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    7 Life Insurance Myths Debunked

    Posted: September 19, 2019

    Many people lack a strong understanding about life insurance.  It is not something most of us learn in school but it is one of the cornerstones of financial planning and protecting our loved ones.  The following are 7 Life Insurance myths debunked.

    Myth 1: Life Insurance Costs Too Much.

    It is less than you think!  Many people will not buy Life Insurance because they feel they overestimate the cost of a policy. Costs depend on a number of factors, including your health, age, tobacco use, and gender.  As one example, a healthy 35-year-old male can expect to pay about $20 per month for $250,000 on a 30-year term.


    Myth 2: I’m Single And Young, So I Don’t Need Life Insurance.

    Even single people need at least enough life insurance to cover the costs of debts, medical and funeral bills. If you are uninsured, you may leave behind unpaid expenses for your family. The earlier you buy life insurance, the better. The premiums are cheap because age and health is in your favor.  


    Myth 3: My Term Life Insurance Coverage At Work Is Sufficient.

    This one comes up A LOT.  You should know in most cases; coverage goes away if or when you leave your employer.  This means if you quit, get fired, or RETIRE you will lose the coverage.  Put that in perspective with the premium quoted in Myth #1 and you’ve just cost yourself significantly more in premium.  Most people retire in their 60’s.  That same estimate quoted in Myth #1 will now cost $105 per month for a 20-year term vs the 30-year term. 

    Also note, the amount of coverage is generally restricted to 1–2 times the salary, which in most cases wouldn’t be sufficient to meet the expenses of dependents in case of the unfortunate incident of death.   


    Myth 4: Only Breadwinners Need Life Insurance Coverage.

    The cost of replacing the services formerly provided by a deceased homemaker can be higher than you think.  Insuring against the loss of a homemaker may make sense, especially when it comes to cleaning and daycare costs.  Put into perspective some of the responsibilities of the homemaker…getting kids dressed, fed, off to school, back from school, off to extra-curricular activities, cleaning, homework, and dinner. 

    Go to www.care.com for an estimate of these services.  The average costs range from $15-$20 per hour, costing you $2,400 per month for a typical 8-hour day.  Wouldn’t it be easier to buy a life insurance policy for $20 per month?


    Myth 5: I Have Existing Health Issues. I Cannot Get Life Insurance.

    There’s more to it!  There are a number of other variables that insurers look at before offering coverage at certain rates for specific health problems. Although premiums may be slightly higher, most life insurance companies are willing to offer you coverage if you are suffering from conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol and arthritis. Past history of cancer; no problem. Depending on the stage and how many years in remission, you can qualify for a standard rate!  The point is, it doesn’t hurt to ask.  Most carriers provide pre-screening which allows an agent to get an idea if the carrier will offer coverage and at what cost before submitting an actual policy. 



    Myth 6: It’s Only Good For Funerals & Inheritances.

    That’s just not true! An unfortunate stigma attached to life insurance is that of death. Traditionally, people bought life insurance for its death benefits, and these benefits are why many still do. But, life insurance offers several living benefits

    • Cash value could be used to supplement retirement income
    • Help pay for college tuition
    • Benefits paid from life policies aren’t subject to tax.
    • Immediate expenses such as medical bills, taxes, loans
    • Payoff mortgage debt
    • Payoff student loan debt

    With more parents being listed as a co-signor for student loan debt, many people purchase a term life insurance to cover the debt for the length of the loan.  This way, should the unexpected happen, the parent is not stuck holding the debt.



    Myth 7: Buying It Online Is Easier & Cheaper.

    Not always. We know you like to bargain hunt and purchase select products at lower prices online, but buying Life Insurance should not be one of them.

    You can take on more risk with online policies, often being charged higher premiums. Moreover, online insurers may add specific terms and conditions in that could limit the policyholder’s current or future benefits. Using an experienced Insurance Broker can help get you the policy that best suits your needs plus making it easier and less stressful.  



    These are just some of the key myths that people have about Life Insurance.  I can help you understand more of the key benefits of Life Insurance such as how it can fit any budget and help you and your family.

    Have questions about Life Insurance? 
    Contact me at 708-444-0050 or click below

    Q&A with Kelly – Insurance Claims

    Posted: August 13, 2019

    Insurance is there for you when you need it. It’s your the safety net. But when something happens to your house or car, it can cause a lot of stress not knowing what is covered or how to file a claim. Depending on what kind of damage you’re facing, filing an insurance claim might help relieve some of the financial problems.

    What Is an Insurance Claim?

    Filing an insurance claim means you’re making a formal request to your insurance company to receive funds to help you pay for repairs and other expenses caused by an event (car accident or a home burglary) that is covered by your insurance.

    Every situation is different, and as an Independent Agent, I can help you outline the specifics and assist in filing a claim.  Below, I have provided common questions and answers to help you understand filing insurance claims for home or auto insurance.

