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Life Insurance

The Facts About Life Insurance

You may have thought about buying a life insurance policy to secure your loved ones if something happens and you are no longer here. Even with that basic knowledge, you may still be unsure of how life insurance works and what it entails. It can be hard to contemplate your fate, but you are hardly alone. Too many people put off purchasing life insurance and leave their families to bear the burden of debts, funeral costs, and other expenses. Let’s take a closer look at why you need life insurance and how it works.

What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a contract between the insurance company and you, the policyholder. The agreement guarantees that if anything happens to you, your loved ones, the beneficiaries, will receive a benefit at the time of your death. The life insurance policy will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your loved ones can continue to live the same lifestyle they had in the same place. Life insurance can even let you leave money to a charity that is important to you.

What are the Different Types of Life Insurance?

All life insurance policies have the same goal: to ensure beneficiaries receive payment when you pass away. There are, however, various types of life insurance available.

Short-term protection – Term life insurance falls under this heading. A policy can be purchased for a definite time, usually ten to thirty years. If your demise happens in that period, your beneficiary will receive payment of a death benefit. If you outlive the covered period, then the policy ends.

Long-term protection – This is also known as permanent life insurance, including whole and universal life insurance. Long-term protection covers you for the rest of your life. Like term coverage, long-term protection yields a death benefit to your beneficiary at the time. It also offers benefits before your death, such as having a cash value that can be accessed in times of need, such as a child’s wedding or college tuition. Some retirees have used long-term protection policies to supplement their income.

One type of policy may be enough to cover your needs, or you may want a combination of different coverages. What you choose depends on your particular situation. Discussing your needs with an agent can help you to decide what coverage or coverages are best for you and your loved ones. As time passes, your needs may change. Periodic reviews of your policies to gauge if adjustments are needed to your policy will ensure your loved one’s needs are met.

What Amount of Life Insurance is Needed?

Everyone’s needs are different, and there is no one size fits all policy. Sometimes the group coverage you receive through your employer is just not enough.  Most life insurance policies obtained through group coverage are not portable, so when you leave the company, you most likely leave the life insurance. You need to examine what will play a role in determining how much life insurance you need. Factors like the size of your family, the value of your home, how much debt you’ve incurred, and your business (if you own one). If you have children, you will want to ensure coverage of essential expenses, such as food and clothing, to future costs like college tuition.

The key factor is what you want for your family.  How much help do you want to leave for your family when you can no longer be with them? Do you want to keep them headed toward their life goals? Do you want to make sure your spouse can stay in the home you made together? These are just a few things you may want to take into consideration.

Is Life Insurance Expensive?

Your age and health will determine how much life insurance costs. Younger and healthier people typically pay lower premiums. However, the cost of not having life insurance cannot be put into a dollar value. If you do not invest in life insurance, the burden left on your loved ones will be costly.

Getting life insurance is an easy way to have peace of mind knowing that if something happens to you, your family will be able to carry on.

If you have any questions about Life Insurance, contact us via email or at (863) 646-LOCK.

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The Right Health Insurance For You

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Health insurance has changed dramatically in the last three years. Before The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), aka Obamacare, people with pre-existing conditions would not be eligible or be discriminated against in premium hikes due to their health. Since the ACA, no insurer could charge or deny you coverage based on your health or pre-existing condition.


The Affordable Care Act mandated plans both inside and outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace to offer 10 Essential Health Benefits to everyone without discrimination; emergency services, hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative services; lab services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.


Today, families and individuals can qualify based on family size and income to help them with the cost of the monthly plan premiums called a “tax credit.”


Policies are available for those not wishing to participate in the Marketplace. Those plans still cover the 10 Essential Health Benefits. When someone chooses not to enroll in a Marketplace plan, they will not have the option to see if they qualify for a tax credit to help them with the monthly plan premiums. Enrolling in these plans will keep you from being penalized for not having health insurance.


Dental and Vision plans are not included for adults in the health plans. They are offered separately, and there are many plans to choose from to fit your budget.


When you become eligible for Medicare, whether it’s because you turned 65 or have been on disability for 24 months, we also offer a wide range of Medicare Advantage and Supplemental plans.

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Health Insurance For Families

medical picturesStarting a family is a major undertaking and will change everything about your life. Now that you are responsible for the health and wellbeing of your children, having good health insurance takes on a whole new meaning. When you are single, it is easy to shrug off the importance of health coverage. Now that you have a family, your policy will need to offer a whole lot more.

Maternity And Beyond

Before you need health coverage for your child, you will need coverage for the pregnancy. The nine months prior to birth and the delivery itself will put a big strain on your wallet if you don’t have good coverage. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead for starting a family. Good prenatal care will give your child the best start in life, so be sure you are covered for it.

