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The Importance of Snowmobile Insurance

United States insurance protections are notoriously difficult to read and understand. A predatory insurance company can leave you with expensive bills you thought were covered or situations you thought wouldn’t need additional insurance coverage.

Many snowmobile owners mistakenly believe:

  1. Their auto insurance covers their snowmobile.
  2. Snowmobile insurance is the same as auto insurance.
  3. Snowmobile insurance isn’t necessary at all.

These mistaken beliefs can cost you a great deal of money, time, and legal battles. Auto insurance and health insurance don’t automatically cover your snowmobile and all associated accident costs.

Buying snowmobile insurance gives you peace of mind while riding your snowmobile. At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we’re committed to helping you understand the ins and outs of snowmobile insurance and finding the best coverage for you.

Understanding Snowmobile Insurance

A rider driving a snowmobile after getting snowmobile insurance.

Snowmobile insurance covers snowmobile-related mishaps. If you’re in a snowmobile accident, it can result in expensive repair or replacement costs.

If you damage someone’s property or human body, you’ll be held to property or bodily injury liability on top of repair or replacement costs.

Unlike a trailer or RV, snowmobiles generally aren’t covered under auto insurance. Snowmobile insurance is more similar to ATV insurance.

The permit, license, training, and insurance laws for these vehicles are conditional on where you drive it (like public trails vs. private property), which doesn’t apply to cars.

Snowmobile Insurance vs. Auto Insurance

Four all black snowmobiles.

Snowmobile insurance isn’t an exact copy of auto insurance with a separate vehicle title. There are a few key differences that vary by state.

Auto insurance is required in every state except New Hampshire. Only six states currently require conditional snowmobile insurance:

  • Illinois
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont

Snowmobiles are also excluded from many states’ no-fault insurance systems. No-fault insurance is mandatory in many auto insurance laws.

In Minnesota, for example, the No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act requires Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for all vehicles registered in-state. Snowmobiles and motorcycles are not covered by these provisions or auto insurance policies, however.

When you buy separate snowmobile insurance, it will not include PIP. If you want to add PIP insurance coverage to your snowmobile, it must be purchased as a separate policy from your auto insurance and snowmobile insurance.

Why Buy Insurance for Your Snowmobile?

A snowmobile ride in a blue outfit riding in the snow.

Even though few states require snowmobile insurance, it is still good protection against potentially ruinous accidents.

The average new snowmobile price is $10,000 to $19,000. Even a minor snowmobile accident can total it, leaving you out of +$10,000 with no snowmobile to show for it.

Snowmobiles are as fast as a car but without a car’s protection. Cars are designed to absorb high-speed impacts, including:

  • Crumple zones
  • Airbags
  • Safety cells 
  • Anti-intrusion bars

In a snowmobile accident, you have none of those buffers.

Your health insurance may cover none or only some of the medical costs of your accident, which generally stops at emergency services. It won’t cover lost wages and rehabilitative medical expenses.

If your snowmobile accident causes injury to someone else, you could be liable for more than hospital bills. A bodily injury victim can sue you for pain and suffering, any resulting disabilities, and lost wages.

Bodily injury payouts average $52,000, with the lower half ranging from $3,000-$25,000. If the victim hires a lawyer, their average payout jumps up to over $77,000.

Without bodily injury liability coverage on your snowmobile, all that money comes out of your pocket.

Most snowmobile accidents involve alcohol and/or reckless driving, so always drive safely and soberly. You don’t want court fines, bail, and a criminal record piled onto the costs to replace your snowmobile, medical bills, and legal settlements.

Snowmobile Insurance Coverages

An insurance worker and client going over their snowmobile insurance policy

Your coverage policy may include all or several provisions. A reputable insurance company will go over your policy with you to ensure you understand all the policy provisions.

Your policy will also include certain insurance coverages at certain minimums. The cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy because it may be more limited in what and how much it covers.

You might purchase liability-only coverage for a lower price, but you’ll have to pay out of pocket for any costs that affect you personally. And it may only cover a small percentage of your liability costs to someone else, with a higher deductible.

Snowmobile insurance coverages include:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Bodily injury liability coverage
  • Property damage liability

Collision coverage covers repairs or replacement costs if you collide with objects like a tree. No-fault provisions cover these costs even if the accident was your fault.

Comprehensive coverage will pay for repairs or replacement costs in situations outside of a collision accident, like theft and fire. It also covers natural disasters.

Bodily injury liability coverage will cover the injury costs to other people. This coverage includes both medical and legal bills.

You’ll want a bodily injury liability minimum that reasonably meets these costs. Snowmobile insurance doesn’t do you any good if someone has $30,000 in medical bills, but your bodily injury liability only covers $10,000.

Although generally not as expensive as bodily injury, property damage liability follows the same principle. If your snowmobile damages someone’s fence, the liability costs are going to be very different from damaging someone’s house or Lamborghini.

It’s also important to pick the best insurance policy for your area. If you live in a wooded state like Minnesota, for example. With lots of public trails packed with snowmobile enthusiasts, you’ll definitely want more than just a basic liability-only policy.

The Best Snowmobile Insurance for Your Peace of Mind

A group of people lined up for a snowmobile ride.

Accidents happen. You want to enjoy riding your snowmobile without worrying a few seconds of impact will ruin your life financially for years to come.

Our independent agents can give you that peace of mind. We want you to have the best snow insurance coverage you need for all the smooth snow sailing you desire.

If you live in Greater Minnesota, contact us today or request a free quote using our online form. We’re always happy to assist you! 

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Owning and riding a snowmobile can be fun and even practical in some places. Here is why you should invest in snowmobile insurance.

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A Complete Guide to Why Life Insurance is Important

If you were to pass away tomorrow, what would happen to the people in your life?

When you’re young, single, and healthy, death probably doesn’t cross your mind often.

The truth is, if you have stakeholders in your life, your passing can have an enormous impact on their lives. This is why life insurance is important — it manages and protects what you leave behind, which is more than you may realize.

In this article, you’ll learn four key benefits of life insurance. If any of these apply to you, contact Lake Region Insurance Agency to get started on a quote.

Protecting Your Loved Ones

Paper cutouts of a car, family, and home covered by someone's hands

In 2020, the life expectancy in the U.S. dropped by 1.5 years, lowering to 77.3 years. As you can imagine, COVID drove the largest decline in life expectancy since WWII, as roughly 375,000 Americans died from the disease.

Countless individuals bore the financial fallout from losing loved ones far too soon. These financial hardships highlight the main reason why life insurance is important — providing for your family if you pass unexpectedly.

