Hecht Insurance Advisors, LLC Blog
Unlocking the World of Gaming and Collector Cards: Value, Protection, and Insurance
In the realm of gaming and collector cards, an enchanting world awaits. From strategic gameplay to the thrill of collecting rare gems, this hobby offers excitement, value, and a unique form of expression. In this SEO-optimized blog post, we will delve into the various types of gaming and collector cards, highlighting their value and emphasizing the crucial need for insurance to protect your valuable investments.
The Thrill of Collecting:
Gaming and collector cards hold immense value for enthusiasts. Each card possesses its own allure, whether it's stunning artwork, limited editions, player autographs, or historical significance. As collectors, we cherish the pursuit of completing sets, finding rare editions, and building an exceptional collection that reflects our passion.
Types of Gaming and Collector Cards:
Trading Card Games (TCGs):
Trading Card Games, such as Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon, combine strategy and collectibility. These captivating games offer endless entertainment, engaging players in battles using decks of unique and powerful cards. The rarity and desirability of certain cards have made them valuable assets sought after by collectors worldwide.
Sports Trading Cards:
Sports trading cards bring the excitement of athletic achievements into your collection. Featuring beloved athletes from various sports, these cards offer a tangible connection to the world of sports. Rare editions, autographed cards, and those associated with significant moments in sports history can command substantial value.
Video Game Cards:
Video game cards allow collectors to bring their favorite virtual worlds into the physical realm. These cards often showcase characters, artwork, and gameplay elements from popular video game franchises. With the growth of gaming culture, these cards have gained recognition and value among collectors.
Understanding the Value:
The value of gaming and collector cards can be astonishing. Rare and sought-after cards can appreciate significantly over time, especially when they become harder to find or achieve legendary status. Historical significance, limited editions, and player achievements can all contribute to a card's value. Staying informed about market trends, card conditions, and collector demand is essential for making informed investment decisions.
The Importance of Insurance:
To protect your valuable card collection, obtaining proper insurance coverage is crucial. While cards hold sentimental value, their financial worth can be substantial. Unforeseen events, such as theft, fire, or natural disasters, can jeopardize your investment. Insuring your cards ensures that you can be financially compensated for their loss or damage, allowing you to rebuild your collection and preserve your investment.
Collectibles insurance offers specialized coverage for valuable items, including gaming and collector cards. These policies provide protection against risks such as theft, accidental damage, fire, and more. With agreed value coverage, you can establish the worth of your collection upfront, ensuring fair compensation in the event of a covered loss. Consult with experienced insurance advisors who specialize in collectibles insurance to ensure you have the right coverage for your unique collection.
Gaming and collector cards hold extraordinary value, both in terms of personal enjoyment and potential financial worth. As you embark on your collecting journey, remember to safeguard your investment through proper insurance coverage. Protecting your prized cards ensures that you can continue to revel in the joy of collecting and have peace of mind knowing that your valuable assets are secure.
At Hecht Insurance Advisors, we understand the significance of your gaming and collector cards. Our team of insurance experts specializes in providing tailored collectibles insurance solutions. We offer comprehensive coverage against a range of risks and ensure that your valuable cards are adequately protected. With our expertise and personalized service, we strive to give you the peace of mind you deserve.
Remember, as you expand your card collection, regularly reassess your insurance coverage to account for any new acquisitions or changes in the value of your cards. Keep meticulous records, including photographs, descriptions, and appraisals of your collection, to facilitate the claims process in case of loss or damage.
Don't leave your valuable card collection vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances. Learn more about collectibles insurance at Hecht Insurance Advisors today and let us help you explore your collectibles insurance options. Our dedicated team is here to guide you and provide the protection your cherished cards deserve.
In the world of gaming and collector cards, passion meets investment. Safeguard your treasures and embrace the thrill of collecting with the assurance that comes from having the right insurance coverage in place.
If you're a business owner or contractor, you may be required to obtain an insurance bond as part of your licensing or contractual obligations. An insurance bond is a type of surety bond that provides financial protection in case you fail to fulfill your contractual obligations. In this blog post, we'll discuss what you need to know about insurance bonds.
What is an Insurance Bond?
