New Kid on the Block: Cyber Insurance in Canada

   You have property and liability insurance, but how secure is your digital data? Did you know that, if someone stole sensitive material from your company’s computer system, you would have no recourse? Theft of digital data hasn’t been too much of a concern until recently. IT experts and risk managers have probably told you not to worry about your network – it’s impenetrable, they say. However, data breaches are becoming more common as companies struggle to figure out how to keep hackers at bay. Maybe it’s time to reconsider cyber insurance.

Calgary insurance

What Is It?

There’s a big push in Calgary insurance to get the word out. Cyber insurance works like an ordinary liability policy, except that it protects your virtual data. It addresses the first, and third-party risks commonly associated with running a web-based business.

Even if you have a brick-and-mortar operation, you probably have a website, take credit card info via a secure server, and store sensitive customer information on your network. Cyber insurance covers this type of information against theft, virus transmission, or any other serious threat that may be passed from first to third-party companies.

Who Can Benefit From It?

Basically, any company that does business over the web benefits from this type of insurance cover. Financial services companies, especially benefit from it since most of the data these days is stored in massive databases.

Because many businesses disseminate information via the web, they open themselves up to the same types of liabilities that publishers have always had. These risks include copyright infringement, defamation, and even invasion of privacy. For example, if you use a copyrighted image without authorization, you could face serious legal repercussions from the copyright owner. Even if you think you have purchased the right to republish something, you might be surprised to know that licenses are not always valid for what you intend to use the image for.

Some copyright licenses strictly limit what you can do with an image, song, or some other piece of intellectual property. Since stock photos, music, and video is becoming more and more common on the web, you only increase your risk by using them and not having proper protection in place.

When Should You Get Coverage?

If you have a website, you have inherited the legal liabilities of a publisher. Creating a website is easy – protecting yourself from a host of potential legal battles isn’t. Because of this, if you have a website, you should seriously consider buying cyber insurance.

 Which Companies Are At Serious Risk

 Companies in or related to financial services, education, healthcare, and dissemination of any copyright material are at a higher than average risk, since the information transmitted by companies in these industries is highly sensitive.

 Any time you accept and transmit credit card information, you carry a liability risk too. Since most companies on the web accept credit cards via a secure server, most companies probably need at least some basic liability protection – protection not covered by your existing business liability cover. Sure, you have to shell out more money for insurance, but it’s often better to be safe than sorry.

 John Wilber is a computer forensics expert of many years. In his spare time, he likes to help others by posting on various blog sites.

Medicare Supplements In Texas: What To Look For When Choosing A Plan

    If you are looking for Medicare Supplemental Insurance, here are some of the things that you should look for in the plan. Some of the things that you should check are if deductibles and co-pays are covered and if your doctor will accept the plan.

Texas medicare supplement plans can be issued even if you may have a pre-existing condition. Many companies offer plans but they have the same exact coverage so you may want to find an agent that can help you shop the market to find the best plan that doesn’t cost a whole lot of money.

Medicare Supplements In Texas

In Texas, the medicare supplement plans have a “free look” period. During this period of time you can cancel or return the policy you signed up for and have the premiums returned to you. If you have a plan already but your rate has increased you can also check to see if there is a better rate out there. Also, if you like your plan, it is renewable so you don’t have to worry if the company you receive your policy from doesn’t want to renew your policy because they will still have to.

So if you need to get a medicare supplement plan, talk to an agent today.

How to Safeguard Your Home During the Holidays

   Planning a holiday is a wonderful feeling but did you calculate how much that break could cost? Not only the price of the trip itself, but the cost of replacing valuables and repairing your home if there is a break-in while you are away. The financial cost of burglary can be extremely high – and the emotional cost can be devastating too. Do all you can to protect your home and your finances while you are away with these crucial tips.

Keeping Up Appearances

The last thing you want to do is advertise your home as empty for a few weeks. It is essential that you make it look like your home is still lived-in as normal. If thieves get the idea that there is no one home, it is much more likely they will decide to target your property over someone else’s where someone is still in residence.

