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Is Employer-Provided Insurance Enough?

You sit down with your new employer to discuss benefits, and they mention providing a low-cost or free life insurance policy. Great! You’re set, right? Don’t be so sure… Insurance provided through an employer group policy, especially life insurance, is likely not going to be sufficient for your needs and those of your dependents.

It Looks Good On Paper, But…

We’re human. If someone gives us something for free – or even cheaper than we expect – we jump at the chance to take it. This is completely understandable, but you shouldn’t let the “too good to be true” nature of employer-provided insurance blind you from seeing what you really might need coverage-wise. A life insurance plan provided through your employer likely amounts to only one or two times your salary. True, you may have the option to purchase additional coverage through your employer’s plan, but even this additional coverage might not be sufficient.

What Happens if You Leave Your Job?

If you find yourself in between jobs, and you have lost your employer-provided life insurance, your dependents will be left vulnerable in the unthinkable case of your death. Just like other workplace benefits, employer-provided insurance is not portable. You could leave your job for a number of reasons – health issues, termination, retirement, or simply wishing to move on. Even taking a leave of absence or switching to a part-time schedule could affect your eligibility for benefits. To protect against dangerous gaps in your insurance coverage, the smart thing to do is to purchase your own individual life insurance policy.

It’s Better to Act Now

Another factor to consider is your age and health status. If you are young and healthy, now is the best time to purchase life insurance in the individual market. Your premiums will likely be lower, and as you age your premiums may be higher, or it may be more difficult to qualify for coverage. Avoid potentially being declined in the future by securing the coverage you need now.

Determine What You Really Need

Opinions vary on how much life insurance the average person needs. Most experts recommend 10 times your salary. Some individuals may be able to get away with purchasing less, or even with sticking with or adding to their employer-provided coverage. That’s great! However, people with large numbers of dependents or significant debts will certainly need the most coverage they can afford. An independent insurance agent can assist you in determining how much life insurance you should have based on your own unique circumstances. Reach out today to get a quote from an agent with the experience to understand what you need.

What to Do If Your Car Is Stolen

Remain Calm

If you believe your car has been stolen, your immediate response is likely to completely freak out. This is understandable, but there is a chance you could be mistaken. It is possible that your car was towed or even that your teenager took it without asking. Make a few calls to local towing companies to see if your car is with them. If you determine that your car was, in fact, stolen, you must still remain calm so you can follow the correct procedures.

Call the Police

This is your first step once you know your vehicle was taken. To report your car as stolen, you will need to provide facts that the police can use to identify your car. This information includes a detailed description of the vehicle including make, model and year, color, and any unique features such as bumper stickers or dents. You will also want to have your license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) on hand to provide to police. If you don’t know these off the top of your head, consider keeping a note of them in your wallet or cell phone. It’s especially important to contact police right off the bat, since many carriers will not honor a claim unless a police report is filed first.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

After filing a report with the police, it is time to file a claim with your insurance. Only a comprehensive auto insurance policy offers coverage in the case of theft, but even if you do not have this policy it is a good idea to notify your insurance agent about the incident. By notifying insurance, you may still be able protect yourself against any damage that occurs to persons or property while the vehicle is in possession of the thief or thieves. You will want to have at hand the same vehicle information you provided to the police, as well as items such as the title, a list of the location of all keys to the vehicle, a list of any personal property that was in the vehicle, the police report number, and contact information for your finance or leasing company. You provide the information, and your agent will take care of the rest.

Final Steps

After taking the initial steps to report the theft to police and involve your insurance agent, you will want to tie up any loose ends by notifying other parties that have an interest in your vehicle. Your agent will likely take care of this, but you can also place a call to your finance or leasing company. Report the theft to the DMV as well.

You should continue working with your insurance agent to see about rental vehicle coverage, but the only thing to do once all these steps have been completed is to wait. Your car may be recovered, but unfortunately there is a chance it may not be. Your agent will be there by your side throughout the process, whatever happens.