Do I Really Need Dental Insurance?

dental insurance

In addition to providing you with a nice smile, dental care also ensures good oral and overall health. dental insuranceSeveral studies suggest that oral diseases, such as periodontists (gum disease), can affect other areas of your body. Affected areas include your heart. Regular dental exams, just like regular physical exams, are extremely important. However, these dental exams are not typically included in your medical benefits. That’s where dental insurance comes in. 

What is dental insurance?

Dental insurance is similar to regular medical insurance. The main difference is that it is designed to provide coverage for dental care. Just like your medical plan, you will typically have preventative care services coverage, as well as additional coverage for more involved procedures. A typical plan will have the following classes: 

  • Class 1 – diagnostic and preventative care (cleanings, exams, X-rays)
  • Class 2 – basic care and procedures (fillings, root canals)
  • Class 3 – major care and procedures (crowns, bridges, dentures) 

Some plans even go one step farther and offer an additional class: 

  • Class 4 – orthodontia (braces) 

How do I get dental insurance?

There are 2 ways to purchase dental insurance.

Some employers offer dental insurance as part of their benefits package. They may pay or portion of the premium, or the cost could be completely your responsibility. Regardless, if offered by your employer, they have elected a type of dental coverage to offer, and you can choose if you want to elect the coverage, or decline it. Depending on the size of the employer, they may offer a couple of benefits. However, it will still be the same concept. They pick the plan design and you choose if you want the coverage or not.  

Another way to get dental insurance is to enroll in your own individual policy. By enrolling in a plan this way, you pick what type of benefits you want. Your benefits will be based on your individual needs. You can then purchase the plan directly from an insurance company or by an insurance agent. We have plans available by clicking here

Regardless of how you purchase your dental insurance, understanding your benefits is important. The costs are associated with dental disease and surgery are high. Dental insurance can help reduce those expenses. 

Safety Tips For All Your Holiday Decorating Needs

holiday decorating

holiday decoratingIt’s cooling down and holiday spirit is in the air. For many, it’s time to start holiday decorating! While holiday decorating adds beauty to your home, it can also bring added risk. Trees, garlands, and lights can add extra fire hazards if not used properly. The last thing you want for Christmas is a homeowners insurance claim to deal with. But don’t worry, we have a few tips to keep your home and your family safe this holiday. 

Christmas Tree Safety

  • Keep a fresh-cut tree outdoors and cover the trunk in snow, or immerse it in a bucket of water until you are ready to decorate it.
  • When you are ready to put up a live tree, cut a 1- or 2-inch diagonal off the bottom of the trunk. The new cut will help the tree to absorb water, which preserves its freshness.
  • Select a spot for the tree that is at least three feet away from a heat source.
  • Put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand with widespread legs, and keep the stand filled with water.
  • Once a tree becomes dried out, do not keep it in your home or garage, as it is highly flammable.

Holiday Lighting Safety

  • Mixing and matching lights can create a fire hazard, so keep outside lights outdoors and inside lights indoors.
  • Always buy lights and electrical decorations bearing the name of an independent testing lab, such as UL, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance.
  • Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings before using them. Throw away any that appear damaged.
  • When hanging your lights, string lights together using built-in connectors. Do not join more than 200 midget lights or 50 larger lamps through one string or cord.
  • Do not connect more than three sets of lights to one extension cord.
  • Remember to unplug all decorations and lights, both inside and outside your home, before leaving or going to bed.
  • If you blow a fuse, unplug the lights from the outlet and immediately replace the blown fuse. If the replacement fuse blows again, a short circuit may be present. Throw the faulty light string or decoration away, or if it is new, return it for a refund.
  • When hanging lights outside use a ladder made of non conductive materials to reduce the risk of electrocution. 

Candle Safety

  • Place candles in stable holders and in a spot where they cannot be easily disturbed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate your Christmas tree.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, and always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Avoid placing candles near flammable objects.
  • Keep burning candles out of the reach of children.

Taking extra precautions while decorating can be the difference between a relaxing holiday season or a tragic holiday season. 

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Disability Insurance; What You Need To Know

disability insurance

For most adults having a job and making a paycheck is crucial to make sure you have a roof over your head and food on the table. Unless you are a lottery winner or have a large savings, you most valuable asset is your ability to earn an income. But what happens when you are unable to work? That’s where disability insurance comes in. 

