Friday, 29 July 2016

Steps to Borrow Money from Your Life Insurance

There are several reasons why you would need to borrow from your life insurance. Although your life insurance is not your conventional bank, some life insurance policy actually allows you to borrow from it. If you want to do this, you'd need to take these steps:

How much do you want to borrow?

This shouldn't be a vague amount of money. You should sit down and make a good calculation of the exact amount. When you're done with this step, proceed to...

Call Your Insurance Company

You'd need to be certain for sure if they offer such services or if your insurance policy allows for borrowing. Anyways, your insurance company will be the best person to talk over this with.

What's the most tax efficient way to get the funds?

Since you're looking to borrow some money from your policy, paying tax is only going to short you of the available money to be borrowed. As you discuss with your insurer, remember to bring this question up. The insurer will advise accordingly on the best possible way to achieve this.

Continue Paying Your Premiums

This is where people sometimes get it all wrong. If you withdraw or borrow from your insurance policy, you would still have to continue with the payment of your premium. Failure to do this would mean nullifying the policy and its resulting death benefit.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Life Insurance Company

So you have probably made up your mind to buy a life insurance policy but you don't know which company to choose from the lot. Here are some things you should consider as you proceed.

Types of Policy Offered

While there are several variations of life insurance policies in the market today, there are basically summed up into two types of life insurance policy - Term and Permanent life insurance. Do not assume the company will offer both. Ask them directly which types they offer.

Reputation of the Company

You should know how well the company treats other policyholders. You can always get this by asking around or doing your research on each company. It's never too much to carry out a research; remember you'll be putting your life insurance in their hands.

History and Experience

Nothing beats experience! A good life insurance company should have a vast knowledge on all that life insurance entails and should have enough experience to back the knowledge. Ask for proof and other things to verify their experience level.

They should be licensed

The insurance industry is well regulated in most countries. Any life insurance company must be duly licensed and registered with the country's insurance department. This would be there company is being governed and directed by the laws of the State.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Tips To Protect Your Home from Winter Storm Damage

For most homeowners’ insurance policy, the policy covers damages cause during winter storms. There are some policies that may not include this coverage. It is best you are well acquainted with all your policy’s coverage. Anyways, if your policy includes winter storm damages, you don’t have to sit back and wait for the damage to occur. Here are some steps you can take to prevent such damages.

Clean Downspouts and Gutters
During winter, almost everything gets iced. The resulting effect of this is that these ices will eventually melt. You should ensure your gutters and downspout are as clean as they can be to allow for easy passage of the melting ice.

Inspect Roof Shingles
Before the winter comes in, ensure you inspect your roof shingles and flashing. This is because melting snow can damage the shingles and leave you with a leaking roof.

Insulate Pipes
There are some pipes in the house that are susceptible to freezing. Unless you bought insulated pipes, it is best you insulate all your exposed pipes during winter.

Trim Tree Branches
Tree branch fall is very common during the winter periods. Why this occurs is not far fetched but it would be wise not to have your house underneath one when it breaks. To avoid such from happening, trim the tree branches on your property. Ensure it is not close to your house.

Inspect Your Heating System
Winter is not the time to discover you have a faulty winter system. To prevent this, you have to step up your maintenance game. Ensure you properly inspect, clean, and repair the system just before the onset of winter.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Understanding Premiums and Deductibles

Insurers will require clients to pay premium for a policy or a combination of policies. Usually these premiums are set with a combination of several factors. People often complain that premiums differ even within the same policies but are usually not well informed on why this works. Although there are other factors to consider, like earlier mentioned, our attention is on deductibles.

In simple terms; higher deductible equals lower premium rate. Before getting all excited, let's simply understand what a deductible actually means. Deductible is the amount in damage or loss that you're willing to pay by yourself. To help simplify it, let's use an example.

Your home was engulfed in fire and the damages are minimal and repairs amount to about $1,000. If you are expecting your insurance company to bear this cost, then expect to have a high premium. If you set your deductible to say, something like $5,000, this means you'll bear the cost. Any damage or loss to or in your home below $5,000 will be undertaken by you. This automatically would mean a reduced premium.

So for someone with deductible placed at $10,000, the premium on the policy will be lower than someone on the same policy with deductible placed at $2,000. To be fair, insurance companies do not exist to take care of these minor expenses. It's best you leave them to take care of the bigger damages or losses.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Why Cyber Liability Insurance is No Joke

So after hearing so much about cyber insurance, you still believe your business is somehow invincible to getting hacked. So let’s work with this scenario for moment and see how well you would fair. You are called one early morning by one of your employees to say your website is disabled and you cannot take orders or receive payments. Worse still, you are dealing with a very skilled hacker who has been able to gain access to all of your customer’s names and information; your employees personal information are not left out of this breach too. Simply put; what would you do about such a situation?

