What's taking so long?

We’re an insurance company. You need insurance. We want to help you! You call us. We take your information and say we’ll get back to you as soon as we get a quote. Twenty minutes pass and you’ve heard nothing. What on earth are we doing?!

With the whole “fifteen minutes could save you…” and now the “fifteen minutes is an eternity; how about seven-and-a-half minutes?” we understand. You want options, and you want them now.

If you are looking for an automobile policy, and in your household you have a 2005 Chevy Malibu and a 2008 Toyota Corolla, we can probably get back to you within the hour with several options. However, it gets trickier if you have a one-ton truck. Or a vehicle with expensive modifications.

The same applies to homeowner’s insurance. You live in town in a 1986 Ranch home that is a lot like the neighbors’ houses? We should have numbers for you today. But if your house is underground? Or a Quonset hut? Or a boathouse? It might take us a while.

Here’s why: Insurance rates are based on risk. An insurance company assesses risk based largely on comparison with similar items or properties. A late model fifth wheel RV has a lot to be compared to, but an old school bus retrofitted as a recreational vehicle is going to be more difficult to price.

At Hejny Insurance Agency, we don’t write insurance. We connect clients with the best insurance providers to meet their individual needs. So while it might seem like sometimes it’s taking an unreasonably long time to put together a quote, the odds are that we’re putting out feelers and waiting for answers. Even if you have a very specialized business for which none of our providers have a market, they might have another lead… And while we’re investigating those leads, you can be working your day job, or Skyping your mom, or reading a book on the back porch.

It doesn’t stop there. Once you have insurance through us, you can always call us or stop by with concerns or questions, and if we can’t help you, we’ll be the ones to wait on hold for forty-five minutes while you head home to start dinner.

That’s the whole reason we’re here: We do the leg work so you can get on with your life. And we appreciate that you’ve let us do so for the past 28 years.

Learn More About Life Insurance

Don’t gamble with your family’s financial future for one more minute, the LIFE Foundation urges, as part of Life Insurance Month. The organization offers a three step plan to get yourself up to speed with the information you need to make crucial life insurance decisions.

  1. Start by exploring its own website, lifehappens.com, for a wealth of information on the subject and the buying process. There are videos, education programs and information about key insurance terms and concepts.
  2. Know what questions you need answering about your life insurance requirements. The first question, says LIFE, is usually: How much do I need? Though you need to speak to an expert to get precise guidance, the site has an online Life Insurance Needs Calculator, which will give you a ball-park idea.
  3. Seek professional advice! This is too important a subject, with multiple options, to just work through by yourself. “A good insurance advisor will take the time to carefully assess your needs and provide you with options from which to choose,” it says.

When you’re ready to talk about your life insurance needs, please contact us for a nocommitment discussion.

True Protection for Loved Ones

Life insurance may be one of the most effective ways you can protect your loved ones. Yet, remarkably, the number of Americans without adequate protection is actually growing. It’s one of the things that seems to get shelved when the economy is under siege, as it has been these past few years, leading people to postpone plans to take out insurance, stop paying if they already have it, or buy the wrong type of insurance for their particular life stage.

It’s easy to say that all of these actions (or inactions!) are shortsighted but mostly they’re down to lack of information and understanding of the true long-term value of good life insurance. There’s no better time to take stock of your protection than in September — it’s Life Insurance Awareness Month.

According to LIFE, the non-profit foundation that organizes the event, 30 percent of US households have no life insurance whatsoever, and many of the remainder have inadequate coverage.

Questions For You
When was the last time you did the math to make sure your loved ones would be OK financially? Have you checked with your employer to find out what kind of life insurance benefit you have through work and whether you have the option to increase your coverage? When was the last time you had your life insurance needs reviewed by you insurance professional?

During this month, more than 100 of the nation’s leading insurance companies and industry groups join with the LIFE Foundation in this campaign to encourage consumers to give serious thought to their life insurance coverage. Says the Foundation: “No one likes to think about dying. But if your loved ones will suffer financially when you die, it’s a subject you have to address. You need to consider how your family would fare financially if, suddenly, you weren’t there to provide for them.

