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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: Money-saving tips plentiful; small changes add up

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: Money-saving tips plentiful; small changes add up | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it
Who doesn’t want to save money? You’ve probably heard basic money-saving advice, such as never buy an expensive item on impulse. Wait a day or two and mull it over. Then there’s the old standby tip: Put aside your loose change from your wallet or pocket every day. At the rate of 50 cents a day, you would have a small emergency fund of $182.50 in a year. But making small changes can add up, too AARP’s fifth annual ‘‘99 Great Ways to Save,’’ published this month in AARP Bulletin, provides some interesting tips from experts in home improvement, finance, food, and more. To see all 99 ways to save, go to aarp.org and search for “99 great ways to save.”
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Don’t buy a tech device just as a new version comes out, David Pogue says.

Who doesn’t want to save money? You’ve probably heard basic money-saving advice, such as never buy an expensive item on impulse. Wait a day or two and mull it over.

Then there’s the old standby tip: Put aside your loose change from your wallet or pocket every day. At the rate of 50 cents a day, you would have a small emergency fund of $182.50 in a year. But making small changes can add up, too

AARP’s fifth annual ‘‘99 Great Ways to Save,’’ published this month in AARP Bulletin, provides some interesting tips from experts in home improvement, finance, food, and more.

To see all 99 ways to save, go to aarp.org and search for “99 great ways to save.”

Even if you’ve heard them before, it’s good to be reminded how little effort some saving tips take.

Home improvement expert Bob Vila’s tips include:

- Unplug it! ‘‘Vampire’’ electronics consume power even when turned off. A typical household can save $100 a year using smart power strips, which cut electricity to devices in standby mode.

- Install a low-flow showerhead. You won’t even notice the difference, Vila says, because a low-flow fixture reduces the volume of water but does not affect the water pressure.

Yahoo Tech founder David Pogue offers these tips:

- Learn when new gadgets come out, so you don’t buy something just before it’s made obsolete. In general, a new iPhone model debuts each September, and a new iPad every November. New cameras come out in February and October, and everything else is timed for the holidays.

- Consider a prepaid cellphone. You pay before you make calls, instead of after you’ve made them.

- Talk to far-away family members using an app like Skype, which is available for smartphones, tablets, and computers, or FaceTime, for Apple phones, tablets, and computers. You chat for free over the Internet.

Jean Chatzky, AARP financial ambassador says:

- Shop around for insurance. Auto insurers have a tactic called ‘‘price optimization.’’ They raise premiums based not on your risk factor, but on how much of an increase they believe you will accept. When it’s time to renew, ask your current insurer to do better.

- You can get your credit score for free at creditkarma.com and credit.com.

- At what age should you start collecting Social Security? The magic number is 80. If you’re single and you think you will live past it, wait until age 70 to begin collecting, to receive the maximum benefit. For couples, as long as you believe one of you will live past 80, the higher earner should delay as long as possible.

Tips from Holly Phillips, internist and medical contributor for CBS News:

- Switch to generic drugs. The price is usually lower, as well as the copay.

- Don’t smoke. Cigarette smokers pay more for insurance and require more medications and doctors visits. Cigarette smoking costs the United States up to $333 billion annually, including at least $130 billion in health care costs.

- Ask about independent facilities for radiologic tests. Having an MRI at a hospital costs an average of $1,200, but the same procedure at independent facilities costs about half that.

- Take advantage of wellness benefits. Many employers offer incentives for participation in exercise and other health programs. Insurance companies may offer a payment to those with gym memberships.

- Take your medications regularly. Many costly hospital visits are for conditions (like asthma or high blood pressure) that were managed well with medications until they worsened when the patients skipped doses.

Tips from Samantha Brown, AARP’s travel ambassador:

- For cheaper flights, look to the earliest and latest flights of the day.

- For weekend travel, stay in a business hotel. The road warriors are gone and so are the high prices. These hotels will be in the business district, which isn’t always the most vibrant part of town. But that’s a small trade-off if you gett a good deal.

- Avoid conventions. Cities such as Washington, Las Vegas, and Orlando have the best hotel rates when conventions are not in town. Check out a city’s official tourism website under Convention Calendar to spot the best times for a visit.

- Head to ski resorts in summer and beach locations in late August or early September.

- If hotel rates seem sky-high, there are often cheaper alternatives. Consider finding a room on sites like homeaway.com and airbnb.com; you’ll pay less and feel like a local.


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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: What Hospitals Can Do to Prevent Health Insurance Fraud

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: What Hospitals Can Do to Prevent Health Insurance Fraud | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it
Health insurance scams are on the rise, and the government and health care organizations are renewing their focus on stopping them. While most health insurance providers are honest, there are ...
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Health insurance scams are on the rise, and the government and health care organizations are renewing their focus on stopping them.

 

While most health insurance providers are honest, there are some that sell fake policies and medical discount cards to their customers.

 

Advances in technology, better availability of information and greater awareness have helped the government, medical facilities, physicians and consumers combat fraud more effectively these days, but there is still a lot more to be done.

Here is a look at some common health insurance scams and measures that hospitals and other medical outlets can take to prevent them.

 

Fake Health Insurance Policies


Health insurance scammers often target individuals, small businesses and associations, and they try to trick them into buying their fake policies by promising low premiums and guaranteed approval without medical exams.

 

Many of them operate through sophisticated syndicates that have strong marketing and money-laundering capabilities, and they may even be linked to organized crime.

 

Usually, people who have purchased fake health insurance do not know that their policies are fake until they need to file claims.

 

Fake Obamacare Policies


While the implementation of Obamacare promises better health coverage for Americans, it also opened a new way for scammers to prey on health insurance buyers.

 

According to an article entitled "Health Insurance Scams Using Health Care Bill," health insurance scam artists began targeting seniors, low-income people and others who need health insurance desperately as soon as the new health care bill was passed.

 

While some of them offer fake Obamacare policies, others try to commit identity theft by telling their targets that they need their social security and bank account numbers to help them get a national health card.

 

Phony Medical Discount Cards


Phony medical discount cards are usually presented as a way to get discounts for various medical services or an alternative to health insurance.

 

These cards are often sold to low-income individuals and families. They come with lists of phony health care providers, fake discounts and high hidden fees, but they do not provide actual benefits.

 

Some of the sellers of phony medical discount cards also try to get people to disclose their personal information in an attempt to steal their identities.

 

Reducing Health Insurance Scams


There are a number of things that hospitals can do to prevent health insurance scams.

 

First of all, they can try to raise awareness of these scams and provide advice on how to avoid them. This can be done by sharing information about health insurance scams on their websites or newsletters, or during consultations.

Additionally, hospitals can use fraud detection software to combat health insurance fraud.

 

The Fraud and Abuse Management System developed by IBM is an example of software that can help them reduce financial losses that result from health insurance scams.

 

It detects fraud by analyzing claims data and identifying insurance providers that deviate from the norms of their peer groups. Some hospitals have set up special investigation units to prevent health insurance fraud.

 

Health insurance fraud can have serious consequences for patients, medical organizations, insurance providers and the government.

 

It is a costly crime that should not be overlooked.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: 10 Answers To Credit Card Questions

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: 10 Answers To Credit Card Questions | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

http://consumerist.com/2014/07/19/10-answers-to-credit-card-questions-we-get-asked-all-the-time/

 

10 Answers To Credit Card Questions We Get Asked All The Time

 

Credit cards come with a lot of fine print. But the scene isn’t just complicated for cardholders; it’s complicated for the retailers that accept them, too. What needs signing, and what doesn’t? When can a store ask for ID? Are they allowed to charge different prices for cash and credit?

 

Six years ago, Consumerist answered your questions about these rules and others.

 

But since then, the law has changed, and so have the agreements the credit card companies have with the merchants who accept plastic. Here’s what you need to know now.

 

1. Can a merchant set a minimum purchase amount for credit card transactions?

 

Yes. According to both the Visa (PDF) and MasterCard (PDF) merchant agreements, a merchant may set a minimum transaction threshold for credit card purchases.

 

There are some conditions, though. For both MasterCard and for Visa, the minimum purchase amount…

 

- must not exceed $10

- must apply equally to card types from all issuers — so a Signature card or a Gold card from Capital One or from Chase all face the same minimum.

- The MasterCard agreement that also specifies a merchant may not establish a different minimum for “MasterCard and another acceptance brand,” which basically translates to “if you want to take MasterCard, your minimum transaction threshold needs to be the same for every credit card user.”

 

2. Can a merchant charge more (or add a fee) for using a credit card?

 

Yes, they can — and that’s a relatively new thing. Since a legal settlement in 2013, merchants have been able to charge their customers additional surcharges for paying with a credit card.

 

3. Can a merchant ask to see my ID? / I wrote ‘See ID’ on my card, so I am protected from fraud… right?

 

This one is a little complicated. Sometimes merchants are supposed to ask to see your ID, and sometimes they’re not. Writing the words “See ID” on the back of your card doesn’t actually help you.

 

4. Sometimes I have to sign for purchases and sometimes I don’t. What’s the deal?

 

Over the past few years, credit card companies have rolled out programs allowing for faster, no-signature-required transactions at many businesses.

 

5. Will I still have to sign for purchases after the big upgrade next year? What is the change next year?

 

American credit cards are getting an upgrade in 2015 to become more secure( http://dymanassociatesinsurance.com/ ), less susceptible to fraud, and more like their European siblings.

