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Insurance for Dummies

Insurance for Dummies By Jack Hungelmann Summary

Insurance for Dummies: Are you intimidated by insurance? Have no fear ― this easy-to-understand guide explains everything you need to know, from getting the most coverage at the best price to dealing with adjusters, filing claims, and more. Whether you're looking for personal or business insurance, you'll see how to avoid common pitfalls, lower your costs, and get what you deserve at claim time.

  • Get to know the basics ― understand how to make good insurance decisions and reduce the chances of a financial loss in your life
  • Take your insurance on the road ― manage your personal automobile risks, handle special situations, insure recreational vehicles, and deal with insurance adjusters
  • Understand homeowner's and renter's insurance ― know what is and isn't covered by typical policies, common exclusions and pitfalls, and how to cover yourself against personal lawsuits
  • Buy the right umbrella policy ― discover the advantages, and coordinate your policies to cover the gaps
  • Manage life, health, and disability risks ― explore individual and group policies, understand Medicare basics, and evaluate long-term disability and long-term-care insurance

Open the book and find:

  • The best life, health, home, and auto policies
  • Strategies for handling the claims process to get what you deserve
  • Tips on adjusting your deductible to suit your lifestyle
  • How to navigate healthcare policies
  • Ways to reduce your risk and your premiums
  • Common traps and loopholes
  • Considerations for grads, freelancers, and remote workers

About the Author

Jack Hungelmann has more than 2,000 hours of insurance education and has been in private practice for more than 30 years. He is the proprietor of an insurance agency, and he teaches risk management and insurance courses through continuing education programs in Ohio and Minnesota.

Insurance for Dummies By Jack Hungelmann Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Building a Great Insurance Program

In This Chapter

  • Identifying the two keys to a great insurance program
  • Seeing each type of insurance policy as a component in your overall plan
  • Dealing effectively with all five major risk areas in your life

Most people buy insurance policies from all over the place. Car insurance here. Home insurance there. Two or three different life insurance policies are bought at different times. Some group life insurance at work.
Health insurance through an employer. They buy one type of insurance from their travel agency, another from their credit card company.

The first time I meet with a new client, this situation is fairly typical. Virtual a hodgepodge of insurance, with several different agents, and no one overseeing the big picture. They’re wasting money on overpriced coverages full of gaps and exclusions, and completely missing major coverages like long-term

Does this sound familiar? If so, this book is for you!

Protecting against rovers and assailing thieves

My favorite insurance clause, Perils Clause 12 (see below), comes from the ocean marine cargo policy, crafted by members of the original Lloyd’s coffee house in the 1600s, insuring cargo on its way to the new world — and it’s still in use today! Metaphorically, you’re on a sailboat navigating through life. On your journey, you’ll experience rough seas from time to time. Rovers and assailing thieves will appear. But if you’ve taken the time to build a solid insurance program one policy at a time, your boat will weather the storms.

Arming Yourself with the Basics

What makes a great insurance program? Two things:
Balance: A solid insurance program covers all five major risk areas:

  • Major damage to or destruction of your residence
  • Major lawsuits
  • Premature death
  • Long-term disability
  • Major medical bills

Customized coverage: every policy covering these five major risk areas has been custom-designed with high limits and the proper endorsements to cover the unique risks in your life that otherwise would not be covered by off-the-shelf policies.

Throughout this book, I refer to seven guiding principles that can help you make good choices on what to insure and what not to insure. For example, one of the principles is, “Don’t risk more than you can afford to lose.” If you can’t afford to lose your income, you need to buy long-term disability insurance, in case you’re ever disabled. Chapter 2 gives you all the guiding principles.

Believe it or not, insurance isn’t always the answer. In Chapter 3, I introduce four non-insurance strategies for managing the risks in your life. Implementing these strategies (for example, pay extra for added airbags and antilock brakes to reduce your risk of injury) can help lower your insurance bill.

What’s the best way to buy insurance: Here’s a hint: It’s not by calling around for quotes, making sure the coverage is “apples to apples” and then buying insurance from whoever has the lowest bid. The best way to buy insurance is to select a highly skilled agent who can help you build the best possible insurance program. In Chapter 4, I tell you how to find the best agent for you.

Insuring the Things You Drive

Several of the major risks you face in your life are associated with driving your own vehicle — whether it’s your car, a rental car, a boat, an RV, or some other type of vehicle.

In Chapter 5, I walk you through each of the coverages of a personal auto policy. I help you figure out how much liability insurance is enough, tell you how to save money by eliminating overlapping medical coverage or opting for higher deductibles, give you advice on when to drop collision and comprehensive coverage from your older car, and more.

In Chapter 6, I tell you about specific risks that you take on when renting a vehicle and how you can protect yourself from each of them without spending the enormous amount of money that rental agencies charge. I also explain the coverage pitfalls of the free company car your employer provides you for work and how to sidestep them. I also give you tips on covering special vehicles, such as motorcycles and antique and collectible cars.

Chapter 7 deals with the risk of boats, RVs, snowmobiles, golf carts, and more — including both liability and physical damage issues whether you own, borrow, or rent them. I show you the most economical way to buy the coverage that you need. In Chapter 7, I also address all different types of trailer risks — for example, the liability risk when you tow an owned or non-owned trailer behind your vehicle when you park your trailer at home or, if you have a camping trailer when you park it for the summer on a rented
trailer lot.

