Free consultation, Free advice
Your Insurance Expert In Greenville, SC
Serving Clients All Across the Nation:
Although I live in beautiful Greenville, I serve clients in many states across the US. So don't be afraid to call; I can provide help in most cases.
Why Use a Broker?
Because an independent insurance broker like myself can save you tons of time by not having to hold multiple repeat conversations with different insurance companies.
I can also help save you money by pointing you to insurance solutions you may have never come across in your own research. It never costs you more to use me. I get paid by the insurance companies when I place your business with them. You will never save even a dime by going directly to the insurance company, so there's no reason to try to "do it yourself". Insurance typically makes for a frustrating DIY project!
I Can Help You With
All types of Final Expense and Burial insurance, Health, Medicare, and Life insurance. Dental and Vision plans too.
There are a lot of options out there. Health Insurance can get complicated. I'll help you simplify things as much as possible.
From Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare Supplements or "MediGap", to Prescription Drug Plans, you probably need help!
Dental & Vision Plans
Sometimes you're better off paying cash, and sometimes Dental insurance makes sense for you. I'll show you the best options available to you.
These plans are easy to qualify for and are inexpensive. Typically there is no medical exam and you can get approved right away. Call me and we'll run some quotes together.
About Your Agent
Insurance is about relationships, getting to know your clients so you can serve them best. I love my clients and I always get the impress that the feeling is mutual! Most of my new clients are referred by current clients. I look forward to being a trusted resource for YOU too!
Licensed Insurance Agent with numerous companies.
Operating In South Carolina and many other states across the US.
Specializing in Health Insurance/ Medicare Plans / Dental insurance/ Life Insurance
Never any sales pressure. My goal is to educate you on the absolute best options to solve your current problem.
Your Greenville, SC Insurance Broker
Most people like to do a little bit of "snooping around" when they are considering doing business with someone. Can I find them on Facebook? Are they online anywhere? Has anyone mentioned anything negative about them? Can I find them in a mugshot somewhere?
All valid questions! (and yeah, sometimes I do the same thing!)
It has actually served its purpose: a few years back I passed on a business deal with a rather difficult fellow and my business partner sent me an article a year later that this same individual had MURDERED someone and they found his body in the woods! (Yeah... that could've been me!!!)
So I will save you a little bit of time and give you a very brief overview of my background and who I am as a person.
I was born and raised in Winter Park, Florida. Went to FSU (go Seminoles!) and then ended up joining the Navy.
I served during the first Gulf War and was stationed in Sigonella, Sicily, Italy. I served as a Military Police Officer with the Sigonella Police Dept, and did special assignments in anti-terrorism and was the Commanding Officer’s Personal Protection Officer.
After leaving the military, I worked for several Fortune 500 companies like Charles Schwab Investments, New York Life, and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
But I really cherish working for myself, so I have been called to Entrepreneurship many times, and that's where I find myself most comfortable. I like to be in control of my own destiny, who I work with, and my own schedule.
My favorite small business was the UFC GYM I owned and operated in Florida. I have been a Trainer for many many years, so I love helping people develop a lifestyle of exercise. It's one of my passions.
I encourage everyone to start their own workout programs at home in light of this pandemic. It is crucial for your health and quality of life as you get older to maintain a body that works and is functional and strong.
Another way to "stay strong" is to stay strong financially. It is my hope that I can help you lower the amount you're spending on insurance so that you can have more freedom in your budget to do more and have more. We only have one shot here at life on Earth, so we need to maximize our enjoyment, our freedom, and our satisfaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let's face it, some of these questions may be on your mind. I put them here so you can be more comfortable working with me.
How much does it cost?
Good question. Let me give you my philosophy on price: in 99% of the cases, I think you should be enrolling in the least expensive companies or plans out there. Sometimes the company doesn't have good ratings, or is not well known; in that case, I will usually suggest the next cheapest option to make sure the company itself is solid and you're going to feel good about your decision. So much of insurance is peace of mind; you need to sleep well at night. You can't do that if you are spending over your budget, or if you put your business with companies you have no confidence in.
