AccuQuote Blog

Our life insurance blog is dedicated to providing you with valuable information from experts on the topics of insurance, financial planning and personal finance.

Hurting Your Financial Future: Ignore the Less-Obvious Costs of Long Term Care at Your Own Risk!

by Byron Udell

Here’s an alarming stat: according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of individuals 65 or older will need long term care sooner or later. With numbers like that, EVERYONE is affected in some way.

In the words of Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady, "There are only four kinds of people in this world ... those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers."

Smart lady, that Ros Carter.

Most of the talk about long term care revolves around the cost of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and formal in-home care. Of course, those expenses can be massive. But long term care situations have hidden costs as well: the toll paid by family members who spend much of their time as caregivers.

Numbers Don’t Lie

Earlier this year, Genworth (the largest provider of LTC insurance in the country) compiled data from a group of caregivers and care recipients in a report called Beyond Dollars 2015.

The study found that 62% of caregivers help provide financial assistance for their loved ones’ care, paying an estimated $10,000 a year in out-of-of pocket expenses. On top of that, most caregivers (77%) had to take time away from their paying jobs; they missed an average of 7 hours of work per week.

Twenty-six percent reported missing career opportunities.

What Can You Do to Be Ready?

The short answer is … think about the future NOW! Beyond Dollars also found that preparing for long term care in advance reduces the financial impact in a major way – not to mention the emotional and physical relief that comes with early planning. And the sooner you start long term care planning, the better.

Another statistic that stands out is that respondents estimated that $8,000 of the $10,000 of out-of-pocket expenses could have been saved if they had begun preparing sooner.

In other words, you should act ASAP! The video below gives a quick overview of how long term care insurance works and what it can do for you:

AccuQuote is here to help you understand the various long term care insurance options that may be available to you. Whether it’s a standalone policy or an LTC rider on a life insurance policy, we’re here to support you. Give us a call at 800-442-9899 today!

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Posted in Accidental Death Insurance | No Comments »

An Attractive Alternative to Traditional Long Term Care Insurance

by Byron Udell

It’s time to think about things you probably don’t want to think about: getting old, wearing diapers, and not being able to take care of ourselves.

In other words, we need to discuss—and you need to consider—long term care insurance… and not just because November is Long term Care Awareness Month.

Why?  Because according to USA Today, there’s a 70% chance that you will need long term care after you reach the age of 65.  If you do the math, that means there’s a 91% chance either you or your spouse will need long term care at some point.  All this means that it’s a safe bet that if you buy some form of LTC insurance, you’ll actually need it down the road.

How Do You Get Long Term Care Insurance?

There are two ways to make sure you’re covered with long term care insurance–you can either buy a life insurance policy with a long term care rider, or you can buy standalone long term care insurance.  With either option, you’d receive funds to cover care needed for activities of daily living or a severe cognitive impairment (if you qualify), including home health care, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, etc.

Why should you consider long term care insurance?  Why buy it as a rider?

At AccuQuote, we can help you regardless of which route you choose, but here are some compelling reasons why you should explore purchasing long term care insurance in the form of a rider added to your life policy:

  • Live-in care can cost $200 a day and a nursing home can be up to $300 a day (and that’s today; it’ll only cost more years from now!)—that’s as much as $219,000 a year if both you and your spouse need care simultaneously. Without long term care insurance, that financial burden could fall to your kids or other loved ones (that is, after your savings have been completely wiped out!)
  • Standalone long term care insurance can be very costly, and the rates can be raised at any time; LTC rider premiums are guaranteed NOT to increase as long as your policy is in force!
  • There’s a 90-day waiting period before traditional long term care insurance policies will begin paying your benefit; NOT the case with many LTC rider policies!
  • Premiums could be WASTED if you buy a standalone policy and never file a claim!
  • A long term care rider is a surprisingly affordable addition to a traditional life insurance policy

How does it work?

With an LTC rider, the life insurance death benefit is like a pot of money.  It can be used for LTC or it goes to your family (a win-win) when you die. To learn more, check out the video below.

