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Nobody wants to think about worst-case scenarios, but in times like this, it’s hard not to. We put together a list of steps you can take today to better protect you and your family.
Leave your family $1 million in life insurance in case something happens
Life insurance provides a tax-free lump sum to your loved ones in the case of your death. It allows them to pay rent or a mortgage, put food on the table, and send your kids to college. And it may not be quite as expensive as you think. Depending on your age and health, you may be able to get up to $1 million in coverage for less than $10 a month.
Bestow, a new company in the life insurance space, offers term insurance — meaning it’s for a set period of time. You can get a quote from your couch and get covered fast, without salespeople or medical exams.
Founded in 2016, Bestow’s insurance policies are issued by North American for Life and Health Insurance®, a company that has been around for more than 100 years and has an A+ from AM Best, a top financial strength rating from this prestigious firm (i.e. they think the company is in really good shape).
You’re spending a lot of time at home during this pandemic. Make sure you have the right homeowners insurance coverage.
If the last time you looked at your homeowners insurance policy was over a year ago, you’re probably overpaying. Yeah, it doesn’t exactly make for a thrilling read, but this may be a good time to ensure you have the coverage you need and are paying a fair price.
Insurance companies know that people don’t like to shop the market for lower rates. In fact, they count on it, which is why these companies are more than happy to raise your price every single year.
Young Alfred is part of a new crop of insurance startups that can do the heavy lifting for you. As an independent agency, they’re authorized to quote and sell insurance for dozens of different insurance companies.
“For most households, we can save them an additional 20-25% by bundling their home insurance with their car insurance. So I always recommend that our users at least check to see if that’s the case,” says Evan Pearson, Licensed Insurance Agent at Young Alfred.
Already happy with your rate? Get a free consultation to make sure you have all the proper coverages.
Gain some peace of mind with a home security system
Data shows that crime increases during periods of recession, and if there’s anything that financial analysts can agree on right now, it’s that we are in a recession. With so many unknowns, one thing is certain and can give you much-needed peace of mind: home security systems deter burglars.
If you don’t have a home security system already in place, now is the time to make sure you get one. ADT has been around for over 100 years (how many companies can say that?) - and offers a white-glove service to set up your equipment via "Protect Your Home", an authorized premier provider. They are also considered a centrally monitored home security system. These types of systems can qualify for reductions in your premiums at many of the top home insurance companies.
Protect yourself against coronavirus scams
The FTC recently published research on how scammers are preying on fearful consumers. Criminals are using every trick in the book to separate consumers from their personal information: work-at-home schemes, fake coronavirus cures and treatments, at-home test kits, and phishing emails that claim they’re from the CDC, to just name a few.
What can you do to minimize the risk of being a victim of identity theft?
- Ignore any emails from unknown addresses requesting personal information
- Before purchasing from a new website, do your homework to make sure they have valid reviews and (if applicable) have a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau.
- Fact-check any information that seems “too good to be true.”
- Get ID theft protection.
Aura Identity Guard is a pioneer in the ID Theft protection space. In 1996 they were one of the first to offer this now necessary product. Since then, they’ve teamed up with IBM’s Watson to improve their product through the use of Artificial Intelligence and provide you with the most powerful, comprehensive identity theft protection. In just 5 easy steps, you can quickly protect yourself and set notifications to inform you of any irregularities that would indicate credit fraud.
Keep your kids safe online, especially now
So what does that mean for parents? Approximately 9 out of 10 children will have more downtime during the COVID-19 pandemic, which means a significant increase in on-screen time.
You can’t monitor them all the time, but Bark can.
Bark is a parental control app (created by parents, for parents) which looks for online activity that may indicate predators, adult content, sexting, cyberbullying, drug use, suicidal thoughts, and more. According to their site, the app currently protects over 5 million children, has prevented 16 school shootings, and has detected 33,000 self-harm situations.
Monitor your aging parents while keeping your physical distance
If you have an aging parent or relative that is independent enough to live alone, signing them up for a medical alert system (usually a wearable device like a pendant or a wristband) will guarantee that they receive the help they need in case they unexpectedly need medical assistance.
Medical Guardian’s lowest-cost option includes a free wearable device with a button to get in touch with its monitoring staff, that is available 24/7.
Prepare in case you get too sick to work
According to the Council for Disability Awareness, over the course of his career, a typical 35-year-old male has a 1 in 5 chance of becoming disabled for more than three months. And the statistics are not much different for women. How do you prevent this from completely upending your financial plans? Two words: disability insurance.
Disability insurance is effectively paycheck insurance. It ensures that you are still collecting an income even if you can’t work for an extended period of time.
Though Breeze is a new company in the space, making waves with a completely online process, they’re backed by Assurity, a 100+ year old mutual insurance company. Companies like Breeze make disability insurance affordable and available online without any complicated paperwork or medical exams.
Double down on cyber security to protect your online privacy
You’re probably spending a lot more time on your phone and computer during this quarantine, right? We know we are. With more time online come increased chances that your personal information can be compromised. Heck, even the government website for U.S. Health and Human Services was hacked in March of this year.
Cybercriminals continue to develop sophisticated methods to steal your passwords, access your personal information, and even obtain your physical location.
Cyber security software such as Norton360 will offer anti-spyware, antivirus, malware, ransomware protection, as well as firewalls for both your computer and your smartphone.
Store all your passwords in one place
Most people tend to use the same password over and over, even when they have more than 40 active online accounts! If even one account is compromised, that means every other account that uses that password is compromised too.
Using a password manager such as RoboForm will help you create unique, strong passwords, and then allows you to access those unguessable passwords from wherever you're accessing your accounts.