3 Things 3-28

03/28/2022 Although MAS is a financial services company, not everything published herein will be about numbers or investing. But no matter the topic, we hope for three things: 1) That you find the time you spend engaged worthwhile. 2) That you’ll reach out to us for help in any of our areas of expertise if something we discuss creates an urging in you to do so. 3) That you’ll share this with somebody new each time you read it. Thing One Tips For Researching An Insurance Company We’ve said often in this newsletter that it would be in your best interest to shop your property and casualty insurance periodically. Below is a checklist that can be used to shop methodically. We discovered this list at addvisorinsurceagency.com: ........................... #1: Check the insurance company’s financial strength You can look up any insurance company using A.M. Best, which requires a free membership login to access the information. This will give you the insurance carrier’s industry rating based on its size and give you an idea of the company’s financial health. Keep in mind that the biggest company isn’t always the best company. Understand a company’s payability and financial strength. #2: Check for proper state licensing, claims, and complaints Check with the (DOI) website in your state to verify whether or not the company is licensed. This is just another way to check the validity of the company and how long they’ve been in business. You can also check the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) or JD Power and Associates for any complaints that might have been made against the company, as well as their claims payments history, and overall customer satisfaction in communication and service. #3: Consider a company’s claims process Check with JD Power and Associates for overall customer satisfaction in a company’s claims process. But also contact the company and ask them the process for filing claims and the steps involved in resolving a claim. Don’t be afraid to ask how they manage a claim and how they arrive at an award for a claim. It may be a lengthy and tedious process, but if you have complex coverage needs for your unique situation, these questions will help you choose which carrier will ultimately help you at the time of need. #4: Work with an independent agent who has relatable experiences with various carriers When you work with a captive agent (an agent who works for an insurance company), you’ll only get the perspective of one company. A good insurance advisor is one who openly looks out for your best interest and uses their experience and their knowledge of their relationships with various companies to help guide you through the decision-making process. Keep in mind that big insurance carriers who offer a big, strong brand, don’t necessarily mean they are the best insurance carrier for your unique needs. -Then again, they may very well be the best. The point is, go the extra mile and do your due diligence to find the policy that works for you, and don’t hesitate to discuss your specific needs with your independent insurance agent who can help you weed out what’s absolutely necessary to fit your lifestyle, budget, or business needs. ........................ Be sure to pay special attention to tip number four. That’s where we can be of service.

Thing Two Should You Buy Critical Illness Insurance? Life and health insurance agents will often pitch you on the idea of buying critical illness insurance by telling you about the high incidence of bankruptcies in the country attributable to medical catastrophes. Some reporting has the number of bankruptcies with that root cause as high as 70% but that assertion has been challenged by other sources that point out that no single element can be pinpointed in many of the bankruptcy cases studied. In any event, it may still make sense to at least consider critical a critical illness policy. The following is taken from forresters.com on the subject: ............... “…It's easy to think it'll never happen to you. But every week, thousands of Canadians experience a medical event that changes the course of their lives. Critical illness insurance may provide a lump-sum payment if you are diagnosed with a serious illness that is covered in the policy. You may choose to use the benefit to:

  • Cover immediate living expenses

  • Replace lost income

  • Pay for medical treatments or other expenses related to your recovery

Critical illness insurance lets you focus on recovery instead of worrying about finances…” ................... The last three bullet points should figure prominently in your decision-making process. Many people who are asked about buying critical illness coverage rightly argue that their health insurance will cover them, minus the deductible and within the policy's lifetime limits, and they are right. Their health insurance will cover their medical bills. But it won’t cover mortgage payments or buy groceries, or pay utility bills, etc., in the event they are forced to miss work while dealing with the illness. Critical illness plans provide lump sums that can be used to cover all of that and more. That said, they have many limitations. If you decide to buy one, make sure you understand clearly what those limitations are.

Thing Three Just A Thought "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer