Increase insurance coverage to protect yourself and your family from common challenges

Part of the value of the law is helping citizens avoid many legal problems. The best legal problems are the ones that never happen.

Here are two of the main challenges — and affordable steps to avoiding the long-term financial impact on your family because of them.

Long Term Care Insurance

Many of us will deal with debilitating healthcare challenges if we live long enough. We may need health care in our home, or we may be in a long-term care home or nursing home. Each option is expensive. How will you and your family bear these costs?

If you move into a nursing home or nursing home, or receive extended health care in your home, your large long-term monthly costs will not be covered by your health insurance, including Medicare. You should seriously consider purchasing a long-term care insurance policy.

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As you approach your mid to late 50s, among the most important coverages a long-term care policy should include are coverages for three to five years, nursing home care, assisted living and home care. Also, the chosen insurance company should have a strong financial rating. That is, does she have deep pockets?

The companies that write the bulk of these policies now have more accurate projections of their costs, despite some previous large increases in premiums, so there is much less premium increase from year to year. For many years, companies could not accurately predict their total exposure, which led to significant increases in premiums from year to year, and some companies exited this market altogether.

Also, some preferred companies may have options to convert life insurance policies or other coverages in cost-effective ways – a growing trend.

Without assets or adequate insurance coverage, your children will have to bear the high monthly expenses of the facility, as some levels of care do not qualify for any public assistance. Families sometimes must consider other planning options for seniors in recent years, which can be expensive, without strong long-term care insurance coverage. The time window and your options narrow over time. So, plan on these major expenses that are approaching while your health is good, and you can qualify for this insurance.

Could long-term care insurance policy premiums become too expensive? Yes they can. But because long-term care expenses in a nursing home sometimes exceed $12,000 per month, paying the premiums outweighs the alternative.

Vehicle insurance without insurance

Another common risk that families face is that they are in a car wreck and it is not their fault, and the faulting party has little or no liability insurance.

Some statistics show that 80% of shipwrecks on our highways that result in major personal injuries (as opposed to property damage to just your vehicle) are caused by 10-15% of drivers. Any number of people with legitimate damage claims that go well beyond negligent party coverage. Moreover, the chances that the affected person can get by based on the judgment of the negligent party are often little or no, which often shocks the affected citizens to find out.

Consider purchasing a healthy amount of low insurance coverage so that there is enough insurance to protect you if the erring party has inadequate liability coverage.

Ways to reduce some of your total insurance costs

How do you pay for additional coverages? Look at your standard deductions in various coverages. You can increase the volume of discounts that are often unused. Talk to your insurance company, review your insurance fees, and see where you can save. You may be surprised how the savings on unused coverages can be greater than you expect. The dollars saved won’t be as much recommended by these increased coverages, but the dollars you spend on coverages will be more cost-effective.

Remember: an informed choice is a smart choice.

Mike Wells is a partner with Wells Law, PLLC in Winston-Salem. Call him at mike@wellslaw.us or 336-283-8700.

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