Monday, 27 April 2015

Lapses in Insurance Coverage

Insurance has been around since people have realized it should be. Yet sometimes, we cannot avoid not paying for our premiums especially when we encounter financial instability. These are called lapses. Westhill Insurance Consulting gives you the outlines of what you should review once you missed paying your premiums.

Grace Period Must Happen Before Lapse

To prevent a life insurance policy from lapsing each and every time a premium payment is slightly late, every state in the country requires that a life insurance policy first go through what is known as a grace period after a payment is missed. This is a period of time (usually 30 days) where despite the missed payment; the insurance policy will still provide coverage and make a full payout if the insured dies.

Only after the grace period has passed without receiving the due premiums can the life insurance company consider the policy to be lapsed. Once a life insurance policy lapses the life insurance company is not under any legal obligation to pay the beneficiaries if an insured person passes away.

Most Policies Can Be Reinstated After Lapsing

After a policy first lapses, the owner may have the option to reinstate the policy. You want to make sure that you reinstate your policy as quickly as possible after a lapse. Different companies have different rules for reinstatement so you shouldn’t file a complaint or burst into frustrations when your insurance company refuses to reinstate your policy as it should already be stated when you were reading the terms before you signed for the coverage.

Importance of Reinstatement Period Lapse

The reinstatement period is very important to policy owners and insured persons for a couple of reasons. The first reason is as discussed, the insured person may not need to go through the underwriting process. If a person has had a major health change, he/she may not necessarily be aware of the change. The underwriting process may uncover more about a person’s health than they ever knew, for better and worse. Avoiding underwriting when possible almost always leads to lower insurance premiums.

The second reason the reinstatement period is very important is that even with the same health rating, a new life insurance policy will always be more expensive than an old policy, because the insured person has aged. The older the insured person, the higher the rates will be, all else being equal. The bottom line is: Reinstating a life insurance policy rather than taking out a new policy will save money.

Reinstatement Will Cost More than One Month Premium

After a policy has lapsed, a larger payment must be made to reinstate the policy. It is in the best interest of a policy holder never to let a policy lapse. Developing cities like Bangkok, Thailand, Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are strict in reinstatement and its cost as personal insurance are rare.



Thursday, 16 April 2015

Insurance in a Divorce

Divorce is one of the most devastating events in one couple’s life. 

While most divorcing couples focus on the delicate and often difficult issues of child custody and dividing assets, breaking up can be hard to do in terms of your insurance policies, too. Whether the policies are in place for protection or as an investment, divorcing spouses need to review them in the context of their new financial circumstances. Westhill Insurance Consulting has listed some matters to be prioritized during this delicate time. 

1.            Life insurance

Your first step should be to check the beneficiaries on your life insurance, whether you have term or permanent policies. People sometimes forget the existence of their life insurance policies, yet often the amount of money involved is higher than their other assets. If you forget to change the beneficiary of your policy and you pass away, your ex-spouse could get the money instead of your new spouse."

Melody Juge, managing director of Life Income Management in Flat Rock, N.C., says splitting spouses should negotiate ownership of life insurance policies as part of the divorce settlement.

"If your spouse has an insurance policy that you're depending on to take care of you and your kids if he dies, you should have (the) ownership changed to yourself instead of your spouse," says Juge. "If not, your spouse could change the beneficiary or simply stop paying the premiums."

2.            Health insurance

Many couples share health insurance under one spouse's employee benefits package; a divorce will require a policy change.

When you work and have previously been covered by your spouse's company, you can generally obtain health insurance through your own employer after a divorce.

Also, the federal law known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, allows a person going through a divorce to stay on a spouse's group policy for a limited time. But you'd have to pay the full premium yourself. Developing cities like Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia are now creating an act similar to COBRA for divorce protection.

3.            Home and car insurance

Liability insurance policies for your home and car are particularly important to maintain during and after a divorce.

Divorcing spouses should immediately notify their insurance companies if an asset such as a car or home changes ownership to avoid filing more complaints and causing more crease.

4.            Long-term care insurance

Hook says long-term care insurance policies are individual insurance policies, so there would not be much impact from a divorce. But some insurance companies offer a discount for covering a married couple, and that would be eliminated after a split.

Premiums for long-term care insurance should be estimated as part of your expenses during the divorce settlement. Hook suggests that divorcing spouses in their 50s who don't have long-term care coverage should be sure to purchase some.