What the insurance companies aren’t telling you about your premium
Although insurance companies offer peace of mind to the policy holders, it is important for all customers to remember that they are for profit companies, and accordingly your own personal interest is not their number one priority. Consequently, any insurance company will capitalize on every opportunity to extract money from its customers. The primary source of income for an insurance company is the premiums which it levies from its customers.
The premium is the fee which keeps the insurance policy alive. Each company collects the premium on a regular basis. The policy holder is expected to pay the premium on time. Delayed payments may lead to consequences such a fine or even termination of the policy. If a lapse in your payments does take place, this will render the earlier premiums paid by the policy holder useless. So, in order to reinstate oneself, the policy holder might even have to renew the entire policy.
There has also been a recent trend of policies being sold at inflated prices by a few agencies. Some of these companies that claim to be consulting organizations fail to ask important questions such as salary and mortgage details that are essential to assess the appropriate cover. So, an ideal solution to this problem would to make selling of insurance more transparent. But like all practical solutions, it is not in everyones interest to do so. As a result, insurance companies have lobbied congress men and women very heavily to ensure that despite the benefits of transparency, obscurity remains the law.
Another problem with insurance that is often never disclosed by sellers, is that the insurance premium is also very unstable. The rates may even change between consecutive billing cycles. For example, a driver with a recent accident history will have a pay a much higher premium than a regular driver. Such a driver will be left with no other option but to pay a high premium, since insurance has been made mandatory for driver in many states.
Insurance premiums are also very relative. They are based on extensive research and statistics. For instance, a policy holder who smokes might have to pay as much as twice the amount paid by a non-smoker. Some companies also have a provision wherein the premiums are reduced if the policy holder changes his habits. However, evidence based on medical tests will have to supplement this argument. Premiums may also fluctuate according to market trends.
As stated previously, it is not always in the best interest of the insurer to be up front with you regarding the many pitfalls which surround the purchase of insurance. However, by understanding not only some of the omissions as well as grasping the underlying motivations of insurers customers can be must better situated to make good decisions regarding their insurance needs
It’s a simple fact that even some very good health insurance companies lack a few of the following 5 things. Be a discriminating health insurance buyer and make sure that the health insurance company that you choose receives a passing grade in all 5 of these areas:
1. Large, Stable Networks [If you have never heard of them before then it could be that your doctor never has either].
2. Excellent Customer Service [This should go without saying].
3. Comprehensive Policies [No Annual Caps or Limits – no indemnity policies or health discount plans unless all other alternatives are exhausted; TIP: Simply look up Discount Health Plan Warning in any major search engine and take a look].
4. Competitive Pricing [There is very strong competition amongst the “Big 3” that many other companies could have trouble competing with unless they give up ground on 1 or more of these other 4 things].
5. Claims-Paying Ability [Financial Strength] When it comes to being fully prepared why does it make sense to depend on one of the “Big 3” health insurance companies: United Healthcare, Aetna, or Humana? Aren’t there some other good companies out there?
The answer is, “Yes, there are many good health insurance companies out there with great people working for them.” However, in all practicality almost all people will find the best policy from one of the “Big 3” health insurance companies: United Healthcare, Aetna, or Humana. The “Big 3” are all very strong in each of these 5 areas.
Again, there are many other good companies out there but a health insurance company must be strong in each of these 5 areas to truly be a health insurance company that your family can depend on for years to Compare Health Insurance Quotes
As you moved past your twenties, and into the rest of your life, you probably started realizing that you were not invincible. Although few want to admit it, there will come a time when you die. When you have a family, you need to ensure they will be taken care of financially when this occurs. Life insurance companies can help you make arrangements while you are alive for what happens after your life. The truth is that no one likes to think about life insurance, but it is a very necessary part of life. Being responsible means making sure your affairs are in order at all times, which is basically what life insurance helps you do. When choosing a life insurance company, be sure to think about these qualities you want in a great company.
One of the most important things you need to consider when choosing between life insurance companies is reputation. You should only work with companies that have outstanding reputations. There are far too many scams in the world to fall for, so be sure to stick with companies that look and feel legitimate. This does not mean you should always go with the largest company out there, just be sure that the insurance company you choose to work with is professional and will be around when you need them to be.
Just like auto insurance, you need to shop around for life insurance rates. Depending on your age, different companies will be able to offer you different prices. You may pay more on one policy, but get better benefits. Look at three to five quotes from life insurance companies before you make a commitment. Once you sign up with one company, you probably will never want to change because you may lose some benefits you have earned. So, making the right decision the first time is important. Remember to use your instinct and only work with those who are professional and legitimate.
