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The Intelligent Life Blog

Helping millions of Americans become educated
in making intelligent decisions around their life needs

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4 Unbelievable, But Valid Insurance Claims

Mar 24, 2015 1:39:00 PM

Insurance agents have seen their fair share of weird and in many cases, unsubstantiated claims. But now and then, agents come across a claim that truly shocks them, not because it’s outrageous, but because it’s outrageous…and true!

Today’s post discusses four of these seemingly bogus scenarios.

1) iPhone Disappeared…Inside of a Cow: We’re willing to bet that you’ve left your iPhone in a lot of different places: your bathroom, your car, on top of your kitchen countertop, etc.

But you’ve probably never lost your phone inside of an animal before.

Well, Ivor Bennett, a livestock farmer, did. He was assisting a cow who was giving birth in the middle of a dark and stormy night and used the light on his phone to aid him. The phone later resurfaced but didn’t work properly (no shock). The insurance company paid him for the full claim.

2) Bridal Dress Catches Fire: A wedding dress is one of the most important garments a woman will ever wear. And each dress is as special as the woman wearing it—assuming it isn’t ablaze. The bride, Paula Catelli was standing a little too close to the barbeque, when her dress caught on fire. Her husband saved her life by picking her up and throwing her into the sea. The insurance company agreed to compensate the couple for half the damages.

3) Danger From Above: The last thing you expect while on vacation is to injure yourself from…relaxing. British travel agency, Club Direct, knew that stranger things have (and do) happen and started issuing policies to cover injuries caused by falling coconuts. That very same year they decided to issue their new policies, one of their customers was struck in the head by a coconut and knocked out cold, while she was reading a book under a palm tree. Luckily, she recovered. Club Direct paid her in full.

4) Decking Drivers with Christmas Trees: This example reads like a scene from the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie. Mr. Fairclough was driving home from Christmas shopping when he saw a car approaching him from the opposite direction with a Christmas tree haphazardly positioned on top of the car. No sooner had he registered this when the car went around a sharp bend, and the tree flew straight toward him. The other driver never stopped or returned to the scene, so Mr. Fairclough ended up taking the tree home with him, along with a huge dent left by the tree’s trunk. His car insurance paid for all of the damages.

Every insurance holder wants to be paid any claims that he or she makes, of course the above four people probably would have told you that receiving the payment was nice, but if they could, they would have rather avoided the events that led them to file their claims.

The same is true with life insurance. While a life insurance claim is one you hope never has to be filed, those you care about, who are protected by your policy, will be glad they have the option should something unexpected happen to you.

Curious about the type of life insurance coverage available to you? Visit our quotes page and compare up to six quotes in just a few minutes.

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Are You a Smoker? Why Kicking the Habit is Good News for Your Wallet

Feb 5, 2015 5:30:00 PM

Smoking kills.

This isn’t an exaggeration; smoking-related deaths and illnesses have claimed millions of smokers over the years. But smoking doesn’t just take its toll on your health; it takes a bite out of your wallet as well. If you smoke, and you’ve tried to quit (unsuccessfully) in the past, then you know how hard it is to remain smoke-free. So today we decided to give you a little push in the willpower department with four great reasons to kick your smoking habit to the curb once and for all.

1) Lower insurance rates: This is the most obvious benefit for quitting smoking. Who doesn’t want to reduce their life-insurance premium, right? And when you transition from a ‘healthy’ smoker to a healthy non-smoker, your monthly savings could be downright colossal! Did you know that a 20-year policy premium for a healthy non-smoking male, aged 45, on a $500,000 policy may only cost $53 per month? On the other hand, this same policy may run another man of the same age $214 per month if he’s a smoker. Over two decades, that adds up to an additional $38,640 drain on the smoker’s wallet!

2) No money spent on cigarettes: It goes without saying that quitting smoking means you’ll be saving money on the cost of cigarettes. According to the American Lung Association, the average retail cost for a pack of cigarettes is $5.51. If you smoke at least one pack per day, that’s over $2,011 a year spent on cigarettes. Now consider the 20-year policy premium from the last example. $2,000 (approx.) multiplied by 20 years is roughly around $40,000. Now if you add the cost of your premium and the cost of cigarettes over the same time period that totals to about $91,360, versus a non-smoker who would only pay $53/month for 20 years or a total of $12,720. That’s a savings of over $78,640 over two decades that you could put towards increasing your insurance coverage for you and your family.

