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Should Your Business Consider Disability Insurance?

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Jul 14, 2015

Is disability insurance right for your company? Tips on selecting health disability insurance. Serving Philadelphia, Lancaster, Reading, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Bill is 50-year-old department manager for a mid-sized manufacturer. Even though he has never been seriously ill and has a clean family health history, he was recently told that he has cancer.

While the treatment will be long and difficult, Bill can take comfort in knowing that his employer-sponsored health insurance will pay most of his hospital and physician costs.

But Bill is about to be blindsided for a second time when he realizes that he will have no income to help support his family as he recovers from the difficult medical treatments.

Disability Insurance Myths - An Employee’s Perspective

During the working years, an employee is over three times more likely to be disabled than to die. At Bill’s age, the odds are still 1.8 to 1 in favor of a disability. In fact, thanks to advances in medical treatments over the last twenty years, deaths from the major illnesses (cancer, stroke, and heart disease) are down nearly one third, while disabilities from these same diseases are up by over 50%!

Yet Bill, like many workers, is only protected against the lesser risk.

Based on these statistics, you would think that every employee would ensure that he has disability insurance coverage. Unfortunately, many of today’s workers do not see the necessity for this insurance because, like Bill, they have been lulled into a false sense of security by a lifetime‘s worth of good health or the naive belief that unforeseen illnesses and accidents happen only to the unlucky few.

Disability Insurance Considerations From an Employer’s Perspective

Unlike the readily understandable benefits like paid vacation or health and dental insurance, disability income insurance can be more difficult to use as an incentive for workers to remain loyal, yet in time of need it will be the most appreciated part of the benefit package. Workers of all ages (yes, even those young employees who believe they are invincible) need protection from those surprises that can neither be predicted nor prevented. Disability Insurance is a benefit that a caring employer can provide, even if it is never needed, and it will engender a sense of loyalty when it is established with a thorough explanation.

2 Types of Disability Insurance

There are two basic types of disability insurance: short term (STD) and long term (LTD), neither of which should put an undo strain on a company’s budget. Employers have the option of adjusting the waiting period (the interval from the injury or illness to the start of payments) and the benefit period (the maximum amount of time for which the worker will receive payments).

In the case of STD the waiting period is generally up to two weeks, while the benefit period can be as little as thirteen weeks or as much as two years. With LTD the waiting period ranges from six months to two years, and the benefit period would last from a few years to a lifetime.

Employers also have the flexibility to require employees to contribute a portion of the premium, or they may choose to pay the entire amount themselves. There are a variety of paths that an employer can take to establishing a plan that fits the company’s budget and, at the same time, addresses the potential needs of the workers.

Disability Insurance - Putting it all Together

There is little doubt that disability insurance has advantages for both your employees and your company. Consider these:

  • Group rates are lower than individual rates and, with the option of employee contributions, a plan can be established at a reasonable cost
  • There are no medical exams, so all of your employees are automatically covered regardless of medical history
  • Those valued employees who become temporarily disabled return to the company with a sense of loyalty and gratitude
  • Waiting and benefit periods can be adjusted, which gives your business flexibility in designing a plan
  • Hiring managers can use this benefit as a recruiting tool for inducing new talent to the company

Get help finding the right disability insurance for your company. Contact us today.Get the Right Disability Insurance Coverage

To learn more about your disability insurance options, give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or click here to contact us. We offer health and disability insurance protection from multiple competing insurance providers, so unlike single-brand companies, we're free to shop around to find the best deal on quality insurance protection. Contact us today to get started.

Tags: Health Insurance Reading PA, Health Insurance Allentown, Health Insurance Harrisburg, Disability Insurance, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Berks County, Health Insurance Philadelphia, Health Insurance Lancaster, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance

4 Kinds of Business Insurance Employers Must Have

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Apr 30, 2015

4 types of business insurance for employersYou’re about to become an employer.  Maybe you’ve been in business for a while, but now you’re ready to hire your first employee.  You’re excited; this means your business is growing.  Or, maybe you’re just starting a business and you need employees to help run that business. 

Either way, being an employer comes with many responsibilities, including ensuring that you purchase the right business insurance.  You may be asking yourself, “What insurance is required by law and what is optional?  What’s in the best interest of both my business and my employees?” 

There are four primary types of insurance every employer should take a look at – Workers Compensation Insurance, Unemployment Insurance Tax, Disability Insurance, and Health Insurance.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers Compensation Insurance coverage ensures medical and wage-loss benefits to employees who are injured on the job. Plus, it helps protect employers against lawsuits filed by injured workers. Worker’s Comp insurance requirements vary by state.  In Pennsylvania, if you employ one or more employees - whether they’re part-time or full-time (including family members) workers’ compensation insurance coverage is mandatory.

If you are a sole proprietor, Workers' compensation insurance is not required by law, which can save you money; however, if you’re ever injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance can help pay medical bills and supplement lost wages until you’re able to go back to work.

Click here for information about workers compensation insurance requirements in other states.

Unemployment Insurance Tax

Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a joint state and federal program financed through federal and state employer payroll taxes. It provides temporary payments to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own.  Each state has its own unemployment insurance program, which includes additional eligibility requirements, but they all follow guidelines established by the federal government.

Most employers must pay federal employer payroll taxes if they pay employee wages of $1,500, or more, in a quarter or if they have at least one employee during 20 weeks in a calendar year.  Most employers are also required to pay state unemployment taxes. In Pennsylvania, all employers providing employment to one or more workers must register Form PA-100 with the Office of UC Tax Services.

Employment that is not covered under the UC law includes the following:

  • An individual employed by his or her son, daughter or spouse
  • A child under the age of 18 who is employed by his or her parent
  • A student in the employ of an organized camp that did not operate more than seven months in the preceding calendar year

Disability Insurance

Some states require that employers provide partial wage replacement insurance coverage to their eligible employees for non-work related sickness or injury. Currently, if your employees are located in any of the following states, you are required to purchase disability insurance:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island

In Pennsylvania, there are two types of disability insurance available if you decide to purchase it for your employees: short-term and long-term.

Again, if you are a sole proprietor, Disability Insurance is not required in Pennsylvania; however, if your family relies on your income, you may want to consider disability insurance for yourself to help pay medical bills and supplement lost wages if you become sick or injured.

Health Insurance

If you have more than 50 employees you are required to provide health insurance benefits to your full-time employees.  If you have more than 50 employees and don’t offer health benefits, you may be subject to a penalty call the shared responsibility payment.  96% of employers in Pennsylvania are exempt from the shared responsibility requirement. 

Learn more about all your business insurance needs and options. We serve Reading, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg, Lebanon, York, Pottstown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond with high quality commercial business insurance.Contact Us for All Your Business Insurance Needs

If you’re an employer, contact American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 for more information about required and recommended business insurance, including health insurance, disability insurance, workers compensation insurance, or any other insurance your business may need. We've been helping businesses like yours acquire affordable, high-quality insurance for over 25 years.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, workers comp, workers comp insurance, Disability Insurance, Health Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County

Managed Health Care Insurance & Workers Comp Insurance Savings

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Nov 11, 2014

The Birth of Managed Care for Controlling Health Insurance Costs

Health Insurance and Worker's Compensation Insurance for Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Reading, Pittsburgh, Erie, the Lehigh Valley and beyond.Managed health care started to become commonplace in the US after the enactment of the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, which was created in an attempt to control health care medical insurance costs by stimulating greater competition within health care markets.  It marked a significant shift in the US health care industry by introducing the concept of for-profit health care to an industry that was traditionally not-for-profit. 

Many believe that managed care helped control medical cost inflation in the late 1980s.  On the other hand, many believe that these cost-control efforts also caused the health care industry to become more interested in saving money than in providing quality health care.  Whatever you believe, the fact is that managed health care has become ubiquitous in the US, with 90 percent of insured Americans enrolled in plans with some form of managed care, according to America's Health Insurance Plans.

So What is Managed Health Care?