 

6. Can a merchant put a “hold” on my card for more than I spent, or for what they think I will spend?

 

A “hold is when a merchant effectively tells your bank or credit card company to set aside a certain amount of money for an impending purchase. It’s most frequently seen at restaurants and hotels, where customers’ tips or add-on charges can’t be predicted in advance.

 

7. Can a merchant make me agree to not issue a chargeback if something’s wrong?

 

Nope. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have a right to dispute transactions.

 

MasterCard’s merchant agreement simply says, “A Merchant must not impose, as a condition of MasterCard or Maestro Card acceptance, a requirement that the Cardholder waive a right to dispute a Transaction.

 

8. Everyone says I should never use my debit card, because credit cards have fraud protection and debit cards don’t. Is that true?

 

They both have some fraud protection. However, if someone takes your debit card on an Xbox-buying spree, that’s a few hundred dollars missing from your bank account until the situation is fixed. If someone does it with your credit card, the problem can be sorted out before you have to pay the bill.

 

9. Doesn’t my credit card give me extended warranties and other benefits?

 

Probably! Card-issuing banks offer a wide variety of quiet benefits, not really advertised, to their cardholders.

 

10. How do I report a merchant that’s not playing by the rules?

 

If a merchant does try to pull anything they’re not allowed to around credit cards, you can report them. Visa and MasterCard both have easy-to-use online forms for doing just that. American Express card holders can do it by calling the 800 number on the back of their cards.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: How to avoid being victim of insurance fraud

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: How to avoid being victim of insurance fraud | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

How one man pulled off a major insurance fraud by luring in victims just like you, and what you can do to protect yourself.

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DALLAS - For years Frenchitt Collins worked as a legitimate insurance adjustor. He was able to pull off a major insurance fraud by luring in victims with ads.

 

Ultimately Collins was sentenced to 15 years in prison and was ordered to pay $700,000 in restitution to his victims.

 

"Those P.O. boxes were rented by him (Collins), his wife, his brothers, or his girlfriends," said Bodon.

 

In order to attract clients with ads, he would go ahead and offer them $100 or $200 to use their identifiers.

 

Once that information was received, Collins went ahead and completed medical forms necessary and sent them to insurance companies.

 

The goal of these ads was to lure in more victims.

 

Insurance companies would then send Collins checks, lots of checks.

 

Federal officials said insurance fraud is a $30 billion business in the U.S.

 

"It is very lucrative for the criminal to perpetrate the crime because it’s low risk and it’s high reward and they know that," said Fred Lohmann of the National Insurance Crime Burea.

 

Experts are saying this abuse is costing all of us.

 

"The fact that this crime is occurring and is so prevalent in the U.S. it taxes resources federal, state and local that have to actually go in and investigate the crimes," said Lohmann.

 

To avoid becoming part of insurance scams do not give your Social Security number unless you are positive you are dealing with someone legitimate.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: Your options for Medicare supplemental coverage

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: Your options for Medicare supplemental coverage | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it
Medicare health coverage is fairly comprehensive. But if you need a lot of care, Medicare can leave you with significant out-of-pocket costs. That’s why most people have some kind of supplemental insurance to help cover the costs that Medicare doesn’t.
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Medicare health coverage is fairly comprehensive. But if you need a lot of care, Medicare can leave you with significant out-of-pocket costs. That’s why most people have some kind of supplemental insurance to help cover the costs that Medicare doesn’t.

 

Choosing a supplemental plan that makes sense for you is not always easy. Here are some tips that will help.

 

What are the types of supplemental coverage?

 

About a third of people with Medicare have supplemental insurance from a former employer. If you are lucky enough to have this type of coverage, it is probably your best option. Be careful if you ever decide to drop it—you may not be able to get it back.

 

People with low incomes may qualify for their state’s Medicaid program (and other related programs) that cover Medicare premiums and prescription drug costs.

 

If you don’t fall into these categories, you may want to consider buying either a private Medicare supplement plan (often called “Medigap”) or a Medicare Advantage plan. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, and you should do careful research before selecting one or deciding to change your current coverage.

 

What are Medigap plans?

 

Medigap plans work with original Medicare and pay costs that are left over after Medicare has paid what it covers. Depending on the plan, they pay for some amount of Medicare’s deductibles and co-insurance. They do not usually offer additional services, so they will not pay for an item or service that Medicare does not cover. For example, they do not cover prescription drugs, so most people with original Medicare and a Medigap plan also buy a Part D plan.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies News: Don’t Let Car Rentals Burn A Hole In Your Pocket – Check Out These 5 Tips

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies News: Don’t Let Car Rentals Burn A Hole In Your Pocket – Check Out These 5 Tips | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it
You have planned your holiday well; taken the train/plane to the nearest destination; found a good hotel and booked a car to take you to the exotic locations
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You have planned your holiday well; taken the train/plane to the nearest destination; found a good hotel and booked a car to take you to the exotic locations nearby. But when you have to pay for the rented car, you get the shock of your life. The final bill is way over what was advertised or what you expected. And then it becomes a brain-racking, loathsome exercise as you try to decipher the extra costs and charges that have been added to the bill while you continue to argue that those things were never mentioned in the first place.

Such incidents typically spoil the holiday mood, but you can actually avoid it and need not allow car rental to burn a huge hole in your pocket. Just follow these five tips and things will change for the better.

1. Try to research and book well in advance
If you are planning a holiday, you mostly book flights and hotels/resorts well in advance after proper research. Do the same for car rentals if you don't want to pay exuberant prices. You will find plenty of options and information online. What's more, you will also find numerous consumer forums on the Web where reviews and ratings of various car rental agencies are posted. Thus, it is best to decide and book in advance. You should have a good idea about costs and options before going.

2. Try to avoid booking from airports, major city markets
Many people book their cars from airports that are nearest to their holiday destinations. But it usually costs you more as car rentals present there will charge much more and some useless taxes will be added as well, depending on city limits. And the same thing happens when you opt for a car rental operating in the main city areas. They are bound to charge you more than the suburban car rental agencies. But those operating far away from established marketplaces like airports, bus stands and big hotels often face tough competition due to their out-of-city presence and their charges are usually lower than the city and airport-based agencies. Therefore, first take a cab to your hotel and settle down. Next, go to those car rental offices located at the outskirts of the city and hire a car for your entire trip.

3. Get the fuel policy right
Sometimes, car hiring services insist that you have to bring the car back with the tank full. If you are accompanied by a driver, the charges could be higher than self-driven rental cars. Some agencies opt for fixed charges for the first few hundred km covered and then a cost per kilometer travelled. But when the pricing also depends on the amount of fuel used and the fuel in the tank on return of the car, it is best to go for a full tank policy where you pay upfront for the total fuel in the tank at a fixed fuel rate per liter. It doesn't matter how much fuel you use on the trip. If you use more than one tank, you only have to pay for the extra at a petrol station.

But the full tank policy may not be too good if you are not going to use the entire tank. It means you will have to pay for the fuel you have not used. In such cases, go for the fixed charge plus the rate per kilometer one if you have a fairly accurate idea of the distance to be covered. Else, go for the full tank policy.

4. Beware of the insurance whammy
Car rental companies usually provide a standard insurance for the rented vehicle that states the standard charges to be paid as insurance. But at the end of the trip, you may get a punch of extra charges on account of stuff like damage to parts of the car like tires and windshield, which are not covered under standard insurance.

In order to insure against those additional damages to the parts of the car which are not covered by standard insurance, there is a provision called excess damage waiver insurance. This will insure you against damages to windshield, tires, etc. (these often occur if the person driving is not an experienced driver). But this is where car rental companies charge a huge amount, which can be double your total insurance cost. So it is important to read the entire insurance document before making the choice of the policy. Enquire about all possible terms and conditions before you pay up.

5. Photograph your car before and after the trip
Quite often, car rental agencies charge you extra for minor damages (at the sides or near the bottom are the most likely places) even though you have not caused them during the trip. However, there is no evidence to support your claim and you will end up paying the extra amount. It is, therefore, judicious to take proper photographs of the car before you start the trip and get them endorsed by the car rental people to determine the actual state of the car. Also take photographs just before the end of the trip and it will show that you did not cause those scratches or dents which were already there. Matching the two sets of photographs will help resolve any issue that the car company may try to raise in order to charge extra under the miscellaneous or admin costs.

Do the planning properly, based on the information gathered from the Internet and also garnered from other vacationers who had been at those destinations. If you do that, it will surely help you cut down on costs while hiring a car.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group Of Companies News: Insurance Saving Tips for SMEs

Dyman Associates Insurance Group Of Companies News: Insurance Saving Tips for SMEs | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

Cutting an insurance policy to save costs can cost a business dearly. There are ways to save costs while keeping insurance cover...

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In the sometimes challenging economic environment, accounting for every cost is vital for many South African business owners. According to John Kerby, Corporate Accounts Director of Risk Benefit Solutions (RBS), an independent insurance and risk specialist, insurance policies are often one of the costs that businesses look to cut due to the incorrect view that insurance may not be a vital cost necessary for the business to operate.

 

He says that not only is this view incorrect, but very risky, as should something happen to the business, it is not likely that business will have excess funds available to cover these unexpected costs, and that this has in the past led to financial ruin for many businesses.

 

He adds however that often business owners may unknowingly be paying more for their insurance policies than necessary, and while it isn’t possible to do away with insurance costs altogether, given the protection and risk cover they provide for the unknown, there are smarter ways of getting value for money.

 

In light of savings month, Kerby offers businesses a number of suggestions that will assist a business in ensuring that the insurance premium they are paying provides the business with value for money, thereby ensuring that it is not paying more than you should be for the necessary cover.

