Disclosure: I am participating in an awareness campaign for Live Your Dreams Sweepstakes sponsored by USAA. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I do not earn a commission or percentage of sales.
Update: The deadline to enter the giveaway has expired. Thank you!
Are You Living Your Dreams?
I’m a big believer in following your own path, even if it means making a significant life change. Or even if it means taking what others may consider to be a considerable risk.
From the outside looking in, my entire adult career path seems to have followed a risky path.
I started in the military (plenty of risk there). Then, without much a safety net, I transitioned into the civilian sector. I was unemployed for six months before I found a job. All the while, I lived off unemployment benefits and my savings.
I finally found a career as a government contractor at a Fortune 500 company, then later left after starting an online business. My internet business (this website and others) was less than three years old at the time.
Oh, and did I mention that at the time I left my job with a Fortune 500 company that I had a six-month-old daughter, and my wife had recently become a stay at home mom?
On the surface, these were all risky moves. But I was sure things would work out, one way or another.
Risk Can Be Managed with Planning, Savings, and Insurance
These were all calculated risks, taken only after a lot of prayerful thought and consideration.
One underlying factor that gave us the confidence behind these major life changes was knowing that even if the worst were to happen, we would still be able to get by.
In each of these situations, I made sure I had a plan in place. This included having enough cash savings to last several months if things didn’t work out, and having the right insurance policies in place to avoid a catastrophic disaster.
I still follow this model when making major life decisions.
For example, my family and I recently relocated to a new state — this time, away from all of our close family and support network. Again, there was risk involved with this move. But we felt the calling, and we are happy with our decision.
Again, before making the move, we made sure we had savings in place, and the right insurance policies to protect us if things went wrong. As the primary income earner in our family, I make sure I have a sufficient life insurance policy in place to provide for my family should the worst happen to me.
We have the confidence to know that even if the worst were to happen, we would still be able to get by.
Are You Living Your Dreams?
Taking a leap of faith can be scary. But sometimes, you have to follow your dreams, even if it seems risky.
That’s why I recommend reviewing your overall financial situation and insurance policies to ensure you are on the right track. I especially recommend reviewing your life insurance policy to make sure you have enough insurance in place to provide for your family if something were to happen. Knowing that your family is covered allows you to live your life on your terms.
I encourage you to get a life insurance quote if you don’t currently have a life insurance policy or think you don’t have enough life insurance.
Life insurance doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Many people think life insurance is complicated – it doesn’t have to be. You can get a quote for a term life insurance policy in just a few minutes. Most companies can issue a life insurance policy after a brief underwriting process and examination. And life insurance can be more affordable than you might think.
A quote only takes a few minutes.
Your Call to Action – Enter the USAA Live Your Dreams $50,000 Sweepstakes
USAA is sponsoring a $50,000 sweepstakes to allow someone to live their dreams.
The best part?
You do not have to be a USAA member, and you do not have to purchase life insurance through USAA to enter the sweepstakes.
How sweet is that!?
How to Enter the Live Your Dream Sweepstakes:
There are three ways to enter the sweepstakes: Phone, Online, and Email.
- Enter by Phone: Call 800-531-LIFE(5433) and mention the Live Your Dreams Sweepstakes. You’ll need to provide your name, email, phone number, and address.
- Online: Get a life insurance quote using usaa.com or the USAA mobile app for a chance to win. Get started here.
- Mail: Mail-in entries including name, address, city, state zip, date of birth, and phone number to: USAA Live Your Dreams Sweepstakes Entry c/o teamDigital Promotions 6 Berkshire Blvd. Bethel, CT 06801
Eligibility / Fine Print:
No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the United States (excluding Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, North Dakota, Utah, and Washington), District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico who are eighteen (18) years of age or older. Promotion begins on Oct. 8, 2018, and ends on Nov. 20, 2018. Official rules posted at www.usaa.com/lifesweeps. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: USAA Life Insurance Company, 9800 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, TX 78288-0020.
Good luck if you decide to enter the sweepstakes!
And please review your life insurance policy. I hope you never need to use it. But if you do, your family will be forever grateful if the worst were to happen. Many homeowners are completely unaware that their homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover earthquakes or flooding. Worse, they may assume that they’re covered and take no action as a result. That assumption could be the most costly financial mistake you ever make. Both flooding and earthquakes come without warning and can do enough damage to send you to the poor farm.
For that reason, you should invest some time reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy to see what it covers – and what it doesn’t.
