The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recognizes that military personnel have special insurance considerations to make. They released a brief that discusses many of the insurance issues faced by military members and their families, and here are some of the main points.
Life insurance policies often contain exclusions for deaths that occur as a result of an act of war. If you’re not careful, that could mean that your life insurance company denies your family’s claim and simply returns premiums and interest to them in lieu of a death benefit. That’s why you need to make sure that your policy is designed for service members and does not contain any exclusion that will conflict with your duties as a member of the military.
Homeowners Insurance If you live alone and you’re deployed, your home will generally be vacant until you return. Some home insurance policies will deny claims if their vacancy clause becomes effective due to the length of the deployment. Take a look at your policy to see how long your home must be empty in order for it to be triggered and, if it is too short a period of time, talk to your agent about a special endorsement.
Auto Insurance If your vehicle won’t be used while you’re deployed you may need to talk to your agent about suspending insurance coverage so that you can avoid premium payments. Your ability to do so will depend on the state you live in and the insurance company you are with. If you plan to suspend comprehensive coverage while away, make sure that your vehicle is parked in a monitored location so you don’t need to worry about theft or vandalism—both of which would not be covered when you suspend your policy.
Premium Payments When you’re deployed you may not be able to write checks in order to renew your insurance policies and coming home to lapsed policies could create even larger problems. Putting all your policies on automatic bank draft can ensure that your property stays covered while you’re away.
On the surface, it may appear the insurance company is the victim of insurance fraud. Only the insurance company is out money when insurance fraud is committed, right? Wrong. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that the average American family pays nearly $950 annually in increased premiums to cover the costs of insurance fraud. Also, the cost businesses pay for insurance is increased and that additional expense is passed onto the consumer in the form of higher prices. Therefore, the cost of fraudulent claims is not left with the insurance company; it is passed onto the consumer in higher premiums and in the price of consumer goods.
So what exactly constitutes insurance fraud? Is it simply just the hardened criminal that is out plotting elaborate schemes to bilk insurance companies out of millions? Or can insurance fraud be committed by the average citizen just telling a little white lie to get a little more paid on their insurance claim than they actually deserve? The answer – both.
The hardened criminal example above would be considered hard fraud. Hard fraud is committed by an individual or a group of individuals that deliberately set out to scheme money from an insurance company. The schemes can include staged auto accidents, filing fraudulent medical bills, murder for insurance, and so on. These are blatant attempts by someone to deceive insurance companies out of money they are not entitled to.
On the other hand, soft fraud is when a normally honest person decides to mislead an insurance company to either reduce their premium costs or increase their claim settlement. A simple lie such as not disclosing a speeding ticket to reduce the cost of insurance is considered soft fraud. The price of insurance is calculated based on the risk being insured. If the risk of someone being in an auto accident is higher because of their driving record, they should pay the premium associated with their risk.
Another example of soft insurance fraud is exaggerating a claim. For example, if someone exaggerates the cost of a claim in hopes of making money off of it, that is considered soft fraud. Insurance was designed to indemnify people. To indemnify someone is to bring them back to where they would have been had the claim not happened. Insurance policies are not designed to increase someone’s wealth simply because they were involved in a loss.
Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to think soft insurance fraud is justified. Many people do so based on the assumption that the insurance company is just making millions in profit off of people, so it is justified in that they are just getting their “fair share”. But that logic is flawed. The cost of fraudulent claims isn’t left with the insurance company – it is passed back onto the consumer in the form of higher insurance premiums. Therefore, the real victim of insurance fraud is the consumer.
A declarations page is the part of a policy that lists your specific information. For instance, a homeowners declaration page will list your name, the address of your home, your policy number, the effective and expiration date of your policy, the premium for the coverages you have purchased and the limits of each of those coverages.
Terms you may find on your Declarations Page:
Named Insured – this is the individual or business that is identified as the insured party.
Additional Insured – an additional insured is someone listed on your policy because certain coverages on the policy can be afforded to them. For instance, if you lease a vehicle, the leasing company may require to be listed as an additional insured. The leasing company is still the owner of the vehicle, therefore, they can be liable for damages caused by the vehicle. Being listed as an additional insured on your policy will trigger your policy to afford some coverages to the leasing company in the event they are subjected a suit involving the vehicle.
