Monday, August 31, 2009

Strange Insurance: Weather Insurance

Weather insurance - doesn't it sound strange? Well, in any case it represents one of the oldest forms of insurance. Weather has been the decisive circumstance for farmers and their living, ever since the beginning of agriculture. Nowadays, much more than crops can be covered by weather insurance.

Rain is the primary target of weather insurance. Luckily, it is quite easy to negotiate a rain insurance policy. Concerning rain policies, you can choose rain accumulation policies (for this, you need to determine how much rain would still be acceptable for your event and how much would already waste it) or dry hours (how many hours in a period of time were without any rain). Counteraction on snow are available in a similar way, either aiming on inches per session or per storm. A unique version of this insurance is particularly for municipalities and public organs, who want to cover extra costs by a special snow removal insurance policy.

And the whole insurance business goes even further. There is wind insurance against undesired wind conditions, perfect for instance for a hot air ballooning show. An ice cream promotion can pay for temperature insurance to secure the investment in the face of cold weather.

Mostly you can choose your own combination of the various policies needed for your event. Are you making a movie and need to insure underwater visibility or against lack of snow? No problem, film productions are typical customers for many unusual insurance policies. Another usual customer is a manager of a sports event, a concert, a festival or a trade show. For us, whose business is not directly influenced by the weather, like me, selling disability insurance, we can still purchase weather insurance for our free time and our holidays.

This is quite a new product, just getting to the customers from the whole world. You can get some of your money back if it rains more than expected during your holidays - this is available by some French travel agencies, in cooperation with Aon France. Analogically, a new sunshine insurance is now available by Lufthansa, the German airlines. A simple insurance policy is available for €20 ($31.24) for passengers from Germany. They can get €20 back for each day during their holiday when it rains more than 5mm.

Naturally, for destinations such as Tunisia or Greece, weather insurance is not really needed. And for places like Vancouver, they may not be willing to sell you a weather insurance. It wouldn’t hurt to ask.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Can you insure the weather, please?

Most of us have already some experience with some insurance products - for instance life insurance, long term care or disability insurance. The financial safety of our daily life is at least a bit guarded by these options. While there are so many different types of insurance available, the whole selection might seem to be a bit conservative. But the world of insurance is more colourful than you would ever expect There are even some special policies that look quite bizarre One of them is events insurance.

Imagine yourself planning a marvelous wedding ceremony full of romance - taking place on the beach, with roses all around and guest count going into hundreds. But in the worst case scenario, it may happen that just before the ceremony begins, you step on your veil, slip and end up with a broken leg. For such cases, there is a special insurance product available, just to limit the damage to the minimum. Almost all imaginable attributes of an event can be secured by the insurance, and it doesn't make a difference if it is a birthday party, a wedding or a bar mitzvah you want to insure. The most common insurance types are liability and cancellation insurance, but you can adjust the insurance according to your specific needs. But what to do if you have dreamed of an outdoor party and the weather shows you its unfriendly face? No problem, if you purchase the policy in advance (around two weeks), you can ask also for this protection.

And there are many more possibilities concerning your events insurance. You can even retake your pictures, if the first ones were destroyed by an unskilled photographer, but you had purchased the right insurance. Also, all the gifts, jewelery and rental property can be covered And think about a case of a bride running away from the altar... Yes, trust me; you can cover cold feet too

Event insurance is sold by some of the most famous insurance companies in the world. Allianz offers it via Fireman's Fund subsidiary; Axa adds fireworks and Christmas light insurance, some other offer the option to cover alcohol related accidents. Prices often start below $100 for the basic coverage.

Briefly, you can cover your events from A to Z.

Photo source: Teozilla

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Disability Insurance: Disability Insurance

When you hear the word 'disability', you probably think of mobility loss as an effect of a sudden work or sport mishap. But as we can see from the statistics, the reality is quite different: twice more people become handicapped because of a serious sickness (cancer, diabetes or heart disease) than due to an accident.

Your chances of becoming handicapped

Twice more people under 65 years of age become long-term handicapped than decease due to an accident or illness. But naturally the older is the person, the bigger his/her chances of becoming handicapped are:

* out of every 100 children up to 14 years, 3 are classified as handicapped
* 4% of young people between 15 and 24 years become handicapped
* 7% of adults between 25 and 44 years become handicapped
* 17 in 100 adults between 45 to 64 become handicapped
* 40 in 100 adults 65 and over become handicapped
* 53% of adults older than 75 become handicapped

The current numbers tell us that right now, about 14% of Canadians are classified as handicapped, which is some 4.4 million in real numbers.

What are the advantages of disability insurance?

Different kinds of insurance were created to fit the different needs and situations one might meet. For example life insurance provides adequate amount of money for people who suffer not only from an emotional trauma, but also a change of financial situation after the loss of a close person. In the opposite case, after someone turns (completely) handicapped, the first problem is his/her not being able to keep earning a sufficient salary for themselves and the whole family. Moreover, there are even higher expenses connected to the extra medical and other care the person suddenly needs, which means even more of a financial issue for the family of the person who was once able to support him/herself and now needs specialized care. Thus we can see that a good disability insurance can help you solve even more problems than a life insurance. Being classed as handicapped doesn’t always mean that the person is not able of some kind of employment (see the various definitions of disability), but it has been reported that around 15% of those filing for bankruptcy have done it due to illness or accident. Disabled people can sign up for some government benefits, but this is only a limited option. The coverage group plans don't help to maintain your current wages either, as they usually cover between 50% and 60% of the previous net income.

If you are thinking about applying for disability insurance, first think about the resources you would have in case you couldn't earn a sufficient amount of money.

You might decide to:

* place the confidence in your spouse/family
* spend your savings or retirement funds
* sell your property/other assets
* live on credit
* be sufficiently covered by disability insurance that would supplement the missing income

Illustration: credits to World of Oddy