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For over 20 years I have worked personally with Dave Ramsey, his listeners and team members to help them make important and informed decisions about their insurance needs and the most cost effective ways to address them. Through the years I have responded to over 10,000 of Dave’s listeners regarding their insurance questions.

This blog contains many of the most frequent questions and answers since they provide an excellent resource to Dave's specific advice on very specific insurance questions. I hope you find this information to be a valuable resource that you can refer to many times in the future as you progress along your financial path. Click on the category noted which relates to your question so that you can see the posting currently available. If you do not see your question or still have concerns please don't hesitate to use the "Question Widget" noted on this site for further information or call us toll free at (800) 356-4282.

Many people are surprised that the advice from Dave and I doesn’t always involve the purchase of insurance as the only alternative. Insurance is a key component of any family's financial plan but it can also be a drain and a detriment if the wrong plans are purchased. Implementing the plans and approaches that Dave and I recommend, most importantly, the establishment of an emergency fund, will help reduce a families overall insurance costs and allow them to focus their dollars on more important things such as getting out of debt and growing wealth.

− Jeff Zander

Should I Consider a Company Solely Based on Their Online Consumer Ratings?

2020 June 19
 
by zanderins

In short, no. The reason being that the majority of insurance companies garner negative online reviews and ratings based on the nature of their business. In most cases, we have found that applicants are unhappy if they cannot qualify for the best rate offered, which could have been the agent’s fault or the client failing to disclose all their info initially. There can certainly be service issues that occur with any company, but we have generally found that if a qualified agent is assisting you, then these types of circumstances are typically very minimal.

Additionally, an unhappy client is often more motivated the share their experience than someone who has been handled professionally and fairly, whether it is during buying a plan, requesting changes, or having a claim paid – which we find is the usual experience for so many of the families we serve. We have also found that, regretfully, most insurance companies do not respond to their online feedback, simply because the reasons for the client’s unhappiness typically relates to protected personal and private information, and the insurance company cannot publicly engage due to privacy or legal reasons.

As your agent, we communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf, mitigating any issues that may arise and reducing the likelihood of problems or complications that go unresolved. All of the companies we represent are rated A or better with AM Best, meaning that their financial stability is solid with a favorable outlook, especially in the area of paying claims, which is their most important job. Knowing that Zander has done all the homework for you, you can focus on finding the company that gives you the best price for your needs.

To What Age are Children Covered on Zander’s ID Theft Plan?

2020 June 17
 
by zanderins

Minor children (under age 18) who are added to a Zander ID Theft Solutions Family Plan receive the full breadth of services available under the program. Dependents 18 and over who live in the primary member’s household are not eligible to utilize monitoring services, but would still receive restoration, reimbursement, and lost wallet protection regardless of their age. This includes dependents with documented disabilities who have the same primary residence as the primary member and who rely on the member for maintenance and support. Dependents who do not live in the household are eligible for coverage as long as they are unmarried, under age 26, and are a full-time college student.

Why Choose Zander?

2020 April 30
 
by zanderins

As an independent insurance agency in business nearly 100 years, our team brings a level of experience, knowledge, and commitment that sets us apart in our industry. Being independent means that we work for you – not the insurance companies we represent – and our goals are to find the best coverages for your needs at the most competitive pricing available. We do this though representation of the broadest array of insurance companies working in all sectors of the industry.

What sets us apart though, and why Dave Ramsey has endorsed us for over 20 years, is our commitment to serve you at every level of interaction. Seeking out and negotiating the best rates for the protection your family or business may need is just the beginning. Unlike many in our industry and in this digital world, we are committed to assisting you every day you are a client. Whether it is reviewing coverages and costs, making changes to your plan, answering questions, assisting with billing issues, or – most importantly – making sure claims are handled quickly and fairly, our commitment to serve does not stop once you buy a policy.

Should I Consider a Short-Term Health Plan?

2020 April 30
 
by zanderins

Historically, we are not fans of short-term health plans. They are often sold as complete health insurance options but have significant limitations for pre-existing conditions as well as other standard coverages such as mental health, maternity, and other important elements of protection. They also exclude all health conditions that were diagnosed or treated during the policy period when you renew a new plan, which is why the cost is greatly reduced compared to a standard group or individual medical plan.

However, during the recent coronavirus pandemic, we have come to appreciate the value of an immediate short-term option for people that expect to get back on their group plan in a short period of time and have lost their income, as keeping expenses to a minimum while still having some protection is imperative. There are many other options to consider such as COBRA, State Continuation Benefits, and ACA Exchange alternatives that provide subsidies to assist in the cost. Short-term is still not our recommended course of action from a coverage perspective, but in the narrow case of needing immediate benefits with very limited financial resources, they can provide a very limited alternative that is viable for some individuals and families.

