Tag Archives: best insurance rates

5 Simple Ways to Save on Health Care Costs

save money health care medical bills health insuranceEvery year health care costs seem to raise higher and higher. Whether it’s copays and premiums, doctor’s visits, or prescription drugs, medical costs can eat up your pay check pretty quickly.

High deductible plans are becoming more popular in employer-provided plans, which means you pay more cash out of your pocket upfront. Health insurance plans are choosing not to cover prescription drugs more often than not. Doctor’s fees are going up because they have to pay their growing bills too.

 

Even though medical costs are rising and there is no perfect health insurance policy to ease the pain, you can still save money on health care by following these 5 simple steps.

 

Know what your health insurance plan covers

Knowing what your health insurance plan covers can save you hundreds. If you know that your plan covers a certain amount for an emergency room visit but covers even more for a clinic visit, that will help you make the best decision for your bank account. Find out what your plan offers for preapprovals, doctor visit copays, emergency room visits, and medical procedures. Also be familiar and take advantage of any preventative tests and procedures that are 100% covered.

 

Need more information on health insurance plans? Have questions about yours or curious if you can get a cheaper plan? JR Carnahan Insurance would be happy to help find the best solution for your specific needs!

 

Shop around for medical prescriptions

Always ask your doctor if there is a generic version of a medication as those are usually cheaper than the brand name. In addition, don’t just settle for the closest CVS, call different pharmacies to see what prices they can offer. Another option is to shop online for your ongoing prescription drugs.

 

Double check your bills and negotiate big ones

insurance companies and doctor offices are run by people, which means mistakes happen. Read your bills very carefully and check for errors. Make sure the math is correct and the procedures listed are what you actually received. If you end up in the hospital or undergoing an expensive procedure, always ask for an itemized bill to check for errors. Also talk with the billing department to see if they offer discounts for paying in cash, payment plans, or financial aid.

 

Use a flexible spending account

Using a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) allows you to contribute pretax dollars to an account to be used for medical expenses only. Some employers might even match or contribute to the account also. This deduction not only lowers your taxable income, but it can also be used on things like toothpaste, band aids, shampoo, and over the counter medications. Check with your employer or the bank to see what can be purchased with your account.

 

Prevent, Prevent, Prevent!

The best way to save on medical costs is to stay healthy. Eating right, exercising, drinking water, and getting enough sleep can contribute to a healthier future and thus, a deeper pocket. Visit your primary care physician annually to stay on top of rising conditions that could be prevented with a few simple lifestyle changes.
Even with the rising health care costs, you don’t have to pay and arm and a leg for your medical needs. Taking the time to shop around, save up, and live a healthy lifestyle is worth it!

7 Fall Home Maintenance Tips to Make Your Home Winter-Ready!

happy-fall-yall-2

Today is the first day of Fall, which means cooler weather is on its way.  As a homeowner, it’s time to consider how to prepare your home for the winter months ahead. One of the best ways to save money is to take preventative measures by making sure your home is in tip top shape. Maintaining your home lowers the risk of damages that lead to costly repairs and insurance claims that can raise your homeowners insurance rates.

Here are 7 fall home maintenance tips to make sure your home is winter-ready!

1. Check Roof

Make sure that your roof is solid and ready to roll for the cooler months. Any rips, tears, missing shingles, or cracks can not only allow water into your home, but also allows heat to escape, causing a jump in your energy bills.

2. Clean Gutter

If your gutters are cramped full of leaves, water has no place to escape and can puddle on your roof or drip down the exterior walls of your home. As you can imagine, this can be disastrous to your home. You might have to clean your gutters a few times this fall depending on how many trees you have.

3. Check Windows & Doors

Make sure your windows and doors are up-to-date, installed and sealed properly, and made out of quality materials. You might lose major bucks if they aren’t top notch because of heat leaking out and water leaking in.

4. Check Heating System

Getting an A/C inspection is always a good idea. It can be extremely frustrating when your heat goes out unexpectedly during the cold winter months. Especially when it could have been avoided by a few simple checks.

5. Clean Fireplace, Furnace, & Chimney

Most San Antonio homes don’t have a furnace, but in the case that you do, get it inspected. Also make sure to clean the fireplace and chimney so that soot and smoke can escape properly when it’s in use.

6. Inspect Pipes

Now to the water system. If you’ve ever experienced a burst pipe during a freeze, you know how much of a hassle and expense it can be. Inspect your pipes, make sure there aren’t any leaks or weak spots, and wrap any exposed pipes.

7. Winterize Sprinkler System, Garden Hoses, Outdoor Faucets, Sump Pump, etc.

Any outdoor water lines that still have water in them when temps start to drop, are at risk for freezing and bursting. Make sure to inspect, drain, and turn off the water for each of these water lines before and during a freeze. You might want to hire a professional to winterize your sprinkler system if you’re not confident in doing it yourself.

While winter snow and freezes aren’t a huge scare to most San Antonio home owners, we do get occasional freezes that can cause major harm to your home. Don’t get stuck submitting insurance claims and paying for repairs that could have been avoided by taking preventative measures this fall.

Another great way to get prepared for the winter months is to take a second look at your homeowners insurance policy. Revisiting your coverage each year with your insurance agent will ensure  you are taking advantage of additional savings and have the best coverage possible for your needs. Contact JR Carnahan if you have questions, want to look over your current policy, or are interested in getting a quote for Homeowners Insurance.

Why is Auto Insurance More Expensive for Young and New Drivers?

As a young driver, or parent of a young driver, you might be shocked by how much it cost to purchase auto insurance coverage. Unfortunately, auto insurance rates for drivers under 25 can be double or triple what older drivers pay.

So why do young drivers pay more for auto young driver car insurance auto insurance new driverinsurance?