Endorsements – There can be circumstances where changes need to be made to the standard policy language. Instead of rewriting the entire policy, the insurance company includes endorsements to the policy. They are essentially amendments made to the insurance contract that can change the coverage or terms of the policy. Your Declarations Page will list which endorsements apply to your policy.
In order to be successful in business or personal life, there are some things that you need to do consistently every year. The first is to create, or update, your personal or business plan and financial projections. Next, you need to develop or create your business or personal marketing plan. Third, you should pay your insurance premiums.
But paying your insurance premiums annually should not be a knee jerk activity because before you make those payments you should review your insurance policies and make sure the coverages they offer are still relevant to your ever-evolving company.
Why review your policies?
Because you are involved in the day-to-day activity in your business, you may not realize all the small changes that can occur which will affect your insurance policies. One of the most overlooked changes is the addition of new equipment which has been purchased for the business. Whether you upgrade your existing equipment and supplies or add completely new items to the roster, you need to notify your insurance company of these changes. It is possible that your existing policy does not offer sufficient coverage for the new equipment and that your limits or exclusions need to be adjusted. In addition, you need to find out if you are being reimbursed for actual cash value or replacement value. When you have hard-to-replace equipment, an ‘actual cash value’ reimbursement may not be enough to make you whole and help you replace the equipment if it is damaged or stolen.
Business owners should also consider any changes that have been made to the vehicles used for their business. If a new vehicle has been purchased for the business, you may need to increase the limits on your policy in order to protect its value fully. Conversely, if your company vehicle has lost value during the year, you may want to lower your auto policy limit in order to accommodate its reduced value. This will also reduce your premium—usually a very welcome concept to business owners.
Another consideration you should make when evaluating your business insurance each year is the addition of coverage for any new business ventures that have developed. Just because you have liability, auto and other relevant insurance coverage for your main business venture, that doesn’t mean that all other business ventures you enter into are adequately covered. New lines of business could pose increased risk to the insurer and may even have certain facets that need additional endorsements for your policy.
So before you write your policy premium checks each year, take a look at your policies and note whether or not there have been any staffing, equipment, or process changes that would affect any of them. After all, an insurance policy can only offer effective protection when the insurance company actually knows what it is that needs protecting.
We’re excited to be heading back to Music City April 21-23 for antiques shopping, food and craft demonstrations, and appearances by CL contributors.
Join us at the Country Living Fair in Lebanon, Tennessee, at the Wilson County Expo & Ag Center April 21-23, 2017, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. We promise great shopping, seminars and demonstrations, delicious food, and a chance to meet our editors!
Almost everyone on the planet is guilty of telling a white lie at some point in their lives, and for some people, even daily. Whether the lie works to cover up the truth about a surprise for someone or serves as a means to spare someone’s feelings, most people feel that this deceptive practice has its appropriate time and place and is generally harmless.
But what happens when the white lie isn’t told to a person, but is told to an insurance company? You know, a simple white lie—like writing your weight from 1992 on your application for life insurance instead of the post-college, post-children, post-office job truth; or how about telling your auto insurance company that you only drive 10 miles a day when the truth lies somewhere closer to 25? How big a deal is that, really?
When it comes to insurance, white lies are a much bigger deal than they are when hiding the date of a surprise party from your parents or telling your best friend that you like her new, accidentally purple dye job. White lies on insurance applications or claims forms are actually tantamount to insurance fraud, which is a very serious crime.
Big Lies and Small Lies All Round Out to Fraud
Insurance companies are relying on you to tell them the total truth on your application. Only through full disclosure can they properly evaluate the risk that you present to them and only then can they choose the right premium to represent that risk.
When you present a dishonest representation of your health, your finances, your home, your car, your driving habits or any other aspect of your life to an insurer, you are cheating them out of the ability to determine the amount of risk they will be taking on with you as a client. At the end of the day, these omissions or inaccuracies could make the insurance company lose money. And just as you wouldn’t purposely pay for merchandise with a check that you knew had no real money behind it, you probably wouldn’t want to steal from an insurance company.
