Is my home covered for fire with my homeowners’ policy?

Your homeowners’ policy protects you if your house burns down as a result of fire, for example – fire as a result of a forest fire, lightning or electrical fire. The dwelling limit on your policy means the carrier will pay you upto that limit to build your house. This is also called coverage A.

With many Insurance carriers, you can opt to add an additional replacement cost option for an additional premium, that will increase the dwelling limit amount. An electrical fire, for example, due to electrical wiring that is hidden in the wall that you cannot see or expect would be covered but fire due to negligence or poor maintenance is not covered.  Not saying that fire caused by appliances will not be covered, if you have well-maintained appliances it should be covered. 
You must have heard about adjusters coming in after a claim. They are there to assess the extent of damage as well as the cause. Anytime a carrier finds negligence or intentional harm, a claim is not covered. 
Feel free to ask additional questions from your agent.

Is It Better to Buy Dental and Vision Insurance Separately or Can I Get them Both in One Policy?

At Family Insurance Associates, the agents provide Ruidoso, NM residents with the dental and vision insurance they need for both their families as well as for themselves. Dental and vision policies are often sold separately aside from the more traditional healthcare policies. It can be difficult to learn what all is included in the policies you are offered, so it’s important to ask questions.

Buy What You Need

When you have a family, it’s important to protect their health, including their dental and vision needs. If your healthcare policy doesn’t include any dental or vision coverage, you can add supplemental policies that will provide the coverage that is lacking. In most cases, you can purchase dental and vision policies separately, aside from your healthcare insurance.

Bundle Your Policies

Having a family means multiple types of insurance. Instead of purchasing each type of policy separately, you can bundle them into one policy and make one, individual payment each month at a discounted price. Bundling policies saves you both time and money and allows you to customize your insurance policy to meet your family’s needs.

If you live in Ruidoso, NM and are looking to find affordable dental and vision policies, call the agents of Family Insurance Associates. They can provide you with dental and vision policies separately or as a bundle along with other types of health insurance. Don’t wait until your family needs a dental or vision exam to purchase a policy. Visit their office or schedule an appointment to discuss your options. They can bundle the type of policy you need so that your family is fully covered.

How much life insurance do I need?

Life insurance provides protection against untimely or unexpected death. It can help to pay for any outstanding debts or obligations that you may have. It can also pay for your funeral and burial. Many factors influence the amount of life insurance that is correct for you and your situation. The agents at Family Insurance Associates, Ruidoso, NM are there to help you decide the amount of life insurance that your situation requires.

Among the things that affect the amount of life insurance that you need are your age, your income, your family situation, and your outstanding obligations.

Age

The younger you are the more insurance you require in most cases. While your risk of dying may be smaller, your obligations are liable to be higher. It is a good time to invest in policy since the rates will be lower than when you get older.

Income

When determining your insurance coverage amount you need to figure how much your income is required by anyone you are leaving behind and for how many years they will need that assistance. It could be a family or aging parents but basically, the figuring is similar income times number of years.

Family

If you have young children, you will need to have more life insurance coverage. Your wife/partner will be left to provide for the family and when you are used to living on two incomes, losing one of them can cause severe financial issues.

Obligations

Especially if you have a mortgage, it is important to make sure that not only do you provide for your family but you also leave enough money for them to pay off the mortgage on your home. It is traumatic enough losing your spouse/partner but losing your home as well is something that you don’t want to happen.

Why not give the office of Family Insurance Associates, Ruidoso, NM a call and set up an appointment to discuss your life insurance needs. Your loved ones will be happy that you did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Split Limit Insurance Vs Combined Single Limit

Split Limit Liability Insurance
In New Mexico you have options to purchase a split limit or combined single limit automobile policy. In a split limit automobile policy, you will purchase a limit of liability insurance that will have three numbers. Your declarations page of your auto insurance policy may include an annotation that looks something like 100,000/300,000/100,000, for example.

In the given example, your policy would be providing you with a maximum of $100,000 of bodily injury liability per person with a maximum amount per accident of $300,000. If you seriously injured one person in an accident you would have $100,000 of liability protection to offer them in compensation for their loss (medical expenses). If two people were injured in the accident, your policy could provide up to $300,000 for that accident, but not more than the $100,000 limit per person.