 

 

Organisation is Key

 

Ensuring that the business has a dedicated insurance file (http://www.scribd.com/DymanAssociatesIns) which includes all the policy information is the first step in reducing insurance premiums. Reducing a business's insurance premiums is a continual process and reviewing the policies regularly can yield savings. This review can be conducted annually, or whenever there is a significant change within the business that may warrant a review.

 

 

Assess The Business's Assets And Named Employees On Policies

 

Analysis of the business's listed assets, equipment and motor vehicles is crucial to ensure that the business still owns the assets listed, and if not these assets should be removed from the policy. Businesses should also update and reduce the retail values of the vehicles as often as possible, which will ensure the premiums remain both accurate and competitive. The same can apply for the valuations of business' premises.

 

Businesses should also review all named drivers and/or key employees identified on policies to confirm that these people are still employed by the business. Many employers simply fail to adjust their listed insured employees when individuals leave the company, which can result in significant savings (http://dymanassociatesinsurance.com/) given that the risk will be lowered.

 

 

Look For Irrelevant Or Repetitive Coverage

 

As a business evolves some types of cover may no longer be necessary. For example, if a portion of a business closes, an operational change takes place, or a division is outsourced, a business may carry coverage that actually could be eliminated.

 

 

Discuss Your Premiums

 

Often businesses don't take the step of advising their insurer that they would like to apply for a better rate. Frequently, insurers will discuss the premium in detail and will suggest ways to have it reduced. During this discussion, an insurer or broker is also likely to learn something new about the business that may result in lower premiums given that they understand the risk profile more accurately.

 

A business may also be eligible for discounts on their insurance if the property has fire alarms, Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau (ASIB) approved sprinkler systems installed or burglar alarm systems. For commercial motor insurance, anti-theft devices and employees with good driving records may also reduce premiums. The business's broker will be able to determine whether the business is eligible for these discounts.

 

 

Connect With Trade Associations

 

Many trade associations have affiliate members that are insurance companies, and often offer substantial business insurance discounts. Memberships to such organisations are often very reasonable, and can lead to increased business through networking too.

 

 

Risk Management

 

Make sure the business has a sound risk management policy in place, as this will ensure that the premiums remain sustainably low in the long term. The business's claims history has a direct correlation to the premium, so it is important that the claims remain low. Spending more on security, such as cameras, security gates, alarm systems, could also assist with this. In addition, if the premises are prone to flooding, businesses may choose to relocate or take proactive measures to resolve.

 

Many businesses are either under or over-insured, and it is therefore important for business owners to ensure that they have sufficient insurance cover in place, but at a cost-effective premium in relation to the risk. Talking to an insurance broker can help clarify what type of cover is needed for the business in question, and also highlight issues which may otherwise have been overlooked.

 

 

Manage Risk Effectively

 

A business should request various options to increase the excess on the company’s vehicles, and business policy. By doing so, a business can weigh up the perceived increased risk verses the reduction in premium. For example, an increased excess per vehicle could be requested depending on how frequently the vehicle is being driven and who the driver of the vehicle is - this is one such smart way of managing the business's risk effectively.

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies News Savvy Consumer: Financial housekeeping includes cleaning up your credit report

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies News Savvy Consumer: Financial housekeeping includes cleaning up your credit report | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it
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A report from the Urban Institute this week said 44 percent of adults in the Metroplex with credit reports had collection dings.

While this number has huge consequences on how much we pay for mortgages, car loans and credit cards, as well as access to jobs or rental housing, local experts caution that things are not as financially dire as the report may indicate.

Widely dispersed by the media this week, the report also said that one in three Americans with credit reports had collection problems hanging on their credit histories.

But a closer look at the report showed that some of these issues were as small as an unpaid parking ticket or membership fees. The figures include credit card debt that has already been charged insurance off by the creditor as paid or settled, but still remains on your credit report for up to seven years. Much of that activity happened during the biggest financial collapse of a generation and may not represent a current debt problem.

So let’s look at what’s really going on here.

While many are still digging their way out of the economic collapse, personal bankruptcies are down 11 percent as of March compared to the year before, said Mitchell Allen, founder and president of Benbrook-based Debt Education and Certification Foundation, a call-in service center for financial education now required pre- and post-bankruptcy.

“Bankruptcies have had a steady decline over the last four years,” he said. “We’ve had a 25 percent reduction over that period.”

Allen, who also is the author of A Survival Guide to Debt. (Greenleaf Book Group Press, $11.36 on Amazon.com) — one of the best books I’ve read on the subject — said that bankruptcies are down because of better personal financial management and tighter lending requirements.

“People noticeably aren’t spending as much and have saved a little more,” Allen said. “And there is a huge difference in the documentation required to get a loan or a credit card than there was before the recession.”

Because of the decline in bankruptcies, Allen’s company has scaled back from 40 to 30 employees, he said.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas, which provides a no-cost service, has also recently closed two offices in Tarrant County because of less activity and now operates just one office in Dallas, said Todd Mark, vice president of community affairs for the company.

“There is a lot less in terms of crisis calls today than we’ve seen in the past,” Mark said. “Nationally, CCCS reports that the demand for counseling is down 50 percent over the last year.”

Calls coming into the counseling service deal more with old credit problems than recent ones, Mark said.

“Most people are two or three years in recovery and are contacting us to deal with some of the issues of their past now that they have a stable income,” he said.


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Tips on Optimizing Guaranteed Income Sources in Retirement

Tips on Optimizing Guaranteed Income Sources in Retirement | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies - In Part 2 of a three-part interview, T. Rowe Price's Christine Fahlund discusses getting the most out of Social Security benefits as well as longevity and long-term care insurance.

 

Christine Fahlund, senior financial planner for  T. Rowe Price Group (TROW), retired in May after 18 years with the firm. Before her departure, Morningstar's Christine Benz sat down with her to get her wisdom on creating a successful retirement plan.

 

In Part 1 of the three-part interview, Fahlund discussed how to assess whether you've saved enough to retire as well as the benefits and pitfalls of working longer. In this section, she addresses lifetime income sources, including Social Security and longevity insurance.

 

Christine Benz: You think Social Security planning is a very important aspect of retirement planning. Can you outline some of the things that people should be thinking about as they look to maximize their Social Security benefits?

 

Christine Fahlund: We believe that there are a variety of ways to enhance the amount you receive from Social Security. The preponderance of Americans are still taking it at 62. We want them to stop for a minute and educate themselves, talk to a financial planner, and come up with at least one strategy for them to consider other than, "We're just going to take it at as soon as possible."

 

For married couples, the way to maximize benefits is for both spouses to work until age 70, or at least to full retirement age for one of you and 70 for the other. The higher breadwinner should always be waiting until 70. The reason to wait until 70 is that benefit is the amount that the surviving spouse, whether it's the husband or the wife, is going to receive from Social Security once the first spouse dies. So, you definitely want to maximize that because in most cases we don't know who it's going to be or when it's going to be.

 

The frosting on the cake is in addition to waiting until 70, one of you could file and suspend your payments until 70, which would enable the other spouse to file and restrict his or her application to spousal benefits. So, depending upon the age difference between the two, many times, one of the spouses could receive four years' worth, from age 66 all the way to 70, of spousal benefits, and that might end up being, for example, $1,000 a month for four years. That's $48,000.

 

Now, it may not be quite possible to wait until age 70. It may be that 68 turns out to be the number, but you're going in the right direction. For us personally, some people would say, "I don't know why you and your husband both waited until 70." Some of that is an emotional decision, too. In our particular case, I felt that it would be ideal for us to get the largest checks possible from Social Security while the two of us are enjoying our retirement together.

 

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Tips when considering life insurance

Tips when considering life insurance | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

Few personal milestones compel someone to buy life insurance coverage like becoming a parent.

 

In the event of an untimely death, life insurance can serve as a financial safety net to ensure there’s money available to pay for everything from medical bills to a home mortgage and future college education costs.

 

Many Americans have taken steps to line up such a financial cushion.

 

At the end of 2012, 146.2 million individual life insurance policies were in effect, with coverage totaling $11.2 trillion, according to the American Council of Life Insurers.

 

Yet the distribution model has changed during the past few decades, and fewer Americans are relying on local financial advisers in their community to look at their overall financial situation and recommend a life insurance strategy, said Brian Bulakites, national sales manager for life insurance for Henrico County-based insurance company Genworth Financial Inc.

 

The Internet has enabled consumers to shop more widely for insurance, but it might also cost them the face-to-face advice that can be helpful, he said.

 

“The biggest thing we see in our industry today is that people don’t have advisers,” he said. “You want to find an adviser that you can build a relationship with — somebody that you can trust.”

Here are five tips for those looking to buy life insurance:

 

Learn insurance options

The overarching goal for new parents in buying life insurance is to provide financial security in case of the death of one or both parents.

 

“The first reason is for income replacement if one of the wage earners dies prematurely,” said E.G. Miller, an associate professor and executive director of the Risk and Insurance Studies Center at Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

“That means you need to determine how much income needs to be replaced.”

 

“In doing that, you would also factor in that there are some survivorship benefits for children and spouses in Social Security, even for people that are relatively young,” he said. “That is a base to build on, but it is not going to replace someone’s income entirely.”

 

However, life insurance policies can vary widely and provide financial benefits besides a death benefit.

 

“There are flexible products these days,” said Bulakites, such as indexed universal life insurance, which enables the policyholder not only to have a death benefit but also to accumulate cash for use as a supplement to retirement income, to finance a child’s education or for long-term care needs.

