Tag Archives: Life Insurance

The Truth About Life Insurance

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The Truth About Life Insurance on avanteinsurance.com

Dispelling 7 myths about buying life insurance

Life insurance is one of those things we just don’t want to think about. It’s an uncomfortable reminder that life will end. There are many reasons why people put off buying life insurance, but most of them are more myth than fact. Today, we want to dispel some of the more popular “myths” that keep people from protecting their loved ones like they should.

Myth #1: I’m too young to need life insurance.

It’s easy to think you don’t need to worry about life insurance in your 20s and 30s, but nothing could be further from the truth. “Every single person needs at least enough life insurance to cover the costs of personal debts, medical and funeral bills. If you are uninsured, you may leave a legacy of unpaid expenses for your family,” according to Investopedia.

A policy could help your loved ones pay off any debt you owe, including college loans. Besides shielding your family from unnecessary debt, purchasing a policy at a younger age means you will probably pay less for premiums, since you may not have many assets and are less likely to have developed chronic health conditions. By putting off buying life insurance, you’ll only end up paying more.

Myth #2: I have employer-provided life insurance so I don’t need anything else.

Some employers provide life insurance coverage as part of their benefits package, however the amount is generally not enough to adequately support your family. How much more could you need? According to a Forbes article, “Your employer may provide you with life insurance equal to 1-2 times your annual salary, and you may even be able to purchase up to 4-6 times your salary but … to replace your income for dependents, you generally need at least 5-8 times your income and some experts even recommend 10-12 times.”

One other thing to consider is that employer-provided policies are often tied to a specific job, so if you leave that company, it’s difficult to take the policy with you. Getting the policy changed to individual coverage may be more expensive, and depending on how old you are, the cost could be much greater than if you’d purchased a policy on your own.

Myth #3: A stay-at-home spouse doesn’t need life insurance.

Another myth about life insurance is that families only need a policy for working spouses. Stay-at-home moms and dads provide childcare, transportation, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, and a myriad of other things. Without her or him at home, the breadwinner would probably need to pay someone else to do those things and those costs can really add up. Daycare, for instance, is very expensive. “Insurance on the stay-at-home spouse also gives the working parent the opportunity to take time off work and help the family adjust to their loss,” according to Forbes.

Myth #4: I can’t afford life insurance.

One very persistent myth about life insurance is that it’s expensive, but that’s not always the case. A 2015 Insurance Barometer study by Life Happens found that 80% of people misjudge the cost of term life insurance. Many end up thinking they can’t afford it, even if they want to purchase or increase their coverage. In truth, buying a life insurance policy can be quite affordable. The key is to lock in your coverage at an earlier age when you have fewer chronic health issues.

Myth #5: I have poor health, so I don’t qualify for life insurance.

Many believe if you’ve had a health condition such as a heart attack or cancer, you can’t get life insurance. At one time this was actually true, but due to medical advances and education about the importance of lifestyle changes in controlling and reversing some chronic conditions, people are living longer. You can also find companies that will cover a range of what might be considered “high risk” conditions.

Myth #6: My beneficiaries will end up paying taxes on proceeds from my policy.

In most states, life insurance death benefits are income-tax-free and will not have to be reported. You can then use those benefits to pay funeral expenses, your mortgage, other debts or college tuition for your children.

Myth #7: I have enough retirement savings for my family to live comfortably.

Planning for retirement is one thing. Paying final expenses is quite another. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the national median cost of a funeral with a burial in 2014 was over $7,000. That is quite a large amount, and if your family doesn’t have enough saved up, they could have trouble paying your final expenses.

The idea of buying life insurance can be difficult to face, but protecting your family financially is extremely important. Separate myths from facts so you can safeguard your family. If you have any questions and are looking for answers, contact Avante Insurance today.

Why Stay-at-Home Spouses Need Life Insurance

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Why Stay-at-Home Spouses Need Life Insurance on avanteinsurance.com

Both members of a partnership provide tangible value

Times are changing. Familial, parental and breadwinning roles are becoming ever more fluid, and modern America has seen a rise in stay-at-home spouses of both genders. For today’s 1.4 million stay-at-home dads, parenting is a central part of their identity and men have tripled time spent with their families over the last half century. The majority of today’s moms work outside of the home, with around 57% participating in the labor force. Both women and men who work outside their house wish they could be at home more with their family.

