Do you have health insurance and life insurance? Are the plans and coverage you receive up to par with what you think you deserve? Health insurance policies and life insurance policies can make all the difference for you, your family, and your loved ones. You should never take a shortcut when finding the right policy or the right company to work with. Your policies may cost more money than you hope for, but in the long run they could make all the difference if you ever need to make use of your health or life insurance.
Interested in learning more about all the different reasons why both health and life insurance are important for us as we age? Keep reading to find out how you can benefit from making sure you work with the right health insurance companies and life insurance companies.more »
How does insurance factor into your life? Have you had a recent accident that’s affected your finances? How about bad weather making you wonder how your home is going to fare in the coming weeks? Insurance is more than just an obligation. It’s the very definition of peace-of-mind as we go about our busy and hurried lives. When you start looking up car insurance rates or home owners insurance, you’re looking for ways to make things a little easier. Let’s talk insurance and all the different ways you can stay safe and happy this year.
American Car Insurance
Own a car? Thinking of buying? You need to look up car insurance rates. A study provided by the AAA’s more »
Medicare is a government health insurance program that covers the medical needs of seniors (people over the age of 65) and young people with disabilities or end-stage renal disease. In this article we will be going over the four different Parts that comprise Medicare.
Medicare Part A covers hospitalization, home health services, skilled nursing facility care, nursing home care, and hospice services.
Medicare Part B covers preventive care, outpatient care, doctor?s services, ambulance services, x-rays, lab work, and medical supplies like wheelchairs and walkers.
Medicare Part C, more »
For most American homeowners, the mortgage is the single largest bill to pay, and for the first few years anyway, consists of almost entirely interest on the loan, with very little of what you pay actually going toward offsetting the cost of the house. This is partly by design, so that banks can extract as much profit as possible out of you even if the costs turn out to be too much and you end up underwater or foreclosed on your loan – Wall Street gets your money AND the house, if that happens to you. After covering the down payment, closing cost, property tax lien and homeowners insurance policy, mortgage insurance is the last thing on your mind, and many new homeowners sign the dotted line without even realizing what they are paying for, or confusing it with the much more useful homeowners insurance.
Mortgage insurance, contrary to what you might believe, doesn’t help you in this situation (although it is possible to purchase yet another insurance policy that does cover for this, in limited circumstances such as loss of primary income, or a housing boom going bust badly enough that you owe more than the home is worth) nor does it protect against the mortgage lender going out of business in a bank run. Instead, it’s a fee, legally mandated in most states and on most loans due to the intense lobbying pressure applied by the mortgage industry, that insures the mortgage lender against you foreclosing on the house! Not what you had in mind, is it? Now that you know this, you probably realize that mortgage insurance premiums are a bill you would rather not pay, especially when you’re already paying off that high mortgage interest rate on your first dream home.
However, the United States federal government has a program that can help. While Congress has been reluctant to pass anything explicitly helping the middle class escape the ever-growing debt burden exacted by student loan financing, cost of medical treatment and subprime auto lending, just as there has been a relief program for student loan interest, there is now also a tax deduction for mortgage insurance payments.
The mortgage insurance premium deduction applies to any household with a mortgage on their first home, and adjusted gross income below $109,000 in the current tax year. Filing for it, like most income tax deductions, involves declaring it on Form 1040, in this case on Schedule A (unfortunately, this also means that you cannot use the abbreviated 1040-A or 1040-EZ to file this year), as well as turning in Form 1098, which should be provided by your mortgage insurance provider, usually your home mortgage lending company.
Another caveat in the mortgage insurance premium deduction is in prepaid mortgage insurance, which some banks have begun to demand as part of the mortgage closing cost, to provide (of course) the maximum benefit to themselves while raising an additional hurdle to the consumer. One might think, in this case, that it would be possible to deduct the entire cost of insurance, reducing the pain of having to pay as much as 7.5% of the value of the loan, but the IRS requires the home mortgage insurance deduction to be spread over a period of seven years or the term of the loan, whichever is shorter.
If you are eligible, though, and the total of your mortgage insurance premium and mortgage interest payments is over $600, you can deduct the entire amount against your taxable income, which for many homeowners is enough to provide a helpful February bonus when tax refund season comes along!
Sometimes the concept of commercial property insurance can seem a little out-there: why pay for an insurance plan just in case you may need it in the future? However, with vehicular accidents occurring on the road every day and homeowners dealing with the effects of the environment (and their own usage) on their means of shelter, affordable insurance is not only more relevant than you think, but also an available and accessible reality quite within reach. Here are several reasons why home and auto insurance is both important AND worth your attention:
- Property and Personal Injury are Both Very Expensive. In 2013, the average claim for property damage during v more »
Group health insurance rates can be high, but new programs in Canada are helping to reduce them so that employers can afford to provide better coverage for their employees. Generally, health care in Canada is handled by a publicly funded system, providing many services for free or minimal charge. This includes many surgeries, psychotherapy, visits to doctors’ offices, and dental work. However, not everything is covered by the public system, so some supplemental coverage is necessary for comprehensive service. Medications are often only covered in full for the elderly and indigent and around a third of the health care system’s expenses are still covered out of pocket by patients.
Employee benefit more »
In 2012, the U.S. saw 2,300,000 foreclosures and 700,000 home repossessions. Nobody wants to lose a home to foreclosure, yet it’s become a reality for many Americans. Surely, the question, “How can I avoid foreclosure?” is coursing through the brains of thousands of Americans even as you’re reading this article. Whether they’re struggling to make mortgage payments or looking to build equity by refinancing at a lower rate, there are many options to avoid foreclosure. Freddie Mac offers five ways to avoid foreclosure that homeowners can pursue with their bank lenders: refinance, forbearance, reinstatement, repayment planning, and modifications.
Refinance to Avoid Foreclosure
Refinancing mortgage tips will reveal that there are two major options. If you have an adjustable-rate mor more »
For 31 years, Gerrity, Baker, Williams Inc., now known as GBW Insurance, has been serving the community of Flanders, NJ offering a wide range of insurance products to its citizens. We sat down with Glenn K. Tippy, the company’s president, to talk about the challenges in his line of work.
Mr. Tippy, when you started GBW Insurance 31 years ago, did you have a business plan?
I had a business plan. Like all battle plans, it went through brutal changes when it hit reality. But we dealt with increased competition, recession, hurricanes, and even deaths, and still have grown, have a better retention of customers than our industry “best practices” standard, and were just named The Best Insurance Agency in Morris County.
Those are some pretty impressive outcomes! What would you say has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
In a large corporation, there are layers and layers of helpers. In a small business, if the toilet breaks down, either the money to fix it comes out of your pocket or your fix it yourself; either way, you have to have a restroom for the employees. So you learn to do whatever it takes to succeed.
That’s certainly a challenge for any small business. What industry-specific challenges have frustrated you most?
When someone doesn’t want advice, just price. We know that good coverage doesn’t always have to cost more, but clients won’t look at what they’re risking. We’re paid to give advice and execute clients’ plans once they understand the pluses and minuses facing them. It’s frustrating when they throw away that money.
Was there ever a time when those challenges made you want to give up?
I don’t see the point in giving up. It’s like Marcus Aurelius said, “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”
GBW Insurance is located in Flanders, NJ at 3 Gold Mine Road. For more information about the company, visit www.GBWinsurance.com, email info@GBWmail.com, or call 800-548-2329.
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