Insurance Fraud—Not a Victimless Crime
You might think that you aren’t really hurting anyone when you tell a small white lie to an insurance company, but in truth, you are impacting the insurance company’s ability to pay the claims of other policyholders when you lie about the type of risk you present. You see, insurance companies use the information you supply to determine the likelihood that they will need to pay for claims on your policy and about how much those claims will cost them. Based on this information, they set aside a certain amount of money into a separate fund, called a policy reserve, and this helps them make sure they have the money on hand to pay your claims and the claims of all other policyholders. They do the same with all of their other insureds. They then invest this money conservatively so that it can grow and rely on it to help them meet their obligations.
If you present more of a risk than the insurance company expects, you could have more claims than the company anticipates and more than they developed their reserves to handle. This means that your excessive claims could take more from the company’s reserves than they are prepared to pay. Then, as their claims experience goes up, it could result in an increase of rates for all policyholders—which is hardly fair to those policyholders that practice full and honest disclosure.
In The End, You Lose
Many consumers assume that the insurance company will never even realize that they told any kind of lie on their application. But claims are investigated before paid out and in many cases, these investigations could reveal evidence of material misrepresentation. Since material misrepresentation is considered a willful and purposeful fraudulent activity, you could lose out on your claim and instead end up with a cancelled policy and a return of your premiums paid.
Don’t take chances with the financial future of you and your family. Make sure that you are completely honest with your insurer from the moment you establish the relationship; there is no subject too small, and no question so insignificant that you can “fudge” the facts a little without hurting someone—quite possibly, you.
Here Are The 8 Best Places To Live In Tennessee… And Why
Tennessee is consistently ranked among some of the best states in the nation. Why? The people are kind, the landscape is stunning and the cost of living is nice and low. That being said, we thought we’d scour the known world to figure out where exactly IN the state you should pitch your tent. We know everyone is proud of where they live and obviously your hometown is the best, but calm your inner child and take a look at what the rest of the nation has deemed solid. You’ll learn something new – promise.
To get an accurate claim history on consumers, many insurance companies use a service called CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange). CLUE is a centralized database that provides a seven year history of auto and homeowner insurance claims. The database enables homeowner and auto insurance companies to exchange your claim history. The CLUE database is maintained by ChoicePoint, a consumer reporting agency.
Information provided on the reports include the date of the loss, the type of loss, the name of the insurance company, policy number, the amount paid, and other general information. As with any report that is collected by a consumer reporting agency, you have the right to obtain a free copy annually. Information on how to obtain your CLUE report can be found on the CLUE Reports website.
Your insurance premiums are determined by the information provided on these reports, therefore, it is recommended to check them periodically. In the event you find a discrepancy on your report, you have the right by law to dispute it. Checking your CLUE report prior to shopping for or insurance coverage will give you the time needed to fix any discrepancies before purchasing a policy.
Each year, Nashville Lifestyles gathers a team of food experts and sets out to compile a list of the city’s best restaurants. Here are the ones recommended for reservations tonight, compiled by Chris Chamberlain, Jennifer Justus, Kristin Luna, Erin Byers Murray, Jim Myers and Vivek Surti. The piece originally ran in Nashville Lifestyles’ : The Restaurants We Love Right Now.
Within 24 hours of arriving in Nashville five years ago, chef Matt Bolus was showing off his considerable culinary skills as a competitor in the Iron Fork contest. Although he didn’t win, Nashville was put on notice that a young gun was ready to take over the town. Since then, his cuisine has matured, and his mastery in the kitchen is showcased nightly at The 404 Kitchen in The Gulch.
Known for his contemporary take on traditional European cuisine, Bolus emphasizes seasonal local ingredients along with seafood sourced from the Atlantic that plays to his strength as a former fish butcher at Mike Lata’s acclaimed FIG restaurant in Charleston, S.C.
No meal at The 404 is complete without an order of housemade burrata, a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream, or a beverage from either the inventive wine list or the cocktail menu, which features an eclectic selection of liquors. With only 56 seats and Bolus at the helm, The 404 is one of the city’s top dining destinations.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen
605 Eighth Ave. S.
When Kahlil Arnold took over the reins of Arnold’s Country Kitchen from his father, Jack, he moved slowly. It’s a venerable meat-and-three steam table, for crying out loud, and with customers who return every week for that one thing, you don’t mess with it.