Insurance is all about the evaluation of risk and it is something that life insurance companies know a lot about. Every time life insurance companies receive an application for a life insurance policy, the companies decide how much of a risk that applicant poses to their business. This is to say that the insurance companies make an educated estimation of how long the applicant is likely to live versus how many insurance premium payments they are likely to make before death occurs.
If they believe that the applicant will live long and will therefore make a substantial number of insurance premium payments during his/her life, then life insurance companies see the applicant as low risk to their business. However, if life insurance companies believe that an applicant could die soon, and therefore make relatively few insurance premium payments while they are alive, that candidate will be seen as a higher risk by the insurance companies.
When calculating life insurance premiums two factors are considered by life insurance companies. The first factor involves an evaluation of the general likelihood of death occurring at a particular age, and involves the scaling of applicants against normal life expectancy. This sets the ‘average’ risk level that different age ranges attract; needless to say that the closer you are to your average life expectancy then the higher the risk level that you’ll be measured against.
The second factor is based on whether the applicant is above or below their average risk level for their age. Someone who has an unhealthy lifestyle, suffers from pre-existing health conditions and is in a stressful job is likely to be classified as ‘above average’. On the flip side, someone who goes to the gym regularly, does not smoke and eats a balanced diet is likely to be seen as ‘below average’. Naturally, those who are below average risk will see keener insurance premiums on their life insurance policy for their age than people who are classified as ‘above average’.
While there is often little we can do about pre-existing health conditions, there are ways in which to tip the scales in our favour of cheaper life insurance. This we can do by altering our lifestyle and striking a better work-life balance in a stress-free environment. Changing lifestyle habits though can be more effective for some than it can for others.
For instance, a person in their 20s living out an unhealthy existence is likely to be seen as less of an insurance threat for their age to life companies than someone in their 50s with the same unhealthy lifestyle. This is because the body of a 20-year-old will respond more efficiently to improvements in lifestyle than will the body of a 50-year-old. In essence therefore, there are different degrees of being above average and below average, making the calculation of life insurance premiums for each individual definitely a job for the experts at the life companies!
In September, one of the UK’s largest car insurers announced that they expect car insurance premiums to rise 10-20% in the next twelve months. There are many reasons for the rise – The Motley Fool blames the floods, for instance, while Admiral Insurance says that the rise is due to the fact that premiums have been kept artificially low for the past several years. The news has many UK drivers seeking cheaper car insurance premiums than they are currently paying.
You’d think that finding the cheapest car insurance company would be a simple matter, but there’s more to it than just checking the prices at all the companies and telling you “X Insurance Company will insure your car for less”. The fact is that auto insurers include far too many variables when devising their quotes for any responsible advisor to tell you point blank that any one company is the “cheapest” insurance company in the UK. We can, however, tell you how to find the best car insurance option for your particular situation. Here are some tips to help you find the most economical auto cover.
Online insurance search sites allow you to solicit quotes from many different insurers using the same information. Checking price comparison sites will give you a baseline for comparison, but it’s important to look beyond the comparison sites. Be aware that many insurers are not represented on most comparison sites, so you may be missing out on cheaper rates if you only look online.
– Look to non-traditional and newer insurers for the best prices.
In a recent experiment, one of the bigger comparison sites searched 33 insurers using a variety of risk profiles. The results? Newer insurers and companies not best known for offering car insurance consistently came out among the cheapest premiums, with Marks & Spencer coming out at the top of the list of cheapest insurers consistently. However, they cautioned, with all the variables that are used by car insurance companies, your results may be different.
– Be sure to take your safety discount and any loyalty discounts you have with your current insurer into account when comparing premium quotes. Many insurers offer perks for staying with them, especially if you’re considering switching companies. Be sure to count decreases in excess and safe driver discounts when you’re considering the costs of changing car insurance companies.
– Don’t be afraid to bargain. When you submit your information to several auto insurance companies for a quote, you’ll be armed with the ammunition you need to get the best deal possible. If you’re satisfied with your current insurer, but have got a lower quote elsewhere, you might find they’re happy to offer you a lower rate to keep your business. Ring them up and let them know that you love their service, but you’ve been quoted a lower premium by another company and ask if they can match it. Be specific. You might be surprised to find how much they value your business. And if they don’t – you’ve got that lower quote, don’t you?