Table of Contents
What is an Insurance Deductible?
Buying insurance can be stressful. Each type of insurance comes in a huge range of prices and coverages. There are a few things each type of insurance has in common however. Every insurance has two things in common:
- A Deductible
- A Premium
If you know what both of these are, it will make selecting your insurance much less confusing.
The insurance deductible is the amount of money you must pay before your insurance starts to cover the cost of a claim. The value of the deductible varies depending on the premium you are paying. If you are paying a lower premium, companies generally give you a higher deductible since you aren’t contributing as much to the pool of money that will be drawn from to cover insurance claims. It’s important to note that only certain costs count towards your deductible. This will be outlined in your insurance plan.
It’s possible to get insurance plans without deductibles. There are two ways to get plans without deductibles:
- As part of a loyalty program for longtime customers
- As part of a plan that has higher premiums or some sort of deductible waiver fee
It’s important to note that some policies have deductibles that accrue during the whole year, while other policies have deductibles that must be met for each instance of the insurance being used. Once your deductible is met you may be required to pay a coinsurance payment, or copay. You’ll need to keep paying this, usually much smaller, amount until you reach your out of pocket maximum. At that point, the insurance company assumes the full cost of claims.
The insurance premium is the amount of money you pay to your insurance company each billing cycle, normally each month. Generally, the lower your premium, the higher your deductible and the less your insurance covers. Insurance companies use premiums to raise money both to support the business and to invest in assets that can be liquidated, i.e. sold, in the event that they need to cover the cost of a claim.
Is it better to have a high deductible or a low deductible?
That depends. You need to think about your risk factors when selecting a deductible. If you think the chances of using your insurance are very low, it might be worth going with a low premium and a high deductible. For example, if the lowest deductible offered by an insurance company is $500, and you aren’t expecting to spend even that much, then it doesn’t make sense to pay a higher premium. In contrast, if you are anticipating exceeding the $500 deductible by a considerable amount, it may be worth spending more money on a higher premium.
Once you meet your deductible, your insurance will cover qualifying expenses. All you have to do is continue to pay your premium. If you experience a major issue that is covered, you’ll be off the hook for most of it. It’s important to understand exactly how much your deductible is, and if you have more than one. Certain types of insurance have different deductibles for different parts of the insurance policy. For example, the earthquake damage portion of homeowner’s insurance may have a higher deductible than the fire damage portion.
How are insurance deductibles and premiums set?
Insurance companies use complicated math done by people in the underwriting department. They determine the likelihood of particular events occurring and how much money they will cost to recover from. Then, they use that information to determine how much they need to charge consumers to ensure that the insurance company has enough money to cover claims and doesn’t go bankrupt. Insurance rates can also change when a policyholder makes a claim. It isn’t unusual for insurance companies to raise rates on a renewing customer after if they made a claim during their previous policy.
Do I need insurance?
That depends. Some types or insurance are required. For example, all drivers are required to be covered by auto insurance. In contrast, not only is flood insurance for homes not required, it can be difficult to get. You’ll need to decide for yourself whether or not you should get insurance. One thing to think about is: Do you have enough money to replace something if you lost it? If not, it might be worth getting it insured.
Some types of insurance also cover liability. This means they will pay out in cases of things like lawsuits or medical bills. Even if you don’t need insurance to pay for something like loss of personal property, it might be worth purchasing insurance to protect yourself from being sued by someone who slipped on a rug in your house.
Can I get custom insurance?
You can get insurance for anything that someone is willing to ensure. Frequently, insurance companies offer a number of standard policies. But if you have something particular that you want insured, one-of-a-kind art for example, insurance companies usually have systems in place whereby they can insure those extra items.
Now that you know what an insurance deductible is, and a little more about insurance in general, you can make a more informed choice when you next shop for insurance. Generally, insurance deductibles and premiums work the same across all types of insurance. And if you need more complicated insurance, there are companies that specialize in helping people with those needs.
What is the TRUE Cost of Insurance?
