insurance docs

What insurance documents do you need copies of in an emergency?

We received such a positive response to our previous article detailing the medical related items needed in an emergency that we decided to follow it up with a second part: insurance documents needed in case of an unexpected life event. These events range from auto accidents, floods, storms, theft, and death of a loved one, just to name a few. After one of these situations, most people don’t possess their full mental faculty and may even be grieving. The last thing on their minds is dealing with an insurance company. Being prepared now and storing these documents in a safe and easily accessible location will greatly reduce time, headache, and possibly save you money. So, here are some of the most important insurance documents you will need.

  1. Homeowner’s/property insurance: Do you know where your policy is located right now? Have you ever tried to make a claim after a pipe flooded and ruined your electronics or carpet? Some insurance adjusters are better than others and more helpful. Make sure you know what is covered in your policy and what the insurance company is required to do. They will try to limit their exposure and knowing your rights and coverage limits will be critical.
  2. Photos/receipts of your tangible items: This is closely related to your homeowner’s and/or rental policy. Did you have a $3,000 turntable that was destroyed by a fire? How are you going to prove that it was worth that amount? The burden is on you. Again, an adjuster will have to make this determination. The more proof you have, the more likely you will get full reimbursement. If you don’t have a receipt(like me who usually loses them) make sure you take photos and store them in separate and safe location like your DocuVital account. It doesn’t do any good to have copies of your information in the same place you live-i.e-a flood or fire or storm can destroy it just the same. Redundancy of your information is critical, just like a computer engineer backs up her information in a separate cloud location.
  3. Rental insurance policy: See # 1 above. More and more people today, especially Millenials, do not own their homes but prefer the flexibility of renting. Even the same, you will need a rental policy to protect your personal belongings. Your landlord doesn’t cover your items in the event of damage.
  4. Life insurance policy: We cannot state how important it is to store this information in a safe place. If a loved one dies, you will be suffering extreme grief. However, your life will need to go on and you likely will need the financial support from the life insurance policy immediately. Bills don’t stop. Make sure you know where the policy is located, that it is paid and up to date, and that it has sufficient coverage to protect you. These are the basic items that we all should have stored in a secure location that is easily accessible anytime, from anywhere. Your DocuVital account can handle all of this for you. Taking these simple steps now will protect you and your family down the road.
medical docs

What medical items do you need in an emergency?

I frequently get asked the question by people, “What are the most important things I need to have backed up and stored in case of an emergency or unexpected life event?” It is too late to compile the items once you have gone through a medical emergency, storm, fire, flood, theft, accident, death of a loved one, etc. So what are the things you need stored in advance? While the list is too long to discuss here and is unique to each person depending on their age, stage of life, and financial situation, there are some very basic items that almost everyone shares in common. In this article I will focus first on the most important medical related items every person should have stored in a separate, secure location in case of an emergency.

  1. Health Insurance card and ID’s.-You don’t want to get hit with unexpected hospital bills simply because you did not have proof of insurance. As an attorney I have helped far too many clients with erroneous billing issues. It is a nightmare.
  2. List of medications.-In time of a medical crisis, it is crucial that the physicians diagnose and treat you based on all the medical information possible and knowing what medicines you are taking will determine what other medications you can be prescribed.
  3. Copy of living will.-Should you become incapacitated and unable to communicate, the last thing you want is your family to fight over your end of life care and wishes. Make sure your wishes(advance directives) are explicitly spelled out and that this document can be located easily. For example, would you want to be kept alive on a breathing machine? Families have been destroyed over these difficult decisions and ultimately the fate will rest in the hands of a judge, not you, if you did not plan ahead.
  4. Medical history.-Have you had a recent back surgery? Do you have a herniated disc? Do you have diverticulitis? The quicker a doctor can locate this information, the quicker he or she can treat you effectively.
  5. Family members and contact information.-If you have an accident or medical emergency and you are alone, you want the medical professionals to contact your loved ones asap. I recommend keeping a list of those relatives and/or friends who you want to be notified.

These are the basic items that we all should have stored in a secure location that is easily accessible anytime, from anywhere.  Your DocuVital account can handle of this for you.  Taking these simple steps now will protect you and your family down the road.

Financial institutions embrace FinTechs

As #FinTech #startups continue to make progress, traditional financial institutions have become more open to working with FinTechs as partners, rather than competitors. According to the Capgemini 2017 World FinTech Report, 76.7% of executives agree that FinTechs provide partnership opportunities.

The “hidden” costs of grief in the workplace

The Grief Recovery Institute conducted a landmark study of the “hidden” annual costs of grief in the workplace in 2003. The findings were quite astonishing. The major causes of employee grief in order of severity are: death of a loved one, divorce, family crisis, financial loss, death of extended family or friends, major lifestyle alteration, loss of a pet, finally all other causes. “Grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to the change or end in any familiar pattern of behavior. Within those normal reactions exists the possibility of the entire range of human emotions.

Traditional thinking in the workplace is that financial stress is the major cause of grief and stress. However, death of a loved one is by far the greatest issue for employees. All other causes above are far behind in their cost to employers. The total annual cost of employee grief to US employers was $75 billion in 2003 and death of a loved one accounted for $37.6 billion alone. It is more than double the cost of all the other causes of grief combined! When adjusted to 2017 dollars, death of a loved one taxes employers more from $75-$100 billion annually. In fact, the costs of grief are often hidden under the statistics. For example, the Council on Alcoholism estimates that alcohol abuse contributes annual costs to industry in excess of $276 billion. What that statistic omits is the fact that the vast majority of alcohol relapses occur as the direct result of the death of a loved one or a divorce or other romantic break-up. So the cost of losing a loved one likely far exceeds $100 billion per year.

85% of management level decision makers indicate that their decision making ranked from Very Poor to Fair in the weeks or months following the grief incident that affected them. 60% of those responding Fair, Poor or Very Poor, indicate that some of their decisions definitely had direct negative financial impact on their company.

The affect of the grief incident are even much greater among employees with a physical job.  90% of those in physical jobs [i.e. not white collar] indicate a much higher incidence of physical injuries due to reduced concentration in the weeks or months following the grief incident [Compared to their ability to concentrate prior to the major loss.] 91% indicate that the accident or injury could have been avoided if they were better able to concentrate. This will translate into more workplace injuries and thus higher workers’ compensation premiums and settlements, further hurting the company bottom line and the employees, physically.

To a great degree the costs are unnecessary and avoidable. They could be substantially mitigated by heightened awareness and some simple, practical shifts in communication. The reduced cost of grief can be accomplished without great expense. Giving employees tools to plan ahead so that they can deal with their grief more effectively can greatly reduce the effects of their grief. As Human Resource Technology(HRTech) startups develop solutions for employers, it will be incumbent for HR managers to stay abreast of the evolving landscape and select those technologies that can ease the grief for their employees and also help the company’s bottom line.

Majority of world is using a FinTech solution

50.2% of people worldwide have already started using a FinTech provider aside from their traditional financial institution for banking, insurance, payments, or investment management. -Capgemini 2017 World Fintech Report