Health Care For Children

In the first few years of life your child will need regular well visits with a pediatrician as well as many vaccinations for protection from dangerous childhood diseases. In fact, it may seem you are constantly headed to the doctor’s office with your child, and that’s just when they are healthy. With their immature immune systems, children are susceptible to all kinds of illness, from colds to ear infections and more. Expect to visit the pediatrician several times a year for illness. Because children are also clumsy and impulsive, especially in the toddler and preschool years, they are also prone to accidents that may send you to the emergency room.

Your health plan has to be up to the task of keeping your child covered through all of the bumps, bruises, fevers, and mistakenly swallowed items that are such common parts of growing up.

What To Look For

When choosing a health plan for your family, look first for good maternity coverage, unless you have already had children and don’t plan to have more. Next, you will want something with low co-pays for office visits, since you will probably have a good number of those. Also check on what you would be expected to pay out of pocket for an emergency room visit. You will usually be responsible for a co-pay unless the child is admitted to the hospital. In that case, a different sort of co-insurance may apply. Check what percentage of emergency room bills and hospitalization is covered under the plan.

Family health plans carrying deductibles generally have a per person deductible as well as a family deductible that has to be met. These are good numbers to know when comparing health plans.

If you are switching health plans and would like to keep your current pediatrician, you will want to look for a PPO
Contact us today for more information.


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How To Shop For Health Insurance

If you have always had health insurance provided through either a family member or your employer, life insurance and investmentsshopping for health insurance yourself might be something new to you. It isn’t quite as daunting as it sounds; if you have shopped for auto or homeowner’s insurance, it is fairly similar. There are a few key things to keep in mind that will help make the task a little easier.

Talk To An Agent

If you already have an insurance agent, it’s a great place to start. Even if the agent who handles your other insurance policies doesn’t do health insurance, they should be able to point you in the direction of someone who does. An agent who works with health insurance regularly will be able to help you make a decision on coverage and what type of plan is right for you. They will also help you fill out the necessary forms and make the entire process a little easier.

Choose An HMO Or PPO Plan

Once you know which type of plan you prefer, it becomes easier to narrow down the list of possibilities. Which type you prefer depends on a number of factors including your budget and your personal preference. In some cases, going directly through the HMO company for coverage is the best way to get the right plan for you and your family. PPO plans often come with a wider range of coverage, premium, and co-insurance options, so if you choose this path there will be a little more research to do in order to figure out exactly the way to go.

Understand The Cost And Coverage

When you are shopping for a health insurance plan, be sure you get all the pertinent information and not just the amount of the premium. Ask for the co-insurance and co-pay amounts, deductibles, and out of pocket limits. And ask for a copy of the policy benefits and exclusions; you should be able to review it and ensure that coverage is provided for your particular needs. Look for key coverages such as maternity benefits, regular well visits, and emergency care costs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the coverage and find out exactly what you will be responsible for and what the policy will cover.

Asking questions is the key to making sure you get the coverage you need from your policy and don’t wind up with any nasty surprises after you are locked into the policy. Health insurance is a major purchase, so do your research and ensure that your hard-earned money is buying you the coverage you need.


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Tips on a Healthier Fall Lifestyle

fall-runLiving healthy is essential. Not only can it help you live a longer, more fulfilling life, but it can help save you money on insurance in the long run. As fall begins, the weather is getting cooler, flu season is starting, and the holidays are coming up. How do you stay healthy? We have some tips:


  • Be Careful How You Tailgate: Fall is known for football games. Whether you are going to watch the game at the local sports bar or in the stadium itself, you can consume a lot of unnecessary calories between snack foods and alcohol. Switch your cheesy dips and bacon burgers out for salsa, wraps, or grilled kabobs with lean meat to keep your calorie count down for the day.
  • And Watch Your Holiday Meals: Besides tailgating, holiday meals can also pack a punch for calories. You can reduce your intake by being aware of how much you are eating, eating the high-calorie dishes in smaller portions, and establishing ground rules for how much you plan to eat beforehand.
  • Quit Smoking: Break the habit by combining medication with other strategies, like changing your daily routine, to break the habit successfully.
  • Get the Flu Vaccine: Getting the flu is no joke, and because it affects the lungs, it can also lead to more severe problems – like pneumonia. Flu season starts in October, so if you are considering the flu shot, now is the time to do it!
  • Get Some Exercise: Studies show that a moderate amount of exercise – such as half an hour of walking, aerobics, bicycling, or swimming – helps to fight the effects of aging on the brain. It has the bonus of helping to combat stress, too!
  • Watch for Germs: Accidentally contact with the virus is the easiest way to catch a cold or the flu. Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue when you sneeze, and throw it away afterward. Using hand sanitizer is helpful too, and try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after you may have come into contact with germs – those are the easiest ways for the germs to spread.


With these tips in mind, you will be well on your way to staying healthy for the rest of this fall season!