This brings us to the stay-at-home spouses, a figure who often underestimates their own worth. It’s a job they’re happy to do; playing their part as their other half leaves to be the breadwinner. If a spouse should pass away uninsured, it could lead to financial and domestic chaos for the family they leave behind. Here’s our look at why a stay-at-home spouse needs life insurance.

You CAN put a salary figure on a stay-at-home spouse

A look at this infographic (compensating of course for the fact that it can fit either gender) gives a quick look at just how much a stay-at-home spouse takes care of in a week, and how that hard work equates to their relative financial worth. The figure shown of over $100,000 a year goes a long way to illustrate a value beyond the emotional and parental. If you’re wondering what your own worth is, you can use this calculator.

If a stay-at-home spouse were no longer there, the void of their many roles would have to be filled. Multiple expenses would quickly accrue. With no insurance in place to offset this financial requirement, a breadwinner could be facing a situation where they have to resign from their job to replace the stay-at-home spouse, or hire one or more caretakers.

To further illustrate, the average cost of childcare in Florida is more expensive than college tuition. The yearly cost of care is over $8,000 and can take up over 16% of a typical Florida family’s income. If more intensive childcare is required in the form of a nanny, the average salary there ranges from over $20,000 to more than $35,000.

Fixing a rate on an unpaid role

The initial steps in calculating a figure for stay-at-home spouse insurance are much the same as you would expect: age, lifestyle, health conditions, and current financial situation. Many parents take out a term life insurance policy. The limited time period this covers is flexible and an efficient safeguard for seeing children through early life, adolescence, and college. How much the out-of-home spouse earns may play a significant part in deciding on a premium amount. This figure, or less, is what the stay-at-home spouse could be eligible for (with 50% of the out-of-home income being a common base amount).

The data above shouldn’t be disregarded in the process. A stay-at-home spouse can realistically estimate their market worth and multiply this figure by the number of years until the kids are out of college to help finalize a sum. Thinking ahead for expenses like outstanding debts, and medical and funeral costs also factor into the equation. It’s a variable process dependent on your individual circumstances and so should always be talked over with a qualified insurance advisor.

A final thought

No one likes to think of the worst, but it’s the smartest couples who prepare for it. Loss of a partner and escalating costs are heavy things to consider, so here’s a light-hearted look that still frames the issue. Being a stay-at-home spouse is something to be proud of and never underestimated. Insurance in this regard isn’t just a way to put a cash number on things.

Avante Insurance is a South Florida family owned and operated agency providing an array of insurance services to meet the individual needs of our customers. If you need any information, call us at 305-648-7070, request an insurance quote or contact us with any questions or comments.

Does Your Child Need a Life Insurance Policy? A Look at Both Sides of a Sensitive Debate

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Does Your Child Need a Life Insurance Policy? A Look at Both Sides of a Sensitive Debate on avanteinsurance.com

Insurance by its very nature entails considering the worst.

Being prepared for a leak in the roof or a lawsuit against your business is unpleasant. When it comes to considering the mortality of our loved ones it can be so sobering we either go overboard to compensate or simply don’t want to know. Of all the policies, insuring against the death of a child is surely the hardest to consider. It has its defenders and detractors. In this blog, we will consider both sides of this delicate argument.

The argument for

Why do many parents feel it’s necessary to insure the lives of their children? The pro-insurance stance is almost as instinctive as the parental drive itself. The very idea of leaving a child uninsured against any outcome (particularly the worst) can cause anxiety and guilt in any guardian. To take out a policy seems like not only common sense, but a protective reflex.

Second to that is the projected expenses of death. The average funeral cost in America now runs around $8000-$10,000 and incorporate fees for funeral homes, cemetery plots and headstones. If your child dealt with illness before death then life insurance can also be a cushion against medical expenses which may not have been covered under a health insurance plan.

It’s easy to over-react emotionally on this issue but it’s a reality that the emotional fallout of a child’s death can incur financial expenses beyond the medical and final. Parents or guardians may lose time at work to grieve which may cause a loss of earnings. It is not so great a leap to imagine the job itself may be lost. Should that be so, a life insurance policy could yet again go some way toward softening the costs of loss of earnings and counselling.

Protecting a child’s future insurance status is another factor. It’s a pre-emptive measure especially if one or both parents carry an inherited condition. If a child is born healthy and continues to be so for several years but eventually develops a significant health issue, then this can leave them uninsurable in the future. However, if a life insurance policy was taken out at the beginning and a problem arises later, the child has secure insurance in place where the payouts can be reviewed and improved in later life.

