Insurance Group of Nevada Blog
A Dry Source of Loss
1. DOES YOUR PLAN COVER YOU ON AND OFF THE JOB?
Many health insurance plans have specific exclusions that eliminate your benefits for anything that could have been covered under Workers Compensation or similar laws. Now read that last sentence again.
COULD HAVE BEEN COVERED!?
That is correct. Most self employed people and even some small business owners do not carry Workers Comp on themselves.
There are designed insurance plans that will cover you on and off the job — 24-hours a day, if you are not required by law to have Workers Compensation coverage.
2. ARE YOU WRITING IT OFF?
Independent contractors (1099's), home based business owners, professionals and other self employed people generally are not taking advantages of the tax laws available to them.
Many people who are paying 100% of their own costs are eligible to deduct their monthly insurance payments. Just that alone can reduce your net out-of-pocket costs of a proper plan by as much as 40%. Ask your accounting professional if you are eligible and/or check out the IRS website for more information.
3. INTERNAL LIMITS
All true insurance plans use some form of internal controls to determine how much they will pay out for a particular procedure or service. There are two basic methods.
Many plans, some of which are specifically marketed to self employed and independent people, have a clear schedule of what they will pay per doctor office visit, hospital stay, or even limits on what they will pay for testing per 24-hr. period. This structure is usually associated with "Indemnity Plans". If you are presented with one of these plans, be sure to see the schedule of benefits, in writing. It is important that you understand these type of limits up front because once you reach them the company will not pay anything over that amount.
-Usual and Customary
"Usual and Customary" refers to the rate of pay out for a doctor office visit, procedure or hospital stay that is based on what the majority of physicians and facilities charge for that particular service in that particular geographical or comparable area. "Usual and Customary" charges represent the highest level of coverage on most major medical plans.
4.YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO SHOP!
If you are reading this you, are probably shopping for a health plan. Every day people shop, for everything from groceries to a new home. During the shopping process, generally, the value, price, personal needs and general marketplace gets evaluated by the buyer. With this in mind, it is very disconcerting that most people never ask what a test, procedure or even doctor visit will cost. In this ever-changing health insurance market, it will become increasingly important for these questions to be asked of our medical professionals. Asking price will help you get the most out of your plan and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
5. NETWORKS AND DISCOUNTS
Almost all insurance plans and benefit programs work with medical networks to access discounted rates. In broad strokes, networks consist of medical professionals and facilities who agree, by contract, to charge discounted rates for services rendered. In many cases the network is one of the defining attributes of your program. Discounts can vary from 10% to 60% or more. Medical network discounts vary, but to ensure you minimize your out-of-pocket expenses, it is imperative that you preview the network's list of physicians and facilities before committing. This is not only to ensure that your local doctors and hospitals are in the network, but also to see what your options would be if you were to need a specialist.
Ask your agent what network you are in, ask if it is local or national and then determine if it meets your own individual needs.
This was an appeal by insureds from a grant of summary judgment against them on their lawsuit against an insurer for breach of contract and wrongful termination of insurance, and for negligent representation on the part of the insurer's agent. There was no insurance in force when their drapery business was damaged by fire.
The insurer issued a business package policy, and later conducted a survey because underwriting practice prescribed it when property insurance was in excess of a specified amount. The insurer canceled the policy more than sixty days after it was effective upon the inspector's recommendation. He found that, while the insureds did sell draperies, they were in the business of manufacturing them to a much greater extent. The insurance company did not insure manufacturers. The insurer's agent then referred the clients to another insurance office for replacement coverage, which was arranged. That insurer canceled its policy, apparently for nonpayment of premium. (Its action was not contested.) The fire occurred thereafter.
The evidence made clear that the first insurer's agent had filled in the insurance application, indicating the type of business as "drapery sales," as he was told by a representative of the insureds. A co-owner of the firm signed the application, certifying that she had read it and that the statements were correct.
