9055 SE Bridge Road
Hobe Sound, Florida 33455

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Umbrellas Are Important on Sunny Days, Too

| March 01, 2017
You have homeowners insurance. You have auto insurance. You're covered, right? Your skies look clear. Why would you need an umbrella policy? 

Picture this: You're hosting a neighborhood barbecue. Bill from down the block slips on your deck and suffers serious injuries. Your homeowners policy liability coverage pays out $250,000. That's great, but his total medical expenses, plus lost wages, create a grand total of $450,000. How will you come up with the additional $200,000?

This is where a personal umbrella policy comes into play. It's designed to extend your liability coverage beyond your auto and homeowners policies. In a case like Bill's, or if you encounter a similar situation with a car accident, your personal umbrella will cover you. Once you reach the limit of your standard policy, the umbrella coverage kicks in. This additional policy can make a huge impact when you face a large liability claim. 

Million-dollar claims

Personal umbrella policies are typically available in million-dollar increments, and most personal umbrella policies cover between $2 million and $5 million. While this amount may seem high, keep in mind that 13% of personal injury liability awards and settlements total $1 million or more. With today's higher health care costs and hefty litigation awards, one incident can become very costly. 

Umbrella policies are helpful for those with considerable assets as well as for those without much money in the bank. If you have few savings, an umbrella policy will provide the much-needed funds to cover a large liability cost. If you're wealthy, opportunists may be more likely to file lawsuits, knowing you have the funds to pay their settlement. With this extra coverage in place, both groups are fully protected; your savings and assets won't be at risk if you have an umbrella policy in place.

Contact your insurance pro, who can help you determine how much additional coverage you may need.


Exercise = Weight Loss: It's Not That Easy

For years we've been told that weight loss is a simple equation: the more you exercise, the more weight you lose. 

Sadly, it's not that simple. Exercise improves physical and mental health, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of acquiring Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's. It's a stress reliever. But according to an article on Vox.com, some 60 studies have found that exercise's impact on weight loss is not that significant. 

It's explained this way: We gain all our energy from food. But thanks to our basal metabolic rate (over which we basically have no control), we use 60% to 80% of that energy just to function. We use 10% in digestion, leaving only 10% to 30% of energy available to be burned in physical activity (which includes exercise).

What works then? Interestingly, researchers have found that those who are successful in losing weight "weigh themselves at least once a week. They restrict their calorie intake, stay away from high-fat foods, and watch their portion sizes. They also exercise regularly."

Hey. We knew it all along.


Three Ways Life Insurance Can Help Your Dependents

Life insurance typically is used to provide replacement income for those who depend on you - spouses, children, or others. Here are three ways replacement income from your life insurance policy can help your dependents:

Funeral costs and estate taxes

When you die, you may leave taxes due or other end-of-life costs, such as funeral expenses. For example, the most recent information from the National Funeral Directors Association pegs the national median cost of a funeral with viewing and burial at $7,181 - and that doesn't include additional costs such as monuments or markers, flowers, or published obituaries. A life-insurance policy can be used to cover these expenses, freeing your loved ones from paying for funeral and final estate costs.

Higher education costs 

Perhaps you have children who have not yet attended college. Or perhaps your children are already in college or recently graduated, in which case they may have tuition costs or student loans outstanding. In these cases, your life insurance proceeds could be used to finance your children's college education or to pay off their education-related debts.

Medical expenses 

The population is aging: In 2014, the latest year for which data is available, 14.5% of the U.S. population (some 46.2 million Americans) was 65 years of age or older. By 2040, the population of seniors is expected to grow to 21.7% of the population. As we age, we get ill, and many of us will suffer prolonged illnesses prior to death. We may need extended-care facilities, which can be costly. Consider giving your loved ones the gift of not worrying about medical or extended-care bills that may come due after your death by earmarking your life insurance policy to cover such costs.

No one likes to contemplate death when they're young and healthy, but this is the best time to plan ahead and ensure your family members are looked after when you die.


Storm Watch: Don't Get Blown Away by the Weather

At some point this spring, your business will likely be pummeled by high winds and heavy rains. You might even be hit with hail. 

Dangerous winds, flying branches, and large hailstones can wreak havoc on your property. Damages can add up quickly. To keep costs lower during storm season, try the following tips:

Keep a close weather watch: If the forecast calls for a storm, get your equipment inside. Don't risk it. Ensure all your valuable equipment is safely stored before bad weather arrives. 

Brace for impact: Keep everyone at your company safe. During inclement weather, avoid working outside or near windows. If you experience a significant storm, move everyone to a storm shelter or basement.

Inspect your building: Take inventory of the condition of your business at the start of spring. Reinspect after each storm to check for damage. Make repairs right away, even if they are minor, to prevent further damage during the next storm.

Get coverage: Two types of insurance policies are good for storm damage protection-commercial property insurance repairs or replaces property that is damaged by wind and hail; a business owner's policy is tailored to small businesses and bundles your commercial property and general liability coverages together for an affordable rate. 

Don't get blown away; contact your agent to discuss the policies you'll need to keep your company covered.