Progressive vs. Geico Insurance

younger couple comparing Progressive and Geico insurance coverages

All insurers are not created equal, nor are all insurance policies. We’re not here to sling mud or speak badly about any insurance provider! But we are going to explain how every insurance company has an ideal customer in mind, and show you some specific differences between Progressive and Geico insurance policies as examples. Our duty at Vargas & Vargas Insurance is to connect every customer with the right insurance policy. We work with many major insurance companies, and we can help take the guesswork out of any of your Massachusetts insurance policies. As always, if you have questions beyond the scope of this article, reach out to us today.

About Progressive

Progressive is a well-respected insurer with an excellent reputation. Their ideal client is a multi-line household — in case you hadn’t noticed “Flo’s” focus on insurance “bundling” in their advertising campaigns. Progressive will insure your home and autos, and the company offers life insurance choices, too. They provide great coverages for adults with multiple insurance needs.

  • Progressive provides homeowners insurance in-house; they don’t farm it out. 

About Geico

Geico began as an insurance provider for government employees and gradually broadened their scope. Geico’s focus is providing economical pricing on auto insurance, though they also insure recreational vehicles like motorcycles and RVs. They usually have somewhat better rates for some riskier drivers, like those who have had many at-fault accidents, those with many speeding tickets, and young inexperienced drivers.

  • Geico does not write their homeowners insurance policies. They can provide you a quote, but they “farm out” the policy to a partner.

Our Perspective

At Vargas & Vargas, we work hard to match the right type of insurance policy to our customers. Both Progressive and Geico homeowners policies, for instance, will provide replacement cost coverage. Still, they offer different bells and whistles, as well as different rates. 

Both Progressive and Geico homeowner’s policies provide medical payments to others in case of injury, liability coverage, and coverage for water or sewer damages. However, Geico and Progressive recommend lower limits of liability and deductibles on glass coverage, where most insurance professionals do not. And both companies offer varying discounts (like paid-in-full discounts, paperless billing discounts, multi-line discounts, and so on).

The biggest benefit of working with an independent insurance agent like Vargas & Vargas is that our licensed, independent insurance agency works with many insurance companies. We know their underwriting criteria and know their ideal customer. Our goal is to spend time with each prospective client to get a feel for your insurance needs. Then we can move forward getting quotes from the best companies for your unique situation

Need some Massachusetts insurance quotes? Let’s talk!

Is Life Insurance A Real Necessity?

Where Does Life Insurance Sit on Your List of Priorities?

We find that life insurance sits very low on most people’s bucket list of things to check into and buy. We find that most of the younger generation feel they are invincible and nothing is ever going to happen to them, like death. Our licensed insurance agents at Vargas & Vargas Insurance view life insurance as a necessity in life, making this an urgent subject to deal with before your next birthday. Everyone is going to die at some point, the question is not if, but when? Are you adequately protecting your family in the event you die?

Life insurance is very cheap when you are younger age, meaning, you can buy a higher amount of coverage with lower monthly premiums. Perhaps you can buy enough insurance to pay off a mortgage, a car, college education, and have enough left over for the end of life bills and funeral costs, leaving no financial burdens on the family. 

However, as you age every year your monthly premiums rise and these higher insurance amounts may become too expensive for you after retirement age. We service retired clients at our location in Dorchester, MA area who want life insurance settling for just the cost of their funeral so that it leaves no financial burden on family members. Seldom there is little to nothing left to apply towards the end of life expenses such as medical bills. 

An Urgent Call to Action

Life insurance financially takes care of those you leave behind. Death without life insurance can wipe out a family’s savings and finances for a long time to come. If you have no life insurance our agents in Dorchester, MA would like to talk with you about this vital life decision. 

Give us a call today, at Vargas & Vargas Insurance, or stop by for a visit. Access our website for more information on life insurance, our many other available services, and the locations of our five available locations. Seeking information costs you nothing and is free with a no-obligation quote. 

Making an Informed Choice About Accessing the Cash Value of Your Life Insurance Policy

It’s important that you’re well-informed before you access all or part of the cash value of your life insurance policy. After all, you took out the policy to provide for your survivors. That’s why the agents at Vargas & Vargas Insurance work hard to have the answers our clients are looking for. You need to know what impact accessing these funds could have on their future and your own. 

couple sitting in their house and discussing life insurance policy options

Life Insurance Policies that Accrue Cash Value

Cash value life insurance policies are sometimes referred to as permanent life insurance policies. This category includes whole life, universal life, and variable life. One of the biggest differences between these policies and term life insurance is that the latter policies do not accumulate cash value.

