Here are 10 of the most frequently asked questions when considering a life insurance purchase.
How do you know if you need $250,000, $500,000 or more in coverage? A life insurance needs analysis will help you figure it out. It’s actually a pretty simple calculation. You begin by estimating your family’s immediate and future financial needs. Then, you add up all of the resources that are in place to meet those needs. The difference between the two is your need for life insurance. Another basic method to figure out the minimum insurance needed is multiplying your annual income by 10.
Life insurance through your job is a great perk to receive, but you should view it as just that…a perk or an added bonus. For one thing, most employers tend to provide very limited amounts of coverage at their own expense, typically a lump sum such as $10,000 or coverage equal to one times your annual salary. Another limitation is that it’s not always possible or practical to take your coverage with you if you change jobs. An individually owned policy follows you around wherever you go. If you change jobs, you won’t have to worry about the possibility of your family being left unprotected.
It’s impossible to provide a generic answer to this question since everyone’s situation is different. Many people will buy a policy that provides coverage until their kids reach college-graduation age. Others will want to have coverage until their mortgage is paid off. A business owner might want lifelong coverage for business succession planning purposes. Our best advice is to speak with one of our life insurance professionals, who can conduct a quick needs analysis over the phone and help you determine the amount and duration of coverage that’s right for you.
This is another question for which there’s no blanket answer. Both types of insurance have their merits. Our view is that for many people term is often the best solution because it allows you to get the most coverage for your money. When buying life insurance, the most important thing you want to do is buy enough coverage. When you die, your family won’t care if you had term or permanent insurance. They’ll only want to know…is there enough.
With most life insurance purchases, you’re required to have a medical exam as part of the application process. That’s because your personal health status is one of the key factors used to determine how much you’ll pay for your policy. If you think about it, that makes sense. If you’re in perfect health, your odds of living a long life are much greater than someone your age who is in poor health, and you should be rewarded in the form of lower premiums. Conversely, someone in poor health should be required to pay more than you because there’s a greater chance, statistically, that the insurance company will have to pay a claim for that person. The exams usually take no longer than 20 minutes and are conducted by paramedical companies that come either to your home or office, at a time that’s convenient for you.
A lot of people don’t apply for life insurance coverage because they think they won’t qualify. But the truth is, they’re making a mistake. If you need life insurance, you should apply. It’s true that people in poor health will pay more for coverage, but that’s a better plan than leaving your family’s financial future to chance. Even if you’ve had a very serious condition such as cancer, many companies will provide you with coverage as long as you can show that you’ve been cancer-free for a certain period of time (e.g., 2 years) and that the cancer isn’t likely to recur in the near future.
Because most life insurance applications require underwriting (i.e., a medical exam, an evaluation of your family’s health history, etc.), the process typically takes from 1 to 2 months. The good news is that we get cases processed faster than almost anyone else in the business thanks to our streamlined underwriting procedures and the excellent working relationships we have with the highly rated companies that we represent.
Most policies contain a provision that allows a terminally ill person to “accelerate” part of his or her death benefit while that person is still alive. Some people will use the money to take care of financial affairs and other final arrangements. Others will use the money to help pay for medical bills. The money can even be used to do nice things for your family like take them on vacation while you’re still able to.
There are various options, and each has its merits depending on your particular situation. You can name specific individuals such as a spouse, a partner or your children. When naming individuals, it’s important to name contingent (or secondary) beneficiaries in the event that you outlive your primary beneficiary. Another option is to assign the proceeds of your policy to your estate. If you do so, make sure that your will clearly states how and to whom your assets are to be distributed. You can also set up a life insurance trust and assign the benefits of your policy to the trust. If you are a high net worth individual, this can be beneficial for estate planning purposes. In making decisions about beneficiaries, it’s advisable to consult your attorney and/or tax advisor.
Life insurance needs change as circumstances in your life change such as the birth of a child, buying a new home, getting a job or promotion, getting married or divorced, starting a business, etc. So it’s wise to have your life insurance needs assessed at least every few years to make sure that your insurance needs are keeping up with all of the other changes in your life.
Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
The Fast Forward Insurance Service toll-free number is 1-833-342-5335
The fax number for Fast Forward Insurance Services is 1-800-903-6799
Fast Forward Insurance mailing address is 1255 W. Colton Avenue #132 Redlands, CA 92374.
Please contact our customer service center at 1-833-342-5335
No, the quote is free
Quotes are of no obligation, and provide an estimate based on the parameters set forth from the information you provide to generate multiple coverage options. Proposals are not bound, and do not serve as a contract of insurance.
Yes, you may pay by phone or by mail. Fast Forward Insurance has policies in place to protect electronic payment information, but if the client is not comfortable with that method of payment they may mail a check to FFI headquarters.
You may file an online request to obtain your insurance documents or you may call directly into our customer service team to obtain a copy.
We accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover.
Yes, you may cancel your insurance at any time.
By law you may cancel your auto insurance at any time. Most insurance carriers require a signed request from the insured, and in some cases proof of coverage from the new company. Based on the amount of time remaining on your current policy upon termination, the client may receive a prorated refund back from the company for unearned premium. New insurance plans should always be made effective the date of the current insurance cancellation date, in order to avoid any lapse in coverage.
Your insurance coverage begins on the effective date set forth on your application, accompanied by the initial down payment.
You may make changes to your policy online by submitting an endorsement form, which our staff will then process and send confirmation via email or phone. You may also call in directly to our customer service center to make changes to your policy.
After a car accident, start filing a claim by contacting the police. It is always best to have an officer take down the details of the accident or incident in the police report. You will probably be shaken up after a car accident and may not be in the best position to assess what's happened. In a worst case scenario, if the other party becomes difficult, the police will be there to make sure you are safe. The police will also make sure ambulances or emergency service people are there to help handle injuries or dangerous damage such as leaking fuel or oil.
Having your car accident information list ready will help you keep track of the information you will need to file your auto insurance claim. It is important to document the details of the accident and be ready to provide them to the insurance company.
Call your insurance company from the scene of the accident while you wait for the police or after you are safe. They will walk you through the next steps and tell you what information you need to send them.
If your car is not drivable, your insurer can advise you on next steps such as transportation for you and your car. If you have this coverage on your policy, your insurer can arrange for your car to be towed, as well as reserve you a rental car. If you do not call them, you won't know how they can help and you may spend more money than is necessary. Once you have called your insurance company, they will open the claims file.
Once your claim is reported to your car insurance company, they will assign a claims professional, such as an adjuster, to work on your car insurance claim. The adjuster will represent you in any discussions with third parties, and their insurance company, or any other people involved. They will investigate the circumstances and work for you to get the claim settled and your vehicle repaired.
If you are the victim of a theft or your home has been vandalized or burglarized, report it to the police. Get a police report and the names of all law enforcement officers that you speak with as you may need to provide the details of the event to your insurer.
Ask the following questions: Am I covered? How long do I have to file a claim? Will my claim exceed my deductible? (If your loss is lower than your deductible, you probably won’t want to go through the claims filing process.) How long will it take to process my claim? Will I need to obtain estimates for repairs to structural damage?
Your insurance company will probably arrange for an adjuster to come and inspect your home. An adjuster is a company representative who inspects property damage to determine how much the insurance company should pay for the loss. He or she will interview you and inspect the property.
Photograph or videotape the damage, then take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage. If possible, avoid throwing out damaged items until the adjuster has visited your home. Save receipts for what you spend—you may be able to submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement later.
If your home is so damaged that you need to find other accommodations while repairs are being made, keep receipts and records of all additional expenses incurred. Most homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for additional living expenses in such cases, but you’ll need to provide proof of the costs.
Unless the cause of loss is excluded in the policy, a homeowners policy provides coverage for personal liability, medical payments to others, and accidental direct physical loss to your dwelling.