Disability insurance is coverage that provides you with income protection, should you lose time on the job due to an injury or illness. 

Is there different types of disability insurance?

Yes, the 2 most common are Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance. 

  • Short Term Disability (STD) Insurance coverage is designed to cover you for a short period of time. Coverage usually starts within 1 to 15 days of the injury or sickness and typically lasts for about 10 to 26 weeks. STD coverage allows you to receive a fixed weekly amount or a set percentage of your income. 
  • Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance coverage is designed to cover you for a longer period of time. Coverage usually starts 3 to 6 months after the injury or sickness begins. The length of coverage varies, but can range from 2 to 10 years or until you reach age 65. LTD insurance pays a set percentage of your regular income after a specific waiting period. Most LTD plans are designed to start after the STD plan has been exhausted. 

You can purchase one or both to fit your specific needs. 

Why is disability insurance important?

The risk of disability is greater than most employees realize. When you become disabled and loose time at work, your source of income is lost. Nearly 1/3 of employees will miss more than one month of pay due to injury or illness. In addition to lost income, you are likely to experience an increase in medical expenses due to your injury or illness. 

Disability insurance can be purchased on your own or sometimes through your employer. If you and your family count on your income to pay bills disability insurance is something you should consider. Let the professionals at Rinehart Insurance help you select a plan that best fits your needs. 

Click Here to contact your agent today.

The Fundamentals of Your HSA and Retirement

HSA and Retirement

As a working adult you do your best to plan for the future. 401k, IRA, Savings Accounts…those are just a few of the plans you may have in place for your future. But what about your future medical care? Health care costs are rising for everyone, but if you are an older adult, you may face more challenges then most. As you get older the changes of you having additional chronic conditions and medical problems. This can lead to higher medical and prescription costs. 

One option for health insurance coverage is a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). Many employers and individuals have moved to these types of plans because of the monthly premium savings. But are you aware of the additional benefit of the HSA account you can open at a financial institution? What about the benefit you get when it comes to your HSA and retirement? Let us explain. 

What is a HSA?

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are tax-advantaged savings accounts that individuals can use to save money for medical expenses. This account is owned by you, not your employer, and money rolls over from year to year. (Unlike a FSA where you “use it or loose it”). You can contribute to your HSA as long as your medical coverage is a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). If you switch to another type of health plan, you are no longer eligible to contribute. Also, when you become eligible for Medicare, you are no longer eligible to contribute to an HSA. Regardless of this, the benefits of an HSA can be substantial for adults nearing retirement age.

Click here to learn more about HSA accounts. 

What are the advantages of an HSA?

Because an HSA is paired with a High Deductible Health Plan, that can be a concern for many older adults. Especially if you have chronic medical conditions. These type of health plans have higher deductibles and sometimes higher out-of-pocket costs than a traditional health plan. It is important to remember, however, that the HSA provides a valuable savings component. Your HSA can use used to pay for out-of-pocket costs tax-free or to save money for your future. A few advantages of an HSA include: 

  • Lower Premiums This means that there is more cash to invest in the HSA and to eventually put toward the deductible. (As opposed to paying a higher monthly premium for a lower deductible that comes with a traditional health plan). 
  • Portability – If you leave your job, you can keep the HSA and have the benefit of past investments. 
  • Employer Contributions – Some employers contribute to your HSA as well with either a set dollar amount or will match what you contribute. 
  • Tax-free savings with tax-free interest – HSAs provide tax-free funds to pay medical bills, and funds also accumulate tax-free to save for the future. The best part is, once you turn 65 and are eligible for Medicare, you can use those funds for anything without a penalty. This makes HSAs a valuable retirement savings tool. In fact, HSAs offer more favorable terms than IRAs in terms of saving for retirement health needs. 
  • The catch-up contribution – in addition to the annual limit for the HSA contributions, people ages 55 to 65 can contribute an extra $1,000 per year.

If you are considering an HSA.

Always check the pros and cons before making your decision. If you have many out-of-pocket medical expenses, you may struggle to use your HSA for retirement savings since you will be using the funds for your current bills. The desire to use the HSA as a savings tool may be strong for many and lead them to forgo medical care or purchasing prescription drugs they need. This is never a good idea, as it can lead to more expensive and serious medical complications down the road. 

Talk to your agent about your health plan options and benefits today. 

