The topic of life insurance is often met with frowns, discomfort, and reluctance. And we understand why. Thinking about your own death is not an easy think to contemplate. However, obtaining a life insurance policy may be one of the smartest decisions of you life because it can help provide for your loved ones after you’re gone.
Much of the hesitation surrounding life insurance are several misconceptions about how life insurance works. In fact, most of these misconceptions are flat-out myths altogether. To understand life insurance and its importance, read further.
I don’t need life insurance because I’m either single or married with no children.
Just because you aren’t married or have children doesn’t mean a life insurance policy wouldn’t benefit you loved ones greatly. In the event of your untimely death, the money from a life insurance policy can help you loved ones pay off any debts you left behind. A mortgage and paying off a car are serious matters. Your loved ones already have to cope with the heartache of you not being around anymore. Why make matters more difficult with financial burdens?
I can’t afford life insurance.
This is a commonly shared belief. Believe it or not, life insurance is extremely affordable. A policy may be customized to fit your specifics needs and budget. And, in the case of life insurance, a little can go a long way. In fact, policies may be less expensive than that cup of coffee you’re buying every morning on your way to work. Call our office and ask to speak with one of our experienced life insurance professionals. They’ll be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.
I’m a stay-at-home parent that doesn’t earn an income. I have no need for life insurance.
Just because you may not be earning a paycheck doesn’t mean your time isn’t valuable. In fact, if you’re a stay-at-home parent, chances are that the tasks you’re completing on a daily basis could cost thousands and thousands of dollars every year if you were going to pay someone to do them. Hiring professional caregivers or house cleaners doesn’t come cheap. If you were to die, a life insurance policy could help to cover the costs of hiring some help for your loved ones.
I have a life insurance policy through my employer. If I choose to take on another job or get fired from my current job, I can take the policy with me.
When you purchase your own life insurance policy, you afford yourself more options and more overall flexibility. If you have life insurance through your work and you either lose your job or decide to leave it, typically, your life insurance policy stays with your employer. You can’t take it with you. This is another good reason to get your own life insurance policy. When you buy your own policy, you’re also able to customize it to fit your specific needs.
My beneficiaries will have to pay income taxes on the proceeds from my life insurance policy.
Generally speaking, your life insurance policy is income-tax free. This means that, if you were to pass away, your beneficiaries would be required to pay taxes on the benefit issued to them in the policy. However, any interest payments on top of the policy may be subject to a tax.
If I get a term life insurance policy, I can’t convert it to a permanent or whole life insurance policy.
Depending on the type of policy you buy, you may be granted an opportunity to convert your term life insurance policy to a permanent or whole life insurance policy. Call us to speak with one of our life insurance professionals at length. It is important to note that, most of the time, life insurance policies that are in force for a specific period of time must also be converted within a very specific period of time.
I don’t need life insurance once my children are legal adults.
If you die, a life insurance policy can help your loved ones pay for a funeral. If they do not anticipate possible estate taxes, a life insurance policy can help them with those surprise financial burdens. Finally, if you want to leave your children an inheritance, a life insurance policy is one way to make that a reality.
I have a comfortable amount of savings, so I don’t need life insurance.
The average cost of a funeral is over $7,000. It’s great if you have money saved for your children, but do you really want your children to have to use most of that money for your funeral? Saying goodbye is hard enough. Don’t add financial stress on top of what your loved ones are already struggling with.Read more
Colder months can be a brutal time of year for your car if you’re not proactive about vehicle maintenance. Neglecting the warning signs that your car needs some much needed attention could take a serious toll on your wallet. Here are ten fall maintenance tips that, if you use them, will help you live much more stress-free during the fall and winter months.
Replace your Wiper Blades
It’s an unfortunate reality, but a reality nonetheless. Wiper blades wear out after a while. In severe weather conditions consisting of heavy rainfall or snow, you’ll need wiper blades that are up to the task of providing you with clear visibility when you’re out on the road. Generally speaking, wiper blades should be replaced every six to twelve months.
Test Your Heater/Defroster
Having to drive a car that won’t heat itself properly isn’t fun, especially when temperatures are freezing. When you turn your heater/defroster on, check to see how effectively your car is defrosting itself. If it is taking longer than usual, it may be time to get it repaired or replaced.
Change Your Oil
Most cars today have built-in oil indicators that tell you just how much oil is left in your car. Whether you drive a newer car or are still trying to get those last few miles out of an older one, be sure to be mindful of when the last time you changed your oil was. If you wait too long, your car’s performance will suffer and you may be left with an expensive repair on your hands. Remember, being proactive about your vehicle maintenance can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Have Your Tires and Brakes Inspected
If your tires lack the proper amount of tread to grip road surfaces, and if your brakes fail on you, you’re leaving yourself at dangerous risks of peril when you’re behind the wheel. Not to mention if you have your loved ones in the car with you. Ask yourself, would you really want to put them at risk? Don’t do it.
Check Your Lights
This doesn’t take much time at all. Simply walk around your vehicle with your lights turned on. If you notice any cracks, breaks, or one or more of your lights not illuminating, you’ll want to take your car to a dealership or repair shop immediately. Not only is it dangerous to drive with malfunctioning or broken lights, but a police officer will certainly pull you over and issue you a ticket for driving your car without properly working lights.
Check Your Air Filter
Don’t know how to test your air filter? Don’t worry. Place your air filter in front of a 60-watt light bulb. If you can’t see through the filter, you know it’s time to replace it. If you don’t know how to replace the air filter yourself, contact a skilled technician to provide that service for you.