If you’re in your 20s or 30s and healthy, you can get a plan with a death benefit of a few hundred thousand dollars for less than $50 a month*. Imagine the difference that money could make for your spouse and children if they suddenly have to overcome the lost income.

You can give your loved ones a safety net of both money and time. They won’t have to make immediate, dramatic adjustments and wonder how they’ll pay the mortgage. The death benefit buys them relief, options, and time to make the best decisions.

In a general sense, if a person’s livelihood relies on the money you provide, you need life insurance.

Is there anyone other than the family at home that depends on your income?

Maybe you have aging and ailing parents or a struggling friend who needs your help regularly. You could have business partnerships or even a charity you strongly believe in that could use and appreciate the support. 

A small monthly investment can help them manage the long-term effects of your passing. It is a powerful and worthwhile display of responsibility and love for those who are meaningful to you.

Paying for Outstanding Debt

A stack of coins with wooden stacked against against them.

Maybe you’re single with no kids and your parents are doing just fine taking care of themselves. You may think, “If nobody would suffer any financial setback if I stopped bringing in money, why should I bother with life insurance?”

The problem is that if you die, although your loved ones may be taken care of, your debts are not. In many cases, any loans or other debts aren’t discharged but are instead transferred to your estate.

When you’re young, especially in your 20s, it’s common to take on debt to secure your new life of freedom and responsibility.

Thousands of young adults take on student loan debts to earn their dream job. Others take out small business loans, buy a house and a car and open new lines of credit. While some of these accrued debts may fall off when you pass away, any co-signers or co-owners on loans will stay on the hook.

Your parents may not need your help with paying rent. But can they afford to take on extra monthly bills to pay for those private loans or that car they co-signed for? Buying a life insurance policy can keep them from assuming unmanageable expenses. 

Covering Funeral Expenses

Why Life Insurance is Important, it can help cover funeral expenses. Someone putting coins into a jar for funeral expenses.

The median funeral cost is a little over $7,000. If you’re at the point where you’re still wondering, “Should I get life insurance?” you also probably don’t have a special savings account to cover those costs.

When you are debt-free with no dependants, having a small, inexpensive policy to cover funeral expenses (plus a little extra) is well worth it.

Even if you don’t care about having a big funeral, remember that a funeral is more for the living than for the dead. A funeral is the emotional epicenter of a loved one’s passing, and family members deserve to feel proud in honoring you to the fullest.

Providing money for final expenses ensures your family doesn’t have to compromise. If they can celebrate your lasting legacy as they see fit, you provide satisfaction, making the emotional transition to life after death much easier.

Getting It Early, Getting It Cheap

A couple purchasing life insurance.

You don’t have to wait to get life insurance until you have debt or a family that depends on you. As strange as it may seem, there’s a good reason to get it early.

The younger and healthier you are when you get life insurance, the cheaper it will be. If you foresee marriage, children, a new business, or any other major change on the horizon, getting a term plan early can save you big money in the long run.

For example, if you’re 25 and healthy, you may get a 30-year plan for $20 a month*. That’s a locked-in rate for the full 30 years of coverage.

If you wait until you’re 35 with a family, that same plan may cost you $30 a month*. Plus, any new health conditions, genetic predispositions, or family history will push those rates even higher.

If circumstances change, you can always change beneficiaries or add extra life insurance. Getting started early will get you the largest death benefit for the lowest price.

Do You See Why Life Insurance Is Important to You?

An older couple in retirement.

If any of these reasons why life insurance is important makes sense for you, it’s time to get started, so you can get the absolute best deals.

Lake Region Insurance Agency is committed to providing Minnesota families with the best life insurance policies that are custom-fit to meet their needs and goals. If you live in New London, Willmar, or Cokato, Minnesota, visit our offices or get a quote to start finding the right policy for you.

* prices are just an example and may not reflect the cost of a life insurance policy from Lake Region Insurance Agency.

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5 Benefits of Vacation Rental Insurance for Owners

Vacation rentals are increasingly popular on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. In fact, there are more than 4 million hosts that use Airbnb to promote their property. However, many of these hosts don’t recognize the need for vacation rental insurance for owners. 

Do you want to learn more about homeowners insurance, insurance coverage for vacation rental owners? Keep reading this article to learn about the benefits of vacation rental insurance. See how Lake Region Insurance Agency can help you with vacation rental insurance and other rental insurance needs!

What Is Vacation Rental Insurance for Owners and How Does It Work?

A lakeside cabin rental for vacation. If you host on VRBO or AirBnb you need vacation rental insurance for owners.

Vacation rental insurance is a type of insurance coverage that protects people with short-term rentals or vacation rental homes. Because there are many costs, liabilities, and other concerns associated with owning a property, your insurance coverage will protect you. 

How does it work? When you are creating your policy, you should include:

  • The structure of the building.
  • The items inside your vacation rental.
  • Liability for damage or injuries to your tenants.
  • The potential loss of income. 

The Benefits of Vacation Rental Insurance for Owners: Why Do You Need Insurance for Your Vacation Rental Property?

There are many reasons why you should get insurance for your vacation rental or your short-term rental property. Whether you do it to save money, provide peace of mind, or protect your business, here are the reasons why you should consider getting rental insurance!

1. Peace of Mind

Two chairs on a deck at a lakeside vacation rental property.

One of the biggest benefits of getting rental property insurance coverage is that it can give you peace of mind. When you have a vacation home or get rental income, there are many things that can go wrong. Whether you have an emergency situation arise at your rental property, or if you have an accident in your vacation rental, having liability coverage from insurance companies can protect you. 

For example, if you have a flood happen while someone is renting your property, short-term rental insurance may pay for the damage that has occurred. 

Or, if you have found that tenants in your short-term rental property have left it damaged or trashed, it may seem overwhelming. Without the proper coverage from insurance companies, you may not be able to afford to fix the damages done. 

However, having insurance provides you peace of mind. If you happen to have something go wrong with your vacation rental, you will be taken care of!

2. Protects From Liability

A family putting away their belongings in their vacation rental.

Having home insurance for your rental property is vital because it prevents you from being held liable in the event of an accident. 

There are many common accidents and injuries that occur at Airbnbs and other vacation rental properties. Many of these include cuts, broken bones, and more. For example, if someone were to fall down the stairs at your vacation rental, you may have a lawsuit on your hands. 

To prevent yourself from being liable in an accident, having vacation rental insurance can protect you! This is especially important as some injuries can lead to death or other serious complications. 