The thing is, Kahlil does mess with it, but in a nuanced way that coaxes the food into the 21st century without leaving the past behind. From hot sauce in his catfish brine to his play on tomatoes and grits, he makes simple Sunday table food an exaltation of Southern art. And with the current expansion, we may finally see three things we all pine for: breakfast, dinner and hooch.
They paid their dues serving biscuit sandwiches from a borrowed food truck. Then they renovated an Airstream to do the same. And now they have a bright, airy space with no wheels attached.
You can’t help but root for Karl and Sarah Worley of Biscuit Love Brunch for their hard work and creative interpretations of our regional fare — from mod bonuts (yes, biscuit doughnuts) to the all-but-forgotten beaten biscuit offered as homage to beloved writer John Egerton through the restaurant’s “John’s Ham Bar.”
The line can wind out the door on weekends, so it’s best to visit weekday mornings. The early bird gets the biscuit, after all.
When it opened in 2011, The Catbird Seat was a game changer. Suddenly, Nashville had a national spotlight, and from there, the floodgates opened.
Founding chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson impressed diners with their carefully constructed, multi-course feasts, all whipped up within a tiny kitchen surrounded by bar seats. And then, in 2014, the restaurant rewrote its own rules. Habiger and Anderson moved on, opening the door to chef Trevor Moran.
Almost immediately, Moran’s Ireland-by-way-of-Denmark cuisine had the food elite buzzing. Here he was, putting out dishes that incorporated Southern ingredients, recalled his Irish heritage and looked like Noma masterpieces — all to harmonious effect: Think potato-broth tea infused with herbs; beef tartare served with hibiscus leaves, snail eggs — and no utensils (it works, we swear); and poached oysters with buckwheat hollandaise foam. Get yourself a seat — reservations still fill up fast, but if you’re flexible and check back often, cancellations can quickly work in your favor.
Among the new restaurants and “It” city-ness in Nashville, this place feels like a warm quilt we can count on. It’s still a great space for getting dressed up and celebrating over family-style bowls of cornbread gnocchi and sopping up egg with slices of wood-fired pies. And it offers a bevy of clever surprises at Sunday Supper, such as pork snacks, wings and lamb chops under Sunday gravy. But it’s also a safe spot to grab a seat at the bar for some of the best cocktails in town.
Do dessert first with pastry chef Rebekah Turshen’s modern takes on classic cakes or cookie plates, or split a simple off-menu kitchen pizza pie (just tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, grana padano and chili oil used to test the heat of the oven).
With chef Tandy Wilson melding his travels, Southern studies and Nashville roots, it’s far more real than any newfangled showplace, but you still can’t spell “It city” without it.
Maher Fawaz’s Lebanese bistro is still a hidden gem in Nashville’s restaurant scene. Fawaz, who also owns the popular fast-casual joint Kalamata’s, named his more upscale endeavor after the French word for spice.
On the menu? A journey of exotic Mediterranean flavors. Start with the makdous (pickled eggplant with walnuts and olive oil) and work your way through the kabobs (especially samak, the spiced fish) before ordering the fassoulya (lamb shank with white beans). Finish off with a glass of hot tea — then sit back and savor one of the city’s coolest dining rooms.
There’s no stopping Deb Paquette. The chef-owner of Etch continues to rack up accolades, including Etch being named top restaurant in Nashville last year by Zagat. And with an inventive roster of dishes such as a cornmeal-fried catfish dressed up with walnut, red bell pepper and pomegranate sauce, fiery plum preserve, lime crema, pickled onion, pumpkin seeds and greens, it’s easy to see why.
Desserts are truly the icing on the cake and weekday happy hour (from 4 to 6:30 p.m.) is the perfect time to drop in for discounted drinks and small bites.
In a town that seems to be rapidly filling up with gourmet hamburger emporiums, chef Richard Blais would appear to be very brave, or perhaps foolhardy, to open the fifth location of his Flip Burger chain of restaurants here in Music City. But Blais isn’t scared. He calls it a “restaurant that happens to serve burgers,” with chefs who “treat a $6 burger like a $65 steak.”
