Understanding the value of supplemental insurance - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

Understanding the value of supplemental insurance

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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 2:49 pm | Updated: 2:43 pm, Thu Oct 4, 2012.

Your ability to earn an income is your greatest asset. Yet most people are more likely to insure their home and car before their income. Could you continue to pay your bills and take care of your family if you were unable to work for any length of time due to illness or an injury?

Statistics published by The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey in 2003 noted an estimated 77 million, or 37 percent of adults ages 19 and over, have accumulated medical debt or had difficulty paying medical bills in the past year, even though 62 percent of those respondents had medical insurance. Supplemental insurance products are designed to cover the gaps that your regular health insurance may have or cover non-medical expenses that your primary insurance doesn’t cover, such as lost income and living expenses.

Supplemental insurance generally pays a cash benefit directly to you. You choose how to use this money based on your needs — to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses such as medical insurance deductibles and co-payments, groceries, child care, rent or mortgage, etc. ... it’s totally up to you.

The Internet can be a great place to start gathering information about the supplemental insurance products available and their cost. However, utilizing a web-based insurance brokerage website to make a final purchasing decision often leads to lower customer satisfaction.

According to a 2009 survey by Beall Research & Training, Inc., 62 percent of respondents bought their insurance through an agent and were significantly more satisfied than those who purchased online when asked how easy it was to understand their options and to choose a plan that gave them the best coverage tailored to their needs.

There are many components to financial security but income is the most important of all. Whether your goal is maximum income protection, safeguarding specific expenses (such as your mortgage), or budget-based coverage — a knowledgeable, licensed agent can explain the options and work with you to select a plan that fits your needs and budget.

• Local licensed insurance agent David Townsend Terry can be reached at (480) 239-0451 or dterry@insphereis.com.

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