Wednesday, December 22, 2010

BMO Life: A.M. Best Credit Ratings

Lately, there has been more good news for an insurance company among the many grim economic articles as A.M. Best Co. did not change the financial strength evaluation of BMO Life Assurance Company (BMO Life), reinforcing the rating at an “A”, which stands for “Excellent”. Similarly, BMO Life’s issuer credit rating also remained at an “a”. Even better, the projections for BMO Life were assessed as stable, with regards to all the Company's reports and other information available on Bank of Montreal and BMO Life.

BMO Life is a subsidiary of Bank of Montreal (BMO). BMO Life is not the only insurer owned by BMO, but is a major one for that matter, serving specific subsets of the insurance market. Hence, analysts rely on BMO to support BMO Life in case of any contingent financial issues. During the recent financial crisis, BMO Life was significantly harmed in the instabilities within the highly competitive insurance marketplace and needs to recover from all the monetary and brand-esteem losses.

BMO offers a selection of insurance products, ranging from universal life through individual life insurance , term life, whole life, critical illness, guaranteed issue life insurance to structured settlements and annuities. Its policy assortment is quite specific and thus preferred by certain subsets of the clientele, which may be considered its individual advantage. BMO Life offers its plans mainly using an agent network originally established by AIG Life.

In 2009, Bank of Montreal (BMO) decided to take over AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada. The company was transformed into a new brand of BMO Life Assurance Company, but its business model remained chiefly intact. Financial analysts seem to have welcomed this acquisition well, since AIG Life/BMO Life from now on can count on a stable and large parent supporting it.

The BMO group has another life insurer: BMO Life Insurance. This entity is unconnected to BMO Life Assurance Company, has its own network of agents and history, but exists within the same family. Find more information on BMO Life Assurance Company on our website.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Insurance and the Climate

“Since when do insurance companies worry about climate research?” you might ask. If so, you should ask RSA Insurance Group, a global insurer headquartered in the UK. RSA in Canada operates mainly in marine insurance, but the message their behaviour is demonstrating is will have significant effects across the whole insurance field, even for non-medical life insurance.

RSA recently announced an official alliance with the World Wildlife Fund world-wide. The mutual synergy upon which this relationship is based qualifies as both “the right thing” as well as a business interest. It is simply a win-win situation.

If anyone can actually express a climate change in probability figures, then it must be insurance analysts. However, insurers cannot always work out what lies ahead specifically enough. Following the floods and droughts around the world, insurance companies bumped into considerable claims and thus had to pay unexpected compensations on those of their insurance products that are linked with the state of temperature, weather, and climate. This signalled to them that they were unable to assess their products’ riskiness accurately. And risk being the elementary notion underlying the entire insurance business, something had to be changed.

Thus, this experience and the general involvement of RSA with marine insurance were what prompted RSA to look for information, opinions and support at WWF. They are interested in the developments of the global environment - those that WWF examines so intently. WWF performs numerous analyses in order to understand animals whose life is largely influenced by the smallest changes in the climate. Through helping WWF to do what they are best at, the RSA group will benefit from more trustworthy forecasts. Thus, the insurer will be able to ascertain its risk better, charge for its products more adequately and steer clear of disproportionate outlays.

Because the enhanced estimates should be publicly available, i.e., to every other insurer, the effect on competition between companies is going to be minimal. At most, more perfect competition will press down policy prices for insurees. On the other hand, wild species will welcome the partnership between RSA and WWF anyhow.

Lots of businesses are learning that an eco-conscious business model may not only save them substantial amounts of money, but also please their customers along with the public in one fell swoop. The spirit of this mind-set shift can be sensed around global enterprises such as Sony Corporation, which only uses recycled paper for all administrative work, PricewaterhouseCoopers, also contemplating a global change towards more sustainable offices, and Adobe winning awards for very small-footprint office buildings using modern technologies numerous times.

Monday, December 13, 2010

LSM Articles Selection

LSM Insurance produces tonnes of great articles and we don't want them to be lost in the deep valleys of Web. Therefore, we prepared this list of the best insurance, financial and other articles from October and November.

Insurance Dividends
Can insurance bring any dividends? Few tips for investors.

One of the popular life insurance policies on Canadian market. Is it worth the money?

Closely followed case of Transamerica's ratings.

One of the biggest trials related to insurance in Canada reached its end.

European financial system is undergoing major change.

We survived the crisis almost untouched. But what comes next?

What is it? How does it work? Let's learn something about long term care disability insurance policies

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Insurance Companies Lobbying Against New IFRS

During the summer, Canadian life insurance companies were lobbying the federal government to move the principles in their favour. In summary, insurance companies demanded an amendment of IFRS which our government is prepared to implement but wants to effect not before 2013.