 

Life insurance policies generally fall under two categories: Term insurance and permanent insurance, which is often referred to as whole life or universal insurance.

 

With term insurance you pay a premium for a set period, commonly 10 or 20 years, and your policy entitles you to a specific amount of money. Unless the policyholder dies, triggering a payout, any premiums paid are lost once the policy term ends.

 

In contrast, whole life insurance policies cover insured individuals as long as they live. These policies also function as savings vehicles. A portion of the premiums paid for the policy are invested to provide a pool of money the policyholder can access, tax free, while he or she is still alive.

 

Such policies are generally more expensive than term life insurance, however.

 

Andrew Porter, a certified public accountant in California, advises clients who are new parents to avoid whole life insurance.

 

“The cheapest form of insurance, generally speaking, for healthy, young adults is term (policies),” Porter said.

 

However, Bulakites said he would not necessarily steer younger people away from permanent insurance and toward term. For some, permanent insurance might make more sense if their budget can absorb it.

 

Set coverage priorities

Generally, an insurance agent will help you determine an appropriate coverage amount for the policy by examining some of the key costs your family will have in years to come, such as the cost of child care, education and the mortgage.

 

In determining how much to pay for life insurance and the benefit, “you have to take into consideration what your other goals are,” Bulakites said. For example, “do you have an education fund for your kids?”

 

Another approach is to figure out how much income you’re expected to earn over your lifetime.

 

Although it might be tempting to think of life insurance in terms of a dollar amount, it makes more financial sense to tie that amount to a goal, such as paying off a mortgage or college tuition, Porter said.

 

“If you’re going to buy insurance, you want to have a specific use for each policy,” he said. Otherwise, “it opens the way for insurance agents to oversell insurance that you may or may not need.”

 

Life Happens, a nonprofit organization financed by insurance and financial companies, has an online worksheet to estimate your insurance needs before you meet with an agent: www.lifehappens.org/insurance-overview/life-insurance/calculate-your-needs.

 

Buy a policy early

The cost of life insurance doesn’t hinge on your credit rating, savings or assets. It’s determined by your age and the results of a medical evaluation that’s required every time you seek coverage.

 

If you’re a couple in your 20s and healthy, you’ll pay less than when you are in your 30s and 40s.

 

“If you can qualify now, it’s better to do it, versus waiting and something could change in your medical situation and you may end up not qualifying,” said Craig DeSanto, head of life insurance and long-term care at New York Life. “And the younger you buy, the cheaper it is.”

 

A 20-year-old man who is healthy and doesn’t smoke could be charged, on average, $32.53 a month for $500,000 in coverage on a 20-year term life insurance policy, according to an estimate by insurance quote portal TrustedChoice.com.

 

By comparison, a 50-year-old with the same health characteristics would be charged $111.38 per month for the same coverage.

 

Insure both parents

It’s common for both parents to work and contribute to household expenses and the costs of caring for their children.

 

That’s one reason experts recommend both spouses have life insurance, particularly if they both pitch in to pay the mortgage.

 

But even in cases in which one parent quits work to care for a young child, that parent should be insured.

 

“There is (a) common misconception that a spouse who is not working does not need as much coverage as their working spouse,” Bulakites said. “I would propose that they need the same amount of coverage and maybe even more.”

 

Bulakites said his wife maintained her life insurance when she decided to stay at home with their children.

 

“I travel a lot for my job,” he said. “If something happened to my wife, who would be home with the kids? If I don’t have an occupation that allows me to do that … I would need to hire someone.”

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Insurance Tips

Save money and get the right insurance coverage for your business with these 14 tips.

 

Premiums for fire, casualty and burglary insurance on business property are all deductible for tax purposes as trade or business expenses. If a business taxpayer has a self-insurance plan, however, all payments into the self-insurance reserve will not be tax-deductible for purposes; the actual losses incurred by the taxpayer would be the deductions.Premiums for life-insurance are tax-deductible. But premiums paid on a policy covering the life of an officer, employee or other key person are not deductible if the business is a direct or indirect beneficiary under the policy. Premiums paid on a life insurance policy of which the business is a beneficiary are not deductible, since life-insurance proceeds would not have to be included in taxable income when received by the company.

 

 

Other Tips

 

Before speaking with an insurance representative, write down a clear statement of your expectations.Do not withhold any important information from your insurance representative about your business and its exposure to loss. Treat the individual as a professional helper.Get at least three competitive bids using brokers, direct agents and independent agents. Note the interest that the representative takes in loss prevention and suggestions for specialty coverage.Avoid duplication and overlap in policies; you will be paying for insurance you do not need.Ask your insurance firm if it's an "admitted insurance company." If so, it should have a solvency fund should a catastrophe put the insurance company in danger of going under. An unadmitted carrier has no such solvency fund.The small businessperson should not consider any form of self-insurance. The pool of funds necessary to safely insure losses is extraordinarily large.Get your insurance coverage reassessed on an annual basis. As your firm grows, so do your needs and potential liabilities. Underinsurance ranks as a major problem with expanding firms. Get an independent appraiser to value your property; if it has been more than five years since it was last appraised, chance are you're in for a surprise.Keep complete records of your insurance policies, premiums paid, itemized losses and loss recoveries. This information will help you get better coverage at lower costs in the future.

 

Insurance Losses

 

Virtually all policies require notification of an accident within 24, 48 or 72 hours of the incident. The claim itself does not necessarily have to filed at this time. Failure to report the loss may nullify your right to recovery.There must be come proof of loss, though you will have a reasonable period to provide documentation if needed.The insurer usually has three options when it comes to fulfilling the terms of a replacement policy: paying cash, repairing the insured item, or replacing the insured item with one of similar quality. Don't hesitate to let the insurer know if you prefer one of these reimbursement methods.Disputes regarding the amount of the settlement are put to arbitration. Thus an independent appraiser acts as judge in the conflict Don't hesitate to use this system of resolving differences. If a compromise cannot be found, a lawsuit can be initiated.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies - READER'S VIEWS: Enabling or blocking health insurance fraud

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies - READER'S VIEWS: Enabling or blocking health insurance fraud | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

When the subject of health insurance is discussed someone raises the argument that because Medicare or Medicaid is government programs, they are subject to fraud.  This is usually an objection from politicians who support Free Enterprise and fear Big Government.

 

Let’s be honest with ourselves, any human event that involves something of value attracts fraudsters.  A bank robber, a hacker, a big company submitting false claims; all fall into the category of fraud.  Any googling of Medicare fraud  brings up some infuriating examples.  For example, health care industry giant HCA (which the New York Times notes was bought by Bain Capital in 2006) eventually settled a Medicare fraud scandal (overcharging) for more than $1.7 billion.  Or, last May the feds arrested 107 health care providers, including doctors and nurses, in several cities and charged them with cheating Medicare out of $452 million.  In 2010, 94 people were charged with submitting $251 million in phony claims.  Fraud isn’t the product of scheming low-income beneficiaries – Mitt Romney’s 47 percent – it is most often committed by big companies and rich doctors, not a patient seeking a second colonoscopy.

 

We should admit that fraud is endemic to the insurance business ( https://plus.google.com/106931644640279451049/posts ;), whether public or private. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that in 2006 a total of about $80 billion was lost in the United States due to insurance fraud.  According to estimates by the Insurance Information Institute, insurance fraud accounts for about 10 percent of the property/casualty insurance industry’s ( http://www.pinterest.com/DymanAssocIns/dyman-associates-insurance-group/ ;) incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses.

 

So, how to tackle any fraud.  Putting more police on the streets is an acceptable way of reducing crime.  Private industry is free to hire as many investigators and accountants as it takes to catch fraudsters.

 

While research has shown that the typical anti-Medicaid-fraud worker recovers, on average, $200,000 per year, it is unpopular in some quarters to admit that hiring more government workers saves taxpayers money.  But unlike private industry, the government is not free to hire the staff and solve problems.  A major block in Congress argues that each and every new accountant is Big Government.

 

Currently, major government departments are even without an Inspector General to head waste, fraud and abuse programs.  The Department of the Interior has been without an IG for over 1,800 days; AID, no IG for over 900 days.

 

So, Congress provides neither anti-fraud heads nor anti-fraud bodies.  The knee-jerk response of “no money” and “no appointees” rather than being a deterrent, empowers fraudsters.

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5 tips for buying car insurance for the self-employed of dyman associates…

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Along with the many other steps to take when starting a business, here's one that many self-employed folks neglect: checking to make sure they have the right car insurance coverage. (https://foursquare.com/v/dyman-associates-insurance-group/52f03e5c11d2aa3f272040b0)

 

Just because your business is part-time or operated out of a home office on a shoestring budget doesn't mean a personal auto insurance policy is enough. There are different types of car insurance that you should know about to be sure you have sufficient coverage.

 

Here are five coverage tips to make sure you have the protection you need:

 

1. Don't lie to the car insurance company.

 

A personal car insurance policy typically excludes coverage for some types of business use, other than commuting to an office, so you need to check the policy and let your insurer know how you're using the vehicle.

 

"Otherwise the insurance company could deny a claim and then cancel your policy if you rely strictly on a personal auto insurance policy and use your vehicle for business purposes," says Insure.com consumer analyst Penny Gusner.

 

That goes for part-time businesses, too, says James Kuryak, principal of Niagara National Insurance in Buffalo, N.Y.

 

In his region, for instance, a lot of folks make extra money in the winter by attaching plows to their pickups to clear private roads. Generally vehicles with equipment attached to them require commercial insurance.