Managed health care plans are a type of health insurance. Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) establish contracts with doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers such as pharmacies, labs, x-ray centers, and medical equipment vendors at a reduced cost.  These health care providers and medical facilities are known as the plan’s “network.”  Managed care health insurance plans typically cover a wide range of health services – from preventative care to diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. 

There are Two Basic Types of Managed Care Health Insurance Plans:

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) – HMOs require you to use their "network" of hospitals and doctors only. Coverage is usually broader, with less out-of-pocket expense, but is more restrictive than a PPO. "Out of network" medical expenses are not covered under an HMO medical insurance plan.
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) – PPOs give you an incentive to use their "in network" hospitals and doctors. You can choose to go "out of network," which gives you freedom of choice, but usually with a higher deductible and co-insurance out-of-pocket expense than other forms of medical insurance.


Health Insurance and Worker’s Compensation Insurance Objectives

General health insurance and worker’s compensation have two slightly different objectives.

Health insurance (including managed health care) is "coverage that provides for the payments of benefits as a result of sickness or injury,” according to the Health Insurance Association of America.  It provides coverage for medications, visits to the doctor or emergency room, hospital stays and other medical expenses. 

Worker’s Compensation Insurance covers employees for work-related injuries, including not only medical expenses, but also lost wages incurred due to a work-related accident or injury.  Keep in mind that while Worker’s Compensation only accounts for about three percent of a company’s total health care costs (about $111 billion), more than half of that $111 billion is paid in lost wages.  Therefore, in addition to providing health care for employees, another objective of Worker’s Compensation Insurance is to get employee’s back to work.

How Can Managed Care Help Reduce Workers Compensation Insuance Costs?

By using some of the techniques used in managed care, companies can provide quality medical services to injured workers and get employee’s back to work. 

Some of these techniques include:

  • Medical Case Management
  • Provider Network
  • Precertification
  • Record Analysis
  • Utilization Review
  • Fee Schedule Compliance
  • Independent Medical Evaluations

Managed Care Worker's Comp Insurance Savings Example

John is an employee for XYZ Manufacturing.  His normal job is lifting 50-lb bags onto a truck.  One day, while he’s lifting one of those bags, he twists his back, which causes a lower back injury.  The physician advises John not to lift anything over 20 pounds.  Using managed care techniques, John could go back to work on light duty rather than missing work completely, saving XYZ Manufacturing the cost of lost wages for John.

How to Save on Quality Health & Worker's Compensation Insurance

Save on Workers Comp Insurance and Health Insurance with American Insuring Group. We provide high quality, affordable Workers Compensation Insurance and Health Insurance for businesses in Allentown, Reading, Philadelphia, Hanover, York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, the Lehigh Valley, Erie, PA and points in between.For more information about MCOs and Worker’s Compensation Insurance and to find the right insurance for your business, please contact American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848. 

We have been supplying affordable, high-quality worker's compensation insurance and health insurance for over 25 years. And, as a Trusted Choice independent insurance agent we specialize in offering multiple insurance offerings from competing insurance brands. We'll help you get the right coverage at the the right price. Call today.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Disability Insurance, Health Insurance, Accident Insurance, Managed Care Insurance, Commercial Insurance

A Simple Way to Cut Workers’ Compensation Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Jul 30, 2014

Employers who provided voluntary accident insurance saw a decrease in claims according to one study. Learn more.Workers’ Compensation claims cost American employers $77.1 billion in 2011. Traditionally, one of the only ways for employers to decrease workers’ compensation costs was to offer proactive safety measures to reduce the number of claims.  This is still an important practice, but for years, many insurance agents have suspected that an employer offering voluntary accident or disability insurance will see a decrease in the frequency and expense of workers’ compensation claims.   

Accident Insurance - Survey Says…

A survey conducted in November 2013 by Lieberman Research Worldwide has confirmed those suspicions.  The survey of 600 U.S. Employers found that more than 42% of all businesses offering their employees access to voluntary accident insurance noted a decline in their workers’ compensation claims.  The survey found that 55 percent of large companies and 34 percent of small and medium sized companies reported declines.  The results were nearly identical for those employers offering voluntary disability insurance.


