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Personal Insurance For Property Investors
By Luke Andersen

Are you an employee or a self-employed business person dependent on income derived by sweat of the brow? Do you carry any personal debt or debt over your principal place of residence or investment properties? Do you have dependents that rely on you to provide for their financial security, today and in the future? Chances are for most of us the answer to at least one of these questions is a definite yes.

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You are then left to make a choice. Do you accept the risk and hope that you will never become sick or disabled and have to stop working or that you will not die prematurely leaving your dependents with substantial amounts of debt and inadequate financial resources. Or, do you plan for and manage the risk by taking out appropriate insurance.

For most of us the prospect of losing our ability to earn income and dying prematurely may seem a little unlikely to give it due consideration. After all it is human tendency to waiver on the side of optimism on such issues and assume that ‘it will never happen to me'. But the reality is that it does happen to people just like you every day of the week. So, how can you plan for and manage these risks? Well, there are a range of different insurances specifically designed to meet these specific risks, the combination of which can provide a comprehensive risk protection plan. Below is a brief overview of the most important personal insurances for property investors.

Income Protection Insurance
Income protection insurance can provide you with an income in the event that you become totally or partially disabled and are unable to work. Income protection insurance provides up to 75% of your pre-disability income. Benefits are payable after the expiry of a selected waiting period and apply for a predetermined period (the benefit period) providing you remain totally or partially disabled.

If you are dependent on earning a salary or wage to support your current lifestyle and to create wealth for you and your defendant's future than income protection insurance is a must. If you own negatively geared investment property then your need to protect your income is even greater than for most other individuals. Whilst negative gearing is an appropriate strategy for certain investors its success as a strategy revolves solely around your ability to continue earning income. If you lose that ability and do not have income protection insurance then chances are you will be flat out supporting you and your dependent's lifestyle without your usual income, let alone supporting a negatively geared property portfolio.

Life Insurance
Life insurance won't do much for you as the insured but it will do a lot for those dependents you leave behind. Life insurance provides your dependents with a lump sum that may be used to pay off any debts you have (e.g. credit card, home loan, personal loans, investment loans etc.), pay for funeral expenses, and to provide an investment amount sufficient to generate enough ongoing income to support your dependents.

If you carry debt (like most property investors) and do not yet have enough financial resources to support your dependents if you were to prematurely die, then life insurance is absolutely critical for you. Losing someone close can be one of the most traumatic experiences in life and one additional pressure that your dependents could do without is that of servicing debt without your income and facing the prospect of going to the market with your investment properties to free up some money to meet living expenses. Given the relative illiquidity of property it may very well take several months before your dependents can liquidate your properties and retire the debt. All of this during a period that should otherwise be spent grieving, not scratching around for money to meet living expenses or dealing with real estate agents and creditors.

Total and Permanent Disability Insurance (TPD)
TPD insurance provides you with a lump sum payment in the event that you become totally incapacitated through injury or illness and satisfy the policy's definition of TPD. TPD insurance can be used to pay off existing debts, to pay for any medical costs not covered by your health insurance, to pay for any necessary modifications to your home or vehicle, and to provide you with an investment amount sufficient to generate ongoing income to compensate for your lost income.

Once again, if you carry debt and do not yet have enough financial resources to support yourself and your dependants if you were to become disabled than TPD is an absolute necessity, even if you have income protection insurance. Remember, income protection insurance only provides up to 75% of you pre-disability income which for most people is insufficient to support both their existing lifestyle and wealth creation objectives, let alone their increased cost of living as a result of their disability.

When making a decision on personal insurance there is a lot to consider including the types of insurance you require, the amount of insurance you require, the price of the insurance, policy ownership, whether to purchase inside superannuation or outside superannuation etc. Discussion of these issues is beyond the scope of this article but hopefully you now have an appreciation of the importance of personal insurance, particularly as a property investor.

If you don't have an adequate risk protection plan in place and would like assistance in creating one then seek professional financial advice. With a bit of luck you will never be on the receiving end of a personal insurance benefit, but if the unthinkable does occur, your financial responsibility and wise forethought will make an otherwise difficult time that little bit more tolerable for you and your dependents.

By Luke Andersen
Partner of Positive Property Strategies and co-author of ‘Residential Real Estate Development: A Practical Guide For Beginners To Experts.'

Positive Property Strategies is an innovative property development business offering property development management, property development advice and property development education. To find out more please visit http://www.propertystrategies.net

Life Insurance: The ABC's of Professionals

By Martin Lukac 

Finding a good life insurance agent can get confusing. There are so many things that you just don’t understand. How about all of the abbreviations on their business cards or in their yellow page ads?

Here’s a short list of the most popular abbreviations you will see:

CLU: Chartered Life Underwriter – a professional advertiser in business and family financial security in regards to life insurance. This designation comes from an accrediting institution. A comprehensive course of study and the passing of a series of 10 college level exams is required. They must be knowledgeable in the areas of life insurance, pensions, taxation, finance, economics and business and estate planning. There are strict ethical and experience requirements. It usually takes five years to become a CLU.

LUTCF: Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow –those who meet or exceed the qualification standards of The American College and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. This designation shows a strong code of ethics and professionalism. There are five courses required to become a fellow, with two being personal insurance or business insurance classes.

ChFC: Chartered Financial Consultant – an agent that is also a financial planner. This is a professional equipped to handle both life insurance and financial planning. There is a broad course program that must be completed to display this designation.

AEP: Accredited Estate Planner – this title is awarded by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils to professional estate planners, attorneys, CLUs, ChFCs and others that meet qualification requirements and pass two graduate level courses from The American College.

CFP: Certified Financial Planner – CFPs are increasingly popular among consumers. The right to use this designation is for those who have gone through educational training and agree to follow the CFP Board Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

FLMI: Fellow Life Management Institute – this designation shows that the agent has a solid foundation of knowledge in life and health insurance. It is administered by the Life Office Management Association.

When choosing an agent, you should also take the time to look into any memberships in professional associations, such as the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA.

Martin Lukac, represents http://www.RateEmpire.com and http://www.1AmericanFinancial.com, a finance web-company specializing in real estate/mortgage market. We specialize in daily updates, rate predictions, mortgage rates and more. Find low home loan mortgage interest rates from hundreds of mortgage companies!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Martin_Lukac







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