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Buying Life Insurance Is an Act of Love

Hearts, flowers, candy, jewelry—it’s the season of love…and life insurance?

Buying life insurance doesn’t sound “romantic.” But it’s actually a practical and lasting way to show your love, because it protects and provides for your loved ones after you’re gone. (And it might even be cheaper than that piece of jewelry you have your eye on…)

This Valentine’s Day, give the gift of a secure financial future.

Who needs life insurance?

No one wants to think about how their loved ones will cope after they’re gone. Losing you would not only be emotionally devastating; it could also cost your loved ones a stable and comfortable future. If someone you love—a spouse or partner, children, parents—depends on you financially, you need life insurance.

In addition, if you’re an at-home caregiver, you need life insurance, too. How will those you leave behind handle the expenses of replacing all you do, whether it’s child or elder care, transportation, cleaning, or other household services.

A life insurance death benefit may help pay for such things as debt you leave behind (including your mortgage); medical, funeral and burial expenses; day-to-day living expenses for your family; and education expenses for your children.

Life insurance basics

Life insurance comes in two basic forms: term and permanent (also referred to as whole or universal). Term life insurance offers a specific death benefit for a specific time period (10, 20, or 30 years, for example.) If you want to make sure your family is financially taken care of until the kids are grown or your mortgage is paid off, term might be the right choice for you. Term life often has lower premiums than permanent life insurance, but it does not accumulate cash value.

Permanent insurance is designed for you to keep for a lifetime. Not only will it provide a death benefit, in time it can accumulate cash value you can borrow against, or you can cash in the policy if need be. Permanent insurance premiums are usually much higher than term life premiums, however.

Life insurance premiums are based on factors which include your age, gender, whether or not you smoke, any preexisting medical conditions, and your family history. Since the most important of these factors relate to your life expectancy, the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper your premiums will be. For example, according to NerdWallet, term life insurance rates for a 30-year-old man average $221 per year, and $187 per year for a 30-year-old woman. At age 40, average rates are $334 and $282, respectively.

How L & M Insurance Group can help

Buying life insurance can be easier and more affordable than you expect. At L & M Insurance Group, we can explain your life insurance options and help you find a policy that fits your budget and your goals. Let one of our life insurance professionals help you sort through policy features and types of plans. Please give us a call at 813-672-4100 or click here for an online life insurance quote.

L & M Insurance Group is an independent insurance agency, offering a full array of insurance products to meet all your insurance needs. Give us a call today if you need homeowners insurance, car insurance, renters insurance, business insurance, or if you have questions about the coverage you need.

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Make These Insurance Resolutions for the New Year

At the start of a new year, many people resolve to get their finances in order. L & M Insurance Group would like to remind you that appropriate insurance coverage is one of the best ways you can protect yourself from financial disaster. Insurance can protect your most valuable assets, like your home and your vehicle, protect you from lawsuits, and even care for your family after you’re gone.

Here are a few things you can resolve to do now to make sure you have the financial protection you need—for the lowest possible insurance premiums.

Review your life changes. Was 2021 was an eventful year for you? Did you experience any major life changes, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child? Did you renovate your house, buy a new vehicle, turn 55, or start a business? Become an empty nester? Even if you already notified your insurance agent about these changes, now is a good time to do a more thorough review of your insurance coverage to make sure you’re properly protected.

Review your coverage. Once you’ve reviewed your personal situation, you’ll want to see how it lines up with your insurance coverage. Insurance is meant to protect your financial assets in case of accident, crime, or disaster, including providing liability protection in case someone sues you. Some common areas of concern we see frequently include:

For auto insurance, do you carry bodily injury in high enough limits? (Insurance experts recommend 100,000/300,000 for most situations, even though Florida state requirements are much lower.) Do you carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage? (In Florida, we have many un- or under-insured drivers on the roads, so we recommend carrying UM coverage.)

For home insurance, does your policy provide replacement cost coverage? Your home should be insured for enough to rebuild, repair, or replace it and your personal possessions with comparable quality—not just for how much you owe on your mortgage or the home’s market value.

And speaking of personal possessions, did you buy or receive any expensive items in 2021—such as jewelry, art, or home electronics? High value items may need special coverage, over and above what is covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Consider your life insurance needs. Do you have life insurance? Do you need it? If you do have life insurance, be sure that your policy is up to date with the correct beneficiary, and any other details that may have changed. Life insurance is surprisingly affordable, especially for younger people who are most in need of it to help safeguard their families’ futures. If you don’t have life insurance but would like to explore your options, please call 813-672-4100, or click here for an online quote.

Keep your driving record clean. Still one of the most basic things you can do to keep your auto insurance rates down!