What are Accident and Disability Insurance?

Accident insurance helps pay out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered by major medical insurance.  These expenses can add up quickly after an accidental injury.  The money can be used for medical expenses, such as medical examinations, or it can be used for other expenses, such as transportation. 

Disability insurance helps protect an employee’s paycheck in the event of an accident.  Those benefits can be used for any purpose, including rent, food, or car payments – living expenses that continue to come even when the paycheck doesn’t. 


Interested in Reducing Workers Compensation Claims?

This same survey found that 58 percent of employers do not currently offer voluntary accident insurance and 50 percent do not offer voluntary disability insurance. 

Contact us to learn more about obtaining the right accident insurance policy for your employees. Serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Erie, Pittsburgh, Lehigh Valley and beyond.If you’re interested in offering your employees a more comprehensive benefits package and possibly reducing the frequency and expense of workers’ compensation claims, contact American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to learn more.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Disability Insurance, Accident Insurance

Think You Don’t Need Disability Insurance? Think Again!

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Jul 15, 2014

Only 44% of people have long term disability insurance protection. Get covered - call us today. We offer disability insurance for businesses and individuals in Reading, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Allentown, York, Harrisburg, PA and beyond.Let's Get Honest About Disability Insurance

Ah, disability insurance. You’ve probably heard that you’re supposed to have enough savings to pay your living expenses for six months.  Can you honestly say you have that much saved?   According to a 2013 Bankrate survey, less than one in four Americans do.  Approximately three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings. 

So, what happens if those paychecks stop coming in due to an injury or an illness that prevents you from working? 

This is where disability insurance kicks in – it helps protect your paycheck. If you can’t work due to an injury or illness, disability insurance will pay a portion of your salary until you can return to work.  This can be a life-saver (or at least a "financial life" saver!).  So, why is it that only 49 percent of U.S. workers have short-term disability insurance and only 44 percent have long-term disability insurance? 

Here are the three misguided reasons why many individuals believe they don’t need disability insurance:

MISGUIDED REASON #1: I’m young and healthy.  Disability insurance is for older people.

THE TRUTH: The Social Security Administration estimates that the average 20-year-old worker faces a 3 in 10 chance of being disabled at some point before they retire.

MISGUIDED REASON #2: The government will take care of me.

THE TRUTH:  Most long-term disabilities are a result of an injury or illness that is not work-related, which means it wouldn’t be covered by Workers’ Compensation. If you’re relying on Social Security disability benefits, you should know the average monthly payment is just $1,100, which is lower than the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) poverty level for a family of two.

MISGUIDED REASON #3: My employer will take care of me.

THE TRUTH: According to the US Department of Labor, seventy percent of private employers don’t offer long-term disability insurance. 


The Bottom Line on Disability Insurance

Contact us to learn more about obtaining the proper disability insurance coverage to protect you and your family. We offer disability insurance from competing insurance companies to customers near Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Lehigh Valley, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.The average long-term disability claim is 34.6 months (just shy of 3 years!).  If you rely on your paycheck (and who doesn't?) you should have disability insurance. 

American Insuring Group can help you determine if you have enough disability insurance coverage or if you need an individual disability insurance policy to fill any gaps in the event of an injury or illness.  Contact us at (800) 947-1270 or (610)775-3848.

Tags: Health Insurance Reading PA, Health Insurance Allentown, Health Insurance Harrisburg, Disability Insurance, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Berks County, Health Insurance Philadelphia, Health Insurance Lancaster

How Life Insurance Can Help Field Life’s Curveballs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jun 21, 2014

Life Insurance For Lifes CurveballsMost people don’t want to think about life insurance; it’s something they pay for and hope they never use. But, let’s face it - you just never know when life is going to throw you a curveball.  It’s what makes life so incredibly exciting sometimes and so very scary at other times. 

Insurance can help you and your family field many of life’s curveballs, but too many people don’t think about insurance until it’s too late.   Here are three curveballs that the right insurance can help you and your family handle.