While this scenario may not have happened to you, it doesn’t negate the fact that several businesses (some large corporations) have had to deal with damage or loss. At such a time, the only viable assistance you can get is from cyber insurance. Of course this would mean you have already bought a policy in the past. If you haven’t, then you would be among the thousands of businesses that had to learn the hard way. To have put in much effort to keep your business afloat for all these years’ means you really do care about the business. If this is true, them a cyber-insurance policy is too little commitments for you to take lightly, especially in a technologically advanced world like this.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Global Businesses at Risk with Growing Cyber Threats

Most businesses are yet to fully understand the menace of cyber hacks to their business. For some of them, they would only understand its devastating effect after they fall victim to such attacks. Here's a classical example of how cyber-attacks are carried out with great precision.

A malware was sent to a computer in a bank. Once the malware has fully settled and infiltrated the system, hackers were able to locate the administrator's system for video surveillance. This gave them full access to all the happenings in the bank and monitor staffs in charge of servicing funds transfer. It was only a matter of time for this hacker to be able to mimic the activities of staff. Using this same process, hundreds of millions were transferred out of several banks.

This is not some fiction, action movie but a real life event. It always starts with some form of malware - something so insignificant at first. While businesses should be willing to invest more in cyber security, they should also get coverage for loss or damages incurred through cyber insurance

Cyber-Attacks Remains the #1 Threat to Australian Businesses

The internet plays a vital role in today's Australian business sphere. Unlike about a decade ago, the government is fully aware and willing to partner with agencies to bring a stop to these business threats. Even as the world experiences these attacks, there is need for a deeper, more result-yielding solution.

The majority of businesses in the continent fall into the small business category. These businesses are usually ill-equipped or lack good information about cyber hacks. Although big businesses are not left out, most of them are taking active measures to fortify their security systems with up-to-date cyber security tools. It is for this reason that insurance companies like Greater National Group have decided to collaborate with the government in ensuring small businesses are better equipped in such a time as this.

Cyberinsurance policies and packages are being designed to cater for the available budget of these businesses. If this type of cushion is not made available, in a decade from now, most of these small business owners would shut down their business. An Australian economy without the financial support of small businesses is one that will crumble upon its own weight.

Why You Need Flood and Earthquake Insurance

As the world ages, there seems to be a surge in the number of recorded flooding and earthquakes. Human activities have also contributed its quota to this devastating change. Unlike before, as a business or home owner, you may want to consider including a flood and earthquake insurance policy to your existing policy.

General home owner's insurance policy offers coverage for several damages and losses but it doesn't out rightly cover such caused by flood and earthquakes. These policies are often specially included upon request from clients. As you would have guessed, this would increase your premium.

While you may feel this is going to the extreme, you have to check if your area is susceptible to flooding. As the climate changes, water levels are rising all over the world. That your area has never flooded in the past doesn't rule out its possibility. Earthquake is even easier to check and to some extent, predict. Evaluate the cost of repairs and rebuilding your home to be able to ascertain the amount of coverage you would need. It's always better to be prepared than to be sorry. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Home Insurance Review

My wife and I went for a vacation in Hawaii. While it was all fun over there, our home got burgled into. You can imagine the shock when we received calls from our neighbors. Immediately I put a call across to guys at GNG and started planning to return home. I've heard not-too-good information about insurance company’s adjusters but GNG proved it all otherwise. He came over and went through all the items stolen and damaged and assured myself and my wife that all will be fine.

The company kept us in the loop of all they were doing and called for brief meetings occasionally. Some of my friends have suggested I get a public adjuster too but GNG guys were more than able to handle the claim. In no distant time, the company paid for the damages and repairs. They even went as far as installing a new and better security checking system in the house.

Is It Time to Buy Cyber Insurance?

Usually this kind of question will be asked by business owners with their business still in infancy. The painful reality is that it is still being asked by few big businesses that are yet to fully understand the effect of a cyber-attack to their business. With each passing year, businesses have move a large percentage, if not all, of their data digitally. This makes all this information open for hacks and theft.

So a question like this would only have a befitting answer that suggests how dangerous it has been to have delayed for this long. Cyber insurance doesn't only just look to protect you in times of data breaches; it also provides solutions and tools to help prevent such attack. Every business in this 21st century should have cyber insurance to help protect their business electronically.