 

2. Determine whether a business-use endorsement on your personal policy is necessary and would provide enough coverage.

 

A business-use endorsement is an addition to a personal car insurance policy. It's geared toward professionals such as real estate agents, lawyers or consultants who drive frequently for business, but aren't using a car in ways that a personal policy would exclude. Adding the endorsement boosts the premium, but a personal policy with a business use endorsement is still usually less expensive than a commercial car insurance policy.

 

"A business-use endorsement is just so you and the carrier understand each other that this vehicle is used for business purposes," Kuryak says.

 

In some instances you may not need additional coverage. Say, for instance, you're a self-employed writer and drive occasionally to your literary agent's office. In that case a personal policy likely would suffice, and a business-use endorsement would not be necessary, Kuryak says.

 

But if you drive frequently for business, the insurer may require the endorsement or have you upgrade to a commercial policy.

 

The choice will vary according to your circumstances and the insurer. A business-use endorsement on a personal policy may be sufficient if you're a sole proprietor, use only one vehicle for the business and you can purchase high enough coverage limits to protect you and the business, Gusner says.

 

3. Understand when a commercial policy is a must.

 

Some vehicles and uses are disqualified for personal auto insurance, and you have to buy a commercial car insurance policy to have coverage.

 

"You're not going to get a dump truck on a personal policy," Kuryak says.

 

You might even have a hard time getting a pickup or van used for business on a personal policy.

 

Say, for instance, a self-employed handyman uses one vehicle, with no equipment attached, to drive to homes to bid on projects.

 

"If he is using a car, a personal policy may be all he needs," Kuryak says.

 

But if he's using a pickup or van, the insurance carrier might require a business-use endorsement or might not issue a personal policy on the vehicle based on the customer's occupation as a self-employed contractor. The insurer will assume the vehicle is used heavily for business purposes.

 

"Also, will the contractor have signage or a wrap on the vehicle advertising his service? That just screams business use," Kuryak says. "To be safe, the contractor should indicate business use to their personal lines carrier and see if they will accept the risk. If so, all is good. If not, then purchasing a business policy would be needed."

 

The guidelines of whether you need a commercial policy vary by insurer. Esurance, the direct-to-consumer insurer owned by Allstate, says you likely need commercial car insurance if the vehicle is:

Used to deliver goods or used as a taxi or messenger service.Owned or leased by a partnership or corporation.Registered or titled to a business, corporation or partnership.Driven by employees or non-listed drivers.Leased or rented to others.A pickup, van or utility vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds or has a rated load capacity of more than 2,000 pounds.Equipped with snowplowing or cooking equipment, bathrooms, altered suspensions, hydraulic lifts or racing equipment; or has equipment installed, such as ladder racks or permanent toolboxes used for the business.

 

4. Determine how much liability and other coverage you need.

 

Work closely with your agent or insurer to determine how much liability insurance you need. With a personal auto insurance policy, $500,000 is usually the highest liability limit you can buy, without purchasing an additional umbrella policy. A commercial policy offers liability limits in the millions. After all, you have a valuable business to protect if you cause an accident and someone sues you.

 

Commercial insurance also offers other types of coverage that you can't get with a personal auto insurance policy. Rental reimbursement with downtime coverage for trucks, for instance, helps cover rental fees and other costs when your truck is inoperable after an accident. A single-deductible endorsement lets you pay a single deductible if both your vehicle and attached equipment or trailers are damaged in an accident. Many other options are available.

Because businesses are so varied, commercial insurance is more complex than personal auto insurance. Talk to an insurance agent or company representative to determine what you need. (http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dyman-Associates-Insurance-Group-6616627)

 

5. Expect to spend more for commercial coverage.

 

Commercial insurance generally costs more than personal auto insurance because it's designed to cover greater risks and provide more protection.

 

A variety of factors affect the premium including:

Where the vehicle is garagedDriving record of you and other employees who use the vehicleType of vehicleHow the vehicle is usedDeductible - the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

 

If it's a close call between a personal policy with a business-use endorsement and a commercial policy, Kuryak says to imagine how you'd feel if you caused a bad accident and had to make a claim. He chose a commercial policy on the vehicle he uses for his independent insurance agency.

 

"I have it because I'm constantly in my car working," he says. "I sleep easier knowing a claim is going to go through my business policy first." 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: 10 Insurance Mistakes to Avoid in 2015

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: 10 Insurance Mistakes to Avoid in 2015 | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

At least a few of the 365 days in 2015 will include a calamity or two for your bank.

 

Many will be small. A few might be large. Some that start small might morph into large.

 

Make sure your bank’s insurance is up to the task of protecting your assets from the calamities.

 

Here are some insurance mistakes to avoid:

 

Mistake 1: Ignoring coinsurance penalties in your policies.

 

Coinsurance is a penalty inside many policies that can hurt you at the time of a loss. It’s a penalty assessed when your insurance company thinks you are underinsured.

 

Ask your agent if you have coinsurance provisions in any of your property insurance policies. If so, ask why.

 

I have long held that having coinsurance penalties in an insurance policy is a good indication that your agent is not looking out for your best interests. Push hard to have the coinsurance penalties removed from your insurance coverage—and take a hard look at the quality of your insurance agent.

 

Mistake 2: Maintaining inadequate umbrella liability limits.

 

Umbrella liability insurance provides protection above and beyond the coverage included in your general liability, auto liability, and employer’s liability insurance. It’s an inexpensive way to increase your level of protection against someone suing you.

 

Premiums can be as low as $750 per $1 million of coverage. My minimum recommended limit for any bank is $5 million. (If your bank has over $300 million in assets, consider $8 million.)

 

The coverage is cheap, and the exposure can be huge. The most likely cause of a multi-million dollar lawsuit for a bank is an auto accident, probably an employee of the bank driving his or her personal vehicle. Consider the potential lawsuit against your bank if a vice-president driving her personal car hits a school bus.

 

Mistake 3: Having inadequate data-breach/privacy mitigation coverage.

 

Insurance agents have been (correctly) pushing cyber-liability insurance for several years. While I want my bank clients to have cyber-liability insurance, it’s the second part of the policy—privacy mitigation—that I'm most concerned with.

 

If you have a data breach, you’ll have to notify your customers. Expenses in mitigating a privacy event can reach $100 to $200 per breached name. Have a breach involving three thousand names and you have just spent between $300,000 and $600,000.

 

I see $500,000 of coverage as a minimum. Consider $1 million.

 

Several insurers are now expressing coverage in terms of a number of affected people. (One insurer provides coverage to notify up to 10 million individuals.) Your agent can get you information on your coverage and the cost of higher limits.

 

The extra coverage is almost always worth the relatively small premiums.

 

Mistake 4: Inadequate extra expense coverage.

 

Undoubtedly your property insurance covers the repair of a building damaged by fire or windstorm.

 

But how about the increased cost of operations for the six to eight months it takes to get you back into the building?

 

• How will you pay for rental of a temporary location?

 

• Or the cost of bringing in a mobile banking center?

 

• How about the cost of fitting out your temporary office quarters with power, phone, and internet connections?

 

Your branches should have at least $250,000 of extra expense coverage. Your main offices may need as much as $1 million.

 

Mistake 5: Tracking customer property insurance yourself.

 

Banks can no longer afford to track customer’s insurance. Why?

 

The insurance is too cheap and the cost of outsourcing too low for your staff to take on this onerous task. Taking this off your plate will also make your regulators happier. (There is currently a regulatory hate-fest going on over force-placed insurance coverage.)

 

Talk with the insurance broker handling your force-placed insurance about alternatives to in-house insurance tracking.

 

Costs are as low as $6 per year, per mortgage for insurance tracking.

 

Mistake 6: Failure to understand the call-back exclusion in your bond.

 

Your bond insurer has certain expectations regarding how you will prevent funds-transfer fraud. A common policy provision is the requirement that you perform call-back verifications on transactions over a certain dollar amount. (Insurers often use your deductible as the threshold for requiring a call-back.)

 

Some insurers are adding additional warranty provisions. One insurer requires that call-backs be documented with a voice recording of the call-back. Understand the provisions in your policy. Talk with your agent. Negotiate the removal of onerous requirements.

 

Mistake 7: Not knowing about—and addressing—shared directors and officers limits.

 

Do lender liability or employment practices liability claims reduce your coverage for future directors and officers claims?

 

Many management liability policies have an aggregate limit that is equal to the limit of coverage for D&O claims. This has the effect of reducing coverage for future claims.

 

For example, if you have a policy with a $5 million aggregate limit, a $5 million D&O  limit, a $2 million employment practices liability limit, and a $2 million lender liability limit, then a $1 million employment practices liability claim means there is only $4 million left available to pay a later D&O liability claim.

 

Check with your insurance advisor. Ask if your limits of coverage within the management liability insurance are separate. Show your agent this article.

 

Mistake 8: Not looking carefully at your bank’s own flood insurance.

 

Your bank’s package policy may include flood insurance. Many have an exclusion for locations located in flood zones. Some policies exclude locations where you could have purchased NFIP/FEMA flood insurance.

 

Ask your agent to detail for you which locations are included in flood coverage and which are not. Better yet, have your agent build a spreadsheet of your locations showing each location as a row. Columns should be the amount of property insurance, the flood coverage at that location, extra expense coverage at that location, and other coverage limitations that apply individually to buildings you use.

 

Mistake 9A: Not reviewing your coverage’s employee dishonesty exclusions.

 

Your bond insurer expects that you will be diligent in whom you hire. Your bond includes restrictions of coverage that are automatically activated if an employee has committed a past dishonest act. These exclusions can be triggered by events many years ago that have nothing to do with employment or your bank.

