Category: Personal Lines

Annuities

Annuities

During retirement, most people need more money than social security provides. While you can create your own portfolio by self-investing in a pension or savings account, this is risky since you might run out of money. Annuities are a great option because they pay out until the end of your life.


What Are Annuities?

An annuity is a financial product designed for people at or near retirement age who would like to receive a steady stream of income until they pass away. In exchange for a lump sum, the insurance company pays you every month or every year, and you can live off this money during your retirement. In some cases, your annuity ends when you die, but many products allow you to pass on some of the money to your descendants.

How Do They Work?

There are various types of contracts, and they all work slightly differently. If you’re ready to stop working and start living off your annuity, you can purchase one that begins paying out straight away. This option is best for those looking to increase their retirement income. However, many people start paying into an annuity many years before they plan to retire. The major advantage of opening a deferred annuity is that the money can grow tax-free until you withdraw.

If you don’t like taking on risk, you can buy an annuity that pays out a fixed sum. This type of product has a guaranteed interest rate, and there is very little chance of losing your money. Other options allow you to achieve higher returns, for example by tracking a stock market index or investing directly in the markets. However, they are riskier, and your income might vary if you purchase such a product.

Who Are They Right for?

An annuity can be a good option for many people because it isn’t taxed until you withdraw, so you save a lot of money during your working years. Additionally, it provides retirees with a steady and lifelong stream of income, and it often allows them to leave some money to their descendants. Unlike other products like the IRA and the 401 (k), an annuity doesn’t come with a contribution limit, so it’s a good choice for high earners.

If you choose an annuity at random, you might be charged high commission fees and ongoing charges. Because the products are often complex, it can be hard for individuals to know whether a given annuity is a good choice. The best way to avoid disappointment is to work with an insurance agent who can help you compare various options and choose the one that offers the best value for your money.

An annuity is a great option for people approaching retirement age because it allows them to receive a steady income for the rest of their lives. There are various options, and while some start paying out immediately, others are deferred. You can also choose what your annuity is invested in. Some are very secure, while others are riskier. If you’re curious about this financial product, you should discuss your options with your local insurance specialists.

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High Fire Risk Insurance


High Fire Risk Insurance

Fires are becoming more common all over California. Unfortunately, this means that your home could be affected, particularly if you live in a dry and hot area of the state. As a result of the increased risk, many insurance companies will struggle to provide you with a competitive quote. Here at ISU Armac, we can help you find high fire risk insurance if you live in an area that is affected by this issue. Let’s have a look at what this means.


How Can I Find High Fire Risk Insurance?

If you’re planning on moving to a high fire risk area, you’ll have noticed that it can be challenging to find insurance for your home. While some companies might decide to charge you more, others will place a cap on your potential payout or even refuse to take you on as a customer at all. For people with this issue, the state of California provides Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plans, but they should only be used in an emergency.

Unlike regular insurance, a FAIR plan might not give you many options, and it can also be more expensive. Before committing to one, you should explore all your options and try to find a company that offers insurance specifically for people who live in a high fire risk area. Such plans are tailored to your needs and will most likely provide you with better value.

What Type of Coverage Do I Need?

As mentioned, you’ll have several options when you purchase insurance through a firm like ISU Armac. We work with over 300 insurance providers, so we can offer you almost any plan in existence. In most cases, you will be covered against four main types of damage: interior, exterior, loss of personal property inside your home, and injuries incurred by another person who was at your home.

When you get in touch, our representative will ask you questions about your home’s location, size, and structures. Before signing up, you will have to detail everything you’d like to have insured, as your policy won’t cover possessions you haven’t listed. Once we have a good idea of the kind of protection you need, we can make some suggestions about the most appropriate types of cover.

What Can I Do to Protect My Home?

Aside from relying on your insurance, there are several things you can do to protect your home from fires. To get started, remove any vegetation and flammable objects at the edge of your property. This might include trees that overhang your roof or could otherwise transmit a fire to your building. In high-risk areas, there are usually support groups that can help you to fire-proof your home and give it the maximum protection possible.