Common Ways to Access Cash Value

Policy Loan

Benefits: The life insurance company may offer you a lower interest rate than you can get with a conventional bank loan or by taking a cash advance on your credit card. A policy loan does not qualify as taxable income. You’re typically not required to repay the money since you’ve basically borrowed your own funds.

Drawbacks: However, policy loan repayment is to your beneficiary’s advantage. After death, the insurer usually deducts the amount you borrowed and the accumulated interest from the death benefit.

Withdrawal

Benefits: When the amount withdrawn is not greater than the total of paid premiums, the withdrawal is not taxed. The rules governing a withdrawal depend on your policy. Some policies allow dollar-for-dollar withdrawals.

Drawbacks: With other policies, a withdrawal reduces the death benefit by an amount greater than what the policyholder withdrew.  Withdrawals that exceed premiums paid are usually taxed.

Policy Surrender

Benefits: You’ll receive the policy’s cash value. 

Drawbacks: Your insurer may charge a surrender fee. If you owe any debt from policy loans, the insurer also subtracts your debt from your cash value. Generally, the income from a policy surrender is taxable. Most importantly, you’re effectively canceling the policy. Your survivors will not receive a benefit from the policy.

We’ve provided this information as a general introduction to accessing the cash value in your life insurance policy. If you have specific questions about life insurance policies, contact our team for assistance.

The Financial Benefits of Getting Life Insurance Early

Young adults can save a significant amount of money by obtaining life insurance before they turn age 35. Yet, most young adults miss this opportunity. If you’re in your twenties or early thirties, it’s important to consider the financial advantages of getting life insurance now. 

Your Total Lifetime Cost Is Lower

Age is the primary factor insurers use to determine the amount of your life insurance premium. Generally, the cost of life insurance increases with each year of age. For term life insurance policies, the premium remains the same for the duration of the policy. Someone who purchases term life insurance as a young adult could potentially pay thousands of dollars less than someone who buys the same coverage at an older age.

To illustrate this, let’s meet Robert and Matthew. Matthew is a healthy 30-year-old man. He purchases a 30-year term life insurance policy for $299 a year with a $250,000 benefit. His 40-year-old brother Robert is in good health, too, and he decides to get a policy with the same term and coverage amount. Robert pays a $442 a year.

Although they bought the same coverage, Matthew saves $4,290 because of his age. Also, since Matthew’s annual premium is lower, his youth would give him the advantage of paying less overall — even if he had a longer coverage period than Robert.

Good Health Has a Financial Benefit

Your health also has an impact on how much you’ll pay for life insurance premiums. Adults under age 36 are more likely to be in good health. It’s the period in your life when you’re least likely to have chronic health conditions like obesity, diabetes, or hypertension. Chronic illnesses raise the cost of life insurance.

In summary, as a young adult, you have a window to reap an incredible financial benefit by not waiting to get life insurance. Contact us today to learn more about our term life, whole life, and universal life insurance services.

Back to School: Finance 101 – Your Children Money

It’s never too early to talk to your children about money and finances.

Specifically, when was the last time you reviewed your life insurance? 
Life insurance is the safest and most secure way to protect your family and dependents against financial ruin should the family breadwinners die.

Helping Your Children Reach Their Dreams

When was the last time you spoke to your children about money?
About financial planning?

Many families believe that talking about money is taboo. However, if children are raised to fear certain discussions, they may not have the confidence to think and focus clearly on fundamentals to achieve their dreams when the time comes for them to make responsible financial decisions.

Whole life insurance can help give your children a financial head start.
It provides a guaranteed amount of life insurance that also accumulates cash value.

Securing life insurance on your children is a sound strategy to kick start the financial planning your children will appreciate as they enter adulthood. Entering adulthood means having to make tough financial decisions. It’s a right of passage in its own right.

As adults, your children could have the benefit of accessing their policy’s cash value for any reason, including but not limited to:

  • College tuition and expenses
  • Funding a wedding
  • A down payment on a house
  • Starting a business

Never Too Young to Start

Life insurance premiums are based on a number of factors, including a person’s age and health. Premiums are generally lower for children because they are young and healthy. This is one of the basic reasons why this makes sense to help your children structure their own life insurance portfolio.