The New Mexico Supreme Court found that the agent "satisfied his legal duty" when he procured another underwriter for the insureds. It found that the pertinent statute provided for cancellation within sixty days without cause and, thereafter, for reasonable cause and giving notice of cancellation. The insureds did not dispute their receiving cancellation notice. They said they were misled in not being informed of the reason for it.
The court concluded that the insurer had complied with the statute, noting that an insurer was not required to inform insureds of the specific cause when giving notice of cancellation. It also found it difficult to understand how "experienced business people" could believe a policy was in force after they had received notice of its cancellation and they had then arranged replacement coverage in another company.
The summary judgment of the trial court was affirmed in favor of the insurance company and its agent and against the insureds.
(CORBIN, Plaintiff, Appellant v. STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY ET AL., Defendants, Appellees. New Mexico Supreme Court. No. 18,598. February 7, 1990. CCH 1990 Fire and Casualty Cases, Paragraph 2600.)
©The Rough Notes Company, Inc.
A Better Driver
When drivers get behind the wheel of their cars they find a growing issue; other drivers are becoming ruder, more aggressive and are causing more accidents. Surveys typically offer the following information:
It is useless for individual drivers to look any further for solutions than themselves. The only thing that is under a driver's control is his or her own driving behavior. While you can't predict what another driver is going to do, you can make a stronger effort to make the roads and streets safer.
Obey traffic lights, signs and road markings. All of these are important methods to control traffic and minimize accidents. Just try to figure out how much time you "save" by tailgating, lane changing and running traffic lights. If you save anything, it's seconds, not minutes. Also, if you are involved in an accident, you've just lost any time ever gained by risky driving. Insurance paperwork and accident reports can claim hours and days of your life. If time is important to you, then take the time to pay attention to the rules of the road.
You will also find it healthier and safer to avoid paranoia. The other drivers in the other cars and trucks are not out to get you. Don't take things personally since the silly things that happen in cars are usually mistaken or mindless, not malicious. Just relax and concentrate on your own driving. Yield right of way to others, stop for school buses, and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. The more patient, respectful, and attentive drivers there are on the road, the better it will be…for all of us (and our insurance rates).
In part one of "Become a Better Driver," our advice was that the roads will be safer for all when, as individuals, we reject distractions and become more attentive while operating vehicles. That advice is quite solid. However, driving trends still show that, in recent years, accidents have been increasing, so many people are, literally, not paying attention.
A major reason for our growing vehicle safety problems are the growth of distractions, primarily those caused by smart phone use. Driving Safety and authorities continue to warn us, but our use of smart phones has become so popular that they are routinely causing dangerous behavior by both drivers and pedestrians.
In such times, it makes sense to take greater steps to keep yourself safe on our roadways. Building on the base behaviors that make you a safer driver, you must consider the strategy, embracing defensive driving. The chief element of defensive driving is to assume that outside forces are actively working to endanger you, therefore you have to shift your driving behavior us a notch from attentive to vigilant.
A method for defensive vehicle operation comes from a paper titled SPIDER: A Framework for Understanding Driver Distraction. It was written by David Strayer, D. and Fisher, D. and appeared in University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Human Factors, Vol. 58, No. 1, February 2016.
In that paper, SPIDER is an acronym that provide guidance in how to behave while behind the wheel. More specifically, while driving you should also be:
This can be an effective approach that recognizes and mitigates the driving danger that others create by their distracted behavior. Actively assuming that others may be distracted allows you to take extra precautions when approaching intersections or when dealing with pedestrians.
So take more responsibility for your own safety while driving. Be attentive and be defensive.
Renting an apartment or a house means the building is covered under the owners insurance policy. Unfortunately the renters things are not covered under the owners policy. In addition the cost for temporary housing is not covered by the owner or landlord's insurance policy.
Example: A kitchen fire occurs from an unfortunate mishap and completely destroys the apartment. The owner or landlord requires payment to rebuild the apartment. Who should pay for for damages? The mishap occurred by the tenant, in this case the tenant may be found labile for damages. The average cost to replace and rebuild an apartment can cost as much as $500,000.
