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Why risk and insurance management should be dynamic

Why risk and insurance management should be dynamic

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Risk exposure and changes

Our risk exposure changes over time as we go through different experiences, events and contexts. Acknowledging this fact can help us align our changing risk profile with the proper protection and coverage.  This is why it’s essential to take a dynamic approach to risk management and insurance to make sure that your policies keep up with your rapidly changing circumstances and continue to protect you as you go about your daily activities.

Insurance exists to protect us from hazards and perils that we may encounter in our everyday personal or professional life. We all tend to buy a policy and then forget about it as we go about our everyday life thinking that the insurance we bought will get us covered for the risks that may threaten our financial well-being. However, we all know that our circumstances change – in this rapidly changing world, sometimes daily – yet insurance policies that are meant to cover us in the times of hardship stay the same. 

This is why you should review your risk exposure and manage your insurance more frequently to make sure that your policies keep up with your changing circumstances and continue to protect you as you go about your daily activities. That’s where dynamic risk management steps in.

What is risk profile and why it changes all the time

Risk profile refers to an overall assessment of risks you are exposed to given your specific individual characteristics such as lifestyle, behavior, life stage and other. This assessment is a crucial step in risk management as this is where you and your insurer decide how much insurance is appropriate for your individual case and how to structure the optimal coverage.

For example, auto insurance will depend on the factors that relate to the car, such as the age of the vehicle, its make and the safety features; but also factors that refer to the profile of the driver such as age, marital status, driving record and location of your home as well as the purpose of the car, or whether it’s used for personal or commercial purpose. All these features when taken together form a risk profile specific to each individual case. The thing is that these features may change over time.

As the circumstances of your life change so does your risk profile and risk exposure. But if your insurance policies stay the same, your coverage is not fluid which means that protection would not be synced with your current risk exposure. Dynamic risk management is here to change this.

What is dynamic risk management and why everyone needs it

Dynamic risk management is a process of observation and evaluation of risk exposure based on your behavior, lifestyle and context.

For example, your life insurance risk profile will depend on characteristics such as your overall health, your occupation, your lifestyle factors, your overall behavior. When you set out to get a life insurance coverage, these features will determine the type of coverage you need and the price (premium) you will be charged for it at the time of purchase. You will buy a policy appropriate at that time and probably won’t think about it until you need to make a claim, at which point you may find yourself under or over-insured as your coverage may not be aligned with your current risk profile. For example, if you bought a life insurance policy and then started practicing a high-risk activity such as skydiving or rock climbing your insurance coverage needs to reflect this.

How does it work

In today’s world, your personal and professional lives are probably moving fast and are constantly accelerating. In a dynamic environment, risk management and insurance coverage need to be dynamic too. As you go through different contexts of your life, the insurer performs multiple risk assessments which then translate into relevant insurance products. This can go for every type of policy. 

For example, as you get married, your circumstances change significantly, affecting your lifestyle, interests and financial goals. Your insurer can step in and take care of adjusting your protection to reflect these contextual changes as you make the transition to the new life stage.

Enabling dynamic risk profiles with technology

Digital technology allows insurers to continuously track personal risk exposures adjusting individual coverages to reduce protection gaps that arise when customer’s circumstances change. Artificial Intelligence-based algorithms can dynamically optimize risk assessment based on information about your changing behavior, lifestyle, interests, or life stage. Data-driven dynamic risk management gives both you and your insurer the power to understand and assess risks more dynamically and accurately.

What does it mean for you

Abundant data enables the rise of insurance policies that can constantly and automatically adjust to decisions that you make. The next-generation data-driven insurance policies enable dynamic risk management products allowing different components of once undivided policy to be priced, bundled, or sold separately. 

The end result of dynamic risk management is a customer-centric insurance product that better match your changing needs. At the same time, the relationship between you and your insurer is evolving from mere risk transfer to enhanced risk partnership. 

This proactive risk management allows you to dynamically assess and manage your risk exposure leading to a more accurate and adaptable evaluation of the risk that you are exposed to.

Let’s make sure you’re protected in each moment as you navigate your personal and professional life. See your Vero Protection Score Now.

Do you have the protection you need?

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions that propose traditional answers, one policy at a time.

Vero’s fast and free Protection Plan is an unbiased analysis of all your risks. We’ll recommend what insurance to buy — and which policies you can safely cancel to save money.

