Christensen Group Insurance FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is life insurance an asset?

Yes, life insurance can be considered an asset in some cases. This is because a policyholder can generally borrow against the cash value of their life insurance policy or use it as collateral for a loan, both of which are considered assets. Additionally, since the death benefit proceeds are not typically taxed (depending on your state), they may also be viewed as an asset when calculating net worth. However, it is important to note that in most cases both the cash value and death benefit from a life insurance policy will only become available after the insured has passed away, so these assets should generally not be counted as part of any current financial calculations.

Are life insurance premiums tax deductible?

No, life insurance premiums are not tax deductible. This is because the proceeds of a life insurance policy are typically paid out upon the death of the insured and thus do not generate any current income for which to claim a deduction. Additionally, since most policies have no cash value associated with them until after death, there is nothing to deduct from taxes at the time of purchase either. However, some employers may offer group life insurance policies as part of employee benefits packages, in which case the employer may be able to write off those premiums as a business expense. Speak with your insurance agent or financial advisor for more information on potential tax deductions related to life insurance premiums you may be eligible for.

Does home insurance cover working from home?

It depends on the type of policy and coverage you have. Generally, a standard home insurance policy does not cover losses related to business activities, so if you are using your home as an office or workspace it is important to speak with your insurance provider about purchasing additional coverage. Some policies may include limited coverage for damage or theft related to business equipment, so it's best to check with your provider before assuming any additional protection is necessary. Additionally, since many businesses have unique needs that may be better covered under a commercial policy, it's wise to explore these options if you plan to use your home as a workspace for an extended period of time.  No matter what kind of coverage you decide on, make sure that all areas of potential risk are fully understood and adequately addressed. This will help ensure that your business is properly protected against the unexpected.

Can a self-employed person deduct health insurance premiums?

Yes, a self-employed person can deduct health insurance premiums as an adjustment to income on their tax return. This self-employed health insurance deduction is allowed for any premiums paid for medical and dental insurance or qualified long-term care coverage for the taxpayer and their family. The deduction cannot exceed the net amount of self-employment income for that year and must be reported on Form 1040. Speak with your accountant or tax professional to determine if you qualify for this deduction.

Is every possible claim scenario covered by my insurance policy?

You can certainly report your claim directly to the company especially if the damage is significant and is more than your deductible. If you are not sure what your deductible amount is or have questions about the loss, call your agent. We are here to discuss your options and answer your questions before notifying the company.

What’s the magic number when it comes to record retention?

You don’t need to be a magician to know what records to keep and for how long. While most providers can supply reports and plan documents, the plan administrator remains ultimately responsible for retaining adequate records that support the plan document reports and filings. Refer to the chart below to know which documents you need to keep in case of a plan audit.

Document Audit Retention Requirements Table
What is the difference between 3(21) and 3(38) Fiduciary Services?

A retirement plan advisor can serve in either a 3(21) or 3(38) fiduciary capacity, and in some cases, both capacities. The needs and desires of the plan sponsor typically dictate the specific arrangement, which is predicated upon the subject of risk mitigation versus risk avoidance. Some plan sponsors want assistance with their fiduciary responsibilities, but want to maintain discretion and control of their plans’ investment menus. Others want to shift responsibilities to a third party due to their lack of expertise, and ultimately, fear of exposure to liability.

What is the role of a Retirement Plan Advisor?

Most prudent plan sponsors hire a plan advisor to help them adhere to ERISA’s rigorous standards and to meet their objective of offering a best practices retirement plan to their employees. ERISA rules are clear — every decision you make as a fiduciary must be in the best interests of plan participants and their beneficiaries, and certain relationships may result in prohibited transactions.

What is the difference between Permanent and Term life insurance?

Term insurance is temporary and only provides pure death benefit protection for a specific period of time. Term is the most affordable and does not accumulate cash value. Permanent insurance is designed to provide lifetime protection. The initial premium for Permanent is higher than Term, but it has the potential to accumulate cash value that can be accessed to help with lifetime needs.

How much life insurance do I need?

The amount of life insurance needed varies for everyone as it depends on their unique circumstance and financial goals. Immediate obligations and future income needs should be considered when determining how much life insurance coverage is enough. There are many calculators out there to help you figure out how much you may need to maintain your lifestyle as well as help provide financial security to those that depend on you. Life Happens, A Nonprofit Organization, has a simple yet effective calculator, which can be found here.

At what level does the premium for company paid life insurance need to be included in the employee’s income?

Employers can purchase up to $50,000 of life insurance for employees without the need to add the premium to the employee’s income. Premium for any amount above $50,000 would need to be included in the employee’s income or that portion of the life insurance benefit would be considered taxable in the event of a claim.

What is an Accountable Care Organization?

An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties voluntarily assume financial and medical responsibility for patients. Total cost of care can run between 10% and 15% lower than a traditional “open access” network.

Does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) require that a larger employer (more than 50 full time employees) offer coverage to spouses and dependent children?

Although most ACA language is centered around offering employees coverage that meets minimum essential benefits and affordability rules, in order to be compliant and employer must offer coverage to dependent children. An employer is not required to offer coverage to spouses under the ACA.

If I purchase a property outside of Minnesota or move to another state, will CG be able to continue writing my insurance coverage?

In most cases, yes we will. Our agency is licensed in most states and have companies available to write with. Please be sure to contact us if this is your situation to see if we can help.

Who needs life insurance?

If someone will be adversely affected financially by your unexpected death then you need life insurance.  Life insurance can provide financial protection for your beneficiaries, for both personal and business reasons.

Do I need to buy business insurance?

If you have employees, you have to buy worker’s compensation coverage. If you’ve entered into a lease agreement, you’ll need to procure liability & property coverage. There are many other coverages that would be recommended depending on your specific business. To find out, contact one of our business insurance professionals.

How are my premiums determined?

Your policy premiums are dependent on three primary variables: insurance carrier capacity, your exposures, and your loss experience. If there’s a shortfall of capital in the insurance marketplace, the cost of all insurance will be high. The more property you have to insure or the more exposures to loss you have, the higher your premiums. The higher your historic losses, the less likely insurers will want to take on your risk, thereby increasing your premiums.

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