3. Write Insurance off as a Business Expense

A person looking for a vacation rental to stay at.

Another great benefit of having vacation rental insurance is that you can often write insurance off as a business expense. If you make any income from your rental property, any money that you put towards it can count as a business expense. 

Insurance can be expensive, so this can help you save a lot of money! Other things that you can write off include property taxes, utilities, and even housekeeping costs. 

No matter what kind of insurance coverage you have for your vacation rental or short-term rental property, you can deduct the premiums you pay. For example, you can save on fire, theft, and flood insurance to protect you from natural disasters!

4. Can Save Money

Dollar bills sticking out of a white ceramic piggy bank.

One massive benefit of having insurance for your short-term rental property is that it can save you a ton of money. As was mentioned before, you can save a lot of money when you write off your insurance premiums as a business expense. This can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. 

However, insurance for your vacation rentals can save a lot of money in other ways. As was mentioned above, there are a lot of dangers that come with owning a vacation rental. Your tenants may get injured in accidents. 

Not only is this awful for your tenants, but without proper insurance, you may find yourself unable to pay for the damage done. If your tenants take you to court, you will have to pay for expensive attorney bills and more. 

If you are held responsible for the accident that occurred on your property, it is likely that you will have to pay a settlement. This includes medical bills, wages for lost work, and more. In extreme accidents, such as paralysis and more, you can end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. 

Many people simply cannot afford this. If you have good business insurance that keeps you from being held liable, you will be protected in the event of an accident like this. 

5. Many Options for Insurance

An insurance agent building a house made of wooden blocks. One wooden block says "insurance".

Finally, the last benefit of insurance for your vacation rental is that they often have many options for insurance coverage. This means that you will be able to get the right kind of coverage for your rental property and that you can find the best features that work for you. 

If you get rental property insurance, it should cover the building, liability, loss of rental income, and even your personal property as the landlord. 

However, you may want to get additional insurance coverage to help with other damages. For example, vandalism coverage protects you from intentional damage caused by your renters. 

Ordinance coverage is a type of insurance coverage that will help pay for repairs that are necessary to make your building meet local codes if damage occurred to something insured. Consider the many options for insurance so you can find the right coverage for your vacation rental!

Who Should Buy Vacation Rental Insurance for Owners?

Cabins that are vacation rental properties in a wooded area in Minnesota

Who should buy vacation rental insurance? In a nutshell, anyone who owns a short-term rental property or that rents their home out as a vacation rental. While it may not be necessary to get rental insurance for your short-term rental, it can save you from having a total loss in the future. 

By investing in your insurance coverage now, you will be protected from damage and other accidents at your rental property. Regardless of where you live, you should review the local laws and ordinances regarding vacation rental properties in your area. 

Where to Get Vacation Rental Insurance for Owners

A client and insurance agent shaking hands after negotiating a policy for vacation rental insurance for owners.

When you own short-term vacation rentals, it is vital that you get proper insurance from an insurance carrier to protect yourself. There are many things that can go wrong with short-term vacation rental properties.

Do you want to find vacation rental insurance for owners? Lake Region Insurance Agency can help! We are an insurance agency that can help you find comprehensive coverage to insure vacation rentals that you own.

Whether you and your team are property managers or if you are renting out a home on Airbnb, you need to make sure you protect your personal property. Contact our team today to learn more about our insurance coverage options and to get a free quote from one of our agents!

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Your Guide for How to Buy a Boat in Minnesota

Sure, you’ve purchased a car before–you know how that experience goes–but what about a boat? That’s why Lake Region Insurance Agency is here with a guide on how to buy a boat.

Insure the things you love. Lake Regional Insurance Agency can provide a policy for your car, RV, or boat. We have a policy that suits your needs and we are excited to serve you. 

Contact us today for a free quote.    

How To Buy A Boat: Do Your Research

A large boat with a for sale sign on it.

Before you decide to buy a boat, it is crucial to ask yourself what type of boat. As with any other large purchase, it’s necessary to do your research in advance. 

You wouldn’t purchase a sports car as a family car for toting children to soccer games and various extracurricular activities. Like cars, boats have specific purposes. 

Before you sign a contract, you want to ask yourself some questions about how you plan to use the boat. 

Do you plan to haul your boat from one launch to another to cast your line into the waters? Or host friends on the water as the sun sinks in the sky? Or enjoy an afternoon of water sports? 

There are so many different boats, and each of these questions can lead you to a specific boat. If you need help with your decision, look at Choosing the Right Boat: Buying Guide for Recreational Boating.

Determining how you plan to use the boat and what type of boat suits your needs is a good start. But there are still more questions to answer before you buy a boat. Some considerations include the purchase price, costs of boat maintenance, and features.    

New Or Used

Once you have determined the type of boat you want, decide whether to purchase a new or used boat. By buying used, you save money upfront. But just like purchasing a used car, it is important to be aware of telltale signs of damage or underlying mechanical issues.

When purchasing a boat from a boat dealer, the boat buying process can be simpler but more expensive.

Start Shopping

A man drivig a boat with yellow interior accents.

With your budget determined and the decision of buying a new or used boat made–it’s time to start boat shopping. Start by searching online for boats for sale. You can compare models, sizes, prices, and features without leaving the comfort of your home. 

One place to begin your search is boats.com, where you can use an options menu to specify your search. Search options include dealer location, model, and price. 

The internet is vast, and you could look at boat listings endlessly. You eventually will have to narrow down your choices and go to see the boats in person. Another way to shop for a marine vessel is to attend a boat show in your area. 

Pro tips to keep in mind while shopping:

  1. Compare the feature list of two similar boats. 
  2. Carefully compare the photos of the vessels to see if anything is missing in the listing. 
  3. Check listings for unnecessary amenities that may end up costing you money later to repair if they break. 

Inspection Time

A man conducting a boat inspection on a motorboat

Once you find the boat of your dreams and it’s within your grasp–it’s time to get it inspected. You want to make sure you are leaving with your dream boat, not a lemon. 

Some deals seem just too good to be true. If this is the case, do a walk-through of the vessel to see if the boat is worth further investigation. 

If you want to see how the boat handles on the open water, you can take it for a sea trial. Get an accurate idea of the boat’s performance by testing the boat similarly to how you plan to use it.  

Arrive prepared with a checklist of things you want to investigate during the sea trial. The most important thing to keep in mind is how you plan to use the boat. 

Once you’re serious about buying a boat–consider having it hauled. Many mechanical elements that can remain hidden below the waterline (in the hull) affect the boat’s performance.