How to Safeguard Your Home During the Holidays

Don’t tell people you are going to be away from home, other than your trusted family and friends. Refrain from talking about your upcoming trip, for example, in the line for the bank or while you are shopping in a local store. And never post your status on social networks as being away – you never know which friend of a friend will take advantage. When it is time to leave, pack your car discreetly, preferably in the garage away from sight.

While you are away, have a friend come in to check on the house every day. Get them to empty the mail box, open and close curtains and switch lights on and off. If you are away for a long time, have someone mow the lawn or clear the snow in winter. If you can’t have anyone come to the house, set lights and electronic goods on timers.

Arranging Financial Protection

Make sure your household insurance is up to date – take a look at http://www.santam.co.za if you need to renew – and check that all the security systems like alarms are working. Have copies made of any important documents and store them away from your house in a safe or bank deposit box. Let your private security company, if you have one, know when you are going to be away.

Final Checks

Before you leave, check every lock to make sure it is functioning. Don’t leave keys in the locks. Don’t leave any valuables on show and put away electronic equipment. Use your home safe to secure cash, weapons, and valuables or have them put in a bank deposit box.

Once you are sure that you have done all you can to protect your home and your finances, go away on holiday and relax – it is a waste of your hard-earned vacation if you spend the time worrying about the property back home. With insurance and security measures you have done all you can to make sure your house is no easy target for thieves.

Image courtesy of photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Get Covered With Travel Insurance

Get Covered

Having a proper level insurance for the things that you value the most can save you a lot of money in the long run. While it may be a pain to pay your premium each month, the coverage that you are entitled to if you need it can more than make up for those costs.

Cover Yourself

If you were to get hurt and have to go to the hospital, you could pay $1,000 or more just for the ambulance ride alone if you don’t have insurance. However, if you do have coverage, you could have your costs limited to $500 or less. For those who are chronically sick, yearly out-of-pocket limits could entitle you to get coverage for free after you have spent a certain amount of money.

Travel Insurance

Protect Yourself While Traveling Abroad

Those who are traveling overseas for business or for pleasure should strongly consider getting travel insurance. Travel insurance will cover the cost of lost luggage, medical coverage and certain travel costs if you have to leave early or make any other changes to your hotel accommodations. If you are going to a country that has an unstable political situation, having the ability to get out quickly can be helpful if a situation erupts. You can go online or talk to a local travel company insurance provider to get quotes or to find out how much coverage you can get.

Get Coverage for Your High Priced Assets

What would you do if you got into a car accident and didn’t have coverage? At best, you may have to scrap your car and get whatever you could for it. At worst, you are going to be paying for a car that you don’t get to drive. In addition, you wouldn’t have coverage for any medical bills related to the crash. Therefore, it should be a priority to have coverage on things such as your car or your house.

Insurance should be considered an investment in yourself and your finances. Without the right coverage, you could spend thousands of dollars for even minor repairs or trips to the hospital. Instead of worrying about going bankrupt because you didn’t have enough money to pay the doctor, you can get the care that you need without breaking the bank.

Life Insurance: The Case of the Ex-Wife and the Importance of Changing Your Beneficiary

The Importance of Naming a Beneficiary in Your Life Insurance Policy

Life is an inherently complicated process. Growing up, falling in love, getting married, and in recent times, getting a divorce are all part of life’s cycle. Divorce, as we know, can be a very emotional and difficult time for the individuals involved and their families. When you think of the good times and the bad, and things get to a point where you’ve decided that life would be a happier prospect sent away from someone who was the love of your life, often referred to as your ‘better half’ it’s never an easy decision to make, and the feelings of frustration, anger and emotional turmoil turn your life upside down.

Life Insurance the case of the ex wife

Imagine this; all the assets have been distributed in a satisfactory manner, all legal proceedings completed, and both the husband and the wife have moved on with their lives. Someone else enters the husband’s life after a point in time and he decides to take the plunge again. He’s happy in his new life with his new spouse and everything is going well. Suddenly, he meets with an unfortunate accident which costs him his life. He was a man with foresight, he knew his company had taken out a life insurance policy on his name when he was working there, and his now widowed wife would have nothing to want financially.