Early Death

Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We are all going to die; fortunately, the odds of dying at a young age are pretty slim.  In fact, the odds of a 25-year-old American dying is about 1 in 3,000; for a 33-year-old, it’s 1 in 1,500; and for a 42-year-old, it’s 1 in 750.  Comforting, right?

What if you have the misfortune of being one of the “1 in”?  If you haven’t planned for this curveball, the financial consequences can be devastating to those you leave behind.  Younger individuals often have additional debt, such as student loans and mortgages.  Many have young children who still have a lifetime of expenses ahead of them.  Life insurance can financially protect your loved ones. 

Long Life

On the flip side of an early death, is living well into your 90’s or 100’s.  Medical advances are allowing people to live longer, healthier lives.  According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration:

  • A man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84.
  • A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86.

And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95. Traditionally, most people expected about 15 years of retirement.  Today, it can be 20, 30, or even longer.   This is awesome, right? 

Absolutely - if you’ve prepared for this particular curveball.   A permanent life insurance policy can provide much-needed funds to help supplement your retirement income.  You can also get a long-term care rider on permanent life insurance that can help cover long-term care costs.

Becoming Disabled

Your chances of becoming disabled are probably higher than you think.  According to the Council for Disability awareness:

  • Just over 1 in 4 of today's 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.
  • One in eight workers will be disabled for five years or more during their working careers.

Are you prepared this curveball? Probably not.

•       The average group long-term disability claim lasts 34.6 months.

•       5% of working Americans say they could not cover normal living expenses even for a year if their employment income was lost; 38% could not pay their bills for more than 3 months.

The Case for Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is important to help you make ends meet until you’re able to go back to work.  Plus, many life insurance policies allow you to add a disability waiver to cover certain expenses if you become disabled, and some permanent life insurance policies have a premium waiver in the event you become disabled.

Contact us for help in obtaining the right life insurance or disability insurance to help handle life's curveballs.Insurance Protection for Those Curveballs!

American Insuring Group can help protect you and your family from life’s unexpected curveballs.  Contact us by email or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

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Business Insurance to Attract Employees and Protect Your Business

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Nov 14, 2013

Business Insurance that Attracts & Retains Employees

Business insurance to attract and retain employees and to protect your business, from key person insurance to insurance for better employee benefits. Available from American Insuring Group, serving Reading, PA, Allentown, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Erie, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond for over 25 years.Great employees can be the fuel to move your business ahead of the competition. Dedicated employees add more and more value over time as they gain increased knowledge and experience. While everyone likes a company that offers great benefits, the best employees and job candidates are likely to view the quality of the benefits you offer as a compelling reason to join, remain at, or leave your firm.

With today's cost of purchasing individual insurance, employees are likely to view well-designed employer insurance packages as a deciding factor in selecting one company over another. Furthermore, strong benefits packages help retain your best employees, reducing the high cost of employee turnover.

Designing an Attractive Employee Benefits Package

That's why smart business owners create attractive employee benefits packages that not only include health insurance, but often life insurance, extended disability insurance, dental insurance, and generous retirement plans, among other options. Executive compensation packages may also include deferred compensation plans and higher levels of insurance coverage to retain your best talent. It pays to be well informed on the range of insurance options available to your business.  Your independent insurance agent can be a key resource to help you craft an employee benefits package that attracts better employees at a price you can afford.


Commercial Insurance to Protect Your Business in Ways You May Not Have Considered

General liability insurance, property insurance, vehicle insurance, and workers' compensation insurance form the foundation of your business insurance protection. However, there are other types or subcategories of commercial insurance to consider. Among these are key person insurance, individual insurance, and insurance-backed buy-sell agreements.

Key Person Insurance: Thinking Beyond Job Titles Alone

Key person insurance, also known as key man insurance, is designed to reimburse you for the loss of sales or earnings due to losing an executive, business partner, or other key employee due to disability or death. When considering key person insurance, think beyond titles and identify those employees in your organization who, if unavailable, would dramatically impact your sales or the continuity of your business operations.