The argument against

It may be easy to imagine the opponents of child life insurance as being negligent or even callous. While many people do treat insurance too lightly there are valid (and even highly optimistic) arguments for taking steady time to consider your decision, or maybe even forgoing child life insurance entirely.

The early stages of being a parent are an emotional experience often rooted more in nature than knowledge. The most recent figures show that of every 1000 children born in the United states, 6.5 will die before the age of five. Most parents would automatically panic that their child would be one of them. Anti-insurance parties feel that parents are taken advantage of, exploited even, by being made to pay out in fear of the worst. This feeling of child life insurance being an immoral and financially predatory practice is strong.

More tangibly, opponents of the idea of life insurance for children ground their argument in financial dependence. Insurance is a monetary safety net against unforeseen expenses that parent or guardians can’t cover on their existing income. Children don’t have any income and so are fully dependent on their parents. The argument here is that they already have financial life insurance in the form of Mom, Dad or other guardians. Of course, this argument only holds water for those in a certain income bracket and for whom funeral expenses would be manageable via income or savings.

Anti-insurance advocates also think that the money invested in fearing the worst should be directed toward hoping for the best. Using the funds to create a nest egg your child can use in later life towards education, a home or other important decision is viewed far more positively and practically. With higher education costs ranging from over $9000 to more than $32,000 depending on the institution, the argument certainly carries some weight.

Whatever your insurance needs or concerns, we’re here to help. Avante Insurance is a South Florida family owned and operated insurance agency providing an array of insurance services to meet individual needs. If you’d like to know more, you can call us at 305-648-7070, request an insurance quote or contact us with any questions or comments.

Life Insurance: Types, Differences, and What Works Best for You

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Life Insurance: Types, Differences, and What Works Best for You on avanteinsurance.com

Potential life insurance buyers have a variety of options when it comes to purchasing an affordable and effective policy

Deciding which life insurance policy best fits you and your family’s needs can be a challenging process. There are a ton of options, and it can be difficult to determine what your financial and medical needs will be 10, 20, or 30 years from now. Despite the challenges of selecting a good life insurance policy for your family, doing so will not only protect you financially– it can give you peace of mind for years to come.

Term life insurance vs. whole life insurance policies

When it comes to buying life insurance, most, if not all, of your options can be put into two categories: term life insurance policies and whole life insurance policies, which are sometimes referred to as permanent life insurance policies. Term is considered the simplest form of life insurance and, in most cases, it’s significantly less expensive than whole life policies. If you purchase a term life insurance policy, your benefactors will only receive funds if you die during the duration of the policy. The moment your policy expires it becomes, in effect, worthless.

Level term vs. decreasing term policies

The two main types of term life insurance policies include level term and decreasing term. Both policies vary in duration, usually between one and thirty years. In level term policies, the death benefit remains the same throughout the life of the policy, whereas, in decreasing term policies the death benefit decreases (usually in one-year increments) throughout the entire life of the policy.

Traditional whole life, universal life, and variable life insurance are the three major options for permanent life insurance buyers

Traditional whole life, universal life, and variable insurance life are the three major kinds of whole life or permanent life insurance policies. Unlike term policies, permanent insurance pays a death benefit to your benefactors, no matter how long you live– if you keep paying your premium. Permanent life insurance policies usually consist of two elements; a savings and investment portion and an insurance portion. This increases the cost of permanent insurance premiums when compared to term options, but also gives the owner of the policy more value and long-term financial options, such as borrowing against the policy in times of financial need.

Traditional whole life policies

Whole life insurance may be best for individuals who want a policy as an investment that will accrue cash value over time. The premiums and payouts of this policy are fixed, and can be quite expensive, so it’s often a good idea to buy a policy when you are relatively young to potentially provide for a surviving spouse or children. Whole life policies usually invest the savings portion of your policy in high yield savings account, which can later be borrowed against.

Universal life policies

In comparison to whole life insurance policies, universal life insurance allows for more flexibility in the various elements of their policies. For example, policy owners can increase or decrease their death benefit over time, per their changing financial and family needs. Additionally, after submitting your first premium payment, you can pay your premiums at any time and at any amount (subject to some limits). Those that want to increase their coverage benefit can do so at any time, but often need to pass a medical exam first.