The industry believes that the new rules will introduce big volatility to the c/e ratio in annual (quarterly) comparisons. The problem is, not only would this make period-to-period comparisons more challenging, but it would also stop comparisons to statements prepared under the previous rules.

The people at LSM Insurance think the latter is weedy defense though, as the the industry would most possibly be called for to make new calculations for previous few periods' results applying the new order precisely for the purposes of rational comparability, as is the case with most alternations of the standards. Nonetheless, a shift of rules will surely bring bigger amount of administrative expenses in the time of the change at the bottom end.

As to the volatility of capital ratios, the FP says that the the companies are pledging for a 2-tier accounting rules that permits capital to be counted based on a various pack of standards than the IFRS. This makes sense since the levels of capital backups are monitored and regulated by the Canadian regulatory body - OSFI. Should there be too big volatility of capital reserves, the insurance companies may be asked to re-check them more often which put off ideal capital management.

In serious situations, malnourished capital may push OSFI to consider an insurer bankrupt. Today, it is far from possible to find the exact effects of IFRS on c/e volatility, as the new rules are currently being developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Nevertheless, the insurers are believing that 2-tier rules, which is in place in the Anglo-Saxon countries will erase any such worries.

An additional tool for overcoming future crises the insurance industry might use is embedded contingent capital mentioned in a previous article.

PS: Don't forget to check out our new website on no medical life insurance.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Boosted Ratings of Transamerica Life Canada

As reported in the August Issue of the Insurance Journal, S&P recently improved its counter-party credit and financial strength ratings for Transamerica Life Canada from “BBB” to “BBB+.”  The outlook as an insurance company is positive as of now.

Similarly, in July, AM Best changed Transamerica Life Canada to positive from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of B++, which equates to “Good”.  AM Best also reclassed the prospects to positive from negative and confirmed the insurer’s credit rating at BBB+.  More good news for Transamerica clients and prospective customers, Transamerica Life has slashed its term plan prices from September 20.

To learn more about guaranteed issue life insurance, visit our specialized website.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Doctors Protest Against Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in Ontario

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a sport with about a 100-year-long modern tradition. The rules of the fight allow a selection of techniques to take place in every match. Thus, martial artists with various skillsets are able to compete in the ring. MMA is a full-contact sport with roots with roots as far as the ancient Rome.

Lately, medical professionals had something to say about this on the Canadian Medical Association’s general annual meeting in Niagara Falls. The majority of the doctors voiced their belief that the sport should not be legal. They simply argue that MMA is a dangerous sport with a large probability of injuries – a lot more significant than in boxing for instance.

Another parallel institution which lately voiced worries regarding MMA was the British Medical Association . Since early 2009, they are actively campaigning against this sport in Britain (for more info read BMA’s entire statement here). They, too, argue that the sport often gets excessively brutal.

As explained by Dr. Ian Gillespie, the president of BCMA, “MMA fighting, like boxing, is distinct from many other sports in that the basic intent of the fighter is to cause harm in order to incapacitate his or her opponent.” He adds that the “various techniques […] aren’t limited to punching, and there may be the presence of fewer safety rules.” is a portal reporting on MMA events and news. In an article on this topic, it expresses their own opinions on the arguments of the British Medical Association. They mention that any available data is extremely limited and link to an American study finding that injury and knock-out rates in Mixed Martial Arts are comparable to those of other such activities.

The Hamilton Spectator interviewed two experts from the field – a fighter and a coach – idea about the issue. Less efficient protective equipment which makes fighting more dangerous is a large concern. Also, the referees are less specific plus any regulations are looser overall. Unlike in box, the strikes are not aimed solely at the opponent’s head and the body in MMA, which will easily cause more kinds of injuries. To be fair, it may still make head injuries much less probable. Both experts are calling for a unification of procedures across Canada instead of keeping different regulations for each province.

Why do the Canadian doctors step up now? It is because only now (in August), Ontario province government finally agreed to legalize MMA in the province. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warrior One (W1) are the two largest organizations. They already have business strategies aiming to develop activities in lucrative locations in the province. Ontario Premier Mr. Dalton McGuinty finally stepped out of his comfort zone to sign the law, but wants close scrutiny of all events and all the rules, according to Toronto Sun.

Doctors are unhappy that there are seldom trained professionals at the matches. They say that even if there were, it would be against their essential principles for them to passively watch the ongoing injuries and just let them pass. Traditional martial artists are displeased that the sport is in its essence countering the original values of martial arts which are most importantly respect, discipline, self-control and courtesy.