These may include high-performing sales reps and customer service personnel, as well as employees with deep technical knowledge of your industry or complex internal processes. Such people may be very difficult to replace with someone of similar knowledge or talent, resulting in reduced productivity or lost sales revenues for your firm for years to come. Your independent insurance agent can help you put together a smart key person insurance package to protect your business financially from the impact of losing a key employee. 

Backing Buy-Sell Agreements with Business Insurance Protection

In the excitement of starting a new business with your business partner, business owners often overlook the need to work out all the details of a buy-sell agreement that comes into effect as a result of the loss of the other business partner due to retirement, death, or disability. While an attorney may be invaluable in putting together such agreements, don't neglect the need to obtain the proper life insurance on each partner to carry the remaining partner through the transition period and to keep the business financially healthy. The insurance coverage should be sufficient to buy out the departing partner's share of the business due to any of the circumstances mentioned above.

Life Insurance for Business Owners: Obtaining the Right Amount of Coverage

Business owners should carefully determine the amount of personal life insurance protection needed. Unlike employees, owners often have significant personal assets tied up in the business, such as a second mortgage that may have been used to finance the business. If the surviving family members' income drops significantly due to the death of the business owner, the results can be disastrous not only for the family, but for employees as well, even if significant personal loans and assets have not been invested in the business.

Low levels of life insurance may threaten not only the entire business, but also the careers of all employees by potentially forcing the surviving family members to liquidate or sell the business to pay the personal debts of the deceased business owner, or simply to provide the income needed to keep up with day-to-day financial obligations.

We Can Help with All Your Business Insurance Needs

We can help you make sense of your many business insurance options, from key person insurance, to life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, dental insurance, and other forms of personal and commercial insurance to protect your business, and to attract and retain employees. We serve businesses in Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, State College, Pittsburgh, Erie and points in between and beyond. 

Contact us

(800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 

Take the challenge - get a quote. We offer the best insurance protection at the best price.

Take the challenge. Get a business insurance quote.

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5 Common Sense Ways to Reduce Disability Insurance Claims

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Nov 02, 2013

Reduce the risk of disability insurance claims to your business by following these simple tips. Serving the disability insurance needs of businesses and individuals in Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Allentown, Erie, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and beyond.Dirty Harry Was Right About Disability Insurance

Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry character could have been speaking about disability insurance when he said those famous words, "Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya'?". Whether you are an employer looking to reduce the cost of disability insurance claims, or an individual looking for a better quality of life, it pays to work on reducing your exposure to the risk of being disabled.

The thing about the sage advice you are about to receive is that your grandmother or anyone with a gradeschool education probably could have figured this out. Nothing against grandmothers (they tend to be very wise after all), but this stuff isn't rocket science!

Let's take a look at the things employers should consider when developing employee incentives to reduce liability insurance claims, which are the same things individuals can do to become healthier and safer.

#1. Lose Weight. Do it Now. 

We may have started with the toughest item first, but getting down to a healthy weight is key to avoiding disabling diseases and accidents. Things like blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, and the risk of falling increase dramatically as our weight gets out of control. Hey, you've been wanting to do this, right? Now you have some additional motivation. Think Nike: just do it (diet and exercise, that is).

#2. Throw Out the Cigarettes. And Cigars. And oh Yeah, the Pipe Too. 

Do you like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath? Does anyone really think it's worth polluting your lungs and bloodstream by smoking? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the risks of smoking include:

  • Thicker blood that carries less oxygen
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate (can you say "heart attack"?)
  • Lowers good cholesterol, increases bad cholesterol
  • Damages blood vessel walls (hey, they only carry the essence of life!)
  • Increased inflammation leading to plaque buildup in your arteries (so you can help fund the drug companies with all that extra medicine you'll need!)

#3. Get Regular Checkups and Screenings.

Even if your fear of getting a full physical exam rivals your fear of death or cliff diving, you really must get a checkup at regular intervals to do your part to avoid a disability claim. Unlike fine wine, physical problems and diseases do not get better with time. Get your checkup and you have a good chance of nipping that problem in the bud. If you have a family history of cancer or other diseases, get a screening as often as your doctor recommends.

