In observance of the holiday, Alpha Omega Insurance Group LP
will be closed July 3rd and July 4th. We will reopen Wednesday July 5th.
Everyone at Alpha Omega wishes you a Safe and Happy
Named Storms for 2017:
Hurricane Season is here! Make sure your Hurricane Kit is fully stocked:
*Flashlight *Battery Operated Radio & Lanterns
*First Aid Kit *Clock (wind-up or battery powered)
*Can Opener *Bottled Water (1 gallon per person/per day)
*Canned Food *Cooler
*Medications *Cell Phone Chargers
*Pet food, water, leashes, crates and medications
With the New Year beginning, you’ll want to tie up all your loose ends from last year. One thing you should think about is getting your personal estate in order. You may think it is too early to be worrying what will happen after you die, but getting everything drawn up now will help your loved ones down the road.
Break It Down
CNN Money suggests taking inventory of all your investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, real estate, and any business interests. You and your spouse should also think about how the assets should be divided to all your heirs. Once you’ve made theses decisions, talk to your heirs. Hopefully that way there won’t be any disagreements between heirs after you and/or your spouse has died.
Learn To Trust
One way to bequeath your assets is to create a trust. You may think a trust is for the Bill Gates of the world, but in reality a trust can be used if you have a net worth of at least $100,000 and fall under one of these categories:
- A sizeable amount of your assets are in real estate, a business or an art collection
- You want to set up rules for your heirs before they inherit your estate. For example, they have to graduate from college
- You want to support your spouse, but want to leave remainder to your heirs after your spouse dies
- You want to maximize your estate tax exemptions
- An heir is disabled while you want to support them, you don’t want them to be ineligible for Medicaid or government assistance.
Trusts let you distribute everything evenly between your heirs without having to worry about a large cost. They also protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits. Trusts come in a number of different types, so be sure to talk through them with your estate planner.
If you’re ready to start working on your estate’s future or have any questions about the process, be sure to give us at Alpha Omega Insurance a call.
An illness can come up at any time and not only delay you from going back to work, but it can also cause you to find yourself in debt due to medical bills. Instead of living in constant fear of getting seriously ill, get a health insurance plan that will help take away the monetary burden.
Make A List
Before you bite the bullet and buy a health insurance plan, sit down and make a list of the things you want to be included in your policy. US News and World Report suggest including your current doctor, prescriptions you take, and extras like maternity coverage. Once you have your list, check the different plans’ networks to make sure the things you listed as important are included in that package.
It’s All About The Premiums
When considering plans, Forbes suggests to not automatically go with a lower premium. They suggest to look at the typical co-pays, a small percentage of costs you pay when you use a service, and the annual deductible. If you are prone to illness or have a preexisting condition, going with a lower premium may not be the best option since the deductible will be very high.
A lower premium plan does have its perks not only with the lower cost, but also the possibility of your plan being eligible for a health savings account. An HSA lets you save money on a pre-tax basis and then use that money tax-free for medical expenses. If you withdraw the money for other reasons, you’ll be charged a penalty and have to pay taxes. Anything you don’t use can be withdrawn penalty free after you turn 65.
If you’re unsure on which plan would be best for you or your family, come in or give us at Alpha Omega Insurance a call today!
There is no such thing as a guarantee that life will just flow by without any incidents. Just think, one day you’re fine and the next you’ve been injured or have become seriously ill and you can’t go back to work. To protect yourself and your family, look to disability insurance to help get you through a rough time.
Smart Money suggests taking a look at short-term vs. long-term disability. Short-term will take effect when you are unable to work due to an illness, injury or the birth of a child. Most employers offer short-term coverage, so you’ll want to check to see what your company’s policy is. Long-term picks up where a short-term ends. These policies can last anywhere from a specific number of years or until you reach retirement.
All In Good Time
When you are looking at long-term, you’ll want to think about how much coverage you and your loved ones might need. A typical plan replaces anywhere from 50-60% of your salary. When it comes to premium prices, you can choose between level or increase as you age premiums. The level premiums will stay consistent over the term of your policy. Premiums will also be affected by how long your waiting period is for the long-term policy. The longer your waiting period is, the cheaper your premiums will be.
Own vs. Any
You’ll also get to choose between an “own occupation” plan and an “any occupation” plan. The “own occupation” plan covers you when you can’t do your specific job. “Any occupation” will only cover you when you can’t do any work given your education, experience, etc.
Making Workers Comp Work For You
When people set up a new business, they probably aren’t thinking about employees getting injured at work. In fact, accidents and injuries can happen even in the safest of work environments. All it takes is one misstep and someone has broken a wrist. To protect your employees, make sure you get Workers’ Compensation coverage.
In Texas, Workers’ Compensation is state-regulated. The coverage will pay for medical bills and replace some lost wages for those who have been injured at work or have a work-related illness. Workers’ Compensation will only pay for lost wages if the injury or illness caused the employee to lose some or all of their salary for over seven days. While Texas does not require employers to get Workers’ Compensation, they are still held responsible if their workers become injured.