As reported by CTV, Dr. Shelby Karpman warns that since MMA is already very popular, outlawing it would cause that the fights take place illegally. Also, health supervision would not be enforceable and thus the artists could count on substandard care, which translates into even more danger.

That said, it seems reasonable to conclude that if the sport cannot be banned, it should definitely be officially regulated and any rules should be obeyed without exceptions. This means that there should be reasonable medical authority present with appropriate competencies; licensing, insurance and preventive measures should be in place during every match.

As I am sure you are wondering: Extreme sports such as MMA are treated as a special case for life insurance. Not every company will want to sell you coverage if you perform this or a similar extreme sport, and those who will are going to ask a much higher price. The final price is going to depend on the nature of the sport you do. A fighter should pay utmost attention to any exclusions and caveats in the policy and should not sign up for any but licensed events. Illegal fighting may mar your chances of ever successfully making a claim on your policy.

However, life insurance is not going to suffice to cover all expenses associated with extreme sports. A fighter will most probably cause harm to his or her counterpart and that will make him or her responsible for the reimbursements. In addition to the host of the match, each fighter should have liability insurance of his or her own. As with life insurance, with liability insurance it holds true that the fight must be part of a licensed and supervised venue and is limited by any exclusions in the plan.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Brief Overview of Canadian Long-term Care Insurance

There may come a time in our later years when we simply are unable to live on our own. If you read the statistics, 50% of Canadians are expected to need long-term care after 75. With increased longevity and the aging of the population, it is advisable that we sort out these matters as soon as possible. In this article, we are going to give you an overview of long-term care insurance, as well as briefly describe policies from three different Canadian insurance companies to help you compare.

What is long-term care insurance?
If you can’t do at least two of the following six activities:

  • dressing,
  • eating,
  • toileting,
  • bathing,
  • maintaining continence,
  • and transferring (e.g. from a bed to a chair)

on your own (the exact activity list depending on your individual policy), then you qualify for your benefit from long-term care insurance. Your policy will then pay you the agreed tax-free benefit on a weekly basis to help you get suitable assistance.

Long-term care coverage helps protect the resources and health of not only you, but also your children who would have to invest extra resources to provide for your needs. Unlike in Life Insurance, Long-term Care plans do not normally prefer non-smokers, nor do they distinguish between females and males.

Read here if you want to find out more about long-term care insurance vocabulary and definitions.

How to choose your long-term care insurance policy?
What to ask about your long-term care insurance policy:
You should first check for any exceptions in the policy as to when and how you get to your benefit. Then, try to estimate how much your care may cost you and for how long. You may choose to opt for a policy delay (elimination period) which will let you pay for your care from your own pocket for a chosen time before the policy kicks in, which makes the policy cheaper. Furthermore, see if the policy offers you guaranteed premiums (i.e. level amounts) and for how long. Examine any policy riders and add-ons of interest to you and don’t forget to consult your choices with an independent broker.

Interested in more details? See Shopping for a long-term care insurance policy.

Comparing insurers’ offers
You can buy Long-term Care insurance from Ontario Medical Association/Sun Life Insurance, Penncorp Insurance Company, Manulife Financial, RBC Insurance, Desjardins or Blue Cross. Let’s briefly look at a few of them in turn.

Ontario Medical Association (OMA) offers a long-term Care insurance policy to you and your family members 21 to 80 years of age. The policy is in fact underwritten by Sun Life Financial. The prices are the same as those of Sun Life’s plans. The policy has a rolling 5-year premium guarantee and offers a possibility of no elimination period if you need facility care. The plan is receipt-based. Premiums are lower for men.

Penncorp offers a so-called One Step Long-term Care, which pays the benefit already as soon as you have one incapacity, including cognitive impairment, which allows the insured to enjoy the broadest possible coverage. This is the plan’s specialty in Canada. One Step Long-term Care Plan by Penncorp is available to individuals aged 30 to 70. This plan doesn’t have a premium guarantee on the policy’s premiums.

Manulife Financial is trying to bank on simplicity. Manulife’s policy is called Living Care and the client is merely required to fill in an application form and undergo an interview. This is conducted by telephone if she or he is less than 70, and it should be conducted in person if he or she is 71 or older. If you are older, the insurer may get in touch with your doctor to verify your medical information. Manulife does not require laboratory exams during a long-term care application process. The policy is not receipt-based and it has a minimum elimination period of 90 days, which is longer than most competitors.

At Desjardins, the rates are a bit more expensive than competition’s. However, you have the money at your own disposal and don’t have to provide any receipts. Premiums are guaranteed for the first five years of the plan and favouring males.