If you are not confident in your technical knowledge of the mechanics of the boat, consider hiring a marine surveyor. A boat surveyor will inspect the boat from inside and out to let you know the boat’s condition.

If you purchase a boat over 30 feet long, many insurance companies will require you to have it surveyed beforehand. 

Closing The Deal 

A large purchase such as a boat requires conscious planning and forethought. There can be a great deal of stress that goes into making such a large purchase. 

Before you close the deal, there may be some negotiations on the agreed price of the boat. For closing, it’s important to do your research prior and know where you are comfortable financially. 

Registering Your Boat In Minnesota

Pontoon boats docked on a MN lake

Once you have purchased your boat, it’s time to get it registered and insured before getting it into the water. You will register it at the DNR License Center, the same place you register your car. 

With boats over 16 feet, your dealer will register and title the boat and will provide you with the paperwork. But if you’re registering a boat for yourself for the first time you’ll want to have some information readily available:

  • The boat’s length
  • Manufacturer 
  • Type of hull material (metal, wood, or plastic)
  • Type of propulsion 
  • Model
  • Year
  • Serial or hull identification number (HIN)
  • A receipt that shows paid sales tax      

For additional information, visit the Department of Natural Resources.

Insuring Your Boat

Someone cradling a blue paper boat symbolising protecting your boat with boat insurance.

Before you dip your new toy into the water, you will want to protect your fun investment. You can do so with boat and marine insurance. There are several ways to protect yourself and your property with boat insurance. 

  • Collision Damage: Protects your boat in the event there is a collision with another boat or stationary object. 
  • Property Damage: Protects you if there is damage to someone else’s property (e.g., someone’s boat, car, or dock). Your insurance can help cover any incurred costs.
  • Bodily Injury: This coverage helps in the event someone gets hurt with or while they’re on your boat. Your insurance will help cover costs of medical expenses, income loss, pain and suffering, and any legal expenses.
  • Comprehensive: Protects your vessel in the event it is stolen, damaged, or vandalized. 

Now that you know how to buy a boat, call us at Lake Region Insurance Agency for more information on boat and marine insurance.  Lake Region Insurance Agency will keep your vessel protected and underway by providing coverage to suit your needs.

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Have Fun and Stay Safe: What is Recreational Vehicle Insurance?

Whether you own a recreational vehicle for a summer staycation or live in an RV full-time, you want to protect your investments. But what is recreational vehicle insurance? And why is it necessary?

Lake Region Insurance Agency is here to answer all of your questions about RV insurance to get you safely on the road with your new investment. We are an independent insurance agency with one goal in mind: your peace of mind. 

We will navigate RV insurance together. Contact us for a free quote

What is Recreational Vehicle Insurance?

If you are the adventure type Recreational Vehicle (RV), insurance may not be a new term. RV insurance is an agreement between yourself and your insurance agency to protect your recreational vehicles. 

It can protect your motor homes, travel trailers, RVs, campers, and other recreational vehicles. Some people have recreational vehicles for recreational purposes, while others are more dedicated to full-time RV living. Depending on how frequently you use your car will help you determine the amount of coverage necessary.  

Before you stick the keys into your ignition–ensure that you have at least liability coverage to keep you legal on the road. A motorhome will need a policy because it requires a driver. However, since fifth wheels and travel trailers require a tow, they are covered under your auto insurance.   

How Does RV Insurance Work?

When you’re ready to purchase an RV policy, your insurance agent will ask you a few questions about your recreational vehicle. Once you and your agent determine the frequency of use and the RV’s condition, you’ll select a policy that best suits your needs. 

As a general guideline, the more coverage you have, the higher the quote will be. 

In the event an accident happens, you will file a claim with your insurance. Once the claim is accepted, your insurance will pay out the damages or losses up to your insurance amounts. 

Motorhome VS Travel Trailer Insurance 

Motorhomes are driven, while travel trailers are towed behind a truck or a car; both have different requirements for insurance. However, it is in your best interest to protect your investments to your maximum capacity. 

Since you drive a motorhome is driven and not towed, you must meet the state minimum insurance requirements of liability. When you are insuring a motorhome, your agent will let you know your state’s minimum requirements. If you are traveling in your motorhome without liability, you can face penalties, including revoked license, fines, or even jail time.  

It is important to note that if you have a loan out for your motorhome, your lien-holder will require you to have coverage beyond liability. 

While the law does not require a travel trailer to be insured because it is towed with a SUV or a truck, it will usually fall under most auto policies liability coverage. However, your travel trailer is an investment and is worth insuring in the same way you would insure your house, car, or other assets. 

Many insurance companies offer a comprehensive plan with collision coverage that provides appropriate protection for your travel trailer.   

Types of RV Insurance Coverage

 Depending on the insurance plan you choose, there are several ways your RV insurance can protect your investments.

Comprehensive & Collision

RV collision.

Comprehensive insurance will protect your RV from theft and damage unrelated to a collision. It will save you from the chance of inclement weather and natural disasters, falling objects, vandalism, theft, fire, and incidents of impact with animals. 

Collision provides coverage in the event of a crash with another vehicle or object. You are protected no matter where the fault lies. It is important to note that you cannot have collision insurance without a comprehensive policy. 

In the event you have to use your comprehensive or collision coverage, your determined deductibles will apply.

Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist

Uninsured motorists (UM) and Underinsured motorists (UIM) both cover the cost of medical expenses. It protects you and your passengers in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver. It can also help cover the costs of damage to your vehicle since the other driver lacks insurance.  

There are four types of coverage that fall under the umbrella of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UM or UMBI)
  • Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD)
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury (UIM or UIMBI)
  • Underinsured motorist property damage (UIMPD) 

UM, insurance is a requirement in some states but, it can vary by state. However, we highly encourage having a UM policy to protect yourself from hefty sums in the event of a collision.

Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability

While some insurance policies are optional bodily injury (BI) and property damage liability (PDL) are both non-optional. BI insurance assists with covering medical expenses for other drivers and passengers in the event where you caused an accident. PDL insurance helps pay when you cause damage to another person’s property such as, backing into a mailbox or hitting a fence.   

Total Loss Replacement

If your RV is five years old or less and totaled in an accident, you can get a whole new replacement–minus your deductible. 

Your RV will be replaced with the same year, model, and trim as your current RV in a total loss replacement. Or you can opt out of replacing your vehicle and choose to be reimbursed for the original purchase price of the RV. 

Replacement Cost/Personal Effects

You can choose to have a maximum of $99,000 of coverage for your personal belongings that dwell in your RV or travel trailer. The insurance can extend to certain items found outside your camper or RV. 

