Get Your Flu Shot Now
You may have heard people remark, “I’ve never had the flu, so I don’t need a flu shot.” Don’t believe this line of thinking. Even if you’ve never had the flu, that doesn’t mean your immune to its charms.
Even with widespread public health initiatives and disease prevention, the flu remains a potent and deadly threat to the American public. Fortunately, the flu shot provides powerful, accessible protection. This simple immunization serves as one of the best and most surefire disease prevention mechanisms.
Getting a Flu Shot? Use Your Insurance!
The flu vaccine is a cornerstone of disease control and prevention. The Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to cover a yearly flu vaccine as a preventative service. Under the law, insurers must cover these items at no cost to the insured patient.
Use caution when verifying your insurance coverage for a flu vaccine. Some plans might not cover the cost of the flu vaccine. You may also have to follow certain insurance regulations to get a free flu shot. For example, you might have to visit a special provider to ensure the preventative service coverage kicks in.
If you don’t have insurance, or your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of a flu shot, you may still have options. State health departments and other regulations have put in place various programs to help uninsured and underinsured individuals get flu shots. To see if you qualify for a free or reduced-cost vaccine, contact your insurer or your local health department.
Getting the Vaccine and Preventing the Flu
To ensure you receive full coverage for your flu shot, make sure you’re getting the correct vaccine. The flu vaccine changes from year to year, so always get the updated version. Furthermore, one form of the flu vaccine, the flu mist, was at one time a non-shot alternative to the traditional immunization. However, questions about the reliability of this method have caused many insurers to drop coverage for the mist. If your insurer is one of them, you may only qualify for a free vaccine if you get the traditional shot.
It is better to get your flu shot earlier in the flu season. The flu vaccine usually takes full effect a couple of weeks after you get the shot. And if you’re already sick, you won’t benefit from the shot. So, make sure you’re healthy, and then get the shot when it first becomes available.
After you get the vaccine, you may experience some mild symptoms. This is normal, as the vaccine is taking effect in your body and your immune system is beginning to produce antibodies.
Car Insurance Coverage for Hail Damage
As weather begins to change during the autumn, cold fronts can often bring severe storms. Though these storms often do not last long, they can be very intense. Depending on the conditions, one of the hazards that might arise is hail. It can range in size from small pellets to ice chunks the size of baseballs. Regardless of size or duration, hail can prove very damaging to outdoor items including vehicles.
No one likes to have a car damaged by hail. Not only is it visually unappealing, but also it might cost a lot of money to repair. Body damage costs are often considerable, however, car insurance might help alleviate this burden.
Hail Damage Coverage on Car Insurance
No one really can tell when hail will occur during severe weather. Hail falls extremely fast and is very dense. Therefore, when it hits a car, it can dent the body, break windows and even in severe cases cause irrecoverable damage.
Car insurance policies contain a type of coverage called comprehensive damage insurance. It pays for vehicle damage that arises from unexpected events that are not related to collisions. Hail usually falls within the scope of this coverage.
However, many auto policies do not automatically include comprehensive coverage. Therefore, when you buy your policy, you’ll need to speak with your agent about this protection.
How much will comprehensive coverage pay?
When you make a claim for hail damage, your policy should explain how much it will pay for the repairs. Here is some more information regarding coverage:
A damage deductible will likely apply. ?
If the cost of the repairs is lower than the deductible cost, then your policy would not pay for the repairs.?
If hail damage totals the car, then your insurer may?pay for the value of the car. Most policies pay based on a car’s cash value.
3 Common Mistakes That Affect Your Home Insurance
Having home insurance helps you get the financial assistance you need if there is a loss to your property or someone is injured on your property. All too often, many homeowners make mistakes that increase the cost of their insurance. The following are three common mistakes homeowners make that impact their homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Adding Additions without Adjusting Your Homeowner’s Insurance
Adding more space to your home helps increase the value of your home and it makes your home more comfortable. Whether you are adding a garage or a new bedroom, it is important to ensure that you contact your independent insurance agent to insure any structure you add to your home in order to receive complete protection for your property.
Adopting Overprotective Pets
Pets are a great addition to any family, especially dogs. Unfortunately, some dog breeds are considered a risk for insurance purposes, and may raise the cost of your homeowner’s insurance, including:
• Pit Bulls
• German Shepherds
You can avoid higher insurance premiums by choosing a smaller dog, or one that is not considered a risk to others. However, if your four-legged family member happens to be considered a risk, try enrolling your dog in obedience school to promote a safe household.
Neglecting to Safeguard Potentially Dangerous Recreational Items
Swimming pools and trampolines are fun for children to have as they grow up. They can spend hours each day with their friends having fun and improving their social skills. Unfortunately, both of these recreational items present a risk to your child and their friends. While bouncing on the trampoline or swimming in your pool, children can easily get hurt, which could lead to a lawsuit from friends and neighbors. You do not have to avoid owning these items, but you should install safety features in and around your pool and trampoline to reduce the instance of injury.