Many a times though things don’t pan out like they should. The husband may have forgotten to change the beneficiary on his life insurance policy. His ex-wife is still listed as the beneficiary. What happens then?  Who gets the proceeds from his life insurance policy?

Remember, Federal Insurance Programs Prevails over State Law

One might raise the point that every marital settlement has a waiver clause included, and this is true, but legal precedent indicates that in quite a few cases, a weakly worded marital settlement waiver has allowed the spouse to enjoy benefits of an insurance payout. There is also protection offered by state law for just such instances where oversights or a long lapse in time means the husband/wife have forgotten to have the named beneficiary changed, by means of this protection, the insurance money received goes to the widow not the ex, but this too isn’t completely watertight.

But not all states practice this law. Take for instance the recently concluded Hillman vs. Maretta case that played out in the supreme courts and was all over the news. In this case, Warren Hillman during his tenure as an employee of the federal government cited his then wife Judy Maretta as the named beneficiary in the policy he was a part of in accordance with the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act (FEGLIA). They divorced a couple of years later, and four years after their divorce, Hillman re-married but forgot to rename his new bride Jacqueline as his beneficiary in the FEGLIA policy.

He died six years after this, his most recent marriage, and Jacqueline assumed she would receive the benefits from his FEGLIA insurance, so imagine her surprise when it went to his ex-wife; Judy Maretta instead. Since she resided in Virginia, she took advantage of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s statute that pertains to divorce and insurance benefits, revoking the ex-wife’s access to such benefits after

divorce and offering them to the widow instead. She won the case in the Fairfax County Circuit Court, but Maretta then appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court, which overturned the initial verdict. Jacqueline Hillman then further appealed to the US Supreme court, which held up the verdict that Maretta is entitled to the benefits on the basis of previous Supreme Court verdicts where it was decided that federal insurance programs preempt state law. Simply put, this means that even if you bequeath all you have to your wife in your last will and testament, if your ex-wife’s name is listed as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, the proceeds will go to your ex-wife.

This is just one of the many such cases that occur year after year. In all the upheaval that surrounds divorce proceedings, while obvious things such as changes in the will and bank accounts are made immediately, it is easy to forget an innocuous detail such as the named beneficiary in an insurance policy taken out years, even decades ago. Such negligence can potentially cause a whole host of problems though, and must be nipped in the bud as soon the divorce has been carried out.

The Importance of Naming a Beneficiary in Your Life Insurance Policy

Make sure to change your named beneficiary in all insurance policies so that your widow isn’t left high and dry if the unthinkable happens, after all, what is the point of an insurance policy if your recently widowed spouse doesn’t even end up receiving the benefit? AccuQuote also recommends that you name a contingent beneficiary. A contingent beneficiary is the person who will receive death benefits should the named beneficiary (or first beneficiary) die before you do.

Author Bio: Frank Mitchell has worked as a life insurance agent for 10 years. After an accident in 2011 that kept him at home for more than a year, Frank started offering advice on forums and other social media networks. He now works as financial advisor and in his spare time writes articles on subjects he is passionate about. On the weekends, you’ll find Frank dirt biking.

All Rights Reserved. Frank Mitchell is the original Author and freebradley.org/ is the authorized publisher of this content. Unauthorized republishing of this content will result in violation of Copyright laws. Doing the same may lead to the initiation of legal proceedings by the Author and/or Publisher.

However, you are allowed to like, tweet, share or promote the article link in your network without prior permission.

The Many Benefits of Having Insurance

   An insurance policy is a written promise for reimbursement when there is a loss. This reimbursement is made after the insured has paid in a specific amount of money on a regular basis to cover hazardous situations. An insurance policy is considered a shift of risk from one object to another in return for a specified amount of money. The insurance company will evaluate the item insured, study the size of risk involved and make a promise by signing an agreement with the insured to pay an agreed amount of money if the insured suffers a loss.