How can we really get stuff done by phone? Isn't is difficult and awkward?
Not in the slightest. I think it is sooo much better, actually. Almost anything I would need to show you would be by computer, and you'll see it a lot better looking at your own computer than you would looking over my shoulder at mine. Or if we're just talking, it's easier to concentrate on the phone without all the visual distractions.
Almost all applications for insurance are online, as well as payment methods. You will typically sign your paperwork just by clicking on a link in your email from the insurance company, reviewing your app for accuracy, and typing your name as your signature.
Everyone at every age has been able to do this with no problem. Trust me.
Can I trust you working with my elderly mom? Will you work towards her best interest?
You have every right to be concerned. It is good that you take an interest in her well being and to make sure she is not disadvantaged by a manipulative peddler. This happens frequently.
What I normally suggest is that YOU be involved in the process. Perhaps we do calls together. Maybe you'd like to be included on all the emails. Maybe you'd like to approve of any of the changes we make in her coverage selections.
To all this I say YES! I love working this way because it really helps if there's a trusted family member in the loop.
Do you work with people by phone or in person?
All of my discussions with clients take place by phone. That's a saving grace in this COVID-19 environment as there's no reason to risk the health and wellbeing of you and your family by meeting with someone who goes from home to home spending time with people.
How do I know you're a real person? I get telemarketing calls all the time, are you just in a phone room somewhere?
No, not at all. I hate calling people. I'm not a telemarketer. If we're talking it's because YOU found ME. And called me. And I recommend that you never talk to a telemarketer about insurance. I too get their calls all the time, and am flabbergasted by how rude and insulting they can be when they find out you're not buying from them.
I will be starting an organization soon that will help people become aware of these online and telephonic scams and prepare themselves to defend against these dishonest practices.
I am licensed, have had NUMEROUS background checks, fingerprints, FBI checks, criminal history checks, etc. I have never been accused of an unfair practice, never had a consumer complaint, never been arrested for any reason.
I get up every morning to help people. People just like you!
What if I want to know more about you?
You might want to read some of the over 400 articles I've written on Quora. (Just type in my name, you'll see me) This is 6 years worth of writing content for the sole purpose of helping people, and with no self promotion.
I have also been a mentor at a troubled youth facility, spent years feeding the homeless, mentored several entrepreneurs, and served our country in time of war. I'm all about "adding value" and making the world a better place.
(oh, btw, I mentioned Quora above. If you go there to read my articles, be careful: Quora can be highly addicting!)
Never an exciting topic...More like a necessary evil. However, you may very well need it. I can help you examine your options as painlessly as possible, with zero sales pressure.
What you need to know...
Most people that call me know ZERO about what options are out there for them. I wouldn't either if I weren't in the business. It's confusing. And nobody talks about it because health insurance isn't about what "products" you buy. Instead it's about rules and regulations and what you're able to qualify for and WHEN you're able to enroll in a certain plan type, etc.
So let me give you a birdseye view, just so you know the general landscape. There are basically 3 types of health insurance: (1) The ACA (Obamacare) marketplace; (2) Off-market plans that are similar to ACA, but only available in select states; and (3) Term Medical policies that cover you for a specific period of time, like 2 or 3 years, or 6 months.
Then there is a separate category of plans that are NOT major medical type policies. In other words, they perform poorly if you're using them for catastrophic coverage. They are called "Indemnity" plans or "Limited Benefit" plans. Many times these are sold as "health insurance", but I caution clients to not rely on these plans as their sole coverage unless they just absolutely cannot afford anything better. And not to totally poo-poo these plans.. when used appropriately in an overall plan design where they function as they're meant to, they can be absolutely great. I'll help you understand how these may or may not fit into your coverage portfolio.
