Uninsured? 10 Reasons to Shop & Compare Health Insurance Plans

If you are uninsured, here are 10 great reasons you should shop and compare health insurance plan and get covered today.

1. Affordability

Often health plan premium prices vary, up to 50 percent, between similar health plans. Comparison shop to find the best price on a plan that fits your budget. An affordable plan can save you thousands of dollars in medical expenses in the long run.

2. Helpful Benefits

Get the health insurance plan that has all the benefits you need and none that you don’t. There are plans that will give you the coverage you want and help you save money without the high priced premiums for services that you won’t use.

3. Convenient Access to the Best Doctors

You can easily find health plans that cover office visits to doctors that are in your area. You’ll save money by taking advantage of the lower costs for services within your insurance provider’s network of doctors.

4. Prescription Savings

Many health insurance plans also have prescription benefits, which will save you money on your medications.

5. The Best Access to Medical Care

Uninsured patients pay upfront for medical care. If you don’t have that kind of cash lying around, get insured so you’ll have readily accessible medical services whenever you need them.

6. Preventive Care: Covered

Some insurance plans will cover essential preventative care, so staying healthy and avoiding serious illness is affordable as well as good for you.

7. Financial Security

Having health insurance will protect you against the high cost of an unforeseen illness or injury. With most health plans, you’re only responsible for an annual maximum amount (called a deductible) or a set percentage of your medical expenses; your insurance company picks up the rest of the bill.

8. Less Expensive Care

Most insurance companies negotiate rates with doctors, so you pay less for medical care than you would if you were uninsured. You may also save yourself from the cost of expensive medical procedures by using your plan’s preventative services to stay healthy all yearlong.

9. Consider COBRA Alternatives

You may be able to save money if you choose an individual plan or short-term insurance instead of CORBRA. You can get the same (or better) coverage for less.

10. Peace of Mind

Most importantly, a good insurance plan will ensure that you and your family can get the medical care you need when you need it.

In Matters Of Insurance Coverage, Every Word Has A Purpose

A fight breaks out on the insured’s front lawn, and the homeowner’s child is involved in a scuffle with a neighbor’s child. The insured reports the incident as a precaution before any indication that a claim might result. Subsequently, the insured receives a $10,000 medical bill from the parents of the other child for treatment of a detached retina, with a threat to sue the homeowner for negligent supervision if the bill is not paid immediately. Although the claim sounds in negligence, coverage (defense and/or indemnity) under the insured’s homeowner’s liability policy is not a certainty.

Coverage under a homeowner’s liability policy for a claim of negligent supervision can turn on whether the “intended injury exclusion” uses the word “the” or the word “an” or “any.” Undoubtedly, there are policies now that are explicit in terms of who is covered for bodily injury caused by an intentional act. The purpose of this article is not to address the nuances of various homeowner’s policies, or frankly, whether a majority of policies cover claims of negligent supervision or not. This article is meant to highlight the fact that in addressing coverage issues, every word has a purpose.

A typical homeowner’s policy provides liability coverage for claims made against an “insured” for damages because of “bodily injury” caused by an “occurrence.” In those policies, an “occurrence” is defined as an accident which results in “bodily injury,” and although “accident” is usually not defined, Texas courts have supplied its meaning. Generally, “where acts are voluntary and intentional and the injury is the natural result of the act, the result was not caused by accident even though that result may have been unexpected, unforeseen, and unintended.” Trinity Universal Ins. Co. v. Cowan, 945 S.W.2d 819, 826-28 (Tex 1997).

Under the scenario portrayed in the opening paragraph, the child’s intentional act of striking another child is not an accident under any definition, and as such, no liability coverage would exist to cover any liability claims brought against the child.

The lack of liability coverage for the child does not necessarily preclude coverage for the parent. Again, every word has a purpose. The reason that coverage for the parent may exist for the intentional act of the child is because of the common “severability of insurance” or “separation of insureds” clause. That provision states that “[t]his insurance applies separately to each insured.” See King v. Dallas Fire Insurance Company, 85 S.W. 3d (Tex. 2002). Thus, there can be an “occurrence” from the standpoint of the parents even when there is not an “occurrence” from the standpoint of the child.

The intent of the severability clause is to provide each insured with separate coverage, as if each were separately insured with a distinct policy, subject to the liability limits of the policy. Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Emmco Ins. Co., 309 Minn. 21, 243 N.W.2d 134, 142 (1976). The severability clause serves to provide coverage when there is an “innocent” insured who did not commit the conduct excluded by the policy. Walker v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 491 S.W.2d 696 (Tex. Civ. App.-Eastland 1973, no writ)).

