How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

Should you pass away, life insurance helps to protect your loved ones and continue to provide for them after your death by offering a lump sum payment to any beneficiaries. While it is hard to estimate how much life insurance you need to the exact penny, a relatively accurate estimate can be achieved. When it comes to determining how much life insurance you should purchase, there are three main methods that we’ll outline below:

  1. Multiply Your Income By 10: With this method, you take your current salary – say $100,000 – and multiply it by 10 to reach the figure of life insurance that you need to purchase, which, in this case, is $1,000.000. While this method is fast and convenient, it fails to take into account potential raises in current debt obligations and future financial needs such as college funds for your kids. 
  2. Multiply Your Income By 10 AND Add $100,000 Per Child: Since the first method does not consider college costs, the second option does and allows for extra flexibility should the need arise. However, like the first method, it does not consider any other life insurance policies or your current financial situation.
  3. Use the DIME Method: The DIME method stands for Debt, Income, Mortgage, and Education. Start by adding all your debts outside of your mortgage, multiply your current income by how many years of financial support are needed, calculate the amount needed to pay off your mortgage, and estimate the cost of school for your children. The sum of the DIME method provides a holistic figure pointing toward how much life insurance is needed.

At Elliot and Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL, we’ll walk you through your life insurance options and help you choose a term or whole life policy that best meets your needs. 

How Much Flood Insurance Do I Need?

Flood insurance is a must-have investment if you own a business or home in Opelika, AL. Given that floods can strike anywhere and that typical insurance plans don’t cover flood damage, investing in flood insurance from Elliott & Associates Insurance is a no-brainer. But how much flood insurance do you need? Here is a comprehensive guide.

Meet the lender requirements

While flood insurance isn’t mandatory in Alabama, mortgage lenders may require you to invest in flood insurance, especially if you live in a high-risk flood zone. Your lender will dictate the amount of flood insurance you should invest in. Usually, the amount required by lenders is equivalent to the outstanding loan liability.

Adhering to the lender’s requirement is superb, but that doesn’t mean you stop there. Remember, your lender wants to safeguard their interests that usually don’t align with yours. So, stick your neck out to increase your flood insurance coverage to cover your current financial needs.

How much flood insurance coverage is sufficient?

Flood insurance covers your dwelling and the contents inside. As a rule of thumb, invest in flood insurance to replace your assets in the worst-case scenario. When purchasing insurance, consider the "replacement cost value" to ensure your house and contents are replaced to the last cent when the unthinkable occurs.

Pro-tip: When you purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the dwelling coverage is limited to $250,000, while the limit for the contents is $100,000. If you need higher coverage than this, private flood insurance is the best way to go. Private carriers provide higher coverage and even offer "additional living expenses" coverage when floods render your dwelling unlivable.

Need to purchase flood insurance in Opelika, AL? Don’t hesitate to contact Elliott & Associates Insurance for a competitive quote.

 

What Kind of Life Insurance Do You Need?

Life insurance falls into two main categories: term life insurance and whole life insurance. Both have their value, but they are separated for a reason. This primer from us at Elliott & Associates Insurance serving Opelika, AL will help you narrow down your coverage needs.

When Should You Consider Life Insurance?

Generally, life insurance is a vital part of a financial plan once you have a family. Without one, you only tend to leave behind expenses like funeral costs. If you’re supporting other people, there is suddenly a deficit that can take time to fill, especially when factoring in the emotional costs.

When Should You Select Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance has a set duration and few benefits, but that makes it easier to get and lowers the premiums. If you’re worried about qualifying for the insurance, don’t want to spend much, or are going to experience a higher risk for a shorter period of time, term life insurance allows you to get coverage in case of the worst.

When Should You Select Whole Life Insurance?

Whole life insurance is usually more expensive, but it can be used in a variety of ways that aren’t available with a term life policy. First, you can lock in your premiums while you’re healthy and younger, and the whole life policy will stay in effect at your agreed rate increases until you cancel it or stop paying your premiums. Most will have a feature called actual cash value which collects a portion of every premium you pay. Some providers will provide you with interest for that cash value, invest it to increase that return, and take out loans against its value.

Every Situation Is Different

This general advice will hold true in most cases, but everybody’s life and insurance needs will vary. Contact us at Elliott & Associates Insurance to go over the details and figure out which plans work for you.

Alabama Auto Insurance: You Can Still Get Car Insurance After a Collision

Insurance companies know that accidents happen and that most drivers will be in an accident at some point in their life. They plan insurance policies around that, and that is to protect you financially in the event of an accident.

When you have been in a car crash, it is easy to feel like you won’t ever be able to get car insurance again. That isn’t necessarily the case and is rarely the case. Even after a DUI, there are insurance solutions. 

At Elliott & Associates Insurance, we can help all Opelika, AL drivers get the auto insurance they need after a collision. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Factors That Determine Car Insurance After a Crash

When you have been in a car crash and are renewing or updating your insurance policy, the insurance company will need to know the details of the crash in order to give you the best quote.

