This is a great question. Dental insurance can benefit most people who plan to take
care of their teeth by regularly seeing a dentist. Dental plans allow you to see a dentist
routinely for check-ups and also help pay for major treatments like root canals or
crowns which can be expensive. Dental plans also have the advantage of
offering provider networks, procedure discounts, and other helpful features.
Yes. Most dentists will allow members to pay for services on a cash basis. While basic exams can be manageable to pay out of pocket, many major treatments like root canals, crowns, or bridges can run into thousands of dollars and can be difficult to pay for without other assistance.
There are many types of dental plans but a few common categories. Dental insurance plans typically consist of PPO dental plans, DHMO plans, and Indemnity dental plans. PPO plans have provider networks but generally allow members to see any dentist. DHMO plans are usually In-Network only, while Indemnity plans do not have a network and pay the same at any dental office. There are also discount dental plans that are not insurance but they give members discounts on services at In-Network dentists.
PPO dental plans are probably the most common type of dental plan because they give flexibility to members to see any dentist, while also offering the advantage of seeing In-Network dentists for greater benefits. PPO dental plans are also usually considered full coverage dental plans because they typically have benefits for routine services and exams, as well as major services like crowns and extractions.
Some DHMO plans or discount dental plans require members to use an In-Network dentist in order to receive plan benefits. But PPO dental plans and Indemnity plans allow members to also see Out of Network dentists.
It is common for some individual dental plans to have waiting periods for major services. However, there are certain plans and carriers that offer plan options with no waiting periods. Some plans with Delta Dental and Renaissance Dental offer no waiting periods for major services like crowns and root canals.
Some dental plans will have coverage for dental implants, but many individual plans do not offer benefits for implants. So it’s important to check plan details to make sure coverage is offered if you need implants. Renaissance Dental plans do offer coverage for dental implants.
Dental insurance is different than health insurance. Dental insurance plans typically have annual benefit maximums ranging from $1000-$3000 per member per year. Health insurance plans usually have unlimited maximums though with a much higher monthly cost. In a way, dental plans are designed to help offset the cost of care, while medical plans generally cover a greater portion of costs.
Most dental plans have benefits that allow members to visit the dentist every 6 months. Though some major treatments require multiple visits after the regular exam which is allowed by most plans.
The group policy your employer provides may be affordable and easy to enroll in
without a medical exam. However, group policies may only pay an amount equal to one
or two years’ salary, or a similarly limited amount. That may not be enough to cover
your family’s needs (mortgage payments, education costs, living expenses) if you pass.
Also, you may not be able to take it with you if you change jobs. Having a personal
policy to supplement your employer-provided policy makes sense to ensure coverage
during all the ups and downs in your life.
Premium rates for term policies are typically lower than those for permanent ones (if applying for the same coverage), but there are tradeoffs. For one, premiums on term policies typically go up substantially at the end of the initial term – usually 10, 20 or 30 years. And, if you stop paying premiums for any reason, you are no longer eligible to receive death proceeds and your family’s financial future could be at risk. Term policies are good for financial obligations that end, like a home mortgage or education costs.
On the other hand, permanent policies (aka Whole Life policies) are good for retirement planning, income replacement, and ongoing financial obligations like caring for a family member with a disability. Permanent policies can accrue cash value and stay in force as long as you pay the premium. They may require a medical exam but usually have fixed premiums that won’t go up even if your health takes a turn for the worse. It’s an important decision to make and an important question to discuss with your agent.
If you’ll need to replace your income for your loved ones if you were to die, you may be counting on Social Security to cover some of the burden. The reality is that, in most situations, Social Security benefits are only paid out if a surviving spouse is over 60 years old or has children under the age of 18. If that doesn’t describe your situation, you should consider life insurance to help make up the difference.
Most life insurance policies have a variety of optional benefits, called riders, which may be available for an additional cost.
- Disability riders may cover paying your policy premiums while you’re disabled and may supplement your lost income.
- An accelerated death benefit rider lets you collect a portion of the policy’s death benefit if you become terminally ill with a short life expectancy, such as one year.
- A critical illness rider pays a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses specified in the insurance policy, such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and others. Instead of reimbursing you for medical expenses, the way health insurance does, a critical illness rider provides money to use for any purpose during the course of treatment.
Every insurer has their own selection of riders, so be sure to ask what’s available with your policy.
It depends on whether you have a term or permanent insurance. With term life coverage, your premiums start out lower than comparable permanent coverage and stay fixed for the initial term. If you choose to keep your policy in force past the initial term, the premiums will likely go up. With permanent life insurance coverage, though, as long as you don’t let your policy lapse, your premiums are guaranteed not to increase for the rest of the owner’s life.
Maybe not. Many companies now offer no-medical-exam life insurance policies for qualified applicants. You answer a few medical questions during a simplified application process and the application may be reviewed in less than 24 hours. The older you are, the more health issues you have, or the higher the face value of your policy, the more likely you are to be subject to a medical exam.