In King, Dallas Fire Insurance Company brought a declaratory judgment under a commercial general liability policy seeking a declaration that the underlying claims by an individual who was assaulted by the insured’s employee were not covered. The Supreme Court of Texas held that the severability clause created separate insurance policies for the insured and the insured’s employee, and the employee’s assault on a third person who alleged negligent supervision by the employer was to be viewed from the perspective of the insured employer in determining whether the event was an “occurrence” within the meaning of either the general liability policy or whether the intentional injury exclusion applied.

King unequivocally supports coverage for a negligent supervision claim against an innocent parent, right? There are post-King cases that seem to agree with that proposition. However, those cases overlook an important segment of the King opinion detailing with the actual wording of the “expected or intended injury” exclusion. The “expected or intended injury” exclusion in King excluded coverage for “bodily injury expected or intended from the standpoint of the insured.”

Although there are post-King opinions where the courts miss the significance of the word “the” contained in the King exclusion, one court aptly noted its significance, albeit in addressing an auto exclusion. See Bituminous Casualty Corp. v. Maxey, 110 S.W.3d 203 (Tex. App. – – Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, rev. den’d).

In a case of first impression, the well reasoned opinion in Maxey held that the severability of insurance clause, which required the policy to be read as if each insured were the only insured, did not require the auto exclusion applying to “any insured” to be read any differently from its grammatically accepted meaning. The court summarized the general rules of contract construction, which I will not retread, and held that the term “any insured” means what it says. In other words, the severability clause did not require the courts to replace the words “any insured” in the policy with the words “the insured.”

The rule to remember is that just because one case finds coverage under a general liability clause for negligent supervision does not mean that your policy will provide the same coverage.

In matters of insurance coverage, every word has a purpose, and coverage can turn on something a simple as the words “the,” “an,” or “any.”

How to Determine the Right Amount of Car Insurance Coverage

Car insurance is not a one size fits all service. Trying to figure out how much auto insurance you really need can be confusing unless you’ve got an idea what to base that critical decision on. Why is it so critical? Although most of us don’t think about our auto insurance on a daily basis, when you find your self in need of coverage due to an accident or other unexpected event, too little coverage can be costly, stressful, and devastating.

On the other hand, paying too much every month only serves to waste valuable money that your family could use in other ways. Knowing how to make that determination can help but your mind at ease now, and in the event of unexpected occurrences.

Factors That Impact Rates And Coverage

Many different factors determine each individual’s rate depending on your category based on things like age, gender and credit rating. Where you live can make a big difference as well. Your state can have a big impact on your insurance rate. While you probably won’t choose to move just because of a high auto insurance rate, it’s good information to have before deciding to make a move.

Purchasing an insurance policy can be very confusing. How do you know how much coverage you should buy? If you ask an auto insurance agent how much to buy, he may tell you to get as much coverage as you can afford. But auto insurance is not that simple. One of the first things to find out is the minimum amount of coverage that your state requires. You will then need to find out what protection that minimum auto insurance provides. What additional coverage is available, and what does it costs? What protection does it offer? These coverage definitions can help explain:

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive physical damage coverage covers your vehicle and should also cover any other vehicles you drive. Comprehensive physical damage coverage covers other vehicles that you drive for losses that happen for reasons other than a collision. Comprehensive insurance covers your car if it gets stolen or damaged.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage covers damage to your car when you are involved in an accident, whether you hit or are hit by another car or object. This kind of coverage will pay to repair your car minus the deductible. You can consider dropping this coverage if you have an older car since coverage is limited to the cash value of you car.

Medical Coverage

Medical Payments covers the medical expenses for you and your passengers if you are hurt in an accident. You may also have coverage protection as a pedestrian if a vehicle hits you. This coverage applies regardless of who is at fault.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage covers bodily injuries to you and your passengers when the other motorist either has no insurance coverage or is under insured. This coverage kicks in for accidents that are not your fault. In some states uninsured motorist coverage is available to cover any damage done to your car. This is important coverage to consider in case you are ever involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Personal Injury Coverage

Personal Injury Protection covers medical, hospital and funeral expenses of an insured driver, others riding in the car with the driver and any pedestrians hit by him or her.

Property Damage Liability

Property Damage Liability covers you if your car causes damage to another person’s property. This coverage provides legal defense if someone else someone decides to file a lawsuit against you. It is wise to buy enough of this coverage to take care of any damage your car could do to another car or object.