Insurance tailored to people living in areas at risk of a fire will become more and more in demand over time, as the earth’s temperature rises. Often, it is hard for people living in high-risk areas to find good insurance, but we are here to help. Get in touch with us now at ISU Armac to find out more about the various types of insurance we provide and how much it might cost you to insure your primary residence.

How Do I Get California Home Insurance in High Fire Risk Areas?

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Vacant Land Insurance

Vacant Land Insurance

If you’re the owner of land away from your property that is currently vacant, then it’s usually a good idea to make sure you have vacant land insurance in place. It’s especially important if you allow any activities to take place on your land, as you could be held liable in the case of an accident or injury. Luckily, with ISU Armac, the vacant land insurance cost is likely to be very affordable; but to help you understand the figure you’ll be quoted, we’ve put together this quick guide.


Factors Affecting Vacant Land Insurance Cost

The Definition of Vacant Land

Vacant land has a very specific definition – it refers to land without any structures built on it. This doesn’t just refer to land that doesn’t have a use. In fact, many plots of vacant land are constantly in use, which only increases the need for insurance cover for the owner. Examples of what would be considered vacant land include private or shared access roads, fields and meadows used for farming, and woodland and forests, as well as urban vacant lots in cities.

Why Do I Need Vacant Land Insurance?

As you can see from the list above, “vacant land” has a very broad definition, and many of the lands above might be used for a variety of purposes, not just by friends and family but also by the general public. For example, if you own an area of woodland that a hiking trail or permissive path runs through, you could be held liable for any accident that occurs. This is especially important if you allow people to take part in more high-risk activities such as driving ATVs or hunting.

If your property is financed, your lender might require you to take out an insurance policy as a condition of the loan. Despite all this, there is currently no legal requirement to have coverage, but in the event of a lawsuit, the policy can provide liability coverage, something that in today’s litigious environment is an ever-increasing possibility.

What Determines The Cost of Insurance?

Several factors can determine the cost of insurance your provider will quote you. Chief amongst these is the size and location of the land. This is because different areas have different levels of risk associated with them, and a larger area of land has more risk associated with it. Remember, if there are any structures on the land, even if they’re ruined and not being used for anything, then a vacant land insurance policy won’t be able to cover you.

Instead, you’ll need to look into vacant home insurance, as any structure is assessed as having a greater risk than an empty parcel of land. There are several ways to ensure you get the best price, but choosing an independent insurance provider such as ISU Armac will always be able to get you the best price.

So why delay? Contact ISU Armac today and get a quote! Our friendly team will always strive to get you the best possible price on your insurance!  

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Renters Insurance

Renters Insurance

If you’ve recently moved into your dream rental apartment or home, it’s critical you obtain rental insurance as quickly as possible to protect your belongings. It’s the best way to ensure you’re covered if something unexpected happens and you need to replace items, such as clothing and electronics. Read on for a discussion of how renters’ insurance differs from life insurance and commercial liability insurance when it comes to protecting your property.


What Is Renters’ Insurance

If you’re a renter, renters’ insurance is your best friend. If things go wrong, you’ll get cash to fix or replace your personal belongings. Remember, however, that all policies have coverage limits and deductibles, so it pays to read the fine print before deciding what policy to purchase. All policies out there have exclusions, and most won’t cover flood damage.

Rental policies cover just about everything from ruined clothing to wrecked TVs. Check with your insurance broker if you have more expensive or valuable items that need protection. Art and musical instruments are often excluded from standard coverage packages. But many policies will cover other stolen items, even if they are stolen outside of your home.

How Does Life Insurance Work? Will It Cover My Belongings?

Life insurance is a totally different product from renters insurance. It only kicks in in the event of the covered individual’s death. It’s designed to ensure the beneficiaries, surviving spouses and children, have sufficient money to take care of funeral expenses and debts, including credit card bills and mortgage payments. Any payment made goes to the beneficiary, not the policy’s owner.

Remember that rental insurance is designed to replace items you own in the event of a disaster such as a fire. Any payment the insurance company makes will be to you, not your beneficiary. And renters’ insurance policies are only applicable if you live in a rental home or apartment.

