LIFE INSURANCE: If you are unable to work because of any disability it may qualify you to activate the “waiver of premium” provision in your life insurance policy. If you are still paying premiums on that policy the policy may provide for a “waiver” of all premiums during the period of your total disability.
Suggestion: Locate your life insurance policy(s) and call the agent that sold it to you (or the insurance company itself) and ask this question – Does my policy have a “waiver of premium” clause? If so how do I apply to activate that provision? You should also ask how far back it applies.
MORTGAGE INSURANCE: When you purchased your home you may have (unbeknownst to you) purchased what is referred to as mortgage insurance. It is really a disability income policy; or, it may be a life insurance policy. The offer to purchase -- typically by mail -- often comes from your lender or an insurance company affiliated with that lender. The purpose of both is to satisfy your mortgage payments during period of total disability or upon your death. It usually calls for quarterly premium payments.
Suggestion: Check into any insurance for which you are making periodic premium payments to see if you are eligible for any disability income benefits under that policy – Check with the agent that sold you the policy or the insurance company itself. In addition, if you have a mortgage insurance policy, which is in the nature of life insurance (rather than disability coverage) – there may be a “waiver of premium” provision that, if activated, will cause the insurance carrier to waive your premiums during your period of total disability.
CREDIT CARD INSURANCE: Some individuals purchase disability income policies or life insurance policies (unbeknownst to them) and it is sold as credit card insurance.
Example: If you own a credit card the company has probably asked if you would like to add credit insurance. Most people are unfamiliar with this type of insurance and either decline it or accept it automatically without knowing if it is the right type of insurance for their needs. Credit insurance can come in various forms. The four main types are:
- Credit life insurance - pays off the debt you owe if you die. The beneficiary of the policy has to be the company that the debt is owed to.
- Credit disability insurance - protects your credit rating by making your monthly minimum payment if you become medically disabled. Usually there is a set time period that payments will be made and additional purchases after the disability will not be included.
- Involuntary unemployment credit insurance - will make your minimum monthly payment if you are laid-off or downsized, and again, purchases after the involuntary unemployment would not be covered.
- Credit property insurance usually will completely cancel debt on items you purchased with the credit if the items are completely destroyed by specific incidents listed in the policy and a deductible would not apply for the damages to be paid.
TO DO: If you have such a policy, call the insurance company and ask if there is a disability provision in the policy. If so, advise that you need the appropriate application to file a claim under that provision. If you don’t have a copy of the policy – request a copy.
PRIVATE HEALTH: Did you know that some health policies cover diabetic supplies (under the general coverage – not prescription coverage)? Call your carrier or agent to find out.
Example: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (PPO) covers diabetic supplies under its medical plan (not prescription plan) however you are required to order from a designated supplier.
Suggestion: Call (or better yet write) your health carrier and explain all the supplies you are buying for your medical condition(s). Then ask – are any of these covered in my policy? Please explain. (Do this even if your policy doesn’t appear to cover your supplies.)
AUTO LIABILITY INSURANCE: If you own or drive a car you probably have an automobile insurance policy. There are two types in New Jersey – both contain medical coverage for injuries resulting from an auto accident. Look for income continuation, as well.
Basic Auto Insurance - is designed to lower the cost of New Jersey auto insurance, offering insurance to every New Jersey driver. These policies meet only the minimum state requirements for auto insurance coverage:
- Bodily Injury Liability — can be as low as $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability — can be as low as $5,000 per accident
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) — can be as low as $15,000 per person or accident
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage — available up to the liability amounts
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage — available up to the liability amounts
Note: You will also have income continuation, essential services coverage—which pays for quality of life tasks you would normally do yourself—and death and funeral benefits, if you are involved in a serious accident or collision.
Comment: If you are involved in an auto accident (regardless of the circumstances and regardless of whose car) – you may be eligible for medical treatment and income continuation payments.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: is intended to cover certain losses while traveling – including financial, medical and other losses. This is coverage usually obtained from a travel agent at the time of booking the trip, which can be arranged to cover the duration of the trip. It can also be purchased from travel insurance companies or travel suppliers (e.g. cruise line or tour operator)
The most common risks that are covered are:
Comment: Where you may be called upon to determine all the available coverage of an injured or deceased relative or friend, review the individual’s check stubs over the last few years and note any periodic payments to insurance companies. Make inquiry as to the exact nature of the coverage and pursue benefits, as they are made known.
- Delayed departure
- Loss, theft or damage to personal possessions and money (including travel documents)
- Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
- Medical expenses
- Emergency evacuation/repatriation
- Overseas funeral expenses
- Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
- Legal assistance
- Personal liability and rental car damage excess