How to Save Money on Long-Term Care Insurance

If you are considering long-term care insurance protection for yourself or a loved one, it’s likely that one of the foremost questions on your mind is “how much will it cost?”

This article is intended to provide some general information and suggest a two ways that you can make this protection far more affordable than you might think.

Take Advantage of Insurer “Sweet Spots”

The sweet spot on a tennis racket or golf club is the location where you get the most power from your stroke. With long-term care insurance, the sweet spot is where you get the most protection for the least cost.

Finding the sweet spot is especially important when you look for long-term care insurance. That’s because your cost is generally set for the life of the policy (though this is not a guarantee). And, because it almost never pays to change policies or insurers down the road. Policy costs are based on your age when you apply and your health.

So, you want the best cost for the best protection from the get-go.

Each insurer sets their own rates based on the type of clients they seek to attract. The company with the lowest cost for a 55-year-old married couple, may not be the least expensive for a 55-year-old single individual or, for that matter, a 64-year-old married couple. For example, a recent comparison of rates from four insurers (Genworth, John Hancock, New York Life and Northwestern Mutual) for a 55-year-old found that virtually-identical coverage from Northwestern would cost almost $1,000 a year more.

There are two kinds of insurance professionals who offer long-term care insurance. Agents generally represent only one company (which may indeed have the best offering). Brokers typically are independent and can represent multiple carriers. They can shop the market.

An important question to ask whoever you contant is whether they will be comparing policies and how many they are looking at before recommending a solution.

Your Good Health Today Can Save You 10% to 20% Each Year

Drivers without accidents and tickets pay less for their auto insurance. Individuals with few or no current health conditions pay less for their long-term care insurance. Insurers generally offer a 10% deduction.

And, best of all, this good health (some call it preferred health) discount is locked in. That means, you don’t lose the savings when your health changes. And, as you get older, it will change.

A study conducted by the long-term care insurance industry’s trade organization in 2008 revealed the percentage of applicants who qualify for good health discounts. It’s clearly to your benefit to start the process at younger ages, certainly while in your 50s.

Percentage of Applicants Who Qualify for Good Health Discount

Age of Applicant Average Who Qualify

Under 30 63.2%

30 to 39 66.3%

40 to 49 66.8%

50 to 59 51.5%

60 to 69 42.2%

70 to 79 24.2%

80 and Over 12.9%

Bottom line, an educated consumer always has an advantage when buying any financial product. Long-term care insurance is offered by between 40,000 and 50,000 insurance agents, financial planners and stock brokers. They should be willing to provide cost comparisons and explain ways you can save without any obligation. After all, it’s in your best interest … and theirs.

To find a comprehensive online directory of over 3,000 insurance professionals who can assist with your long-term care insurance needs, visit the Consumer Information Center of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Houseboat and Yacht Insurance – What It Actually Includes

The insurance world categorizes both houseboats and yachts in a similar class. It is because of this that coverage pricing as well as insuring conditions are much the same. The key difference between houseboats and yachts are the following factors: the houseboat’s production makes it more challenging to ride the waters and it is not as capable to navigate the rough sea as the yacht.

Houseboat and its counterpart yacht insurance coverage is centered around the boatman’s navigational past experience, the boats use, the season in which it is being on the waters and the parallel insurance rates that match the navigational area it is being used in.

In general, after relevant insurance deductibles are paid, this form of insurance covers various things.

Hull Coverage

This insurance deals with the actual physical damage that the body of the boat incurs, incorporating the ship trailers, equipment, and motor and watercraft fittings. Hull coverage does not cover the following exclusions:

• Wear and tear of the boat

• Anything on the boat that is damaged as a result of a deficiency in maintenance

Personal Effects Coverage

This insurance covers the boater’s personal effects. Things like apparel, cell phones, I-pods, sports and fishing equipment and so on are protected under this type of policy.

Liability Coverage

The same way car insurance includes liability that covers an at-fault accident, liability coverage for the houseboat and yacht protects against an at-fault boat accident. This coverage pays for boat repairing or boat replacement as a result of a boat collision that is your fault. It also covers medical care, lost wages and any other costs that come up as a result of an accident that you are responsible for.

Medical Payments Coverage

The Medical Payments coverage takes care of any medical care costs that arise due to a boat accident. Included in the coverage are: the insured, boat passengers, and water skiers. The good thing about this form of coverage is that it protects, regardless of who it is that is at fault for the accident.

Uninsured Boaters Coverage

We all know that auto insurance is obligatory. In the case of boat insurance, however, there is no legal obligation to carry related coverage. In the event, you are involved in a boat accident where the other party is at fault but is uninsured or underinsured, the uninsured boaters coverage protects you by paying for medical care and lost wages, as well as other expenditures caused by the collision.

Why You Should Report a Minor Accident to Your Insurance Company

It happens frequently: after a car accident with no injuries and negligible damage, the involved drivers agree upon a settlement without involving their respective insurance companies and minus the official police report. Unfortunately, too many times this arrangement just does not end well.

According to the experts, the only way that you can be assured that you will get compensated for the damages is to file an insurance claim.

Take the following incident for a prime example of the above.

I was minding my own business as I drove down the quiet, rural street where my home is located. Suddenly, I felt the force of a crash as another vehicle collided into me from behind. I exited my car to view the damage. To my surprise, the other driver – the one who had caused the accident – was my good friend and neighbor.

“Sorry,” said John with a sheepish smile.

“Don’t worry about the damage, I’ll take care of it personally. Let’s not involve the police or the insurance companies. This way, there’s no risk of an insurance premium increase, as often occurs after making a claim.”

At the time, it didn’t occur to me that there would be any problem with this arrangement. After all, John and I were friends, neighbors that met on a regular basis.

“Sure,” I responded. “If that’s the way it works best for you, I’ll go along with it.”

Well, the story did not end on a happy note. I got the back fender fixed and sent my receipt to John, with no thought that there would be anything to worry about.

I was wrong.

It’s been 60 days since the accident, and I have yet to receive recompense from John who has no shortage of excuses and promises that the payment is coming…

The above scenario repeats itself time and time again after minor collisions.

Drivers, beware!

Even if the other driver is your friend, neighbor or a trusted acquaintance, there is never 100 percent assurance that you will see payment for the damages he or she caused.

In an instance where the liable driver does not honor his or her monetary commitment, time has elapsed and it may be too late to offer adequate substantiation in regard to damages and who is at fault

Besides, the liable driver may betray your trust and report the accident to his or her insurance carrier. He or she may go even further with the betrayal by twisting facts and actually lying about injury claims that never were present at the time of the accident. If this occurs, your insurance company may have to ship out a large payment. It may also initiate a lawsuit against you, as well as forcing you to pay the remainder of what the courts deem your obligation after your insurance company has reached the limits of your policy’s coverage. Lastly, you will be in for an unpleasant premium increase.