Big corporations have in recent time’s fallen prey to the nefarious activities of cyber hackers. These data breaches have run business damages into billions of dollars. While the world comes together to find a lasting solution to these attacks cyber insurance remains the only viable cushion for businesses to use for protection.

Factors Considered for Fixing Auto Insurance Premiums

While general auto insurance coverage standards may be the same for most places, usually premiums differ from insurer to the other. When it comes to determining your premium rate, these are some of the things insurers look out for.

Driving Record

Your driving sins can come back to haunt you when looking to buy an auto insurance policy. Your driving record would tell the level of risk you are to the insurer. If the records are not too impressive - meaning you've been involved in multiple accidents - expect a higher premium.

Where You Park at Night

This may seem a bit weird but it does play an important role in fixing your premium. If the parking area is not too safe, you should expect a higher premium. This is because the risk of it getting burgled is quite high.

Type of Car

This too plays a role in determining premiums. The more expensive a car is, the higher the premium. This is because it would cost more to repair or replace an expensive car than it would in repairing a less expensive one.


It is generally believed that older people drive more carefully than their younger counterparts. Although this isn't the first of things to consider, it can play a role when driving records are taken into account.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Greater National Group Review

Since my wife and I joined the Greater national Group almost four years ago, we have not had any reason to lose faith in what they do. My warmest regards is for their customer service team who are more than willing to take you through whatever phase you may be going through. Sadly, my wife and I have for the almost four years with the company, filled for a claim twice. One was for a flooding issue at home and another, a car accident. This is where I could not help but fall in love with the customer service team.

They took it upon themselves to make sure my wife and I were extremely comfortable. Filing for a claim has never been so easy like the experience we had with GNG. It is good to have someone have your back when you are down in a crisis. My wife and I can only remain grateful for all you have been doing in our lives. Indeed when it comes to professional service, you all are just simply the best!

Life Insurance for those in the Military

Unlike many of us that would need to actively purchase a life insurance, military personnel naturally enjoy a well-planned out life insurance policy. These usually include death gratuity, financial counselling, bereavement support, and a lifelong survivor benefits. All these are out in place to ensure the family and relations of military personnel are well taken care of after their death.

In the case where a death occurs for personnel in the US, the beneficiaries are allowed to choose between two options; claim a lump sum or 36 equal monthly installments. According to reports, many beneficiaries opt for the lump sum payment. This allows them to quickly move on past the grieving stage and look more towards the future.

Death gratuity is also included in the package and the military have systems in place to ensure that payment is claimed smoothly. Using the military as a good example, life insurance is surely a better way to care for love ones even while you are not alive. For military personnel, the premiums are taken from their salary in such a way that it doesn’t necessarily affect them. 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

What's All the Fuss about Buying Insurance?

This may seem like an uncalled for question but you will be amazed at the number of people who think they know what insurance is all about. The saddest part of it all is that they don't know anything about it; maybe the basics, if they are lucky. Before we delve into more complicated aspects of insurance, its best we trash out why it's important to buy insurance.

In the event of a loss or damage, an insurance policy allows you lay claim for assistance. There is no one-size-fits-all insurance as there are different types. For instance, if you have a health challenge, an insurance company will cover some cost for treatment and in keeping you healthy. Home owner's insurance will cover damages or loss sustained to your home. Car insurance will see to repairing or replacing damages to your car. All of these are done specifically on the type of insurance you've bought. All this is made possible because you pay a premium.

Insurance companies are not Charity organizations or some form of magic wand. Talk to experts on insurance, like those of the Greater National Group, and listen while they explain the coverage offered by the insurance you want to buy. Everybody should buy insurance. The type and kind you want is totally up to you but you just need to stay insured.

Understanding the Gaps in Auto Insurance

How many vehicles are included in your auto insurance policy? How many drivers are covered by it? For most auto insurance, you, your spouse, and children are covered but there are certain exceptions to this. If you have a child in college, such child should still be covered by the policy. If the child stays off-campus, the policy usually doesn't cover such. Like any other insurance policy, auto insurance is subject to change at any time, depending on changes in your daily lives.

So let's assume you once had an auto insurance policy for your family. In the event of a divorce, such policy would immediately have gaps. No matter how small the change, when something changes in you or your family's routine, it could affect the overall coverage of the auto insurance policy. Other common gaps to look out for include damaged car batteries, tires, shocks, etc. Even in a case of using a rental while your car is being repaired comes with a cap.

Most people only get to know of these gaps after filing for a claim. Then when insurance companies try to explain, they spend money hiring a public adjuster. Ensure you do an annual review of your auto insurance with your insurance broker.