An insurance bond, also known as a surety bond, is a three-party agreement between the principal (the party requiring the bond), the surety (the insurance company providing the bond), and the obligee (the party benefiting from the bond). The bond ensures that the principal will fulfill their contractual obligations, and if they fail to do so, the obligee can make a claim on the bond to recover damages.
Types of Insurance Bonds
There are several types of insurance bonds, including contract bonds, license and permit bonds, court bonds, and fidelity bonds.
Contract Bonds: These bonds are typically required for construction projects and ensure that the contractor will fulfill their contractual obligations, such as completing the project on time and within budget.
License and Permit Bonds: These bonds are required by government agencies to ensure that businesses comply with regulations and licensing requirements. For example, a contractor may be required to obtain a license bond to obtain a construction permit.
Court Bonds: Court bonds ensure that a party will comply with a court order or judgment. For example, an executor of an estate may be required to obtain a bond to ensure they properly manage the estate.
Fidelity Bonds: These bonds protect businesses from losses due to employee dishonesty, such as theft or embezzlement.
Benefits of Insurance Bonds
Obtaining an insurance bond provides several benefits, including:
To obtain an insurance bond, you'll need to work with an insurance company or bonding agency that specializes in surety bonds. The process typically involves completing an application, providing financial and business information, and paying a premium based on the bond amount and your credit history.
In conclusion, understanding insurance bonds is essential for any business owner or contractor who wants to comply with licensing and contractual requirements and provide financial protection to their clients. If you need assistance obtaining an insurance bond, contact Patrick Hecht at Hecht Insurance Advisors today for expert guidance and assistance.
How to Choose the Right Auto Insurance Coverage for You
As millions of baby boomers in the United States reach old age every year, experts predict the number of long-term care patients will double over the next 30 years.
What does that mean for you? It means that if you don't have a long-term care plan in place, you and your family may have to face some tough choices down the road.
Read on to learn why a long-term care plan is critical for every baby boomer.
Americans are living increasingly longer lives. Recent estimates give a healthy 65-year-old man a 24% chance of living to at least 90, and a healthy woman a 35% chance of living that long. While this is great news, the longer we live, the more likely we are to suffer from a long-term care event.
This all means that now is the time to put a plan in place.
If you or a loved one suffers from an illness that requires long-term care, get ready for some sticker shock. A year-long stay in a nursing home typically can cost between $40,000 and $80,000, often more. While prices vary by state and the type of care required, one thing is consistent across the board when it comes to long-term care: it's phenomenally expensive.
Just take a look at the average costs of various types of long-term care in the U.S.:
- $5,566 a month for a semi-private nursing home room
- $6,266 a month for a private nursing home room
- $2,968 a month for care in an assisted living unit
- $19 per hour for a home health aide.
As you can see, these costs can quickly add up and eat away at your nest egg. For example, let's say you hire a home aide to assist your husband just three times a week for four hours. At $19 an hour on average, that would come out at $228 a week. That adds up to nearly $12,000 a year. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover these exorbitant long-term care expenses.
To top it off, informal home care is simply not a realistic option for most families these days. After all, most children of baby boomers are struggling to balance their own work and family life. They simply don't have the time or resources to care for sick parents.
This is why it's critical for each and every family to plan ahead for a potentially expensive long-term care event. Without the proper protection, such an event could devastate a family's finances.
The simple solution: LTC insurance
How can boomers handle the skyrocketing costs of a potential long-term care event? The answer is simple: long-term care insurance. Without LTC coverage, a nursing home stay or another long-term care event could destroy your family's finances.
Because LTC insurance covers many of these expenses, this valuable coverage will not only protect your finances it will also help you to maintain your current standard of living if you or your spouse requires long-term care.
Without LTC insurance, the cost of a nursing home stay or a home health care aide could wreak havoc on your finances and whittle away at that nest egg you've worked so hard to build. Don't burden your loved ones with this kind of emotional and financial strain. Create a long-term care plan today to save your family a lot of heartache and stress tomorrow.
If you want to discuss your long-term care insurance options, call us. A professional can evaluate your unique situation and help you customize an effective plan.