Vacation Liability 

Vacation liability will give you the comfort of knowing that if someone is injured in or around your RV, you are covered up to $10,000. For a few additional dollars, you can upgrade the coverage up to $100,000. 

Now you can relax and enjoy your vacation. 

Emergency Expense

If your RV breaks down over 50 miles away from your home, an emergency expense covers $750 towards hotel stays and transportation costs. You can choose to upgrade your plan to $2,000 in coverage for an additional charge.

We’ve Got You Covered

While navigating the intricacies of insurance policies and finding coverage that suits all your needs can be time-consuming, Lake Region Insurance Agency is here to help. 

So before you hop in your RV or hitch your brand new trailer, call Lake Region Insurance Agency to find a policy that meets all of your needs. We are in Willmar, New London, and Cokato in Minnesota; stop by and get a quote for free!

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Do I Need Separate RV Insurance?

One of the most exciting luxuries we insure is RV’s, or Recreational Vehicles. You may find yourself wondering about the logistics; do you need separate RV insurance, or does it fall under auto insurance?

Or perhaps homeowners insurance would be similar because technically, you can live in an RV. We at Lake River Insurance Agency have seen and insured it all, including the mythical RV.

It’s not just the uses of RVs that are unique. The recreational vehicle industry manufactures several types of RVs and motorhomes for personal enjoyment. There are classes of motorhomes often based on the type of transportation offered. Each of those variants creates a need that an insurance policy can cover in case of damage.  

Our goal as independent agents is to provide you with a policy that will allow you peace of mind. We offer policies for home, auto, health, and so much more. Contact us today for a free quote! 

Do I Need Separate RV Insurance?

A car park roof falling on to an RV parked in someone's driveway. I man is stressed and surprised this as happened. To cover accidents like this, you need separate RV insurance.

The short answer to this question is a definite yes. Recreational vehicles are unique because they are a combination of home and auto and have several uses. They can also be a permanent home or a full-time motorhome. 

According to Camp Addict, there are several recreational vehicles, and each presents its own insurance needs. 

Types of Recreational Vehicles

Motorhomes classes A-C

A parked motorhome with a blue paint job.

  • Class A: Best for full-time living and what you may think of like a tour bus – 28 – 45 feet in length/weighs 22,000 to 55,000 pounds
  • Class B: RV components that are added to a van body

           – 19 – 27 feet in length/weighs 8,000 to 14,5000 pounds

  • Class C: RV built on a cutaway chassis, meaning the nose of a van and an RV body. 

           – 24 – 36 feet in length/weighs 10,000 to 14,500 pounds

RV trailers 

A campfire going at a campsite with a pop up trailer.

  • Bumper pull 
  • Pop-up
  • Teardrop 
  • Travel trailers (think rockstar tour bus)
  • Hybrid 
  • 5th Wheel 

Toy hauler RV

An open toy hauler with the ramp extended.

  • Any RV that includes a garage

Truck camper 

A shot of behind a white truck with a truck camper installed in the bed of the truck.

  • A recreational vehicle that may be carried in the bed of a pickup truck. Also known as a slide-in or cab-over.

Something they all have in common is that in every state in the United States, the need for separate RV insurance is mandatory. The type of recreational vehicle/motorhome you own can hold weight in what you need in a policy. 

RVs cannot be placed under auto insurance because you can live in them. They can also not be placed under home insurance because they are a vehicle. That is the exact reason why you need a separate policy for an RV.  

You can add additional coverage for all the bells and whistles available with an RV/motorhome. Or, you can write items such as awnings, slideouts, and electronics into a policy so you and your possessions are covered against the unforeseen. 

Insuring RV/motorhome extras is very much like insuring family heirlooms, home businesses, or other valuables you may own. At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we write policies that offer full protection. 

The purchase of an RV or motorhome is an investment in the recreation of you and your family. Having the proper insurance coverage for your investment is smart and will protect your purchase so you can enjoy it for many years. 

Ensuring a Good Time

A father and sun smiling in front of their RV at a campsite.

Lake Region Insurance Agency is not affiliated with a corporate insurance agency. Thus we have the freedom to work with our clients’ unique needs. When ensuring luxury purchases such as a recreational vehicle, we write the policy to serve the holder.

In this way, we show our love for writing policies, beneficial to each of our clients specifically. Questions often asked when you sit down with an agent include: 

  • How often will the RV/motor home be used? Is it brought out once a year for the family camping trip, or do you live in it?
  • When not in use, is your RV exposed to extreme weather?
  • Where are you bringing your RV/motorhome? Is there wildlife that would damage it, or is there a possibility of theft where you will be?
  • If your RV is a full-time residence for you, what portions of the inside will need to be insured? Items like valuables, electronics, pets, etc., should be considered. 
  • Should you be pulling your RV instead of driving it, are you bringing it to places with insurance for incidents on their property?
  • What size deductible would you like to have for your policy? A deductible would be the amount a client pays out of pocket before insurance pays their portion. Policies can be either high or low deductible. 

There are so many other considerations to mull over, but that is why we are here. We at Lake Region Insurance are not the only ones who believe RVs should be insured separately. 

No one uses their campers/RVs the same way, which is why your policy should be written uniquely for you. We don’t want you to pay for features you don’t use or for you to be without the protection you need. 

It would be best to create an insurance policy to serve you and not hinder you, especially when needed. 

King of the Road for Those in Need of Separate RV Insurance

For over 50 years, Lake Region Insurance Agency has been in the game of protecting our community. We believe that each policy should be written specifically for the client to meet their unique needs. If you need separate RV insurance, then look no further!

We want to work with you to create a policy that will serve you and your family in your travels. 

We at Lake Region Insurance Agency offer several types of insurance coverage, and each policy is different. 

We stay away from becoming affiliated with corporate or national chains to offer the best service possible. We do not place pressure on clients to purchase an overpriced policy that doesn’t meet their needs. 

We are also not chained to campaigns or promotions. Our model also lends us the freedom to put the client in control of their policy. 

You will find us in New London, Willmar, and Cokato in Minnesota. We invite you to come in and speak to one of our agents to create the ultimate policy for you. Stop in today, or visit our site for a free quote; we look forward to meeting you!

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8 Tips To Get Your Car Ready for Summer

Always give yourself something to look forward to. The snow will soon melt, and the roads will be more inviting for driving adventures. Plan to get your car ready for summer!

The cold deters many drivers from doing vehicle maintenance during the wintertime. Keep an eye on the forecast to take advantage of warmer spring days to follow these eight car preparation tips.