Maintain or improve your credit record. Many insurance companies look at your credit when calculating insurance premiums. Boosting your credit record can result in cheaper insurance rates and more policy options to choose from. (Even if your credit is not great, L & M Insurance Group can still help. Give us a call at 813-672-4100.)

Work with an independent agency. Independent agencies, like L & M Insurance Group, represent multiple insurance carriers instead of just one. This means we have more flexibility to shop for the best policy and insurance company for your individual situation. We can also write just about any type of insurance you need, including personal and commercial auto, home, life, renters, and business insurance. And OUR number one new year’s resolution is to help YOU find the best insurance deal! Give us a call at 813-672-4100, or contact us online for all your insurance needs.

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One Simple Way to Buy Term Life Insurance

If someone depends on you financially, you probably realize that you need life insurance. But the process of buying a policy can seem confusing and difficult. Should you buy term or whole life? How much coverage should you buy? Will you have to have a medical exam? How long will take to be approved?

L & M Insurance Group can help you check “buy life insurance” off your to-do list. We recommend term life insurance for many people. It’s more affordable, and you can choose a policy term that provides coverage for as long as you need it—say until your children graduate from college or your mortgage is paid off. To make it even easier, in just a few minutes, you can fill out an application, get a price quote, and be approved for a term life insurance policy through Bestow, one of our new partner companies. Click here to get started, or read on to learn more.

Bestow’s life insurance program is best for younger, healthier people (ages 21-59)* looking for a simple way to buy term life insurance with no medical exam. You’ll create an account online, answer some basic questions such as your age, height, weight, where you live, your employment and some additional lifestyle questions. The company software uses algorithms to evaluate you as a risk and set premium prices.

Prices are determined by factors including your age, gender, health history, tobacco use, policy term length, and the death benefit chosen.

Bestow Life Insurance Program Features:

  • Quick and easy application process—get a quote in minutes!
  • No medical exam necessary
  • Policies start at $16 a month
  • Death benefits range from $50,000 to $1.5 million
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Policies will be issued by an A.M. Best A+ rated insurance company

If you have questions about term life or the Bestow program, please call an L & M Insurance Group agent at 813-672-4100.

*If you don’t meet these criteria, don’t worry! We represent other life insurance companies. Give us a call at 813-672-4100 (or click here) and we will be happy to help you find the life insurance policy that is right for you.

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What Do You Know About Life Insurance?

It’s not something pleasant to think about, but if you’re the breadwinner of the family, one part of planning your financial future is considering what will happen to your loved ones if you were to die. Would they be able to survive without your income? Sadly, many families (four in ten, according to one estimate) would immediately have trouble paying their bills if the primary wage earner died.

One simple way to protect your family after you’re gone is to purchase a life insurance policy.

What is life insurance?

A life insurance policy is simply an agreement that an insurance company will pay out a certain amount of money after the death of the insured, as long as the premiums are current. The main goal of life insurance is to take care of those who depend on you after you die, by providing funds to pay off debts (including such things as a car loan or a mortgage), end-of-life, and other expenses. Many people with children also want to provide enough money for them to complete their educations and become independent.

Most life insurance is either term life or permanent life, also known as whole life. You purchase term insurance for a specific period of time, such as 20, 30, or 40 years. Term life is good for people who need coverage only for a specific amount of time—until children graduate from college, for example. Term policies contain an expiration date, and will only pay out if the insured person dies before that date. After the policy ends, there is no more death benefit. They’re generally quite affordable, especially for younger people.

As long as you pay the premiums, permanent life insurance provides lifelong protection. There are a few other benefits to a permanent insurance policy, and if you absolutely must have a life insurance policy in place when you die, permanent life insurance may be the way to go.

Which type and how much insurance you need depends on your life and financial circumstances and goals. A licensed life insurance agent can help you decide which is best for you. Please call L & M Insurance Group at 813-672-4100 if you’d like to learn more.

In the meantime, here are a few basic facts about life insurance that you might not know:

It costs less than you think.

Many people overestimate how much life insurance costs. Term policies are very affordable, especially for younger people. NerdWallet noted that a 20-year, $250,000 term policy for a healthy 30-year-old cost just $160 a year.

It’s not that hard to get, even if you have some health issues.

Unless they are severe, your health issues shouldn’t keep you from qualifying for a life insurance policy. You will pay more than someone with no issues, but the cost may still be surprisingly affordable.

Worried about a lot of paperwork and a medical exam? Simplified underwriting practices make it much simpler than it used to be, and many policies don’t require a medical exam.

Group insurance through your employer may not be adequate.

In most cases, life insurance won’t go with you if you change or lose your job, or if you retire. In addition, if you have a young family, the coverage amount on a group policy may not be enough to see your family through.