How Having a Dog Can Benefit Your Health
Americans love their dogs. In 2017, there were nearly 90 million dogs living in American households, meaning that nearly half of all households had one.
Why do we let these furry four-legged friends into our lives? For most people, it's companionship as well as an excellent burglar alarm.
But there are other advantages to having a dog, including many health benefits to you and your family, like:
Less stress - Numerous studies have shown that people with dogs have lower stress levels. Engaging with your dog in whatever form can reduce your stress.
Illness detection - Dogs really see the world through their noses thanks to their keen sense of smell. Some dogs are sensitive enough to detect the onset of epileptic seizures, or the presence of some cancers. Many dog owners have reported their dog sniffing, licking or nudging areas of the body that later turned out to be cancerous.
More allergy tolerance - Children who are raised around pets have a reduced chance of having allergies. And growing up with a dog can boost immunity to pet allergies later in life.
Boosting brain development - Dogs boost brain development in children, along with emotional growth and connection to others.
Stronger heart - Studies have shown that petting a dog can lower your heart rate, and male pet owners tend to have reduced rates of heart disease.
Less chance of depression - Dog owners are less likely to be depressed. The companionship they offer has been shown to help people who have been diagnosed with clinical depression, largely because caring for another living thing can help relieve symptoms of depression and make people feel more positive.
Safety - Dogs are like a living alarm system. Barking dogs can keep burglars at bay and they can alert you if someone is snooping around the outside of your house, giving you a greater sense of security.
Second-to-Die Life Insurance: Ideal for Estate Tax Planning and More
Federal estate tax generally applies when a person's assets exceed a certain level, $11.4 million in 2019 and $11.58 million in 2020, at the time of death. The tax rate can be up to 40%. On top of that, some states also assess estate taxes.
That's where survivorship life insurance - also called "second-to-die" life insurance - comes in. A second-to-die life insurance policy pays out an immediate cash benefit, tax-free, upon the death of the second spouse - not the first.
One common purpose for second-to-die life insurance is to provide a large amount of liquidity to pay estate taxes.
Otherwise, heirs may be forced to sell assets in the estate at heavily discounted prices, or at a very poor time in the market to sell, to meet the estate tax deadline.
Second-to-die policies also typically have lower premiums for a given death benefit than standard single-insured life insurance policies.
Use of trusts to move life insurance out of the taxable estate
Who owns the insurance policy itself? It may be prudent to set up an irrevocable trust, and have the trust own the life policy, rather than own it directly in your own name.
Otherwise, the life insurance policy would be considered part of the taxable estate, which would increase your tax bill. Setting up a properly constructed irrevocable trust will help you avoid this problem.
To set up the trust, speak with a qualified attorney and your tax advisor. Only a licensed attorney can write the documents required to set up the trust and ensure that it meets the requirements necessary for the assets in the trust to be considered separate from the taxable estate of the deceased.
Once the trust is established, the trust can then become the owner of the life insurance policy.
But, the applications of the second-to-die life insurance policy don't stop there. Even if you don't expect your estate to be big enough to be subject to federal estate tax, there are a number of other uses for this type of life insurance:
- Funding for buy-sell agreements, where married couples operate their interests in a company together.
- To provide for equal distribution of an illiquid estate to children. For example, one child may be able to run an inherited family business or farm, while other children may not have the interest or aptitude. Life insurance allows one child to receive the business and the others to receive cash, rather than forcing them all to liquidate a viable family-owned business.
- Funding for special-needs children, who will still require support even after the death of the second parent. The parents can set up a special-needs trust to support the child - now an adult in many cases. This provides for their support without compromising their ability to qualify for Medicaid, food stamps or other need-based assistance.
- To provide funding for the education of grandchildren.
There are other specialized applications where second-to-die life insurance works extremely well as a planning tool. To see if this type of policy would benefit your family, call us at 540-712-2199, schedule an appointment, or video chat.
Homeowner's Insurance Issues during Coronavirus Outbreak
At first glance, it seems like the coronavirus outbreak would not affect your homeowner's coverage, since it's a disease that isn't likely to affect your premiums or force you to file an insurance claim if you or one of your family members contracts COVID-19.
But, because of the circumstances of many people now working from home and people self-isolating, there are a few instances you need to be aware of that could require you to take some action on your policies.
