5 Types Of Insurance For Independent Consultants And Business Owners

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By Jade Sohn

workdeskBe prepared and opt for the right insurance policies to safeguard yourself against unpredictable hazards or issues that may pop up while running your business.  Choosing suitable insurance plans can prove to be a challenging task. Chief among them is a general liability and professional liability insurance.

Also, individual consultants and married entrepreneurs only qualify for individual health insurance, leaving room for very few Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) options. Further, if you miss an HMO open enrollment period, your organization may have to survive an entire year without coverage. What would you do if an unpredictable event occurs during that time? This post talks about various options that can work as great alternatives in such a situation. Read further to explore them in detail.

1. Professional Liability Insurance

Did you know that if you are a sole proprietor of a business consultancy, you can be held legally and financially liable for any financial loss to your client resulting from your advice or occurring during your involvement? This means that you need to be prepared for the legal and financial fallout of such a situation. Even if your business is billing in the hundreds of thousands, being taken to court could cause you financial hardship, so you may benefit from subscribing to an insurance policy designed for consultant businesses.

If allegations of errors, bad advice or delay in providing a service threaten a consultant’s business, then consultant professional liability insurance can cover costs of hiring an attorney and any settlement or damages arising from the lawsuit.

2. General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance protects consultants against allegations of bodily injury, property damage, and advertising and personal injury. If your client suffers a slip and fracture at your firm, or if you accidentally damage an expensive artifact on your client’s premise, the general liability insurance will cover the medical costs and costs of replacing the artifact respectively.

General liability insurance also covers any legal challenges arising from advertising or personal injuries such as slander, libel, and defamation. If a consultant publishes any material containing false statements about a competitor or makes derogatory comments about a client before others in a way that can cause the client grief or suffering, or causes harm to his professional reputation, then a personal injury lawsuit can be brought against the ‘perpetrator’.

No matter how carefully or conscientiously you may run your consulting business, there is at least a small window of error that can potentially pose financial or legal hurdles. General liability insurance safeguards against such contingencies, allowing you to focus on challenging unfair cases and staying focused on your business rather than stressing about paying attorney fees and financial damages from your business or personal funds.

3.Short-term health insurance

If you’re hard-pressed for time and don’t have enough resources to consider or purchase long-term health insurance, you can opt for short-term health insurance. The advantage of short-term health insurance is that it’s relatively inexpensive. It also holds you to low standards of commitment, so you can always revisit the decision and choose another, better-suited health insurance for your business. Short-term health insurance, however, is not completely reliable. You may be refused coverage if the event involves a chronic health disorder. Plus, coverage earned by short-term health insurance is for low amounts.

4. Insurance through associations

healthyheartbpSome industry associations offer health insurance as a side-benefit of joining. If you are starting a consultancy business, you may want to join networking or co-promotion organizations in your city or town. These organization of which NASE is an example, offer benefits such as health insurance. However, studies by journals such as WSJ have claimed that the ROI (Return on Investment) that you receive from joining such an organization doesn’t justify the enormous joining fees that they charge. However, you may want to consider all benefits such as networking, exposure, and new leads that you get from the organization when weighing the benefits.

5. Health cost sharing

People with good health can consider health cost sharing networks as an option for health insurance. There are companies such as Liberty Healthshare, CHM, and New Health that have started up to provide affordable and no-fuss health insurance for those who can’t afford to go with regular, long-term health insurance. However, such insurance networks tend to reject many applicants on the grounds of having existing health disorders.

When starting a consultancy business, there are many factors that you have to consider. If you can’t manage all of that by yourself, you can work with smart alternatives or hacks that work just as well. This post describes various types of health insurances that can help you fight against unpredictable health hazards or issues that may crop up when running your business. After all, it’s best to be prepared than suffer expensive consequences of ignorant decisions.

