Preparing for a Life Insurance Exam

Getting the best possible rate for your life insurance policy may mean that you have to undergo a medical exam. Preparing for this exam is important. The better your overall physical health, the lower your life insurance premium will be.

family-457235_960_720With this in mind, preparing for and being at your best at the time of the medical exam could mean the difference in getting “preferred rate” or getting a “standard rate”.

Here are some things that we at Bragg Insurance Agency advise our clients to do in preparation of the life insurance exam.

  1. Some things that can negatively affect your medical exam and life insurance rates are your height to weight ratio (obesity), and drug and/or alcohol use. If you are slightly overweight try to lose a few pounds before the exam
  2. Try to abstain from using alcohol and caffeine at least 3 days prior to the exam. Also let the examiner know about any prescription drugs that may be in your system.seafood-platter-1232389_960_720
  3. Stay away from fatty foods such as shellfish and poppy seeds for at least 3 days prior to the exam. Shellfish can increase your cholesterol and poppy seeds can cause you to test positive for opium. (Insert Seinfeld Joke Here)
  4. If you are a smoker, the best thing that you can do for the exam and for your longevity is to stop smoking as soon as possible. Smoking and tobacco use cuts about 10 years off of your life expectancy.   While you have to disclose your lifetime tobacco use, kicking the habit makes life insurance underwriting go much smoother.
  5. Schedule your exam for first thing in the morning and before you have breakfast. The exam will come out in your favor if you fast the day before. Scheduling the exam for early the next morning makes this a little easier.
  6. Get plenty of rest. Since you will be fasting anyway, go to bed early the night before the exam and try to relax.sleep-1209288_960_720
  7. The exam could take as long as 30 minutes. Allow yourself some extra time and relax. Your exam results could be negatively affected if you are in a rush, inpatient, or edgy. Relaxation will help your heart rate and your blood work.
  8. Have your photo ID ready and expect some questions from the examiner. They are going to ask you about smoking, drinking, drug use, and any dangerous activities. These are normal questions that are asked of everyone so don’t be offended or surprise, just be ready to give accurate answers.
  9. During the medical exam the nurse will check your height, weight, pulse, and your blood pressure. They will also likely ask for a urine sample and draw blood. In some cases they may even administer and EKG. Again this is all normal, so try to stay relaxed.

Once your exam is completed the insurance company will start the process of determining your rating tier.  Depending on the application and the results from the medical-781422_960_720exam this could go quickly, or they may ask your doctor for a statement in regards to an underwriting question.

If they ask your doctor for a physician’s statement it may take some time for your doctor to respond.  On average it takes about 30 to 45 days for an insurance company to obtain a physicians statement from most doctors.  Your doctor may be quicker to respond or slower.

For more information on life insurance exams and life insurance in general, contact Bragg Insurance Agency at 317-758-5828, or by email at info@bragginsurance.com

 

 

Your Families Greatest Asset

What is your family’s greatest asset? Is it your home, your cars, your boat, or your bank account? Actually your family’s greatest asset is your paycheck.

If your income stopped today how would your family afford the roof over their head, the cars that get them around or the boat that they enjoy on the weekend? And let’s be honest, the money in the bank probably won’t go too far.family-838239_960_720

As an insurance agent working with Bragg Insurance Agency, I talk to people everyday that are eager for us to insure their family’s home, cars, and boat. But many people don’t seem interested in insuring their family’s greatest asset, their paycheck. It’s the paycheck that actually makes these other items possible. Insure your paycheck first, and then insure your home, cars, and boat.

You and your spouse should ask yourself the following 2 questions:

  1. If something were to happen to me and my paycheck, could my family continue to function as it normally does?
  2. Would my family be able to pay the mortgage payment if I died and my paychecks suddenly disappeared?

If you answered “No” to either one of these questions your family is just one heartbeat away from a financial disaster. We have an affordable solution to this serious problem. Please call Bragg Insurance Agency at 317-758-5828 or email brian@bragginsurance.com

Don’t Set It & Forget It

KneeI got good news today from my doctor, telling me that instead of the surgery I was dreading for my worn out knees, that I likely just need Physical Therapy (PT).  For many reasons this is welcomed news as well as an eye opener for me.