#4. Drink Responsibly or Not at All. Wear Seatbelts.

There are plenty of articles written about the benefits of red wine and other types of alcohol when consumed in moderation. That goes out the window when drinking becomes excessive. WebMD lists 12 risks of chronic heavy drinking. It's not pretty, and it's not worth it. And when you drink excessively and drive you can go beyond disability insurance claims all the way to life insurance claims.

#5. Take Care of Yourself. Avoid the Key Causes of Disability Insurance Claims.

WebMD lists arthritis, back pain, heart disease, cancer, depression, and diabetes as leading causes of disability insurance claims. Work on anything that reduces your risk of these, and you are moving in the right direction. In other words, take care of yourself.


Sage Advice

Whether you are a business owner or manager looking to reduce your company's exposure to disability insurance claims, or an individual looking to avoid using your disability insurance, following these common sense tips makes for a better life and a more productive company.


Get the Right Disability Insurance Protection

Need help in selecting the right disability insurance to reduce costs while improving protection? We're an independent agency who can select the best insurance solution for your unique needs. Our independence allows us to research multiple insurance companies to find the best insurance policy. We work for you, not for any insurance company.
Contact us today to learn more.
Affordable disability insurance for business and individuals. We're located near Reading, PA in Berks County, and serve the surrounding areas of Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, State College, Allentown, Pittsburgh, and Erie, Pennsylvania and beyond. Contact us today.

Tags: Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, Disability Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance York PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County

4 Top Reasons for Using an Independent Insurance Agent

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 05, 2013
Your Trusted Choice independent insurance agent serving Berks County, Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, Bethlehem, Pittsburgh, Erie, Pennsylvania and beyond

Considering the millions of dollars spent daily on TV commercials for single-brand insurance offerings, you would think that the independent insurance agent is a thing of the past. It's tough to go an hour on TV without seeing at least one commercial for AllState, Nationwide, GEICO, State Farm, or other single brand ("captive") insurance solution. That's because with few exceptions, only the big brands can afford to run national TV ads.

Bigger May Not be Better When it Comes to Insurance

Most people realize that big budget advertising does not necessarily equate with the best solution for all kinds of things in life. That's why, for example, many people avoid the pay-per-click ads found on search engines and instead click on the unpaid search results: they seek a high-quality answer to their search instead of one paid for by the competitor with the deepest pockets. In plain English, they don't want to be "spun" by the marketing machines behind the ads.

Let's apply the same thinking to an independent insurance agent vs. the mega-brands. Here are 4 reasons why an independent agent is likely to provide a superior personal or business insurance solution to satisfy your needs.

#1. Your Needs are Unique and Your Insurance Policy Should Fully Meet Your Needs

Insurance is complicated. It is difficult, if not impossible, for those outside the insurance industry to understand all the insurance options for meeting their needs. Only an independent insurance agent understands the pros and cons of each insurance company and their policy offerings as it pertains to protecting you against your unique combination of risks and liabilities.

#2. Independent Insurance Agents are a Valuable Advocate, and They Cost You Nothing

Your independent insurance agent will check multiple companies and insurance solutions in detail to arrive at the best combination of value, price, and insurance protection to properly and fully address your individual or business insurance needs. That can be very time-consuming, but that service typically costs you nothing.

#3. Your Independent Agent is a Single Source for All Your Insurance Needs

Insurance companies typically handle only certain types of insurance. However, your independent insurance agent handles insurance from multiple companies, thereby covering virtually any need, including business insurance, homeowners and car insurance, boat, RV, and motorcycle insurance, life and health insurance, umbrella insurance, pet and vacation insurance, workers compensation insurance, disability insurance, and virtually every kind of liability insurance to protect any type of business need. Being a single source with access to multiple insurance companies and solutions, your agent can create the best blend of policies to provide the right protection with minimal overlap and waste between and among your insurance policies.

#4. Unparalled Service

When you have an insurance question or need, your independent agent is there for you. You are not relegated to a faceless, nameless individual connected to an 800 number. Instead, you have the comfort and confidence of dealing with someone who you know, like, and trust for all your insurance needs. Think about it. Doesn't that kind of service and flexibility mean more to you than putting yourself in the hands of someone you don't know, and who offers only one solution or brand? 