Lastly, there are specified illness policies such as those for cancer, for heart attack and stroke, for critical illness, for hospital stays, etc. I will help you know when or how these plans may be right or wrong for your situation.
Call to discuss your needs
I'll need to gather all kinds of data about you. I hope it won't sound like a "grilling" or the "third degree". But I just need a thorough picture so I can make sure you're presented with EXACTLY the right plan to fit your situation.
I won't be able to give any prices yet
When we get off the phone, this is my time to go to work for you. Research, research, research. Narrowing down options. Weighing the pros and cons of various plans with varying value for the dollar.
Then we'll have a follow up call to discuss your options
I'll send you by email anything I need you to look at. We'll go over coverage options and you'll need to do a "gut check" to see how it feels to you. If there's other ways you can go that aren't with me but I think are in your best interest, I'll tell you.
Professional service and advice
After the call, if you want help enrolling in the plans, I'll give you as much help as I can. If you want to think about it and get back to me later, that is perfectly fine. If you need to check with spouse first, wonderful. Absolutely no pressure. It all has to feel right to you and you need to feel this is the best option out there for you. I totally get that.
Some facts on why you may need Health Insurance
Without adequate Health Insurance, an accident or serious medical treatment can result in financial ruin. In fact, 66% of people who file for bankruptcy cite health care costs as a key contributor.
Half of the people I talk to are paying AT LEAST $3000 more per year for their coverage than they need to. Over 10 years that's $30k down the drain. What else could you do with that money?
Many families have not saved enough to cover even minor emergencies. Overpaying for health insurance premiums is one way Americans keep themselves cash-poor.
About half of all Americans have a Health Insurance plan provided by their employer. The other half choose ACA (Obamacare) plans or purchase off-market (non-Obamacare) plans. Except, of course, the people who remain without insurance altogether.
The number of uninsured people under age 65 is approx. 32 million! That is a tremendous amount of familes at risk for financial devastation that may be able to be prevented.
Final Expense Insurance
These plans are usually in amounts just enough to cover funeral, burial, ceremony, cremation, and whatever other final expenses may remain so that this cost is not passed on to surviving loved ones.
What you need to know...
People often ask me, "What do these plans cover?" "What's included?" "How does it work?"
This tells me that Final Expense is greatly misunderstood or these types of questions wouldn't arise. Final Expense is just life insurance. Plain and simple. You purchase a policy of $20,000, for example. When you pass away your beneficiary receives a check for $20,000. As I said, "It's life insurance. It is simply a sum of money paid upon your death.
Now what you choose to do with the money is another conversation. More accurately, what your beneficiary chooses to do. You will name whatever party is going to be responsible for paying your funeral costs as your beneficiary. They will then pay the funeral home and take care of other matters related to your death. There are a lot of "little fees" that come together to add up to a lot of money.
For most people $10,000 covers this pretty well, even if minimally. If you plan to have a more elaborate or expensive funeral, you might want a slightly larger policy.
If you want to use part of these proceeds to leave a little bit of cash to a loved one, you simply add that into the size of policy you buy.
Below I go into specifics about these types of policies.
Final Expense policies are Whole Life
This means they last your whole life. They should never be "term insurance", which last only a designated amount of years, such as 10 or 20. For Final Expense, you want to be guaranteed that the policy will be in force when you die, and you never know how long you might live, so it needs to be Whole Life, nothing else.
The Premiums Never Increase
Whatever age you are when you first purchase the policy, that determines what monthly premium you will pay, and that stays consistent year after year. They are contractually guaranteed to never increase in price, even if your condition of health worsens.
You Cannot Be Cancelled for Any Reason
Any reason other than the failure to pay for the policy. As long you keep your premium payments up, the policy will be non-cancellable by the insurance company, so you never have to worry.
