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Protecting Myself and My Stuff
Learn about the range of programs for protecting/covering your life, health, home, pets and personal property.
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News from Member Benefits
Being a member of the NEA has many advantages, but one of the best benefits your Association provides to eligible NEA members is no-cost life insurance. If you haven’t done so already, take the time now to register or update your beneficiaries for:
NEA® Complimentary Life Insurance (for all eligible members):
NEA Complimentary Life Insurance is provided at no cost to active, staff, reserve and life members. Coverage is automatic, and members do not have to enroll or apply. Plan benefits include: up to $1,000 of Term Life Insurance, up to $5,000 of Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance ($50,000 for covered accidents that occur on the job or while serving as an Association Leader), and $150,000 of Term Life Insurance for an unlawful homicide while on the job. This insurance is provided through the NEA Members Insurance Trust® and underwritten by The Prudential Insurance Company of America—a trusted NEA partner for more than 50 years. We strongly encourage you to register or update your beneficiary for this coverage at www.neamb.com/complife.
NEA® Introductory Term Life Insurance (for eligible NEW members):
$15,000 of Term Life Insurance is provided to all eligible new NEA members for 12 months at no cost. Coverage is automatic, and members do not have to enroll or apply. After the initial 12 months of coverage, members may continue their insurance with no medical questions, applications to complete, or evidence of insurability. All that’s required is paying their insurance premium when due. This coverage is also provided by the NEA Members Insurance Trust® and underwritten by The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Register your beneficiary now at www.neamb.com/introlife.
If you have any questions about your eligibility for either of these NEA life insurance programs, please call the Member Service Center toll-free at 1-800-637-4636, email Ask-Us@neamb.com or chat online at www.neamb.com .
NEA Member Benefits (NEA MB) wishes you a successful school year!
Whether you are just starting your career, already retired or somewhere in-between, the NEA Retirement Program offers educational resources and investment products to help you manage your retirement planning and income needs.
The NEA Retirement Planning Center is designed to help you become better informed and prepared to navigate the changing and challenging retirement landscape. The Center provides free access to helpful online tools, including:
- Retirement income calculator with personalized projections of your specific state pension and other financial accounts
- Kiplinger’s Retirement Report
- Timely articles focused on your life stage
Visit the Retirement Planning Center.
In partnership with Security Benefit, the NEA Retirement Program offers a suite of products to help you save for retirement throughout the different stages of your life. And, you have the choice of working with an NEA Retirement Specialist who can help guide you (contact IEA Member Benefits to find out who your Retirement Specialist is in your locale – his/her services are free to members) or you can take advantage of Self-Directed Investing.
To learn more about our Program options, please visit Investment Products.
Contributed by: Security Benefit
Many of us hate going to the dentist. We put it off, and what may have been a workable problem becomes much more difficult (and painful). The same can be true about saving for retirement. The results of the annual Employee Benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI) Retirement Confidence Survey® reported that only 18 percent of Americans who said they were very confident they would have enough savings for a comfortable retirement.1 Nearly 25% indicated they were not at all confident they will have a comfortable retirement.
If you lack confidence about your retirement, there’s something you can do about it. Contact a local financial representative working with Security Benefit (the NEA Member Benefits sponsored investment company) to discuss how you can supplement your state-sponsored retirement plan. Some experts say you should plan for as much as 100 percent of your pre-retirement income in retirement. Your state pension and Social Security (if available) will likely fall short of that goal.
Talk with that financial advisor to help you understand some of the basic questions or issues you might face in retirement. They should be able to help you understand what your pension benefit will be, when to take your Social Security, and help you identify any income gaps you may have in retirement.
Contact that local financial advisor about starting or reviewing your retirement savings plan—before it becomes as painful as “pulling teeth!”
Please contact IEA Member Benefits at (208) 344-8336 / (800) 223-6583 for assistance locating your nearest representative.
Security Benefit is the investment company that is sponsored by NEA Member Benefits to provide investment opportunities for IEA/NEA members. For details, see NEA Retirement Program.
Services and securities are offered through Security Distributors, Inc. (SDI). SDI is a subsidiary of SBL and SBL is wholly owned by Security Benefit Corporation (“Security Benefit”).