    Insurance Claims-AUTO


    Q. What I am in a car accident and not at fault?

    •  Be sure to obtain the other person’s insurance card. Taking a picture with your phone is the easiest and most acceptable.
    • File the claim with the other party’s insurance carrier. If you file it with your own, you will be obligated to pay your deductible (typically $500). Your carrier will fight to get this back, however depending on the other party’s carrier (i.e. substandard) this could take months to get your money back. Once the money is returned to the carrier, they will send it back to you. This is often referred to as subrogation.
    • If you file with the claim with other party, you will be able to obtain a rental car at the expense of the other insurance carrier.
    • Do NOT wait for the other driver to file the claim. If you want to get the ball rolling, use the information from the ID card they provided to file the claim. The carrier will require a statement from you and the other driver.


    Q. What if I am in a car accident and at fault?

    • Provide the other party with your ID card. If your car is damaged and you want it fixed, contact your carrier. If not, you can choose to pay the damages out of pocket or file it with your insurance carrier. I recommend NOT providing your ID card if you plan on paying it out of pocket. Any time you contact the carrier direct to ask about a claim or file the claim, only to pay it out of pocket, the claim will be on your record for 5 years.
    • If you are at fault, rental car reimbursement is only provided if you have rental reimbursement on your policy. Many people with liability only coverage or more vehicles than drivers do NOT have rental reimbursement. If this is important to you, may sure your policy covers it. The additional is cost is normally $30 per year per vehicle.

    Q. What if I need rental car coverage?

    • Rental car reimbursement only provides coverage when your vehicle is damaged due to an accident.  It does NOT provide coverage due to your vehicle breaking down.
    • The car rental company will ask if you want to purchase their insurance coverage.  Please note, your policy will provide coverage to the rental vehicle.  If you had to file a claim, the claim will be listed on your record and may affect your rate in the future.

    Q. What if I am injured in a auto accident?

    • If you are injured in an auto mobile accident, the carrier (yours or the other party’s, depending who is at fault), will pay for medical damages, lost wages, etc.  I recommend contacting an attorney to help you through the process.  If you do not have an attorney, I am happy to recommend one as I work with multiple.
    • If the other party’s coverage does not provide enough coverage, your policy will cover for any additional expenses, under your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

    Insurance Claims-HOME


    Q. What if I have water damage?

    • If the damage is caused by water, take many pictures, and get the water out ASAP.  The longer the water sits, the more damage will incur, and many policies have a limit on water damage (i.e. $5,000 or $10,000). 
    • The carrier will provide you a check for the initial damages, less depreciation.  Once the damages have been repaired you must show proof to receive 100% of the payout.  Receipts or construction contracts will work as proof.


    Q. What if I have a claim on a rental property?

    • If the claim is on a rental property, the carrier will ask for proof that the property was/is occupied.  If the property is insured as tenant occupied and is actually vacant, they will deny coverage.  Call me if your property is vacant as we will adjust coverage immediately.

    Q. What if someone is injured on my property?

    • If someone is injured on your property, they will receive payout from your medical coverages (typically $5,000 max) if it is worse than that they will sue you for the limit of your liability coverage/umbrella.  This limit is typically $300,000 for a single-family residence and an additional $1 million with the umbrella.
    • Liability coverage protects you in the event anyone is injured on your property.  Invited or not, you can and will be sued due to an injury.

    Q. What if I have fire damage?

    • In the event of a fire loss, the carrier will ask for a list of ALL of your personal possessions.  If it is not a total loss, they will be able to obtain pictures of the remaining items, but I ALWAYS recommend taking pictures/videos of your personal possessions; open drawers, closets, under beds, etc.  You will NEVER remember everything you own without some sort of documentation.

    Q. What if I need replacement costs for personal possessions?

    • I write ALL of my home/renters’ policies to include replacement cost of your personal possessions.  This means the carrier will provide you the full value to replace your personal effects.


    Q. What if my dog bites someone?

    • Your home/renter’s policy does provide coverage for dog bites.  Depending on the severity of the dog bite, the medical portion will pay out first (typically $5,000 limit) followed by your liability (typically $300,000) and umbrella (if you have one).  However, depending on the type of dog you own (Pit Bull, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinchers, etc.) the carrier may deny coverage.


    If you have questions about how to file a claim or wonder if you should file a claim feel free to call me at 708-444-0050.  I normally recommend you obtain quotes for the damage(s) before you decide whether to file. It does not make sense to file a claim if the damages are less than or just over your deductible. 

    NOTE: The questions asked to me will not go on your record. 

    As a reminder, all home claims and at fault accidents are subject to the deductible.  This means the carrier will collect the deductible before anything is paid out.

    Q&A with Kelly-Auto Insurance

    Posted: June 28, 2019

    So, you have questions about car insurance. Maybe your current policy is too high, you just bought a new car, or your teen just received their license. Perhaps you had damage to your car and you don’t know what is covered. Doing your own research can be a huge headache, let alone having to deal with online sites. Auto Insurance policies are complex, especially if you do not know the basics.