3) Not just for everyday smokers: Our above examples mention cigarette smokers, but all smokers and users of tobacco are subject to higher rates, even if you are only an occasional user. But there are options. At IntelliQuote, we work with a highly recommended carrier that offers non-smoker rates to users of tobacco (not cigarettes) to encourage people to quit. If you’re an occasional cigar smoker, the good news is you don’t have to be nicotine-free for several years to get these rates; they only require you have refrained from smoking cigarettes. They may even allow you to use quitting aids like the patch and may permit for the occasional cigar during this period.

4) Put more money toward your family: Quitting cigarettes gives you an enormous savings that you can use to increase your insurance coverage. In addition to prolonging your physical life, now you can put more money towards long-term care, or set that money aside for your beneficiaries.

Cutting cigarettes out of your life is not just a way for you to live longer, but you can also make your family’s life easier when you ultimately pass on.

Make one of your first decisions in the new year to look into life insurance and receive up to six quotes free on our page today—of course, right after you firmly decide to stop smoking.

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4 Ways To Cover Your Family’s Health Care Costs After You’re Gone

Jan 27, 2015 5:30:00 PM

The irony of good family health care is that the cost can be quite expensive, which can increase stress levels for many people. The stress factor skyrockets if you have to pay for out-of-pocket costs. Unfortunately, many families face this reality after the death of loved one, especially when those members die after facing a lengthy illness, forcing the family to worry about the financial impact of accumulated medical bills at a time when they should be grieving.

But term life insurance is an option to make sure this grim scenario isn’t in your family’s future.

1) Consider your long-term health care now: The truth is, no matter how proactive a person you are, no one wants to think about themselves in a nursing home or being cared for by a home health nurse, right? We’d all like to believe we’ll remain in tip-top health right up until the very end. But the above scenarios will be a reality for many adults in the future. Accounting for possible medical and long-term care costs now may mean your family won’t have to pay any outstanding bills at the time of your death.

2) Help your spouse pay for health care costs: After you’ve passed on, your spouse must pay for expenses on only one income. Paying for health care for the entire family with decreased funds is even harder. Factoring the cost of health care into your coverage and naming your spouse as a beneficiary, will ease the financial burden for him/her in the event of your death.

3) Keep your kids covered while they’re still in college: Speaking of beneficiaries, if you have children, you should consider naming them as beneficiaries as well, if only for health care reasons. Assigning money to your child as a beneficiary is a way for him/her to pay for their own care should you no longer be with them.

4) Think about the worst case scenario: This is a bit ghoulish to think about, but a few moments of being uncomfortable can give your family considerable peace of mind. Imagine that instead of meeting your demise in a sudden accident, you succumb over a lengthy amount of time to a disease. And that your health insurance doesn’t pickup 100% of the tab. You may want to consider the costs of paying for such an illness, including any associated fees, such as hospice care.

At IntelliQuote, we understand that health care costs can be quite expensive, and we only have you and your family’s best interest at heart. That’s why we do everything in our power to make sure that you use your term life insurance to protect yourself and your family today and for the future.

Looking to get a leg up on your family’s health care costs for the future? Visit our quote page and sign up to get a sneak peek at up to six quotes in just a few minutes.

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How Life Insurance Can Help Save You

Dec 10, 2014 6:00:00 PM

One of the ways insurance professionals try to get people to sit up and take notice is to state a startling statistic. We find that’s not always the best approach.

Why?

Because people can easily explain away statistics with reasoning. We’ve found that real-life examples better connect emotionally with our audience, and as a result, are harder to ignore.

Today’s post shares real-life accounts of how life insurance saved two families, and the three lessons you can take away from their stories.

1) Make sure you’re truly covered: If you work for a company and you know you’re insured, you probably don’t give life insurance much thought. You figure, “My company will take care of everything”, right? Luckily for Alden Wicker, her mother shared the opposite viewpoint. Ms. Wicker’s parents were better off than most, with a solid income and an emergency fund of close to two years of her father’s salary. Her mother was in charge of the budget and inspected her husband’s employer-provided insurance coverage, which would pay out two times his $30,000 a year salary. She calculated their actual expenses to see how much they’d need if they had a crisis and realized it was significantly higher, so she took out two additional policies.

The Lesson: Never assume that your employer’s life insurance is enough to cover your needs. Sit down and make a list of your actual expenses (mortgage, rent, living expenses, etc.) and compare that total against how much coverage you receive.

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Mortality: Gain More Control Over Yours Using Life Insurance

Nov 3, 2014 7:00:00 PM

You may have done a double take when you read today’s blog title. Control your mortality with life insurance? Are they serious?