How To Get Health Insurance When Traveling To Europe

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By Connor Christopher

healthyheartbpWhether your reasons for traveling to Europe are for business or for pleasure, you want your trip to run as smoothly as possible. Hopefully you won’t get ill or sick during your European adventures, but in the off chance you do, it’s best to be prepared for the worst but hope for the best. Make sure you renew your European Health Insurance Card today, because it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Provided you’re a citizen of the European Union, you are entitled to an EHIC which entitles you to free or discounted medical treatment whenever you visit an EU country. The card entitles you to the same rights as the locals of that country, so if their medical care is free, then so is yours. Over 5 million EHIC’s are set to expire over the coming year, so if you already have one, make sure to check the expiry date before you set off on your travels.

The European Health Insurance Card is completely free, you just need to fill out a simple, online application or calling the NHS on 0300 330 1350, and it will be process and sent to you within days. The card is then valid for five years at a time but only covers one individual person, so if you have a child under 16, include them on your application and you’ll receive an EHIC for each of you.

While in Europe, the EHIC will cover treatment for chronic and per-existing medical conditions throughout the duration of your trip. Your EHIC must be presented when you require treatment, so make sure you carry it on your person at all times. The best way is to put the card in your bag or wallet as soon as you get it and then forget about it until you need it.

The EHIC is currently accepted by EU states Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Southern Cyprus, Czeck Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, as well as non-EU countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Bear in mind that while the European Health Insurance Card provides valuable protection, it is not a replacement for travel insurance. It is highly recommended that ensure you have both in order to reduce the large medical bills, delays in treatment and not to mention saving yourself a large deal of stress in the event of a medical emergency.

You will pay the exact same as an existing resident of the country you a visiting, so if they are expected to pay for their medical treatment, then you will be too.

If you’ve registered for you EHIC but the card doesn’t arrive before you’re set to leave on your European trip, then be sure to call the NHS Overseas Healthcare tea, and they’ll advise you what you need to do.

Get Informed Before Selecting A Health Insurance Plan For Your Family

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familyvectorOpen enrollment tends to happen around this time of year and if you’re one of the fortunate individuals to have insurance options through your employer, you should take advantage of it.

However, when selecting health insurance, it is not to be taken lightly as there is a lot involved in selecting an insurance provider that will equip you with the coverage you need in times of sickness and in health. Rather than just selecting an insurance policy because it’s what your parents used or the most affordable, you should consider necessary factors that include:

· Your Personal Priorities

· Health Insurance Types

· Overall Cost of Coverage

Make a List of Your Personal Priorities

What you need from an insurance provider should be your first consideration. Paying for something that does not compensate all of your needs is a waste of money. Ask yourself questions such as; do you like your current doctors? If so, which insurance plans do they accept? Do you or loved ones get sick often? Do you require a visit to various specialists throughout the year for preexisting medical conditions? This will give you a basis of what to look for as you begin your research on various health insurance providers.

Learn About health Insurance Types

There are three main types of insurance plans that you can choose from: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), or Point of Service Plans (POS).

· HMO – HMOs are often regarded as the most affordable options for health insurance coverage. You are only allowed to see doctors within the network, limiting your flexibility when it comes to choosing healthcare providers and specialists.

· PPO – PPOs are a bit more expensive than an HMO. However, you are allowed to choose doctors and specialists both in and out of network. Out of network medical professionals will cost quite a bit more, and overall out of pocket expenses for PPOs can be costly.

· POS – POSs are said to be a combination of the HMO and the PPO. They allow you to select a primary care physician of your choice; however, you are typically required to receive a referral from this physician to see other specialists. The costs are not as steep as a PPO, but are still not as affordable as most HMOs.

Factoring Your Total Cost of Coverage

Most people assume that the premium is all that needs to be considered when looking at health insurance costs. However, there are some other out of pocket expenses that one needs to consider.

· Premium Costs – The premium cost is often the most obvious expense to calculate. It is the amount that your insurance provider bills you on the monthly basis in order to keep coverage.