What If I Rent a Storefront? Who Is Commercial Liability Insurance Right For?

Commercial liability insurance is specifically applicable to businesses. It protects you if a customer has an accident while shopping at your physical store or if you accidentally ruin a client’s rug while providing a service at their home. You can often purchase extra riders to protect yourself and your company against certain legal actions, such as copyright infringement.

Commercial liability insurance doesn’t cover damages to your business’s physical assets. It reimburses anyone you’ve injured, but it’s not designed to provide a business owner or business with cash to replace or fix assets. Consider purchasing a business property insurance plan if you’re interested in protecting your business’s physical assets.

Valuable Advice

Many clients find it helpful to work with an experienced agent when determining what types of insurance to consider purchasing. These three coverages are only a few of the policies available, so it pays to discuss your domestic and work situations with an insurance broker to ensure your loved ones and property are adequately protected in the face of the unexpected. Don’t forget that business owners often have insurance needs that can’t be met by personal policies.

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Individual Life Insurance

Individual Life Insurance

What is life insurance and why do you need it? The short answer is that having this type of insurance in place is the best way to protect your loved ones financially if you pass away prematurely. If you have a spouse and/or children who rely on you financially, having a security net to safeguard them should a worst-case scenario happen simply makes sense.


Protecting the Financial Future of Your Loved Ones

No one wants to think about the possibility of their life being cut short, but the reality is that tragedy can befall any one of us at any time. If you are a primary or even secondary earner in your home, the sudden loss of your income could have a devastating impact on your loved ones and their future.

Depending on the scope of your policy, being insured can allow your spouse and children to maintain their lifestyle and can cover the costs of mortgage payments, college, medical expenses, debt, and more.

Buying Time and Options

Even if the death benefit allowed for in your policy is more modest, having any insurance is better than having none at all. Ensuring even a small financial security blanket is in place can give your family more time to adjust and figure out next steps, such as finding a new job or downsizing to a smaller home.

What you don’t want is for your family to be in a situation where they have to endure a dramatic change in circumstances right away. Having time and options can make the difficult transition following the death of a loved one somewhat more bearable.

How Does Life Insurance Work?

The death benefit set out in your policy represents a guaranteed lump-sum of cash that your family will receive following your (theoretical) demise. A policy can deliver a pre-determined sum of money that can range from a few hundred thousand dollars into the millions. Since death benefits are not taxable, a $1 million policy will yield a full $1 million in proceeds for your family.

Term vs. Permanent Insurance Options

There are two types of insurance you need to consider: a “term” policy covers you for a set period of time, while a “permanent” policy provides coverage for your entire life as long as the premiums are paid. A term plan will be cheaper, but permanent insurance earns interest and can be an excellent long-term investment.

Choosing a Beneficiary

Typically, a beneficiary will be an immediate family member, but it doesn’t have to be. You can choose to designate a charitable organization, a trust, or even a close friend. You can also name multiple beneficiaries or a contingent beneficiary who would receive death benefits from your policy in the event that the primary beneficiary dies.

If you would like us to calculate an insurance quote for you, contact us today at ISU Armac. We will help you to come up with a coverage plan that is in line with your budget and with your family’s needs.  

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Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance, also known as extended liability insurance, is an insurance policy that goes beyond the coverage provided by other policies. Like an umbrella, it can cover a wide area and protect what’s underneath. These policies are useful for anyone who needs to protect high-value assets or who might need additional protection from lawsuits due to their line of work. Here’s how it works:


Umbrella Insurance

Understanding the Name

Many people are confused by the name, but the concept is quite simple. Just as an umbrella can cover anything under it, so too can this insurance policy. You request an umbrella policy when you need to cover a variety of assets or to protect yourself. Another way to think of it is that you only use umbrellas in rainy weather. When it rains, it pours, and your umbrella policy is there to protect you.  

However, umbrella policies work differently from most insurance products. Umbrella coverage is never the primary insurance policy. It’s always a secondary form of coverage. So, when would you actually need to use it?

When Does It Apply?