These policies also build cash value, so you can select to automatically borrow from that cash value to pay for your premiums in the event you should forget to pay
Policies are EASY to Qualify For
No matter what your health condition: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes... even more severe conditions such as COPD or congestive heart failure, chances are very good that I can find you a policy you can qualify for. For severe conditions, companies have a 2 or 3 year waiting period for death by natural causes. You will not select this type of policy unless you cannot qualify for any other type. It is used as a last resort so that you don't have to go without coverage.
Medicare can be so confusing. I would be happy to help guide you through your available options with a goal to keep your costs as low as possible.
What you need to know...
Medicare is made up of various "parts". Literally. You've got Part A for Hospital coverage. Part B for doctors and outpatient treatment. Part C which are not actually part of Original Medicare but are sold by private companies and called "Medicare Advantage". Part D is prescription drug coverage; again, not part of Original Medicare, but sold by private companies.
Then you also have Medicare Supplements. These aren't called Parts A, B, C, D, etc. However, they ARE given "plan" names, like "Plan F", "Plan G", "Plan N". Confused yet? You won't be after we have our consultation. I'll make everything very easy to grasp and remember and I'll send you a "presentation" with everything we discuss so you'll have something to reference later. This will go over all these Medicare Parts, as well as the exact prices of any coverage options we explore together.
Lastly, Medicare doesn't cover Dental or Vision. That coverage has to be found in a private plan. It can also be part of a Medicare Advantage plan. What you really need to know is: you can have Original Medicare by itself, with a Supplement; or drop Original Medicare for a "Medicare Advantage" plan
I will help you explore these differences so you can see what makes the best fit for YOUR particular situation. I will spend as much time with you as it takes to make sure you understand everything.
First I Get to Know Your Needs
I'll need to know when you enrolled in medicare, a little about your health, what medicines you take, any specific doctors or hospitals you need to ensure are on your plan. I'll need to know what you like and don't like about your current Medicare plan(s).
If you are shopping for a spouse as well, I will need to discuss his/her specifics too so that I can present plan options for both of you that are tailored for your individual situations.
Then I Research Your Options
I will painstakingly research your drug costs so that you can be shown the plan or plans that will cover them most cheaply.
I will look at Medicare Advantage Plans in your area and see if any might make a good fit.
I will look at Medicare Supplement prices to see if you are currently paying more than you need to.
If you need Dental or Vision coverage, or anything else, I will also look into those options for you.
We Schedule a Consultation to Talk In-depth About Your Choices
I will typically send you a personalized presentation that you can look at as we talk through my research findings for you. I find people can retain a lot more when they are both looking at and hearing the information at the same time. It also gives you something to keep to refresh your memory when we got off the phone. Many agents won't do this because they rely on "fast talking" and confusion to manipulate you into a "sale". There are a ton of sharks out there.
Professional Advice and Service
After our consultation, you may decide you want to change your Medicare Supplement, prescription drug plan, etc. I would be happy to complete those applications for you to make the process as easy as I can.
And I won't abandon you. I'll be here, day after day, month after month, to answer your questions, help you with issues, and review your coverage options every year to make sure that if there are any ways to save money for the next year, we take a hard look at those alternatives.
Your Medicare Dance Partner
Each year you need to find a partner for the "Medicare dance". You'll have your choice of dozens that will bombard you with unwanted phone calls. Or you can stick with one partner who knows your moves and won't step on your toes.
My clients always feel like family to me. My hope is that you will feel that same way. I want to be the trusted "friend in the business" that you can rely on year after year to make each Medicare season as easy as possible.
The #1 complaint I get is: "I'm getting WAY too much mail; seeing WAY to many ads; getting WAY too many telemarketing calls from salesmen!!!"
All of that is absolute yuck. I know. But once you've secured me as an agent, you won't need to ever read another piece of sales literature, or be accosted on the phone by a pushy telemarketer. You will be able to ignore ALL of that noise knowing that you and I will have an appointment each year to discuss anything going on in the market that you need to know about and that any attractive alternatives or new plans are explored.