What You Need To Know About Cold Weather Safety

I think we can officially say the cold weather is here to stay. Whether you are outside decorating or your job requires you to be outdoors, chances are you will be exposed to the joys of cold weather. As we move into the cold wet weather, be conscious of your increased risk of frostbite hypothermia and slips & trips. This is what you need to know about cold weather safety: 

Frostbite

Frostbite usually effects the face or bodily extremities after prolonged exposure to very cold weather or objects. Frostbite is damage to skin and tissue caused by freezing and can range in severity from mild to deep with deep frostbite causing permanent damage and leading to amputation or even death. The key to frostbite recovery is to do it slowly. Place the frostbitten area in warm water (104-107° F) or wrap it in a warm blanket. Never use direct heat – it can burn your numb skin.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia develops when your body loses heat faster than it can replace it. It slowly drains your body’s heat and causes your body to re-route blood from your extremities to the chest in an effort to sustain critical organ function. Hypothermia is not necessarily caused by exposure to freezing temperatures, but any environment that saps the ability for your body to warm itself. Protect yourself by wearing warm, dry clothes. Treat potential hypothermia with gradual re-warming to prevent accidental burning.

Slips & Trips

Slips & trips are common in the winter due to ice and snow. Wear proper cold-weather clothes, such as shoes with suitable traction. Walk slowly and cautiously when treading on ice. Remove any obstacles, such as ice chunks, from walkways to ensure you or others do not injure themselves.

Taking the extra steps to stay warm and remove potential hazards will help you stay on top of cold weather safety. After all…who wants to spend their time off during the holiday’s at a Dr’s office or filing health insurance claims?

What You Need To Know About RV Insurance

Family time together, the open road, and visiting beautiful scenery…those are just some of the benefits of having an RV or Travel Trailer. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full time travel buff, there’s lots to see on the open road. Your RV is your home away from home. That’s why you need to make sure it is protected. Just like you purchase Auto or Homeowners Insurance, you need RV Insurance to cover this investment. 

What is RV Insurance?

Travel trailer or RV Insurance has similar coverage to auto insurance, however it is more comprehensive and specialized for RV owners. RV Insurance is designed for the following vehicles:

  • Fifth-wheels
  • Pop-up campers
  • Stationary travel trailers
  • Park model travel trailers
  • Truck-mounted campers

Click here to read about auto insurance.

Types of Coverage Available:

A typical RV Insurance policy will include the following overages:

  • Comprehensive/Collision Coverage. Protects your RV from damages, such as fire, landslide, windstorm, vandalism and collision with another vehicle or objects. 
  • Liability-Only Travel Trailer Policy. Protects against accidental damage to other people’s property or personal injury to individuals not listed on your policy. 

Additional Endorsements:

Because RV Insurance is specialized coverage there are additional endorsements you can purchase. These endorsements let you add extra protection not included in a standard policy. These additional option include:

  • Emergency Expenses: Protection in case of a breakdown or damage to your RV or Travel Trailer.
  • Accessories Endorsements: For items attached to your trailer.
  • Full-timer Trailer Coverage: For those who live in their travel trailer most of the year.
  • Campsite/Vacation Liability: Coverage while your travel trailer is parked in an RV park. 
  • Low Branch Collision: Protection against damages from low-hanging branches to your trailer, awnings, and air conditioning units. 
  • Towing and Roadside Assistance
  • Total Loss Replacement

What Are The Benefits Of A RV Insurance Policy?

RV Insurance is specialized coverage different than auto insurance. When traveling in your RV, you will have additional items with you that you may not normally carry in your car. Jewelry, a computer, television, and camping gear are just a few examples. When you’re at a campsite, you are liable for other people’s safety around your trailer. Also, if you have an accident while traveling, you will need a place to stay  while the trailer is being repaired. Without an RV Insurance policy, none of these would be covered in the event of a loss. The biggest benefit is the peace of mind you receive. 

If you love the open road and seeking adventure, contact us today to get covered today. 

 

 

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How To Ensure Your Family Has A Spooky, Safe Halloween

Safe Halloween

Safe HalloweenWhat do you get when you mix costumes, decorations, and candy? A Happy Halloween!! On Halloween your child can be anything they want to be – a ghost, firefighter, skeleton, the list goes on and on. But, as a parent you want to make sure that your child has a safe Halloween. Haunted Houses and spooky things are fun when you know they’re not real. but Halloween comes with some very real dangers. Don’t fret, there are ways to ensure you and your family have that safe Halloween. 