You should review your life insurance policy from time to time.

As with all insurance policies, you should review your life insurance policy regularly to be sure it continues to meet your financial needs. This is true especially after a significant life event such as a marriage, birth or adoption of a child, or a divorce. You’ll also want to verify that contact information, beneficiaries, and other details remain current.

L & M Insurance Group is a full-service agency, and in addition to home, auto, umbrella, and business policies, we also offer life insurance. Please give one of our licensed agents a call at 813-672-4100 or click here if you’d like a life insurance quote.

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Just Married? Time to Review Your Insurance Coverage

Now that you’ve opened the presents and returned from your honeymoon, it’s time to consider some of the changes getting married will bring to your financial life. For instance, if you haven’t done so already, you should review, compare and consolidate your insurance policies. Good news—you may get a discount just for being married, because many insurance companies consider married people a better risk than single people.

Review your existing coverage

Car insurance

Compare your car insurance policy limits and coverage. It may be less expensive to combine all your vehicles onto one policy because you will be eligible for a multi-car discount. Get a quote from each of your car insurance companies to see which is the better deal. If you change policies, make sure new coverage goes into effect before the old coverage is cancelled so you don’t have a lapse in coverage.

Homeowners or renters insurance

If you’ve been living separately, you may have both been carrying homeowners or renters insurance. You should be able to cancel one policy if you no longer own or rent that second home, but make sure the policy you’re left with is appropriate for your needs. 

For example, you may need to increase your personal property limits now that all your belongings are under one roof. You may also need special coverage for high value items like your wedding and engagement rings, high-end electronics, or expensive wedding gifts.

And remember to officially add your spouse to your policy!

Health insurance

Now that you’re married, you have a limited time to enroll in a new health plan or join a spouse’s plan—usually 60 days. If either or both of you have employer-based plans offering spousal benefits, you’ll want to compare these three scenarios: you each keep your current plan; you join your spouse’s plan; your spouse joins your plan. Ask questions about monthly premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs. If you don’t have health insurance through work, you can buy or change your coverage through your state or federal exchange. See healthcare.gov for more details.

Life Insurance

Consider buying life insurance—even if neither of you have children. The death of one partner could lead to financial difficulties for the surviving spouse if you have bills or a mortgage one person can’t afford on their own.

One more thing: be sure to update your beneficiaries and emergency contacts.

Need help? We’ve got you covered!

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be! Your friendly L & M Insurance Group agent can help you make sense of it all. Whether you’re an existing client or a new one, we will be happy to help you sort through your options. As an independent agency, we represent many financially sound insurance companies and will help you make the best choices for your financial situation. Call us today at 813-672-4100, or email us for a car, home, renters, health, or life insurance quote.

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Why Young Families Need Term Life Insurance

Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash

If you have a young family, you probably find yourself financially stressed. Your expenses are rising at the same time that you might be dropping from two incomes to one, even if it’s just for a short time. Money’s tight—but while you’re budgeting for the next few years, don’t forget to include an important financial safeguard for the ones you love: life insurance. While it’s never pleasant to contemplate your own mortality, think of it this way: If you were to die, would your family be able to survive financially?

 

According to Met Life, half of all Millennials (those born between 1977-1992) say they have never been approached by anyone to buy life insurance, and more than 4 in 10 think they wouldn’t qualify anyway. This was two times greater than any other age group.

 

Life insurance doesn’t have to be expensive and complicated. For young families, we usually recommend term life insurance, which is relatively inexpensive and easy to get.

 

What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specified length of time, or “term.” The term length can be anything from one year up to 30 years. Currently, the most popular term is 20 years, which is perfect for a young family, most likely protecting you through the years when your children depend upon you the most.

 

Can I afford it?

Term life is actually quite affordable. Usually life insurance premiums are based on age and health, so if you take out a term policy while you’re young and healthy, your rate will be based on those factors for the length of the term. Some policies cost less than $50 a month, a small price to pay for your family’s financial security.

 

How much should I buy?

In addition to covering burial expenses, consider your family’s future needs, including mortgage or rent, and other expenses necessary to maintain their basic standard of living. You may also want to factor in college costs and retirement for the surviving spouse. Use an online calculator like this one to get a basic idea of how much coverage you should buy, and of course, you should discuss your needs with your L & M Insurance Group agent.

 

Remember, it’s not just the breadwinner who needs to be covered. If one parent is a full-time caregiver, consider buying a term life policy for that person, too. The costs of replacing his or her contributions (think child or elder care, housekeeping, and food preparation, for example) would quickly add up.

 

Term insurance is like auto insurance or home insurance in that if you haven’t had a claim during the policy term, you won’t get any of your premiums returned. If you want life insurance to be an investment vehicle, consider purchasing whole life—the downside of this is that it’s more expensive.

