Retiree Life Insurance Considerations

There are many things that you no longer have to worry about when retired, but insurance considerations is not one of them. In order to get the most out of your retirement and your retirement savings, having a well-designed insurance portfolio is vital. Here are some of the coverages you should be considering before, and after, retirement:

  • Home Insurance: One of the goals of many retirees is to have a paid off home by the time they reach retirement. Many may have the misconception that once your home is paid off your need for home insurance changes. Home insurance isn’t a product that’s meant to protect a mortgager though, it’s meant to protect you. If something should happen to your home or your belongings, without insurance you would be forced to sell assets or dip into your retirement savings to repair or replace your home and possessions.
  • Auto Insurance: Once your automobile is paid for, many think keeping the state required minimum is enough. What if your car should be stolen, vandalized or totaled in a collision? Without the proper insurance you’ll have to use retirement funds to repair or replace it. You may also find that state required minimums for liability and bodily injury may prove so limited that you will be forced to pay out-of-pocket for the damages that exceed your limits.
  • Life Insurance: Life insurance is generally thought of as a policy that helps survivors, but with cash value growth available for tax-free loans it can also help pad your retirement spending. In addition, if one spouse should pass away, leaving the other alone, the life insurance policy proceeds can supplement the surviving spouse’s retirement budget. For those concerned with leaving a legacy to their heirs, a life insurance policy ensures that you can do so without having to put a cap on your retirement spending.
  • Long-term Care Insurance: Not every retiree has the health and mobility to independently complete all activities of daily living such as showering and dressing. When you begin to need assistance with daily activities, moving into an assisted living facility or hiring an in-home nurse may be necessary. Medicare and Social Security will only pay for certain long-term care expenses. Designing a supplemental long-term care policy, with an acceptable waiting period and daily benefit, is vital if you want to avoid using retirement funds for your long-term care needs.

Retirement assets create a limited pool of funds that need to be available for an unknown period of time. Life Insurance policies retirees preserve those funds and keep enjoying your retirement the way you want to. Give us a call at 305-270-2100 and we can discuss the many ways that insurance is there to make your retirement more financially secure.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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Cell Phone Use While Driving

AAA conducted a study that found it is more distracting to use voice-to-text messaging in your car than it is to make a call on your handheld cell phone.  Different activities were tested to find out how much mental distraction each one has.  Listening to music or a book on tape was “small”, talking with a passenger or someone over the phone was “medium” and texting someone verbally while driving was “large”.

You can see in car commercials that voice-based messaging is being advertised as safer than the alternative and millions of cars worldwide are being shipped with that technology… but it may create a scenario where one problem is solved while another one is created.

The technology may have its advantages but AAA’s study results are fueling Deborah Hersman’s, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), call to have any phone conversation (hands-free or not) banned while behind the wheel.  Ray LaHood, Outgoing Transportation Secretary, is asking drivers to place their phones in the glove box while operating a vehicle but has not commented on systems like Sync and Entune, which accept verbal commands from drivers.

In the study AAA had drivers, most of them 20 – 39, partake in activities such as talking on a phone and listening to music.  They started off by doing the tasks in a lab, then in a simulator and then finally while driving on a residential street.  To find what was most distracting, their reaction times and brainwave activity were recorded with special caps they wore on their heads and measured by researchers.

When being tested on the road, the study participants drove a Subaru Outback that was decked out with a back seat researcher to record response times, computers and cameras.  For tests involving a cell phone they had a phone from Samsung but a hands-free device was used instead of a voice activated system in the car.

The participants were unaware but a possible variable was controlled by the researchers.  They had the drivers text manually instead of verbally.  This was done so that no voice recognition software error could cause an additional distraction of corrections needing to be made by the driver.

Our state, Florida, became the 41st to ban driving with a handheld phone.  So far, though, none of the states have looked at distractions from voice controls and U.S. regulators are not asking them to.  The NTSB is able to give recommendations for safety changes but they do not have any regulatory power.

The department Lahood works in issued non-binding guidelines in April of this year requesting that car makers block the ability to browse the Internet or use social media sites through a vehicle’s infotainment system while the car is not parked.

Car manufacturers have also been urged to create screen-based infotainment systems so that a driver does not need to look away from the road for more than 2 seconds when making a selection, or for a total of 12 seconds when doing something like inputting an address.

AAA’s research results were released earlier this month but there was another study, with results released in April, that found texting manually on a cell phone to be just as distracting as hands-free texting.  In this study conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute the drivers, while on a closed course, would send texts manually and hands-free with either Siri on an Apple phone or Vlingo on an Android phone.

Whether manually or verbally, reaction times while texting were almost twice as slow when not texting and verbal texts actually took longer to complete than those that were manually typed in.

It has been said by automakers that if infotainment systems are limited then it may cause drivers to go back to using their handheld device.  Whether this is true or not, AAA is asking car manufacturers and suppliers of electronics to work with the technology and assess its distractions.