As a form of secondary coverage, your umbrella policy will only be used if you exceed the limits on another insurance policy. For example, if you have a homeowner’s insurance policy of $250,000 and an umbrella policy of $500,000, you have a combined $750,000 in coverage on your home. The first $250,000 will be paid by the homeowner’s insurance provider if anything happens to your house. After that, umbrella coverage will cover the rest.

One of the most common uses for an umbrella policy is to protect the individual from liability in lawsuits. Suppose you rent out that aforementioned home on Airbnb and a fire happens while a visitor is present. You might lose the house to the fire, but that visitor may also have injuries and could sue you for damages. Homeowner’s insurance will handle the fire damage, but what will be left to protect you?  

Who Might Need It?

Anyone exposed to a higher level of risk should consider an umbrella policy. Landlords ought to protect their investments and business from lawsuits. Similarly, other professions expose people to a higher degree of risk. For instance, journalists are often accused of libel and slander. Umbrella coverage could be very useful against those kinds of lawsuits. Business owners or franchisees should likewise consider additional coverage against common accidents.  

Jobs where you can injure someone else while at work also merit additional coverage. A commercial truck driver may want more coverage than what their automotive insurance allows. Doctors can use umbrella coverage to protect their private practice and themselves from malpractice suits. If you’re not sure whether an umbrella policy would be useful for you, ask an insurance expert.

The Value of an Umbrella Policy

Considering that lawsuits can easily extend into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, it pays to invest in a wide insurance policy. Umbrella policies give additional peace of mind and prepare you for the absolute worst. A small payment could lead to major savings in the future.

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Watercraft Insurance

Watercraft Insurance

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Valuable Possessions Insurance

Valuable Possessions Insurance

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Individual Medical

Individual Medical

Individual medical insurance is one of the most important forms of coverage you can obtain to protect yourself, your family, and your assets. Having adequate medical coverage ensures any future medical needs can be met without medical bills causing financial difficulty. Below we’ll review what individual medical insurance covers, discuss how it works with life insurance and commercial liability insurance, and highlight important differences between these options. 


What Is Individual Medical Insurance? 

Individual medical insurance is designed to help you pay for medical bills and other health-related expenses. Several choices exist, from plans that only cover catastrophic injuries to more comprehensive options with extensive coverage for medication and preventive health services. If you opt for a high-deductable plan that protects against catastrophic events, be prepared to save up.

The IRS defines high-deductible plans as those with deductibles starting at $1,400 and out-of-pocket expenses capped at $7,000 per individual. Keep in mind that individual medical insurance is different from the coverage you can obtain via an employer. Although, many of the same companies offer employer-based medical plans and private medical coverage. When you’re researching options online, make sure you’re evaluating the appropriate plan.

I Have Life Insurance: Do I Need Individual Medical Insurance Too? 

The short answer to the question is, “Yes.” Life policies provide money to those left behind in the event of your death. It’s to ensure your family has enough money to pay off outstanding debts. Since there are no limits on the way you can use these payments, many families use the money to cover expenses such as tuition and mortgage payments. Individual medical insurance, on the other hand, only covers medical bills and related expenses.

Reimbursement most often goes directly to the physician who provided the service instead of to you or a family member. Although, most insurance companies will re-pay you for some out-of-pocket medical expenses you initially pay for yourself. While a life policy payout can be used to pay for medical bills, doing so will most likely drastically decrease the money your family has to take care of other needs.

Does Commercial Liability Insurance Cover Medical Bills?

No. It protects businesses and business owners if a patron is injured or you accidentally damage a client’s property. While there’s a ton of variation out there, most of these plans will reimburse a third party for an injury obtained at your place of business and pay if you cause any damage while providing a service. However, they are not designed to pay for a business owner’s personal medical expenses or those of that individual’s family. 

Summing Up 

Individual medical insurance is one of the most important products you can purchase to protect your financial future. It’s a great way to ensure you won’t have to deal with the economic fallout from unexpected medical expenses. Due to the variety of available policies, speaking with an experienced broker is the best way to precisely determine and meet your exact insurance needs and ensure you obtain the right coverage at a great price.

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