Don Westerfeld 10/25/2013 1:02:00 PM

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How to Pick the Right Insurance Company

Picking the correct insurance company for your needs can sometimes be a chore. Whether it is for auto insurance, home insurance, or life insurance, you have to compare rates, service, look at premiums, and more in order to make an educated decision. Finding the lowest-priced insurance may be easy, but you want to make sure the company is reputable enough that it will cover your needs. They also need to be reliable in how they treat you. There are some tips when it comes to choosing an insurance company we can cover to help you make the correct decision. For example, today we will look at some ideas on how to find the right auto insurance company.


First, look at your state’s department of insurance website. Every state has a department of insurance, and many will publish consumer complaint ratios, allowing you to see how many complaints a car insurance company has received per 1,000 claims filed, which allows you to screen prospective insurers. If these ratios are not available for your state, look at surrounding states to get a general idea – just remember that a single insurance company’s practices can vary significantly depending on the state, so take these figures with a grain of salt.


Next, speak with body shops in the area. They have the advantage of working regularly with insurance adjusters, and will be able to tell you the ones that have the smoothest claim process, as this can have an effect on how quickly you get back your vehicle.


You can also check the JD Power Ratings. JD Power and Associates collects individual policyholder’s data from across the nation to rate company’s in terms of coverage options, price, claims handling, satisfaction with company representatives, and the overall experience with the insurance company, allowing you to quickly assess major carriers in the United States. After checking the JD Power Ratings, also look at the AM Best and Standard and Poor’s ratings, as these rate companies on their financial strength, giving a general measure of the company’s ability to pay out a claim. Most well known companies have a strong rating, but this research is still important, especially if you are considering a smaller, unfamiliar insurance carrier which could have dubious financial standing.


Finally, after you have done this independent research, you still might have questions. If this is the case, speak with an agent. There are two different types of agents: independent and captive. Captive agents are those who represent one insurance company, while independent agents represent several insurance policies, and therefore do not have a vested interest in selling you one policy over another. By developing a relationship with an insurance company, you can help them to become familiar with your situation so they can guide you towards the most suitable policy for your situation.


If you have more questions regarding which insurance is right for you, contact Lock Insurance today.
Don Westerfeld 4/3/2012 2:52:00 PM

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Tips To Consider When Shopping For Life Insurance

More and more, people are debating the worth of life insurance. But it is one of the most valuable insurance assets anyone can have and one of the most stable/secure financial instruments to advance in the investment field. Life insurance can offer mortgage protection, as it can be used to pay off an outstanding mortgage balance after death. It can be an income replacement, if you and your significant other have made plans for the future based on two incomes, and one of you passes away unexpectedly. People also do not consider the costs of final expenses, with funeral and burial costs as well as medical bills, which will be left to their family to take care of. Life insurance can help lessen the burden of these costs. Finally, it can help be an investment in the future, such as for your children’s college expenses.


Once you have decided to buy life insurance, there are some things you should consider. All policies fall into one of two categories, whether they are term policies, or purse insurance coverage. You also have to realize that, as CNN puts it, “Insurance is sold, not bought”. Whole life policies are expensive, and many can’t afford an adequate face value which leaves them underinsured. But for the agents selling the insurance, they have a vested interest in pushing you to whole life insurance policies as these offer the highest commission and highest profit. But whole life insurance might not be the best route for you, and you should know that when the agent returns a quote to you it is built on guesses. Therefore, term insurance might be a more beneficial and cost effective purchase for you or your loved ones. You want to match the policy to your needs, such as for as long as it takes your dependents to leave the nest or for your retirement income to kick in.


Final tips when purchasing life insurance include buying when you are healthy, which generally means buying earlier in life – as early as you can once you have dependents. Also, always tell the truth on your application – you might be able to shade in the facts and get a lower price now, but in the long run it could hurt you if a claim is made, as the insurance company will likely investigate upon death and your policy could be voided.


Lock Insurance Staff 1/5/2012 3:08:00 PM

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How Do You Determine How Much Coverage You Need?

Insurance for your family members!


In a recent study published by LIMRA, fewer of us today have ensured the financial future of our loved ones. In 2010, it was found that only 44 percent of U.S. households have individual life insurance, and 30 percent of U.S. households have no coverage.


Providing for our loved one’s well-being today and into the future is the ultimate selfless act of love. Life insurance is one of the most cost-effective ways to ensure that, should anything happen to you, all or part of your income is adequately replaced to ensure the financial future of your loved ones.”


The LIMRA study also found that in households with children under age 18, 11 million have no coverage whatsoever.


How do you determine how much coverage you need?


groupwebsiteIn most cases, the younger you are, the more coverage you need to replace the loss of income for your family.  A policy can ensure your family may continue to pay the monthly mortgage, provide for your children’s college education fund, cover your medical expenses, and ensure your family can support their day-to-day living expenses.


If you think about it, purchasing a policy is mainly because you love someone. It guarantees that if something were to happen to you, your loved ones would be cared for financially.


Researching and finding coverage is easier than ever. To determine the coverage you need, there are several online resources to explore and shop online privately, securely, and conveniently to receive a term life quote.


Don Westerfeld 2/20/2011 9:39:00 PM

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