Variable life insurance policies

Variable life insurance is simply another kind of life insurance, somewhat like whole life, but with a greater and more aggressive investment component. Unlike whole life policies, which usually invest the savings portion of your policy in high yield savings account, variable life policies invest your cash-value account into a sub-account similar to a mutual fund, which may be able to gain higher returns over time. Much like other forms of permanent life insurance, this account can usually only be accessed indirectly while the policy is in effect (i.e. borrowing against it).

Deciding which life insurance policy to choose can be tough, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re uncertain about which kind of policy can best help your family weather financial uncertainty, consult with an insurance expert to find the right policy for you.

To learn more about different kinds of insurance and how they might help you and your family better reach your goals, contact Avante Insurance today for a free consultation.

Life Insurance for Singles? 4 Situations to Consider

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Life Insurance for Singles? 4 Situations to Consider on avanteinsurance.com

Life insurance isn’t a good choice for all singles– but more of them can benefit than you might think

If you’re single– especially if you’re in your twenties, you might think that purchasing a life insurance policy isn’t a decision you’ll need to make for at least a few decades. However, in many circumstances, life insurance can save you and the ones you care about significant financial stress. In fact, if you have serious debt or believe you may develop a serious medical condition later in life, purchasing a good life insurance policy early on can potentially save you and your family hundreds of thousands– and sometimes even millions of dollars.

Below, we’ll discuss four situations in which purchasing life insurance may offer a serious return on investment– no matter what your relationship status.

1. You have significant student loans or other debts to pay off– and a loved one is your cosigner

Tens of millions of young people are collectively bucking under America’s more than $1 trillion dollars of student loan debt– and that’s before factoring in the hundreds of billions of credit card debts, car payments, medical debt obligations, and layaway loans from retailers that young Americans also hold.

While many types of debt are dischargeable upon the death of the debtor, student loans aren’t. That means if a family member cosigned on your loans, they could be responsible for paying them back if you suddenly pass away– and, in the case of a tragedy, paying bill is the last thing you want your grieving family members to have to worry about.

Even if you only have other types of debt (kinds that are dischargeable upon the holder’s death), lenders and debt collection companies may not necessarily get the message that your family members aren’t legally responsible for it– and they may harass them with aggressive phone calls, letters and emails for a long time. In many cases, debt collectors have convinced individuals to pay off debts of dead family members for which they were no longer responsible– another outcome you want to avoid.

2. Your income currently supports children, siblings, parents, or other family members

Even if you’re young and single, that doesn’t necessarily mean that others aren’t relying on you– or might need to rely on you for future financial support. So, even if you’re only supporting yourself now, if a loved one suddenly incurs large medical expenses or loses much of their savings on a bad retirement investment, they may need your assistance to keep up their quality of life and to avoid being forced to sell major assets, like homes, cars, or retirement portfolios. If you’re no longer living, you can’t help– but a life insurance policy could seriously aid loved ones through a variety of difficult situations.

3. Your family could go through significant financial strain to pay for funeral costs

The average funeral often costs $10,000 or more– and while it might seem morbid to think about this kind of stuff, it can be seriously tough for many families to shell out that kind of money on short notice. This is especially true if they’re also trying to pay for some of your other costs, such as medical expenses and other debts.

4. You expect that you might develop a serious medical condition in your 30s, 40s, or 50s

While you might be healthy as a horse in your early twenties, it’s a good idea to look around your family tree for any medical conditions that you might be likely to inherit– especially conditions that might arise earlier rather than later. Purchasing life insurance for a decent price can be incredibly difficult if you have a pre-existing condition– so even if you think there’s only a small chance of you developing an inherited disorder, purchasing life insurance early and locking in a good rate can save you a lot of grief later in life.

When it comes to life insurance, weigh your options and make an informed choice for your individual situation

Life insurance isn’t really about your needs– it’s about protecting those closest to you from financial disaster and distress should anything happen to you. Therefore, it’s important to accurately gauge your risk of leaving debts, expenses, or financially needy loved ones behind to make a smart choice about whether or not to buy it. For some singles, it’s still far too early for life insurance to make financial sense in the foreseeable future– while for many others, life insurance isn’t something they need immediately– but it’s something they’ll want to consider purchasing within the next 2 to 3 years.

To learn more about how insurance can protect you and those you care about at every age, contact Avante Insurance today for a free consultation.

What’s a Trust and Do You Need One?

