Monthly Archives: November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Heidi Petschauer Fox, President

thanksgivingIn the spirit of appreciation and the true meaning of this Thanksgiving holiday, I thank my team for the stellar job they are doing here at Petschauer Insurance. You are a dynamic and well educated staff that is so invested in your clients. You bring your experience, awareness and knowledge with you each and every time you connect with them. I so appreciate your thoughtfulness about important issues when you write your blogs, create fun and informative videos and honor our clients on Facebook.
From the bottom of my heart I say “Thank you Team Petschauer!” I am so grateful for each and every one of you because you always bring your “ALL” to each day at our firm. Our founder and my dad, JP, use to tell me: “you are only as successful as your team behind you”. And, today I feel a great deal of success! I dedicate this blog to your continued professional commitment and dedication to our firm.
I wish Team Petschauer, their families and all our clients a very blessed Thanksgiving Holiday.

– Heidi Petschauer Fox

What Kind Of Insurance Do I Need As An Accountant?

accountantDear Sherri: I am an accountant with one employee and a small office with 2 desks, 2 chairs, and 2 computers. What kind of insurance do I need? Please keep in mind that I am just starting out and I don’t have a lot of money to spend on insurance
Sincerely,
Poor Accountant in Ridgewood

Dear Poor Accountant,
The better question is: how much insurance can you afford to be without? With one employee (even if they are part-time), the State will fine you $2,000 for every 10 days you are without Workers’ Compensation! What if someone sues you for an error in their tax filings to the Government? Without Professional Liability, you’d be on your own and you know how expensive it is to hire a lawyer! These are the insurance policies that are essential to most businesses.

You will need a Businessowners Policy to cover your desks, chairs and computers as well as your general liability should someone come to your office and become injured while on your premises.
Workers’ Compensation and Disability are needed for your employee should they get hurt.
Professional Liability is needed to cover you for any Errors or Omissions you make as a professional accountant. This is because your liability policy will not provide coverage for any professional endeavors.
In today’s litigious society with multi-million Dollar lawsuits, once you begin to make more money, you will want to consider purchasing additional liability coverage in the form of an Umbrella policy.

However, this is just a brief outline of the available coverages. You should really contact your insurance broker for a detailed analysis of your insurance needs. This is usually done free of charge.

What if there was a LTC Policy that can offer Long Term Care, Life Insurance or Your Money Back?

LTC-PolicyA couple of weeks ago I wrote about the need for Long Term Care coverage, and the guarantee that your premium dollars would not go to waste by using Life Insurance with a Long Term Care Rider. Now we will look at another option to obtain Long Term Care and how to ensure your premium dollars do not go to waste should you not need the Long Term Care (LTC) coverage.

In reality we all may need LTC coverage. The majority of the people who purchase it have assets they want to protect in the event they need long term care for an unforeseen illness. I have been in the investment business for over 20 years and have seen many clients simply pass on without the need for LTC. They have spent years paying premiums for a policy they never used. That is what insurance is for right? We pay a little bit now in the event an insurable event happens. Think of your car insurance, for example. You pay every year, and hope you never get into an accident. Then at the end of the policy term you are happy to receive the renewal policy without having to use the coverage. It is the same principal when purchasing a traditional LTC policy. Advisors and insurance agents have long questioned paying for LTC because the cost can be high, with no return to the client.

What if there was a LTC Policy that can offer long term care, life insurance or your money back? Good news – there is ! It is called “Asset Based Long Term Care” Insurance.

With Asset Based LTC, you simply use an asset to make a one-time payment. There is, of course, underwriting that goes into these policies which will ultimately set the rate of return on your investment and in turn your set your benefits. If you choose the least amount of underwriting (a phone underwriting interview) your benefit accumulation will not be as great as if you chose the normal underwriting process of blood work, giving doctor information and a physical. Either way this may be a great choice for you. Typically, this is a good option for the mature generation (late 50’s to 70’s) as opposed to the youth who are just starting out having very little assets. In NYS, there are is also a minimum death benefit requirement of $75,000 and a one-time asset payment of $35,000.

Let’s look at an example for more clarity:

Mrs. Daniels is in good health, has been married for 30 years, she and her husband have two children. After 25 years as an RN, she retired last year. She has over $300,000 of available assets. She chose to purchased a LTC policy at age 60 through the normal underwriting process and was able to leverage her $100,000 initial one time premium more than 7 times for a total of $714,876 in total long term care benefits. This offered $9,929 each month to pay for covered LTC expenses for 6 years. She did become very ill and used up most of the LTC benefits. However, at her death the policy did pay a residual death benefit of $23,829 to her beneficiary.

What if Mrs. Daniel’s did not need LTC? Let’s look at 3 other scenarios:

1. If Mrs. Daniels did not need LTC benefits, she will be able to leave a $238,292 death benefit to her husband or children as her beneficiary.

2. Five years after purchasing LTC, let’s say Mrs. Daniels wanted to invest in a new business her son was starting. She could cancel the LTC policy and use the $100,000 to help him get started.

3. If Mrs. Daniels had a LTC event and used $100,000 of her benefit she would still have $138,292 for her beneficiary at the time of her death.

With an Asset Based LTC Policy, you know your hard earned money will not go to waste in any way. Having a policy that will cover you in the event you need LTC coverage shouldn’t keep you up at night. Knowing that your premium is always there for you, will help you sleep better.