A Gift They Can’t Outgrow

Children outgrow clothes, toys and other gifts. A whole life policy is different. You can give your children a fully-funded life insurance policy that will provide:

  • Permanent life insurance to one day protect their families.
  • Cash value that can be used to help fund life’s big events.
  • The option to increase their protection as their families grow.

Remember, if you are afraid to discuss money, that will transcend to your children’s belief system too. Give them the gift of financial freedom by way of planning and knowledge.

If you would like to discuss a comprehensive insurance review and any advice that pertains to your kids financial future, please call Jack Carrigg at 617-298-0655 ext 104 or email Jack at jcarrigg@vargasinsurance.com.

Life insurance when starting out in life

Most people think of life insurance as something you get when you’re older. However, as Vargas & Vargas Insurance, serving Dorchester, MA explains, you should really purchase a policy when you are in your 20s, just starting out in life.

The fact that you are young and not as likely to die as an older person is to your advantage since that means your premiums will be far less expensive. You should carry life insurance just in case an unexpected fatal illness or an accident should take you away from your loved ones.

A life insurance policy is generally used to replace lost income for a spouse and children who have grown to depend on it. Even if you are currently single, carrying life insurance is still a good idea. You may start a family later and can then add a spouse and children as beneficiaries as your circumstances change.

The other purpose of life insurance is to pay your outstanding debts. These might include funeral expenses and health care costs if you were taken by a lengthy illness, such as cancer.

A young person is also likely to have a substantial college loan balance. While federal loans are as a rule canceled and discharged upon the insured’s death, the same cannot be said for any private loans you may have taken out, perhaps with your parents as cosigners. Lenders expect the cosigners to pay off the debt even if the person carrying it has died. A life insurance policy will allow your parents to pay off the private loan at your passing.

For questions on life insurance, feel free to contact Vargas & Vargas Insurance, serving Dorchester, MA.

Can You Take out a Life Insurance Policy on a Child Before it is Born?

Life insurance is something that everyone can benefit from and that many new parents take into consideration. That being said, those looking for insurance might be wondering if you can take out a life insurance policy on a child prior to their birth. Put simply, you cannot. For those that live in the Dorchester, MA area, the agents with Vargas & Vargas Insurance can help you determine what type of insurance you can have.

If you or your spouse is expecting and you want to take out a policy on your unborn child, you will have to wait until the child is born and until it has been assigned a social security number. If you are expecting and want more coverage, you may want to look into taking out more coverage on the pregnant woman that is carrying the child until such a time when the child is born. You can take out extra coverage on the pregnant woman and that may help cover any issues that could potentially take place. It is necessary for the child to be born and for a social security number so that the child can be accounted for and so that the policy can be tracked as well.

If you are a parent of a child that is not yet born, you may want to talk with an agent to see if there is another type of insurance you can take out to protect your unborn child prior to its birth. For those that live in the Dorchester, MA area, the agents with Vargas & Vargas Insurance can help you find a policy that works for you and makes you feel fully protected and secure no matter what.

Recap: Family Dinner Tips

“The most essential part of my day is a proper dinner.”

– Rachael Ray

How often does your family enjoy eating dinner together around the table? If your resolution this year involved eating better or having more quality time with your loved ones, dinner is the perfect place to start? What more could you be doing to make the evening meal fun and nutritious? Here are some tips from last week’s full blog post – pick one (or try them all!) at your next meal.

  • Focus on serving healthy meals. Healthy meals don’t have to be complicated or hard to prepare. They don’t always need specialty kitchen tools. They can be enjoyed by people with simple and refined palates.
  • Plan dinner so that your family can eat together and connect. Ask everyone about their day, encouraging communication. Alternatively, you can occasionally use dinner time to learn something new by reading an article or listening to a podcast.
  • The important part about family dinner is establishing a routine. It may not be possible to have every member of the family sit down to a healthy dinner every day of the week, but find a schedule that works for you and stick to is as best you can.

Want to continue to make sure that your family is healthy and protected? Talk to your Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent about your insurance portfolio. Review your family’s health insurance and ask if your life insurance policy has enough coverage for your loved ones in case of unfortunate circumstances. A complete insurance review is free, and it’s only a call away, so pick up your phone and dial Vargas and Vargas Insurance at 617-298-0655 now to start the process.