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©2020 Vero Intelligence, Inc.
370 Convention Way
Redwood City, CA 94063

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Health Insurance

Health insurance policy defined

Health insurance policy defined

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Health insurance is designed to protect you from the financial risks associated with illness and disability by offering a way to reduce medical costs to more reasonable amounts. 

Health insurance and how it works.

Health insurance is most commonly sold under group benefits. Most health insurance plans will require that you pay some of the costs of covered medical services, which is called cost-sharing. It will vary between different types of health plans, but most will include a deductible, copayment and out-of-pocket-maximum. More specifically:

  • Health insurance provides coverage for various medical needs, such as physician and nursing services, hospital services, supplies, and equipment. These benefits are subject to cost-sharing limits, such as deductibles, coinsurance, copay and maximum caps, to encourage policyholders to use these services reasonably.
  • What you pay after receiving a medical service will count towards your annual deductible first. When you reach that amount, you may pay copay or coinsurance, which you will continue to pay until you reach your out-of-pocket max.
  • Cost-sharing refers to how health care costs are shared between the insurance company and you. It’s important to understand how the cost-sharing structure works as it can have a big impact on the medical costs you need to pay. 

What to Lookout For in a Health Insurance Plan

In addition to regular premium payments, visits to a medical facility will result in out-of-pocket expenses you will need to cover. These are deductibles, coinsurance and copay. 

A deductible is the set amount that you must pay before your insurance company starts covering your medical bills.

For example, if your health plan has a $2,000 deductible and your medical bill totals $5,000, you will need to cover $2000 and your insurance company will pay the remaining $3000 of your medical bills. If you have already paid $2000 in medical bills that year, you will only pay an amount equal to coinsurance or copay while your insurance will pick up the difference

Your deductible will also determine what your insurance premium is – or your monthly insurance costs. By tweaking around the deductible when choosing a policy, you can manage your insurance cost. While it’s convenient to have a lower deductible, they usually come with higher premiums. You can lower your insurance costs by choosing a policy with a higher deductible and self-insuring instead. Finding the optimal balance between a deductible and premium to fit your personal preference and financial circumstances is essential.

After you’ve reached your deductible level, you will start paying coinsurance for some types of healthcare service, usually less routine ones such as hospitalization or some medical treatments.  Coinsurance is a percentage of medical expenses you will pay for each of these medical services after you’ve paid your deductible and until you meet your out-of-pocket maximum for the year. For example, if you have a plan with a 20% coinsurance, you will pay 20% of a medical bill, while your health insurance will cover the remaining 80%. Your out-of-pocket maximum for the year is the maximum dollar amount you can pay in any given year. This means that you will continue to pay the coinsurance until you reach this amount of expenses.

Some medical services, usually routine ones such as doctor visits or prescriptions, will be subject to a copay instead of coinsurance. Copay is a fixed amount you need to pay for each of these covered medical services regardless of your deductible. The insurance company covers the remaining amount. What you pay in a copay may or may not count toward your deductible, so make sure you check that before you receive a medical service. For example, if you have a $20 copay for a visit to the doctor’s office, you must pay this amount at each visit, in most cases even if you already met your deductible.

A limit is a cap on the benefits the insurance company will pay, which can be annual or lifetime. However, under the current law, lifetime and annual limits on all essential health services are prohibited as well as many services that may not be considered essential. For some non-essential services, your insurance may express an annual limit as a dollar amount of covered services or as the number of medical visits covered. Once you reach the annual limit, you must pay all health care costs for the rest of the year. Lifetime maximum refers to the maximum dollar amount that your insurance company will pay you for healthcare services during your life. Annual and lifetime limits do not apply to essential health services.

Why Vero is right for you

You pay lots of money on health insurance, but how do you really know whether these coverage levels make sense? 

Let’s make sure the insurance you have is the protection you need. 

Do you have the protection you need?

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions that propose traditional answers, one policy at a time.

Vero’s fast and free Protection Plan is an unbiased analysis of all your risks. We’ll recommend what insurance to buy — and which policies you can safely cancel to save money.

Continue reading

©2020 Vero Intelligence, Inc.
370 Convention Way
Redwood City, CA 94063

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Insurance Life insurance

Life insurance policy explained

Life insurance policy explained

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Life is full of risks

Risk is a part of everyday life and regardless of preventative measures we make to minimize the chances of adverse events happening, we can’t prevent all bad events in our lives. However, we can buy insurance to help deal with the financial fallout from these adverse events. More specifically, life insurance offers financial protection for surviving dependents after the death of an insured person.