Am I covered for direct losses due to fire, lightning, tornadoes, wind storms, hail, explosions, smoke, vandalism and theft?Yes. The HO-3 provides broad coverage for these and other disasters or “perils,” as they are called in the policy, including all those listed in the question. You should check the dollar limits of insurance in your policy and make sure you are comfortable with the amount of insurance you have for specific items. Also, if you live near the Atlantic or Gulf coasts there may be some restrictions on your coverage for wind damage. Ask your agent about windstorm/hurricane deductibles. In areas prone to hailstorms, you may have a specific hail damage deductible.
Are my jewelry and other valuables covered?
The standard policy provides only from $1,000-$2,000 for theft of jewelry. If your jewelry is worth a lot more, you should purchase higher limits. You may wish to add a floater to your policy to cover specific pieces of jewelry and other expensive possessions such as paintings, electronic equipment, stamp collections or silverware, for example. The floater will provide higher limits and protect you from additional risks not covered in your normal policy.
If my house is totally destroyed in a fire and I have $150,000 worth of insurance to cover the structure, will this be enough to rebuild my home?
If the cost of rebuilding your home is equal to or less than $150,000 you would have enough coverage. The HO-3 policy pays for structural damage on a replacement cost basis. If the cost of replacing your home is, say, $120,000, then that is all the insurance you need. On the other hand, if the cost of rebuilding your home is $180,000, then you will be short $30,000.
If you live in an area that is frequently hit by major storms, ask your insurance company about an extended or guaranteed replacement cost policy. This will provide a certain amount over the policy limit to rebuild your home so that if building costs go up unexpectedly, due to high demand for contractors and materials, you will have extra funds to cover the bill.
If you choose not to rebuild your home, you will receive the replacement cost of your home, less depreciation. This is called actual cash value. You should make sure that the amount of insurance you have will cover the cost of rebuilding your house. You can find out what this cost is by talking to your real estate agent or builders in your area.
Do not use the price of your house as the basis for the amount of insurance you purchase. The market price of your house includes the value of the land on which the house is situated. In almost all cases, the land will still be there after a disaster, so you do not need to insure it. You only need to insure the structure.
Am I covered for flood damage?
No. So, if you live in a flood-prone area it may be wise to purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance is provided by the federal government, under a program run by the Federal Insurance Administration. In some parts of the country, homes can be damaged or destroyed by mudslides. This risk is also covered under flood policies. Contact your agent or company representative to get this insurance or call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-427-4661 or visit its website at www.fema.gov.
A pipe bursts and water flows all over my floors. Am I covered?
Yes. The HO-3 covers you for accidental discharge of water from a plumbing system. You should check your plumbing and heating systems once a year. While you are covered for damage, who needs the mess and hassle?
What if water seeps into my basement from the ground, am I covered?
No. Water seepage is excluded under the HO-3. And if the water seepage is not due to a flood you will not be covered under a flood policy. Seepage is viewed as a maintenance issue and is not covered by insurance. You should see a contractor about waterproofing your basement.
Am I covered for earthquake damage?
No. Earthquake coverage is sold as additional coverage to the homeowner’s policy. To find out whether you should buy this insurance, talk to your agent or company representative. The cost of this coverage can vary significantly from one area to another, depending on the likelihood of a major earthquake.
A neighbor slips on my sidewalk or falls down my porch steps and threatens to take me to court for damages. Does my policy protect me?
Yes. The policy will pay for damages if a fall or other accident on your property is the result of your negligence. It will also pay for the legal costs of defending you against a claim. Also, the medical payments part of your homeowner’s policy will cover medical expenses if a neighbor or guest is injured on your property. You should check to see how much liability protection you have. The standard amount is $100,000. If you feel you need more, consider purchasing higher limits.
A tree falls and damages my roof during a storm. Am I covered?
Yes. You are covered for the damage to your roof. You are also covered for the removal of the tree, generally up to a $500 limit. You should cut down dead or dying trees close to your house and prune branches that are near your house. It’s true that your insurance covers damage, but falling trees and branches can also injure your family.
During a storm, a tree falls but does no damage to my property. Am I covered for the cost of removing the tree?
Your trees and shrubs are covered for losses due to risks like vandalism, theft and fire, but not wind damage. However, if a fallen tree blocks access to your home you may be covered for its removal. Decide if you need extra insurance for the trees, plants and shrubs on your property. You may be able to purchase extra insurance, which will not only cover the cost of removing fallen trees, but will also cover the cost of replacing trees and other plants.