The reason for the PT is because years ago I had my knees operated on and then I just moved on with life.  I failed to do any PT after the surgery and the muscles in my legs never fully recovered.  I just moved on and forgot about it.

The bad news is that my knees are now weak and in bad need of PT, the good news is that I can now do something about it.  I met with a physical therapist and he has me on a plan to help me strengthen my knees that will help improve my life.

The attitude that I had about my knees reminds me of the attitudes some people have  toward their insurance plan.

Insurance AgentThey meet with an insurance person once, purchase a policy and then move on with life.  They “Set it and Forget it.”

Insurance is not a “Set it and Forget It”.  It is important that you review your coverages with your agent at least every 12 months.  Another important time to review your coverages is when you have a “Life Event”, such as a wedding, a new driver, or a new room addition to your house.

Don’t treat your insurance plan like I did my knees.  Take the time to review your coverages as often as necessary with your agent.  Life changes and your insurance needs will change with your life.

Insurance Video Library Now Open!

 

Bragg Insurance Agency is excited to announce the opening of our video information Library!  This new tool developed for Bragg Insurance Agency clients will help to answer many of your questions about how your insurance coverages work.  insurance-agent

To visit the Insurance Video Library you can click on the following link.  http://myinsurancevideos.com/all-videos/braggins/

We are hopeful that these 36 videos will help our community to make great decisions about their insurance coverages!

The Power of Life Insurance

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.

There are very few things in this life that will have such a profound effect on the future of others then life insurance.  No other financial vehicle in the world has such power!

Here are my top five reasons why I believe that life insurance is the most powerful purchase that you will ever make.088

  1. The Power to Change Lives! What would your family be able to do with a tax free check of $1 Million?  Your family history could be changed forever by a wise investment into your future generations.  It’s a great idea to invest into your own retirement and future, but don’t forget that your descendants will eventually be standing on your shoulders as they try to provide for their families.
  2. The Power of a Lasting Legacy! Make a statement that will help your name to live on by donating the proceeds of a life insurance policy to the charity that you are passionate about.  Are you passionate about the future of your town, your church, your school, your organization?  Let the future generations know about your passion by using the proceeds of a life insurance policy to fund an endowment or scholarship.
  3. The Power of Education! Ensure that your children and grandchildren will be able to attend college even if you die.  College tuitions continue to rise while the importance of a post high school education grows even faster.  Your children and grandchildren will want to accomplish something great in this life!  Help them with their future (which is your future) by leaving money behind to help pay for their post high school education.
  4. The Power of Living Debt Free! Wow, what a gift that would be!  When you pass away, your family will be good-credit-vs-bad-creditdealing with the stress and heart ache of losing you.  Don’t leave them with the more burdensome task of figuring out how to pay your debts!  Have enough life insurance to pay off the mortgage and all of your other obligations.
  5. The Power to Replace your Income! What a blessing it would be for your family to be able to continue at their same lifestyle even without your income.  In my own family I have seen the devastation left behind by someone passing away without life insurance, as households were torn apart and financial futures wrecked.  While no person is ever replaceable, you can replace your income to help lessen the financial effect your death has on your family.

When Optimisim is a Negative

“It won’t happen to me is not a good insurance program”

It’s quite amazing how many optimistsglass-half-full-233x300 that I run into on a daily basis. I too am a “glass half full” person, so I truly understand the optimistic mindset. While I consider myself to be a positive person I cannot hold a candle to some of the idealistic thinkers that cross my path. Recently I’ve been putting these Utopian-minded folks into 3 categories.

The Immortals – This group is the most sanguine. They are a confident group that thinks that they cannot die. They are usually young and believe that their youth and positive buoyant attitude will keep death at bay. They go about their day to day activities on cloud nine ignoring pessimistic thoughts such as death, and responsibilities.