This is an important question because life insurance has no standard policy. Policy terms, prices, and exclusions may vary widely by company. But in general, insurance companies are in the business of offering coverage to as many customers as possible, not turning business away. Many activities such as scuba diving and mountain climbing that might have been excluded in the past are often accepted for an additional premium. Even people who have some chronic illnesses may find coverage if they’re willing to pay more. Most companies have a suicide exclusion, though, for the first year or two the policy is in force.
Short answer: by buying now. No matter how old you are, you will never be younger than you are today. Age can be a significant factor in determining premiums. Many multi-line insurers offer special rates on either the life policy or the home or auto policy when you bundle your policies with one company, so ask if the company offers any incentives. Paying premiums annually can also save money on the fees often associated with monthly installments. Lastly, on certain products, going paperless on your payment modes may help you save, if you chose to pay with a bank check plan.
There are many types of car insurance coverage; however, while most are optional, certain coverages are generally required by law.
Most states require drivers to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage, which pays for injuries and property damage that you cause to others in an accident. It does not cover your own injuries or property damage.
If you live in a state with no-fault laws, you may also be required to purchase personal injury protection (no-fault) coverage. This coverage allows you to file a claim with your own insurer to pay for your medical costs associated with an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may also be required by your state, but is typically optional.
Other optional coverages include (but are not limited to):
- Collision coverage.
- Comprehensive coverage.
- Towing and labor coverage.
- Rental reimbursement coverage.
The required coverage varies by state. Most states require at least a minimum amount of liability insurance, while some states, such as Massachusetts, also require a minimum amount of personal injury protection coverage (also referred to as “PIP insurance”).
Each state sets its own level for minimum coverage for various portions of insurance.
In California, for example, these are the minimum coverage amounts for liability insurance.
$15,000 for accident-related injury or death to one person.
$30,000 for accident-related injury or death to multiple people.
$5,000 for accident-related property damage.
You must carry the minimum car insurance coverage limits required by law, which varies by state.
After you have met the minimum legal requirements, you can choose to increase your coverage limits for greater reimbursement potential.
For additional protection, you can also choose to add additional car insurance coverage, such as comp and collision, uninsured motorist, towing and labor, etc.
The answer depends on who is at fault and what coverage you have.
If you are not at fault, the other party’s liability coverage is responsible for paying your medical bills after an accident UNLESS you live in a no-fault state.
If you are at fault, but you live in a no-fault state, your personal injury protection coverage will cover your medical bills after meeting your deductible.
If you’re hit by a driver with no or insufficient insurance, uninsured motorist coverage can step in.
Medical payments coverage can also be used to pay your medical bills after an accident, regardless of fault.
Another source of payment for your medical bills is your medical insurance coverage, which you can use in combination with your car insurance coverage if you need to.
Generally, comprehensive insurance coverage will pay for non-accident-related vehicle damages. Comprehensive coverage will usually pay for costs from:
- Weather damage
- Fire damage
- Animal collisions
It depends. If you’ve elected to purchase towing and labor coverage, often called “emergency road service coverage,” you’ll be covered for items such as:
- Tire changes
- Locksmith services
- Roadside labor
Typically, you’ll only be covered for the cost of a rental if you’ve purchased rental reimbursement coverage.
NOTE: Your insurance company may require that you have comprehensive and collision insurance coverage in order to purchase this type of coverage.
If you hit one of your own cars while driving another of your cars, liability insurance will not cover you; it only covers damages to any party in an accident you cause.
However, collision coverage will pay for those damages to your vehicle if you’ve elected to purchase it.
Generally, yes. However, in most cases your friend’s insurance would be the primary coverage, meaning you’d only access your own coverage in the event that the limits of his policy were met.
Any licensed drivers in your household are generally covered to drive your car, as well as anyone else who has permission to use your vehicle.
NOTE: If you exclude someone from your policy, they are NOT covered when driving your car, meaning you could be responsible for all damages if they do take your car out and get into an accident.
It might. Minimum requirements vary by states, so you may need to adjust your car insurance coverages and limits. Also, your auto insurance company may not offer service in your new state, so you might have to switch providers.
Speak with your current insurance company if you are planning to move so you make the right adjustments.
It depends on which country you’re visiting. Your car insurance usually covers you to drive in Canada; however, if you’re driving in Mexico or other countries, you may need to purchase international auto insurance.
Talk your current company before planning your trip if you wish to drive while away.
You should think about whether you have the right car insurance coverages for you whenever you have a major life change, such as when you buy a home, get married, or have a child. A life change can have a major effect on which coverages provide the right protection for you.
Also, it can make sense to get quotes and compare prices periodically. Many consumers stick with their insurance company out of convenience. Switching providers may save you significant amounts of money.