This should save you weeks of frustration, confusion, and misdirection. Having ONE agent that knows YOU, your needs, and your plans makes every year easy breezy!
Here's why you need this
It seems that each year Medicare gets more confusing. New plans, new networks, new deductibles, new copays. Let's work together so that we keep a firm grasp on everything and nothing takes us by surprise.
What worked for you one year may in fact not be what works best the next. It's important to review your plans annually, especially Prescription Drug Plans.
Having a trusted partner you can rely on year after year saves countless time trying to explain your situation to dozens of new individuals who may or may not "get it", and who see you only as a "sale".
Medicare Insurance is a complete departure from the health insurance coverage you had before turning 65. You need someone who understands these differences and can lead you to the best new options that you will be happy with for the lowest price possible.
I'm not in a phone room. I don't telemarket. I don't have "sales quotas" to meet. I didn't pay to get your info so that I could harass you endless until you buy because I need to make my money back. I treat you with dignity and respect and only have your best interest in mind, even if that means not "making a sale".
Dental & Vision Insurance
I can help you find coverage for Dental and/or Vision. There are a few good plans out there, and a lot of junk ones. I'll help you find a "good" one.
What you need to know...
There are about 15-20 companies out there that offer true dental "insurance". Not a dental "plan", but actual insurance. Out of that 15-20, there are a few good choices, a few mediocre ones, and several unattractive ones.
How do you know good dental insurance from bad? First thing you need to do is add up how much you'll actually be paying in premiums over the course of a year.
Then look at the total dollar amount of benefits that plan provides. Is it $1000, $1500, $2000? Does the amount your paying each year seem like an adequate tradeoff for the amount of premium you're parting with?
Then we have to look at the dentists that are covered. Do you have a dentist that you absolutely must see? Then you need to check the plan's network. If your dentist isn't there, it doesn't matter how "good" the plan is, it simply won't work "good" for you.
You also need to look at waiting periods. If you are in desperate need for "major" work, but the plan has a 12-mo waiting period on "major" coverage, that is something to know up front.
These same principles can be used for Vision coverage. These are the types of things we'll discuss as we explore your Dental/Vision options.
Let's Discuss Your Needs
When someone writes me and says "give me a quote!"; I can't get very far with that. Selecting the right coverage for you is not that simple. So let's talk about your needs, the type of work you foresee needing done and when. How much total coverage you need. Whether you need to see a specific dentist or are open to a new one. Whether or not you need Vision coverage included with your plan.
Let's Review Your Options
I won't overwhelm you with information. There will typically be just one or two companies in the market that fit all of your criteria. From the one best company, they might have various plans underneath their umbrella. Narrowing down what plan is going to be the best value for your money is the way I can best serve you.
How to save money
Sometimes due to high premiums, a dental "plan" can be a better choice for you than actual dental insurance. There are typically 10-15 of these plans in your area. We'll look at them and see what might fit your needs best. These cost much less than actual "insurance".
I will be there for you "after the sale". I'm not going anywhere. Call anytime. You are never a bother.
Need help finding a new dentist, need to look at other plans? It's my pleasure to help make your life better if I can. I'd be happy to be your agent for life, even if you move to another state.
Don't be afraid of the dentist
Nobody likes going to the dentist. They "put foreign objects in your mouth". Haven't we always heard that's a no-no? Some of those items are sharp!
But even worse is neglecting your dental health because you are either apprehensive or feel that you cannot afford to get the care you need.
By having an agent you know and trust by your side to help you get coverage you can afford, the problem suddenly becomes manageable.
Let's see what we can do together. Let's get you coverage that won't burst your budget and help you have the peace of mind that you'll be able to take care of your dental needs whenever they arise.
Here's why you need this
Your dental coverage may consist of actual "insurance" or simply dental discount plans. Both have their place, but one is typically better than another for your situation. Usually "budget" is the deciding factor.
Vision coverage can be well worth it. Having a low copay to get an exam, then a low copay for lenses, and an "allowance" to get the frames of your choice with no money out of pocket is huge.