You might be considered a high-risk driver and see an increase in rates, that can go as high as 25 to 30 percent. It will depend on the accident.

These factors will determine your car insurance rates after a crash:

•    Who is at-fault
•    Your driving record
•    The size of your claim

For example, if you have a minor accident you don’t make a claim, you may see an increase because your driving record changes, but it may not be that bad. If you have a major crash and aren’t at fault, you still may not see that many changes. 

Every driver’s insurance policy is unique to them.

How to Save on Alabama Auto Insurance After a Crash

If you do see your insurance rates hike after an accident, there are ways to bring that number down. You can drop some of your coverage that you don’t expect to use. Taking off your collision or comprehensive insurance can help your costs.

You can also increase your deductible. 

The only way to find out exactly how your insurance is impacted after an accident is to talk to an expert that can help you to get the best deal.

Get a Quote After an Auto Accident

When you have been in a car crash, it is easy to feel like the worst has happened and you’ll never get insurance again. You can and you will. It will take some time to clear that record, but you can have insurance in the meantime. At Elliott & Associates Insurance, we know there is an auto insurance company for every Opelika, AL driver. Call us for a quote today.

Lake Life Insurance Options in Opelika, AL

If you live in Opelika, AL, there are many places that you might want to go if you want to learn more about lake life insurance. One of these places is Elliott & Associates Insurance.

If you live in, on, or near a large body of water, you might be interested in lake life insurance. This is insurance for people who basically live a "lake life." You will need to have insurance that will protect you from any kind of loss that is associated with that specific lifestyle.

There are few options if you are interested in some type of lake life insurance. Liability insurance is a good one to keep in mind. If you live on a boat or spend quite a bit of your free time on one, it is a good idea to have your watercraft properly insured. A big part of this is having liability coverage so that you are protected against someone’s injury if they happen to be injured on the water with you.

There are also other different types of coverage that you should consider, depending on your specific situation and lifestyle. Of course, you should make sure that you are putting safety first at all times. It is a good idea to have personal flotation devices, such as life jackets, whenever you are out on the water. It is also a good idea to make sure that children and anyone who lives near the area knows how to swim properly.

If you live in the city of Opelika, AL and have an interest in learning some information about lake life insurance, please feel free to reach out to any of the professionals at Elliott & Associates Insurance. They will be able to answer your insurance-related questions and perhaps point you in the right direction in terms of what policy would be right for you.

What is covered with my Alabama home insurance policy?

Anyone that lives in the Opelika, AL area, and is a homeowner will enjoy the long-term benefits that come through having a stable place to live, long term price appreciation, and even tax benefits. If you are going to purchase a home here, it is important that you receive the right type and level of coverage and protection. There are several forms of coverage that will come with your home insurance policy here.

Coverage for Dwelling

One important form of coverage that you will receive with your home insurance policy here is coverage for your dwelling. If there is ever a fire, bad weather, or even vandalism, it could cause serious damage to your home. This could then be very expensive for you to fix. Fortunately, when you get a full home insurance policy you are going to receive the protection that you need to repair or replace your home entirely. 

Personal Asset Coverage

Another advantage of a home insurance policy is that it can provide you with coverage for your personal assets. Any home insurance policy will give you a certain amount of coverage to replace your personal items if they are damaged or stolen. This can include replacing your electronics, clothing, and many other items. Those that have valuable items such as jewelry should consider getting specific coverage for those items through a home insurance policy rider.

As you are looking for a home insurance policy to protect your Opelika, AL home, you should reach out to the professionals at Elliott & Associates Insurance. The insurance team at Elliott & Associates Insurance will give you all of the support that you need to choose a new policy. This can include making sure that you understand your options and have all questions answered. 

The benefits of enrolling for motorcycle classes

Do you know motorcycle accidents are catastrophic and many of the accidents are no fault of the motorcycle involved but instead the negligence of the cyclist? In Eliot and associates insurance, we believe that the more skills motorcyclists have in their toolbox, the higher their chances are of being able to avoid accidents. Enrolling in motorcycle safety programs and taking motorcycle safety training is a great idea even if you are an experienced rider. 

Benefits

∙Lower motorcycle insurance rates. Undertaking safety classes as a motorbike rider improve your driving skills, thus increasing levels of alertness, thus minimizing most accidents that arise as a result of carelessness during a biking expedition. The rider can practically put into practice what he or she has been taught. This culminates in a rider causing lesser accidents, thus attracting discounts from insurance companies because of completing a certified motorcycle course.

∙Boost motorcyclist’s confidence. The motorcycle safety course is conducted by professionally- trained personnel. They instill skills and techniques which build concentration in bikers leading to fewer distractions in a biking environment. These trained riders enhance their confidence resulting in minimal accidents. In Eliot insurance, we boost this confidence further by giving affordable and elaborate motorcycle policy which caters to you in case of a liability.

