Chicago (PRWEB) July 29, 2008
Combined Insurance, a leading provider of supplemental insurance, reports that "Single Working Women's Week," July 27-August 2, 2008, sponsored by SWWAN® (Single Working Women's Affiliate Network), marks an opportune time each year for single women to evaluate their current insurance coverage to identify any gaps in coverage or inadequate protection. This strategy can help ensure working women, their dependent children or family members and assets are protected in the event that accident or illness interferes with the ability to work.
Education is Critical for the Best Protection
If your marital situation has recently changed, or if you've always been single, you can take some easy steps to evaluate your unique situation and ensure you have the right amount of insurance protection to meet your ever-evolving needs. And if not, consider supplemental insurance to meet those needs.
To start, it's important to understand the difference between primary and supplemental insurance. Many employers offer some type of primary health insurance plan, which generally include basic health benefits and sometimes life or disability coverage. Supplemental insurance, on the other hand, is additional insurance - disability, accident, life, health - that can help pay certain costs not covered by primary insurance.
"Supplemental insurance isn't as complicated as it may seem," said Becky Mills, Vice President, Research and Development at Combined Insurance. "It's really just a separate insurance policy that adds to or 'supplements' life and health coverage you might already have. And for a single working woman, it can provide that extra protection that helps augment your existing insurance in event of unexpected sickness, injury or death."
Work Your Way through A Needs Checklist
Working women can familiarize themselves with supplemental insurance as a good start to help identify whether there are any gaps in traditional insurance coverage. A review of coverage can include a needs assessment checklist which focuses on four key areas:
Protect your paycheck: According to the National Safety Council, Injury Facts®, 2008 Edition, more than 9.4 million disabling injuries occurred while off the job in 2006, making those disabled individuals ineligible for worker's compensation benefits. Fortunately, many supplemental disability policies cover you on or off the job.
Protect your lifestyle: According to LIMRA's August 2004 publication, The Need and Value of Life Insurance, one to two years after a spouse's death almost 50 percent of respondents were just getting by financially, and 45 percent of widows said their spouse did not have adequate life insurance. If you are single due to divorce or a spouse's death, a supplemental life insurance policy may better help your loved ones manage financially for those first few years.
Protect against the risk of a critical illness: The American Cancer Society reports in the Cancer Facts and Figures, 2007, that in the U.S., 1 in 3 women will develop cancer during their lifetime and 67 percent of total costs will be non-medical. A supplemental insurance policy that provides benefits for cancer can help offset some of these non-medical costs.
Protect against unexpected medical expenses: The 2005 edition of the HCUP Facts and Figures statistics on hospital-based care in the United States reports that the average length of stay at a hospital is five days at an average of $22,300 per stay. The average major health insurance policy only covers up to 80 percent of many of these costs - a supplemental insurance policy can help offset your deductibles.
Ask Yourself the Tough Questions
In going through a needs checklist, be sure to ask yourself questions that get to the heart of whether you, as a single working woman, might need additional coverage:
Is your employer's insurance enough? Has your employer changed or reduced policy coverage in recent years? Does your employer offer disability or life insurance policies? Many people underestimate their risk for suffering a disabling injury that could prevent them from working and earning income. By the time they find themselves in this type of situation, it's too late to purchase adequate insurance protection. In fact, according to National Investment Watch Survey conducted by A.G. Edwards Inc. in 2004, more than 70 percent of working Americans did not have enough savings to meet short-term emergencies.
If you have children - are they insured? Are your children insured under your employer's benefits program? Is an ex-partner's plan is covering your children? Or do they have no coverage at all?
What are your assets and liabilities? As a single working woman, it's important to keep your finances in order. Ask yourself:
What do you have coming in?
What do you have going out?
What are your monthly expenses?
Do you have an "emergency fund?"
A review of your income and savings vs. your expenses is a good exercise to help you determine the amount of coverage you might need.
If you die, will your funeral expenses be covered? According to the National Association of Funeral Directors, the average cost of funeral expenses is approximately $7,000. These are expenses that often must be paid immediately, generally before the settlement of the deceased's estate. This can place a heavy financial burden on family and friends.
"After reviewing the needs assessment, if you answered 'no' or couldn't come up with a solid answer to any of the questions, this means you probably have a coverage need which is not being met," said Mills. "As a single working woman, understanding these gaps in your life insurance and accident/health insurance policies will make it easier to select the supplemental insurance policy that is right for you. Supplemental insurance policies are available for a wide range of situations with an equally broad range of benefits in all price ranges."
Once you've completed a thorough needs assessment, you'll want to contact a professional insurance agent to work with you to determine gaps between the coverage you have and what you might need and offer coverage options to meet both your protection needs and budget. As a single working woman, your time is stretched thin - a professional insurance agent will take the time to do the legwork for you, making the most of your time while looking after your best interests.
About Combined Insurance Company Combined Insurance (http://www.combinedinsurance.com) is a leading provider of supplemental accident, health and life insurance products and is a member of the ACE Group of Companies. With a field sales force and corporate staff in excess of 10,000 people worldwide, Combined meets the growing coverage needs of policyholders around the globe. For more information, call 1-800-490-1322 or visit http://www.combinedinsurance.com.
About ACE The ACE Group of Companies is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited (NYSE: ACE), the ACE Group of Companies conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at http://www.acelimited.com.