You surely see that it isn’t easy to understand all of the insurance offerings in the market. Ask a broker you trust to help you out.

To find out more info about long-term care insurance, please check out our Long-term Care Consumer Report.

Searching for more details? Please see our enumeration of Interesting Facts About Long-term Care Insurance.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Standard Life and Their Insurance Policies

I would like to present to you several Canadian insurance companies in a few short articles, and I’d like to commence with Standard Life. Now, let me examine Standard Life’s Term and Universal Life plans.

The Universal Life policy:
You may apply for the Universal Life up to your 81st birthday. Perspecta - as this policyis being traded - has several nice things to offer, including multiple death benefit, flexible monthly premiums as well as cost of insurance options.

The Perspecta investment accounts include the following: managed accounts, indexed accounts (including Strategic Asset Allocation accounts), term deposits, and one daily interest account. What is more, Perspecta has a Shelter Optimizer and Account Optimizer, which maximize the return from premium investments by maintaining their tax-exempt status. The policy features client bonus payments in later policy years to further enhance value accumulation.

Applicants can add the following add-ons (and more) to the policy: 10 and 20-year term riders which are renewable and convertible, children’s term riders, critical illness riders for adults, as well as children, accidental death benefit, guaranteed insurability benefit and a benefit which relieves you from paying premiums in case of a disability.

On the downside, Standard Life insurance (which used to have some of the cheapest Universal Life plans out there) came with an increase in its pricing in 2005. Now, some age groups will be forced to switch to other insurance providers because of this increase. On the plus side, Standard Life is one of the handful companies in Canada to offer preferred rates on both their Term and Universal Life policy.

As an illustration, a 45-year-old non-smoking male will sign up to $211.95 monthly at least, as this is the minimum payment that keeps the policy alive.

Term Life:
Standard Life offers two term life policies in its portfolio - Term 10 and Term 20. You can sign up for the Term 10 policy at any time between age 18 and 70, Term 20 ends at 65. The plans are renewable to age 85 and they can be converted up to age 65. The Term policies also offer many different riders which are like those coming with the Universal Life policy.

The applicant can also decide to sign up for an individual or first-to-die benefit (e.g. with a spouse).
Those in good health and have a good family health history may be able to qualify for a preferred rate. As a bonus, if you are extremely healthy, you might qualify for a super preferred rate! On the downside, these term life plans are not available at face amounts under $100~000. This can prove crucial for senior applicants in case they are a constrained budget.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Basel and Canadian Banks

Embedded contingent capital. This may sound like a term from another planet, but it is a model which may become the reality for our banks. The Basel Committee listened to Canadian advice and now considers implementing this new regulatory feature in a hope to help preserve the stability of the world’s banks. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he was “pleased” Canada’s advice was being seriously considered.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision was created in 1974. This institution which unites the ten nations’ central bank governors. The committee gathers four times a year to discuss recommendations, guidelines and best practices that the members and other states should implement in their home legal system. The committee’s decisions do not directly influence the national markets, yet they are mostly obeyed since uniform law helps ensure that multinational banks are not required to use their own compliance management, which decreases the operating costs.

These new proposed rules redefine the accounting principles regarding banks’ debt, Financial Times reported. Under usual circumstances, debt (whether in the form of bonds or loans) is accounted for as a liability of the bank towards its creditors. Creditors have an advantage over shareholders: in case a company goes bankrupt, creditors are satisfied before any owners. In addition, the debtor-creditor relationship is traditionally more systematic and the creditor can expect to recoup back the face value of the debt at the end of the lending term. Regular debt is therefore safer than equity and thus cheaper too.

In the future, banks could make use of the option of transforming some of their debt to equity if another financial crisis strikes. Such a conversion will have to be ordered by the federal government and will allow banks to expand their capital levels instantly. More capital should allow the bank to withstand for a longer time – hopefully during the whole of the crisis. Therefore, the term “embedded contingent capital” is defined as capital embedded in the bank’s debt and contingent upon the financial situation of the bank or the entire economy. The government must initiate and approve the transformation.

In addition to improved banking sector stability, the newly proposed rules are meant to provoke greater scrutiny of investors and lenders over the performance of the bank and lending practices. As the effect of the greater risk they are facing, lenders will have an incentive to monitor their banks, the Basel Committee thinks.

But is it really that important of an argument? LSM Insurance argues that greater incentives are a positive notion. But will they be backed by appropriate legislation ensuring heightened transparency of the banking operations so that there are tools for investors to actually observe their banks effectively? Plus, even today, investors are interested in the well-being of their banks. The change may add additional pairs of eyes interested in the matter, but the added benefit is still debatable.