“Where would the money come from to pay for your funeral, the monthly bills, the mortgage, the kids’ education costs? These are the questions the life insurance industry wants all Americans to ask themselves.”

Life Insurance Riders

Not all life insurance policies are created equally. By adding riders, you can completely customize your term life policy. A rider is a clause that is added to a policy that changes the coverage provided. A rider can add or remove coverage.

Not all life insurance policies are created equally.  By adding riders, you can completely customize your term life policy.  A rider is a clause that is added to a policy that changes the coverage provided.  A rider can add or remove coverage.  Let’s take a look at some of the common riders.

  • Child Rider
    This rider is typically added to a parent’s policy, and provides a benefit in the event of a death of a child listed on the policy.  The amount of coverage is usually lower than what an adult would need, because children do not have dependents.  It can actually be preferable to add a child rider to an adult’s policy rather than issuing an entirely new policy for the child, which would have an additional policy fee.
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (ADD)
    Some policies allow the ADD rider, which pays an additional benefit if the insured dies or loses a limb or two in an accident.  I usually do not recommend adding this rider because your family doesn’t need more money just because you died in a car wreck rather than from a heart attack.  Any property damage involved in the death would most likely be covered under some kind of property insurance, such as auto or homeowners.  The increased premium usually does not justify the small increase in the amount of the death benefit.  Additionally, if you are a member of a credit union, you may already have a stand-alone ADD policy.
  • Terminal Illness
    This rider allows you to receive an early payout of your life policy in the event that you are diagnosed with one of several pre-defined illnesses or conditions.  Some companies require that the insured be given one year or less to live (cancer); others will pay out regardless of the prognosis (heart attack, stroke).  This is a handy rider that helps to replace lost income during illness and to help pay medical expenses.

Contact us for a free life insurance evaluation or quote.

Whole Life or Term?

There are several different types of life insurance products on the market, but for the most part they fall into two distinct categories: whole life and term. Which one is better?

There are several different types of life insurance products on the market, but for the most part they fall into two distinct categories: whole life and term. Which one is better? Term, without a doubt.

Whole life insurance is designed to cover you for, well, your whole life. You can purchase a policy at 21 and rest assured that the policy will be in force until you turn 100 if you’ve paid your premiums. It’s also considered a savings vehicle because there’s a cash value to that policy. Sounds good, right?

Wrong.

Policy premiums are calculated on your risk of dying during the policy’s term. While the 100+ age group is the fasted-growing population in America, most of us will probably die before 100. On the off chance that you do live to 100, your life insurance policy would automatically pay you the face value. So the company knows that there’s a 100% chance that they will have to pay you or your beneficiaries. They charge a higher premium for that.

Term life, on the other hand is issued in 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year increments. If you’re in your twenties, your life expectancy is probably over seventy. The odds are fairly good that you won’t die in the next thirty years. Insurance companies know this, and charge a lower premium.

That cash value that whole life policies have? The company will allow you to borrow against it, but you will be required to pay it back with interest. If you die with an outstanding loan, the insurance company will deduct that amount from the face value, which means your family will receive less money. And if you don’t have any outstanding loans, you don’t get to keep that cash value. The insurance company keeps it as part of the “cost of doing business.” Funny, I thought the premiums were supposed to cover the cost of doing business.

Term life has no cash value, so there’s no overhead for managing an investment. You keep the part of the premium that would go toward that cash value in a whole life policy. That’s more money in your pocket.

So what to do? Buy term and invest the difference. If it would cost you $100 a month to have $100,000 in whole life coverage, you can most likely get the same coverage for only $50 a month. That leaves $50 that you can invest on your own. Historically, the stock market has earned 10% over any 30-year period. If you were to invest your $50 a month at 10% (compounded annually) you would have $107743.58 at the end of your thirty year term. If you died during those thirty years, your family would also receive the $100,000 from your term life policy. So your family would receive at least $100,000 if you live, and over $200,000 if you die. Whole life would pay your family $100,000, minus any outstanding loan balances against the cash value, and only if you die.