 

Term life insurance is cheap, easy to get, and great for young families. Please call your L & M Insurance Group agent at (813) 672-4100 to discuss your life insurance needs. You can also contact us online if you have any questions or you’d like a life insurance quote.

Do an End-of-Year Insurance Review

Insurance review

Now that the holidays are winding down, you may be thinking about your goals and plans for next year. If one of those plans is improving your financial condition, one way you can do this is to conduct a review of your current insurance coverage. Your goal is to have the right amount of coverage for your needs, at the best price.

First, look over your policies to remind yourself of your current coverage and deductibles, insurance premiums, and discounts. Then consider how your life has changed in the past year. Did you get married, divorced, or have a baby? Do any of your children now have driver’s licenses? All these changes should be reflected in your insurance portfolio. Here are a few additional specifics to consider:

Auto Insurance

Is it time to raise your deductible or drop comprehensive and collision coverage? Has your commute changed? Do you have additional drivers in your household who are not listed on your policy? Are you receiving all the discounts, such as safe driver or multi-car, that you’re eligible for?

Homeowners Insurance

If your home were destroyed, would your coverage be adequate to replace it at today’s construction costs? Do you have enough coverage for your personal possessions? You may need to increase your coverage limits if you’ve made improvements to your home, or bought or received as gifts expensive items such as computers, jewelry, or art.

If you’re thinking of raising your deductible as a way to save money on your premium, would you have the resources you need to pay that deductible if you have a claim?

You may be eligible for discounts on your homeowners insurance if your alarm system is monitored. You’ll need to provide a certificate from your monitoring company to receive the discount. If you’ve recently replaced your roof, ask your insurance agent how you can benefit from a wind mitigation report.

Flood Insurance

The entire state of Florida is at risk for flooding. Even if you don’t live in a so-called high-risk area, if you don’t have flood insurance, you might want to consider buying it. We represent several private companies that write flood insurance policies at a competitive rate.

Umbrella Policy

An umbrella policy is additional liability insurance, beyond your home and auto insurance, which protects your assets from a lawsuit. If your assets have increased, you will want to make sure you have enough coverage, or if you don’t currently carry an umbrella policy, you might want to consider purchasing one.

Life Insurance

If you’re the breadwinner, what would happen to your family if you die? A life insurance policy is one way to provide for them after you’re gone. In addition, although life insurance is mainly intended to replace lost income, consider buying life insurance for a non-working spouse or domestic partner. It can quickly become expensive to replace the work he or she does to keep your household running.

Because insurance is an important part of your financial life, it’s good to review your policies from time to time to be sure your coverage remains in line with your assets and liabilities. Remember, if you have any questions about your policies, L & M Insurance Group is here to help.

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Congratulations Kristin!

Kristin Gott Insurance Agent for L&M InsuranceCongratulations Kristin!

 

We would like to extend our congratulations to Kristin Gott, who is now a fully licensed Registered Customer Service Representative.   Because she completed the required online college classes to get the designation, she was able to successfully obtain her Florida 4-40 customer service representative license to sell and service insurance.

If you talk to her be sure to congratulate her on this accomplishment.

Well done, Kristin.

Who Needs Life Insurance?

Life Insurance for Tampa, Brandon, Riverview, Florida, and Beyond

Who Needs Life Insurance?Life Insurance Brandon FL

If someone will suffer financially when you die, chances are you need life insurance because it provides cash to your family after your death. This cash, known as the death benefit, replaces your income and can help your family meet many important financial needs like funeral costs, daily living expenses and college funding. Insuring yourself is not like insuring tangible property, when buying life insurance, your health, age, smoking habits, and the purpose for the insurance all play a part in the amount and the type of coverage you need. Also, there are no federal income taxes on life insurance.

Married couple

Many married couples believe they have no need for life insurance until their children are born. Not true. If your spouse should die, who would help pay the credit card debt, car loans, monthly rent or mortgage payment and utility bills?

Married With Children

Most families depend on two incomes to make ends meet. If you died suddenly, could your family meet all their financial obligations? Could your family continue its standard of living on your spouse’s income alone? Life insurance makes sure your plans for the future don’t die when you do.

Small Business Owner

Life insurance can protect your business. What would happen to your business if you, your partner or a key employee happened to die tomorrow? Life insurance can help in a buy- sell agreement. This would ensure that the remaining partner would have the funds to buy the spouse of the deceased out of their part of the business. Also life insurance can protect your family from any Florida Business Owners Benefit from Life Insurancedebts your business may have at your death.

Call for a free quote today–813-672-4100 or send us an email using this link.