The property damage limit of liability is independent of the bodily injury limit and paid separately. This means if two people sustain $100,000 of medical bills each after the accident and you totaled the new $70,000 Corvette they were driving, your policy could issue a total claim payment of $270,000 in order to cover the property damage and the bodily injury losses resulting from your at fault accident.

Combined Single Limit (CSL) Liability Insurance
If the liability coverage on your auto policy is written as a combined single limit, there is no differentiation between bodily injury payouts per person, per accident, or property damage claims. All claims are paid out of the same combined limit, up to the amount stated on your declarations. For example, your policy may list your liability limit as $500,000 CSL. This means that in the event that you cause an accident which results in one person sustaining bodily injury losses and medical bills totaling $400,000 you would have an adequate amount of insurance to pay for those 3rd party losses.

If your bodily injury liability coverage had been written as a split limit for $100,000/$300,000, the scenario of one driver in the other vehicle sustaining $400,000 of bodily injury loss would leave you underinsured by $300,000.

Which is better, Split Limit or CSL?
It really depends on the specifics of the accident, and since no one has a crystal ball, the most imperative thing is to be sure that you have an adequate amount of liability coverage. With the rising medical costs and vehicles today, sufficient liability limits must be maintained to complete a comprehensive risk management portfolio. Oftentimes, Umbrella Liability policies can be used as an inexpensive means to increase the amount of liability insurance limit you carry when the underlying limits available on a personal auto policy are not sufficient in protecting your assets from potentially large liability settlements.

Protecting Your Inventory In-Transport

In order to keep the shelves in your Ruidoso, NM area business stocked, you rely on a network of logistical elements. From the warehouse that stores your potential stock to the trucks that carry them across the country, there are multiple links in the chain between you and your inventory. When things go wrong, the right insurance policy from Family Insurance Associates can help you avoid taking a big loss. What policies help protect your goods throughout the shipping process?

  • After you’ve placed your order and payment has been accepted, the goods legally belong to you. If an accident caused your ordered goods to be broken, spoiled, or otherwise damaged, the distributor’s warehouse insurance would cover the costs of your lost inventory.
  • Large shipments represent a big investment for many retailers. Commercial shipping insurance protects your investment while it’s moving along the path towards your storage facilities. Commonly covered events include theft, loss, and damage from weather or accident.
  • Once your order has made it safely to your shelves, your commercial property policy kicks in. If your inventory gets damaged or stolen while it’s on your property, you can claim the replacement value from your policy.
  • Does your business deliver? A commercial auto insurance policy ensures that your costs are covered if a problem occurs while an item is en route. Of course, our driver and vehicles are covered too.

Insurance policies are an important part of protecting your retail-based business. Family Insurance Associates provides a variety of commercial insurance policies for businesses in the Ruidoso, NM area. Contact our agents now for a professional assessment of your business insurance strategy.

Five Common Car Insurance Myths You Must Know About

When considering a car insurance policy with Family Insurance Associates in Ruidoso, NM, having the right information is critical. Not understanding how your policy works could end up costing you thousands of dollars. The following are five car insurance myths that you should know about in New Mexico.

Myth 1. Your car’s color will affect how much you pay for insurance.

Many people believe that red cars automatically have higher insurance rates, but nothing could be further from the truth. The only factors that determine your car insurance rate are details like the age of the car, your driving record, the safety features of the vehicle, and how much it would cost to replace the vehicle. 

Myth 2. A new car is more likely to be stolen than an older car.

In 2018, a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) showed that most stolen cars were older models. In fact, the most stolen car was the 1998 Honda Civic, with 6,707 thefts reported. The thinking behind this is that because many people are keeping their cars longer, thieves choose those older cars because there’s a huge resale market for their parts.

Myth 3. Car insurance will cover you if your car is totaled in a crash.

If you get into an accident, your insurance company will pay the actual cash value of your car. The only time that the full cost of your vehicle is covered is if you have gap insurance.

Myth 4. If your friend is driving your car and gets into an accident, your friend’s insurance will cover it.