Tips for Having a Fun and Healthy Family Dinner

When you have a family, every day is an adventure. Sometimes just getting dinner on the table can seem like an insurmountable task. It’s never going to be easy all of the time, but we have some tips for how you can foster a fun and healthy dinner for your family from the agents here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency.

Choosing a Healthy Meal

Many families struggle to consistently put a healthy meal on the table. It’s important to remember if you’re having trouble that ‘healthy’ meals can still be both easy and delicious, even if you have picky eaters at your table (whether they’re 2 or 92 years old!)

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, families should be following the MyPlate guidelines when planning meals. This means that dinners should consist of five food groups in specific proportions – those food groups are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources for finding healthy recipes that you can use for your family. Start with an online search focused on meals with the MyPlate guidelines in mind. If you have children that are old enough, have them help with the meal planning and even the cooking, if possible. This will help to set them up for nutritional success later in life. Having trouble finding the time to put together a meal? Meal prep is a great option to plan out and store a week’s worth of meals (or more) and cut down significantly on daily prep work.

Here in the Dorchester area, there are plenty of resources for you if you need help creating a great meal. The library offers access to a cooking section where you can find plenty of great meal ideas, there are food pantries for those struggling to afford meals, and don’t forget about the wonderful produce offered at farmer’s markets in the area throughout the year.

Encourage Communication and Learning

Family meals are about so much more than just the food. In addition to serving something nutritious, you should make sure that you inspire everyone at the table to bond and engage with the group. Some children can be reluctant to share. To circumvent this issue, you will need to ask more specific questions about their activities and the happenings in their lives. Also make sure to talk about things that they are interested in – let them tell you about their social life or their favorite video game!

Want to mix up your dinner routine a little bit? Designate certain days as ‘learning dinners.’ Instead of focusing on conversation, learn something as a group. Find an interesting and educational podcast that you can all listen to or have someone choose and read an article from the news to bolster discussions about world affairs with older kids. Younger kids will enjoy playing games, so choose something age appropriate and start playing! If you need ideas for appropriate games, check out the ideas from The Family Dinner Project.

Another fun thing to do together while you eat is to plan other family activities. Ask kids where they would like to go – anything from day trips to vacations – and plan out a trip! Making plans together is a great way to bond while also learning about each other.

No matter whether you choose to talk, play, or learn while you’re at the table, remember that it is important that this time is about being together as a family. For most, this means putting away phones and tablets and turning off the tv during meals so that you can focus on each other.

Commit to a Routine

Times can get hectic, so you don’t necessarily have to do a healthy family dinner seven nights a week. Plan out what days you can and try to stick to your schedule as much as you can. Often, this routine will need to be evaluated and reevaluated as school and work schedules change, or when kids start or finish extracurricular activities – and that’s ok!

If it is hard for you to plan family dinners, try another meal – family breakfasts and lunches work just as well. What’s important is that you provide your loved ones with nutritious meals and that you spend time together to bond and communicate. And the more the merrier! Have non-immediate family members join you or invite your kids’ friends or your own friends to vary the routine and bring in new dynamics to your discussions. Just make sure that everyone follows the #1 rule – no electronics allowed at the table!

Want to do more to make sure that your family is healthy? Talk to a Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent about your health insurance policy. Call 617-298-0655 to get a free analysis of your current policy or a quote for new coverage. Having great insurance allows you to focus on healing without a major financial burden, so don’t underestimate the value of a great policy. Until then bon appetit and enjoy dinners with your family!

Recap: After Your Wedding, Update Your Insurance

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” -Franklin P. Jones

Summer is a popular time for weddings here in New England. If you are getting married this summer, make sure to follow these simple tips to update and combine your insurance policies with your new spouse:

  • Combine your renter’s insurance or home insurance policies to cover your singular residence. Remember to update your home inventory to include your wedding rings and gifts that you received!
  • Bundling your home or renter’s insurance with your car insurance (for one or multiple vehicles) will probably save you money on your insurance premiums.
  • Now that you’re married, you should consider getting a life insurance policy, or change your existing policy to have your new spouse as the beneficiary.
  • More responsibility can mean more potential risks. Consider guarding yourself and your new family with an umbrella insurance policy – you can get a lot of additional coverage for pennies on the dollar.
  • For more tips on how to update your insurance policies after marriage, talk to your Boston insurance agent!

And if you’re not tying the know anytime soon, pass our blog post along to a bride-to-be or groom-to-be that you know! Anyone who needs a Massachusetts insurance review can call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655 for a free consultation with a local insurance expert.