If a storm causes a power outage and all the food in my refrigerator or freezer is spoiled and must be thrown out, can I make a claim?
The general answer is no. However, there are a number of exceptions. In some states, food spoilage is covered under the homeowner’s policy. In addition, if the power loss is due to a break in a power line on or close to your property, you may be covered. You should check with your agent to find out whether you are covered for food spoilage in your state. If not, you can add food spoilage coverage to your policy for an additional premium.
I have children away at college. Are they covered by my homeowner’s insurance?
If they’re full-time college students and part of your household, your insurance generally provides some coverage in a dorm, typically 10% of the contents limit. If they live off campus, some companies may not provide this limited coverage if the apartment is rented in the student’s name.
My golf clubs are stolen from the trunk of my car. Does my homeowner’s policy cover the loss?
Yes. The HO-3 covers your personal property while it is anywhere in the world. However, if your golf clubs are old, you will only get their current value, which may not be enough to purchase a new set. Consider buying a replacement cost endorsement for your personal property. This way you will get what it costs to replace the golf clubs, less the applicable deductible.
I have a small power boat. If it is stolen, am I covered? What if there is a boating accident and I get sued? Am I covered for that?
Whether or not you are covered for either theft or liability depends on the size of the boat, the horsepower of the engine and your insurance company. Coverage for small boats under homeowner’s policies varies significantly. Ask your insurance representative whether you need a boatowner’s policy.
My house is close to the ocean. I’ve heard that if it is destroyed by the wind, the town’s new building code requires me to rebuild the house on stilts. This will add $30,000 to the cost of rebuilding my house. Am I covered for this extra cost?
No. The HO-3 excludes costs caused by ordinances or laws that regulate the construction of buildings. You can purchase an Ordinance or Law endorsement. This will cover the extra costs involved in meeting new building codes.
Am I covered for “Acts of God”?
Sometimes. The term “Acts of God” is not specifically mentioned in homeowner’s insurance policies. It usually refers to natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, as opposed to man-made acts, like theft and auto accidents. Some natural disasters, such as damage from windstorms, hail, lightning and volcanic eruptions, are covered under homeowner’s insurance. Damage from floods and earthquakes is not.
What should I do if my policy provides less coverage than the HO-3?
Review your coverage with your agent. Some older policies provide less coverage than the HO-3. They may not provide coverage for water damage, theft or liability. They may also provide coverage for the house on an actual cash value basis, rather than a replacement cost basis.
“Actual cash value” means replacement cost less depreciation. For example, if your roof is destroyed in a storm, the insurance will only pay for the cost of a new roof less the amount of depreciation of the old roof. If your roof was in great shape, this deduction will not be large. However, if the roof was old and worn out, the deduction for depreciation may be significant.
Linda Jones of Region 4 wrote:
Many of you saw my previous post about wrecking my car when I hit the elk. Well here is the rest of the story and a couple of other good reasons to be a member of the IEA.
I am covered by California Casualty Insurance. They are fantastic to work with. They took care of the towing and then made an appointment for car rental through Enterprise and sent someone to my house since I didn’t have a car to drive. They were fabulous to work with the entire time–extremely professional and fast. And we got enough money to pay off our car that was totaled and a chunk for a down payment on a new car.
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They can save you time and money, but some things aren’t always covered. Learn how to find the best deals, budget for extras and avoid surprises.
In years past, all-inclusive vacations conjured images of bad buffets, hidden fees and overpriced packages. Today, the concept has evolved to include resorts around the world for every demographic, price range and interest.
Don’t Miss Your Special NEA Member Perks
Score gifts and other exclusive deals, thanks to your NEA membership! Get rewarded now!
Thank you for being an NEA member!
To help you get the most out of your membership, we’ve worked with our partners to arrange special NEA member offers, bonuses and freebies. Many are highlighted below. This is on top of the wide range of programs and services enjoyed by the NEA membership.
In addition, make sure to sign up for our free newsletters. Get timely tips and information that can help you save money, manage your finances, plan vacations and more—all tailored just for educators.
Click here for the full article.
The Best Times to Buy Just About Anything
Find out when seasonal and big-ticket items go on sale and net huge savings year-round.
Need another way to stretch your budget? Plan your purchases ahead of time with the help of our shopping calendar and buy during the most cost-effective times of the year.
Want to know how? Read the full article here.