Many Americans neglect their eyesight or their dental health because they procrastinate until they get adequate coverage. This can needlessly exacerbate the problem, especially if we may be able to find affordable coverage for you.
Dental plans can be decent. Not “wonderful”, but decent. Be careful though: many have limited coverage and high premiums. I’ll help you navigate this terrain; no worries.
Neglect of dental health can lead to other health complications if not treated. Infections in the teeth or gums can travel to other parts of the body and create a surprising medical emergency.
Find relevant insurance links and resources.
https://insurancecommentary.com/ - Property and Casualty Insurance Commentary is a blog by Bill Wilson on insurance industry issues.
https://lifehappens.org/ - Life happens is an organization that focuses on educating people about life, disability, and long-term care insurance to help them put a strong financial foundation.
https://www.simplyinsurance.com/ - Simply Insurance's mission is to educate the average person about insurance and to make their buying process simple.
My site is new. I will soon by adding "interesting" articles (you be the judge) so bear with me as this is a "work in progress".
5 Things You Always Need To Check Before Getting Medicare Insurance
Written by: Christopher Hinton
Published: 26 Nov, 2020
The first thing you need to know is that the agent is licensed!
This sounds like complete common sense, but an example from last month shows you can't always count on appearances. I was speaking with a gentleman in Texas who wanted to enroll in a specific plan with me. I did the research and gave him a quote.
He says, "$135? I got a cheaper quote for that about 6 months ago from another agent."
I knew that the price could not have changed, so as I probed further into this price discrepancy he mentions, "Well, my wife actually looked into getting the policy but she found out he wasn't licensed."
Whaaaat??? An unlicensed insurance agent?? I have no idea what this "agent" had in mind as he was trying to gain this client's business. He could not even be contracted with the carrier without being licensed. He could not have gotten paid by the carrier. So what was he going to do with this client's money? I have no idea.
Be careful. Trust but verify.
The second item you need to check are your prescriptions
Clients are quick to forget that what matters is not the "premium" (price) for their drug plan; it's the premium PLUS the total cost of the drugs for the year that matters.
It's tempting to select a very inexpensive prescription drug plan (PDP), especially as you're comparing notes with friends, family, and neighbors about their coverage. They have a tendency to make you second guess yourself if you find out their premium is lower than yours. "You should talk to MY guy!", they say.
What they don't understand is that the best agents will actually take all of your prescription medicine information, put it into software that will analyze the cost of each drug across various plan, then total those figures together with the annual premium of the PDP, and then sort those plans for you from least expensive to most expensive.
That is the main criteria you will use for selecting your plan. You don't need to talk to Uncle Bob's "guy" because he happened to know of a plan with a cheaper premium. As Kramer from Seinfeld once quipped, "What is this, amateur hour???"
The third thing you need to verify is the network of doctors and other providers
Never let an insurance agent enroll you in a plan without a discussion of your doctors or other important providers and facilities that may be crucial to your satisfaction on your plan.
If you have major heart problems, or cancer, or particular health needs for which you've already assembled a team of doctors and specialists around, can you imagine your disappointment when you find out you can't go see any of them anymore? At least for the next year?
This is outrageous. And many agents are in it "for the quick sale", and they could not care less about how happy you are in your plan, or how well that plan serves your needs. Caveat emptor.
The fourth thing you want to know is the likelihood of price increases
A plan might sound particularly appealing when an agent first quotes it. But is it a plan that is notorious for getting clients in with a lowball offer only to immediately raise the price on subsequent years?
Here's the problem with that: if your health changes, depending on the type of plan you've enrolled in, you may be stuck. Forever. Yikes.
Lastly, have you chosen the right agent?
Ideally, a client-agent relationship should last a lifetime. It's a lot easier to have one agent who knows the entirety of your needs, one who's been around the block with you, who you don't have to explain your entire list of needs to from scratch every year.