 

I urge management to discuss known dishonest acts by any employee to assess the insurability of an employee. A shoplifting incident when a teller was in high school can mean no coverage if that teller embezzles from the bank.

 

Mistake 9B: Not understanding that employee dishonesty losses involve intent to defraud and personal gain.

 

Lately I have received a number of calls from bankers complaining that their bond did not pay for a loan officer who falsified documents so that a friend could get a loan.

 

You may wonder how this can happen.

 

The employee dishonesty coverage in your bank’s bond pays for an employee stealing from the bank for his personal gain. There must be an intent to defraud or hurt the bank—and the employee must also realize a financial gain (or expect to gain) from the fraud.

 

No intent to defraud, no coverage—and no actual or expected personal gain, no coverage.

 

Mistake 10: Failing to review your bank’s insurance annually.

 

You rely on your insurance agent to provide advice and insurance guidance. He is a resource you should be able to depend on. An annual review of your insurance coverage will help keep your coverage up-to-date.

 

Meet with your agent about 120 days before your insurance expires. Go over the coverage you have now and your agent’s plan for the upcoming renewal.

 

Here are a few questions that can prompt useful actions:

 

1. Which insurers would you suggest we consider at renewal in addition to our current insurance company? Why?

 

2. What coverage limits should we consider increasing? What is your basis for determining if we have the right amount of coverage?

 

3. What are your three most pressing concerns regarding our insurance program? What coverages are we missing that we should have?

 

4. What actions can we take that will make us more attractive to insurance companies?

 

5. What trends do you see affecting our insurance over the next three years?

 

Your coverage isn’t perfect—count on that.

 

What I’ve outlined in this article are just some of the issues I find when I review the insurance coverage purchased by a bank.

 

I have worked with over 400 financial institutions. Not once have I seen the perfect insurance program. On average I identify over 20 insurance issues to be considered and discussed in my coverage reviews. I think the record is 65 potential gaps and overlaps.

 

When we do get the policies straightened out, a renewal comes up and insurers change the policies they offer you. The insurance policies you buy this year are dramatically different from those your bank bought five years ago. Coverages change. New insurers come on the scene. The insurance marketplace evolves, devolves, improves, and regresses.

 

Share this article with your insurance advisor. It can start the conversation towards improving your confidence in your bank’s insurance coverage.

 

Visit Dyman Associates Insurance Group @ http://www.dymanassociatesinsurance.com 

 

Read for more related articles @ http://dymanassocins.livejournal.com  and follow us on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/DymanAssocIns

 

 

 

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance: Province drives through auto insurance rate reductions

Dyman Associates Insurance: Province drives through auto insurance rate reductions | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it
Ontario has passed the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014, which will help the provincial government continue to fight fraud and abuse, reduce costs and uncertainty in the auto insurance system and protect more than nine million licensed drivers across the province.With...
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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: Be Careful Where Personal Information is Shared

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips: Be Careful Where Personal Information is Shared | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/26105657/bbb-warning-be-careful-where-personal-and-financial-information-is-shared

BBB warning - be careful where personal and financial information is shared

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - On July 23, law enforcement officials arrested seven suspects, from Russia to New York, after they allegedly hacked into more than 1,000 StubHub accounts and placed orders for over 1.6 million tickets.

According to the BBB of Southern Arizona this data hack was different from the one Target experienced in 2013; this information was stolen directly from consumers computers via viruses downloaded onto personal computers or through smaller data breaches on other websites. The victims of this StubHub breach have been notified and many have already received refunds. The BBB of Southern Arizona is reminding consumers to be careful and aware of where they share personal and financial information online, this stored information can easily be stolen by scammers and used to steal identities or empty bank accounts.

The BBB reminds the public to check their credit reports and bank statements regularly for unusual activity, as well as to make sure anti-virus software is updated. They are also offering the following tips to avoid falling victim to a data breach or identity theft:

Quick action - act fast to dispute the charges and limit liability; many companies have a 'zero' liability policy after reporting the loss or theft of a credit card, or when there is a data breach. Write a follow-up letter to confirm the loss was reported.

Know your rights - policies are not the same across all credit cards or debit cards, though federal laws protect both. Many credit card consumer liability is largely limited; if the loss is reported before the card is used under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you are not responsible for any charges you did not authorize. If the card number is stolen, but not the card, you are not liable for unauthorized use. Debit cards are protected under a separate Electronic Funds Transfer Act, protection is tied in to how fast the theft is reported.

Check with insurance( http://dymanassociatesinsurance.com/ ) provider - check policies (homeowners or renters) they may cover losses due to fraud.

Credit freezes/alerts - a credit freeze prevents any lender from accessing credit reports or scores as part of a credit application. For those who been a victim of ID theft or accounts have been compromised and an Identity Theft Report has been created, an extended credit alert can be placed on the account as well. A minimal fee may be required. An extended alert could last for almost seven years.

For more infomation visit our facebook page( https://www.facebook.com/dymanassociatesinsurance ) and follow us on twitter @DymanAssocIns( https://twitter.com/DymanAssocIns ).

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips to Consider for First Home Buyers

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies Tips to Consider for First Home Buyers | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

Stay Focused on Home Purchases THUNDER BAY – MONEY – The housing market is hot, in part to low interest rates and home prices that were low for many years. Given that the purchase of a home is typically the largest purchase one will make in their life, jumping into the market and competing against …

noahrigg's insight:

Stay Focused on Home Purchases

 

THUNDER BAY – MONEY – The housing market is hot, in part to low interest rates and home prices that were low for many years. Given that the purchase of a home is typically the largest purchase one will make in their life, jumping into the market and competing against other aggressive bids can be intimidating. The last thing anyone would want when buying a home or property is to have regrets afterwards, especially for those first time home buyers. Here are some tips to consider for first time home buyers.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies News: Tips to get low mileage car insurance companies

In the event that you drive short of what the standard miles, then you must select the low mileage auto protection to spare cash. Here are the points of interest that you must think about it. Get a low mileage...

noahrigg's insight:

In the event that you drive short of what the standard miles, then you must select the low mileage auto protection to spare cash. Here are the points of interest that you must think about it.

 

Get a low mileage auto protection can aid individuals in sparing a lot of their month to month accident coverage installments.

 

Despite the fact that not all the auto protection suppliers offer this sort of rebates, yet now various accident coverage suppliers offer this. The explanation for it is very basic. The drives, who drive less meet with less mishaps than those drivers, who invest heaps of time on the streets. Presently how about we observe the approaches to seek the low mileage accident coverage cites from the collision protection companies.

 

Search for the companies that offer low mileage collision protection:

If your present accident coverage company is not offering the low mileage collision protection rebates, then you can look for the low mileage auto insurance agencies, which have practical experience in offering this kind of protection scope. Take the assistance of the Internet to search for the companies that offer this kind of protection. In the wake of discovering the companies that offer this kind of low mileage accident protection, you will have the capacity to spare heaps of cash on your collision protection. Be that as it may in the meantime, remember that you need to hold up till the time you get the extension to recharge your arrangements before exchanging the companies. It is on the grounds that, there are various companies that involve robust scratch-off punishments on the off chance that the auto managers drop their approaches early.

 

Ask the neighborhood auto protection executor:

Another most critical venture of getting low mileage accident coverage rates is to contact with your nearby accident protection operator. Yet before you apply, illuminate the accident protection supplier about the progressions throughout your life for which you have begun driving less. Plus, likewise say on the off chance that you have any second vehicle that you utilize once in a while or just while heading off to the work. At that point protect that vehicle as the non-essential vehicle and spare heaps of cash by driving lesser miles.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies News on 9 Need-to-Know Tips for Buying Annuities

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies News on 9 Need-to-Know Tips for Buying Annuities | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it
Since 1995, news.GoldSeek.com publishes the leading gold news commentaries, gold market updates and reports providing gold investors with the most updated gold and silver prices, news & precious metals information!
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Tip No. 1 – Buy an annuity only for the contractual guarantee. You're only guaranteed what's written into the contract.

 

Tip No. 2 – Protect yourself against default by the insurer. At a minimum, the insurance company should be A rated or higher by all rating agencies.

 

Tip No. 3 – Demand full disclosure of fees. Many variable annuities can have management fees as high as 3%, but the fees are often hidden.

 

Tip No. 4 – Avoid a "captive" agent. Instead of buying directly from the insurance company (a captive agent) consider dealing with a general agent who represents several companies.

 

Tip No. 5 – Consider taxes. While no one I know enjoys paying taxes, keep them in perspective.

 

Tip No. 6 – If it sounds too good to be true, it normally is. You may have heard of annuities offering great yields – well above what you could expect to earn in the current market.

 

Tip No. 7 – Get the agent to sign on his promises. When both parties finally come to agreement, you (the party writing the check) should look at the other person and say something to the effect of: "To protect both of us, let's agree upon what we agreed upon."

 

Tip No. 8 – Demand a quote for a single premium immediate lifetime annuity with a death benefit, and compare it to the other options.

