menu +

Blog


Black&WhitewithBookshelfToday, LifeHealthPro.com named our Founder, Mindy Lamont, one of the 24 most creative people in insurance.

“Insurance is an industry that depends upon data to accurately assess and manage risk. It is inherently a cautious business — and slow to change, many would add. But it is also a business designed to problem-solve, to engineer, to market and sell customized solutions to a consumer base that needs its products more than ever. At a moment of enormous opportunity, this industry is poised to deliver the innovative products the public is demanding. While they’re at it, thought leaders are embracing new technologies and distribution models that make buying insurance not only necessary, but also easy.

In the midst of what is arguably the most creative era insurance has seen, we present 24 innovators who are leading the charge in product development, underwriting, marketing strategy, research, and sales distribution.”

We are honored and excited to have our Founder included in this exceptional group of industry leaders!

Read the full article here.

crazy hair guy_cropBy Diana Fishlock

Some people opt for the extended warranties on their televisions or cars to protect their valuables if something goes wrong after their purchases. A home warranty offers the same kind of protection, but for the major appliances and systems in a house. Since a house is the largest purchase most people ever make, a home warranty can add a layer of security to the purchase process.

Home warranties usually cover some of the following home features: heating and cooling systems, heat pumps, air conditioners, water heaters, major appliances, electrical and plumbing systems, washers and dryers and even septic systems and swimming pools.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING A HOME WARRANTY?

Cost Effectiveness

Before committing to a plan, consumers should double check the cost of the plan, the amount of deductibles and what’s included in the policy. The homeowner pays a deductible or co-pay for each visit. If the repair charge is still costly, the warranty may not be much of an asset. Anyone considering a home warranty should add up the costs of the policy and the co-pays to see whether a warranty makes sense or if they’d be better off putting money aside for emergency household repairs.

Convenience

With a warranty, a homeowner or renter only needs to call the warranty company when there’s a problem. Then the warranty company finds an available local repair service. Consumers should make sure warranty companies use bonded and reputable repairmen.

Buyers should check their policies to make sure all repairs will be completed in a short timeframe. Check for loopholes in the policy that eliminate most major items from plan coverage. A good warranty will replace what can’t be repaired.

People should ask friends and neighbors to recommend regional or national home warranty companies that hire good repairmen and are fair to consumers.

WHEN TO PURCHASE A HOME WARRANTY?

Upon Buying a Home

Because the true costs of mortgages are so expensive for buyers, a home warranty that reduces their financial risk often facilitates a purchase. Buyers don’t know how well previous owners maintained their furnaces or dishwashers, but those items are protected with a warranty (usually for the first year after the sale). Adding in a warranty can be the tipping point that leads to a home sale. Home buyers can negotiate with property sellers for a warranty with the most coverage.

For Handy Repairs

A warranty can simplify life for people who are busy or not handy with home repairs. Not everybody owns a tool set or wants to call around for estimates. A warranty can shorten the to-do list when little things go wrong around a house. Since a policy has a prescribed deductible, a homeowner understands up front how much the job will cost.

In Old Age

A warranty can become a comfort for older homeowners who should no longer stand on ladders or move refrigerators out from the wall. In just one call, all of the home repairs can be addressed on budget.

As a Landlord

A home warranty is helpful for people who weren’t expecting to become landlords. Sometimes people decide to rent out a house instead of selling it, which adds inconvenient repairs to their busy schedules.

Home warranties can help renters, landlords and homeowners, but it’s important to understand what’s covered and how long repairs should take. A good policy encourages owners to have the small things fixed so they don’t become bigger and more problematic.

Moving HouseFUN FACT: Studies say that up to 40% of young, college graduates are re-nesting with Mama and Papa Bird.  If you’re one of these chicks, I want to tell you something…

Let me start by saying, oh, my sweet, precious newly degreed babies… Uncle Benny  knows your pain.  It is the first of life’s cruel tricks that after thousands of hours of binge drinking studious scholarship and self-growth, there is no Fortune 500 CEO position and penthouse apartment waiting for you.

I spent literally pairs of years suffering under the yoke of being a grown(ish) man dwelling in my Mama’s rec-room.  But here’s what I learned: being a barista builds character, chances are your parents hate the idea of you living at home just as much as you do, and, finally, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

How much worse?  Let’s it this way: just when you manage to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, get your first big break and start thinking about moving out, the bills come calling.  Oh, the tales I could tell you about naive hillbilly-cum-organized crime boss, Sallie Mae!  But before I drive you into the depths of despair, I’d like to give you a silver lining: health insurance.

Thanks to healthcare reform, you don’t have to dwell in a netherworld of pseudo-homelessness and health liability.  Why?

1. You can now stay on your parents’ insurance policy until you’re 26. 

That’s right!  Two more years of sweet, free health insurance.  And now your insurance covers a lot more at no cost, including annual physicals.  (So gentlemen, work on your turn-and-cough face.)

2. If you have to buy your own insurance, chances are you qualify for a break on your premium.

Your premium is how much you pay for insurance, and many people qualify for help paying it.  Clerking the mail room or flipping burgers (like a boss)?  You might qualify for a $0 premium, which means your health insurance would be free as the wind.

When it’s time to buy, you’ve got one place to shop: www.thehealthinsurist.com.  Insurance is a necessary evil, but a pushy, annoying agent isn’t.  Mindy and her team will help you find the right coverage at the right cost.

My only other advice is to enjoy partying while you can.  Because one day, when you can afford fancy top-shelf alcohol, your body will betray you by denying you the pain-free buzz you’re enjoying now in the glory days of youth.