At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we want to help you get your car ready for summer by affirming you have the insurance you need. Contact one of our independent agents today to ensure your policy is road-ready.

Get Your Car Ready For Summer Adventures

A couple on a road trip smiling and looking at a map.

Warmer seasons are welcome after our cold Minnesota winter, but summertime can be hard on cars. The air conditioner must combat our heat and humidity. The tires expand, and the belts can wear more. Before summer arrives, it’s a good idea to give your car care from the ground up.

1. Get The Tires Ready to Roll

Change the snow tires off your car. Their construction doesn’t hold up well in the summer heat, so switch to all-season or summer tires.

A rule of thumb is to swap when temperatures reach the mid-40s °F. In our area, this usually happens from mid-March to mid-April.

If you have a mechanic do this, the shop should inflate the tires to their correct air pressure. You’ll want to confirm the air pressure about once a week throughout the summer.

Look in the driver-side door jamb for the recommended pounds per square inch (psi). It’s best to check the air pressure in the morning before driving.

Keeping the tires at their target pressure extends their life, improves fuel efficiency, and helps prevent blowouts.

2. Spring Clean Your Car

The Minnesota Department of Transportation uses mostly salt in its work to clear snow and ice from our winter highways. At temperatures below 15 °F, they also add other chemicals.

After winter driving, clean all this grime from your car. Get your car ready for summer with a thorough washing of the wheel wells and undercarriage.

After months of driving with dirty boots, clean the mats and vacuum the interior on a warm spring day. Place the cleaned mats in their proper spots to be sure they don’t interfere with safe driving.

3. Prepare the Wiper Blades for Summer Rain

windshield wipers on a car

Do you notice smudges not entirely clearing from the windshield after washing your car? Inspect the wiper blades to see if they need replacing.

Winter conditions wear out wiper blades and drain the wiper fluid from its use removing ice from the windshield. Summer wipers are made differently and better suited to handle the sun and heat.

Being able to see clearly keeps you safer on the road. Installing new summer wiper blades and filling up your windshield washing fluid will get your car ready for summer driving. There are even summer formulas that work better against bugs.

4. Stay Cool with A/C for You and Coolant for Your Car

You know summer’s coming when you finally get to turn the dial from heating to air conditioning! Run the A/C to feel if it’s blowing cold air and check for unusual sounds or smells. Note anything unexpected in case the system needs professional attention.

If the coolant levels are too low, your engine may overheat. When the motor hasn’t been running, check the coolant level in the overflow reservoir, or have a pro take a look at its level and chemicals mix.

Get your car ready to stay cool this summer. Keep you and your passengers cool with functioning air conditioning. Keep your car’s engine from overheating with the right quality and quantity of coolant.

5. Change the Oil

Depending on the oil your car uses, it’ll be due for a change every 3500 to 5000 miles. Refer to your owner’s manual for which kind your car needs and how often to change it.

During summer driving, check the oil level about once a week when the engine is cool in the morning. Dusty roads can clog the oil filter, so consider changing that at your midsummer oil change.

6. Lights, Brakes, and Battery Included

If an automotive shop changes your oil, they’ll also likely check your lights. You can do this yourself too with the help of another person. Change any burned-out bulbs.

Look in your owner’s manual for recommendations on professional brake inspections. Take your car in if you hear sounds when braking or if it’s taking longer to stop. It may be time for replacements.

Manufacturers intend modern batteries to be maintenance-free. An older battery may have corrosion around the terminals. You can clean this with a toothbrush and baking soda. If it returns, it’s likely time to replace the battery.

7. Swap Winter Gear For Summer Supplies

Just as you change your winter tires and wipers, change your emergency winter gear out for summer travel supplies. It’s almost time to store the snow shovel and sand and break out the bug spray!

Baby wipes come in handy whether you have young passengers or not. Towels serve you well if you make a fun summer pit stop to wade in a stream. They’ll also become a picnic blanket if you get an ice cream treat.

Even with good air conditioning, summer driving can be warm. It’s handy to keep some water bottles in your travel pack to stay hydrated.

Some items can’t handle the heat. Put insect deterrents and temperature-sensitive medications like Epi-Pens in a grab-and-go bag to bring with you.

8. Confirm Your Insurance

This spring, get your car ready for summer. You’ll enjoy summertime driving with the peace of mind preparation brings!

Confirm that your registration and insurance paperwork is current and present in your glovebox. Call us at Lake Region Insurance Agency for a free insurance review and quote. We want to be part of your pit crew preparing for summer driving!

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How to Avoid Roofing Scams

Imagine someone from a roofing company comes to the door and tells you they noticed a hole in your roof. Understandably, many people would suddenly worry about their roof and agree to let them “check it out.” Unfortunately, this can be a costly response. Learning to avoid roofing scams is an important step for homeowners.

Education is a large piece of the Lake Region Insurance Agency ethos. The more you learn about your home and your insurance, the better you can protect your hard work. 

Our team helps you insure everything from your car to your business, and we do it with integrity and clarity. Call or stop by one of our Greater Minnesota offices to get a free insurance quote and review.

Stay on Your Toes to Avoid Roofing Scams 

Unfortunately, not every service provider has the best intentions. Many shady practices exist that prey on a homeowner’s fears. The following are five tactics that some contractors use and how to avoid these scams.

1. “I See Damage”

Some companies train their employees to approach other homeowners in a neighborhood where they are working. These employees may knock on your door and tell you that while working on another roof, they spotted damage on yours.

They will oh-so-kindly offer to do you a favor by going up to take a look. Once this Good Samaritan contractor comes down, they will tell you that there is, in fact, damage. 

Shady roofing companies will tell you they spotted damage on your roof while working on one nearby.

There are two significant problems with this. First, you have no way of knowing if there is damage unless you go up to look, which isn’t safe. Second, they may very well have caused damage themselves while they were up there. 

Their next step is to pressure you into getting your roof fixed ASAP, by their team, of course. The pressure will increase if you decline the contractor or tell them that you need to think about it. 

To protect yourself from this tactic, do not allow anyone onto your roof who shows up unsolicited. Ever. 

Instead, hire a reputable company to do a roof inspection each year or after a storm. With this habit, you will know what shape your roof is in and if there are any potential problems. You also will develop a relationship with a roofer you can trust.

2. “Unforeseen Circumstances”

Another popular scam in the roofing world relies on the dreaded “unforeseen circumstances.” A contractor will begin a job at an agreed-on price, usually a strangely low price, and then the following will happen:

  • They inform you that the damage is worse than they initially thought.
  • They tell you that the amount and cost of materials are going to be significantly more. 

