June 26, 2022

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Don’t get caught uncovered: Health, Medicare & Home Insurance

Whether its your house, car, or even your life, you want to make sure you have insurance to protect the things you care about most!

GREENSBORO, Ga. — We pay for insurance but rarely do we really know what it covers and what it doesn’t. Three experts joined 2WTK to answer your questions: Christopher Cook from Alliance Insurance Services, Dr. Catherine Sevier, AARP NC President, and Brandi Hill of All Insurance For You.  

MEDICARE

Want to compare Medicare plans?  Try Medicare.gov

“What’s most important to understand ABOUT MEDICARE is when the open period enrollment is. it’s the month of your 65th birthday plus 3 months prior and 3 months after. if you miss that window you will suffer a 10{de3fc13d4eb210e6ea91a63b91641ad51ecf4a1f1306988bf846a537e7024eeb} penalty every 12 months and that penalty doesn’t go away once you start, and you pay that higher premium for the rest of your life,” said Scott Braddock of Scott Braddock Financial.

And while Medicare usually covers 80{de3fc13d4eb210e6ea91a63b91641ad51ecf4a1f1306988bf846a537e7024eeb} of expenses and you pay about 20{de3fc13d4eb210e6ea91a63b91641ad51ecf4a1f1306988bf846a537e7024eeb} out of pocket, you certainly don’t want a hefty premium.

A key point to note about Medicare, it doesn’t cover long-term expenses and it doesn’t cover eye, hearing, or dental expenses.

Braddock also recommends getting up with an independent Medicare agent. They know the ins and outs and can help direct you. Braddock has several on staff but you can also Google “Independent Medicare Agent Near Me” to find one. 

Another resource is AARP’s Medicare site

The Medicare phone line is 1-800-633-4227

AUTO INSURANCE. DO YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED?

NC law requires you to have liability insurance. This pays for damage and injuries to other drivers. Collision coverage is optional. It pays for damages to your car. Without it, all your accident expenses are out of pocket.

Comprehensive coverage is for non-accident issues, like if a tree falls on your car. If you don’t have comprehensive, you also pay for repairs out of pocket.

GAP INSURANCE. This kind of insurance is good when you have a car you are still paying for. For example:

Your car is worth only $25,000

If you get into an accident, and your car is totaled, your insurance will only pay you $25,000. If you owe $30,000 on the loan, you’ll still have to pay that $5,000 even though you don’t have a car!  GAP insurance covers the difference in the cost and worth.

COULD YOU REMEMBER EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOUSE?

No. Which is why it’s smart to do a home inventory. It’s basically a list of the contents of your house.

You can do it with your phone. Video your electronics, art, furniture, appliances. Open cabinets, the garage, closets. Scan model numbers.

Then send that video to your insurance agent, copy it to your email at home and at work so you always have a copy.

DID YOU GET MARRIED OR ENGAGED?

You need to get insurance on the ring. Most standard policies only cover about $1,500 in jewelry. Chances are, you would need more than that to replace the ring if something happened to it. For about $5 to $10 a month, you can make sure the ring could be replaced if it was lost, stolen, etc. 

The answer most of the time is….you. If your tree falls on your house or your neighbor’s tree falls on your house, it’s your insurance. The only time this doesn’t hold true is if the tree was documented to be a problem.

Know this, homeowners policies cover house damage due to a fallen tree. If the tree just falls in the yard, it’s your responsibility. And, homeowner policies don’t cover tree removal clean-up.

Know this, homeowners policies cover house damage due to a fallen tree. If the tree just falls in the yard, it’s your responsibility. And, homeowner policies don’t cover tree removal clean-up.

Your homeowner policies cover nothing flood-related.
Flood and content policies are extra. For example: to cover a $150,000 house in a low-risk area will cost you about $400 a year.

The Insurance Information Institute says life insurance can be an important tool to: replace income for dependents, pay final expenses, create an inheritance for heirs, pay federal and state “death” taxes, or create a source of savings. There are two major types of life insurance: term life and whole life. Term life is simplest. Whole life insurance can be traditional, universal, or variable.