Before you ask, we’re not saying that life insurance will turn you into a superhuman or will increase your life span by 50 years. Sorry! But we want to show you how you can use life insurance to ensure that your family remains healthy and happy long after you’ve passed on.

And that’s something that you can feel good about, right?

There are a lot of precautions that you can take to help you live a longer life. Daily exercise, a healthy diet, learning not to sweat the small stuff and reducing your stress. While these lifestyle choices are wonderful ways to improve the overall quality of your life, they are not guaranteed life extenders. If you’re one of the (or the only) breadwinner for your family, you’ll need a financial backup plan that’s solid.

1) Choose exactly how your family will be cared for: When you’re employed, you know you’ll get paid every month like clockwork. But what happens if you pass on unexpectedly? If you’re gone, you obviously won’t need the money, but what about your spouse and your children? A term life insurance policy allows you to determine the exact salary that will keep your family financially comfortable and worry-free after you’re gone.

2) Give your child a chance to compete with a college education: One of the most amazing gifts a parent can give their child is the gift of a debt-free education. The workforce becomes more competitive with each passing year, and bachelors’ degrees are the new high school diploma. When you purchase a policy that will cover your child’s education, you’re making sure that they’ll enter adulthood with an advantage.

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Life Insurance: The Security Blanket for Your Pension

Nov 1, 2014 10:22:00 AM

Ah, retirement. You’ve been waiting for this day for many years, and it has finally arrived. After years of hard work, you can now rest and start collecting your retirement checks. It’s smooth sailing from now on, right?

Well, that depends on whether or not you have a backup plan.

Depending on the amount of your pension, you and your spouse could live quite well. However, if you were to pass away, your pension checks would either drastically decrease or stop altogether, leaving your spouse with no source of income.

Before you start to panic, this scenario doesn’t have to become a reality. Remember the backup plan we mentioned? Today’s blog post will explain five benefits that life insurance can provide after you’ve retired.

1) Avoid a reverse mortgage: You’ve probably seen commercials for reverse mortgages on television throughout the recession. If your income is limited, and you’re retired, using the equity in your home as cash sounds like a good idea--in theory. However, this option is not without its pitfalls, namely high fees and interest rates. It also means that you won’t be able to leave your home to your heirs when you die because the house must be sold to cover the loan amount. A life insurance policy may give you financial options.

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Hedge Stock Market Volatility with Life Insurance

Oct 30, 2014 4:00:00 PM

Your eyes are glued to CNBC. The closing bell rings. Your heart drops into your stomach, and your palms sweat. The Dow is down for the second month in a row, and all you can think about is how your portfolio is shrinking more and more each day.

Have you lived through this nightmare before?

For many Americans, these feelings conjure up memories of the ghost of the 2008 recession past. Many lost a sizeable chunk of their portfolio and, unfortunately, some of these people won’t live long enough to recoup all of their losses.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though; there is light at the end of the tunnel. Life insurance can back up your portfolio in good times and in bad times, so you can relax when you watch the latest financial reports, instead of biting your nails and sitting on the edge of your seat.

1) In case of portfolio emergency, use insurance: If you work for a corporation, chances are a portion of your salary is tied up in the stock market. Depending on how much money you choose to add and how diversified your portfolio is, you may have a significant amount of your money linked to the market. So what happens if the Dow comes to a grinding halt? A cash-value insurance policy can provide you with added security in case the stock market reduces your net worth. Cash-values and the level of protection can be adjusted according to your needs, and they also earn interest!

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Why Waiting Until Retirement to Buy Life Insurance is Foolish (and What to Do Instead)

Oct 23, 2014 6:30:00 PM

“I don’t need life insurance. I’m not even old enough to stop working.”

Sound familiar? You may have arrived at that same conclusion.

In a perfect world, your assumption would be correct. Unfortunately, life doesn’t follow that same logic.

Unforeseen events, such as an unexpected illness, bankruptcy or accidents can happen at any time, years before you retire from your job. Insurance can save your family from any undue stress that arises from out-of-the blue hardships.

1) The younger you are, the less you’ll pay: It’s never too late to buy life insurance, but if you wait too long, it could be more expensive. The average life expectancy is around 79 years. The closer you are to this age when you sign up for life insurance, the more expensive your premiums will be. Another advantage to purchasing life insurance while you’re still young and healthy is that your coverage won’t change if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness. It’s much harder to qualify for life insurance if you’ve been diagnosed prior to applying.

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