Absolutely not. If your friend gets into a car accident while driving your car, you and your insurance are responsible. Insurance tends to follow the car, not the driver.

Myth 5. The older you are, the more insurance you’ll pay.

Not true. Older drivers, especially those over 55, can usually get their rates reduced by up to 10 percent if they take and complete a defensive driving/ accident prevention course.

Contact our office in Ruidoso, NM to speak with a friendly agent from Family Insurance Associates about getting a quote for your vehicle.

 

What Factors Do You Need to Consider When Selecting a Medicare Insurance Plan?

Selecting the right Medicare insurance plan or supplemental plan is not always easy. Many people get confused about the differences between policies, what is covered, and what coverage they need. Here at Family Insurance Associates, serving the Ruidoso, NM area, we want to help make the process as easy as possible. Here are a few of the factors you should consider when you are looking to purchase a Medicare insurance plan or supplemental plan. 

Coverage

One of the first things you need to do when considering a Medicare insurance plan is to understand the coverage. Different parts and supplemental plans have different types of coverage. One part may cover prescriptions, while another may cover hospital stays. Think about what coverage you already have or do not have with a private medical plan and then look for a policy that fills in the gaps that you need. 

Out-Of-Pocket Expenses

Next, look at any out-of-pocket expenses you may have with a plan, including co-pays and deductibles. You need to ensure you can afford the out-of-pocket costs that go along with the plan you are selecting. 

The Star Rating

Lastly, look at the star rating of the plan. The star rating is a rating from both providers and customers related to the plan. The rating is based on customer service, coverage, the plan’s quality, and how well people feel the plan performs for them. This is sort of like a review, allowing you to see how other people rate this specific plan. 

At Family Insurance Associates, serving the greater Ruidoso, NM area, we can sit down with you and discuss your medical insurance needs and help you select the right Medicare insurance plan for you. Give us a call now to schedule your appointment. 

Common Uses of Homeowner’s Insurance in New Mexico

Homeowner’s insurance is a common way to protect your property in and around the home. This can be especially important in cases of large scale losses like natural disasters and fires. People who have pets or children can also be covered under a homeowner’s policy for damages they cause away from home as well. Many types of coverage should be discussed with an insurance professional like the ones at Family Insurance Associates to determine your specific needs.   

Each state has its own insurance laws and common kinds of incidents that usually occur due to weather and location. The Ruidoso, NM area has some specific threats from wildfires and extreme winds due to the geography of the state. The government has published an official document to provide more information about these disasters and how insurance coverage can help. Your homeowner’s policy may be able to cover the cost of damage as well as provide other temporary forms of assistance during repairs and relocation if necessary. It is also recommended to review the policy each year to learn specifics about coverage amounts and specific types of coverage that apply to your home. Having adequate coverage will help your life get back to normal if significant losses have occurred. Insurance companies will usually send an adjuster to verify the damages and then issue funds to help with repairs and other necessary changes during recovery time. 

If you are looking for a homeowner’s insurance company serving the Ruidoso, NM area and beyond, please contact Family Insurance Associates. Insurance professionals can speak to you about creating a policy tailored to your situation at the right cost. You can provide specific details about your home, family, and living situation to get the appropriate answers and proper kinds of coverage. Contact us for a quote.

Making Sense of Medigap Plans and MACRA

Medicare Supplement Plans C & F are not going to be available to new enrollees from 2020. December 31st, 2019 will be the last day when anybody eligible will be able to buy Medigap policies C & F. Many Medicare recipients among who chose to buy Medigap Policies chose Plan F in past as it has been the most comprehensive Medigap Plan. The reason for these plans going away is Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Starting 2020, Section 401 of MACRA will prohibit sale of Medigap Policies that cover Part B deductibles to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
Some people who know Plan F, they think it is a big deal. Medicare Plan F is well-liked because it pays for all the gaps in Original Medicare Part A and Part B, including both your hospital and outpatient deductible as well as the co-insurance. It even pays the 20% that Medicare Part B does not cover. This means zero out-of-pocket for you at the doctor’s office.
People who buy Plan F on or before December 31st, 2019 can renew Plan F every year lifelong, provided there are no further law changes.
Some Insurance carriers also offer Plan F high deductible – that means you must pay the deductible before Plan F pays. Plan F High deductible serves a different financial purpose for some enrollees and because of the deductible it is clearly not the most comprehensive plan.
From 2020 the most comprehensive plan available will be Plan G, which at this time second most comprehensive plan after Plan F, Plan G does not cover part B deductible. Plan C is in the middle tier when you talk about comprehensiveness of the plan. Plan D has almost similar coverage to Plan C except for Part B (Doctors Office and Outpatient services) deductible. Do not get confused between Medigap Plan D vs Medicare Part D – which is Prescription Drug Coverage Plan. None of the Medigap plans give you Prescription drug coverage.