Life insurance options

Life insurance policies come in five different options:

  • Term life insurance provides protection for a pre-defined number of years – it does not cover the whole life of an insured person. There are renewable term policies for periods of one, five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years. If the policy owner survives the term, no benefits are paid out.
  • Whole life policies give the full coverage as they pay the face value of the contract when the policy owner dies no matter when this event occurs.
  • Universal life is a life policy that allows you to change the premium level, payment schedule and death benefit. The main benefit is that it’s flexible; you can dial it up and down as your circumstances change.
  • Endowment policies combine term life insurance with a savings plan. Unlike traditional life insurance, which pays benefits when the policyholder dies, endowment insurance policies pay benefits after a pre-determined term has expired or when the insured dies – whichever comes first. Also, compared to term life insurance, an endowment entitles the policy owner to collect benefits even if he or she survives the term.
  • Annuities. Unlike other types of life insurance, which are typically there to help the family in case the insured person dies, annuities act as a safety net, usually for older people, by providing them a guaranteed stream of income for life. The insurance company agrees to pay the policyholder a certain sum for a specified period, ranging from several years to the whole life. In other words, the objective of an annuity is to protect the insured person against the possibility that they will outlive their other sources of income.

Unique features of life insurance

Choosing a policy and coverage that best fits your circumstances enables security and is a convenient tool for saving and tax-free estate planning. Compared to other insurance policies, there are two features of life insurance that makes it unique.

First, the beneficiary of a life insurance policy is not the insured person, but other people that has been designated as beneficiaries.

Second, unlike other types of insurance, the event that it covers (death) is uncertain in any given year but is certain in the long term. As the person ages, the probability of death increases over the term of the life insurance policy and, therefore, the insurance company must accumulate funds to pay for a claim that is going to occur with an increasing probability. That’s the reason why it gets more expensive to buy life insurance as you age.

Life insurance policies are also a very tax-efficient way to transfer wealth to your loved ones as death benefits are typically paid to beneficiaries income tax-free.

Let’s make sure you’re protected. Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. Vero, the only way to accurately identify and evaluate your risks.

Do you have the protection you need?

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions that propose traditional answers, one policy at a time.

Vero’s fast and free Protection Plan is an unbiased analysis of all your risks. We’ll recommend what insurance to buy — and which policies you can safely cancel to save money.

Continue reading

©2020 Vero Intelligence, Inc.
370 Convention Way
Redwood City, CA 94063

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Health Insurance

Medical claims and next steps

Medical claims and next steps

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Dealing with a medical situation, especially if it’s an emergency, can be a stressful time for anyone, and filing a claim can add to the stress and anxiety. To help you navigate the required procedures, including tips on what to do if your claim has been denied, we created a simple guide to walk you through the health insurance claim process.

What happens after you receive a medical care

There are two ways, health insurance claims are handled, after you visit the doctor: either your doctor sends the bill to your insurance or you fill in the claim form and send in the paperwork yourself.

  • The first option where the doctor sends the bill to the insurance happens if you received medical service from an in-network provider. Then the medical provider will do all the work for you.
  • The second option, filling in the claim form and sending in the paperwork yourself, usually happens when your health service provider is not in the network of your insurance company. In this case, your doctor will give you an itemized bill that lists all services and medications that you received and the costs associated with each of them. You attach this list to your claim form that you get from your insurance company. If you need help with filling in the form or have doubts, make sure you contact the insurance to clarify them. That way, you make sure your claim won’t be rejected for some administrative reasons like incorrect data.

What happens after your claim is filed

When your insurance company receives the claim, a claim processor will deal with processing the expense of your medical care. This includes reviewing your claim for completeness and accuracy and also checking whether the services you received are covered under your policy. If the services are covered, the claim processor will also check your copay, deductible and out of pocket maximum.

After this, you will receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB), a letter from your insurance explaining facts about the claim, stating what they will pay and what the patient needs to pay. The EOB may look similar to a bill but is not a bill. You want to make sure that all the details in your EOB are correct, including names, date of service, charges and member responsibility (copay, deductible and coinsurance).