Have Your Battery Checked
Weather is getting colder. Pretty soon, it’ll become cold and treacherous. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re stranded on the side of the road in freezing conditions because your car battery died on you. It’s better to get your battery looked at sooner rather than later. Batteries can also have loose wires and cable connections. Loose wires and wet conditions? No, thank you. Get a professional to take a look at your battery before it’s too late.
Top Off Your Fluids
How many fluids are there? Well, for starters, check that your washer fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid are all topped off. This is especially important and needed in cold weather conditions.
Refill Your Cooling System
If your engine is overheated, you potentially have an expensive repair on your hands. Make sure your coolant is full with a 50/50 combination of water and coolant.
Check Under Your Hood
If you look under your hood, you’ll probably see some obvious signs of wear and tear. If signs of wear and tear are visible, take your car to a professional to have it inspected. They can tell you what needs to be repaired and/or replaced and how much everything will cost. A little rule of thumb is if you hear any strange noises or smell anything unusual underneath your hood, it’s time to have your car inspected.Read more
How many of you have ever played a sport? Typically, in sports, scoring points is a good thing. If you’re talking about your driving record, well, that’s a different story. Practicing safe driving techniques is not only a surefire way to keep points off your driving record; it’s a foolproof way to keep your auto insurance rates low.
Motor Vehicle Departments of different states across the country as well as various insurance companies use speeding tickets and other violations to track your driving record. The more points you actually have, the higher your insurance rates will likely be. In addition, the severity of the infraction determines the amount of points you will be penalized with. For example, while a speeding ticket may get you one point, with a DUI, you’ll be racking up a monumental 6 points! Let me say again, you do not want points on your license!
Insurance carriers give higher rates to individuals with poor driving records because they present a greater risk to them financially. Once you reach a certain number of points, your policy may be surcharged, resulting in you having to pay a higher insurance premium.
Moving violations will likely add points to your license. Such violations may include but are not limited to: speeding, reckless driving, illegal turns, failing to come to a complete stop, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and accidents in which you are deemed the at-fault party.
An analysis by Wallethub determined that an Erie policyholder’s insurance rate will increase by 5% after being issued a speeding ticket. Now, it’s important to remember that if you’ve committed infractions in addition to speeding, for example, your insurance rate will likely increase more than someone who just has the single speeding violation. In North Carolina, a speeding ticket will cause your premium to increase up to 54%. According to carinsurance.com, if you are a licensed driver in Maryland and are caught speeding between 11 and 16 miles over the speed limit, you could face a rate increase of up to 18% on your insurance premium. Rate increases vary by state.
If you text while driving, not only are you putting yourself and other drivers at serious risk of injury, but you are also potentially risking your insurance rates to sky-rocket. In fact, if you cause an accident in Maryland, you are looking at 3 points being added to your driver’s license. This goes on top of the point you already earned if you were speeding. If you licensed in Virginia, say hello to 3 points on your license if you’re caught texting while driving. States all over the country are really cracking down on chronic texters. If you want to keep your insurance rates low, put the phone down while you’re behind the wheel.
As hard a hit as your insurance premium may take if you commit these violations, there is a silver lining. Depending on the state in which you live, a speeding ticket will only affect your auto policy for 3-5 years. If you don’t want to pay the higher premiums for years, you have the option of taking a defensive driving course that would result in the ticket being expunged from your record altogether. Also, you can call one of our agents at 301-948-2010 to see what discounts you may qualify for under your Erie policy.Read more
Did you know that September is National Baby Safety Month? Whether you already have little ones running around or if you are expecting, as parents, you always want to keep your babies safe and out of harm’s way. Whatever situation you find yourself in, updating your insurance policy might be something to strongly consider.
Keeping Your Baby Safe In the Car
Choosing the right car seat can be a challenge. Whatever car seat you decide to buy, make sure it is federally approved. Car seats should always face the rear of you vehicle until your baby is at least two years old or until they reach the top weight and height recommendations of the car seat manufacturer. This is typically around thirty pounds and thirty-six inches (3 feet).
Installing a mirror can provide you with much needed peace of mind that your baby is safe in your car while you are driving. Additionally, giving your child the ability to see themselves and you can help keep them from getting bored.
Preventing Your Baby From Falling
Never place an infant carrier on a countertop or table. Keep them on the floor to prevent the risk of a fall. Additionally, it is important to remember to never leave your baby unsupervised on a bed, couch, changing table, or any other high surface. Even more, consider installing baby gates on the top of stairways to prevent your baby from experiencing a dangerous fall.
Smoking and Fire Safety
Do not smoke or allow anyone else to smoke around your baby. Clothing, hair, and skin can all carry smoke particles, so it is important to not smoke outside either.
Even if you do not have babies or children, having a properly functioning smoke alarm in your home is of paramount importance. Be sure to change your smoke alarm’s batteries every six months. Additionally, it is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home. Finally, since carbon monoxide it an odorless, colorless, deadly gas, you need to have a properly functioning carbon monoxide detector installed in your home.
Preventing Baby Burns
Don’t hold an infant while you’re cooking, eating or drinking. Before you feed your baby, make sure the temperature of the food is at a safe temperature for consumption. If you are handling pots and pans on the stove, make sure they are not facing outward to prevent to possibility of a dangerous spill.
Having a Baby Safety Kit On Hand
As parents, we always want to do everything we can to protect our babies. If you are ever facing an emergency or just want peace of mind while traveling, it’s a good idea to have a safety kit with you. These kits often include items such as: extra formula, clothing, a first-aid kit, and medicine.Read more