· Deductible – The deductible is the amount you will have to pay each year towards medical bills before the insurance company will pay their portion. Not all insurance plans have a deductible but it is worth checking into.

· Coinsurance – Unless your insurance plan includes 100 percent coverage, you are going to have to pay some coinsurance. This is the amount you share in payment of medical bills with your insurance provider.

· Co-pay – Your co-pay is the amount you have to pay every time you make a visit to a healthcare provider.

To factor in all of these costs, utilize online resources, of which there are many. Sites like Health Net are geared toward individuals and employers and allow you to review various insurance plans, make comparisons, and even calculate projected costs. By being fully informed in all of the above mentioned areas, securing an insurance premium for you and your loved ones becomes a lot simpler.

– Submitted by Katherine Smith

Weight Loss And Life Insurance

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By Chris Herath

girlappleWhen completing the life insurance application, the applicant is asked a multitude of different questions pertaining to their health. In addition to the health questions, applicants are also asked for their height and weight. Just like applying for your license at the DMV, many people are tempted to fudge the numbers in their favor just a bit. Your weight is one of the key factors the underwriters look at in addition to your medical history. Just as I would advise you when answering the medical questions, it is important you are truthful when providing your weight as well.

It is important to know what to expect if you are overweight and applying for life insurance.
One of the reasons to be truthful on the original application regarding your weight is because when a nurse comes to complete your medical exam they will most likely bring a scale and require you to be weighed. It obviously does not look good if the weight you provided, and your actual weight, have a large discrepancy. Honesty is key when applying for life insurance for overweight people.

Will Being Overweight Stop Me From Getting Life Insurance?

Being overweight, and having no other health issues, will most likely not get your declined for life insurance coverage. When we see a decline for someone who is overweight it is often associated with a multitude of other health issues the person is experiencing. The most likely event for someone who is applying for life insurance and who is overweight is they will receive a rated policy, meaning you would be paying a slightly higher premium than someone in a normal weight range. It is best to shop your rate among different insurance carriers since each company may have different build charts.

Losing Weight and Life Insurance

scaleLosing weight is the best option to increase your probability of getting a better rated life insurance policy. It is important to speak with the agent to get a good idea of the build charts, because losing 5-10 pounds may be able to get you in a better rated policy, saving you money on premium.

Be aware, the insurance companies normally ask if you have lost more than 10 pounds in the last year, and if so, they normally average your previous weight and your current weight. They do this because they want to see the weight being kept off, and unfortunately many people end of gaining the weight back on.

Apply Now, Save Later

We are often approached by people who want to put off purchasing their life insurance until they lose weight. Unfortunately, many of those people end of never applying for life insurance, although they need it. Being overweight does not negate the need for life insurance protection. You are still paying pennies on the dollar for your life insurance, and it will still be there to protect your family whether you are overweight or not.

If you are planning on losing weight it is best to apply for coverage now, and then apply for a better rating once your have lost your desired weight. This way you will not be left uninsured in the event of a tragedy, and it will give you an incentive to achieve your weight loss goals.

– Chris is the owner and founder of Waterway Financial Group. We offer life insurance solutions, health insurance plans, individual investment and retirement plans, and help you regain control over your old 401(k). 
Did you know you can get a life insurance quote in less than 60 seconds? 

Pregnant? Partner’s Pregnant? It’s Time To Think About Life Insurance

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grandparentchildEven if you have never thought about life insurance before, if you are starting a family it’s time to start considering your life insurance options. Needless to say, finding the right life insurance policy and provider is not always easy. You’ll need to put in the ground work to find life insurance that suits you, at the right price.

Why do you need life insurance?

Having kids is pretty much the ultimate responsibility. You are bringing someone into the world that will rely on you completely – to feed them, teach them, and provide for them. That’s why you need to think about their future, and what would happen if you’re not in it.