Insurance can be a daunting subject to parse. There are tons of varieties, covering everything from cars and motorcycles, homes, and actual lives. So what’s the catch? With all these different insurance options from different companies running around with all kinds of quotes and prices, what’s the standard for reference? How do you make sure you’re not getting taken for a ride? Thankfully, we’re here to help you figure out the true cost you’ll be looking at in the end.
The True Cost of Life Insurance
Life insurance is the first one we’ll cover, as it’s one of the most important types of insurance, but also one that people sometimes skip due to misconceptions about it. Life insurance is often viewed as the most expensive type of insurance, and, why wouldn’t it be? It’s insurance that covers your family in the unfortunate instance of your death. It seems like it’d have to be pretty pricey in order to cover that, right?
Well, that’s actually largely a myth! From studies performed by experts, most people overestimate the cost of life insurance. A whopping 80% of people overestimate it, in fact. When at its most basic, a simple life insurance policy could be as cheap as some of your monthly utility bills, if not cheaper. Many estimates for basic life insurance even place it at a level cheaper than your average phone bill, if you can believe that.
So, if you’ve been skipping out on a life insurance plan because you’re worried you won’t be able to handle it, then you owe it to yourself to give it another look. You might just be surprised when you find out what the true cost really is.
The True Cost of Health Insurance
Health insurance is a bit different from life insurance, mostly because it comes in a number of different “package” varieties. These packages come at different costs, and are better suited for different types of people, so your “true” costs are going to vary depending on your needs. However, they’re often categorized into four types: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Each of these offers different benefits and costs, and identifying which one works for you also identifies what your true cost will be in the end.
The four “metal” levels of health insurance are the most common types you’ll run into, so we’ll cover them here to help you figure out which is best for you. Bronze level is the cheapest and most basic, but also results in you paying more when you do need care. As a result, these plans are best reserved for those who need minimal medical care, to keep the true cost nice and low.
Up next is the silver level. These plans are a bit costlier than bronze level plans but come with one particular bonus: cost-sharing reductions. Cost-sharing reductions are a series of discounts that one could potentially qualify for, and they stack throughout the year. They often come with a set out-of-pocket amount that can be paid each year. If you reach that cap, everything afterwards is covered by your silver level plan. It all sounds great, but you’ll need to obtain the higher-payment silver level to utilize these reductions.
Finally, there’s the gold and platinum levels. These levels get access to everything from the lower levels, including the cost-sharing reductions that silver levels get. Gold and platinum cover the most amount of medical care, but also have the highest monthly payment amounts, with platinum covering more than gold. They’re best reserved for those needing a good deal of health care, or those who need very common prescriptions.
So when looking to find the true cost of your health insurance, figure out what metal level you’ll need to be at. Depending on your needs, your true cost will vary.
The True Cost of Auto Insurance
Auto insurance covers the motor vehicles you drive. Unlike some of the other insurance varieties, many states inherently require you to have some type of vehicle insurance in order to drive. So knowing the true cost of auto insurance can be one of the most important costs to find out.
First off, the cost can vary wildly from state to state. Overall, the average auto insurance cost rounds out to approximately $800, but it can get as low as $500 in some states, and as high as $1,100 in others. Secondly, it varies based on coverage type as well.
There are three types of car insurance: liability, comprehensive, and collision. Some states might require only one type, while other states might require all three. Your coverage type influences your cost. Keep these different factors in mind when looking into auto insurance, and you’ll be set.
When trying to discover the true cost of insurance, you need to do your research carefully, and not fall victim to common misconceptions. Look into the specifics of your situation and match it up to the right plans, and you’ll have made great strides towards finding out what your true cost actually is.
These Tips Could Save You Money on Health Insurance
Sickness is an unavoidable fact of life. Even the people with the best regimen for keeping clean and healthy succumb to a virus from time to time. You can’t always keep sickness away, but with health insurance, you could be prepared to deal with it once it’s there.
The only issue with health insurance is that it tends to be rather rough on the wallet. So what’s the solution? Well, with today’s tips, we’ll help you have your cake and eat it too. Your health insurance-flavored cake.