Your medical service provider will send you the final bill. Compare it to the EOB and if there is any remaining balance, make sure to pay it as soon as possible. If you need to pay the additional money after the insurance company has covered its part, the medical service provider will send a separate bill.

Reasons for a claim to be denied

Most claims processes are simple, but sometimes a claim might be rejected.  Claims can be denied for various reasons, some more difficult than others.

For example, administrative errors may cause rejection. This may not be an enjoyable experience, but it’s a better option as it’s relatively easy to fix.

On the other hand, a claim may be rejected because your policy doesn’t cover the medical service or medication you received, or because the insurance company doesn’t see the medical necessity for the procedure. Make sure you call your insurance to check the reasons behind the claim rejection.

If medical necessity is the reason for denial, but you really need the medical service, you can work with your doctor to provide evidence to the insurance company that you do need the requested medical assistance. 

Sometimes the insurance company will not approve your expensive procedures before you try less costly options. This is called step therapy or “fail first”.

Your healthcare plan may give you the coverage only for medical assistance offered by providers that are part of your plan’s provider network. You may try to convince your insurer that the provider you selected is the only one capable of providing the service, but be aware that you may pay an additional amount in the case that an out-of-network provider is approved.

How to avoid claim denial

The best way to ensure that your claim gets accepted is to do the following:

  • Contact your insurer before scheduling a medical service.
  • Check all the rules about the pre-authorization process, provider network, step therapy and any other aspects that may affect the outcome of your claim process.

Filing claims appropriately is the safest route to avoid a claim denial. Also, try to use the medical care providers (hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and other services) that are part of your plan’s network of providers. In this case, not only will you minimize the odds of your claim being denied, but your provider will also file the claim for you. If you go out of network, you will have to file the claim yourself.

What are my options if my claim gets denied?

If your claim gets denied, you can always file an appeal. Affordable Care Act gives consumers the right to challenge health claim denials. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to send instructions about how consumers can initiate an appeal process every time they deny a claim.

A study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that, on average, 18% of in-network claims of healthcare.gov issuers were denied in 2017. However, only 0.5% of these are appealed. This is a lost opportunity, as many of these denials end up being reversed. Whatever the reason for rejection, you should not take it as final.

There are four types of appeals.

  • Pre-service (or pre-authorization) appeal. You can submit this type of appeal when your plan has denied your request to receive medical services before you were given the prescribed care. The insurers have 30 days to respond to this type of appeal. 
  • A post-service appeal. You submit it when your health plan has denied a claim for reimbursement or payment of a medical procedure. The insurers have 60 days to respond to this type of appeal.
  • Urgent care (or expedited) appeal. You can request an urgent appeal if you are currently receiving or you were prescribed to receive treatment and your medical provider believes a treatment delay could jeopardize your life or health. Insurers are required to make the decision within 72 hours after receiving the appeal.
  • Marketplace plan appeal. The Affordable Care Act gives consumers the right to appeal a decision made by a state or federal health insurance exchange and the decision must be made within 90 days.

There are usually two levels of appeals both for pre-service and post-service denials. One is internal and is conducted within your insurance company. The second is external when an independent third party reviews your claim. External appeal procedures will differ from state to state as they are governed by state regulation. Don’t underestimate the power of external appeal.

Tips for increasing the odds of appeal approval

  • You will need to submit a letter of support and notes from your doctor indicating the medical reasons for the requested service, as well as any relevant medical literature and peer-reviewed articles documenting the effectiveness of the requested services. 
  • You may also want to write your own letter to explain in your own words the medical condition that you want to treat and how it impacts your life. 
  • You can submit both letters at the same time. Insurance companies are required by regulation to respond to a written appeal, so you will probably receive a response within the next 7-10 days. If that is not the case, contact your insurance company to make sure your appeal was received.

You pay lots of money on health insurance, but how do you really know whether these coverage levels make sense? Let’s make sure you’re protected.

Do you have the protection you need?

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions that propose traditional answers, one policy at a time.

Vero’s fast and free Protection Plan is an unbiased analysis of all your risks. We’ll recommend what insurance to buy — and which policies you can safely cancel to save money.

Continue reading

©2020 Vero Intelligence, Inc.
370 Convention Way
Redwood City, CA 94063

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Insurance

How to Self-Insure and Why Smart People Do It?

How to Self-Insure and Why Smart People Do It?