Nashville insurance

Insurance comes in many types according to the risk the policy insures against. The most common type of insurance is car insurance. Of course, the benefits of having car insurance is obvious, as using a car is no longer a rarity and because car accidents are fairly common and frequent today. It’s fairly easy to buy car insurance from a Nashville insurance company, and in most states, specific types of car insurance are compulsory. Consequently, having car insurance gives you the benefit of repairing your vehicle at the expense of the car insurance company. If you happen to live in a large city, you will probably experience just how useful having car insurance is.

Another popular type of insurance is homeowner’s insurance. This covers any potential hazard affecting your home. If a neighbor accidentally floods your home, should an explosion take place or should there be a natural disaster, your home insurance covers these risks offering you the benefit of not being homeless after the incident.

No one should forget about health insurance. Health insurance is a system created in partnership with the state. This gives a person the benefit of having their hospital and medical expenses covered if they need medical attention. The benefit of such insurance is when it comes to a serious medical illness or a surgical intervention that someone with a normal income wouldn’t be able to afford. Just as common is travel insurance. Travel insurance covers medical and hospital expenses if something happens while you are traveling abroad.

These are some of the more common types of insurance. The list is long, and the benefits are many for having an insurance policy.

Get To Learn Whether You’re Auto Glass Services Are Covered In Your Auto Insurance

   Auto insurance cover is one of the most crucial pieces of documents a motorist is obligated to have by law. This is because it covers you and any other second party in case of any instances or accidents while on the road.

With auto insurance, one of the things many motorists are keen on finding out is whether auto glass replacement services are covered in their insurance covers. This is because the auto glass plays a crucial role in your vehicle. It shields you from the elements such as rain, prevents foreign debris such as dust from getting into your vehicle, and also ensures that you and your passengers are safe in the car.

Auto Glass Services

There are several kinds of auto insurance covers, with each covering different kinds of scenarios. But, if you happen to own a comprehensive auto insurance policy, you need not worry as you are almost certainly covered for any auto glass repair and replacement.

Auto glass services are available in Katy, TX as there are numerous companies which are approved auto glass companies within the area.  These companies are certified by major insurance companies, hence, are capable of offering solutions for your auto glass needs.

These claims may include auto glass insurance claims involving replacement and billing, all done in a swift, professional way. Most of these companies offer aftermarket and original equipment manufacturer quality glass as well.

One great advantage of OEM (Original Equipment Market) glass over aftermarket glass is that it is stronger than its counterpart.  The price is also pocket friendly; thereby you get the best quality at the best market price.

Once you have replaced your windshield, you have to wait for a while until the bonding is firmly dried before driving. With OEM, the typical wait time for this to happen is around 30 minutes, whereas the aftermarket glass takes around 24 hours.

Find An Insurance Agent In Raleigh

Auto insurance does not cover all of the costs associated with car maintenance and care. In fact, insurance policies only pay for damages that are proven to result from accidents and not any other reasons. This means that drivers are responsible for paying all expenses associated with vehicle care and maintenance during routine appointments and unexpected breakdowns. Fortunately, drivers have some choices when it comes to minimizing their out of pocket costs for car repairs. There is insurance that is designed to specifically cover all aspects of car care and repairs not covered under standard auto insurance policies.

Insurance

Such insurance covers common auto parts including brakes, engines, exhaust system, transmission, tires, electrical system, air conditioner and glass. Additionally, car care insurance offers 24 hour service involving towing and repairs during emergency situations. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for each car repair, drivers can simply purchase a single insurance package that covers all major auto repair jobs. A stalled car on a lonely highway can surely use the immediate responsive service provided through car care insurance programs.

With today’s digital technology, it is easy to find an insurance agent in Raleigh that can provide car care programs. Insurance agents in major cities such as Raleigh can be easily reached via apps that are optimized for smartphones and tablets. For example, a driver can easily alert his or her insurance agent about mechanical problems with the touch of a button. GPS enabled smartphones and tablets immediately show the driver’s location and make it easy for assistance to arrive as soon as possible. A response time of less than an hour is guaranteed by most car care insurance agents in major cities.