    As an Independent Agent I represent many of the best insurance companies available. I can help navigate you and your family through all of the confusing information presented in Auto Insurance plans. Below, I have provided common questions and answers to help you understand auto insurance.

    Auto Insurance
    Q & A


    Q: What kinds of questions should I be expected to answer when I’m applying for an insurance policy. Why do insurers need so much information?

    A: When you apply for an insurance policy you will be asked a number of questions. For example, your name, age, gender, address, etc. for each driver in the household. You will also be asked a series of other questions which will be used to determine how likely you are to make a claim.

    In addition to your age, gender and driving experience, information about the car you drive, and your driving record, is also needed to determine a fair price. For example, a large luxury car costs more to repair or replace than a compact car. Also, someone who commutes 30 miles each way is more likely to be in an accident, than someone who commutes via bus and only drives on weekends. In a nutshell, the more you drive, the higher the rate.

    Q: I have an older car whose current market value is very low – do I really need to purchase car insurance?

    A: Most states have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some car liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of car accidents receive compensation, when their losses are caused by the actions of a negligent individual.

    Often times the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than it’s value. In these cases, your insurer will usually just “total” the car and give you a check for the car’s market value less the deductible.

    Q: What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?

    A: Collision is defined as losses you incur when your car collides into another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.

    Comprehensive provides coverage for mostly other direct physical damage losses you could incur, including theft. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.

    This is also another name for “full coverage”


    Q: What factors can affect the cost of my car insurance? 


    A: The type of car you drive, the purpose the car serves (i.e. business use, pleasure, or driving to work), your driving record, and where the car is garaged can all affect how much your car insurance will cost you.

    Even your marital status can affect your cost of insurance. Statistics show that married couples tend to have fewer and less costly accidents than those who are single.


    Have questions about Auto Insurance? 
    Contact me at 708-444-0050 or click below


    Advantages of Bundling Your Home and Auto Insurance

    Posted: June 17, 2019

    There are many benefits to using an Independent Insurance Agent such as Kelly Burke Insurance to combine your Home and Auto Policies.    A customer can save as much as $1,000 by bundling your policies together.  
     

    Benefits of Combining Your Home and Auto with an Independent Insurance Agent.

    Lower Costs: Often, you pay a lower rate due to the multi-policy discount.  This discount ranges from 20-30% depending on the produce type (i.e. home or auto) and carrier.

    Renewal Savings: Each renewal, I review your rate to confirm you are still receiving the best possible package.  This means I review rates with other carriers to confirm your rate is in line with industry trends.

    Best Package: I review the total package.  Some carriers will offer a great rate on the auto, but a much higher rate on the home.  By reviewing the total package I confirm you are paying the lowest possible premium.

    Convenience: It makes it easier for you to call or email one office for all of your insurance servicing needs.  There is nothing worse than trying to figure out which person to contact to add a vehicle to your policy, update your mortgage information, etc.

    Along with outstanding coverage and savings, you’ll receive dedicated and personalized service you would expect from your insurance agent. Please contact Kelly today at 708-444-0050 or Kelly@kellyburkeinsurance.com to see how much you could save.

    Celebrating Earth Day

    Posted: April 16, 2019



    What will YOU do to celebrate and participate this Earth Day


    People are thinking more and more about the environment — whether it’s something that affects the quality of life here in the Southwest Suburbs or global issues such as climate change, extreme weather and extinction.

    But more importantly, people aren’t content with simply thinking about these things any more. They’re focused on taking action. Earth Day, which is celebrated April 22, is the perfect time to take action, whether you are looking to take part in a community event or organize your own.

    This year’s theme is “Protect Our Species!” Currently, the world is facing the fastest rate of extinction since the loss of the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. Find out more about this years theme.

    Here are some tips to help you get involved — and think about our planet Earth all through the year.

    Find an event

    It’s easy to find Earth Day events, whether you live in Orland Park or any of our surrounding suburbs. City and town Facebook pages are a great place to start, along with the websites of local environmental organizations. Newspapers, radio and TV often publicize events as well.

    What can I do?

    There are all kinds of Earth Day activities, even some you can easily complete by yourself or with your family. Examples include:

    • Planting trees
    • Cleaning up litter from a natural area or park
    • Adopting a road for litter control
    • Talking about Earth Day and helping to educate others
    • Using alternate transportation, instead of taking your car
    • Holding a garage sale or clothing swap, rather than throwing out unwanted items
    • Learning more about actions you can take to reduce your environmental impact and help save the species

    Make it more than a day Of course, one of the best ways to have an impact is to make every day your own Earth Day. You can take part in earth-friendly activities at any time! So in addition to celebrating once a year, make this April 22 just the beginning of something special And whether you find an event or create your own, the important thing is getting involved.

    Questions
    Questions

    Feel free to email or call me with any questions or comments about my services or if you have any insurance related inquires.

    Contact
    Contact

    Phone: 708.444.0050
    Email: kelly@kellyburkeinsurance.com

    Availability
    Availability

    Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm
    Evening and weekends
    available upon request