In Chapter 8, I show you how to get paid what you deserve at claim time for all different types of automobile claims — when the accident is your fault, when it’s the other guy’s fault, when your vehicle is stolen. I give you tips for collecting more than blue-book value for your better-than-average car. I also show you how the appraisal clause works when you and the insurance company can’t agree on a price.

Finding Your Way Home with Homeowner’s Insurance

Your home is likely the biggest asset you’ll ever own. Insuring your home adequately is essential. Every homeowner’s policy is divided into six parts, each with its own coverage limits (see Chapter 9). I introduce you to six different homeowner’s forms as well — four forms designed for homeowners, one form for renters, and one form for condominium or townhouse owners. I show you how to choose the proper coverages for your building, contents, and personal liability.

But homeowner’s insurance isn’t just about insuring the house itself — it’s also about insuring your property inside the house. Many different exclusions and limitations apply to personal property. For example, jewelry has a dollar limit for theft, as well as the exclusion for loss of the stone from the setting.

Jewelry is also very difficult to value after the loss. Scheduling jewelry specifically by having it appraised and added to the policy is the insurance industry recommendation for this type of risk — but it’s not the best solution for an antique piece with huge sentimental value, which you have no intention of replacing. If cash won’t make you whole, I don’t recommend scheduling these kinds of jewelry. In this case, you’re far better off putting your special item in a safe deposit box and preventing the loss from happening in the first place. In Chapter 10, I give you the information you need to prevent this type of exclusion and others from hurting you.

Chapter 11 is all about many of the exclusions and limitations in a homeowner’s policy and ways to work around them. For example, a homeowner’s policy contains an absolute business exclusion, which means that if you frequently work from home and occasionally have UPS deliver a businessrelated package to your home, and if that delivery person slips on your icy driveway, is injured, and sues you, your homeowner’s policy will not defend you, nor will it pay any judgment against you. Why? Because the injury was business-related. But you don’t have to live with this gap: The solution to this particular problem is to add a $20-per-year endorsement to the policy that covers that type of claim.

Chapter 11 also covers flood insurance and whether you’re a candidate for it. Here’s a hint: You probably are — even if you don’t live anywhere near a body of water; but you’re probably not if your lower-level floor is below ground level on all four sides.

Condominium and townhouse owners have special insurance needs and have a homeowner’s policy form created just for those needs. If you buy the standard condominium unit owner policy off the shelf with no customization and no special endorsements, odds are, if you have any kind of claim, you’ll be sorely disappointed. In Chapter 12, I alert you to what the pitfalls are and give you my recommendations on how to circumvent each of them so you don’t get hurt. If you own a townhouse or condominium — or even a vacation timeshare — you’ll benefit greatly from Chapter 12.

If you have a home-based business, you need to deal with many risks — both property and liability risks. In Chapter 13, I fill you in on these risks and tell you how to get the insurance you need as a business owner. (Hint: It’s generally not to buy an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy. Even the best of these business endorsements are too restrictive, particularly when it comes to liability off-premises.)

I wrap up the part on homeowner’s insurance with tips on collecting what you deserve for homeowner’s claims. I give you the steps to take to get a great structural claim settlement. And if you have a personal property loss, you’ll benefit from my tips for getting paid top dollar for your claim.

Preparing for a Rainy Day with an Umbrella Policy

One of the most important personal policies you can own is the personal
umbrella policy, which has three basic advantages:

  • A million dollars or more of catastrophic liability protection
  • Extra defense coverage in case you’re sued
  • Coverage for some of the exposures not covered by auto and homeowner’s insurance policies

Chapter 15 covers the basics of umbrella policies, and in Chapter 16, I detail the many different gaps that an umbrella policy can cover and show you how to choose a policy that covers the gaps in your life not otherwise covered by your auto or homeowner’s policy.

In Chapter 17, we switch gears a bit. Here I cover many of the changes you face in your adult life (everything from getting married to having a baby to building a house to hiring a nanny and more), tell you what some of the added exposures are during those changes, and explain the changes you should make to your program so these new exposures are covered properly.

Life, Health, and Disability: Protecting Yourself and Those You Love

Health insurance consists of several important ingredients, and in Chapter 18 I tell you what those are and how to get them right. If individual health insurance is what you’re after (because you don’t have insurance through a job, for example), you’ll appreciate the money-saving tips in Chapter 18, too.

I show you how you can pay for medical costs with pretax dollars and introduce health savings accounts and how they work. Plus, I offer tips on dealing with various types of health insurance problems (from finding health insurance when you can’t qualify medically on your own to deciding whether to continue to cover your college-age kid on your policy or take her off and rely on just the coverage available from the college).

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Product details:

EditionInternational Edition
ISBN0470464682, 978-0470464687
Posted onJune 9, 2009
Page Count384 pages
AuthorJack Hungelmann

Insurance for Dummies By Jack Hungelmann PDF Free Download - HUB PDF

Insurance for Dummies: Are you intimidated by insurance? Have no fear ― this easy-to-understand guide explains everything you need to know, from getting the most coverage at the best price to dealing with adjusters, filing claims, and more. Whether you're looking for personal or business insurance, you'll see how to avoid common pitfalls, lower your costs, and get what you deserve at claim time.


Author: Jack Hungelmann

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