Also, if you have a claim at this time, you and the insurance company may need to make special arrangements as it's unlikely that the insurer can send a claims adjuster to your home during the ongoing health crisis. And what if you can't afford to renew your policies if your income stream has dried up?
Here's what you should know about your homeowner's insurance at this time.
Business at home
If you have had to move your business to your home, you may want to review your homeowner's coverage. The typical homeowner's police have very low limits on business property (usually up to about $2,000), which would likely not be enough if your equipment is damaged or stolen.
If you are suddenly running your business from home, please call us and we can go through your policy and, if needed, we can work with your insurer to see if they offer a home business endorsement or higher coverage limits for business property.
Also, if you are running an Airbnb out of your home for a room or another property, you should have purchased landlord coverage or home-sharing coverage as a typical homeowner's policy may not cover damage incurred by paying guests.
At this time, you are likely not getting anybody staying at your place, so you should contact your insurance company about pausing or canceling coverage since you will have no need for it for a while.
Filing a claim
If you have an incident in your home and need to file a claim, there's a good chance that your insurer will be unable to send an adjuster for an inspection. Most homeowner's insurers now have apps or offer you the ability to file your claim online on their website.
The procedures for filing a claim using an app or doing it on your insurer's website is pretty straightforward. You can start by taking pictures of the damage and providing receipts or a list of the property that may have been damaged or stolen. If it was stolen, make sure you file a police report and submit that with the claim as well.
However, if you have a high-dollar claim, the insurer may send an adjuster to inspect the damage before they pay the claim. For smaller claims, it's likely they will pay them out.
What insurers are doing
Insurers are making adjustments to their operations and policies during this time as well. Their actions will vary from company to company, but there are similarities in some of their responses:
- Some insurers have announced that they won't cancel a policy for a policyholder who is temporarily out of work or has seen their income drastically cut. These carriers are granting premium payment extensions.
- For those people whose policies may be in danger of lapsing because they cannot afford to pay the full premium, some insurers are working with them to reinstate the policies and set up a payment plan. They are often waiving reinstatement fees as well.
- Many insurers are postponing scheduled home inspections.
- If an insurer has asked that certain home repairs be carried out for a policy to renew, and the policyholder can't meet the inspection deadline, some companies are giving more time to finish the repairs.
The Limits and Gaps in a Business Owner's Policy
One option available to small businesses seeking an all-encompassing policy that packages property and liability coverage into one is the business owner's policy also known as the BOP.
These policies are designed to simplify risk management for small to mid-sized businesses and are generally a good bet for providing the greatest amount of coverage and the least amount of work. Over the years since they were first introduced in 1976, BOPs have evolved by including coverage extensions depending on the needs and nature of the policyholder's business.
Despite this evolution, however, and the general assumption that BOPs provide truly comprehensive coverage, there are some gaps that could catch you by surprise. There are ways to mitigate some of these gaps by purchasing additional insurance, but if you are aware of a BOP's limitations at least you won't be caught off-guard.
This article focuses on the typical Insurance Services Office BOP form, and some carriers have created their own with different coverages and limits. First, let's look at what the typical BOP covers:
- Property insurance (covering buildings, equipment and inventory).
- Business interruption insurance (covering losses that cause you to shut operations or reduce production for a time). Business interruption insurance can provide funds to offset lost profits or to pay continuing expenses (typically for up to a year for insured losses).
- Casualty or liability protection (covering harm done by employees or products to other people or their property).
- Crime insurance (covering loss of money or securities resulting from burglaries or robberies or destruction), as well as losses from employee theft or embezzlement.
- Liability insurance covering lawsuits arising from accidents (as when someone trips and falls on your business's property), or when you sell a product that damages the customer's property or you are accused of offenses such as slander, copyright or invasion of privacy.
- Vehicle coverage for rented or borrowed vehicles.
The main BOP gaps
Business income protection in a BOP is reasonably extensive for loss of income after an event such as a fire, as the policyholder is fully covered for the period it is closed during restoration, for up to 12 months. However, there are five main gaps in a BOP:
Payroll protection • A BOP policy will only cover payroll of "ordinary" employees for 60 days, unlike a standard business income policy. Ordinary employees are all of your staff excluding officers, executives, department managers and contract employees, among others.