Drivers can also use their smartphones and mobile devices to search for qualified insurance agents that sell car care coverage. Simple apps often feature agent locator tools that display results based on a city’s name or zip code. In a matter of seconds, drivers can be in contact by phone with a local agent that can provide the right type of auto care insurance coverage. Some apps also can provide quotes on monthly and yearly prices for new customers interested in such insurance policies. A satisfactory quote can then be used to finalize the deal between a driver and a qualified insurance agent that can cover all costs associated with routine and emergency breakdowns and other issues.

How the IRS Views Your Health Savings Account

    There is no doubt that the HSA, or health savings account, is an increasingly popular vehicle for helping Americans take charge of their own health care choices. What is less clear is how to handle the presence of an HSA account in an individual’s savings and investment portfolio at tax time. If you participate in an employer-sponsored health savings account, your employer may view the HSA as a way to maximize your employee benefits while keeping costs lower. You may see the HSA as a way to safeguard yourself and your family against future health care or financial unknowns. But the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also has its own view of HSAs. As a participant in a health savings account, it is important for you to understand how the IRS sees HSA accounts and how to handle these unique accounts for tax purposes.

How the IRS Views Your Health Savings Account

How the IRS Defines the HSA

The IRS defines a health savings account as “a tax-exempt trust or custodial account that you set up with a qualified HSA trustee to pay or reimburse certain medical expenses you incur.” You do not need to get any type of special approval or permission from the IRS to open an HSA. However, you must establish a relationship with a trustee — an individual whom the IRS has approved to oversee financial accounts. Since the HSA is fundamentally a financial savings and investment account, your trustee may be a bank, your employer, your insurer or another authorized agent. If you are participating in an employer-sponsored HSA plan, you can ask your employer for information on health savings accounts to find out who the trustee is.

Establishing IRS Eligibility to Participate in a HSA

In addition to forming a relationship with an IRS-approved trustee, you must establish that you are eligible to participate in a health savings account. It is also important to check for changing IRS regulations regarding HSAs from year to year.

  • You are eligible if you are a participant in a high-deductible health insurance (HDHI) plan.
  • You are eligible if you do not participate in any other type of health care plan that is not included in IRS-approved additional health care plans.
  • You are eligible if you are not enrolled in Medicare.
  • You are eligible if no one else can claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

Understanding the High-Deductible Health Insurance Plan

Unless you currently participate in a high-deductible health insurance plan, you may not be sure how to tell whether your health care plan qualifies. The IRS has strict regulations regarding what qualifies as a high-deductible health insurance plan.

  • Whether you have an individual or a family policy, your deductible must be higher than that of the typical insurance plan.
  • Your maximum annual expenses, including deductible and out-of-pocket medical expenses, must be capped at a certain level.
  • Your plan may, but is not required to, cover preventative health care expenses.

HSA Contributions and Distributions

The IRS also has specific regulations regarding contributions to and distributions from an HSA.

  • Cash only. All contributions to an HSA account — whether for an individual or family account — must be made with cash. No contributions coming from stocks, property or securities are permitted.
  • Contribution limits. You must abide by all limits to monthly or annual contributions set up by your specific plan.
  • Qualified medical expenses. Distributions must be taken for qualified medical expenses only. Insurance premiums (except for long-term care premiums or premiums paid during unemployment) and non-prescriptions drug expenses (except for insulin) cannot be considered qualified medical expenses, but expenses incurred before the start date of the HSA are.
  • Tax free limitations. Distributions taken out of an HSA are tax free if they are used for medical expenses. Otherwise they are taxed and a 10 percent penalty is assessed if funds are withdrawn for non-medical purposes before age 65.
  • Employer-sponsored HSA plans. If you leave your employer, you can roll over your HSA account into a new HSA account and it will not be counted as income.

Because understanding the complexities of IRS regulations is never the easiest of tasks, it is also advisable to contact a tax professional if you find you have more questions about HSAs and taxes. 

About the Author: Wiley Long has been helping individuals and families get coverage and save money for over 20 years. He owns HSA for America.