There are many factors that contribute to why young drivers pay so much more for car insurance. The fact is, insurance companies base their premiums on the driver’s record and the likelihood of financial risk that the driver is to the insurance company. The less experienced the driver, the higher the risk. The higher the risk, the higher the cost of coverage.

Here are a few factors that influence the cost of car insurance for young drivers:

Unproven Record

When a new driver hits the road, they are basically guilty until proven innocent. The insurance company has no historical data to predict or measure whether the driver will be safe or reckless. Because they don’t have a driving record to prove otherwise, the insurance company assumes the worst-case scenario when calculating risk. Therefore, they raise the rates to cover all the “what-ifs” of a reckless driver. As the driver gains experience and a driving record they can be awarded lower auto insurance premiums.

teen car insurance accidentAccident Prone

It’s no surprise that new drivers tend to be more accident prone simply because they don’t have much experience behind the wheel. New drivers have a harder time reacting to driving hazards and are more likely to panic or over-correct. Becoming a skillful driver takes time and experience in various situations to practice. Because of this, insurance companies know the probability of a new driver being involved in an accident is higher than a seasoned driver. So they make sure the rates will cover for these probabilities.

Distracted Driving

Another statistically proven fact is that younger drivers are easily distracted while driving. Not only do they have their cell phones, music, and GPS systems to distract them, they can also be distracted by other passengers or trying to multitask. In our fast paced world, teens are running from home to school to football practice and trying to eat, communicate, or put on makeup as they drive. Many young drivers do not yet realize the danger they are putting themselves and others in attempting to multitask while driving. Distracted driving is a huge problem and insurance companies have the data to prove it. Yet another reason to raise premiums for young drivers.

Financial Risk

For these reasons and more, young drivers are statistically more of a financial risk to insurance companies which is why their premiums are significantly higher than more experienced drivers. While car insurance rates for teens and new drivers might be disheartening at first, remember that if you keep a clean driving record you will be able to lower your premium over time. Insurance companies love to reward safe drivers! Not only that, but you’ll be doing the world a service by being safe on the road!
JR Carnahan offers all types of Personal Insurance, including Auto Insurance. If you are a young driver or parent of a new driver and have questions regarding purchasing an auto insurance policy or updating a current one, contact us today! We would love to assist you in finding the best insurance solution for your business!

Boat Insurance for the Avid Lake-Goers

boat insurance

It’s summer.

The hot, humid, draining summer of South Texas.

Which means, if you’re not at the pool, you’re at the lake.

Hitting the water on a sailboat, Jet Ski®, yacht, WaveRunner® or other personal watercraft is one of the best ways to beat the heat. But it can also be a huge liability if you are not properly covered by an insurance policy.

While not all states require boat insurance, you can never be too prepared for the perils of the water.

On top of your state’s requirements, if you take out a loan for a new boat or if you use a marina, you will most likely have to present proof of insurance.

If you choose to purchase boat insurance, you may do so through an insurance agent or by adding it to your homeowners insurance plan.

The only type of coverage available with a homeowners plan is an Actual Cash Value coverage. This means that the boat’s value is already decided, and usually fairly low.

With an independent boat insurance plan, you are able to purchase an Agreed Value coverage, which lets you decide the worth of your watercraft and the amount you’ll recover in the case of a loss.

So what does boat insurance cover?

While each policy is different depending on the insurance company, plan, and policy holder’s wishes, there are a few types of insurance you should make sure are covered.

Liability

If you cause an accident, liability insurance will cover any property damage or bodily injury bills for the others involved.

Medical Payments Protection

If you are injured while on the water, this coverage will protect you from the devastation of medical bills.

Property Damage

Collision or Comprehensive property damage covers damages to your boat and its belongings that are caused by another boater, theft, fire, etc.

Fuel Spill

In the case of a fuel spill, which happens more than you think, this plan will save you from being held responsible of the clean up costs.

Non-contact Accidents

Even if the wake from your boat causes an accident, you could be charged with the responsibility.

No matter what kind of watercraft you own or plan to own this summer, looking into getting an insurance plan should be high priority.

There’s nothing like sailing the bright blue sea and having complete peace of mind!

“Are there discounts for boat insurance?”

Yes! Contact JR Carnahan to get more information on the various types of discounts you can get on your boat policy.

 

 

How To Get The Best Insurance Rates

It’s all who AND what you know…

Many people think by going straight to the insurance companies they can ‘cut out the middleman’. The parallel may be true with car sales where you pay a sticker price for a physical good that needs to be sold before it depreciates, but that’s not the way insurance works. You see, insurance companies control a pool of money and bet against occurrences such as car accidents and natural disasters that destroy or damage housing and business offices.

When there are more of these occurrences in its area than expected, the company receives more claims, draining the insurance pool. The company needs to apply for the approval to raise its rates higher or else it goes out of business. Unfortunately, that means higher rates for its customers.

So how do I get the best insurance rate?

 

tornadoRates will depend on how many claims a company is receiving. If your city is peaceful, but the east-side of your state is at risk of frequent tornadoes, it would be better to have a house insurance company that serves just your city. Same goes for floods, fires, termites, etc.

So the best bet is to shop around to see which insurance companies cover which areas, whether those areas are risky, and what kind of claim volume they have been experiencing. Sounds like a good deal of work, eh?

Brokerage agencies such as ours are in the unique position to get bulk quotes from local, state-wide, and national companies. We can see what the lowest quote is currently for home, auto, business insurance, etc. Additionally, since we have been tracking occurrences for areas and claims rates for different insurance companies, we can  forecast with a pretty good accuracy how rates will go up and down. It’s all about fast access to the right information. Simple enough, right? Quotes are free, so don’t neglect to get one now.