LSM Insurance believes that the major implication of this upcoming law for the banks themselves will be their ability to acquire financing in an extra way that is cheaper than equity but a bit more expensive than regular debt. That is if they can find a market to sell it to.

Debt in the form of loans and bonds normally obliges the debtors to pay back in regular agreed upon instalments – annuities – according to an agreed-upon payment schedule. The face value of the debt is always paid back to the lender when the debt matures. Equity, on the other hand, implies ownership, including voting and other rights. The disadvantage is that it is up to the company’s management to set the dividends, or whether there are any at all. What is more, shareowners cannot expect the face value of their investment to be returned at the end of the term and the only way they can recoup the money they invested is to re-sell their equity to another investor.

If Canadian banks find a way to take advantage this borrowing facility “of the third kind”, their cost of capital will increase. In return, they will have an interesting safety measure in place to resort to in case worse comes to worst. Of course, there must be a market and means of valuation for such an instrument, which is still a large question mark in a market as small as the Canadian one Nevertheless, the banks seem to expect that the hassle is going to be worth it eventually. The reassuring factor is that this feature can only be applied upon federal government approval and is not the decision of the banks themselves.

According to Reuters, the banks in Canada say they are ready to embrace the new rules. From their current position, they want to continue in their successful post-crisis growth. Banks and analysts are forecasting acquisitions and mergers in Canada and abroad. Our banks will want to expand their presence especially in the European and US markets.

Monday, September 20, 2010

How Longer Sleep Might Make Your Little Ones Lighter

Life insurance brokers repeatedly emphasize the importance of lifestyle in influencing your life insurance plan bill. Recently, academics discovered in a survey that if you improve your chidren’s day’s regime during their youngest age, it could possibly have a major impact on their well-being in the later stages of their life.

A survey conducted in the U.S. tried to find out if there is a traceable correlation between the length of a kid’s sleep and his or her body weight in a representative sample of U.S. 0 to 13 year-old children, Reuters reports. The survey was conducted in two chunks. In 1997, the researchers gathered the initial details about the people in the sample, followed up in 2002 by collecting information about the elapsed period.

The study showed that children who were able to get fewer than 10 hours of sleep before age 5 are expected to have elevated chances of becoming overweight in their later life. For those interested in more details: toddlers’ parents should allow their precious ones to sleep 12-14 hours every day. Older children before age 5 would do best to rest at least eleven-thirteen hours a day and children older than five but younger than 10 are advised to take ten- to eleven-hour sleep too. The trend continues in a similar way, encouraging teenagers to go with 8.5-9.25 hours of rest at night. The researchers take care to point out that interrupted sleep doesn’t add to one’s sleep time.

When examining children over five, shorter sleep periods were not proven to be directly associated with excess weight, but is nevertheless deemed to have the force to change a kid’s body weight in a negative direction temporarily. The causes of that haven’t been discovered yet. There are theories, some of them suggesting that sleep has an influence over one’s . This is true for adults as much as kids. In addition, Dr. Janice F. Bell explains that exhausted children probably do not feel like exercising as much needed. Perhaps a more trivial explanation could be that the briefer one sleeps, the more chances he or she has to consume.

It has been noted above that the advantage of this study lies in the fact that the tested subjects were watched for a longer period, contrary to only one moment. That way, the researchers were enabled to track weight variations in the very same boys and girls, not simply averaging across a mixed group. The majority of probes had to rely on statistical incidence of overweight kids among examined groups and every single subject’s memories regarding their habits.

We ought to be positively encouraged that sleeping practices can be easily tailored to one’s needs, mainly in younger children who can possibly be impacted most. Keeping oneself in good health will definitely improve one’s enjoyment in life, but may decrease the price of his or her health care and life insurance quote.

The European Capital Test

In the middle of 2010, Europe’s bankers underwent a stress test to determine the assortment of their capital holdings and to what degree they relied on resources connected to problematic states. In spite of the results of the stress test being positive in the beginning, it was found after a while that there were important omissions of details in the test templates. The E.U. banks’ capital structure makes them indeed subject to more risk than is considered healthy.

A few weeks ago, in July 2010, a stress test was imposed on all European banks to determine whether they were ready to survive a future financial downturn. This assessment was chiefly aimed at assessing the EU banks’ reserve levels and its type – whether a satisfactory level of reserves exists and whether it is of a satisfactory quality for the examined banks to rely on. Several countries outside the E.U. introduced a test on their banks’ reserve ratios as well – LSM Insurance informed its followers and clients about that earlier this year as well. The E.U. test discovered that a handful of banks (especially in Greece) were in an unfavourable position, but the the findings in general helped to solidify the investor confidence in the European banking system in general. For those reasons, the Euro and other EU currencies outside the monetary union were benefiting from an unshaken position in the international market.

