The Bottom Line Is the Bottom Line
By: John A. Shega
Owner – Aspire Insurance Agency
You know it as well as I do; these are tough economic times. Regardless if you are a
business, a family or individual, it is always better when the bottom line (income versus
expenses) is positive versus negative. So how does one balance the cost of insurance with
other items such as groceries, housing, heat and other critical items? Here’s a suggestion –
prioritize your insurance needs, view each as an expense (that is, take the emotion out of the
decision) and then manage it aggressively.
Although some insurance is required by law, most insurance is optional. Many people may
list their insurance priorities in this order.
1. Home and personal auto (often required )
2. Business insurance (rarely covered by your homeowners insurance)
3. Medical insurance (Dr’s. visits, illness, surgery, ect)
4. Life insurance (allows others to pay their bills when you die)
5. Disability insurance (income if you are seriously hurt)
6. Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC) (in-house/assisted living/nursing home care)
Generally, one can purchase items 1 & 2 at anytime in your life. For these two items, ones
credit rating and losses during the past 3 years are important. If both are favorable, now is a
great time to explore your options. In insurance terms, we remain in a soft (decreased prices)
market. This is expected to change to a hard (increased prices) as the economy rebounds.
The ability to purchase items 3-6 is not automatic. With items, you have to qualify to be
accepted and premiums are lower the younger and healthier you are. So, as you look to the
future, remember that today is better than tomorrow to consider some products. Purchasing
even a basic policy may ensure that availability when you need it most.
Here are some suggestions as you begin considering your insurance needs. First, understand
how the products listed above could assist you. Second, prioritize them. Third, address the
priorities. Last, begin thinking about what coverage(s) you may need in the future.
Remember, items 3-6 are not certainties. You must be approved.
Like many people that lived thru the Depression, my father worked hard for his money and
spent it cautiously. My parent’s budget included an emergency or “rainy day” fund to fix a
broken car or replace an outdated furnace. It did not contemplate disability, major surgery,
nursing homes or death. Those were for insurance – if available and affordable. The
insurance decisions they made – or didn’t make – regarding these items will have a huge
impact on him, my mother, and the others that love him dearly.
Passions and priorities. As always, I offer this column in an effort to assist you in your
insurance decisions. Like many other agents, insurance is my passion. What are your
priorities? Don’t wait for a life-altering event to have this discussion. Think about it and ask
questions. If you feel like you’re “being sold”, contact another agent. Remember, you – not
you agent or insurance company - control your budget, buying decisions, and your future.