Finally, I’d like to say that you kids have it easy with your fancy new laws and your monster.com.  In my day, we were kicked off our parents’ insurance at 21, walked 10 miles in the snow for the privilege of putting our resumes in the mailbox.  With stamps.  Stamps!  Now it’s all done in electric mail.  What’s this world coming to?  Have you seen my teeth?

KeyboardBy: Josh Anish, Senior Writer at Kabbage, where small businesses get funding quickly

Owning and operating a small business has never been easy and finding creative ways to market your business and its products only adds to your growing list of things to do. The ever-increasing importance of search engines and social platforms has forced small business owners to blend traditional web marketing strategies with more innovative techniques.

Here are some tips from the experts at Kabbage about marketing your small business on the web.

Hire someone smart to optimize your websites for search engines

In the past, small business owners depended on word of mouth or a print copy of the Yellow Pages to attract potential new customers, but Google and Bing are quickly becoming the go-to way for consumers to find local businesses. According to a 2011 Burke survey, 76 percent of respondents used search engines in the past year to find a local businesses; earning a spot on the first page for your company’s website can result in substantial increases in traffic. Full-service SEO isn’t a difficult undertaking for those who understand what they’re doing, so if you don’t know anything about optimizing your website for search engines, invest in someone who does and the new business might come faster than you expect.

Make content your top priority

The notion has grown so common it has become cliché but content truly is king when it comes to effectively marketing your business on the web. Not only does excellent content have residual SEO benefit, but it will also help potential online customers feel engaged and informed; this sense of empowerment can lead to readers sharing your articles on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. This content should include everything from clever tag lines for your services to in-depth information about what you are offering and why potential customers need it. Maintaining an active and informative blog may be the most important piece of this. Blogs can have SEO benefits, they can help customers learn something, and if you actively engage with customers who have questions, they can be a great way for customers to feel as if they are receiving the personal attention every consumer desires.

Make good use of the free online business directories

This may seem like a no-brainer but it is an important marketing step nonetheless. Directories like Yelp, Yellowpages.com, Yahoo! Local and Google Local Business Center are just a few of the online business directories that inquiring consumers use to find the products they need. A 2010 consumer tracking study from BIA/Kelsey reported that nearly 97 percent of consumers use online media to search for local businesses and products and you better believe these business directories are a big portion of that online media. This doesn’t mean you should start eliciting phony reviews to pump up the reputation of your business, but if you list your business and provide excellent customer service, your online reputation will build itself. If that isn’t enough to convince you, consider the fact that you have nothing to lose. These directories get tons of traffic every day and they are free to join, so even if the directories only result in one or two new customers per month, you are still getting a great return on your investment.

Use in-depth analytics to understand your customers, Internet users, and competitors better

Data on the performance of your website, the return of investment on your blogging and social media efforts, and the success of your SEO investment will help you eliminate inefficiency in your business if you use them correctly. Most small business owners are so busy juggling tasks they can often find themselves investing in something that isn’t really affecting traffic, sales, and customer conversion. Analytics will give small business owners detailed insight into the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and can be easy to use if you are willing to spend the time to learn how to use the available analytics tools. Limited budgets and bandwidth mean that small business owners can’t afford to prioritize poorly and the best way to ensure they are prioritizing effectively is to follow their marketing tactics closely with a combination of web and marketing analytics. We recommend first getting acquainted with a Google Analytics account and moving on from there, if need be, to track revenue numbers. Google Analytics is famously awesome at reporting your traffic data, and infamously bad at tracking revenue.

Vote For Us!!
08Feb
2013

YourVoteCountsButtonPretty please? Sugar and spice and everything nice? Oh wait, wrong cliche. Or fairy tale. Or something.

We are honored and excited to have been nominated for Top Personal Finance Blog of 2012. Being listed among some of the best in the financial blogging business and in our first year of business, we can only dream of being at the top of this list. OR, we can reach far and wide to get as many votes as possible.

And the latter just sounds way more fun.

We’ll love you forever if you take just a few seconds to head on over to One Smart Dollar and vote for us.

http://www.onesmartdollar.com/top-personal-finance-blogs-of-2012/

PPPPPPPLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEAAAAAAAASSSSSSSEEEEEE.

Our friends over at CoverHound put together this infographic and we love it. ‘Tis the season after all.

Car insurance politics


Provided by CoverHound.com

 

Once upon a time, there was a company called Insure My Food Truck and all the food trucks in the land…(insert sound of loud breaks screeching).

Time to wake up and get to the coffee.

But really, when we were doing our research of online companies in the insurance space, we stumbled upon www.insuremyfoodtruck.com. You can def call it love at first site. Loved the branding, their market, and Denny Christner (owner) seemed like an all right guy. He facebooks, tweets, has a cute family, bonafide foodie, in the industry longer than he’s been an adult…all the good indicators were there.

So not that we’re online stalkers or anything, but we kept an eye on Insure My Food Truck and pretty soon we started talking to Denny on the phone and we found out all that stuff on the web was true. He’s a real dude with a great business and he takes care of his clients better than expected.

GUESS WHAT?!?

We’re happy to announce we now call Insure My Food Truck a partner of The Insurist and we endorse them as our go to property and casualty group (aka they offer the commercial and personal coverage we don’t). As a wholly owned affiliate of BayRisk Insurance Brokers, Inc., their capabilities go beyond food truck insurance too.

Check out their website. Like them on Facebook. Tweet with them. Pin ’em up.

You know the drill.

backto top