02 Jul

Do You Need Travel Insurance?

When you’re ready to jet off on vacation, the last thing you need is an emergency or illness to thwart your plans, but it happens. Travel insurance can help protect your finances — at an additional cost. But is it worth it?

Travel insurance may help recoup some of your costs if your vacation is delayed, canceled, interrupted or negatively affected due to certain circumstances (defined in the policy). When you book a flight, a cruise voyage or vacation package, you may have the option to add trip cancellation protection or travel insurance for an additional cost. Or, you can purchase a separate policy from a travel insurance company, which allows you to select the level of coverage (and types of coverage) you want for the duration of your trip.

What if a tropical storm or natural disaster makes it impossible to travel? What if your luggage is lost or you get in a fender bender with a rental car? Before analyzing everything that could possibly go wrong, consider these factors to help decide if you need travel insurance:

1. Prepaid costs. Are you making a significant investment in a vacation with international airfare, hotels booked in advance for a group and/ or a lengthy trip that spans multiple weeks? Be sure to look closely at the cancellation policies for all flights, hotels and entertainment/excursions. How much money would you be out if you had to cancel?

2. Timing. You probably don’t need travel insurance for a last-minute trip, but you may consider it for a vacation that you’re planning far in advance. You may also want to factor in the potential for weather events if you plan to travel during hurricane season.

3. Health risks. If something goes wrong on your backcountry ski trip or rock climbing expedition, you may need a medical evacuation — which can be a huge expense if you’re far from home. Not a big risk-taker? A serious injury or illness can happen anytime, so check your health insurance policy before traveling. Find out if your health plan provides coverage in the area where you are traveling. If it doesn’t, you may want to consider travel insurance with medical coverage or a medical evacuation policy.

4. Peace of mind. Sometimes it comes down to how you feel. If having travel insurance helps relieve stress so you can relax and enjoy your trip, that’s worth something. If you want some protection without the extra costs, review the travel benefits included at no cost through your credit card.

Call us before you travel so we know to authorize your card purchases.

Credit cards often include travel benefits at no cost to you. These benefits tend to be more limited than the coverage you’d get with a travel insurance policy. But it’s definitely worth reviewing the terms and conditions of travel benefits for cardholders, such as:

  • Trip cancellation/delay (for covered reasons)
  • Rental car insurance
  • Lost or destroyed baggage coverage
  • Accidental death or dismemberment

Looking for a credit card with valuable cardholder benefits and worldwide acceptance? Check out Navigator Credit Union’s VISA® credit cards. Visit www.navigatorcu.org to learn more or call 800-344-3281.

16 Apr

9 Signs You Need Life Insurance

If you think life insurance is only for people with kids, you may be missing out on an important financial planning tool. Ask yourself these questions to find out if you should take a closer look at your needs for life insurance.

1. Do you have a spouse or partner?

Anyone who depends on you may suffer a financial setback if something happens to you, and naming them as beneficiaries in your life insurance policy may give you peace of mind.

2. Do you have kids?

You want to do everything in your power to safeguard your child’s financial future. If you’re a single parent, you have even more responsibility resting on your shoulders. Life insurance can take care of their immediate expenses and provide funds for college and other future needs.

3. Do you provide financial help to parents, siblings, nieces and nephews or other loved ones?

Anyone who depends on you may suffer a financial setback if something happens to you, and naming them as beneficiaries in your life insurance policy may give you peace of mind.

4. Are you a caregiver for aging parents or family members with special needs?

The care you provide (including basic help with household or transportation needs) is important to your loved one’s quality of life. Life insurance can help cover the costs of their care if you’re not there.

5. Are you a stay-at-home parent?

You provide valuable support to the family, and it’s important to factor in the value that you bring to the family when considering life insurance needs.

6. Do you have grown children?

Even if your children are grown, there may be ups and downs as they find their way in the world. Life insurance may not be as critical at this stage as it was when they were small, but it can provide financial stability for your children if you die.

7. Do you own a small business?

A life insurance policy can be structured to protect your business and your family. For example, a policy could provide funds for a buy-sell agreement to sell your interest in the company and provide proceeds to your heirs.

8. Are you focused on charitable giving?

(And do you wish to name an organization as a life insurance beneficiary?) A life insurance payout can continue a legacy of donations to an organization you support financially.

9. Are you retired?

Life insurance may be instrumental in achieving your goals. For example, you may want to leave an inheritance for heirs or pay final expenses (funeral and burial costs) through life insurance.

Find out more about how life insurance can help protect your family’s future. Contact an insurance professional at Navigator Credit Union at (228) 474-3427 or at www.navigatorcu.org.
09 Apr

Hey Baby Boomers! We’re Here for You

At Navigator Credit Union, we make it our mission to serve your financial needs at every age and stage of life. If you belong to the baby boom generation (those born from 1946 to 1964), then you’re in good company.

While every credit union’s membership is different, research suggests that more than 40% of credit union members are baby boomers.* It’s fitting that many baby boomers have made credit unions their financial home, because this generation has a history of seeking alternatives to traditional ideas and institutions (such as big banking).

Credit union membership is appealing and empowering, because credit unions work for people – not for profits – and members have a say in how the credit union is run.

Financial Solutions Off the Beaten Path

Baby boomers’ financial plans may include borrowing, saving and investing – but not necessarily in that order. They may manage multiple goals with creative and unconventional financial planning, from saving for retirement and paying for college tuition to refinancing a mortgage or taking a new career path. Navigator is tuned in to your unique goals, and we’re ready with a lineup of products and services that are flexible to fit your needs.

Loans from credit unions – for your lifestyle. We offer competitive rates on home mortgages, auto loans, home equity loans and personal loans to help you get where you need to be. Our refinancing options can help you pay off a first or second home or vehicle faster, and/or lower your monthly payments so you can focus on other financial goals.

Best savings plan – for the unexpected. Our savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts help keep your emergency funds afloat. Building up emergency savings is particularly important if you juggle multiple responsibilities – perhaps caring for aging parents or providing financial support to adult children.

Insurance – for your changing needs. Our insurance representatives can review your homeowners, auto and life insurance coverage in light of the moving pieces in your life – teenage drivers, home improvements, divorce/remarriage, empty nest, etc.

Investing – ask a financial advisor. Our financial advisors can help you plan your portfolio for a brighter future, whether that means supporting a comfortable retirement or continuing to work. And even though retirement is a top goal for many baby boomers, we understand that this generation won’t be retiring to the proverbial rocking chair anytime soon!

Banking online or at a branch. You don’t have to be 20-something to keep up with online and mobile banking services. In fact, online banking is becoming uniformly popular across all age groups, according to a survey of Internet users.** When you want the convenience of fast, friendly in-branch service or access to free ATMs, Navigator has you covered. Call 228-475-7300 to learn more about what we have to offer, or visit www.navigatorcu.org.

* Source: Credit Union Times, Dec. 1, 2010.
** Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, Generations Online in 2010.