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What’s a Trust and Do You Need One? on avanteinsurance.com

Spoiler alert: you don’t have to be a billionaire to need one

There are several different types of trust funds, but in essence, a trust is an agreement that specifies exactly how you’d like your assets distributed and to whom. There are numerous benefits to having a trust and it’s different than a will in various ways. Do you understand exactly what a trust is? And how can you tell if you need one or not? Take a look:

What is a trust?

A fiduciary agreement, a trust is a legal document that allows you to lay out the details of how you’d like to bequeath your assets and to whom. And while it sounds much like a will, it’s different because a trust is immediately effective and can be put into action according to your wishes during your life, when you die, or afterwards. A will is enacted only after the governing party passes away. Trusts provide a myriad of benefits, including:

• Bypassing probate: A trust doesn’t have to go through the long, drawn out court process of probate which most wills normally have to. This means your beneficiaries don’t have to wait to receive what you’ve left to them. And because you’re avoiding court proceedings, your recipients won’t be subject to court fees and taxes.

• Privacy: Unlike a will, a trust is not a public document and therefore cannot be contested or viewed by unauthorized parties.

Types of trusts

There are many different types of trusts and some are more complicated and costly than others to set up. But in general, there are three basic types that are the most common:

Revocable trust

A revocable trust is set up during your lifetime and can be changed at anytime or revoked completely. It is often called a living trust because, when setting the account up, you transfer ownership of the property or assets to the trust, name yourself the trustee, and are able to remove any of the assets from the trust during your lifetime. The greatest benefit of this type of trust, besides the obvious fact that you can change your mind at any time, is that it is not subject to probate.

Irrevocable trust

An irrevocable trust is one that you cannot change or modify once it’s created. When you place property or assets into it, or you name beneficiaries and detail how to distribute the assets, you cannot alter it in any way.

Irrevocable life Insurance trust

Setting up an irrevocable life insurance trust enables you to remove your life insurance from your taxable estate. This has numerous benefits for your heirs because it can no longer be taxed and can provide beneficiaries with tax-free income that can be used to help pay estate fees after you have passed away.

Who needs a trust?

Having a trust in lieu of a will can be beneficial for many people depending on the amount of assets they have acquired, whether they own property in multiple states (or internationally), and how many heirs there are to the account. The key for most people is avoiding the hassles and costs associated with probate and taxes as well as ensuring that their family members don’t have to worry about who gets what. Another point to consider is that a trust is not only for those who have amassed a large fortune; it’s truly all about bequeathing your belongings in the simplest and smoothest way.

When it comes to securing your assets for loved ones, a trust is a viable option that many people use. Make sure that you do your homework before making a decision and, if you’re in need of life insurance, give us a call at 305-648-7070 and we can guide you on the best solutions to fit your needs and goals.

Turned Down For Life Insurance? What to do Next

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Turned Down For Life Insurance? What to do Next on avanteinsurance.com

You were expecting a yes. Now what?

It happens. Even to those of us who don’t expect it at all. You applied for life insurance because you know it’s essential— assuming that you’d get coverage, start paying your premiums, and then feel a great sense of peace knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of in the event of your death. But then, to your surprise, you receive notice that you’ve been denied by the insurance company. How could this be? And now what? Although it is shocking and worrisome to receive a rejection on a life insurance application, it’s not the end of the road; nor does it mean that you cannot get coverage:

First: get the facts

Although you are probably strapped for a reason that you’d be denied, the insurance carrier had to do their homework and gather all of the required information before making their decision. The first order of business would be do get in touch with your provider and simply ask for an explanation. By law, you have the right to request this information and should be provided with a detailed reasoning of their denial. Some factors that could lend to a rejection include:

• High risk health conditions (diabetes, obesity, history of DUIs)

• Smoking

• Alcoholism

• Drug use

• Risky hobbies including skydiving, base jumping, and scuba diving.

• Risky jobs including steel workers, electrical power line installers, and pilots

Correct or confirm information

Mistakes happen, and it is possible that somewhere along the line, the insurance carrier was given erroneous information regarding your medical records. If you’re in good health and have never had any of the conditions that are considered risky, it’s a good idea to get your medical records and review all of the information that was provided to the insurance company.

Get a second opinion

Even if you’ve had some medical issues in the past or you’re considered risky to one broker, there are some carriers that work with those who are deemed high-risk. If you smoke or have a drug or alcohol habit, you may also still be able to find a carrier. However, in this case you can expect to pay a higher premium and may incur a maximum death benefit. Because different insurance carriers have different underwriting processes, knowing your options can help you find the right company and a policy that will be an ideal fit.