As a homeowner, you should take steps to reduce the chance of risks, which may help reduce your home insurance rates. The best way to ensure you are getting the best insurance policy for your home is to speak with an independent insurance agent to get information about the coverage available to you.
Are you getting the most out of your coverage? Call Ranch and Coast Insurance SVCS at 858.756.8400 for more information on home insurance.
Farm and Crop Insurance Provide Peace of Mind
Most people make the wrongful assumption that when the harvest is over, a farmer or rancher is on vacation until the spring. If you farm your land, you know that nothing is further from the truth. This is the time to prepare for next year, including figuring out how to make things more efficient, more productive and better overall than this year — all while keeping an eye on the bottom line.
The problem is, you can make all the best plans and something out of your control can come along and take out your crops. A hail storm, wind storm, late frost or bug infestation can cause big problems. Too much rain or too little rain are also things farmers have to constantly have on their mind. Since you cannot predict these things, there's very little you can do to prepare except hope and pray for a good season.
This kind of worry and concern is exactly why it's a great idea to invest in some crop insurance. If you and your family depend on healthy crops for your livelihood, it's a wise idea to have a backup plan. Because this is out of your control, crop insurance will cover you and provide for you if the worst happens and all that you've worked so hard to plant is destroyed.
Crops aren't the only thing farmers or ranchers need to think about, though. Buildings, equipment and livestock are all part of a working farm — and while essential to its operation, they are extremely costly. Protecting these with an insurance policy will only add to the stability and health of your farm or ranch.
As you start making plans as to how to improve your farm business, contact your independent insurance agent to discuss farm and crop insurance. So much of farming is out of your control, and the right policy can give you peace of mind and protection for your business.
We’ll help protect your land and business. Call Ranch and Coast Insurance SVCS at 858.756.8400 for more information on farm insurance.
BOPs Offer Businesses Comprehensive Coverage
You are aware that your insurance company provides you with a host of business insurance products to protect your business. What you may not be aware of is the business owners policy (BOP) that bundles different types of insurance products for business owners like you, who may not know how to choose the best insurance for your business.
Understanding BOP Insurance Options
Knowing what types of insurance policies are available is one of the first measures you can take to protect your business. Unfortunately, since your business commands most of your attention, you may not be familiar with the type of insurance policies available beyond commercial auto insurance and property insurance.
Your insurance company may offer a BOP that helps you insure your business by providing a few different insurance policies in one package. The benefit to you, instead of purchasing one policy, you get expanded coverage for liabilities your business may face by having multiple insurance products bundled together at a discounted rate. Saving money is always good, right? Some common insurance policies included in a BOP policy:
General liability insurance?
Business interruption insurance?
Data breach insurance?
They type of coverage included in a BOP bundle may vary; however, your business benefits from you selecting a bundled insurance policy instead of only one.
How to Choose a BOP
Many insurance companies understand the risks every business faces. When you sit with an agent, they may suggest a BOP that includes insurance products that are common to businesses in your industry or they may already have a package developed for your business. In both instances, you do not have to worry about understanding the complexities of business insurance since your agent can answer your questions and ensure that you get the coverage you need.
Benefits of Selecting a BOP
Beyond saving money and getting different types of insurance products, you get the benefit of conveniently using one provider for your insurance needs. With one insurance provider, you streamline the claims process when you have to file a claim and it is easier to manage policies administered by one insurance provider.
Additionally, your insurance agent may provide a BOP that they designed with your business in mind. A tailor-made BOP will help address risks that are unique to your business, which provides you with expanded protections.
Whether your business is a start-up or you have been in operations for years, purchasing a BOP helps secure your position among your competitors. With the right insurance protections, your business can operate with peace of mind.
We’ve got you covered. Call Ranch and Coast Insurance SVCS at 858-756-8400 for more information on business insurance.
3 Reasons Why Life Insurance is a Good Idea for Single Individuals
When you're young and single, you don't have many responsibilities, so life insurance is often the last thing on your mind. Chances are you won't need it at this stage in your life, but it's not always a good idea to gamble. Although people in this situation don't tend to have a life insurance policy, there are several reasons why you may want to consider investing in one.
1. Because you’re young and healthy, you will qualify for a very low rate. It's very affordable and you may be able to lock in your coverage at a lower rate than you will a few years down the road.
2. Many young people spend time taking care of their parents. Whether it's dealing with medical issues or upkeep on their house, the job will still need to be funded if you are no longer here.
3. Unfortunately, death at any age can be expensive. Final expenses add up, and a life insurance policy will be a blessing to your immediate family members who would have to take care of that financial responsibility.
You may assume that your age makes you invincible, but unfortunately young people are not immune to disease and accidents that take life away too early. While it's not a common occurrence, it is best to be prepared for this possibility.