 

Tip No. 9 – Compare one annuity feature at a time. Don't let the agent bamboozle you with multiple new features at once.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies News: First-hand experience (almost) with fake car accident

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies News: First-hand experience (almost) with fake car accident | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it
In trying to set up the fake accident and scam an insurance company, the insurance agent told our editor, “Another driver will come up behind you and hit y
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On May 28 of this year, Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams charged a South Philadelphia auto body shop owner named Ronald Galati, Sr. and a group of 40 co-conspirators in a nearly $5 million insurance fraud scheme. These charges were the result of a 16-month Grand Jury investigation of American Collision and Auto Center at 1930 S. 20th St. According to prosecutors, Galati would stage single-vehicle accidents because insurance companies(

http://dymanassociatesinsurance.com/

 ) consider them “no-fault” and routinely pay the claims without raising the car owners’ premiums. According to Grand Jury witnesses, Galati would say, “I live my life to cheat insurance companies.” Among those arrested were a former Philadelphia police officer, Douglas DiEmidio, and a mechanic with the city’s Office of Fleet Management, Robert Otterson.

Upon reading this story, I could not help but reflect on an episode in my own background that was a virtual carbon copy (remember carbon copies?) of this one. It took place around 1972, when I was a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, the nation’s oldest African-American newspaper. I had written several times about an insurance agent in West Philadelphia named Warren Scruggs, and he would occasionally call me with suggestions for legitimate human interest stories.

Warren always dressed in expensive suits, drove high-octane cars and generally gave the impression of being a mover-and-shaker. He was always dropping the names of “friends” who were highly connected politicians, athletes, business executives, media personalities, etc. He ran for City Council himself once as a Republican but lost badly.

He and his model-thin lady friend, Barbara, took my wife and me out to dinner a few times to an upscale steak-and-seafood restaurant on City Line Avenue, where he handed out big tips to valet parkers, servers, managers, etc., as if they were after-dinner mints. Naturally I assumed Warren, who was a big guy with a big personality — always laughing, slapping you on the back, etc. — was mega-successful as an insurance agent(

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 ).

Then one day Warren called me and said he had a proposal for me. “I know you don’t make much money there at the Tribune, and I know you put in long hours,” he said. (At the time I was paid about $150 a week before taxes, and I was working at least 50 hours a week.) “Well, I have a way for you to make about a couple months’ pay or more, and it will require very little work, just a few hours. I have quite a few other people involved, and I thought you deserve to be in on it, too. Want to hear more about it?”

Does a giraffe have a long neck? How could I say no? So here is the gist of what Warren said:

“All you have to do,” he said, “is drive down Chestnut Street between 52nd Street and 30th Street on the day and time that I tell you to do it. You will come to a stop at a red light. Another driver will come up behind you and hit your car but not very hard, just hard enough to put a small dent in your car. You will exchange information with this person, who will be insured by the John Hancock Insurance Company(

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dyman-Associates-Insurance-Group-6616627

 ).

“A couple days later a claims representative for John Hancock whose territory is West Philly will come to see you to ask you questions about the accident. He will recommend that you take your car to a particular repair shop to be fixed. You will tell him that you have low back pain since the accident, and you will also call a particular chiropractor whose name I’ll give you to get a series of treatments for your back.

“After you go for a few visits, the claims adjuster for John Hancock will offer you a settlement, maybe $3,000 to $5,000 or even more if you sign away any future claims against them. And they will pay your chiropractic treatments and the car repair shop, of course, and they will be very glad to do so. A low back pain case can drag on for years and possibly cost them a fortune, so they will be delighted to offer you the settlement to get the case off the books. Then you can go to Hawaii and splurge, which you can’t do on your newspaper salary!”

Warren pointed out that the car repair guy, the claims adjuster and the chiropractor were all in on the deal, of course, and all would get a cut of the action. I would be lying if I said that I was not tempted to get in on it, too, but of course I said no. I told my wife about the proposal, and she insisted that she would not have much fun in Hawaii if I was sitting in a jail cell in Philadelphia.

I did not think any more about it until about 10 months later when the “Big Story on Action News” was a press conference called by then-District Attorney Arlen Specter to announce the arrest of 23 people, including insurance agents, claims adjusters, auto repair shop owners, chiropractors, a medical doctor, etc. Specter said his office had broken up a massive ring of insurance scammers, and he would do his best to make sure they all did jail time. (Not many did.)

Read the full article here… http://chestnuthilllocal.com/blog/2014/07/31/first-hand-experience-almost-fake-car-accidents/

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group Of Companies News - Judge Stays Insurer's Case Against Dewey Defendants

Dyman Associates Insurance Group Of Companies News - Judge Stays Insurer's Case Against Dewey Defendants | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it
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A federal court judge in Iowa has granted a stay in Aviva Life and Annuity Company’s civil lawsuit against three former Dewey & LeBoeuf executives for allegedly making false and misleading statements as part of a 2010 bond offering.

 

The judge also allowed the defendants—former chairman Steven Davis, former executive director Stephen DiCarmine and former chief financial officer Joel Sanders—to ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to hear an interlocutory appeal of his May 19 decision denying their motion to dismiss the case on grounds that the insurance company has no standing because it sold off the bonds and claims that are at the center of the case.

 

Aviva filed its civil suit against Davis, DiCarmine and Sanders in December 2012, seven months after the collapse of Dewey. The insurer claimed it lost 45 percent of its $35 million investment in the firm’s 2010 bond offering “as a result of false and misleading statements” by the three defendants, who are accused of violating Iowa state and federal securities laws in obtaining loans for Dewey.

 

Last year, the former Dewey executives filed a motion to dismiss the suit, arguing that Aviva lacked standing to file the claim because it sold the securities in question to Sea Port Group Securities for $19.2 million in the same month that Dewey filed for bankruptcy. U.S. District Judge James Gritzner for the Southern District of Iowa denied the motion on May 19 of this year.

 

Then, in June, the defendants asked Gritzner to stay the civil proceedings pending the outcome of a criminal case filed in March by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance against Davis, DiCarmine and Sanders as well as a fourth defendant—former Dewey client relations manager Zachary Warren—accusing them of masterminding a fraudulent scheme to cover up Dewey’s financial troubles.

 

 

Davis, DiCarmine and Sanders argued to Gritzner that by proceeding with the civil case in Iowa while the criminal case is underway, the men would have to choose between preserving their Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination and participating in their defense of the criminal trial that is scheduled to go to trial in January 2015 because both cases use some of the same evidence.

 

Vance’s office joined in requesting a stay in the Aviva case in June. (The office also had filed and received a stay in April from federal court in Manhattan in civil proceedings by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against Davis, DiCarmine and Sanders as well as finance director Frank Canellas and controller Tom Mullikin, in which the SEC accuses the men of accounting fraud.)

 

Aviva, represented by Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton partner Helen Michael, asked Gritzner to deny the stay request, arguing that the insurer’s civil case had been delayed long enough and that 18 months had already passed without having entered discovery.  The insurer was concerned that further delay could harm its case because of statutes of limitation, among other reasons.

 

On Tuesday, Gritzner agreed to put Aviva’s civil suit on hold until the criminal case is resolved, writing in his ruling that the court “agrees with the defendants and [the district attorney of New York County] that the criminal case should yield a great deal of evidence that can be utilized in this proceeding once a stay is lifted.”

 

He added: “This court is greatly concerned about the ability of witnesses to cooperate … due to cooperating agreements they may have with [the district attorney of New York County] as well as the logistical difficulties likely to arise during the six-month criminal trial next winter and spring. The task of managing discovery herein against the competing demands in New York offers the potential for substantial conflict.”

 

The criminal case is slated to move forward in August with the district attorney’s response to the defendants’ omnibus motions. The next court date is scheduled for Sept. 15.

 

In his order Tuesday, Gritzner refused to reconsider his motion to dismiss Aviva’s suit. Instead he allowed the defendants to file an interlocutory appeal with the Eighth Circuit, noting in his order that there is no assurance that the Eighth Circuit would accept the appeal.

 

“The case is one of the exceptional circumstances where a certification for interlocutory appeal is justified,” Gritzner wrote, adding, “An immediate appeal may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation.”

 

Kevin Van Wart, Davis’ attorney and a senior litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis, told The Am Law Daily: “We are pleased with the ruling and believe it was a sensible resolution.” 

 

Michael did not respond to requests for comment.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: Tips to know what home insurance covers and what it doesn't

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: Tips to know what home insurance covers and what it doesn't | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

If a tree falls in your yard, your insurance agent might not hear it.

 

You probably bought your home policy years ago, then stuffed it in a file somewhere. Will it be there for you when you need it?

 

Here's how to protect yourself:

 

1. You'll probably have to fight to get a big claim paid. Homeowners who suffer a loss of $30,000 or more get the most pushback from their insurers over damages, coverage and slow payouts, ShopSmart's recent survey data shows. But the coverage of huge losses is exactly why you buy home insurance.

 

Protect yourself. You can cut your odds of a fight by doing business with an insurer that pays its claims. The best carriers for claim-payment satisfaction are Amica, Auto-Owners and USAA, according to the most recent Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of 9,905 subscribers who filed homeowner claims from 2010 through the first six months of 2013.

 

2. The first offer may not be your best offer. Consider your insurance adjuster's first offer just an opening gambit.

 

Protect yourself. If you have a dispute over damages, make the adjuster go over the estimate, line by line, with you and your contractor. Get a second opinion from an independent contractor or multiple estimates, if necessary.

 

3. Your trees can bankrupt you. Linda Paustian of La Porte discovered that after a violent thunderstorm dropped about 40 hard maple and red oak trees on her home and property in June 2010. State Farm paid $6,000 to remove the trees that struck Paustian's 1895 Arts and Crafts bungalow, but nothing of an additional $6,000 that was needed for tree and debris removal and stump grinding.

 

Protect yourself. Understand that a standard policy covers trees that fall on insured structures but generally not those that land in your yard.