Costume Safety

For most, the costume is the best part of Halloween fun. You and your child get to pick anyone you want to be and have a night of fun. A few things to keep in mind about costumes:

  • Think safety when selecting costumes. Avoid long, baggy or loose-fitting costumes and shoes that may be difficult to walk in. 
  • Choose costumes, wigs, and accessories made from fire-retardant materials. 
  • Select costume colors and materials that are highly visible to motorists. 
  • Opt for facial makeup instead of a mask that may limit a child’s vision or breathing. 
  • Buy makeup labeled “FDA-approved” or “non-toxic,” and remove makeup promptly to avoid allergies or adverse reactions. 
  • Make sure costume accessories, such as swords or magic wands, are made of flexible materials. 
  • Add strips of reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags to make children more visible. 

Trick-or-Treating Safety

Trick-or-treating is the highlight of the night for most children. They get to run around in costume and collect candy! What could be better? While it’s a great time for the kids, it can be a bit nerve wracking for the adults wanting to have a safe Halloween. 

  • Remind children to walk only on the sidewalk and look both ways before crossing the street. 
  • Do not allow children under 12 years old to go trick-or-treating by themselves. 
  • Remind children to never approach or get into a car with a stranger offering them candy. 
  • Only visit well-lit houses. 
  • Stay alert for house pets. 
  • Always inspect children’s candy before they eat it. Wrapped treats are the safest. Dispose of fresh fruit, unwrapped or homemade treats, or anything that looks remotely suspicious. 
  • Check for choking hazards, such as hard candy, gum, peanuts or small toys, before letting a small child eat his or her treats.

Pumpkin Carving Safety

Carving pumpkins is an annual tradition for most families. From simple to complex, the options are endless. However, anytime there’s sharp tools or open flames around, there are added risks to keep in mind. 

  • Carve pumpkins on a flat surface with good lighting. 
  • Consider using a pumpkin-carving kit that includes special, easy-to-use cutting tools. 
  • Have children ages 5 and younger draw on the pumpkin’s face – then you do the carving. 
  • Light pumpkins using votive-style candles. 
  • Place lighted pumpkins away from flammable objects, such as curtains. 
  • Never leave lit pumpkins unattended. 

Have a conversation with your kids early so they understand what to do and what is expected during this Halloween season. The season is all about having fun, so take a few extra moments to make sure that it is a fun and safe Halloween. 

Brought to you from your friends at Rinehart Insurance.

If you have any questions about your insurance needs, contact us today. 

 

How To Determine The Amount Of Life Insurance You Need

Life insurance is not a fun topic to think or talk about. However, it is a necessary one. Do you have loved ones that depend on you financially? Do you have college loans or a mortgage that you do not want you family members to have to take over? Life insurance is about protecting those you love in the event that something happens to you. Your designated beneficiary would collect a financial benefit upon your death. 

 

Life insurance can be confusing, but that’s where we come in. There are numerous types of insurance. Term, Whole Life, Universal Life. Not all plans may be the best fit for your needs. When looking at life insurance you want to make sure to get the best rate but also the best fit for your family’s needs. 

Click here to learn more about the types of life insurance. 

Once you determine that you need it and what type you want, how to you determine the amount of life insurance you need?  

How Much To Buy?

A few common factors to keep in mind when determining the amount of life insurance you need are:

  • What debts do you have?
  • What is your income?
  • Do you want to pay for a child or children’s college education?
  • What expenses will continue even after you are gone? 

Many people decide based on an income replacement calculation, between 5 and 10 times the amount of your current income. Think about your personal circumstances. Is your income the sole income for your household? Are there other expenses, such as college tuition, that may arise in the future? Don’t forget to include potential medical and funeral costs. One goal of life insurance is to ensure your family does not get stuck with bills, debts or expenses that they cannot afford. 

Click here for a life insurance calculator. 

If you have people that depend on you for financial support, it’s important to make an educated decision about life insurance options. Contact your agent today to discuss life insurance and your family’s needs. 

 

 

What You Need To Know About Fireplace And Wood Burning Stove Safety

The leaves are changing and Autumn is right around the corner. Are you ready for the cooler weather? Fireplace And Wood Burning Stove SafetyHow about your home? Did you know the largest source of fire in American homes comes from fuel burning appliances? That is why fireplace and wood burning stove safety is so important. 

Wood Burning Safety

Use these tips to practice fireplace and wood burning stove safety. 