As I mentioned earlier, we’re here to support you in whatever choice you make.  If you have any questions about long term care insurance or how a traditional life insurance policy can be used to cover the cost of long term care, give us a call at 800-442-9899. One of our specialists will help you analyze your needs and figure out what kind of coverage may work best for you. Or, if you prefer, you can request a free long term care insurance quote HERE. Just enter your information and someone will call you to discuss your options.


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Posted in Life Insurance , Long Term Care Insurance | No Comments »

7 Life Insurance Mistakes that Can Cost You Big Time

by Byron Udell

How well do you understand life insurance?

I’m sure you understand the basic premise: if you have it, your family gets money when you die. 

If you’ve been reading this blog, watching AccuQuote’s YouTube channel or opening our emails, you’re probably better educated than 90% of your peers. You may be aware of the tips I’m about to share, but even if that’s the case, they merit repeating (this stuff is that important!).

Not Shopping Around

Every life insurance company has a variety of products with different features and costs. If you don’t compare companies to make sure you get the right coverage at the right price, you’re probably not getting either.

Instead of doing all the research yourself – or settling for whoever your parents are insured by – AccuQuote makes it quick and easy. We do the research for you! Our quoting software checks out products from over a dozen top-rated insurance companies to find the most affordable rates.  Our customers save up to 70%!

You may be surprised by how much coverage you can get on your budget.

Failing to Prepare for the Exam

To get the best possible rates, you have to prove you’re in good health. That means taking a medical exam.  Your activities in the days before the exam have a major impact on the results.

Fortunately, there are specific steps you can take to “put your best foot forward.” The video below explains what you can do.


If you don’t take these exam tips seriously, you could get bumped into a lower rate class than you would ordinarily qualify for. That could cost you thousands of dollars. 

For example, let’s imagine a 45-year old man applies for $250K, 20-year term policy. He doesn’t smoke and he’s pretty healthy .

Imagine he goes overboard on coffee and potato chips the day before the exam. His blood pressure could go up enough to ruin his chances of getting a preferred rate class. He may end up getting a standard rate class. He’d have to pay $52.68/month for his policy instead of the $34.39/month he’d pay if he had followed the tips from the video above. That’s $219.48/year…$4,389.60 over the life of the policy.

Waiting Too Long

Let’s say the man from the example above decides to wait 5 more years to buy his policy. Instead of paying $34.39/month, now he has to pay $50.50. That’s an additional $193.32 per year…like paying for 5 extra months of premiums every single year.

And that’s assuming his health doesn’t decline in those 5 years…

Skipping Your Policy Reviews

It’s a smart idea to check in with a life insurance professional once a year.  A few minutes on the phone will help you make sure your policy keeps up with any life changes you experience.

You may need more coverage if you got married, have new kids, earn more money, bought a new house, etc.

You may not need as much coverage if you got divorced, your kids became financially independent or you wiped out debt (like a mortgage).

The best way to make sure your coverage still “fits” is to review your policy. You can call us at 800-589-0465 for a free policy review even if you didn’t buy your policy from us.  

When’s the last time you reviewed your policy?

Not Getting Guaranteed Level Premiums

In most cases, you won’t want to make “balloon payments” on your life insurance. Check to make sure your policy GUARANTEES your premiums will never go up. Most term and permanent life insurance policies can be structured in this way.

Not Buying Life Insurance

This mistake doesn’t cost you, but it could be devastating for your family.

The last check you’ll ever give your family will come from your life insurance company. If your family’s lifestyle depends on the money you make, things will get tight when that money stops coming in.

Dying can be expensive, too. A funeral, medical bills, etc. can put a lot of extra financial strain on your family. Life insurance can cover those costs and give your family the resources to maintain the lifestyle you want them to enjoy.

Not Buying Enough

When talking with people about how much life insurance to buy, one of the questions I often ask is, “How long do you plan on being dead?”  If you’re only going to stay dead for a few years, your life insurance only has to replace a few years’ worth of income.