It's more efficient to maintain the momentum of a body in motion than to waste energy on complete stops and complete starts every year. So getting a solid relationship formed and maintaining that relationship is a lot more rewarding than answering the slew of phone calls that come every season and telling your personal, health, and financial business to complete strangers.
But that's for you to decide. As for me, that's how I like to do business.
What is the Difference Between an Agent and a Broker?
Written by: Christopher Hinton
Published: January 1, 2021
An oft-asked question. Let's break it down and then consider its significance.
Technically, an agent is someone who represents an insurance company. A broker is someone who represents the client.
I am a broker, so as much as I'd like to tout the differences and huge benefit of going with a broker, I think in actuality the distinction between broker and agent isn't all that large.
Most times, the words are used interchangeably. Most insurance brokers also refer to themselves as agents. When you get your insurance license, it is typically called an "agent" license. You don't apply for a "broker's" license.
And although an agent will often have the interests of the insurance company forefront in mind, and a broker supposedly has the interests of the client forefront in mind, the fact is: we are all human. There is good and bad in everyone. Some people are more bad than good; and some are more good than bad.
A powerful force among our species is self interest. Most agents or brokers mostly have themselves in mind. Both are looking to make a living. Sure, 50% of insurance professionals may try to always do what's best for the client. But the one distinction that may make a difference here is: a broker will have more tools in his/her arsenal to serve the client. That leads to an increased likelihood that they broker just may have access to the product that is the best fit for the client's needs.
An agent may represent one company, eg. New York Life, or Humana.
They are looking to fit the client into a product that happens to be in their portfolio. After all, they can do nothing else. They aren't contracted with or allowed to sell other companies' products. There might be a better fit or a lower price available elsewhere, and the agent cannot get it for the client. In all fairness, it may just as well be the what the agent has in their portfolio is indeed a terrific fit for the client.
Be careful not to judge who might best be able to help you based on a title. You are sometimes better off going with a great agent, who is a great person, who will understand you and your needs and serve you year after year than you will be going with a broker who is simply trying to sell you something and move on.
And I say that as a broker, so....
You are best off trusting your gut instinct. You are the one who will always have your best interest in mind. Chose the individual you work with carefully based on your interaction and relationship. You can often tell when someone is trying to "sell" you something, whether they're an agent or a broker.
What are the leading causes of death in South Carolina?
Written by: Christopher Hinton
Published: February 11, 2021
According to the CDC
1. The number one cause of death in SC is Heart Disease, causing over 10,000 deaths per year.
2. The second leading cause is Cancer, and it's almost tied for number one.
4. Respiratory diseases
8. Kidney Disease
In the US, the average Life Expectancy is 79.1 years, but in SC it is 77.
There are 5 ratings organizations that rate the financial strength of insurance companies. They are Standard and Poor's, Fitch, Weiss, AM Best, and Moodys.
Each org has a different code or system so be careful when you're interpreting the results. An "A" from one company is not necessarily an "A" from another. For example, with Standard and Poor's, an "A" is their third best rating. Their best is a "AAA".
You should compare 2 or 3 independent ratings before making a definitive judgment on how much you trust a particular insurance company's financial strength.
If you'd like to read more on any one of the above ratings organizations, links to their websites are provided below:
AM Best http://www.ambest.com/home/default.aspx
State resources for insurance consumers:
State Guarantee association: https://www.sclifega.org/
The state life and health guaranty association, a special creation of state law, is required to protect policyholders of an insolvent insurance company. The guaranty association cooperates with the commissioner and the deputy receiver in determining whether the company can be rehabilitated or whether policies should be transferred to other insurance companies and the failed company liquidated.
Life and health insurance guaranty associations fulfill their statutory obligations by providing continued protection for policyholders. When policyholders in more than one state are affected, a task force of guaranty association representatives and accounting, actuarial and legal experts work with the insurance commissioner to develop a plan to protect policyholders.