Self-insuring means saving enough money as a rainy day fund and optimizing your financial and general well-being. 

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What it means to self-insure

Insurance premiums can quickly add up: healthcare, car, house, disability and life, just to name a few. And if you never claim, it can easily feel like you are pouring money down the drain. There is another option – self-insuring. But you want to be careful.

When you self-insure, you set aside extra money to pay out of your pocket for any losses or damages, if and when they occur instead of paying a premium to an insurance company to cover your losses when they occur.

The basic idea behind this is that you will save money by avoiding making regular premium payments so that you have money to pay for damages if a loss occurs — which may or may not ever happen.

Self-insurance and risk management

Risk is a fact of life. We can make active decisions on how we want to handle risk, and in doing so, we have several options at our disposal. 

The first option is avoidance; this is when you eliminate the source of the risk. For example, if you don’t own a car, you cannot have your car stolen. The second option is loss control, where the point is not to eliminate the risk, but to reduce/control it by, for example, wearing a seatbelt while driving.  The third option is the contractual risk transfer to others. For example, when you rent a car, the company transfers the risk of car damage to you. The fourth option is insurance, where you transfer the costs of losses to an insurance company.

And the final option is risk retention, where you keep the risk and pay part or all of the losses when they occur. This is self-insurance. Self-insurance is the process of establishing a fund that you will use to cover the costs of a loss. It does not eliminate or control risks; it provides a means of covering losses that you will have only if the damaging event occurs.

Things to consider when you self-insure

Self-insurance will work better in some situations than others, while in some cases, it won’t work at all.

  • First, keep in mind that some insurance coverages are legally required, such as auto insurance required by state regulations (though liability loss limits will vary between states) and health insurance. Homeowners insurance will be required for those who bought their homes through a mortgage.
  • Second, self-insurance will depend on the financial buffer that you have, or excess money stashed away to cover a loss.
  • Third, a key factor when considering self-insurance is the potential size of a loss assessed against your own financial resources.

Self-insurance is a useful approach in the case of smaller and predictable losses. In other words, the lower the potential loss or, the more predictable it is, the more it makes sense to self-insure. For example, you might choose to self-insure against a car accident with a $500 deductible on auto insurance collision coverage, but carry $100,000 of liability coverage to protect you in case of a lawsuit resulting from a bigger accident.

However, it is important to keep in mind that you can’t look at the potential loss in isolation – you need to look at it from your own financial perspective. This is why you need to assess the size of potential loss against the money you have stashed away for covering unexpected expenses, which we usually call an emergency fund.

The standard advice is to keep an emergency fund equal to at least three months’ worth of your expenses. But the reality is that many people live paycheck to paycheck, which means they don’t have that money available. If you don’t have funds to cover unexpected losses out of your own pocket, it doesn’t make sense to self-insure.

How to self-insure

You can self-insure by dropping certain insurance altogether or by being very intentional when choosing an insurance policy.

In the first case, you are left without any coverage for a particular risk, which means that you will be responsible for the full amount of losses. This approach may not work well with certain policies. For example, some policies may be required by the law. Also, self-insuring for events that may result in extremely high expenses, such as critical illness (heart attack, stroke, organ transplants, etc) may not really make financial sense.

The second option is to tweak your insurance policy to optimize for protection and price. You can do this by choosing:

  • Insurance policies with higher deductibles as they have lower premiums, so cost less. This means that up to an amount equal to the value of the deductible, you will be responsible for covering your losses. When your losses exceed the value of the deductible, the insurance company steps in and covers your losses. Additionally, it means that you choose to self-protect up to the value of the deductible and save your insurance for higher-cost events, which would be much harder to cover out your own pocket. Limit the coverage and choose more restrictive options. Be intentional about the protection that you need and pinch out any excess coverage that may look good on paper, but you don’t really need. For example, if you have an old car, dropping your collision coverage does make financial sense.

     

  • Choose policies with a long elimination period. The elimination period, often found in long-term care and disability insurance policies, is the time you need to wait before your benefits kick in. Longer elimination period policies have lower premiums. Short-term disability insurance will have a shorter elimination period, usually up to 14 days. Long-term disability insurance policies typically have an elimination period ranging from 30 to 365 days, but some insurers offer even 720 days elimination period – so there are plenty of options to choose from.

Keep in mind that self-insuring doesn’t mean that you go uninsured. Instead, it means that you assume responsibility for financial losses that you may incur, rather than shifting these risks to an insurance company.