∙Its an investment. After completing a motorcycle safety course, it’s easier to make a more informed decision about purchasing a motorcycle. Riders will be able to make choices based on the type of bikes they would prefer to possess. They also have the advantage of making more mature decisions from advice given by instructors regarding the acquisition of a motorcycle.

Have you completed a certified motorcycle course in Opelika, Alabama?. Let Elliots & Associates insurance give you guidance in acquiring your motorcycle insurance. Call or Contact us through our website you won’t regret it.

Can Life Insurance Help With Emergency Expenses?

You never know when unexpected expenses can arise, which can cause a financial burden. This is especially true for older individuals with health issues. There is, however, a common-sense method to save for the unexpected while also preparing for any hardships that may occur as the result of an untimely passing. Finding a quality whole life insurance policy is a way to protect loved ones as well as prepare for emergency expenses in the future. 

Life Insurance Can Make Saving For Retirement Easier

When people are saving to retire, the find themselves in an unfortunate situation when medical expenses pop up without warning. Most are forced to spend their retirement savings to cover those expenses. There is a way to avoid having this happen though. Whole life insurance is a policy that allows the policyholder to borrow against it after it has been paid for a certain number of years. It’s like an emergency fund if necessary but also serves as a form of protection for loved ones or business partners in the event of the policyholder’s passing.

Discover Policy Options

Life insurance policies can vary greatly, so it is important to outline current and future needs to help find the right whole life policy. The best way to approach shopping for insurance is to work with a licensed life insurance agent who can work with clients closely to suggest policies that work best for them. Anyone who is currently interested in life insurance should visit Elliott & Associates Insurance, serving Opelika, AL. We are committed to helping people find quality insurance products that fit their lifestyle. 

Now is the time to secure a life insurance policy to protect those who are important from hardships and even protect yourself when surprise expenses develop in the future. Call or stop by Elliott & Associates Insurance if you live near the Opelika, AL area, and find out how to get started. 

 

3 reasons to get life insurance

Life is precious but not guaranteed. You need a life insurance policy that works to ensure your loved ones will be financially sound in the instance of your absence. The agents at Elliott & Associates Insurance can help you find the policy that best fits your preferences. Read on to learn what life insurance can do for you in Opelika, AL and throughout Alabama!

Life insurance pays debts

This concept rings especially true for breadwinners. Imagine your family being thrust into financial turmoil after your death because of mounting bills that you once paid going without remittance of such payments. This horrible scenario can be a reality if you do not set your family up for financial stability after you are gone. Life insurance can work so that your funeral expenses are covered along with the bills. The amount of financial stability your family has after your death heavily depends on how much you are willing to invest in a good life insurance policy today. 

Life insurance can be used to diversify investments

Universal life policies have the flexibility to serve as coverage for final expenses and investment tools. With universal plans, your policy is tied to a specific investment product. You earn dividends off the investment product during your lifetime, which may be used to diversify your portfolio further or to cover unexpected expenses. Your agent at Elliott & Associates Insurance can tell you more about these perks in Auburn and Opelika, AL!

Life insurance policies provide financial cushions to the living

Term life insurance is specifically for after-life expenses and, thus, do nothing to get you out of a financial bind while you are still alive. Whole life insurance, on the other hand, comes with the benefit of accrued interest. Some policyholders use the interest that accumulates with a whole life insurance policy to go on vacation. Others choose to save the money for when it is truly necessary to spend it on emergency situations. Regardless of what you may decide to do, it is a good feeling to know that you have options with your whole life insurance plan. 

The agents at Elliott & Associates Insurance can explain the ins and outs of life insurance. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation!

3 Ways to Keep Your Car Secure Against Theft

Located just on the outskirts of Auburn, Opelika, AL is home to quite a few thousand cars and plenty of traffic for those venturing to the university nearby. With lots of visitors and the area attracting a variety of folks to the area, our customers at Elliott & Associates Insurance want to offer you multiple ways to keep your car secure against theft. 

Park Bright

Wherever you choose to park your car, make sure it is in a well-lit area. Dark spaces encourage thieves to break into vehicles because it is more accessible to work and allows limited witnesses. Most will avoid your car in a lit and secure parking lot to prevent the risk of getting caught. 

Get an Immobilizer

If you do not already have one, an immobilizer is a physical device that you place on your car to prevent them from hot-wiring your car and stealing it. This device is complicated to remove without the owner, so most thieves who are looking for a quick snatch will move right past your car when they see it. 

Lock your Steering Wheel

Another device that you can place in your car is the steering wheel lock that requires a key to remove. With this lock in place, the vehicle cannot be driven. For most criminals seeking out a car, they will walk right past yours because of the time and risks these locks create.

Get Premium Security

The best security for your car is auto insurance. When you add comprehensive coverage to your policy, you are covered in the event your vehicle is stolen. If you live in or around Opelika, AL, contact our agents at Elliott & Associates Insurance today for more information about our policy offerings.