Since you don't have a lot of other responsibilities right now, this might be the best time to start a life insurance policy. In the future, when a spouse and children are in the picture, you'll be glad that you did.
We’ll help you find the coverage you need. Call Ranch and Coast Insurance SVCS at 858.756.8400 for more information on life insurance.
5 Ways to Save on Healthcare Costs
Even with the new healthcare law, it's not always cheap to go to the doctor's office. To help keep costs lower, try these simple, somewhat unorthodox ways of saving money when it comes to all aspects of your health.?
Go to a walk-in clinic to see a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. You get quality care from a professional who has nearly the same credentials as your family doctor, but with a much lower price. Also, check your health insurance policy because some do cover care at a retail clinic.
?Buy your glasses online. Once you get your new prescription, bypass the selling floor and head home to browse your options online. You can get quality frames from various online retailers at a fraction of what you'd pay at your eye doctor’s office. This is an especially good option for those who mostly wear contacts. Why spend $400 on glasses you wear just a few hours a day?
?Read your medical bills. You should never blindly pay a bill, much less a medical one. Were you charged for five tablets of pain reliever at $20 a pop, when you only had one? Or perhaps your child was charged for heart medication when in fact she was in the hospital for a broken leg. Comb over the charges and contact the hospital to question any that don't seem legit.
?Visit a dental school. For families who have more time than money, getting regular dental cleanings and treatments done at a dental school by pre-professionals is well worth the savings. Cleanings can start at as little as $5, and x-rays aren't much more than that. The drawback is the amount of time you'll spend in the chair. For a regular cleaning with little work to be done by the student, expect to spend up to four hours, broken into two sessions so that she or he can get feedback from their instructor throughout the process.
?Use a flexible spending account. These are best, financially speaking, for people who tend to need a lot of medical care each year. You put pretax dollars in the account and then use it for expenses such as co-payments, over the counter medicines, contact lenses and therapy. If you're going to spend money, why not let Uncle Sam subsidize it a bit?
Start implementing these tips and watch your healthcare costs drop over the coming years.
Should You Invest in Gap Insurance?
Making sure your auto insurance is just right for your vehicle and for your financial wellness is important. One of the steps you should take on a regular basis is ensuring you have the right type and amount of auto insurance in place. Do you need gap coverage? What can it offer to you and who doesn't need it?
What is Gap Insurance?
The fact is, gap insurance may seem like a waste of money, that is until something happens and you are faced with a significant loss and no real way to recoup it. Let's say you purchase a new vehicle that is worth $20,000. You obtain a lease or a loan for the vehicle. What you may not realize is that the moment you roll that vehicle off the lot, the value of the car drops.
Over the next few months and even the first few years of ownership, the value of the car tends to be much less than what you may owe on it. If you are involved in an accident at this point and the vehicle is totaled, you may not get enough back from the car insurance policy to replace your vehicle because of this difference in value.
According to Edmunds.com, the average brand new vehicle will see its value drop by 30 percent in the first year of ownership. By the third year, the value will drop to about 50 percent of what you purchased it for. Gap insurance can help to pay off that "gap" of value if your vehicle is involved in a serious incident during that time.
Who Needs Gap Insurance?
In most cases, gap insurance is recommended for those who have purchased a new vehicle. During the first few years of ownership of that vehicle, it is important to maintain the coverage you need to cover the entire value of your car. Gap coverage makes that possible.
If you are unsure if you need or have this type of auto insurance, check your policy. It is essential to have insurance that gives you the confidence to know that your car is protected to its full value, no matter if and when you are involved in an accident.
Protect your investment. Call Ranch and Coast Insurance SVCS at 858.756.8400 for more information on auto insurance.
Differences Between Term and Whole Life Insurance
When you're considering the purchase of life insurance, one of the most important things to know is the difference between term life insurance and whole life insurance. This knowledge will help you determine the best coverage for your particular needs.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance will protect you for a specific period of time, such as 10, 15 or 20 years. After that time, your coverage will cease and all premiums you paid will be forfeited.?
Because of this limited coverage, initial premiums will be less than whole life. However, the premiums may increase with age, while your coverage most likely will not?
You may not need a medical exam to qualify for coverage. If you have certain medical conditions, it can be hard to qualify for whole life insurance.?
Whole Life Insurance
A whole life insurance policy will protect you for your lifetime, assuming you pay the premiums.?
Initially, these premiums will be higher than term life insurance, but will not increase over your lifetime.?
Each year, a portion of your premium, and often dividends paid on that premium, will be set aside as your cash value, according to a schedule provided by the insurance company.?
Many people consider whole life insurance policies as a form of forced savings. Cash value policies often add far greater savings dollars than many people could otherwise accumulate and still provide for your family or funeral expenses after your death.?
As the cash value amount increases, you can borrow against the value of your policy for any purpose you choose. If the need for death benefits decreases over the years, you can use the cash value to provide additional funds for your retirement. Or you could use the cash value to pay college expenses for your child or grandchild. ?