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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

Q: Are Credit Freezes Useful in Preventing ID Theft?

2018 September 27

A credit freeze can definitely be a valuable measure to take to help reduce your risk of credit-related ID theft.  It can be a very effective way to stop any access to your credit report.  Most people though don’t realize how often there credit report is accessed for various situations.  When applying for insurance, utilities, cell phone services, property rentals, your credit reports or score is typically accessed which would be frozen for these purposes.  You would have to unfreeze your report if trying to get a cell phone and then freeze it again after acquiring the service you were trying to get.  Most states have set fees for freezing and thawing which can get expensive if you have these situations come up frequently.  Also, remember that only 50% of ID Theft is credit related so Credit Freezes only address part of the problem.  If credit is ever issued without checking your report or other types of ID Theft occurs such as Social Security Fraud, Medical ID Theft, Employment, Utility or IRS Fraud, etc., none of these are credit-related and they would not be protected by a freeze.

That’s why Dave recommends our ID Theft plan even if using a credit freeze.   Since we cover all types of ID Theft, including Social Security Fraud, Medical ID Theft, Employment, Benefit and Family Fraud (the only plan to do so) as well as criminal acts committed in your name our plan is much more expansive in it’s protection that any other plans on the market.  We take over all the work to restore your identity to pre-theft status and have had a 100% success rate…and are less expensive.   Our $1 Million reimbursement benefit covers unauthorized/stolen funds from bank accounts and provides compensation to our members if they incur expenses while we restore your identity.  These are often very limited but may include lost pay or vacation time (if you have to go to court to testify), Legal fees, Notary or Fed-Ex charges, Long Distance phone bills, etc.  Overall we offer a much more expansive protection plan which is why Dave recommends it to his listeners and has purchased it for his family and all of his team members.

Q: What is Life Insurance Awareness Month?

2018 September 25
 

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, and a good time to make sure you have the right life insurance coverage to ensure your loved ones are protected.

Studies continue to show many Americans are woefully uninsured. According to the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA), 30 percent of households––roughly 37.5 million people––do not have life insurance, and approximately 50 million households recognize they need more life insurance.

Tragedy can strike in many forms and without a moment’s notice. Leaving yourself and your family uninsured and unprotected only compounds the profound loss of a loved one.

Andrea Pirtle in Nashville came to this very realization when tragedy struck her family. When her son was just five weeks old, Andrea’s husband passed away suddenly with no life insurance. As a newly single-income household, Andrea was left to face not only the heartbreak of that devastating loss but also the overwhelming expenses of her husband’s funeral, the medical expenses, costs associated with raising a child, their ongoing house payments, and more. The combination of this emotional and financial stress was debilitating, and Andrea now champions the importance of life insurance in protecting your loved ones.

Assessing your life insurance needs is a small investment of time to prevent months and possibly years of unnecessary struggle for your loved ones.

Depending on your life stage, your life insurance policy needs may change over time. A checkup every few years is worth the time.

Your life insurance policy should provide the financial amount your family would need to supplement the loss of your salary––keeping in mind mortgage payments, any outstanding debts and future needs like funeral and college costs. Shop around for rates––don’t stop with the first quote you receive but compare options to make sure you are choosing a policy that gives you the lowest rate for the coverage you need.

This Life Insurance Awareness Month, take a moment to ask yourself––if something were to happen to you, is your family protected? If your answer is no, it’s time to decide today to guarantee you and your loved ones a better, safer and more peaceful tomorrow.

For more information, visit our term life insurance web page.

 

Life Insurance Awareness Month #LIAM

2018 September 25
 
by zanderins

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, and a good time to make sure you have the right coverage to ensure your loved ones are protected.

 

Studies continue to show many Americans are woefully uninsured. According to the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA), 30 percent of households––roughly 37.5 million people––do not have life insurance, and approximately 50 million households recognize they need more life insurance.

 

Tragedy can strike in many forms and without a moment’s notice. Leaving yourself and your family uninsured and unprotected only compounds the profound loss of a loved one.