Have a physical

If you were denied for health reasons, make an appointment to see your doctor and have him or her asses your medical condition. Beginning a treatment plan or medication can help when you have high blood pressure, triglycerides, or are suffering from diabetes. And once you do this, you can either reapply or get back in touch with the insurance company to update their information.

The most important thing to remember is that if you’ve been denied, life insurance coverage has several options. And while it may be alarming, these steps are likely to help you find a resolution to the issue or open you up to coverage options from another carrier.

When you’re ready, give us a call at 305-648-7070 and we’d be happy to help you. As a leader in the insurance industry, we work with numerous carriers and can assist you in finding a life insurance solution to suit your unique needs and risks. Reach out to us today.

Insurance Binders: What You Need to Know

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Insurance Binders: What You Need to Know

Many have heard of them—but what exactly are they?

Let’s face it, insurance can be confusing. Most folks depend on their agent to fill them in on the details that are necessary and choose not to worry about the ones that should be left to the experts. But understanding many of the industry terms and how they apply to you and your insurance policies is always a good idea. “Insurance binder” is one term that many people aren’t clear on, including what it means and when you would need one. So here’s a quick overview of what you need to know:

What is an insurance binder?

An insurance binder is a temporary contract that states that a certain insurance policy has taken effect. So essentially, if you were buying a new car and wanted to make sure it was covered even before you drove it home, you could call your insurance company and ask them to issue a binder.

Binders are a short-term agreement that your insurance company issues based on your arrangement with them. And they do not necessarily guarantee long-term coverage.

When do I need one?

There are several scenarios where an insurance binder may be necessary and if you’re not sure if you need one, the advisable thing to do is to call your provider. Some examples of when you would require a binder include:

 

Purchasing a home: Your title company may require you to get a homeowner’s binder before they are willing to handle your closing

Buying a new car: If you’re purchasing at a dealership, it’s not uncommon for the dealer to require you to have an insurance binder before you can take it home

Renting a home: Some landlords require that their tenants get a renter’s insurance policy binder to ensure they are not liable for loss or damages to personal property

How long is the term?

Insurance binders are meant to be interim policies that are only in effect until the long-term policy has been written. They can vary in length from 30 to 60 days and can usually be cancelled anytime within that period—although some carriers will specify a date that a cancellation has to occur by.

What happens after a binder is issued?

In most cases, after you’ve been issued a binder, your insurance provider will assess the risk of taking on this policy, check out all of the information you’ve provided to them (if you don’t already have policies with them), and review your records and claims history. Once they determine the level of risk, they’ll set a premium amount and advise you of how much you need to pay upfront to put the long-term policy into effect. The process, although it may seem long, usually doesn’t take too much time. Once your policy is approved, you will receive the documentation from your insurance provider.

With any assets, including your home, car, boat, or even your life, you want to be sure you’re protected as quickly as possible. So when you’re in need of insurance, a binder can provide peace of mind that you’re covered until your official policy is in place.

If you have any questions about insurance binders or want to get a quote on an insurance product, give us a call at 305-648-7070 or fill out our online quote request form.

Life Insurance and Estate Planning: What Happens to Your Loved Ones After You’re Gone?

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Life Insurance and Estate Planning: What Happens to Your Loved Ones After You're Gone? on avanteinsurance.com

Make a plan that gives you peace of mind.

It’s not a pleasant thought, but planning ahead when it comes to the future of your family is probably one of the most important things you’ll ever do. No matter how old you are, if you have a spouse or significant other, children, and other loved ones who depend on you, making sure that they don’t suffer financially after you’re gone is a priority. And while none of us want to ponder our own passing, these tips will make the process of planning easier. Take a look:

Get life insurance

If you’re thinking that you’re too young to need life insurance, the truth is, when you are just starting out is the probably one of the best times to purchase a policy. Perhaps the most important reason is that if something unexpected does happen to you and you haven’t built up any wealth yet, you can rest assured that your family will be taken care of. And the younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be.

Even if you’ve already built a career, have assets, and are approaching retirement, a life insurance policy will ensure that your family will have the finances necessary to pay for a funeral and other expenses, including the mortgage, utility bills, and basic necessities.