Makes sense to go with term life, doesn’t it? If you’re ready to make the switch, or if you’re one of the 68 million Americans who don’t have life insurance at all, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How much life insurance do YOU need?

Do you have any idea how much life insurance you actually need? More than 40% of Americans don’t have life insurance at all, and over half of those who do have it are underinsured. Here’s a case study that might help you assess your own life insurance needs.

Do you have any idea how much life insurance you actually need? More than 40% of Americans don’t have life insurance at all, and over half of those who do have it are underinsured. Here’s a case study that might help you assess your own life insurance needs.

Bob Bobberson is a healthy 45-year-old man who doesn’t smoke. Bob makes $45,000 a year as a real estate agent. His lovely wife Bobbina is a stay-at-home mom to their three kids, Bobby (13), Robby (10), and Bobette (6).  They purchased their $120,000 home five years ago, and currently owe $100,000 on it. They have two cars, owing a total of $11,000 on them, and have $15,000 in credit card debt. How much life insurance does Bob need? Here’s how a conversation with Bob’s insurance agent, Fred, might go:

Bob: “I got a $250,000 policy through my job, and I think that’s enough.”

Fred: “We can take a look at your numbers and figure that out. First, add all personal debt, such as credit cards and auto payments and write that down.”

Bob: “Why do I need to cover all of it?”

Bobbina: “Because I don’t want to keep paying for that pickup truck that you insisted on getting, and I probably couldn’t give that gas-guzzler away if I tried. And a lot of that credit card debt is left over from before we even got married!”

Bob writes down $26,000.

Fred: “Then, add income replacement for at least eight years.”

Bobbina: “Make it twelve. That’ll last until Bobette is grown so I can stay home with her like I have for the boys.”

Bob: “Let’s see . . . 45 times 12 . . . carry the one . . . that’s $540,000.”

Fred: “Now add in what’s left on your mortgage.”

Bob: “ALL of it?”

Fred: “Do you want to leave Bobbina with a house that may be foreclosed on, or do you want to leave her with a house that’s fully paid for?”

Bobbina: “Yeah!”

Bob writes down $100,000.

Fred: “And finally, factor in the cost of sending each of your kids to college.”

Bob: “Can I just pick my favorite?”

Bobbina: “No! And remember, Robby’s in the gifted program at school and might get to go to Harvard!”

Bob: “Yeah, but Bobby’s a jock. He’ll probably get a scholarship.”

Fred: “It’s possible he could get injured. It’s probably best to not count on a scholarship. You can probably count on about $75,000 for four years in a public college per kid.”

Bob writes down $225,000.

Fred: “That adds up to . . . let’s see . . . $801,000. I know I can’t afford THAT!”

Bobbina: “Well you can’t afford to leave us in the poor house either!”

Bob: “Do you have any idea what it would cost to get that much coverage? I already pay $250 a month for what I’ve got!”

Fred: “Hold on just a moment and let me get you a quote for the premium . . . 45 . . . male . . . nonsmoker . . . it looks like I can get you $801,000 in coverage for . . . $291 a month.”

Bob: “Really? That’s close to what I’m already paying for less than half that!”

Bobbina: “We’ll take it!”

As you can see, Bob was severely underinsured and didn’t even know it. And he didn’t think that he could afford what he really needed. And here’s the interesting part: as Bob gets older, the amount of insurance he needs will decrease. His mortgage principle and credit card debts will go down as he continues to make regular payments. His kids will get older, graduate from college, and leave the house. Eventually the only coverage he will need will be for his final expenses and income replacement for his wife. This is called the Theory of Decreasing Responsiblity.

Try running the numbers for yourself:

  • Add all credit, installment, and personal debt
  • Multiply your annual income by at least eight
  • Add the payoff balances of your first and second mortgages
  • Multiply the number of children you are responsible for by $75,000 for a public college education.

Add those numbers together to get the total death protection you need. If, like Bob, you discover that you’re underinsured, or if you’re completely uninsured, please contact us today for a custom quote.