If your death is likely to be permanent, your policy needs to reflect that.

(Intentional sarcasm above!)

How many years of income do you want to provide for your family? Our super-simple Life Insurance Calculator can help you figure out how much life insurance is enough to adequately protect your family.


We’re here to give you all the information you need to make educated decisions about life insurance. Give us a call at 800-442-9899; we’ll help you avoid these and other mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars and prevent unnecessary stress in the long run.

You can get your free life insurance quote here. It only takes a minute or two.

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Posted in Life Insurance , Medical Exam | No Comments »

What You NEED To Know About Long-Term Care: A Conversation with Rodney Brooks

by Byron Udell

By now I’m sure you know that I’m always happy to talk to media about the most important product mankind ever invented (life insurance).  Not only am I willing to give my expert opinion, I also make sure media know that I’m available when and where they want to chat. 

What absolutely kills me is when I see incorrect information put out there by the press, and I know that one way to combat that is to have them talk to ME!  This is part of the reason why I’ve become a go-to source for media.

I’ve been in this game for almost 30 years, so I’ve seen personal finance writers and reporters move around a bit.  I know Rodney Brooks from his decades at USA Today (here’s a piece by him from last year that includes quotes from me; it also appeared in Huffington Post), but now he’s working at a couple other places, one of which is a neat website called Retirement HQ.  The site targets consumers getting ready to retire or who are already retired, and it’s both educational and informative.

Rodney recently called on me to talk long-term care insurance (which we sell here at AccuQuote).  Check out my comments and Rodney’s story here.

As always, we're here for your life insurance, long-term care insurance and disability insurance needs. Get a free life insurance quote here, and email me at if you have any questions or comments.

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Posted in Long Term Care Insurance , Retirement planning | No Comments »

Women, You Need Life Insurance, Too!

by Byron Udell

In a recent blog post, I talked about a frightening statistic that showed how many people do not have life insurance. Well, a recent article by focused on one specific part of the population: women.

Life insurance ownership is even lower among American women, and despite old-school thinking on the matter, this is a major problem. It will be an even larger problem as baby boomers continue to age.

According to the article, only 40% of women have any life insurance at all. Those that do own a policy have 30% LESS than the men have, on average.

No matter what your situation (or your sister’s or friend’s situation), life insurance is something you need to seriously consider.

Single Moms

According to the article, 70% of single parents have no life insurance, and 83% of single parents are mothers.

You’ve been the breadwinner and caregiver for your children. You’ve done everything you can to protect them. But what if something happens to you? Can you afford to leave them unprotected during what will be the most difficult time imaginable?

Stay at Home Moms

Ask any stay-at-home mom and she’ll tell you – she’s the hardest working person in the household. If she got a salary for everything she does, she’d earn about $9,750 per month, according to recent surveys.

But what if you suddenly passed away? Can your husband afford to write fat checks every month to pay other people to do the work she did?

Most responsible couples have life insurance coverage for both the husband and the wife. I talk about this more in the short video below.

Working Moms

Working moms provide $71,860 per year worth of services in addition to their salaries from their jobs, according to the survey I mentioned above. That’s probably no surprise to you!

Even though it would be impossible to replace you, life insurance can replace the economic value of the work you did at home and on the job. It can also give your family the money they need to grieve without worrying about how the bills will get paid.

Women with No Children

If you don’t have a spouse or kids, do you still need life insurance?

The answer is simple: if your death might cause a financial hardship to anyone – from aging parents to the business you own – then yes, you still need life insurance.

If nothing else, you don’t want to leave your final expenses and other outstanding debt as a burden for someone else to deal with, do you?

I hope I’ve encouraged you to at least think about buying a policy if you don’t have one. If you do have one, are you sure you have enough coverage? This handy calculator will help you estimate how much life insurance is enough for your circumstances.

Remember, whether you have a great career or you’re a “homemaker,” it would take thousands of dollars every month to replace the work you do.