That is to say for a tad more than four weeks. Early in September 2010, The Wall Street Journal released a detailed analysis of the test results and compared it to a review of the official financial reports of the examined banks. WSJ found that the test subjects often did not manage to detail all the necessary descriptions on their funding, seeing as the numbers could not be entirely matched their statutory reports. This way, the transparency of the input details was unfortunately affected. The banks did not lie. Rather, the banks just did not care to categorize their holdings correctly as the CEBS guidance was not written clearly enough either to start with.

Traditionally, government debentures are believed to be carrying no risk. Considering the financial distress in in Greece, however, they have gained on importance. Greece’s near-bankrupt status puts riskier government debentures and as such, the Greek government bonds ought to be recorded differently. Many banks just would not make this principle clear when reporting. Some banks wouldn’t report parts of their capital holdings, claiming that it was because of their volatility and the fact that they were actively traded in the normal course of their business. This way, they effectively improved their results in an uncontrollable fashion. Since every tested participant “understood” the requirements of the test with slight differences, each tested subject disclosed its reserve holdings differently and that caused that the results are drawing from different assumptions. Therefore, they are virtually incomparable.

In short, the paramount issue with the testing was the limited amount of extra information that the banks included for the regulators. Obviously, the CEBS test requirements were too relaxed to really oblige the banks to reveal any useful pieces of data. This is unfortunate for the Euro, which experienced a severe shock and has been trying to climb back up insecurely from that time forth. It is bewildering to see that even now, the CEBS is still confident with the original rules.

We certainly hope the CEBS and other banking regulators all over the globe are going to learn out of this slip and will take care that any other tests and regulations are well-thought through. Any more issues would harm the trustworthiness of the affected economy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Learn More about Lorne and the Company

Hi everyone,

Just a quick question - have you already had a look at LSM Insurance on Facebook? We will be happy to see that you “Like” us!

Also, if you want to find your favourite broker, check out the exact location of LSM Insurance on .

Thanks and stay tuned for more articles!

- Lorne

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

AXA Canada Term Offers Bonus: Disability Benefit

Insurer AXA boast an great reputation all around the world with a network of four thousand professional brokers and associates coast to coast. In AXA they have 250 qualified workers who can help individuals to pick from a variety of good term,universal and whole life insurance products and art collectibles insurance plans.

AXA's Universal Life Insurance combines adjustable life insurance with a savings component. Another well-known policy is the AXA Art policy, where individual art collectors can defend their delicate items such as antique furnishings or vintage wine and more.

AXA Canada's Term 10/Term 20 life products have unique element that many clients are completely unaware of. AXA Canada is the single life insurer in Canada to prepare a term insurance product with a ready-made Extreme Disability Benefit (EDB). Sometimes instances, the cost is less expensive than normal term insurance products. The advantage of this policy is that, not only is the insured's loved ones protected if he/she dies within the stated time, but the policy provides the added protection of the EDB. This bonus can provide additional value to citizens who live with long and often hazardous winter road conditions. The EDB pays out half of the policy amount (up to $250,000) for insurees who suffer the disability. An extreme disability claim needs the claimant to have been influenced by a permanent disability and is dependant on assistance with five of the 7 aspects of regular living.

I can see there are certainly boundaries bounded to this AXA life insurance product, and it should not be exchanged with usual disability product (which protects a much wider spectrum of disabilities). The extreme disability must come before age 60, and this benefit strips the death benefit claim dollar-for-dollar. Therefore, if someone with a $600,000 life insurance policy develops an serious disability, and consequently dies--the $250,000 EDB will be subtracted from the $600,000 insurance claim.

picture by Ravages

Monday, July 19, 2010

Were You and Your Loved Ones Caught Up in The Earthquake In Canada Last Week?

Did you feel the earthquake that struck south eastern Ontario and some of Quebec on June 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm EST?

Luckily, the magnitude was only 5.0 according to the US Geological Survey, and no extreme damage was reported. Just 61 km north of Ottawa is where the epicentre of the earthquake happened.

As reports came in, many people spoke of a gradual rumbling which escalated in intensity, a bit like building work going off below or around you. The vibrations could be felt as high up as the 9th floor of office and apartment blocks according to eye witnesses. The rumbling sensation may have been mild, but Lorne certainly felt the earthquake.

Even though natural disasters happen very rarely in Canada, they do occur and it brings home to us all how vulnerable we all are. It definitely makes me wonder what I can do to protect myself and my family should another disaster hit us.

