This week we’re breaking down the benefits of comprehensive auto insurance, as well as sharing tips on financial record-keeping and avoiding surprise medical bills. Here’s what you need to know now.

  • Is comprehensive auto insurance as “comprehensive” as it sounds? According to Amy Danise from Forbes, the coverage only protects you against a few specific problems, but there are some benefits that might warrant the investment. If your car is stolen and not recovered, the policy will pay for a replacement. It will also pay to repair damage from collisions with animals, weather damage, flood damage and damage resulting from vandalism and falling objects. While some of these events seem unlikely to occur, Danise says they are more common and costly than one would expect.
  • With the New Year right around the corner, it’s time for some financial house-keeping. Jeff Reeves from USA Today has put together some financial record-keeping tips to help you avoid the clutter of unnecessary paperwork. While bank accounts, quarterly investment statements, and bill balances can be shredded, Reeves suggests keeping tax-related documents for up to seven years. Other important items to keep safe, which will also help promote family financial planning, include estate-planning documents, pension plan documents, property deeds, wills and powers of attorney.
  • As health plan designs continue to change, surprise medical bills are on the rise. If you undergo an unexpected surgery or treatment, it is likely you will encounter an out-of-network provider during the course of your care. Since 60 percent of health plans available in the federal marketplace for 2016 don’t include out-of-network coverage, this can result in costly bills. Elizabeth O’Brien from Market Watch has developed a list of strategies to deal with surprise medical bills. First, O’Brien suggests looking carefully at the doctors and hospitals that participate in your health plan’s network. She also suggests getting an estimate for elective surgery, checking your insurance bills for errors, disputing errors and informing your health care provider of any disputes.

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