They will present this scenario as urgent and ask you for money, or else their crew will have to stop work on your roof. This scene can strike terror in the hearts of homeowners, and they end up forking over the cash.

Do not agree to new or changed invoices without seeing receipts for materials.

To make sure you don’t end up in this situation, get at least three bids from highly-rated roofers before choosing a contractor. Read through the contract carefully to ensure that it is very detailed and thorough, without vague language.

If a contractor says there is an increased materials cost, ask to see their receipts before paying a new invoice. If they can’t produce receipts, or they don’t match the invoice, don’t pay.

3. “No Deductible”

Watch out for a roofing company that tells you they will pay your deductible or that your roof will be free because insurance covers it. This is a scam. Close the door. Walk away. Do not agree to anything with this company.

Disreputable roofers will lure homeowners with a “no deductible” scheme. They tell the owners that the company will pay the deductible and handle everything with their insurance company. 

Then they give you a lower bill to pay while submitting a second, much higher bill to the insurance company. This situation is fraud, plain and simple. And even though you aren’t trying to be fraudulent, you can get in trouble if this comes to light.

To avoid roofing scams like this one, always talk with your insurance agent for clarity about your policy. 

4. “That Was Quite a Storm!”

Storm chasers are not just thrill-seekers who want to see a tornado up close. Some roofing companies fall under this label, too, and not for good reasons.

A common roofing scam is to canvas a neighborhood after a storm, telling homeowners that their roofs sustained major damage. In a panic, many people agree to have these companies do repairs or replacements. Sadly, many times there is no significant harm, and the homeowner ends up paying for nothing. 

Avoid roofing scams by getting multiple quotes from reputable companies.

Of course, storms often do a lot of damage to homes and roofs. Hail damage alone can account for up to $14 million each year. The trick is knowing how to discern what you really need.

After a storm, or any time you suspect damage to your roof, call your insurance agent first. Then reach out to well-reviewed roofers who are fully licensed and bonded to get at least three estimates.

The truth is that after a significant weather event, reputable roofing companies are hard at work for their clients. They don’t have time to wander through neighborhoods looking for jobs. Again, unsolicited inspections or quotes are a huge red flag.

Protect Your Interests

Here are the best ways to protect your home and wallet from roofing scammers:

  • Never allow any unsolicited contractor into your home or onto your roof.
  • Read reviews and ask for referrals from people you trust.
  • Invest in an annual roof inspection and keep up on necessary maintenance.
  • Call your insurance agent with any questions or if anything doesn’t sound right to you.

Always trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, or you have internal alarms sounding, you are probably correct in your instincts. There are plenty of excellent companies who work with integrity, so you should never feel pressured to work with a scam artist.

Lake Region Is on Your Side

Our Lake Region team works hard to find a homeowners policy that meets your needs. We are independent agents who do not have to sell only one company’s insurance plans. We search through all possible options to find the right fit for your home.

With offices located in Willmar, New London, and Cokato, Minnesota, we work in the communities that we serve. Stop by one of our offices today or visit the website to request a free quote

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The Importance of Builders’ Risk Insurance

If you’re in construction, you know how to cover all the bases to ensure a job well done. But you also carry risks that are unique to your work. Make sure you protect yourself with the addition of builders’ risk insurance. 

Seasoned builders understand that strange and unexpected events can occur when building or remodeling for a client. Challenges like extreme weather, stolen materials, and unforeseen delays can kill your timeline and cost money. 

While builders’ risk insurance won’t stop these setbacks, it can offer some peace of mind in a stressful situation. With adequate coverage in place, you have protection when issues arise.

At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we take pride in working with our area’s builders. It’s an honor and an investment in our community to help protect our neighbors. Contact us today for a free quote and to discuss how you can protect your bottom line

What Is Builders’ Risk Insurance?

Also called “course of construction insurance,” a builders’ risk plan is a specific type of property policy for those in construction. It typically covers materials and property during construction and renovation projects. The policyholder can receive reimbursement for the physical loss of these items due to a covered event.

The construction business is highly variable from contractor to contractor, and no two construction projects are the same. Your insurance agent will help you create a unique policy for your project’s needs. A customized builders’ risk plan gives you the coverage you require without charging you for items that don’t apply to your situation. 

Builders' risk insurance protects your bottom line.

Some of the typical events that can trigger a builders’ risk claim include:

  • Theft 
  • Vandalism
  • Natural Disaster (“Act of God”)
  • Explosion or Fire
  • Material Damage in Transit

Theft is the most likely situation that builders face. Materials and equipment valued at about one billion dollars disappear from construction sites every year. So having as much coverage as possible is crucial for protecting your investment and livelihood.

Besides covering the materials, your policy may cover “soft expenses” such as loss of income and debris removal.

Typically, you will choose between policies that cover ground-up construction, installation, or renovation. Be sure to spend time with your agent going over all of your needs and concerns to get the best policy for your protection.

They will likely discuss several questions with you before setting up your policy: 

  • What types of exposure will your site have at each phase of work?
  • Do you have scaffolding?
  • Will valuable documents, such as blueprints, be on-site?
  • Is the project residential or commercial?

Many variables come into play with this type of insurance. Your agent will help you choose a policy to cover what you need.

Not Just for the Builder

If you have any stake in a construction or remodeling project, you may be eligible to buy builders’ risk insurance. It’s actually not only for the builder, and many people don’t realize that.

Homeowners should consider builders' risk insurance for new construction.

Talk with your insurance agent about this protection if you are in any of the following roles:

  • Builder
  • Architect
  • Homeowner
  • Investor
  • Lender
  • Subcontractor

It is always better to be safe than sorry, and looking into your eligibility for a builders’ risk policy is a smart move. If you are eligible to purchase coverage, you will appreciate the protection and peace of mind.

Why Do Homeowners Need Builders’ Risk Policies?

If you are in the process of watching your new house taking shape, congratulations! New construction is the perfect way to get exactly what you want in a home.

It’s important to know that your homeowner’s insurance likely will not cover the structure until it is complete. During construction, theft, vandalism, or a sudden wind storm could cause damage and loss that has no coverage.

Check with your contractor to find out what level of insurance they carry and what it covers. In most situations, it’s wise for the homeowner to also buy a policy to ensure sufficient protection.

Exclusions In a Builders’ Risk Policy

As with any insurance plan, a builders’ risk insurance policy will have items or events that do not have coverage. You may need to consider separate riders or plans.