Unfortunately “The Immortals” do die, and many times way too young. Sometimes they leave behind a family with both emotional and financial voids. They leave behind mortgages, motorcycle payments, car payments, children, spouses, and extra expenses related to their funeral.

The Conscientious Optimist – This group of optimists are so meticulous that an accident could never happen to them. They are superb drivers, their homes are danger free zones and they never take risks –Never! When they drive they are able to look 3 and 4 moves ahead of everyone else and they can actually read the minds of other drivers. These clairvoyant powers keep them out of the path of drunk drivers and they are able to spot deer before they look into the headlights.

Unfortunately just as Superman’s weakness was kryptonite, even The Conscientious Optimist is susceptible to accidents. A car sometimes appears out of nowhere, someone hits their vehicle when it’s parked in a parking lot, or they only looked away for a second and that’s when the accident happened.

The Optimistic Procrastinator – Normally procrastination is associated as a negative word, but I’ve come to realize that Procrastinators are actually very positive people. They believe beat_procrastinationthat they can wait until the very last minute to take care of a duty or a task. Some of their most often used words are, “I meant to”, or “I was just getting ready to do that”, or “there’s plenty of time to do that later”

Unfortunately for the procrastinator his optimistic view of time often times runs out. His “meant to” turns into never did, and his “I was just getting ready to do that” turns into never got it done. The thing the optimistic procrastinator doesn’t realize is that when time runs out, his good intentions aren’t worth a hill of beans. He was derelict in his duties and responsibilities in spite of his good intentions.

pic-lhb-familyWe optimists are funny people. We really do see the glass as half full. But we also need to be aware of a balancing truth. We are not immortal, we do not have a magic force field around us protecting us from accidents, and we are not promised tomorrow.

So why not rather be an optimist that is prepared for the future? Live life to the fullest, but be prepared in case it’s your last day. Be a conscientious person that avoids all accidents, but have a plan in case the unexpected happens. Today, stop putting off those “meant to do” items and get them done today.

Brian Bragg owns and operates Bragg Insurance Agency and can be emailed at brian@bragginsurance.com

Be on the Alert for Deer

My favorite time of year is Harvest Season. I love the cooler weather, wonderful colors, fall parties, and watching the farmers in their fields. Fall is also deer season…not just deer hunting season, but also “watch out for that deer” season.White-tailed_deer

As the corn and beans grow during the summer deer can easily move from woods to woods without being detected and with very little human interaction, but when it’s time to cut beans or pick the corn that all changes. Grain farmer will confirm that they lose crops every year from deer who feed on the corn and beans.

When the harvest starts and combines go into the fields, deer sometimes freak out! They run, and sometimes they run right into a car.

To compound the issue bow hunting season starts (this year on October 1st) and then shot gun hunting season (this year on November LargerDrawnBow16th.)  Deer are constantly on the move, trying to avoid tractors, combines, and hunters.

Deer are also nocturnal and with our diminishing daylight hours they are much more active in the fall and winter months. Nearly 50% of all deer related accidents happen between the months of October and December.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about 1 million car accidents each year are a caused by deer / vehicle collisions. These collisions kill about 200 people each year (not to mention a lot of deer). The accidents cause about 10,000 personal injuries and cost about $1 billion in property damage.

If you’re from Indiana, I don’t have to tell you that hitting a deer can cause a lot of damage and even death.   In fact, I will bet you have either hit a deer yourself, or personally know someone who has.

What can you do to protect yourself?deer-and-car_100324859_m

1. Be on Alert! Especially at dawn and dusk, this is when deer are on the move. Also be aware of your surroundings. Are you driving in a rural area where deer are more likely to be seen? Are there farmers in the fields?

2. Watch your speed. If you are in an area and/or at a time where deer are likely to be seen, take your foot off the accelerator and slow down.

3. Use your high beams. Look for deer in the headlights.

4. If you see one deer there are likely to be more and take precautions.

5. Don’t swerve. This may cause you to lose control and hit another vehicle or lose control of your vehicle.

6. Wear your seat belt! Many deaths and injuries are a result of being thrown through the windshield. Seat belts save lives.