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John Kovats's blog

Messy Divorces and Jointly Owned Insurance

Divorce today is just a way of life. Most people that haven't been through divorce personally, know someone well, that has been through it. Everybody knows that in spite of all the other things that need to be done, there is the matter of the division of assets that need to take place. This discussion will be about the assets known as life insurance.

Children, Step Children, Ex Spouses and Benefits

In today's world with the failure rate of marriages in excess of 50% there are many blended family situations. This often poses questions about who can be covered under benefit packages with divorced and separated couples, especially those with dependents.

Benefits and Working Past 65

Many people today are working past age 65. I was speaking to a gentleman yesterday who was 67 and had just sold his business. What were his options?? It really required some discussion about his personal needs. He didn't want drug coverage, wanted dental, eyeglasses, extended health benefits and travel insuramce. Can we help him? You bet!

Major Changes Coming to Health Spending Accounts says CRA

Health Spending Accounts and Health and Welfare Trusts have been an amazing tool that many business people have taken advantage of. I am copying this report as it was sent to me. For those making regular deposits or working on a "claims paid" basis, don't worry about it. Only the "blatant" stretching of the rules are being addressed by CRA.

HSA's and HWT's remain as great tools to put your personal medical expenses, and/or those of your employees, as complete business expenses and the benefits remain as non taxable personal benefits.

What About Wills,Why Do I Need One?

People often put off the responsibility of writing a new will or updating an existing will. I want to give a brief overview of what this subject is about.

Wills basically identify how your assetts are distributed, how your debts are to be repaid, any special bequests and the guardianship of minor children. Dying without a will is known as dying "intestate".

Working Past Age 65 and Benefit Plans

Today many people are working past age 65. Most benefit packages are set up to reduce some benefits at 65 and discontinue others. If you are an employee or an employer and working past age 65 is on the horizon, make sure your benefits carrier is aware of what is going on and educate yourself as well. Here are a few comments on things you should be reviewing.

Why Life Insurance Rates are Increasing and That is Good News!

The item that has benefited everyone over the last few years has finally caught up to the insurance industry. Low interest rates.

Travel Insurance Nightmares Continue

I can't stress enough to people to be oh so careful when applying for travel insurance. Here is another story of a "misunderstanding" that is going to cost somebody a lot of money http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/03/08/travel-i...

Just because you have a certificate issued or are covered under your "group benefits" it does not mean you are covered if an incident occurs. Be careful of wordings about exclusions, particularly questions or statements about "changes in health or changes in medications" in the last 6 months.

Separation Agreements, Divorce Settlements ,Life Insurance and Irrevocable Beneficiaries

It is a common requirement today to have a lawyer request that life insurance be put in place to back up support payments or deferred cash settlement payments when separation agreements are drawn up and/or divorce settlements are made.

What did you do in the last 15 months?

My last blog entry was the day I started chemo. That was early November 2010. I optimistically expected to blog regularly about cancer and how it related to all aspects of insurance. I haven't made an entry since.

Four days after I started chemo, I ended up in the hospital with complicated side effects, and it went downhill from there. I had chemo till April 2011 and on April 26/27 I had a stem cell transplant at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton. I spent almost a month in the hospital. Frankly the whole process was awful, but I would do it again in a minute if I had to.

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