Schwarz Insurance Blog

July 14, 2015 @ 12:00am

Turning 26? What you need to know about health insurance.

The Best 26th Birthday Gift: Finding Your Own Health Insurance Plan

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, adults younger than 26 have the ability to stay under their parents' health insurance plan until their 26th birthday or through their 26th birthday year, depending on the plan.  Unfortunately, when those benefits end, a lot of us are overwhelmed with the prospect of finding and purchasing our own health insurance.  But not to worry -- finding health insurance doesn't have to be an insurmountable task.  By working with an experience agent, you will find you have several options.

Obtain insurance through your employer's plan. Often companies provide several options for coverage.  Talk to your HR department about what they offer. Apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace with the help of your independent insurance agent.  Even if you don't turn 26 during the Open Enrollment period, you can still get coverage through the Special Enrollment period due to your change in age.  Apply up to 60 days before your birthday so when your current coverage ends, there aren't any gaps in -- or stress about -- your insurance.  Through the Marketplace, you'll see health insurance rates that are based upon your income and needs and see if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program.  Also, if you're under 30 and budget-conscious, you can explore a "cat

June 24, 2015 @ 12:00am

What Does my Renters Insurance Cover?

You've probably heard it from your mom, your older brother, you insurance agent and maybe even your apartment complex's landlord: you should have renters insurance.  Let me repeat that, you should have renters insurance! Just because you're not ready to buy a house doesn't mean you don't need financial protection for you, your friends and your belongings.

If you think it's not worth the very small cost (think your extra change every month), think again.  Renters insurance can cover:

Personal property. That favorite shirt? Your laptop you're still paying off? The new couch you painstakingly through about for weeks before purchasing? If the things you've accumulated over years are damaged or stolen, you're going to need financial assistance to replace them.  The average renter owns about $20,000 in personal property -- and without insurance, you'll be footing the entire bill instead of just the small deductible on your insurance policy.  An additional bonus: renters insurance covers your stolen belongings no matter where you go, even if you're backpacking through Europe and someone decides to take your valuables. Personal liability. If someone gets insured in your apartment, renters insurance provides coverage for legal costs.  This includes a friend tripping down the stairs or even Fido biting someone.  Some policies even cover the medical bills of your guest. Property dama

June 19, 2015 @ 12:00am

So you're ready to hit the highway -- just you, your motorcycle and the open road.  Before you strap on that helmet and slip into your leather jacket, there could be one thing standing between you and the freedom your two-wheeler brings: insurance.

You might be wondering, "What does my motorcycle insurance cover?" or "How do I choose the recreational vehicle insurance coverage I need?" There are different types of coverage offered for motorcycle owners, some required and some optional:

  • Liability insurance. Most states require you to carry a minimum coverage that covers bodily injury and property damage that you could cause to other people involved in an accident.  Wisconsin requires you have $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage.
  • Collision insurance. This is optional, but covers damage to your bike after you meet your deductible.
  • Comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive insurance is also optional, but covers damages to your motorcycle beyond collision, like theft or vandalism.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. In case you get into an accident with someone who is without insurance or doesn't have enough coverage, it can cover damages to you and your property caused by another driver.  Uninsured motorist insurance covers medical treatment, lost wages, property damages and other damages.
May 27, 2015 @ 12:00am

We all make mistakes on the road, whether it's a fender bender, driving too fast for the conditions or just being less cautious than we should be.

Very rarely these mistakes can be life-altering and result in the loss of a life.  If you ever are in the unfortunate circumstances of being the blamed party of a wrongful death claim, you'll want to be protected to the fullest.

What is a wrongful death claim? It's a lawsuit brought on by the surviving family members and/or loved ones of the person who was killed as a result of someone else's negligent behavior.

A good insurance agent will suggest coverage amounts that will provide you with adequate protection in case something goes terribly wrong.  In the state of Wisconsin, it's smart to be sure that your wrongful death coverage is a minimum of $500,000.

This minimum amount is recommended because in Wisconsin, the maximum amount you are liable for is $500,000 for the death of a child and $350,000 for the death of an adult.  Whatever happens, you'll be covered and won't go bankrupt because of your mistake.

It's unlikely that you'll ever be a part of a wrongful death claim, but we have insurance to protect us from unlikely situations that life brings.  With the minimum coverage of $500,000 you can sleep easy knowing you and your possessions are protected.

There are many other ways to gain peace of min

May 18, 2015 @ 12:00am

We all love a good deal.  Buy one pizza, get one free.  Thrift-store jeans that fit perfectly.  Happy Hour.

But when it comes to some things, you have to remember the phrase "You get what you pay for."  For most people, their vehicle is one of the most expensive items they own...so why would you skimp on protecting one of your largest investments?

When shopping for vehicle insurance, shopping by cost alone is a mistake.  Choosing the cheapest car insurance usually means:

  • Minimal coverage and minimal protection.  Most states do require a minimum liability coverage you must carry, but it's just that - the minimum.  Consider how little the minimum will help you if you have an unexpected accident, and how much it could end up costing you out of your own pocket if you are sued.  Isn't it worth spending a relatively small amount more each month to better protect yourself against losing what you want in the future?
  • Really high deductibles.  Choosing really high deductibles will save you money, but can you really afford to pay that high deductible if you or someone else damages your car? Sometimes a $500 collision deductible costs only a few dollars each month more than a $1,000 deductible.  So when you don't see that concrete post until after you back into it, or you walk out to the parking lot and find that someone has scraped the side of your car

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