What homeowner’s insurance typically covers
A typical homeowners insurance policy covers an exhaustive list of casualties, which may blind the homeowner to an equally important consideration – casualties that the policy doesn’t cover.
They typically cover losses that result from theft, fire damage, internal malfunctions (like a burst water pipe) and a host of environmental sources, such as wind damage or tree limbs falling on your house. They generally also provide coverage for less well-known casualties, such as losses incurred as a result of the theft of your credit cards, or even the contents of your safety deposit box at the bank.
Policies will also be very specific as to the contents that will be covered, including the physical structure of a home, your home furnishings, appliances, carpet and drapes, and personal effects like computer equipment and jewelry.
When you see such a long list of covered casualties, it’s very easy to assume that the policy has everything imaginable covered. But that’s a wrong assumption. It is almost certain that your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover the two biggest threats of all – earthquakes and flooding.
Your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding
The reason that people don’t know that flooding is not covered under their homeowner’s insurance policies often owes to the fact that they live in an area that has not experienced flooding in many years. If you have a mortgage, and your property is located in a flood zone, the mortgage lender will require you to carry flood insurance for the term of the loan.
However, it is still possible that you might not have flood insurance if your mortgage is paid, or if the property should be determined to be in a flood zone after you took your mortgage.
It’s easy to see why you would avoid having flood insurance if you possibly could avoid it. Flood insurance is expensive. The actual premium that you will pay for the coverage will depend upon your specific location within the flood zone, and how frequent flooding is in your area (it is possible to be in a flood zone even if the neighborhood has not experienced flooding in decades). On an annual basis, the cost can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars per year to several thousand dollars. It will very likely be more expensive than your regular homeowner’s insurance policy – even though it covers only a single threat.
It doesn’t cover earthquakes either
Perhaps the biggest complication with earthquakes is the very real potential for the destruction of your property. And since earthquakes can change the topography of an area, it’s even possible that your property will no longer be buildable in the aftermath of a particularly severe earthquake.
And once again, earthquakes are not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Unless you have a specific earthquake policy, you are not included.
Earthquake insurance can be even more expensive than flood insurance. Exactly how much the premiums are will depend upon how close you are to a known fault line, the activity of that fault line, and the history of earthquakes in the area. The structure of your home – more specifically, whether or not it is built to withstand an earthquake – will also affect your premium.
Why this can be an issue even if live in an area NOT prone to either threat
Most people will happily ignore the whole issue of flood or earthquake insurance if they are not located in an area that is prone to danger. That can be the worst situation of all.
It’s possible that an area to experience an earthquake or flood even if it never has in the past. The Earth itself is not entirely stable, and subject to change due to weather or shifts in the Earth’s surface. In particular, when it comes to flooding, an area which has never experienced flooding could suddenly have it happen as a result of large-scale development in adjacent areas that are no longer available to take water runoff. This outcome is especially possible in the regions that are experiencing rapid growth.
Should either an earthquake or flood hit your home, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the damage. It will not matter if the property has never been determined to be in a potential threat zone.
For this reason, you may want to give serious consideration to adding both types of coverage even if you are not in areas determined to be high risk. The good news is that obtaining either type of insurance is extremely inexpensive in an area that is not high risk. You may be able to take the policy for just a couple hundred dollars a year. And that’s a small price to pay for a very large amount of coverage against an extremely destructive threat.
You should be able to add an earthquake policy through your current homeowner’s insurance company, and you can obtain flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.
One more caveat about homeowner’s insurance…
This is an excellent time to point out an important fact about homeowners insurance policies – or any other type of insurance for that matter. Unless a threat is mentioned explicitly as a covered risk in your policy, it will not be covered.
People usually look at their homeowner’s insurance policy once – when they first buy it. After that, it won’t be opened again – unless there’s a need to file a claim. If the claim you hope to file isn’t listed as a covert risk, you will most likely be out of luck.
That being the case, today will be a perfect day to dust off your homeowner’s insurance policy and do a detailed review. You might even want to discuss it with a friend or relative who is in the insurance business, to get their opinion.
Were you aware that earthquakes and flooding are not covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy?
Another type of Insurance coverage when you own a home that is something that you may want to look into is Mortgage Life Insurance, this in the instance that the homeowner passes and leaves behind a mortgage, this will help the surviving spouse and/or children with the remaining mortgage cost, check out our post for more details.