It also doesn’t mean that you just randomly drop whatever insurance policy, rather that you are being very intentional about selecting a coverage you really need.

Why smart people choose to self-insure

Self insurance offers numerous benefits, when done correctly. One obvious benefit is reduced costs by avoiding higher premiums. Money saved can then be invested allowing increased savings.

Self-insurance also promotes good habits. People tend to make better choices when they know they will bear consequences of the decisions they made. Self insurance also gives you a sense of control over finances due to the active steps taken to optimize your financial and general well-being. 

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions propose traditional answers. Let’s make sure you’re protected.

Do you have the protection you need?

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions that propose traditional answers, one policy at a time.

Vero’s fast and free Protection Plan is an unbiased analysis of all your risks. We’ll recommend what insurance to buy — and which policies you can safely cancel to save money.

Continue reading

©2020 Vero Intelligence, Inc.
370 Convention Way
Redwood City, CA 94063

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Insurance

What is a Deductible?

What is a deductible?

In an insurance policy, the deductible is the amount paid by the policy holder before insurance starts paying. Learn more.
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What is a deductible?

A deductible is an amount you need to pay before your insurance company starts paying. There is a relationship between the premium and deductible – a policy with a lower monthly premium will typically have a higher deductible.

Health insurance has additional out-of-pocket costs, such as coinsurance and copay. After you’ve met your deductible, you start paying coinsurance until you reach your out-of-pocket maximum for the year. Coinsurance is a set percentage of medical expenses for each medical service, while copay is a flat rate you need to pay, regardless of your deductible. The limit is a cap on the benefits the insurance company will pay you in any given year or in your lifetime.

How the deductible works

Even after paying regular premiums, you will have out-of-pocket costs when it comes to your insurance. These are deductibles, coinsurance and copay. The latter two are linked to health insurance policies, while the deductible is present in basically all insurance policies.

A deductible is the set amount that you must pay (in addition to the premium) before the insurance company starts paying.

How your deductible works will depend on the type of insurance – some will have a deductible per claim, while others such as health insurance plans will have an annual deductible. For example, if your health plan has a $1,000 deductible and you get a medical service with a bill that is higher than that, you will need to pay $1,000 and your insurance company will pay the remainder of your medical bills. If you have already paid $1000 in medical bills that year, your insurance will pick up the new bill in its entirety.

Your deductible is also essential as it will also determine what your insurance premium is – in other words, what you are paying (usually monthly) for your insurance. A lower deductible can be helpful in many ways, but keep in mind it also means you’ll likely be paying higher premiums. On the other hand, by choosing a policy with a higher deductible, or so-called a High Deductible Health Plan, you can lower your insurance costs by choosing to self-insure instead. Finding the optimal balance between deductible and premium to fit your personal preference and financial circumstances is essential.

You can find your deductible in your insurance policy under the Declaration page section.

Health insurance: Deductible, coinsurance, copay, out-of-pocket maximum

After you’ve met your health plan’s deductible, you start paying coinsurance. Coinsurance is a percentage of covered medical expenses you need to pay for each medical service. For example, if you have a plan with a 10% coinsurance, you must pay 10% of each medical bill, while your health insurance will cover 90%. You will continue to pay the coinsurance until you reach your out-of-pocket maximum for the year.

Copay is a flat rate you need to pay for each covered medical services, regardless of your deductible. The insurance company covers the remaining amount. What you pay in a copay may count toward your deductible. For example, if you have a $50 copay for a visit to the doctor, you will need to pay it every time you visit the doctor’s office, including those cases where you already met your deductible.

A limit is a cap on the benefits the insurance company will pay you. The limit can be annual or lifetime. The annual limit can be expressed as a dollar amount of covered services or as the number of medical visits covered. After you reach the annual limit, you must pay all health care costs for the rest of the year.

There may also be a lifetime maximum, which refers to the maximum dollar amount that your insurance company will pay you for non-essential healthcare services during your life. Annual and lifetime limits do not apply to essential health services any longer (since 2010).

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions propose traditional answers. Life insurance. Home insurance.  Let’s make sure you are protected.

Do you have the protection you need?

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions that propose traditional answers, one policy at a time.

Vero’s fast and free Protection Plan is an unbiased analysis of all your risks. We’ll recommend what insurance to buy — and which policies you can safely cancel to save money.