Richard Montenegro, Jr.
Managing Partner
FIS Marketing, LLC
3900 Veterans Memorial Highway
Suite 251 (Field Office)
Bohemia, NY 11716
Cell: 631-312-6344
Fax: 585-625-0318
http://www.fismarketing.net/
www.facebook.com/FISMarketing
http://www.linkedin.com/in/richmontenegro

Why Do I Need To Take A NY Defensive Driving Course?

Q: Why Do I Need To Take A NY Defensive Driving Course?

A: Are you taking advantage of all the credits your current auto insurance company offers?
Everyone wants to lower their premium, but most people overlook the easiest way to save 10% on their insurance premium! What am I talking about? The NY Defensive Driving Course.
If you take this on-line course you will save 10% off your Liability and Collision Premiums for
The next THREE YEARS !!
AND….
If you have points on your drivers license, it can also reduce those points while helping you become a safer driver.
So go on over to our website, Petschauer Insurance offers this course on-line at a discount.

Can my employee apply for group health coverage that I offer at any time during their employment?

health-care-coverage-300x169Q: Can my employee apply for group health coverage that I offer at any time during their employment?

A: No. New hires have to fulfill a “lag-time” or waiting period that is predetermined in your contract with the insurance company. Once that waiting period is met your employee can apply within 30 days of the effective date for coverage.
If your employee fails to apply for coverage at this time they will have to wait until the group’s anniversary date, also known as, open enrollment, to apply.
However, your employee may be eligible to apply for coverage prior to open enrollment with a “qualifying event.”
A qualifying event can be:
• Loss of coverage from prior insurance
• Death
• Divorce
• Marriage

How Can I Lower by Auto and Homeowners Premiums?

Q: How Can I Lower by Auto and Homeowners Premiums?

A: EASY!

Does your insurance company offer the following Discounts?
• Increasing your Deductibles
• Pay In Full Discounts
• Applying Alarm Discounts
• Being Retired
• Having a College or Masters Degree
• Good Grades if you are in school
• Defensive Driving Discounts
• Driver Education Discounts

Do you have your insurance with the same company?
GUESS WHAT?
Packaging your policies together with one company can offer you the highest savings.

November is Long Term Care Awareness Month

longtermMany of us don’t insure anything that doesn’t have a dollar value. We insure cars, houses, diamond rings etc., so why is it that we don’t insure ourselves?
We are our most valuable asset.
Most of us do not think about death or long term care. Questions and thoughts such as these we tend to “sweep under the rug”:
• What happens when a loved one needs care in a nursing facility or passes away pre-maturely?
• What impact will either of those events have on our families?
• Will the kids take care of a parent?
• Will the parent move in with the kids?
• Do we want our parents or grandparents in a state run institution?
As an insurance agent, I know the answers to these questions….. My goal is to help you see an affordable solution to the answers.
I understand Long Term Care insurance isn’t something we want to spend money on. Often what I hear from my clients is: “What if I don’t ever use the benefit – I will be throwing the money away?”. When I am asked my personal opinion about Long Term Care Insurance, I passionately say this: “I don’t want to be a burden to my kids, and I really don’t want to spend my older years being dependent on the State. If I don’t need my Long Term Care Policy and I die peacefully in my sleep than I did right by my family”.
Doing nothing is not an answer. It will have a higher cost then any premium you may pay.
Let’s examine the Cost of Care:
Depending on where you live and the type of care that you require, long-term care expenses can exceed $75,000 per year. (1) In some states, that cost of care can be much higher. At these rates, the choice to self-insure can be very challenging. A common misconception among people without Long Term Care Insurance is that government health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid will cover these costs. While Medicare provides limited coverage for nursing home and home care services, it is designed to pay for the treatment of acute, short-term illness — not ongoing care associated with Activities of Daily Living, (2) such as eating, bathing, and dressing. Simply put, Medicare affords very limited nursing home and home care services.. Medicaid, a different program entirely, may cover ongoing costs associated with long-term care. However, it requires that recipients meet strict asset and income eligibility criteria, and care is restricted to Medicaid-approved services and facilities.

So by now you might be thinking to yourself: “What if I don’t use the insurance? All that money will go to waste.” ……. Not so!

In last month’s blog, I covered the need for Life Insurance. If we all can agree that our lives should be insured, then I can show you there is a way to insure our lives and pay for Long Term Care as well.

Did you add an Accelerated Death Benefit Rider to your permanent life policy when you purchased it? What this offers you is in the event that you are diagnosed as terminally ill, you will be allowed to take an advanced payment of a portion of your death benefit to pay for medical expenses or long-term care. If you keep your policy in-force, but you do not use your long-term care protection, although you have paid the rider charge for the option to accelerate the death benefit, you haven’t spent decades paying premiums for a policy that never pays any benefit at all. Additionally, if you begin collecting monthly benefits under the Accelerated Death Benefit Rider, but do not receive the full death benefit of your policy, the remaining death benefit will be paid to your beneficiaries at your death.
There you have it -the best of worlds: Life insurance and LTC rolled into one!

Richard Montenegro, Jr.
Managing Partner
FIS Marketing, LLC
3900 Veterans Memorial Highway
Suite 251 (Field Office)
Bohemia, NY 11716
Cell: 631-312-6344
Fax: 585-625-0318
www.FISMarketing.net
www.facebook.com/FISMarketing
http://www.linkedin.com/in/richmontenegro

1. Gross, Jane. “How Medicare Fails the Elderly.” The New York Times, October 15, 2011.
2. As defined in the Internal Revenue Code Section 7702B.