SC Dept of insurance: https://www.doi.sc.gov/
The Department of Insurance is an agency of the Governor's Cabinet and is managed and operated by the Director who is appointed by, and serves at the will of, the Governor upon the advice and consent of the SC Senate.
Free look period:
The “free look” period. Any South Carolina resident buying a life insurance policy has 10 days to back out of coverage and receive a full refund of any premiums he has paid. If you obtain your policy through the mail, this “free look” period expands to a full 30 days. Some insurers may offer even longer trial periods, at their option.
The grace period is a length of time after a missed due premium payment, where the contract is not allowed to lapse. During this time if the insured dies and a valid claim is filed, the insurance company must make a full payment to the beneficiaries. In South Carolina, the Grace period is one month.
How Do I "Donate My Body To Science" When I Die?
Written by: Christopher Hinton
Published: March 1, 2021
I'm sure you've heard the concept of "donating one's body to science". In fact, if you're at a cocktail party and the topic turns to dying and burials (fun party, huh?) you'll invariably hear someone claim that they're "going to have their body donated to science". Chances are, they don't really understand what that means or how to do it. But you will, because over the next few short minutes I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about the process.
We'll start this story in the university lab. There, lying still and quiet on a table before the eager medical students, is a body for them to study and work on. How did it get there? This person was one of those at a cocktail party who donated their body to science. So yes, it really does happen, and in this university classroom is living proof! Well, not living... but proof nontheless! About 10,000-20,000 people each year make this choice in the United States.
The How and Why:
Most do it because they feel like they're giving back to society, to progress, to science. And they are. These donated bodies are a huge help to the study of medicine and disease. Medical students get a realistic study of anatomy and surgery; researchers are able to make progress on their study of diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and heart disease.
The first step in this process is contacting an organization who will handle the details of this for you. You will certainly want to set all of this up in advance of death. Things become complicated if these provisions weren't specified ahead of time. These organizations can help you navigate any city or state-specific requirements. Depending on your state, here are a few organizations to contact:
The Mayo Clinic - https://www.mayoclinic.org/body-donation/making-donation
MedCure - https://medcure.org/donor/
Science Care - https://www.sciencecare.com/
BioGift.org - https://biogift.org/
The National Family Services Desk can be reached at 800-727-0700
How much does it cost?
Good question. In almost every case where the person is within the state, nothing. The organization you contact will be pleased to provide this service for free. In some cases, they may even pay a small stipend to help with any costs you may incur.
Oftentimes the body will be returned to the family in case the person's wish was to both be donated to science and have a burial in the place of their choice, possibly with a loved one, a pre-paid burial plot, or a cemetery of sentimental meaning to the family. You may even have a funeral ceremony first before the body is transported to the donation organization. If there is no desire to return the body to the family, often a cremation will be provided free of charge.
If you are a veteran you may be wondering if there is a special program through the VA you should go through? No there's not. You will simply contact any one of the private organizations. However, any special burial arrangements you might be entitled to because of your veteran status are still in effect, so you can have any particular military burial that you would have otherwise planned.
Who Can Qualify?
Ask the organization you contact what their parameters are for donation. Most likely, you'll qualify. Some bodies will not, however. If a body has been severely burned, for example, it may not be usable in most studies. If a body is morbidly obese it may not qualify either, as well as a body that died from a severe contagious disease. Age is not a factor, however.
If you are also donating organs, be aware that this may disqualify you from the organization you have selected, so make sure you ask and clarify this up front.
Donating your body to science is just one more selfless act you can perform while you're still on this Earth. It's a great way to "pay it forward" and many people feel good that they won't be making yet another "footprint" on the Earth with a burial plot. Search around for the right organization for you to help you with this process. You'll want to find one that shares your values and goals. And at a typically zero cost, you can't go wrong.
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GET YOUR BURIAL EXPENSE QUOTES
Written by: Christopher Hinton
Published: 26 Nov, 2020
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