you get the credit or insurance, ask the creditor or insurance company whether you are getting the best rate and terms available. If you’re not, ask why.

If you are denied credit or not offered the best rate available because of inaccuracies in your credit report, be sure to dispute the inaccurate information with the consumer reporting company.

Do You Need A Life Insurance Policy?

One question that’s asked by nearly everyone eventually is “should I get a life insurance policy?”.

Life insurance pays out a benefit when the person insured dies during the time that the policy is in force. It can provide the cash needed to pay for burial, pay off mortgages and loans and give your family a financial cushion while they get back on their feet. When you’re young or have little discretionary income, it’s easy to tell yourself that life insurance is just for the well-off, but the truth is that life insurance is far more necessary for those who have no monetary cushion against life’s rougher times.

You should consider life insurance if:

- you have dependents

The moment you are responsible for another person in your life, you need life insurance. Whether it’s your children, a spouse or employees, if someone counts on your ability to earn an income, then life insurance is a necessity.

- you have a mortgage or other detbs

If you have a mortgage, you need life insurance to pay off the remainder of the mortgage if you should die before the mortgage is paid off. If you don’t have some sort of insurance to pay off your mortgage when you die, your heirs will have to deal with the debt.

- you own a business or are a key employee in a business

If you own a business, are partners in a business or are a key employee in a business, a life insurance policy can keep your business afloat while your employees or partners make arrangements to replace you or dissolve the business according to your wishes. If this is your reason for investing in life insurance, it could possibly be charged off as a business expense.

There are several types of life insurance available to you, and the type that’s best for you will depend on a number of factors. If your main concern is to ensure that your family is not saddled with a capital and interest mortgage in case of your death, then decreasing term life may be your most economical option. With decreasing term life, you pay for just the amount of coverage that you need. For example, if you take out a 150,000 capital and interest mortgage on your home, you can protect it with a decreasing term life policy that starts out with a payout of 150,000. That payout will decrease over the years as you pay off the mortgage loan.

Level term life insurance is the next tier of life insurance policy. Like decreasing term life, it pays out a benefit if you die under the terms of the policy – but rather than decreasing as your mortgage is paid off, it remains level. Generally, term life insurance is available in terms from one to forty years, and often comes with a range of options which can extend the policy at an additional cost.

Whichever type of life cover you need, it’s important to know exactly what’s right for your needs and what the various different companies and policies provide. If you are in any doubt about this you should consult an independent financial adviser who can look at your circumstances and match the best policy to your needs.