 

Andrea Pirtle in Nashville came to this very realization when tragedy struck her family. When her son was just five weeks old, Andrea’s husband passed away suddenly with no life insurance. As a newly single-income household, Andrea was left to face not only the heartbreak of that devastating loss but also the overwhelming expenses of her husband’s funeral, the medical expenses, costs associated with raising a child, their ongoing house payments, and more. The combination of this emotional and financial stress was debilitating, and Andrea now champions the importance of life insurance in protecting your loved ones.

 

Assessing your life insurance needs is a small investment of time to prevent months and possibly years of unnecessary struggle for your loved ones.

 

Depending on your life stage, your life insurance policy needs may change over time. A checkup every few years is worth the time.

 

Your life insurance policy should provide the financial amount your family would need to supplement the loss of your salary––keeping in mind mortgage payments, any outstanding debts and future needs like funeral and college costs. Shop around for rates––don’t stop with the first quote you receive but compare options to make sure you are choosing a policy that gives you the lowest rate for the coverage you need.

 

This Life Insurance Awareness Month, take a moment to ask yourself––if something were to happen to you, is your family protected? If your answer is no, it’s time to decide today to guarantee you and your loved ones a better, safer and more peaceful tomorrow.

 

For more information, visit our term life insurance web page.

Q: What is the Supplemental Disability Income Rider (SDIR) on a Disability Policy?

2018 July 3
 
by zanderins

The SDIR acts as an offset and actually helps reduce your cost, taking part of your benefit amount and discounting the cost since it will integrate with social programs such as Social Security and workers compensation. If you qualify for payment under a social plan, then the insurance company will reduce the amount paid to you by the amount of monthly benefit you receive from the social program. For example, let’s say you have a disability benefit of $7200 and $1800 with your SDIR. You are guaranteed to get the total monthly benefit of $9000, but the $1800 SDIR may not all come from the insurance company. If you receive Social Security or workers comp payments, your rider will simply “top off” those payments to get you to $1800 in benefit. The real advantage is that, even if you don’t receive Social Security or workers comp for your disability, you will still get that entire $1800 SDIR benefit in addition to the $7200 disability benefit.
Long Term Disability (LTD) is a crucial part of your overall insurance plan and many companies will try and load you up with benefits since they sell one product at a time and do not take an overall view of your financial strategy. Dave recommends that you have quality LTD plan without overspending on it, since it that would dilute your ability to pay down debt and grow your savings. You also need to remember that you chance of disability is still limited so it is important to balance the expense with other priorities, such as term life insurance, health insurance, retirement plans, etc.

Q: What is the Own Occupation Rider on a Disability Policy and Do I Need It?

2018 July 3
 
by zanderins

The Own Occupation rider is a nice benefit to have, but not crucial depending on your line of work and budget. Many people who work in non-specialty fields overpay for this benefit since there are few disabilities (outside of the most severe) that would limit you from performing the principal duties of most occupations. This rider was primarily marketed to specialty physicians when it was introduced, and the experience has gone poorly for the insurance companies.
With Zander’s disability plans, the Own Occupation rider is offered as an optional benefit; Dave typically only recommends it based on the room in your budget and where you are in the “Baby Steps.” However, Dave would not recommend spending money on it if you do not have your Emergency Fund established and are still struggling with debt – it is not a priority over those issues. With older policies, the Own Occupation rider may already be included. If this is the case for you, unless you are finding a plan with similar coverage or your budget has gotten really tight and you need to remove the rider to fund other priorities, consider keeping what you have.

Q: Should I Keep My Cash Value Plan if I Wouldn’t Save Money by Switching to a Term Policy?

2018 April 18
 

If there is no savings from changing to a Term Life plan, then it typically is best to keep the existing plan and just factor those expenses into your budget. You should take measures to ensure that the plan you have is not underperforming (i.e. the dividends or interest are not keeping up with the increasing costs of insurance as you get older). If that is the case, then eventually you will have to pay more for the existing policy than it is worth. You can request an “in-force ledger” from your current carrier, which will project out the life of the policy at the current premium paid and the interest rate/dividends being paid to make sure the policy does not falter in the future.