Shop Around Year to Year for Health Insurance
If you’ve already got health insurance, that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels and be content with your plan. Every year, companies offering health insurance can change their rates, and if you don’t keep checking back, you might miss out on a better deal. Companies often try to undercut their competition for this reason, and unless you have a strong predilection for one company over another, you’ll be the one to benefit from it.
Not only are there different companies available to pick from, but also different plans within those companies. These plans can often come with stipulations, such as requiring the usage of specific groups of doctors, or even a specific medical company.
There exist four different kinds of plans, PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization), POS (Point of Service), and HMO (Health Maintenance Organization).
Doing research on these four insurance options while shopping around could help you identify what services you do and don’t need, and save you money on health insurance if it turns out you’re paying for something extraneous.
Tip: Beware of Traps
Some insurance plans can seem to offer wonderfully low premiums, making payment on the insurance seems like a breeze, but all may not be as cheery as it seems. These plans often work great if you manage to stay fully healthy for the year, but if your health does happen to fail, you could be in for a rude awakening.
Many companies try to draw people in with low premiums, only for the payments to skyrocket once sickness does occur. Check and make sure that the plans you sign up for don’t fall into this category, unless you’re supremely confident in a healthy year.
Some Health Insurance Money Saving Tricks
If you meet the requirements for a plan, you might be able to get subsidies on your health insurance to keep costs down. You can check here using this calculator to see if you qualify for any subsidies. If you do, you may be able to enjoy a cut down health insurance cost, and be able to afford the service that much easier.
Another neat trick involves having a spouse. Sorry single men and ladies, this is a marriage-exclusive insurance option. If you and your spouse have two different health plans, it’s possible that the two of them can work together. Putting each other on two smaller plans that can cover the other’s gaps can be cheaper than buying one bigger, comprehensive plan for both people involved. It’s a unique option not many are aware of, but one that can definitely be taken advantage of.
Get in Contact with a Health Insurance Broker
It can be difficult to navigate the world of health insurance, so why not reach out to a professional? Health insurance brokers are people well versed on the ins and outs of the health insurance world and its workings, and they can help you make sense of what might seem like ancient Greek.
You don’t need to worry about getting swindled either. Health insurance brokers don’t work with the companies providing the insurance, they work for you. So if you hire one, they’re not going to be twirling their moustache as they trick you into a plan you can’t afford. They’ll be helping you pick the plan that works best for you and your situation instead.
One of the services a broker can provide is double-checking your medical bills. Unfortunately, medical billing is proven to have more common mistakes than most other types of bills. Hire a good broker though, and they can triple check your bills to make sure you don’t fall victim to one of these errors. They really can be lifesavers.
Health Insurance Discounts and How to Earn Them
Just like any other expensive purchase, searching for discounts is always a great plan. Some practices and plans offer discounts for making things a bit easier on the medical officials taking care of you. These can include:
- Paying in Advance for Upcoming Treatments
Giving an advance payment on a future procedure can lower the cost and therefore, the strain on your insurance.
- Utilizing New Technology
Some practices offer price reductions based on usage of new technology. Implementing devices like step counters and fitness trackers into your life can sometimes earn you a cost cut at the doctor’s.
- Be honest with Your Provider
If you’re in a real financial pinch, it never hurts to explain your situation to your providers. Its not a guarantee, but they’re people too, and some may offer a price reduction based on your circumstances. Honesty can only help.
Review What Prescriptions Your Health Insurance Covers
One final option to save some spend on your health insurance is to see what kinds of prescriptions they cover. Some insurance options can cover specific drugs or testing, and this can be a two way street to savings.
On one hand, if your plan is covering for numerous drugs and tests that you’re never going to need, you can probably start looking elsewhere for alternatives. On the other hand, if you know that you’re going to need a specific drug, or if you or your family have history with certain health risks and you want to be tested regularly, finding a plan that covers those specific costs could save you having to deal with them otherwise.
Your health should always be one of your highest priorities and getting good health insurance can help you stay on top of it. But that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to get good coverage. There’s plenty of ways to keep your costs from being astronomically high, and hopefully the tips we’ve gone over today can help you save money on health insurance in the future.