Rental Car Reimbursement

Rental Car Reimbursement covers the cost of renting a car if your car isn’t drivable, or while your car is being repaired due to a covered accident.

When you are deciding what type of coverage you need, consider your assets. What do you need to protect from being taken away if you cause an injury or damage with your car?

Auto Insurance Coverage Basics

Even a slight fender bender in a parking lot can ruin your day. Road accidents can turn a good day into a wild one, but you should not let it ruin your life. You pay auto insurance coverage not only to comply with the law, but you pay it to protect your assets. If you drive a car, you need to have auto insurance coverage. There are different types of auto coverage; the states require you to have some, but insurance companies suggest you to purchase more. The following passages explain key features of the most important auto coverage.

· Liability Coverage: this coverage comes in two different types including Bodily Injury and Property Damage. In the event of road accidents for which you are liable, the insurance company will pay for the damages and injuries that you cause. Liability coverage prevents you from spending too much on medical payments or repairs for someone else’s injuries and property damage.

· Personal Injury Protection (PIP): it covers medical payment and other expenses for your injuries regardless of who is at fault in an accident.

· Medical Payments: in case the PIP coverage reaches its limit for other expenses following an accident, separate medical payments coverage can be helpful. Sometimes you can use it in conjunction with your health insurance as well.

· Collision: it covers repair cost for any damage to your vehicles due to an accident. It may include paint job, replacement parts, broken windscreen, and engine repair.

· Comprehensive: this coverage covers damages to your vehicle due to non-accident causes. Some common causes are fire, theft, vandalism and falling objects.

· Underinsured and uninsured motorists: in case you are involved in an accident with another driver who does not have enough insurance or no insurance at all, this coverage requires your insurance company to remunerate for the damages to your vehicle.

Every state has different rules regarding auto insurance. Depending on where you live, you may need to purchase all the above coverage or only some of them. The limit of each coverage policy is subject to insurance laws too. This table lists the recommended limits for common types of coverage.

Deductibles & Limits

Bodily injury: $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident

Property damage: $100,000 per accident

Personal Injury Protection: Either deductible or no deductible; it can be optional or mandatory depending on the state. Either deductible or no deductible; anyone with an existing health insurance may not need to purchase this coverage.

Collision: $500 to $1,000

Comprehensive: $500 to $1,000

Uninsured motorist: $100,000, but if this coverage is less

Underinsured motorists: $100,000

More Optional Coverage

Collision and Comprehensive are optional, but they are important. Even when the state does not list them as mandatory, they are still necessary and worth the money. Apart from those two, insurance companies also offer other optional coverage including:

· Rental Reimbursement: your insurer provides an amount of money as compensation for transportation expense during the period when your car is in the shop for repair after an accident. The amount depends on the company’s policy. The money should be enough to rent a car until your car is ready to go again.

· Roadside Assistance: it can be helpful in case your engine breaks down in the middle of nowhere that you need towing service to a repair shop. Some car manufacturers provide this service free of charge with the purchase of a car, so you may not need to buy this coverage.

Money-saving Tips

Auto insurance does not come cheap, but there are ways to save money on premium. One of the ways is to make use of insurance discounts available from most insurers. Even when you are not eligible, you can reduce the premium by increasing deductible or use a car that meets the insurer’s safety requirements.

A deductible is like reserve cash from you for the insurance company. You can consider this a down payment for the premium. If you pay more for down payment, your monthly installments for premium will be less. Increasing deductible from $250 to $500 can reduce up to 30% of the premium. If you can afford it, going for more deductible is a good decision. Many types of coverage allow for the deductible, but you should focus on Liability Coverage.

The financial impact of an accident for which you are liable can be devastating; total cost of car repair and medical payments can reach hundreds of thousands. By increasing the limit of liability coverage, you have better financial protection from the insurance company. However, higher limit means higher premium, and this is why you should consider increasing deductible.

Collisions and Comprehensive are optional.

The basic rule is that you should purchase both if your car is worth at least ten times the amount you pay for those two coverage types. For many older cars, Comprehensive and Collision coverage are not worth the money. Omitting them can save much money.

New cars are not always more expensive to insure than old ones.

New cars have better safety equipment and protective features to keep the driver and passengers save for examples airbag and restraint system. Alarm system and anti-theft equipment are good safety features as well.

Most auto insurance companies offer discounts for such features.

If your car does not have them, consider installing third-party safety equipment to be eligible for the discounts. A safer car is less risky, and insurance companies are grateful for that.