We're Independent Insurance Agents, and We're Ready to Serve You

At American Insuring Group we pride ourselves in helping our customers not only save on insurance, but also in finding the right insurance protection. We'll put together a plan that will meet your needs, and we'll review your needs on a regular basis to see if it may be time to adjust your insurance to meet your changing needs, or to take advantage of better pricing that may become available as your needs change. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Learn more. Contact American Insuring Group today to learn about your options for business insurance, personal insurance, health and life insurance, car and house insurance, commercial liability insurance and more.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Business Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance Berks, Business Insurance Philadelphia Pa, Business Insurance Lancaster Pa, Business Insurance Harrisburg Pa, Business Insurance York Pa, Motorcycle Insurance, House Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Disability Insurance, Umbrella Insurance, Health Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance Allentown PA, Business Insurance, Life Insurance

Disability Insurance: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

Posted by David Ross on Tue, May 28, 2013

Are you rolling the dice on disability insurance? Get the facts and get protected. Contact us for help. Serving Reading PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lancaster, and beyond.According to a May 2013 report by the non-profit Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), there is a sharp mismatch between the high value employees place on their ability to earn a living vs. their financial preparedness to handle a disability that would threaten their income as evidenced by having adequate levels of disability insurance.

Most are Ignorant of the Real Need for Disability Insurance

The report titled “Disability Divide: Employer Study” is based on a 2012 survey of over 500 human resources professionals. The key findings, as reported by the Insurance Word Blog, are as follows: 

    • ¾ of HR professionals surveyed said employees viewed their income-earning ability as their most valuable financial resource, ahead of medical insurance, their homes, and retirement savings. However, only ¼ said employees considered it “very important” to prepare for potential disability, and a similar portion felt their employees were prepared to handle the financial hardships of the loss of income due to illness or injury.
    • A prior CDA survey of over 1,000 wage earners yielded similar results, with most respondents stating they are most likely to agree with the statement, “I never really thought about” preparing for a potential disability.
    • The HR experts surveyed generally felt that employees should begin planning for disability early in their careers even though most don’t begin until age 40 or older, if ever. According to statistics, approximately 100 million members of the US civilian workforce have no private disability insurance.
    • Most of the HR experts as well as the wage earners dramatically underestimated the likelihood of incurring a disability during their careers.


Surprising Disability Insurance Statistics

The post goes on to quote some surprising statistics from the CDA’s Personal Disability Quotient calculator:

    • An average 35-year old male office worker who is a non-smoker and has no health history issues has a 13% risk of incurring a long-term disability prior to retirement.

    • For women with the same profile the risk is higher: 18% or nearly 1 in 5. Those surveyed had estimated their risk at only 1-2%.
    • The 35-year olds noted above, if earning an average of $50,000 per year, are likely to earn approximately $2.4 million on average by the end of their careers.

    • Clearly, the contrast between the risk of losing millions in income and the lack of disability insurance is striking!


Key Takeaways

Americans are much less protected against income loss than in the past due to several factors, including:

    • The relative lack of solid pension plans
    • Much lower savings rates
    • Home mortgages with higher balances
    • Rising college education costs
    • Given the poor economy, the much greater likelihood of the need to continue to support children beyond their college years

What to do About Disability Insurance

Given these facts, the only wise course of action is to acquire the proper level of disability insurance to cover the gap between your current savings and the funding that would be needed to cover your financial needs during a long-term disability. If you are a business owner, the risks of inadequate disability insurance may be even greater due to the financial consequences of being unable to work.

We’re Here to Help if Needed

If you have questions on how to determine the right level of disability insurance you need to protect both you and your loved ones, then please contact us at 610-947-1270, or Contact Us online.

Tags: Health Insurance Reading PA, Health Insurance Allentown, Health Insurance Harrisburg, Small Business Insurance, Disability Insurance, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Berks County, Health Insurance Philadelphia, Health Insurance Lancaster