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  • A Hot Price for U.S. Businesses
  • Summer Grilling Fun
    Every year, what should be a fun outdoor occasion for family and friends instead turns into tragedy at nearly 9,000 homes, causing deaths, injuries and tens of millions in property damage. Your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agents can remind you that fire damage and potential liability for injury to friends will be covered by your […]
  • Home-Buying Tips for the Single Guy and Gal
  • Food Trucks: Let Your Food Keep on Trucking!
    Welcome to the world of food trucks! When you picture building your catering business, is the image more truck than tent? The mobile food industry has a long and tasty history in the U.S.
  • Staffing Your Catering Business
    Like many entrepreneurs, you may have begun your catering business as the sole cook and bottle washer. But at some point, you will discover that going it alone not only impedes growth, but is a recipe for burnout and collapse. And you’ll face the question of every successful catering business: How do I find and […]

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How Insurance Can Protect You Through the Years

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

They say that the only constant in life is change. And that’s true whether you’re 18, 80 or somewhere in between.

One thing to consider when life changes is your insurance coverage. Here are six common transitions that we can help you navigate.

You’re off to college.

With many policies, full-time students younger than 24 are automatically covered under their parents’ homeowners policy. Part-time students (or students who are 24 and older) may need to take out a renters insurance policy. If you choose to live in an apartment instead of a dorm, think about purchasing a separate renters insurance policy. (Learn more about renters insurance below.) When it comes to car insurance, you don’t need your own policy if you’re taking a family member’s car to school. If you’re a co-owner on the vehicle or if you own your own car, you probably need your own policy.

You’re renting your first place.

You found the perfect place, but since your landlord’s policy doesn’t typically cover your stuff, you’ll want to look into getting your own renters policy. In addition to protecting your belongings, a renters policy also provides worldwide liability protection for a situation like harming someone while riding your bike. If someone is hurt in your apartment, your policy most likely would pay his or her medical bills. A renters policy will often cover additional living expenses if your apartment is damaged and you can’t stay there because of something like a fire. There are many affordable options—plus, you can qualify for a discount if you purchase both a renters and an auto policy. In some cases, the discount can pay for pay for most (or all!) of the renters policy.

You just got married.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll definitely want to look into life insurance. Life insurance can be the most affordable way to help ensure that you or your new spouse is able to carry on if the unthinkable were to happen. Also remember to ask about your auto insurance. You could qualify for discounts, including a multi-car discount if both cars are insured by the same carrier. Finally, you may need extra coverage on an engagement or wedding ring. With a homeowners or renters policy, your coverage for lost or stolen jewelry is capped at $3,000. So if your ring is worth more, you’ll want to consider separate coverage.

You welcomed a bundle of joy.

You may have binkies, diapers and formula on your mind, but another thing to consider is life insurance protection for your family.formula on your mind, but another thing to consider is life insurance protection for your family. Everyone needs financial protection—even a stay-at-home parent. With life insurance, you can provide for your loved ones even if…well, you’re not there.

You retired and are renting a place somewhere warm for the winter.

No penalty for sand between the toes! If you’re going south, an extra policy is not needed in the majority of cases. That said, a lot depends on the policy you already have, how long you’ll be gone and what kinds of things you’ll be taking to your temporary home. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to check in with Melendez Insurance before you head south.

You or a loved one is entering an assisted living facility.

When it’s time for help with care, it’s a good idea to consider a renters policy if you or a loved one is entering an assisted living facility. A renters policy covers belongings—and, more important, personal liability. For instance, renters insurance could cover your loved one if he or she was responsible for injuring someone.

Many people can’t afford to pay big medical bills out of pocket, so definitely contact us before making the move.

How to Age Gracefully With Your Parents and Plan for the Future

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Son Giving Senior Parent Financial Advice In Home Office

Have you ever read the children’s book Love You Forever, where the mother cares for her growing son until, as a grown man, the son cares for his aging mother? The story depicts a parent/child role reversal that many experience in real life.

Talking about aging with parents can be difficult. But being honest about the topic is important. To help guide the conversation, here are four common concerns you may face with an aging parent and tips on how to address them.

Decide on Living Arrangements Early
Multi-level homes or complicated floor plans might make everyday living difficult and dangerous for aging parents. Discussing it sooner rather than later, while parents are active and not in a distressed state, can help them ease into the idea of new living arrangements like a one-story home or assisted living facility.

If parents insist on staying in their current home, consider homecare and installing assistive equipment, like handrails, as needed.

Focus on the Road
Ninety-year-old Vivian Cash, who started driving in 1949, loved the independence that comes with driving. While priding herself on never having an accident, she had a near-miss that resulted in her decision to stop driving.

“If I’m driving my car and I had a problem, I could hurt someone or myself. It just isn’t worth it,” explained Vivian. “My doctor told me I’m going to live to 100 and I’m planning a big party. I want to be here to enjoy it.”

Once you begin to notice a difference in your parents’ driving ability, consider suggesting a driving class that may help sharpen skills and also lower insurance costs. Offer to accompany them to classes so they don’t feel alone. Help map out ways for your parents to get to all of their daily activities via alternate transportation. Encourage them to sign up for group activities with friends where carpooling moves them from point A to point B.

Update Important Documents

Ensure parents have a will and that it’s been updated in the past five years. A lot can change in five years, so be sure it reflects their current wishes. Establish who will be in charge of executing the details and determine where the documents will be stored for quick and easy access.

Any updates to the will also need to be reflected in life insurance policies, since life insurance beneficiaries take precedence over what is specified in the will. Consider working with a trusted advisor who can help with insurance and retirement planning.

Gather Financial Information
Speaking of retirement planning–it’s important to discuss finances. Help your parent create a list that includes bank, benefits, pension, debt payment and other account information. You’ll also need to have ready access to usernames and passwords for each account. Keep this information in a binder or notebook somewhere like a fire-resistant safe, along with items like tax files and car titles.

Although these conversations are not easy, planning for the future will be less intimidating and will make everyone better prepared for the changes ahead.