Deployment

Property insurance tips for deploying servicemembers

| July 28, 2014

As you prepare for deployment, you need to think about how to protect your assets while you’re gone. Many of you may have a spouse, relative or a roommate to help you take care of your property while you’re deployed. But if not, you’re probably grappling with what to do. Do you leave your home vacant for the duration of your absence? Do you rent it out? How will being gone affect your home and auto insurance rates and coverage?

Below, I’ve addressed some of the most pressing concerns that I’ve come across, and outlined three key tips for you to consider before stepping on that plane:

  1. If your property will be vacant during your deployment, don’t assume your homeowner’s insurance will provide coverage for property or liability damages while you are away. Most homeowner’s insurance policies have a vacant exclusion clause meaning you may be without protection at the time of loss if the carrier determines your property was vacant. So, before you leave, contact your homeowner’s insurance carrier and ask about acquiring a vacant home policy or any other options they may have. And, remember to have a close friend or relative check on your property frequently while you’re away.
  2. If you plan to rent out your property, you should likely require the occupants to carry renters insurance, for your protection and theirs. If you rent out your home and choose to keep your personal property at another location such as a storage facility, call your insurance agent to learn how much protection for your personal property is provided when it’s off premises. If the coverage is not enough, make sure and ask the storage facility about their insurance programs.
  3. If your car will be out of commission while you’re away, you should consider reducing your auto insurance coverage to the lowest possible amount to lower your premium, but don’t cancel it entirely. If cancelled, your insurance carrier could misinterpret your gap in coverage and raise your premium when you return. As soon as you return to the states and prior to driving the car(s) you lowered your premiums on, call your insurance carrier and have the coverage increased back to the limits you had prior to deploying.

For more information regarding the insurance needs of deploying soldiers, check out this in depth article from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, http://www.naic.org/consumer_military_insurance.htm .



Family on road trip to beach

Protect your home while on vacation

| July 22, 2014

Many families are looking forward to a late summer vacation. But, before you shut that front door and secure the garage for the last time in two weeks, make sure you take care of the following 10 steps to protect your home while you’re on vacation.

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Are you overspending?

| July 21, 2014

Before financial crisis hits, there are normally several warning signs. Here are some indicators that you’re overspending:

Too many credit cards. You probably want to have at least one credit card for emergencies and for times when you’d rather not carry cash.

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Five financial guidelines for your college‐bound children

| July 18, 2014

Sending your children off to college can be very emotional. You want your children to be independent, while at the same time still protect them. Read through these five financial guidelines before your children leave for college so you can help protect them financially now and in the future.

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How to measure your net worth

| July 14, 2014

To succeed in anything, you need a baseline and a way to measure your progress. With personal financial planning, the best place to start may be to determine your “personal net worth.” This will help you get a big-picture view of the overall state of your financial life.

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Secure mobile banking for servicemembers

| July 9, 2014

As a member of the United States Armed Forces, you probably spend less time than most of us sitting behind a desk or in front of a computer screen, so the convenience of mobile banking can be a major selling point for you.

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Why renter’s insurance is important for military families

| June 30, 2014

If you’re a driver, you know that you must carry auto insurance for your vehicle. If you buy a home, you’re required by your mortgage lender to purchase homeowners insurance. But if you rent, there’s typically no requirement that you insure your property yourself.

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Understanding trusts

| June 26, 2014

If you’re transitioning to a civilian career or retiring, it’s important to prepare ahead of time for the changes to your benefits and overall financial picture. Additionally, depending on your age and situation, you may need to consider estate planning and asset protection. While the federal gift and estate tax exemption of $5.25 million became permanent earlier this year, there are still many valid situations in which trusts can be beneficial. Even with the seemingly large exemption, everyone, not just the wealthiest of people, should understand the important role that a well-drafted trust can play.



What is the right type of life insurance?

| June 16, 2014

There is a broad – and somewhat confusing – array of life insurance policies available in the marketplace. But there are really only two primary types of life insurance – temporary and permanent.

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What is the right amount of life insurance?

| June 11, 2014

People rely on rules of thumb and one-size-fits-all formulas to determine how much life insurance is appropriate. A frequently cited shortcut suggests purchasing coverage equal to 5 to 7 times one’s income.

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