How Will COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Affect Life Insurance?

2020 March 19
 
by zanderins

If you already have life insurance, don’t worry. Your life insurance company can’t change your policy. If you aren’t covered yet, you may see minimal changes, particularly if you have recently traveled to high-infection areas like China, South Korea, Iran, or Italy to other Level 3 countries as indicated by the CDC (view the CDC website for updates, as this list will continue to change as developments occur). If you have traveled to these countries, be forthcoming about it – your application may be postponed for a brief time period but can be re-considered after that time period has passed.

Each insurance company is handling the pandemic with different procedures, which change by the day. Our Guides stay up to date with these changes and can help secure coverage that best suits your needs during this time. We can also assure you that the exam companies we work with are conducting testing as usual during this time and are closely following CDC guidelines to minimize risk. We are here to serve you during these trying times and are prepared to answer any questions you may have. To contact a Guide, give us a call at 1-800-356-4282.

What is the Difference Between the Health Classes Listed on Your Site?

2020 February 27
 
by zanderins

The health classes listed on our website – Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus and Standard – are the top four (and most common) rate classes that a company assigns to individual policyholders, which determine the rate an applicant pays for their term life insurance policy.  The rate classification to which you are assigned is based on many factors, including your medical history, occupation, tobacco use, avocations (such as skydiving, scuba, etc.) and other criteria that insurance companies use to measure the risk you represent going forward, and thereby the rate they will charge for the protection. Our Zander Guides can help you determine which health class fits your specific situation, but it is important to know that the final decision on how you will be classified is made by the underwriter at the insurance company.  You can visit our term life quote page and click on the “i” next to the rate class designations to see the specific criteria the companies typically use in this process.

Can I Get Disability Insurance If I Am Over Age 60?

2020 January 29
 
by zanderins

Many disability insurance companies place limits on the coverages they will offer to applicants based on their age and occupation. Regardless of your age, Dave Ramsey recommends first checking with your employer to see if a group plan is available. Bear in mind that, even through a group plan, there will likely still be limited coverage available if you are over age 60 since most plans only pay benefits to age 65, which is still considered normal retirement age for actuarial purposes. Therefore, if you do purchase a new disability policy beyond age 60, most plans will only pay benefits if you become disabled up to age 65; after that, it is usually only for one or two years.

Where is Zander Insurance Located?

2020 January 29
 
by zanderins

Our office is located in Nashville, TN, and we serve all of Dave’s listeners across the country from that location. We are licensed to provide all insurance services in all fifty states and, for over 20 years, have provided our clients with a selection of plans that is broader and more expansive than local neighborhood agencies while still offering accountability and personalized service.
No matter where you reside, you can compare rates online right here on our website, or call us toll-free for personalized assistance from one of our knowledgeable Guides.

Do I Base the Amount of Life Insurance I Get on My Gross or Net Income?

2019 August 15
 
by zanderins

When Dave recommends that families carry 10 to 12 times their income in term life insurance protection, he is referring to gross annual income.  The reason is that, although the death benefit of a life insurance policy is received tax free, once those funds are invested to generate an income for the surviving family members those earnings will still be taxed as a form of income, reducing their overall purchasing power.
The amount of tax may vary from based on earned or unearned income but, with taxes expected to stay level or increase over time (and factoring in the overall low cost of term life insurance), the best approach is to insure to the gross value.

Purchasing Life Insurance for a Dependent with Special Needs

2019 June 10
 
by zanderins

Many families with special needs dependents consider using term life insurance in conjunction with a special needs trust. The special needs trust would be, in many cases, established by your will, funded initially by a term life policy. There is sometimes an argument of whether to buy a term life policy or cash value life insurance, and Dave still feels that term life is the only way to go. The basic premise for cash value plans is that you will need life insurance your whole life, so the plans overcharge you in the early years to pay the higher costs in the later years. Dave’s opinion is that, if you buy term life insurance, you avoid this overpayment period and use the savings to attack debt and to build savings. With 15 or 20-year level term insurance you have time to eliminate your debt and grow your savings so you no longer need life insurance.

 

Determining the amount of coverage would be similar to the regular process he discusses, in that you need to measure the amount of funds that would be needed to support your dependent per year and then multiply that amount (typically by 10) to represent the amount of coverage to purchase.  For example, if they needed $30k a year to maintain their assistance and address future needs, then an amount of $300k in life insurance (which invested at 10%) would generate those needed funds.  Some people utilize a lower interest rate return, which would increase the multiple of used.  Since Term life is so much cheaper than a cash value plan you would be investing/savings the difference for the 20 or 30 year period of the life insurance so, at the policy expiry, the savings is now used to address their ongoing needs.