  • Read the instructions for your wood burning stove and follow them carefully. 
  • Inspect the firebrick liner, if you have one. Should the liner show signs of wear, replace it immediately. Do not use that unit until the liner is replaced. 
  • Do not use flammable or combustible liquid (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) to start a fire. 
  • Burn wood recommended by the manufacturer only. 
  • Do not burn plastic, wood or garbage that has been painted or treated with chemicals. 
  • Be sure to have properly maintained smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and an approved multi-purpose fire extinguisher in your home. 
  • Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. Doing so will cause the fire to heat up which will force toxic carbon monoxide into your house. 
  • Take extra care when disposing of hot ashes. Remember that these embers may still be hot for several days. 

Solid fuel units tend to require a lot more maintenance than other heating systems. Therefore, regular inspections and care are needed to protect your home and family against fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Chimney Maintenance

Both metal and masonry chimneys require maintenance so that smoke and flue gases are ventilated properly. At the very least, you should have your chimney inspected annually before each heating season. In addition: 

  • Have  your chimney cleaned on a regular basis to reduce creosote buildup. 
  • Make sure your masonry chimney has a flue liner in place to reduce the possibility that the masonry could absorb creosote. 
  • Replace cracked or damaged liners, as they will allow creosote to accumulate and heat to escape. 
  • When hiring someone to reline your chimney, only allow the contractor to use a product that has been tested and listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. 

There are two types of chimneys that require specific maintenance to maximize the dangers in your home. 

  • Fireplace inserts (hearth stoves):
    • Vent should be connected to the flue of the chimney. 
  • Factory-built metal chimneys:
    • Do not use natural gas, fuel oil vents, well casing, stovepipe or other material in the chimney, as they cannot withstand the heat in the wood burner. 

A few other tips

Do not vent more than one heater or appliance into a single flue. Doing so can cause major complications. If one fuel-burning appliance is connected to a flue and then you attach another appliance, such as a water heater, you are running the risk of the following serious problems:

  • Heavy creosote accumulation
  • Deterioration of the flue
  • Creosote blocking the lower heater vent
  • Carbon monoxide drifting into your home

 

When it comes to your home and family fireplace and wood burning stove safety is crucial. Make sure to practice the above safety tips to stay safe and warm. Now is a good time to review your homeowners insurance coverage to make sure your policy is up to day and adequate.

Click here for information on homeowners insurance.

Click here to learn more about chimney fires. 

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Ways To Prevent Lifting Injuries In The Workplace

lifting injuries

lifting injuriesLifting injuries are an unfortunately common injury in the workplace. It’s been a long day, you’re in a hurry, you’re up against a deadline. Those are all common events in the workplace.Lifting and lowering tasks can cause serious injury if not preformed properly.  It’s such a common activity, we often forget the proper technique to use. 

Safe Lifting Tips

Before lifting an object, estimate it’s weight by tilting it up slowly. If it’s hard to move, it’s too heavy to lift. Get help or use a lifting aid. When in doubt, ask for help. Make sure to always clear away any potential obstacles before carrying the object. 

Get under the load by bending your knees, not your back. Bending over at the waist to reach for the object puts strain on your back, shoulder and neck muscles. Avoid bending and twisting at the same time when possible. When lifting, hold the item or load as closely to your body as possible. Carrying objects will change your balance. Keeping the load close to your body helps maintain your normal center of balance. Make sure to support and propel the object while carrying it. Your grip should be firm.Use good foot positioning keeping your feet shoulder width apart.

To lower the object, bend your knees as you did to pick it up. To place the load on a bench or shelf, set it on the edge and slide it into position. Make sure your hands and feet are clear when lowering the load. 

Team Lifting

When another person is helping you lift, teamwork is very important. If you are carrying the load to another location, make sure to coordinate this prior to lifting the load. Lifting and lowering should be done in unison as you don’t want to suddenly drop the load without warning. 

Proper lifting methods protect against lifting injuries to yourself and others. Suffering an injury will not only affect you personally in your personal and business life, but it will also affect your employer and coworkers. Take some time to practice proper lifting techniques and they will become routine. 

In the unfortunate event of an injury at home or work do you know what kind of chiropractor or doctor benefits you have? Contact us today if you need help reviewing your health insurance or other employee benefits. 

Click here to learn more about health insurance. 

Click here to learn more about proper lifting techniques.