Remember that, as you pay down debt and increase your savings, your need for life insurance lessens so you can slowly reduce the amount of cash value life insurance you have and then redirect those funds to better investments.

Not sure how much life insurance you need? Click here to use our insurance calculator to make sure you have the right coverage to protect your family.

Q: Should I Consider A Combined Life And Long Term Care Plan?

2015 May 27
 
by zanderins

AThe combination of a life and long term care insurance plan is sometimes referred to as a hybrid policy.  These are based on buying a cash value life insurance plan and a rider that allows the cash value of the policy to be used for Long Term Care expenses.  Conceptually, and from a sales perspective, these hybrid plans seem to make sense. Looking more closely, however, there are serious flaws. First and foremost: the life insurance plan that these additional coverages are coupled with are cash value type policies such as Whole or Universal Life.  Dave is adamantly against these types of plans and coupling them with a Long Term Care Insurance benefit does not increase their appeal.  In most cases the added benefits are inferior to plans you can purchase independently and not worth the risk.  Many of the LTC benefits in a hybrid plan are limited to either the amount of benefit paid, the types of services covered, or the length of benefit period.

Dave Ramsey recommends life insurance while you have debt that your estate cannot pay if you were to die prematurely, and/or you have dependents who rely on your income for their financial lifestyle.  As you attack debt and grow savings, you start to reduce and eventually eliminate the need for life insurance while increasing the need for long-term care coverage.  Long-Term Care allows you to protect the financial lifestyle of both spouses into the future; incurring an expense for life insurance when it’s no longer needed so you can keep your long-term care protection makes no sense.

Please visit our website to get more information on Long Term Care insurance and to request a quote.

Q: Why Am I Eligible For Lower Monthly Benefit Amounts If I Am A Federal Employee?

2015 May 11
 
by zanderins

AAlmost all federal and Veteran’s Association (VA) employees are enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), regardless of the agency at which they work, and are provided with reduced disability insurance retirement benefits under the FERS.  You can review information on this program by visiting the FERS website.  The plan provides 60% income replacement during the first 12 months that disability insurance benefits are paid, and 40% for each year thereafter until reaching early retirement age, at which point the FERS pension begins to pay.  Most insurance carriers base their offering on a 40% group insurance factor.  However, there are some carriers that stop offering coverage once a federal employee has more than 10 years of service, or reaches age 50 or 55.

Q: Does Dave Recommend Waiver of Premium Riders?

2015 March 13
 

A  Dave Ramsey does not recommend purchasing “waiver of premium” riders. As a percentage of cost, the rider is an over priced add-on rider that makes the insurance company a lot of money and rarely benefits the client. A waiver of premium rider states that you do not have to pay the premium if you become disabled. However, the definition of disability is so strict, that very few people actually qualify. In addition, term life insurance rates are typically very low. They can be afforded through your emergency fund if you have short term income issues, and then through your long term disability insurance if loss of income due to disability continues for a longer period..

Q: How Long Do I Need To Be A Non-Smoker To Qualify For Better Rates?

2015 January 16
 

A  Insurance companies typically only require that you go tobacco free for 12 months before offering a non-tobacco use rate. This is not their lowest Preferred Plus rate but still represents a strong savings off of the smoker rates.  If you have not quit a full year it really depends on the time you have left to reach this accomplishment.  Dave still recommends buying the longer term period, which is more expensive, but just for the one year,.  It locks in your rates at a younger age and is still beneficial in the event you do not complete the entire 12 month period.  If at 12 months you are tobacco free then you apply for a new non-smoker plan and benefit from the lower rates.  At the three year point then you can qualify for Preferred Plus (lowest rate) assuming all other health issues are normal and a further savings can be achieved.  It is simply Dave’s advice that you get what your family needs now since we can’t predict the future and then adjust as things improve.   You can compare rates online at our website,  or call us toll free at (800) 356-4282 for personal assistance.

 

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