Indeed, those burgers are upscale, like the Oaxaca, made with Angus beef, avocado and cilantro-lime aioli; there’s also the raw tuna tartare sandwich with Asian pear, pine nuts and wasabi mayo. Then there’s his version of Nashville’s iconic hot chicken: the Hot Rabbit appetizer. Served with the traditional white bread plus bread and butter pickles, that bunny packs a punch.
In addition to a full bar with wine, beer and cocktails, Flip offers up a selection of decadent milkshakes that show off the former “Top Chef Masters” winner’s skill for molecular gastronomy — they use frozen nitrogen to freeze the alcohol without diluting the drink. Add-ins like Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Cap’n Crunch and even foie gras ensure that you’ll be back for more.
Here’s what we know: Andrew Little is a really talented chef who is not afraid to inject into Nashville the robust Teutonic-laden flavors of his Pennsylvania upbringing. But it’s really not that weird to link the rural traditions from there to here.
What’s more, we think that chef Little is building a good team around him that just plain gets it and can move his vision forward. Nowhere is that more evident than in his large-format menu for groups of six, with platters of tongue and marrow to curry emotional outbursts of joy.
You can thank the team behind M Street Nashville for kick-starting The Gulch’s culinary revolution. Restaurateur Chris Hyndman was considered a groundbreaker when he opened Whiskey Kitchen in 2009. As his empire’s grown, changed shape and improved, Kayne Prime has consistently offered some of the city’s best steaks — from American filet to Australian wagyu.
And the sides can make a meal all on their own: Creamed spinach gets a fried egg and bits of truffle, while risotto tater tots are crusted in brown butter bread crumbs.
Some restaurants feel instantly comfortable and lived in from the moment they open their doors. Lockeland Table, which served its first wood-fired pizzas and chicken liver pâté in 2012, is such a place due partly to the good bones of a historic building and partly to the good stock running the place, with chef Hal Holden-Bache in the kitchen and Cara Graham welcoming regulars up front.
And a comfortable spot means comfortable food. Holden-Bache was making a version of chimichurri long before Lockeland opened, yet with its bright bits of green set alongside a juicy strip steak, it’s a taste that always feels fresh.
It’s hard to deny Pinewood Social’s star power. Open for three meals a day — and all the hours in between — seven days a week, it’s a much-needed constant in the ever-changing downtown landscape, particularly for the remote worker who can take full advantage of Pinewood’s living room, outfitted with comfy couches and workstations and conveniently located next to the Crema coffee counter.
The outdoor lounge and adjoining pool area — complete with a tiki-style Airstream trailer bar boasting its own drinks menu — gives us even more excuses to hole up at Pinewood.
Chef Philip Krajeck has made very few changes to his Germantown restaurant since it opened in 2012. And those he has made seem to have been carefully plotted and quietly installed. There was the addition of a chef de cuisine from New York, Owen Clark, in 2014. Then, the menu shifted gears ever so slightly, with dishes being listed from small to hardy and pastas standing out on their own (well warranted, considering those pastas are typically the stars of a meal there).
Guest chef dinners featuring some of the country’s top culinary talent — like Jonathan Benno (Lincoln) and Ari Taymor (Alma) — continue to sell out with little more than a casual email invite sent by manager Mollie Ward. All this is to say that Krajeck has his head on straight when it comes to both his business and his food — meaning you can expect a consistent and exceptional experience with every visit. Just don’t forget to order the pasta.
Two Ten Jack
1900 Eastland Ave., Suite 105
No matter when you find yourself at Two Ten Jack, it always feels like you’ve arrived at the party precisely on time.
Aside from the addition of a few more vegetable-focused options, the menu hasn’t changed much since the spot opened in 2014 — we, however, have learned how to better navigate the offerings by, say, making a meal of the hot starters, specialty rolls and yakitori on some nights or pulling up a stool at the bar and slurping down a bowl of rich, heady broth nestled with noodles.
When picking a dinner destination, you can count on two hands the number of places in Nashville that know how to cook a great steak. Add in the requirement that they also serve excellent seafood, and you’re down to five. Combine that with a refined ambiance, and it’s Union Common.
From a sophisticated bar menu to perfectly cooked steaks to decadent desserts, Union Common provides just the right elements for a contemporary steakhouse experience.