Understanding Insurance

I’ve been reading over dad’s life insurance policy, trying to familiarize myself with it, and realizing that I should probably be doing the same with my own.

It also makes me realize that once the debt is gone, I may want to seriously evaluate all of our insurance needs in general. I have no long-term disability insurance on me at all, and dad doesn’t need it since he’s already officially “disabled”.

I have life insurance, and now an accidental death insurance (on both me and my dad) that will pay off our mortgage if either of us dies in an accident. And FINALLY after probably a year of trying, I got $15k worth of life insurance on my dad. That’s been a task in itself, since he has Type II diabetes. It’s expensive though, $84/month, of which dad pays about a third of and I pay the rest.

I notice that it also does not pay the full amount until 2 years after the policy starts, I guess that’s for their protection. I think the only exception is if it’s an accident. A co-worker asked me why I was thinking about all of this stuff because it’s depressing, and I told him that if I didn’t and it happened anyway, I’ll pretty much have shot myself in the foot. As it is now, when my father dies I’ll at least have enough to hopefully pay for his funeral and cremation (his request). If it happens to be an accident, then the house will be paid for. What’s nice about mortgage insurance, is there were no medical exams involved at all, they just up and give you an amount to pay off your mortgage if you die in an accident.

I’ve thought about spending time to go over my auto insurance policy to see if I can do better somewhere else, but honestly…my insurance company has been ridiculously amazing to me, I can’t really see a reason to want to switch. The price difference wouldn’t be -that- much, and the satisfaction wholly makes up for it.

My fathers car insurance, however, I may need to look into that one. He was paying like $240 or so every three months, which isn’t bad, but I think they’ve switched him to $120 or so a month, and I have no clue why. I didn’t even know about it until I approached him about me helping out with his auto insurance.

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Baby’s First Home Owner’s Insurance Claim

As noted on my Twitter and Facebook, the insurance company came back and approved our estimate for the porch, minus $250 for the tree. They are granted $3525, which is realistically $2525 due to my $1,000 deductible. The money will be in my account in 3-5 business days, so next week. Then we can get started on the new deck.

I’m not sure how much a new deck will raise the value of the house, but I’m hoping it’s considerable. I will have to do some research on what something like that does for the value of homes.

The most important part of this deck, is actually going to be a ramp at one end, that declines faintly onto the ground. The reason for this is because my dad’s legs hurt him a lot, and he often struggles with stairs. Should he ever be really sore, or hurt himself, then he can use the ramp instead of any stairs in the house at all, which I’m -very- happy about. It’ll be especially nice if I ever have to get him a golf cart or something to do things around our place on.

So I guess the tree is somewhat of a blessing in disguise. I need to take pictures of the carpenter ant damage at the base of the tree, and I plan to plant a maple in its place once I’ve destroyed the carpenter ant colony.

This entire insurance experience was ridiculously easy. I’m going to write a letter of praise to my claims agent and to the insurance company. Literally all I had to do was submit a claim through the website, talk to the agent for some details, submit pictures through their website, and submit a pdf of the estimate from a contractor of -my- choic through their website, and everything else was done for me. She even had my account number on file because I use it to pay off my dads loan, so she knew right where to put the money.

I thought dealing with insurance companies was supposed to be hard?

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Tree Suicide Insurance Claim Update

I talked to an amazingly helpful representative today from the insurance company, and the process is in motion for getting this tree out of here and the deck taken care of. Surprisingly they -don’t- send an inspector to look at the damage. Instead they ask you to send pictures (obviously I had plenty!), get a contractor estimate, and send it in to them for review.

They do not require any sort of licensing or bonding, or even certification on the contractor, which I made very clear to double check, as I plan to have my uncle (who is a contractor anyway) do the work. Since they don’t have any requirements for the contractor, this should be fine.

Hopefully we can get the simple deck that we wanted out of this, and have a better roof over it than that aluminum one from before.

I do have a $1,000 deductible, which is exactly what an emergency fund is for, so I am covered there. They also cover around $500 for hauling of the tree, which my uncle will probably also quote and do. He has a friend who owns a local bluegrass place that has a mulcher that he’ll borrow to take care of all the little limbs.

So I’m not sure when all of this is going to be started, but I’d like to have it sooner than later cause this tree is a bit of a hindrance. Although all of the young strong men stopping by to offer to haul it away certainly isn’t a bad thing :D

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Risk Idea Regarding Life Insurance

Dad approached me when I got home, saying that he wanted to know what I felt about him paying -me- money to put into savings towards a ‘life insurance fund’ instead of actually buying a policy. I’m not sure why he’s asking about this, but I’m at least entertaining the idea.

Obviously there’s huge risk involved, I mean it would take about 15 years to get to $15k (which is about what I was looking for to bury him and handle his affairs). However, once he is debt free besides the house (next year), I had planned on saving up $20k anyway just as an emergency fund. We could reach -that- goal in about 2.5 years. Maybe less if I get additional income coming in (definitely a future plan).

So I’m not sure what to do, I’ve love to hear some input. It’s basically a 3 year risk, and I only need money to bury/cremate him, and this year I’ll have all his major debt gone. It would be nice to have extra to supplement his part of the mortgage payment in case I’m not able to afford it on my own, but I’m capable of living fairly minimal, so it may not be too big of a deal (not that I plan to settle).

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Mortgage Life Insurance

I got an offer from Union Security Insurance Company, on the behalf of Chase to get some Mortgage Life Insurance, in that if either my father or I die in an accident, it will pay off the mortgage on our home. It states that we must die with in 365 days of a covered accident (90 days in MD), and is covered no matter what other type of coverage we may have.

Considering I have a huge amount of trouble trying to find my dad life insurance because of his diabetes, I am giving this some serious consideration.

It would cost about $24 a month to insure both of us each month. Not too hefty of a cost.

The only downside is that it’s only in case of accidents, so no natural death type of thing. So I’m still going to run into problems in that case. Hopefully I can find someone who will insure him for at least $10k. I think that’s really all I’d need.

Some notes from the form, it states that this is NOT:

  • FDIC Insured
  • Insured by any Federal Government Agency
  • Not guaranteed by the bank

It also states that it will pay 100% until my dad is 69, whereas afterwards it will start to decline. Age 70-74 it declines to 50%, and age 75 and up it declines to 25%.

Has anyone ever purchased this type of insurance before?

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