If you want to extend payroll coverage for your ordinary employees beyond that, you have to purchase an endorsement for the additional period you want. Payroll for non-ordinary employees, as listed above, is covered for the entire period of your business's restoration up to the 12-month maximum.
Restoration period • The period of restoration, during which the policy will cover your business income, is limited to 12 months, and that time can pass quickly when you consider everything that may need to be done to return your firm to "operational capability." It's at that point that business income loss coverage ceases.
Consider that if your business burns to the ground, you will need to draw up new building plans, obtain building permits and make sure your new building is up to code. You also have to factor in the time it will take to rebuild the structure. If all of this takes longer than 12 months, business income loss coverage ceases. The policy will not extend protection beyond this period.
By the way, "operational capability" for the purposes of business income means that the company is operating at or near pre-loss production or sales capacity. It does not mean bringing the business income back to pre-loss levels.
Extended business income • The BOP will pay for lost income for an additional 30 days after the firm has reopened for business. In many cases, this amount of time will not be enough to bring your business income back to the same level as before the incident. You can purchase a policy extension for this coverage.
Seasonal increase limitations • One of the benefits of a BOP is that it will cover loss of business income in periods of seasonal increases. The standard increase limit is 25% for business personal property. The typical limit for most small business purchases is $100,000, but that does not automatically mean that the policy will cover up to $125,000 during the business's peak months.
That's because BOPs state that the business personal property limit must equal 100% of the average monthly values on hand for the 12 months preceding the loss. In other words, it takes into account the seasonal increases from the year before.
Here's an example of how the seasonal increase limit may yield the claims payment short of expectations: Randy's Raft Rental, which carries $100,000 in coverage, experiences an uptick in business in June, July and August. While it enjoys revenues of $100,000 a month in the nine other months, during the peak period revenue jumps to $125,000 per month.
To qualify for receiving the seasonal increase to ensure it is covered for the full $125,000 during the peak season, policy limits would have to be increased to $106,250 (the sum of 9 months x $100,000 + 3 months x $125,000, divided by 12). If you are confused, we can explain.
Electrical damage/system breakdown
Typical BOP policies specifically exclude losses caused by systems breakdowns, or damage from electrical or steam boiler problems. If you want this coverage, you can pick up the "Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage" endorsement.
How to Stay Sane if You Are Isolating
As more and more of us are being told to either self-isolate with our families or self-quarantine under doctor's orders, we are spending almost all of our time at home, inside.
Some of us will get cabin fever, especially those who live alone. Thanks to technology though, you can do different things to keep up socially with your friends and family. And there are also many low-tech ways to beat the boredom and be social.
You may want to consider the following:
Get together with friends you may have planned to meet for coffee, lunch or dinner but via video chat. You have plenty of options in tech that can be used on your computer and/or smartphone and tablet.
Brew yourself some coffee or your favorite tea and start up your Facetime, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Skype or any other app that has a video call feature.
If you want some human contact, you could even arrange to open one of the apps as you and a friend sit down for dinner in your respective abodes and have some nice conversation over a meal.
If you have a regular class with a yoga instructor, see if they want to start conducting their classes by video. There are a few teleconferencing applications that allow for a conference call-type format where participants are given a password to join the meeting.
The instructor can then teach the class to anyone of their current customers that wants to join. This is already happening in Spain and Italy.
Also, if you already have a gym membership, many gyms are starting to offer virtual classes as well. And many are also offering free classes online. Classes that are geared for groups are the most conducive to online training, such as Zumba, Pilates, yoga and aerobics-type sessions.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the coronavirus outbreak, you can use exercise to reduce your anxiety and clear your mind. One of the best ways to fight the stagnation of home quarantine is to continue to breathe properly and keep moving. Movement has an amazing effect on your mood and outlook.
Meet for a walk
You can go on a walk with a friend and keep your social distancing of 6 feet apart to catch up, and also to get the blood pumping. During this time of self-isolation, it's important that you get some form of exercise and long brisk walks are not only good for you, but they also tend to cheer you up.