Along with normal emergency preparedness, part of your preparation should include life insurance.

What many people do not understand is that along with disasters such as floods or hurricanes, earthquakes are one of the most expensive natural disasters. Earthquakes account for 30% of all damage by natural disasters from 1950-2001. While the human cost of earthquakes is only 9% compared to the 42% occurring due to famine, famine only accounts for 4% of the damage which is tiny in comparison to earthquakes.

People losing their lives fell in the 90's from 86,328 per year in the 80's to 75,252; but those touched by natural disaster climbed from147 million in the 80s to 211 million people a year in the 90's.

With a big increase in monetary impact from natural disasters since the 1960's we also see an increase of occurrences, which isn't good news.

With more disasters occurring then it stands to reason that more and more people are going to have their lives affected by them, as a result it is only natural to look at ways of minimizing the impact on your family.

The five influential Canadian insurance organizations we surveyed do provide death benefits for you and your family if such disasters take place, but you need to check the policy carefully if you choose not to use them and go elsewhere. If you are urged not to travel somewhere, such as a war zone and you do, be aware that this is one exception that insurance companies put in place on their schemes.

Delivered by Lorne Marr, the founder of LSM Insurance and mortgage life insurance expert

Not every shake is the same!

Green shake in a cup.

image by elana's pantry

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Breast Cancer Financial Burden and Critical Illness Insurance

Financial worries when you or a loved one is suffering from breast cancer is a burden you don't want to cope with.
As communicated by the Vancouver Sun, The Canadian Breast Cancer Network has announced a survey that "firmly places breast cancer as an economic as well as health issue. " Of the 400 females polled, 80% say they have "experienced some kind of financial problems from the disease. It wasn't just loss of income while they were unable to work, but many other payments that led to financial problems. So while these women were trying to deal with such a terrible disease, they were hit with a "double whammy".
The statistics unveiled that nearly half the respondents said they had to use savings and a quarter went into debt, some went onto disability or had to leave their jobs and 16% actually lost their jobs. One of the individuals who took part in the survey had been a nurse for 35 years could no longer cope with her job physically, as a result had to leave. Once she resigned from the hospital, she also lost her group insurance benefits and had to resort to saved income to cope with the cost
There are other options out their to using savings and getting into debt when you have this disease, but most individuals do not realise that there are other ways. Usually within 30 days of being diagnosed, a person with critical illness insurance could have a lump sum payment paid out to them. Whilst not just for breast cancer, this type of policy is there for this type of problem, too help with those additional debts you may incur.

LSM Insurance works with over 13 different insurance companies many of them provide critical illness quote to cover over 25 critical Illnesses.
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Monday, May 31, 2010

Understanding Mortgage Insurance In Canada

Mortgage Life Insurance is one of those Insurances that not many individuals completely get to grips with. When you apply for a mortgage, your attention is fixed on having it approved, so when a lender tags on the Insurance you accept that it is necessary. If you look through this type of policy from your lending company, you will find it is no more than Term Life insurance. In other words, the value of the life insurance drops as the insureds mortgages drops, but in most cases, the rates go up based on five-year spans.

Instead of this sort of insurance, have a look at individual life insurance which is certainly more premium friendly.

You are able to combine life insurance and debt protection with this type of scheme or you can tailor it to suit your debt needs. The most efficient answer from a purely financial angle is to join the two requirements. In addition, by taking out individual life insurance for a mortgage, you can choose whether to make it a Term policy or a Permanent scheme Term insurance plans are fixed for a stated term, such as a 10, 20, or 30-year term. If you want a scheme to run for your lifetime as well as know how much is being paid out each month, then the Permanent scheme is the best one for you. If you are looking to have a lump sum of money, then a Permanent scheme is possibly the best one for you, as you can build up a cash sum which will pay out at a pre-set point.
Below are some more perks you could expect to have if you took out individual life insurance:
  • You are not stuck with the scheme, if you move or change banks the scheme can be tailored to accommodate this.
  • You choose who is the assignee, not the bank.
  • The individual policy pays out double in the case where both spouses die.
  • You are not limited to one or the other, you can have both Permanent insurance and Term insurance under one policy.
  • Just because you have paid your mortgage up, doesn't mean that you have to cancel your scheme.

Delivered by Lorne Marr, life insurance quote broker from Markham, ON

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Friday, April 30, 2010

AIDS/HIV Positive - Looking for Life Insurance

There are nearly 60,000 Canadians suffering with HIV or AIDS according to the figures stated as of 2005. Common life insurance is normally not available to individuals who have immune system abnormalities, including HIVAIDS.