Continue reading

©2020 Vero Intelligence, Inc.
370 Convention Way
Redwood City, CA 94063

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Insurance

Insurance Policy 101

Insurance Policy 101

Understanding the details of an insurance policy ensures your coverage best fits your needs.
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What is an insurance policy?

An insurance policy is a legally binding document that sets out the terms and conditions of the policy, obligations and those of the insurance company, as well as what events are covered and what you will be paid in case the insured event happens.

  • It’s essential that you understand the main features of your policy, specifically reading the declarations page and checking the details, including spelling mistakes or typoes (happens more often than you’d think!).  Remember, a policy is a contract, so what’s in there, that’s enforceable – so make sure everything listed there is accurate. Understand what is covered, what’s excluded, and what are the conditions your policy depends upon. Understand how much the policy will pay for each loss and when it starts and expires.

An insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company that describes in detail what risks you are insured against and also what risks are beyond the scope of the agreement – these are so-called exclusions.

When you first get an insurance policy, it may look daunting, as these documents can be as long as 20 pages. Most people feel overwhelmed reading them as they are full of technical jargon and written in dry, tedious legal language.

But it’s essential that you understand the main features of your insurance policy as this will ensure you get the coverage you need – not less and not more. The last thing you want is to buy is a policy and assume you are covered only to discover that your policy has exclusions or exemptions impacting you later. 

To help you get your head around insurance policies, we dismantled these highly technical documents and simplified the most important things you need to understand before signing the contract.

How to read an insurance policy: Most important sections

Insurance policies may start by declaring what it covers in very wide terms and then proceed to restrict, limit, and exclude coverages, or it may go straight to list only the perils that are covered. It will typically have the following sections: a declarations page, coverage form, and endorsements. Together, these sections lay out all the legally binding details of your policy.

  • Declaration page, or Dec page for short, is a summary of your insurance policy contract. If there’s one section that you need to read, it’s this one. It’s a sneak peek of the remainder of the agreement as it states the insured person, what is covered, what are the limits and deductibles, what is the period you are covered for (policy start and expiry date), and what premium (price) you will pay for in return for being insured. Make sure all the information on the Dec page is accurate, including your personal details and things like the coverage, period and premium.  As policies usually last 12 months, this is something you’ll need to review every year.
  • Coverage form (also called policy form) is a standardized part of the contract. If you sift through the coverage form, you will find the following subsections:
    • DefinitionsThese are meant to define the meaning of the main terms so that there’s no confusion.
    • Insuring agreement (sometimes called Policy Coverage) – This section tells you what the insurer promises to cover or do under the insurance policy. It defines the scope of coverage, which can then be narrowed down by the policy exclusions. The insuring agreement usually contains emphasized words – in bold font, italics or quotation marks – indicating that these words are defined for purposes of the policy as presented in the definitions. Make sure you refer to the definitions when reading this section.
    • Exclusions – Listing property, losses, and causes of losses or perils that are not covered. There may be three reasons why some risks are excluded. First, because another type of policy covers them. For example, a commercial auto policy excludes some obligations when you are insured against them under another kind of policy – workers’ compensation policy. Second, some risks can be covered by the existing type of policy, but for an extra premium. For example, a homeowners insurance policy usually excludes earth movements, which means that damage due to earthquakes, mudflows and sinkholes will not be covered. Still, you can add this coverage for an extra premium. Third, some risks are outright uninsurable. For example, the risk of losses due to war is uninsurable, so it’s excluded. Make sure you understand the exclusions as this section is the common source of unpleasant surprises after making a claim.
  • Conditions – This section describes your obligations under the contract so that you can get compensated for a loss. If you don’t follow these rules, the insurance company may deny coverage that it would otherwise provide under the policy. For example, the coverage will be conditional on your premium payments or duties to follow after a loss.
  • Endorsements. This section is attached to the policy and is important because it modifies the coverage page in some significant ways. It can add coverage (for example, you can add an earth movement coverage to your homeowners insurance, otherwise excluded), but it can also restrict or change the coverage (for example, by modifying definitions). It is a very technical section because it will change, delete or expand terms of the policy that are located elsewhere in the contract – usually in the coverage page or Dec page.