If you have a dog, you can use this time to give your pet extra walks. Your pooch will never decline an invitation for a walk, and a pup can keep you company.
Also, if the grocery store is a short distance and you need to pick up a few supplies, consider walking or riding your bike.
Reach out to your parents, grandparents
Too many old people are lonely and, because of the self-isolation that the elderly are doing now, that can be compounded.
Use your newfound free time to keep in touch with your parents, grandparents and other seniors.
Use an app with video features. They will appreciate that you are checking on them and they will be happy to see your face. You can even organize one of those coffees or dinners with them, as well.
Establish a routine
Don't just veg out on the couch and binge-watch TV shows all day. It's best if you can establish a routine. If you are telecommuting, this shouldn't be a problem as you will have to be working during a good portion of your day Monday to Friday.
But if you are not working, resist the urge to stay up late watching movies or TV. Try to keep the same routine you had before the outbreak.
Virtual book groups
You may also be taking the time to catch up on your reading. Perhaps you could organize a book group with friends and family. Pick a book that everyone will read for a week or two, and then have regular video chat meetings to discuss the book, your opinions and thoughts.
It's hard to fight boredom and taking the path of least resistance if you are self-isolating, but you should try to focus on taking care of your body, mind and emotional well-being during this time.
Besides the above suggestions, you can try to learn something new, like playing keyboard or learning to make bread or yogurt or homebrewing.
And taking time to be in touch with others can stave off your loneliness and help you keep connected with the people you care about.
New Law Requires COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave, FMLA Benefits
Legislation signed into law by President Trump will extend sick leave benefits for workers who are sickened by the coronavirus, as well as provide for additional weeks of time off under the Family Medical Leave Act so they can be guaranteed of being able to return to their jobs afterwards.
Public and private employers alike need to pay extra attention to the added paid sick leave and FMLA provisions of this new law. Both sections apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Employees are entitled to two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick time for coronavirus-related issues. Eligible workers will receive their regular pay, up to $511 per day and $5,110 total. Those caring for someone subject to quarantine due to COVID-19, and parents of kids who can't go to school or daycare, will receive two-thirds of their regular pay, up to $200 daily with a $2,000 cap.
The emergency sick leave benefit can be used immediately, regardless of how long the worker has been employed with you. It can be used when they cannot work or telecommute for any one of the following reasons:
- The employee is subject to a government quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
- The employee has symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- The employee is caring for an individual subject to quarantine due to COVID-19;
- The employee needs to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to coronavirus.
The law does not require certification of an order by the government or a health care provider. But employers can require reasonable notice procedures, such as not announcing in the middle of a shift that they take COVID-19 sick leave. But they cannot require the employee to find a replacement worker to cover the shifts they will miss. Employers must post the law's requirements "in conspicuous places."
Employers are not allowed to discipline a worker who takes this sick or FMLA leave for coronavirus purposes and, if an employer refuses to provide the leave, they can be ordered to pay both back pay and statutory damages that are equal to the back pay the employee is owed.
This law provides payroll tax credits to offset all costs of providing these paid leaves.
The FMLA portion of the law provides for 10 additional weeks of FMLA leave, but only for those who must stay at home to care for a child whose school is closed or their childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19-related issues.
These 10 weeks will be paid at two-thirds the employee's regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day with a cap of $10,000. They will also receive 12 weeks of leave with job protection, though employers of health care or emergency care providers can exclude such employees.
The employee would likely use up their two weeks of paid sick leave before applying for FMLA benefits, which unlike traditional FMLA (which is unpaid), are paid leaves after the first 10 days under the new law.
Employees who have been working for more than 30 days are eligible, and the employer can require them to provide reasonable notice that they are taking leave.
A final word
This law only applies to employers with fewer than 500 workers, so it leaves uncovered those people who work for larger companies.
Also, employers need to make financial plans, as the credit cannot be claimed until after the employer pays their payroll taxes.
A bigger issue is that the law requires that workers be paid the sick leave even if they are not sick, but have been ordered to self-isolate. In states that have ordered workers to self-isolate, such as California, employers could be faced with an avalanche of paid sick leave claims all at once.
This law sunsets on Dec. 31, 2020.
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