But all is not lost, some guaranteed issue providers and quite a few simplified life insurers will supply some kind of life insurance.

Guaranteed issue plans has no medical assessment and no health queries. Consequently you don't have to state you have contracted AIDS or HIV There are 3 problems to this kind of insurance:
1) Firstly expect to pay big policy contributions.
2) the possible face amounts are tiny.
3) The final downside is the waiting duration, which is usually two years. In this instance the best payment you can hope for is the return of the premium with interest, if the insured dies within the first two years of a non-accidental death.

With no medical test but up to 12 medical questions, then a simplified issue life insurance plan may be the insurance for you. This kind of plan has the benefit of a higher pay-out and lower premiums. Check the policy details, as some of them still have a waiting period which could be up to 2 years. Canada Protection Plan and Assumption Life are two of the main providers of this type of life insurance in Canada. Canada Protection Plan deferred life and deferred term schemes have the most encouraging questions in terms of HIV and AIDS history.

They are asked as follows: Deferred Life within the past three years, has the insured been treated for unusual chronic infection, including HIV and AIDS. Whilst the Canada Protection Plan for deferred term asks within the past three years, has the insured been diagnosed with or started treatment for unusual chronic infection or immune system abnormality, including HIV or AIDS? - this policy is even better for the potential purchaser and has $100,000 of coverage.

Lorne Marr is life insurance professional

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Things that Driving Can Signify for Insurance

A little known truth - having a driver's license can hamper you when you are scouring around for life insurance.

One of the main causes of death amongst younger people is down to vehicle accidents due to fast speeds and alcohol. Possible decline of mental state and slower reactions are the reason why drivers over the age of 65 are also looked at vigilantly. Therefore if the applicant is a driver, then their application is looked at very carefully and the following are the areas for attention:

  1. How old is the individual?
  2. Categories of violations.
  3. How many DUI charges?
  4. Any other offences and how many?
  5. Did you have an road traffic accident and if so, how many?
  6. Any other hazardous taking pastimes?

The underwriters will examine the number and types of offenses. They will want to know the date of both your last violation and your last suspension and they will want to know the length and an explanation for your suspension for a chance at being fast tracked.

If the individual has a DUI violation then the application won't be considered until 6 months after the suspension ends. If there are further violations as well as the DUI then this time extends to one year. Standard fees would be given if the individual only has a few minor violations. An average case means an additional $2.50 to $5.00 on your monthly charge for every $1000 of cover for a minimum of three years. Numerous DUI's are an assured failure.

Purchasing Canadian life insurance is a complex process. Don't omit any side of the process!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Buying Life Insurance Policy? 7 Checks

1. Be aware of crooked insurance brokers who may advise you to change your policies even if they don't need replacing, just to get money out of you. Changing them often does make sense, as term costs have dropped across the board in recent years. But be careful when cashing in an existing whole life or universal life policy. With great rates given when you purchased the policy, these type of policies could have large surrender charges.

2. Standard life insurance plans usually have lower premiums and larger face amounts than the non-medical life insurance policies. These type of plans are normally restricted and only pay out the equivalent of the fees paid plus interest if cashed in the first two years. These non-medical insurance plans are designed for people primarily with significant health issues.

3. Another type of policy to avoid is the accidental death insurance policy which is pushed onto the unsuspecting customer. Whilst they may seem like a good idea when you are buying them, be aware that less than 3% of insurance claims are due to accidental death. When looking at the same term policy benefits, most of the time the accidental death policy is more costly.

4. Captive agents are only licensed to sell their own companies products, so be very careful of them. Companies employing independent brokers often charge cheaper premiums than companies employing captive agents. Not being able to shop around, captive agents rarely find the best policy to suit your needs and the best price.

5. Charges involved with the initial premiums can be off putting, but when looking at your life insurance premiums, work out the complete cost instead. Many insurance businesses try to lure clients with low initial premiums. Term insurance schemes, which offer low initial premiums that increase as the insured ages, are appropriate if bought for temporary insurance needs. All consumers are different and have different lifestyles, so schemes that assume everyone is alike are really not in your best interest. Time needs to be taken too assess each consumer and a policy found to suit their individual needs and circumstances.

6. Be knowledgeable of policy exclusions. With exception life insurance policies have a two-year suicide exclusion. Recreational pursuits and travel may be excluded from your policy if they are being done when you put the application in. As these exclusions and guides are different depending on which organization you pick, make sure your broker can look around for the best policy and is up to date on their guidelines.

7. Refrain from any misrepresentations on your application. All Canadian life insurance products have an incontestability period, generally of two years. During this two years, insurance businesses can contest a claim for misrepresentation or not admitting a material fact.