Compared to how long cars have been around, voice- and touch- activated systems are new.  There is a lot that can be done with them but there must be a happy medium allowing drivers to have all of the features while still being safe on the road with good reaction times.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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Hurricane Preparedness: What To Do

Summer is here and we would like to remind homeowners to continue to take precautions for the safety of their family so that at-home accidents can be avoided.  Keeping family safe is always a priority but on top of that, not having any claims might help in keeping your Miami home insurance premium as low as possible.

Some aspects of summer to keep in mind are hurricane preparedness, pool safety (if you have, or will have, one) and your lawnmower.

Hurricane Preparedness
A hurricane is never a welcome event but here are some precautions you can take to be prepare you and your home for one.

1. Make a family plan.  Find the safest places inside your house and then talk with your kids to make sure that each family member is aware of them.  You can also place emergency numbers where they can be easily accessed by kids.

2. Stock up on supplies.  In the event that you are without power for a long time make sure to have pillows, toiletry items, clothing, blankets, food, first aid, flashlights, batteries, and plenty of water.  It may also be good to have spare keys, important papers, cash, and credit cards ready if needed.

3. Have a planned evacuation location.  If you and your family need to leave your home, look into staying with family or friends that live far enough inland that will not be required to evacuate.  If that is not an option, find out where the nearest local shelters are.

4. Secure your home.  Do what you can to protect/reinforce your shutters, roof, stairways, and all doors.  You could also get in touch with a building code official to learn about any home improvement projects that can help give your home extra protection against hurricanes.  And remember, you need a flood insurance policy in place to be covered for any possible flood damage.

5. Take care of your pets.  Have a recent photo of your pet and their collar with ID in case they run off.  If you use a pet shelter for your four-legged family member, they will need to be up to date on their vaccinations.

As mentioned earlier, keeping your family safe is always a priority.  Unfortunate events may still have the potential to occur, due to unforeseen circumstances that are out of your control, but doing everything that you can to keep your family safe in any situation is always a good move.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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The Proper Amount of Home Insurance

It is estimated that around 60% of American homes are under-insured by an average of 22% and don’t carry the proper amount of insurance that is needed.  Your home is most likely your single largest investment, so insuring it sufficiently is a vital piece of maintaining your financial independence. 

You should have a proper amount of home insurance, that of which is adequate enough, to cover the cost of rebuilding your home in the event it is completely ruined by a fire, tornado, hurricane, or other insured disaster.  If you’re unsure how much home insurance is the proper amount of coverage, that depends upon what it would take to restore your home based on current construction costs.  Please refrain, though, from including the land value and considering the price you paid for your home or its appraised value; they do not affect anything.

There are other considerations to take into account when determining the amount to insure your home for, such as:

  • Fees for an architect or other design expert to approximate costs and create plans to be followed by the contractor
  • Rapid inflation in the cost of building materials and labor following a major catastrophe that affects a number of homes in the same region
  • Local building codes that require replacement with additional features or more expensive materials
  • If you are given an amount of what it would take to restore your home, in the end it could end up higher than originally predicted. If possible, it might help to take that into consideration.

There are a number of methods used to estimate the replacement cost of a home.  Some of the factors insurance companies use are:

  • Construction materials
  • Type of foundation
  • Attached or detached garages
  • Square footage
  • Location of the home
  • Fireplace
  • Upgrades
  • Number of rooms and baths

In the end it is your responsibility to establish the value of your property and choose the amount of insurance for your policy.  We can assist with that decision and make it clear what you can do to avoid an unpleasant shock after a loss. Call us today at 305-270-2100 to see if your home insurance policy is up to par.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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Why Buy Business Insurance

When you put the basis of your own business you want to see it grow steadily and become a successful organization. But how can you do that if you don’t have the guarantee that your business is protected against dangers and unforeseen events? Here is why you should buy business insurance:

Get peace of mind with the right business insurance

If you have a proper business insurance policy you can rest assured that your business is safe. And therefore, with the business insurance up to date, you can stop worrying about dangers and start focusing on opportunities.

No matter what type of business you run in Miami, you will need business insurance. But there are different types of insurance for every kind of business, so it is better to discuss your business needs with an insurance agent.

Choosing the right business insurance types for your particular business

Depending on the type of business you have, and taking into consideration other factors such as how many employees you have or whether or not your business owns automobiles, the insurance agent will be able to present to you various options for a personalized business insurance. Among the most common types of business insurance are the public liability insurance and the employers’ liability insurance.

Consider this business insurance as a long-term investment

A particular kind of insurance that might catch your interest is the professional indemnity insurance. This kind of insurance is created for business owners who want to protect themselves and their businesses in case they make a mistake. This business insurance protects the business from bearing the cost of legal defense fees or compensation bills that are issued as a result of claims being made for a mistake or bad (unprofessional) advice.

If you want to buy a business insurance policy but are not sure what type of insurance you need, or if you want to talk about your coverage with an insurance agent, contact a representative of Filer Insurance now for more details.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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