Understanding insurance to best fit your needs

Figuring out what insurance policy to buy requires that you sift through these long documents often written in a technical and obtuse language. Still, make sure you understand the main aspects of the document to ensure that your coverage best fits your needs. Otherwise, you may find yourself underinsured when you end up not being covered for your losses or you may be overinsured, which means that you are paying for the coverage you don’t really need.

Let’s make sure you’re protected. Vero analyzes your information using powerful models insurance companies use to get a holistic view of your risk. Understand how much you really have to lose, what you need to protect and your gaps.

Do you have the protection you need?

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions that propose traditional answers, one policy at a time.

Vero’s fast and free Protection Plan is an unbiased analysis of all your risks. We’ll recommend what insurance to buy — and which policies you can safely cancel to save money.

Continue reading

©2020 Vero Intelligence, Inc.
370 Convention Way
Redwood City, CA 94063

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Insurance and Risk: An essential role never to be underestimated

Insurance and Risk: An essential role never to be underestimated

Risk is a part of everyday life. Insurance helps sustain financial security. Yet there is hesitation to avoid thinking about risk and insurance. Discover more.
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Insurance enables a set of preventive measures to minimize the chances of risk and damage and to deal with financial consequences. Yet people often underestimate this essential need.

People don’t want to think about risk and insurance? Why?

  • People think risk and insurance are too complex
    Insurance has a reputation for being overly complicated. Often, people get overwhelmed and don’t know what insurance policies exist and what they are intended for. Even if they decide what policy to buy, they often don’t know how much coverage they really need. Then, there’s the insurance process that is often too complicated and downright outdated with so much paperwork and legal jargon.  It is understandable that people are not confident with their policies and often assume coverages are just interchangeable.
  • There’s a level of mistrust
    Historically, the insurance industry wasn’t known for having a reputable level of consumers’ trust. From being overly-complicated to skepticism of a hard to understand process, it’s hardly surprising that people avoid anything insurance-related.
  • It’s boring
    Most people would rather watch paint dry than deal with insurance. However, the insurance industry is evolving , as there are improved and more methods of communication.
  • It’s morbid
    Understandably, planning for death and tragedy is overwhelming and people often chose not to think about insurance policies that are linked to these adverse events such as life insurance policies or disability income insurance. Though provisions surrounding death is exhausting, managing these essential financial matters is necessary, especially if we have loved ones we want to secure.
  • People don’t see the value
    Often, people don’t see the value in insurance until a significant life event such as marriage or becoming a parent happens. Additionally, it’s hard to see the benefit of buying a policy as it’s a cost with no noticeable or immediate value. For example, life insurance usually benefits other people but not the policy owner. For this reason, most people will struggle to see the value as they don’t benefit directly. Yet when life circumstances change, people become motivated to financially secure their family and start looking for appropriate insurance policies.

Risk and insurance and it's vital role in our lives.

As much as insurance may be complicated and boring, its role is essential in enabling the following:

  • Financial security and risk management
    Insurance allows you to manage risk by paying a small amount of money as protection against losses that can have a detrimental impact on our lives.  Insurance gives you protection and financial security during vulnerable and necessary times. Unforeseen events can wreak havoc with injury, disability, long term illness, or death impacting your income and long-term earning potential. Insurance can help ease financial stress and enable you to focus on other priorities, helping you recover and move forward.
  • Planning for the future and achieving financial goals
    Insurance allows you to set your financial goals for the future and work towards them. It enables you to plan for your retirement and secure a steady flow of income to support your desired lifestyle once you reach a certain age. Insurance is also a convenient savings tool.
  • A legacy to leave behind
    Life insurance policies are a convenient vehicle to leave a tax-efficient inheritance to your loved one (s). Life insurance protects your income and provides for your family in the case of an unexpected death. Life insurance can be an integral part of your overall financial plan and turns highly taxed assets into non-taxed assets, saving you as much as 30% of inherited assets. 

Let’s make sure you’re protected. Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. Vero, the only way to accurately identify and evaluate your risks.

Do you have the protection you need?

Life is full of risks. To your family. Your assets. Your future. The problem is traditional solutions that propose traditional answers, one policy at a time.

Vero’s fast and free Protection Plan is an unbiased analysis of all your risks. We’ll recommend what insurance to buy — and which policies you can safely cancel to save money.

Continue reading

©2020 Vero Intelligence, Inc.
370 Convention Way
Redwood City, CA 94063

Follow us