Generally, standard builder policies do not cover the following:

  • Machinery and Equipment
  • Injuries 
  • Employee Theft
  • Subcontractors
  • Other People’s Property
  • Earthquake Damage
  • Your Vehicle
  • Workmanship and Professional Liability

Make sure you discuss all of your needs with your insurance agent. In most cases, you likely need liability and workers’ compensation plans in place, too. Construction is too risky of an undertaking to leave yourself unprotected.

Builders' risk insurance doesn't cover injuries. Talk to you agent about workers compensation.

One thing to clarify before buying a policy is whether or not it will cover your tools. Different providers vary in what protection they offer for tools. Some do not include them at all in a builders’ risk insurance plan. Others provide coverage for tools that are on the insured site. 

Talk with your independent insurance agent to make sure you have sufficient protection for your situation.

Let’s See How We Can Serve You

Our Lake Region Insurance Agency clients are our neighbors. It’s an honor to serve the Greater Minnesota community by meeting their insurance needs.

From individuals to businesses, we have policies that fit the bill. We look forward to learning about you as we create a policy that will give you confidence. 

For over 50 years, Lake Region has provided personalized insurance options to our community. As independent agents, we can give our clients service without an agenda. Our team does not have to select policies only from one provider. We can search hundreds of choices to find the right plan for you.

Your home, auto, business, and health deserve all the protection possible. When you work with our agents, you get high-quality service and unparalleled expertise.

With offices in New London, Willmar, and Cokato, MN, we are readily available to meet your insurance needs. Please stop by one of our locations or our website today to get a free quote. We look forward to hearing from you.  

 

 

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How to Choose Self-Employed Health Insurance

You equip yourself for your work through training and tools of many kinds. But it’s crucial that you also include self-employed health insurance in your toolbox for business success. Keeping yourself healthy is key to having a thriving business.

Being self-employed and creating your work is a joy for many people. But it also means that you wear many hats, including figuring out medical insurance. The independent agents at Lake Region Insurance Agency can help you find the coverage that best suits your needs.

Visit one of our offices in New London, Willmar, or Cokato, MN. Or call us for a free insurance review and quote. We are eager to help you choose a self-employed health insurance policy that will meet your priorities and support your plans.

First Things First: Self-Employed or Small Employer?

It’s important to determine if you truly fall under the self-employed designation or if you are a small employer. 

You are self-employed in your business if you bring in income but don’t have employees. Small employers have at least one employee other than the owner. Small businesses with employees should consider group health insurance to cover everyone.

Hiring 1099 independent contractors doesn’t affect your self-employed status. But once you hire a W2 employee, you are a small employer.

Self-employed business owners can buy a policy through the individual Health Insurance Marketplace®. There you’ll find medical coverage that supports you and your family while you run your business.

Self-Employed Health Insurance Choices

Self-employed health insurance is crucial to running a successful solo business.

When you need to select a healthcare plan as a self-employed individual, you have a few options. 

For those who qualify, the Health Insurance Marketplace can offer an affordable way to purchase coverage. Income requirements apply for those wanting to shop on the Marketplace. Your independent agent can help you navigate this to see if you qualify for assistance with premiums.

You also can buy medical insurance directly from a provider without going through the Marketplace. Generally, this process requires less paperwork and moves a little more quickly. But it doesn’t take advantage of Marketplace discounts that may be available.

Plans typically come in bronze, silver, and gold levels. Each level has a different balance between monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. 

For example, bronze-level plans will have lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket expenses. Gold plans are the other way around. There are caps on the amount you have to pay each year outside of your premiums. 

Out-of-pocket costs can include any of the following:

  • Copayments for Office Visits 
  • Prescription Costs
  • Deductible
  • Coinsurance Fees (After Meeting the Deductible)

Identify Your Priorities When Choosing a Plan

Workplaces pre-select a few plans for their employees to choose from each year. However, as a self-employed business owner, you have significantly more choices. You can consider policies from any provider that offers coverage in your state.

When you need to select a plan, there are a lot of factors to consider:

  • How much can you afford each month for premiums?
  • Do you need insurance only for yourself or for your whole family?
  • Are there specific doctors you want to be able to see?
  • Do you need coverage for certain medications?
  • How often do you typically go to the doctor?

Consider how much coverage you need for things like prescriptions.

Answering these questions with your insurance agent will help them guide you to a plan that meets your needs. They can help you find appropriate coverage that fits your budget.

How Do Marketplace Subsidies Work?

If you shop the Marketplace for a plan, you may find that you are eligible for subsidies that lower your premiums. You will need to estimate your income for the upcoming year to determine eligibility. Your previous year’s tax return can provide you with a reasonable financial forecast for your application. 

Subsidies generally are available for individuals and households earning up to 400% of the poverty level. The actual dollar amount shifts from year to year based on the government’s poverty threshold. And the limits depend on the number of people in your household. Your agent can help you with this information.

If your estimate ends up being lower than your actual earnings, you may have to pay back some or all of the subsidy. If it turns out to be high, extra premium tax credits could lower your tax bill. Check with your tax professional for guidance about this.

When to Enroll In Self-Employed Health Insurance

The open enrollment period for choosing medical insurance is November 1 to December 15 each fall. If you do not select a plan during this window, then you probably have to wait until the following year to enroll.

Don't miss open enrollment to get your self-employed health insurance.

However, some life changes create the opportunity to enroll at other times in the year. Qualifying life events allow you to use a special enrollment period. These situations include:

  • Getting Married 
  • A Divorce that Results In Loss of Coverage
  • Having a Baby
  • Aging Out of Your Parents’ Plan
  • Loss of Job-Based Coverage

If you’re seeking medical coverage unexpectedly, reach out to the Lake Region team for assistance. They can help you determine your eligibility and find the healthcare plan that fits your needs.

Protecting Yourself Is Critical

Some business owners are tempted to skip buying self-employed health insurance for themselves. But this isn’t a good choice for several reasons.

First, your state may have mandates in place for owning coverage. Ignoring those could have consequences.

More importantly, however, you leave yourself at significant financial risk if you forego medical coverage. In a medical emergency or other healthcare need, you could end up with enormous bills. Having insurance in place offers you peace of mind and financial protection.

Lake Region Is Ready to Help

Being your own boss offers tremendous freedom and benefits. So make sure you protect yourself by choosing self-employed health insurance. Reach out to Lake Region Insurance Agency to get started. Our expert team of independent agents can help you find a plan that meets your needs and gives you the protection you deserve.