It’s All About Risk
The cost of Workers’ Compensation depends on the state’s Workers’ Compensation board. Each type of occupation is given a risk classification. Your risk is determined by the frequency of on the job injuries and how bad the injuries have been or could be. The classifications are given a dollar amount and that amount is multiplied by one percent of every $100 earned. While the price may seem pretty steep, you may be able to lower rates based on factors like your company’s safety rates.
You’ve made the big step: you opened your own business or you’ve purchased an existing business. The next step you should take is purchasing business liability insurance to protect your business from any claims. Let’s take a look at some of the types of business liability insurance.
General Liability Insurance
General liability, also known as commercial general liability, will protect your company from things like injury claims, or property damages. In the event that one of your workers or a customer visiting your business falls on the premises thanks to a ladder on the ground, you and your business will be covered.
Product Liability Insurance
Product liability will protect your business if a person is injured using your product. For example, if you make and sell bikes, you and your company will be protected if the rider is injured because the front wheel fell off. Product liability will differ in amount of coverage and the level of risk depending on what your product is.
Purchasing your first home is a big step, and your next step should be to protect your investment with a Homeowners policy. A Homeowners policy protects your home from losses like fire or theft. When looking for your perfect policy, here are some things you should consider:
Cover Your Bases
According to Kiplinger.com, a home’s insurance value is based on how much it would cost to rebuild your home. This value can depend on items like how large your house is, and the building materials used. Your policy will also cover your personal possessions like clothing, jewelry, or electronics. Most policies typically cover 75% of your possessions. If you have something extremely valuable like a Picasso or your great grandmothers 3 carat diamond earrings, you’ll probably want to look into getting extra coverage for your policy.
Don’t Get Flooded Out
While homeowners will protect your home and possessions against uncontrollables like theft, your policy won’t protect your home if it floods in a natural disaster like a hurricane or tropical storm. To cover your home, you should add flood insurance to your homeowner’s policy. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, your premiums for flood insurance are based not only on your level of flood risk, but also factors like the construction of your home, the location of its contents, and the deductible you choose.
Most people don’t want to think about their deaths, I mean who does? Unpleasant as it is, there are some things you should consider in the event of your death. For example, how will your family pay for your funeral expenses? What will they do for income? A way to answer these questions and others like them is life insurance.
A Tale Of Two Types
Life insurance can be broken into two different types. The first is term life insurance. Term life gives protection for a limited amount of time. If you die within the term period, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit that you’ve set. If you are still living at the end of term, then the protection stops unless you choose to renew it.
The second type is permanent life insurance. These policies build cash value that you can borrow against and sometimes withdraw to help pay for future goals while you’re living. Permanent life insurance policies are tax-deferred meaning that you pay no taxes on your earnings as long as the policy continues.
Only Time Will Tell
The longer you wait to purchase life insurance, the higher your rates will be. For instance, once you leave your fifties, life insurance gets very expensive. The ideal time to purchase life insurance would be when you are young and in good health. Remember you must have dependents before you can purchase a policy.
You also want to think about how much insurance your family will need. CNN Money’s Lesson On Life Insurance suggests purchasing enough insurance to cover anywhere from five to ten years of your salary. For example, if your salary is $75,000 a year you’ll need somewhere between $375,000 to $750,000 worth of coverage or more. It may seem like a lot of money, but this will replace your salary so your family can continue to live their accustomed lifestyle.
For more information, check out the National Association of Insurance Commissioners tips sheet. If you have any questions or would like help creating the policy for you, feel free to contact our Alpha Omega Insurance agents.
When you first open your business, the first thought that pops into your mind may not be “What will happen to my business if I or one of my business can’t continue to run the business?” This could be due to something like death or an illness or even someone wanting to retire. One way to put any potential problems to rest would be to get a Buy-Sell Agreement.
What Is It?
The CPA Journal describes a Buy-Sell Agreement as an contract that states when a “trigger event” happens owners in the business are guaranteed that their interest in the business will be purchased by either the company, remaining owners or a combination of the two. The agreement can also set that the purchase price can be set by current market conditions, and that there is a funding source (insurance), so there will be cash if it is needed.
There are two types of Buy-Sell Agreements. The first is known as cross-purchase. This means that if you or one of your partners becomes sick, files for bankruptcy, etc., the others may buy him or her out. The second type is known as redemption is where the business itself would buy the other person out, so the other partners don’t go out of pocket.
Will It Work For My Business?
According to Forbes, every business no matter if you are a two person business or a huge corporation should look into getting a Buy-Sell Agreement. The question really is how bad do you really need one? Well, that all depends on how many owners you have and who might step in with a financial claim to the business.
For example, if you go into business with your best friend and they suddenly die. Now you’re faced with all sorts of questions like,“Will his/her spouse or heir become my new partner?” “If they’re not an acting partner, will I have to go to them before we launch a new project or add a new client?” Forbes points out that any company event the most basic can benefit from a Buy-Sell Agreement.
How Do I Get One?
For your agreement funding needs, give Alpha Omega Insurance a call and we’ll help you find the amount works for you and your partners. To actually draw up the agreement, you and your business partners will need to visit either a business or tax attorney. To make sure every detail is covered, take a look at this Buy-Sell Agreement checklist.
If you have any questions, please give us at Alpha Omega Insurance a call and we can talk you through Buy-Sell Funding or another item of our financial services.