Insurance

What is Multi-Car Insurance and Do You Need It?

If you've been looking into car insurance policies lately and trying to figure out what kind of coverage you need for the best protection, then you might have found yourself considering the benefits of multi-car insurance. Multi-car insurance is one of the most common insurance options in the UK today, and it offers protection for up to five cars on the same policy. Most of the time, a…
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When Is Your Open Enrollment Period?

If you receive health benefits from your employer or are enrolled in the company 401K plan, then you’re most likely subject to open enrollment rules. Basically, that means you can only make changes to your plan at designated periods unless you experience a life status change. Here are some basic questions and answers about the open enrollment period. How Does the Open Enrollment Period Work? During open enrollment,…
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Why Cell Phone Insurance Isn’t Worth It

This has been a rather frustrating week. First, it’s a deluge this week, so the roads are crazy here in Los Angeles (and also, we’re floating away.) Second, the hospital where my husband was scheduled for surgery screwed up the schedule and it’s been delayed. Third, as I mentioned before, the hinge on my cell phone broke. And that is what I’m going to discuss today: what a…
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Open Enrollment and Annual Benefits

This is the season of open enrollment. If your company, like most companies these days, does the annual health insurance dance, check with HR to find out when your open enrollment period is and make the necessary changes. You should also check to see if your plan operates on a calendar year or benefit year system, and plan your appointments and procedures accordingly. Common Changes to Health Plans…
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Tips for Filing FSA Claims

I’ve only recently begun filing FSA (flexible spending account) claims, but I’ve learned a few things about the process. Use Your FSA Debit Card If you have an FSA card, swipe it first. My HR department recommends using it in the pharmacy, rather than at the checkout. If you need to buy over-the-counter items, wait until you need to pick up a prescription and ring up the whole…
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It’s Time to Update Your Fire Insurance Policy

If you own a home with a mortgage, then your lender requires you to have fire insurance to protect your/their investment. However, many people find that they are underinsured after a fire. If you’ve had your home for more than a few years, you should call your insurance company and a few others to compare current rates at the current home value/reconstruction cost. The last thing you want…
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First-Time Buyers: Shop for Homeowners Insurance in Advance

As soon as we started looking for a home with a real estate agent, she advised me to get preliminary quotes from several insurance companies so we would be able to move quickly once we went into escrow. If you’re getting a loan, you can’t close the loan without insurance in place, and the first year’s premium will be paid through your escrow company in advance. How to…
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Should You Buy Life Insurance for Children?

In response to my life insurance post, a reader emailed to ask whether I’d recommend life insurance for children. In general, no. When my husband was a baby, his mom bought a Gerber children’s life insurance plan to cover funeral expenses if he died. He continued to pay for this $10,000 coverage well into his late-twenties, until I pointed out that he’d probably paid more than it was…
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The Argument for Stay-at-Home Mom Life Insurance

When I was talking to my dad about how much life insurance to buy, he commented that they’d never bought it for my mom because she didn’t work. He viewed it as income replacement. I’ve read, however, that you should consider buying life insurance for a stay-at-home mom because she performs tasks that would cost a lot of money if you had to hire other people to do them. The…
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Auto Policy Basics: How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?

A few months ago, I talked about life insurance. Now it’s time to discuss car insurance. Auto insurance is a requirement in order to drive in most states. Most states have coverage minimums, but those minimums may not offer enough protection in a serious accident. For example, California requires 15/30/5 liability coverage. If I were to hit a motorcyclist, that wouldn’t even begin to cover it. To protect yourself, use the…
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