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7 Ways You’re Getting Ripped Off By Insurance Companies

7 Ways You’re Getting Ripped Off By Insurance Companies

When taking out insurance, the belief is that, as you are paying your monthly premium, you will not need to worry about any of the unforeseen circumstances in which you will need to use your insurance. This is what insurance has been designed to do after all. The truth is that insurance companies will do whatever they can manage to remove themselves from being responsible while ripping off their customers with high rates and any other tactic to take money without giving up anything in return.

Here are a few tactics to be aware of when dealing with your insurance company:

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1. Unnecessary Travel Insurance

Each year, Americans spend just over $1 billion on travel insurance and sometimes, it is even tucked into the final bill for their holiday away. Travel agents push to sell the travel insurance with stories of lost luggage, canceled flights, but what they won’t let you in on is that you might be covered by your homeowner’s insurance on credit cards, or the airline may be responsible as part of their legal obligations. The agent may also tell you about the great promotion happening while having very little real care about the way that your vacation will turn out.

2. Home Insurance: Flood, and Wind

After huge weather catastrophes like hurricanes, homeowners with policies attempted to collect on the damage that was caused by the winds, but the insurance companies worked very hard to pin the damage on the flooding—and flooding isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance. It has also been said that the employees of the companies are encouraged to underestimate the costs of repair so that the company won’t have to pay what they should be liable for.

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3. Life Insurance Settlements

Life insurance brokers have no incentive to get you the best deal when you decide to sell off your life insurance policy to get some cash in your pockets and may be working to keep the buyer of the policy happy. Even though the broker will have their commission at stake, they are not looking out for you in the end.

4. Car Insurance and Lowball Offers

If your vehicle is considered a total loss, your insurance policy might cover the cash value or even a replacement. The insurance company could try to offer a drastically low amount while understating the car’s actual condition. Additionally, they may try to place the value of the vehicle by using one that is considered comparable, but having a significantly higher amount of miles. Insurance companies would seem to ignore your lower mileage to underestimate the actual value of the vehicle.

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5. Title Insurance Kickbacks

Homeowners are obligated to have title insurance, but when arranging it, it is not advised to listen to the advice that your broker gives you. The broker will often push a deal that will line their own pockets. Don’t feel weird about shopping around for your title insurance, and certainly don’t hesitate to inquire about the previous homeowner’s title insurance company.

6. Health Insurance Billing

One of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills. Lots of people feel that they have sufficient health insurance, but many times the health service provider and the insurance company will disagree that the claims are valid. The customer gets stuck between it and will end up paying a bill that is much larger than originally thought.

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7. Whole Life Insurance as an “Investment”

Many brokers will push for whole life insurance as it can be seen as an investment. The alternative to this is having term life insurance and putting away your extra cash as an investment. The brokers gain commission for selling these expensive whole life insurance policies. Of course, the more the customer is paying, the more the insurance broker will end up putting into their own pocket at the end of the day. This is their incentive to push for whole life insurance and sell it as a picture of an investment.

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Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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