In addition, the policy provides coverage for your personal property for specific perils including, but not limited to:
Insurance defines dwelling as a home and any structures attached to it. This may include:
It is highly advised that you obtain insurance coverage which is equal or greater than the cost to reconstruct your home. Your insurance agent will work with you to examine the property's profile to estimate the amount of coverage.
The market value is the amount a buyer would pay on the open market for the home and the land. Market value is based on several factors including similar homes in the area, location availability, and crime rate.
Replacement cost is the total cost of material the rebuild the home. This is the cost to make your asset whole once again prior to when the home suffered a loss. Replacement cost is not the homes purchase price, mortgage loan amount, or the market value of the home.
There are several ways to track and itemize your personal belongings. If you have a phone, you may download applications from the app store. Also, created and maintaining a personal ledger which includes but is not limited to make, model, serial number, receipts, credit card statements, appraisals, and date of purchase. Document everything thoroughly so that you may present to your adjuster to help your claim experience move smoothly.
Make sure to update our inventory periodically and keep your records in a safe location such as a safety deposit box or secure location away from the premise.
Looking for coverage? Click any of the following links to submit a quote for quick, accurate and affordable rates.Auto Insurance Quote
Auto insurance protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. It is a contract between you and the insurance company. You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as defined in your policy.
Auto insurance provides property, liability and medical coverage:
Most auto policies are for six months or a year. Your insurance company should notify you by mail when it's time to renew the policy and to pay your premium.
It's really all about protecting yourself financially.
Your Independent Agent is an advocate for finding auto insurance that meets your specific needs. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the discussion:
Looking for coverage? Click any of the following links to submit a quote for quick, accurate and affordable rates.Homeowners Quote Form
Because everyone's needs are not the same, it is best to consult your agent to help assess your needs and find the insurance policy that is right for you.
Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it.
Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. This includes damage caused by household pets.
Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. The most significant are damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowners' responsibility.
It is really all about protecting yourself financially if something unexpected happens to your home or possessions. That's important because chances are your home is likely one of your largest investments.
It is important to know that homeowners insurance is meant to cover unexpected damage, not routine maintenance. Ask your agent to talk about what is covered and be sure to read your policy so you know exactly what's included and what is not.
Here are few things to discuss with your agent that will influence your decisions.
Looking for coverage? Click any of the following links to submit a quote for quick, accurate and affordable rates.Life Quote Form
There are many kinds of life insurance, but they generally fall into two categories: term insurance and permanent insurance.
Term insurance is designed to meet temporary needs. It provides protection for a specific period of time (the "term") and generally pays a benefit only if you die during the term. This type of insurance often makes sense when you have a need for coverage that will disappear at a specific point in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from college or a particular debt is paid off, such as your mortgage.
In contrast, permanent insurance provides lifelong protection. As long as you pay the premiums, and no loans, withdrawals or surrenders are taken, the full face amount will be paid. Because it is designed to last a lifetime, permanent life insurance accumulates cash value and is priced for you to keep over a long period of time.
It's impossible to say which type of life insurance is better because the kind of coverage that's right for you depends on your unique circumstances and financial goals.
But remember, the best way to figure out the amount and type of life insurance that makes sense for your particular situation is to meet with a qualified and licensed life insurance professional.
As a business owner, you need the same kinds of insurance coverages for the car you use in your business as you do for a car used for personal travel -- liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments (known as personal injury protection in some states) and coverage for uninsured motorists. In fact, many business people use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure. If the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appears on the policy as the "principal insured" rather than your name. This will avoid possible confusion in the event that you need to file a claim or a claim is filed against you.
Whether you need to buy a business auto insurance policy will depend on the kind of driving you do. A good insurance agent will ask you many details about how you use vehicles in your business, who will be driving them and whether employees, if you have them, are likely to be driving their own cars for your business.
While the major coverages are the same, a business auto policy differs from a personal auto policy in many technical respects. Ask your insurance agent to explain all the differences and options.