 

4. Your bank might hold up your check. “Every check sent to us had to be forwarded to the mortgage company so they, in turn, could write another check to us so we could pay the contractor,” says Thomas Sloan, who suffered $33,000 in damages when the remnants of Superstorm Sandy blew a neighbor's oak tree onto his West Virginia home in October 2012.

 

Protect yourself. If you have a mortgage, expect a settlement check made out to you and your mortgage company. Find out how to get it promptly endorsed and deposited to your or the lender's escrow account.

 

5. You may end up with a lot of damage from a little water. James Peter told ShopSmart that his California home had $48,000 of damage thanks to a leaking valve in his refrigerator icemaker that wasn't discovered for months.

 

Protect yourself. Check for leaks in bathrooms, kitchens and basements, and on the roof. Periodically inspect behind appliances. Get add-on insurance coverage for sewer backups and flood insurance for water threats from outdoors.

 

6. You may need lots of cash to pay for repairs. Settlements aren't always paid quickly or in full, so you'll need cash flow.

 

Protect yourself. Keep credit card balances low or pay them off in full each month so you have ready credit after a big loss. Build an emergency savings fund.

 

7. Your trusty insurer may dump you. State Farm lived up to all of its promises to James Lipsett and his husband, Paul LaRiviere, on their $35,000 water damage claim on their Morro Bay, Calif., home. But less than a year later, the “good neighbor” people sent a notice of nonrenewal because of the claim. State Farm declined to comment.

 

8. Your most valuable valuables may not be covered. If that diamond ring goes missing, you're out of luck with a standard home insurance policy. Same goes for expensive furs, silverware or artwork.

Protect yourself. You'll have to pay extra for a special endorsement or floater to cover the full value of pricey possessions.

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: Business Insurance Money Saving Tips

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: Business Insurance Money Saving Tips | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

We've put together a selection of top tips below to make finding a business insurance policy that little bit easier.

 

Is your business adequately covered?

 

The most important factor when buying your business insurance is making sure you are adequately covered. The first thing you should do is check in detail that a policy and its conditions cover you for your needs.

 

Once you’ve made this assessment you should then only consider the price difference between the insurance companies that provide the correct level of cover.

 

How many business insurance quotes will I receive?

 

There are far fewer business insurance companies compared to the home and car insurance industry, so don’t be worried if you only receive a handful of quotes.

 

In addition, there are likely to be some brands that you haven’t heard of.

 

To provide confidence, read the details of the insurance policy wording, and look at the insurers that back each of the brands listed.

 

Reducing the risk of your business

Reducing your (and your property’s) risk, will help you reduce the premium. There are a number of factors that may contribute to cost. You will be asked about these during your application.

 

Examples of these are; the types of locks and alarms on your property, the location of your property and the type of work you do (e.g. height and heat can be considered high risk).

 

How long has your company been trading?

 

If you have been trading for longer and have subsequently demonstrated that you run a successful business, an insurer may offer you a small discount in recognition of this.

 

Equally, if your company is a recent start-up, you may find that your first year of cover is a little more expensive than average, but this should drop with each successive year of operation.

 

Cheapest cover isn't always best

 

Don’t try to get a cheaper price by reducing the levels of insurance on your property cover – if you underinsure it’s unlikely you will get the full payout when you make a claim.

 

With cover like public liability, the most obvious way to get a cheaper price is to change the amount of cover you buy – but remember this may be a false economy and you need to be sure you are buying enough cover to pay for possible claims.

 

Pay attention to the different levels of cover that each insurer provides, and relate this back to the price.

 

To find a great deal on your next business insurance policy, please click the "get quotes now" button above.

 

View article source:

 

http://www.moneysupermarket.com/c/business-insurance/money-saving-tips/

 

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: Detected insurance fraud at record high, says ABI

Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: Detected insurance fraud at record high, says ABI | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

More than £1.3bn of bogus insurance claims were detected in 2013 according to figures published today by the Association of British Insurers, with claims car insurance making up a majority of this amount.

 

Fraud detected across the industry is now at the highest level ever following the 18% rise compared to the previous year, the trade body said.

 

Insurers ( http://www.scribd.com/DymanAssociatesIns ;) detected a total of 118,500 fake or exaggerated insurance claims, equivalent to 2,279 a week across the year. The average fraud detected across all types of insurance products was £10,813.

 

Fraudulent motor insurance claims were the most expensive and common, with the number of dishonest claims at 59,900 claims up 34% on 2012 and their value up 32% to £811m.

 

So-called ‘cash for crash’ schemes, where fraudsters stage car smashes on unsuspecting motorists and claim for the damage and injuries, represent approximately £120m of financial exposure to insurers, the report concluded.

 

However, the number and value of property insurance frauds fell, down 38% by £137m on 2012.

 

Aidan Kerr, head of fraud at the ABI, said: ‘Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime, which is why the industry invests £200m a year in fraud detection, including funding the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, and developing the Insurance Fraud Register, a central database of known insurance cheats.

 

‘The more that is done to crackdown on the dishonest, the quicker and more effectively insurers can deal with the claims from the honest majority.’

 

The Insurance Fraud Bureau, which was created in 2006 to tackle these organised scams, is currently supporting police forces and insurers investigate 110 of these crimes, throughout the UK.

 

In one case, 60 people were convicted of a ‘crash for cash’ stage accident which involved more than £514,000 being claimed from 25 vehicle crashes alone.

 

Last week a bus company was forced to scrap a bus route after it was targeted by ‘cash for crash’ fraudsters 15 times in two years.

 

The ABI added that since 2007 the value of dishonest general insurance ( http://dymanassociatesinsurance.blogspot.ca/ ;) claims detected has more than doubled, with the number detected rising by 30% over the same period.

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Dyman Associates Insurance Group: Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: Insurance fraud worth £3.5m uncovered every day, figures show

Dyman Associates Insurance Group: Dyman Associates Insurance Group of Companies: Insurance fraud worth £3.5m uncovered every day, figures show | Dyman Associates Insurance Group | Scoop.it

Insurers ( https://www.facebook.com/dymanassociatesinsurance ) have exposed a record £1.3bn worth of fraudulent claims last year as the industry stepped up its war on cheats.

 

The amount, released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), marks an 18% rise in value on 2012 and equates to £3.5m worth of insurance frauds being uncovered every day.

 

The ABI said there had also been a "significant" increase in people phoning up to report suspected fraudsters, indicating a growing acknowledgement that this was not a "victimless" crime.

 

In 2013, 118,500 bogus or exaggerated insurance claims were detected – more than 2,000 a week.

 

Fraudulent motor insurance claims were the most expensive and common to be exposed, with 59,900 dishonest claims worth £811m detected last year.

 

While there was a small fall in the number of detected frauds, their value had increased. The average fraud detected across all types of insurance products was worth £10,813.

 

The ABI said various industry initiatives were helping to "turn the screw on cheats". The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) was created in 2006 by the industry to tackle organised cross-industry insurance scams.

The IFB is supporting police forces and insurers across the UK to investigate 110 "crash for cash" scams where motor accidents were deliberately staged, which on their own represent approximately £120m of financial exposure to insurers.

 

Investigations by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, an ABI-funded dedicated specialist unit of the City of London police, have so far led to 470 arrests and 85 prosecutions since it was set up in 2011.

The ABI also said calls from members of the public reporting suspected insurance frauds into the IFB's "cheatline" rose by 32% to 6,060 in 2013 compared with the previous year.

 

A spokesman for the ABI said there appeared to be a "growing acknowledgement that (insurance fraud) is not a victimless crime, it's affecting people in their pocket".

 

He also pointed out that staged car accidents carried a safety risk to innocent members of the public. Sometimes, fraudsters would deliberately slam their brakes on so that an innocent motorist would hit them from behind, or they would flash their headlights to pretend that they were going to let a driver out of a junction and then deliberately hit them.

 

The rise in the average value of insurance scams could be seen as a reflection of the high-end nature of frauds by organised gangs that were increasingly being uncovered, the ABI said.

 

Since 2007 the value of dishonest general insurance claims being uncovered has more than doubled, with the number detected increasing by 30% during the same period.

 

Fraud is estimated to add up to £90 to the cost of everyone's general insurance policies.

 

Aidan Kerr, the ABI's assistant director, head of fraud, said: "The message is clear: never has it been harder to get away with committing insurance fraud; never have the penalties – ranging from a custodial sentence and a criminal record to difficulties in obtaining financial products in the future – been so severe."

 

The ABI said some recent examples of cheats being exposed included:

 

• Sixty people, including seven members of the same family, being convicted of a crash-for-cash staged accident fraud which involved more than £514,000 being claimed from 25 vehicle crashes alone

 

• A professional golfer who claimed £8,000 on his income protection policy for a knee injury that he said left him unable to work, but was caught on camera giving golf lessons. He was ordered to do 140 hours unpaid community work

 

• A woman was jailed for 22 months following a series of invented street robberies for items including laptops and designer clothes

 

• A vet was jailed for two years for inventing veterinary claims totalling nearly £200,000 for treating non-existent pets.

 

One insurer, AA Insurance, said that it identifies more than 100 attempts at fraud every week.

 

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance said: "These figures are encouraging because they reflect the growing success of the insurance industry ( https://twitter.com/DymanAssocIns ) in the war against fraud, rather than more fraud taking place."

 

He said: "This should send a strong signal to anyone thinking of trying it on.

 

"While you might not end up in prison, if an insurer finds that you have attempted to falsify a claim you'll find it difficult to obtain insurance cover in the future. Insurers don't like dishonest customers."

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