Make a will

Creating a will is another touchy subject for a lot of people. But it is essential to making sure that all of your assets are handled properly and that your family is taken care of after you’re gone. For most folks, drafting a will becomes a priority the moment they have children. And while this is definitely a prime time to think about it, it’s important to keep in mind that if you pass away and don’t have a will, your assets are not automatically given to your family members, whatever your situation. To avoid any hardship for your loved ones, including a long, drawn-out probate process and possible conflicts with others who may feel they have a right to your property, make sure you have a will in place.

Consider a living trust

In certain circumstances, a living trust may be a better alternative to drafting a will. For those who have many assets or have amassed considerable wealth, it is often better to have a living trust because there’s no danger of probate and you can specify how your assets will be distributed to heirs. Another benefit of living trusts is that they are usually kept private, while wills become part of the public record after you die.

Planning for the future, no matter how old you are or the nature of your obligations, will let you live your life with the assurance that your family will be taken care of after you’re gone. If you are looking for guidance on life insurance or any other insurance solutions, get in touch with us today. We will work closely with you to develop a customized plan that suits your needs.

Life Insurance and Estate Planning: What Happens to Your Loved Ones After You’re Gone?

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Life Insurance and Estate Planning: What Happens to Your Loved Ones After You're Gone? on avanteinsurance.com

Make a plan that gives you peace of mind.

It’s not a pleasant thought, but planning ahead when it comes to the future of your family is probably one of the most important things you’ll ever do. No matter how old you are, if you have a spouse or significant other, children, and other loved ones who depend on you, making sure that they don’t suffer financially after you’re gone is a priority. And while none of us want to ponder our own passing, these tips will make the process of planning easier. Take a look:

Get life insurance

If you’re thinking that you’re too young to need life insurance, the truth is, when you are just starting out is the probably one of the best times to purchase a policy. Perhaps the most important reason is that if something unexpected does happen to you and you haven’t built up any wealth yet, you can rest assured that your family will be taken care of. And the younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be.

Even if you’ve already built a career, have assets, and are approaching retirement, a life insurance policy will ensure that your family will have the finances necessary to pay for a funeral and other expenses, including the mortgage, utility bills, and basic necessities.

Make a will

Creating a will is another touchy subject for a lot of people. But it is essential to making sure that all of your assets are handled properly and that your family is taken care of after you’re gone. For most folks, drafting a will becomes a priority the moment they have children. And while this is definitely a prime time to think about it, it’s important to keep in mind that if you pass away and don’t have a will, your assets are not automatically given to your family members, whatever your situation. To avoid any hardship for your loved ones, including a long, drawn-out probate process and possible conflicts with others who may feel they have a right to your property, make sure you have a will in place.

Consider a living trust

In certain circumstances, a living trust may be a better alternative to drafting a will. For those who have many assets or have amassed considerable wealth, it is often better to have a living trust because there’s no danger of probate and you can specify how your assets will be distributed to heirs. Another benefit of living trusts is that they are usually kept private, while wills become part of the public record after you die.

Planning for the future, no matter how old you are or the nature of your obligations, will let you live your life with the assurance that your family will be taken care of after you’re gone. If you are looking for guidance on life insurance or any other insurance solutions, get in touch with us today. We will work closely with you to develop a customized plan that suits your needs.

Your Favorite Sport Could Prevent You from Getting Life Insurance

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Your Favorite Sport Could Prevent You from Getting Life Insurance on avanteinsurance.com

Unless you do your homework, risking your life may be riskier than you think

You’re a trail blazer. You crave action and adventure at every turn and aren’t satisfied unless there’s adrenaline rushing through your veins. And while you thrive on the next thrill, you may be less than thrilled to learn that your passion for the extreme limits your ability to get life insurance. Whether you’re into mountain climbing, hang gliding, downhill BMX biking, parkour, rock climbing, or some other extreme sport, here’s what you need to know about your insurance eligibility:

You need life insurance!

If you’re an extreme sports enthusiast, you put yourself in some sort of danger. And while you probably get a rush from jumping out of an airplane or off a cliff, the reality is, you’re more likely than the average person to get seriously injured or die while participating in your hobby. So it only makes sense that you’d want to have a life insurance policy that will provide a financial pay out to your family if the worst happens.

Your high thrill hobby is a high risk.