In addition while the apartment is being renovated local laws prohibits people to occupy the apartment as it is not safe. Who pays for temporary living expenses like a hotel, and meals?
With a renters insurance policy, a policyholder can receive $500,000 for damages, plus additional living expenses up to $15,000. The average cost of a renters insurance policy is between $10-$30 per month. Contact us today for a no obligation quote.
Helping Nevada Families
The power of health insurance coverage is essential to anyone's life. Choosing to forego health insurance can be costly mistake. Some clients say I don't need to see a doctor, so I don't need it. Life can at times be unpredictable. We live life on our terms whether it is being adventurous, outgoing, or laid back. Either way a negative health problem is bound to happen. One Las Vegas family didn't realize they would ever need a surgery. Guess what it happen, and the cost was over $18,000.
Another family experienced another medical condition that resulted in a week long stay in the hospital. The medical bills totaled over $50,000. The hospital was generous, but not to generous the discount reduced the bill to a whopping $30,000.
Did you know that most families in Nevada earn an average household annual income between $50,000 to $60,000. If one medical episode occurred a family with no medical insurance coverage would be wiped out, financially. At this point many would realize that bankruptcy is there only option. Bankruptcy's has negative effects on a person's credit. To start a bankruptcy can remain on your credit for up to 10 years and some debts may not be discharge able in the bankruptcy.
Making the step to sign up for health insurance for your family can cost as little as $0 per month. The health insurance annual open enrollment occurs once per year unless you qualify for a life changing event.
Choosing to forego health insurance can be costly mistake. A family in Nevada thought they would not need medical services such as surgeries, or even become hospitalized. The health plan that was selected by the family was bronze health plan with a per member deductible of about $6,000. This means any medical services such as hospitalization, surgeries, cancer, heart attack, or a stroke the family would be responsible for at least $6,000 of the allowable medical charges plus any applicable co-payment and co-insurance.
The difference to upgrade to a health plan that has lower co-payment, and deductibles is as little as $50.
When it comes to health insurance It's better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it. contact us today for no obligation consultation about your family's health insurance needs.
Yesterday, March 29th I was moving some old furniture, and computer equipment to the local recycling plant not realizing a piece of the computer was slightly sticking out. As I closed the lift gate of my SUV it collided with the computer equipment sticking out. Boom! glass shatters.
Looking at my auto insurance policies, I realized the comprehensive deductible did not include $0 glass deductible. Luckily I had my deductible savings for being accident or violation free.
Reviewing your current coverage's should not be based solely on price, but rather quality. Constantly review your coverage's to determine various gaps in coverage. Local independent insurance agents and brokers can help you identify, control, and manage any gaps in coverage.
The Agentero mobile insurance app makes it easy to quickly identify your insurance coverage's. This service manages all of your insurance policies in one secure place.
Nevada contractors face a variety of risks and exposures with basic general liability coverage may not provide coverage with environmental exposures.
The following claim scenario has not been proven to be correct, but rather serves as an example how environmental exposures can devastate a company financially.
Two years after the completion of a new high school, it was determined that the window system used during construction was allowing water to infiltrate the building. Mold was discovered. Faulty installation was part of the issue. The cost to remediate the problem was shared by the general contractor and the manufacturer of the windows. The sub-contractor who installed the windows was no longer in business. The general contractor did not have pollution coverage for mold and paid over $900,000.
Insurance Group of Nevada is a local independent insurance broker that has access to multiple insurance markets to provide the coverage that you need for your business.
Spring is right around the corner, and the warmer weather often prompts people in Las Vegas, Nevada to hop in their cars for weekend (or longer) road trips.
Unfortunately, too many of those trips will end up being memorable for the wrong reasons, due to crashes and other risks that drivers face anytime they hit the road.
You can take control of your next trip, whether it’s across the state or across town, by following these simple rules:
Improving safety on the roads isn’t rocket science. Just a little common sense can make a big difference for you, your passengers and your fellow drivers. So be alert and be safe out there on the roads in Las Vegas, Nevada.