If you have a personal umbrella liability policy, there's generally an exclusion for business-related liability. Make sure you have sufficient auto liability coverage.
Unfortunately for every business owner, the chances of getting sued have dramatically increased in the last decade. General Liability insurance can prevent a legal suit from turning into a financial disaster by providing financial protection in case your business is ever sued or held legally responsible for some injury or damage.
General Liability pays losses arising from real or alleged bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury on your business premises or arising from your operations.
Broad Range of General Liability Protection
Workers compensation laws were created to ensure that employees who are injured on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards. This eliminates the need for litigation and creates an easier process for the employee. It also helps control the financial risks for employers since many states limit the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer.
Workers Compensation Insurance is designed to help companies pay these benefits. As a protection for employees, most states require that employers carry some form of Workers Compensation Insurance. Workers Compensation Insurance is not health insurance. Workers Compensation is designed specifically for injuries sustained on the job.
In most states, if you have employees, you are required to carry Workers Compensation coverage. Even in non-mandatory states, it can be a very good idea, particularly if you have many employees, or if they are engaged in hazardous activities.
Employers have a legal responsibility to their employees to make the workplace safe. However, accidents happen even when every reasonable safety measure has been taken.
To protect employers from lawsuits resulting from workplace accidents and to provide medical care and compensation for lost income to employees hurt in workplace accidents, in almost every state, businesses are required to buy workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance covers workers injured on the job, whether they're hurt on the workplace premises or elsewhere, or in auto accidents while on business. It also covers work-related illnesses.
Workers compensation provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for time lost from work and for medical and rehabilitation services. It also provides death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents.
Each state has different laws governing the amount and duration of lost income benefits, the provision of medical and rehabilitation services and how the system is administered. For example, in most states there are regulations that cover whether the worker or employer can choose the doctor who treats the injuries and how disputes about benefits are resolved.
Workers compensation insurance must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owners policies (BOPs) are sold as package policies, they don't include coverage for workers' injuries.
Recreational vehicles do more than just carry you from one place to another; they transport you with an eye toward maximum fun and/or comfort along the way. Just because some of these vehicles are associated with playtime, that doesn't mean they don't need the same insurance protection as any other piece of expensive property you own. In fact, they may need more insurance since they also create a potential for liabilities.
Liability coverage will have limits that work on both a per-incident and per-policy basis. They may also have a deductible that requires an out-of-pocket contribution for each incident or year.
After you've considered the potential liabilities you are exposed to while operating a recreational vehicle, it's time to secure coverage for the value of the vehicle itself. Recreational vehicle coverage can include financial compensation in the event of physical damage, vandalism, theft and collision. In addition, your policy may allow for reimbursement of personal effects stored on a vehicle such as an RV, boat or snowmobile.
In some cases, you may want to consider adding specialized coverage for additional risks including the loss or damage of awnings and custom equipment. If you have an RV that you live in part or full time, you may need extended protection so be sure to discuss that with your agent.
Renters insurance covers your possessions against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm, and water damage from plumbing.
However, renters insurance does not cover floods, earthquakes or routine wear and tear. You can, however, buy separate policies for flood and earthquake damage.
Renters insurance pays the reasonable additional costs of temporarily living away from your home if you can't live in it due to a fire, severe storm or other insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, temporary rentals, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while your home is being rebuilt. Coverage for additional living expenses differs from company to company.
Renters insurance also covers your responsibility to other people injured at your home or elsewhere by you, a family member or your pet and pays legal defense costs if you are taken to court.
Add up the cost of everything you would want to replace if it were damaged or stolen. This could also serve as the basis for an inventory that will make filing a claim easier. For an inventory, also record model numbers, dates and places of purchase. Take photographs or make a video of these items and place a copy of the inventory in safe place away form your home.
If you rent an apartment or house you need insurance to protect your belongings. While your landlord might have insurance, it only protects the building. Your belongings are not covered under those policies.