As you can see in above graphic Medicare supplement Plan F has been the most comprehensive Plan as well as simplest to learn about as it has the most checks in all the Medigap plan tabulations you see. As 2020 nears you will see scare tactics from people who might tell you to switch out of Plan F as it is going away, simultaneously you will see scare tactics from other people who will try you to switch to Plan F before it goes away.
Everybody’s financial situation is different, we advise you to choose a plan that makes most financial sense to you.
Feel free to use our Quoting platform below and find out what makes sense. For calculations, 2018 Part B deductible is $183/- per year. As a reminder – Part F & G also covers 100% of Part B excess charges, which is the difference between what a doctor charges and the amount Medicare Part B will approve.

Medicare Supplement Plan Quotes
Medicare Supplement Plan Quotes

Guide to Medicare Supplement Plans

Why Medicare Supplement?

Medicare Part A & B (referred here as Original Medicare) do not cover everything, though these pay for many healthcare services & supplies. Medicare supplement Plans, offered through private insurers, help cover certain costs that Original Medicare does not cover. These might include coinsurance, yearly deductibles & copayments. Certain Medicare supplement plans also help with coverage for a few services that Original Medicare does not pay for, such as emergency overseas travel or Part B excess charges.

Can I get Medicare supplement plan without having Original Medicare?

Medicare Supplement Plans supplement Original Medicare, you can not get Medicare Supplement Plans unless you are enrolled in Original Medicare. Original Medicare will pay first, and your Medigap policy fills in the cost gap. For example, for a Hospital visit if you are charged $10,000/- Original Medicare will pay 80% or $8000/- and Medicare Supplement Plan or Medigap plan might pay remaining 20% or $2000/-, depending on the plan coverage as you have the option of multiple different types of Medicare Supplement Plans. As these plans help cover the gaps in Original Medicare these plans are also commonly called as Medigap Plans.

What are different Medicare Supplement Plans and what do these plans cover?

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans are standardized. The chart below explains the plan coverage. A check mark means the Medigap Plan covers 100% of the described benefit, a percentage denotes the percentage coverage and blank means the plan does not cover that benefit.

What is not covered by Medigap Plans?

Medigap plans generally do not cover Long-term care (care in a nursing home), Routine vision or dental care, Hearing aids, Eyeglasses, Private-duty nursing & Prescription drugs. Also, Medicare Supplement Plans are not Medicare Advantage Plans, you may want talk to our knowledgeable agents if you need information about Medicare Advantage plans.
We can assist you in getting Long Term Care Plans, Vision & Dental Plans, Hearing Plans & Prescription drug plans. Talk to our knowledgeable Agents if you need assistance with any of the above.

What else do I need to know about Medicare Supplement Plans?

To recap you must have Medicare Part A and Part B to get a Medicare Supplement plan.
A Medicare Supplement plan can only cover one person, so if you are married, you and your spouse would need to buy separate policies.
You can usually use your Medicare Supplement plan with any provider that accepts Medicare. However, some types of Medigap plans known as Medicare SELECT plans require you to only use doctors and hospitals in provider network.
Not all types of Medicare Supplement plans may be available in your zip code.
Premium amounts may vary by plan and location, even for the same standardized benefits.
In general, Medicare Supplement plans are guaranteed renewable as long as you continue to pay your premium.

This is not an all inclusive guide, however can help you in deciding what medicare supplement plan to choose. If you are wondering how much these plans cost please feel free to use our Quoting platform below. The link will open in a new window.

Medicare Supplement Plan Quotes
Medicare Supplement Plan Quotes