No one likes to think about death. It’s depressing, and surely, if you don’t think about bad things, they won’t happen to you. Unfortunately bad things happen all the time, and as a parent, you need to prepare for them.

Getting life insurance cover can help to provide for your family financially if something should happen to you. It’s not great to think about, but being prepared is definitely better than not being prepared. You can visit this link to find out more.

Other commitments

Apart from the responsibility of having children to care for, you may have other responsibilities too. If you have financial responsibilities such as a mortgage or other large debts, it’s important to think about how your loved ones would cope paying them off if you were no longer around.

Getting life insurance can help cover these types of debts, and can allow your family to carry on without a huge financial burden to worry about.

Working out how much you need

seniorwoman2There are various ways to work out how much life insurance you need. Some people multiply their annual income by ten, some use a life insurance calculator, some speak to an insurance expert to get a more accurate result.

If you are a stay-at-home parent, you won’t have an actual income, but that doesn’t mean you should undervalue your worth. Think about how much you do around the house – especially when you have kids to care for too – and work out the cost of hiring someone else to do your job.

A rough estimate would be around $400,000 in coverage, but speak to a professional for more information if you are unsure.

Different types of life insurance

There are many different types of life insurance, each offering varying levels of cover to suit different types of applicants. It’s important to research what’s available before you start looking for life insurance, to make sure you choose the right option.

Think about what you need from your cover, how much you are willing to pay, and whether you have any pre-existing medical conditions or reasons why you may not get approved for a standard policy.

Remember, if your application is declined, it’s not the end of the world. Find out why it was declined, try to fix the problem if possible, and reapply with an insurer that is more likely to accept your application.

Can you afford it?

Life insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare all your options to find a policy that you can afford, and that gives you the cover you need. Try to make a budget to fit your premiums into your monthly expenses, but don’t overextend yourself. Only choose cover that you can afford.

– Submitted by James Andrews

Life Insurance Options Available To The Obese

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By Lance Peterson

bellymeasurementsmallBeing obese can lead to many serious health problems, which in turn can make it difficult to find life insurance. Some patients don’t realize the seriousness of obesity and may not understand all the health concerns that are linked to the condition, so they may not understand why they need to look harder for life insurance or are being denied coverage by their insurance carrier. Consider why obesity involves such high risks and how you can find the right life insurance for you, regardless of any health concerns you might have.

Obesity can lead to increased risk of heart attacks and heart disease, because an obese person usually has stores of fat that collect around the internal systems, including the heart and arteries. The heart needs to work harder to push blood to all the extremities when a person is obese, and this puts a great strain on the circulatory system.

Being obese is also linked to severe asthma, which can be serious and even fatal. Those fat stores can collect around the lungs and the body’s own weight can push down on the respiratory system so the patient cannot breathe very easily. Many who are obese also suffer from sleep apnea, which is a cessation of breathing while sleeping. Usually the body wakes up long enough to start breathing again but in some cases, this too can prove fatal. Obesity is also linked to certain forms of cancer and many other serious health concerns.

Because of these risk factors, obese persons usually need to shop for high risk life insurance.

Because of these risk factors, obese persons usually need to shop for high risk life insurance. These are policies that are designed specifically for those who have special risk factors when it comes to their health and longevity. Many top life insurance companies will provide policies for the obese, but with certain terms and conditions. They may pay a bit more for a policy or may have fewer options available to them, but an obese person can still typically find the coverage they need for their final expenses and to care for their family at a price they can afford, if they shop around.

One way to find life insurance if you’re obese is to compare term life insurance quotes. Term insurance means that it must be redeemed within the term of the policy, typically at 20 years or 30 years. This is usually the best choice for those in high risk groups and comparing quotes will allow you to find the company that offers the coverage you want at a price you can afford. Term insurance differs from whole life insurance; a whole life insurance policy is good for as long as the premium is being paid, rather than being limited to a certain term.