Your sport may not be scary to you but it’s terrifying to insurance companies. Depending on the activity and how often you do it, you may have a hard time getting life insurance coverage. The reason, of course is obvious. Unfortunately, insurance carriers have to take risk factors into account when providing coverage and the more often your life is at risk, the less likely they are to cover you. So while you enjoy pushing the envelope, insurance companies don’t. They take many different aspects into account when approving a policy, including your health, your age, your habits (smoking, etc.) and those exhilarating activities you crave.

A lost cause?

Even though your favorite pastime may be risky and less attractive to life insurance carriers, there are still ways to get protection. Carriers and their requirements vary, so it’s a good idea to do your homework and find a provider that practices lenience when it comes to extreme sports. You may have to pay a higher premium, but it’s probably worth it if you can have peace of mind while you’re bungee jumping or ice climbing in the artic! Also, some sports are considered riskier than others, so yours may not be as undesirable as you may imagine. Some activities that are commonly considered an elevated risk:

Rock and/or mountain climbing
Bungee jumping
Sky diving
Cliff diving
Ski jumping
Ice climbing
Big wave surfing
Street luge
Base jumping
Hang gliding
Kitesurfing
Free running
Heli-skiing

Be straight up!

The best advice when seeking life insurance is to be honest from the get-go with your insurance provider. They’ll want to know how long you’ve been big wave surfing or kiteboarding, or whatever your chosen passion is. They’ll also want to know how much training you’ve had, if you have any certifications, and if you’ve ever had any accidents or have been injured. In some cases, using certain safety gear can lower your premiums.

Some companies have special coverage options for extreme sport participants and others may either give you a higher rate or deny you all together. But it’s always best to be straight up from the beginning because if you fail to inform a provider about your hobbies and then suffer an accident, any claim might be in trouble. And that’s the last thing you want—especially if it leaves your family in dire straights.

If you’re participating in activities that put you at risk, you don’t have given up on the idea of life insurance. And because you truly need it, it’s recommended that you do some research and find a provider that will cover you.

For more information on available life insurance solutions, extreme or otherwise, talk to us. Avante Insurance is happy to discuss any and all options that may work for you.

Retirement and Life Insurance

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Retirement and Life Insurance on avanteinsurance.com

Do you or don’t you need it?

For many people, life insurance is more than a way to ensure their loved ones are provided for in the event of their untimely death, it’s an investment that is an integral part of their financial plans. If you’re nearing retirement or already retired, you may be under the assumption that you either don’t need or can reduce your life insurance coverage. In reality, the opposite is actually true. Let’s take a look at the reasons why you may still need life insurance after you retire.

Providing security for your spouse

No matter how long you live, if you are married and your spouse lives longer that you do, your life insurance policy will ensure that he/she is taken care of. If you have large amounts of outstanding debts, having a life insurance policy that benefits your loved ones will ensure that they do not have to struggle paying the bills.

Replacing pension payments

You’ve worked hard all your life and in retirement, you’ve reaped the benefits of your commitment by receiving pension payments. The only problem is, when you pass away, your pension payments will cease and if you and your spouse have been living off those payments, your spouse will surely suffer financially without them. With a life insurance policy, you’ll be assured that he/she will have an income to pay for living expenses long after the pension payments have stopped.

A backup plan to cover unexpected expenses

A permanent life insurance or a cash value policy can help you get out of a difficult financial situation when something unexpected happens. You can borrow against the policy or withdraw some of the cash value depending on which type of policy you have. For many people, having this type of life insurance policy is also a means to accumulate value over their lifetime, although these policies are typically more expensive.

As an estate planning tool

After the policy holder dies, a cash-value or a permanent life policy can fund the funeral costs and provide the much-needed capital for estate and inheritance taxes. For many people, this is a viable solution to ensure that loved ones aren’t left holding the bag for these expenses.

For investment purposes

Having a life insurance policy that goes up in value the longer you live can never be a bad thing, right? Especially since the value of the policy continues to go up without inflicting income tax upon the policy holder. As long as you leave the policy intact and don’t borrow from it, you aren’t taxed for its increase in value. Many retirees view this as a much safer bet than the stock market, and because cash-value policies offer a higher growth than today’s savings accounts, there’s little argument that it’s a practical, tax-free way to accumulate wealth.

Retirement should be a time to relax and enjoy doing all the activities that you were too busy to do when you were working full-time. And for many retirees, there are logical reasons why having life insurance is necessary.

If you are getting ready to retire or are already in retirement and would like to learn more about the many life insurance solutions on the market, get in touch with us today. We have an array of products that will suit your unique needs and lifestyle.