Many of the top term life insurance companies will have policies that are specifically written for those with higher risk, such as those over 50, those with diabetes or hypertension, and those who are obese. Because the condition is becoming more and more common, companies are providing the life insurance needs to these patients even if they’re high risk.

If you prefer whole life insurance and are considered obese, your best solution may be to shop around to find the policy that suits you. There are companies that do offer any type of policy you need no matter your health and without a medical exam. You can find the insurance you need even if you are obese or have other medical conditions, so don’t let your health concerns keep you from shopping for the policy that’s right for you.

– My name is Lance Peterson; I am a graduate in Finance from UPenn. I am a banker, whose expertise stretches to areas like loans, investments, hedge funds, insurance and other related fields. I am also the Content Manager for Chooseterm.com. I like keeping myself updated about the global financial scene.

Cord Blood Banking: Extra Insurance For Your Baby’s Future Health

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By Alice Pettaway

babyThe umbilical cord and placenta are a vital and natural source of potentially lifesaving cells that are safe and painless to collect from your newborn child, but could play a vital role later on in their life.

No interruptions

The first point to stress is that the methods involved in collecting the cord blood do not interrupt in any way with your birthing plan or preferences. Your partner can still cut the umbilical cord if they want to at the birth of your child and after the child has been delivered, either vaginally or by C-section, the cord can then be clamped and cut.

Simple procedure

Once the umbilical cord has been prepared by being clamped and cut, the medical practitioner handling the birth will insert a needle into the umbilical vein on the section of the cord that is still attached to the placenta. You should be assured that the needle does not get anywhere near your baby and there is no potential for distress in any way during this procedure.

Collecting the blood

The blood is either collected by allowing it to drip into a collecting bag or drawn out using a syringe. You would normally expect to collect somewhere between 3 to 5 ounces of cord blood and the process should not take any longer than about 10 minutes to complete.

The blood bank

The collected blood is then shipped to your chosen cord blood bank where it is then tested and assessed to ensure that it meets the required quality standard, before being frozen and subsequently sent for long term storage under specialist conditions.

Additional services

Some private cord blood banks also offer to collect a segment of the umbilical cord as well as the blood itself, as the cord contains stem cells that are different from cord blood stem cells and may have a future use once further scientific research has been carried out.

What makes cord blood so valuable?

Stem cells are the building blocks of the blood and immune system and cord blood is a rich source of these vital blood stem cells. Stem cells are highly prized because they have the ability to develop into other types of cells, which means that they can be used to help repair tissues, organs, damaged blood vessels and a good number of diseases that attack the body.

Better than bone marrow?

A devastating disease like leukemia can be treated using a transfusion of stem cells using cord blood from a healthy donor, which helps to create a whole new blood and immune system, making recovery much more likely. The advantage of stem cells from cord blood as opposed to bone marrow is that the stem cells in cord blood are more immature which actually helps reduce rejection rates as the body is unable to recognize these cells and therefore does not attempt to attack or reject them.

Fighting disease with cord blood

Banking this vital resource will almost be like providing a highly personalized insurance policy for your child to fight back against more than 70 recognized diseases that they could become afflicted by. Saving the cord blood of all the children in the your closely related families, is an excellent idea as sometimes it is better to treat a genetic illness with stem cells from someone closely related rather than the child’s cord blood itself.

How much will it cost?

There are normally two fees involved with cord blood banking, the first is a fee that covers consultation, collection of the blood, evaluation and subsequent storage for a predetermined period of time, and you should expect to pay somewhere close to $1,000 and not normally much more than $2,000 for this service.

There is then an annual storage charge which is generally around $100, although some private cord blood banks offer an incentive for upfront payment which can reduce the long term storage costs.

There are a good number of benefits to consider with cord blood banking and the potential chance to safeguard your child’s future health makes the likely fees involved, seem very trivial indeed.