Posts Tagged ‘beck insurance’

Taxation and Life Insurance

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

Taxation and Life Insurance

What is it?

Life insurance has long been recognized as a useful and relatively simple way to provide for your heirs and loved ones when you die. If your survivors relied on your income during your lifetime, then they will be able to avoid financial difficulties after your death if your life is adequately insured. Lawmakers have long recognized the social usefulness of life insurance, which helps protect widowed spouses and children and keeps them off of public assistance. Accordingly, lawmakers have historically provided liberal tax benefits as an incentive to those who put their hard-earned dollars into life insurance policies. Favorable tax treatment also extends to accumulations within certain cash value life insurance. Generally, when you pay premiums on a cash value life insurance policy, some of your money is applied toward the policy cash value, which is similar to a savings account within the policy. Over time, cash values accumulate tax deferred as long as certain requirements are met. During your lifetime, you can access the cash value by a withdrawal, policy loan, or surrender (cancellation) of the policy. Caution: If the policy is classified as a modified endowment contract (MEC), withdrawals, including loans and partial surrenders, will be subject to immediate taxation to the extent that the policy’s cash value exceeds the premiums paid. In addition, withdrawals from a MEC made prior to age 59½ may result in a 10 percent penalty, unless an exception applies.

Why do you need to know?

Whether you are purchasing life insurance to protect your family, as an investment, or both, the tax treatment of your policy will directly affect the return that you (or your heirs) get from the dollars you deposited with the insurer. In most cases, your insurance agent or accountant will be able to tell you everything you need to know about the taxation of your policy, but if you are involved in portfolio planning or product comparisons, you may want to become more familiar with the tax rules so that you can draw meaningful conclusions.

How is life insurance taxed?

In general, life insurance death benefit isn’t taxed, but that is hardly the end of the story. Familiarity with some of the basic rules will help you avoid traps for the unwary and plan accordingly.

First, it has to be life insurance…

Life insurance provides you with many tax advantages, but only if it falls within the definition of life insurance for federal income tax purposes. If the terms of a life insurance contract do not meet the statutory definition of life insurance, then you are not entitled to the special income tax treatment.

Income tax considerations…

In most cases, premiums are paid with after-tax dollars. Typically, death benefits are received tax free by your beneficiaries after your death, but the sale or surrender of your cash value policy during your lifetime triggers a tax on realized gain.

Tax-free buildup of policy value…

The cash buildup within permanent or cash value life insurance is not subject to income taxes if certain rules are met. There are a few rare–but important–exceptions.

Taxation of dividends…

A certain type of permanent cash value insurance, whole life insurance, may pay dividends to policy owners out of the insurer’s surplus earnings for the year. Whether you take the dividends in cash or keep them on deposit with the insurer, they are considered a return of your premiums. As long as you don’t get back more than you paid in, you are merely recouping your costs, and the dividends are not included in income. Dividends in excess of premium payments, however, are generally taxable as ordinary income. Dividends paid by mutual life insurance companies do not qualify for capital gains tax treatment.

Taxation of benefits…

Benefits can be characterized as living benefits or death benefits. The tax treatment of benefits varies depending on who receives them and how and when they are distributed.

Taxation of policy exchanges…

The tax code allows you to exchange one life insurance policy for another life insurance policy without triggering current tax liability. However, tax-free treatment will apply to an exchange only if it satisfies certain requirements.

Contact Beck Insurance Agency today for more information.  Call 419-446-2777, or click here.

Source:  Dixon Wells

Today’s Advanced Trucking Safety Techniques

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

If you have been in trucking for a while, you have seen many changes to safety technology through the years. These safety products promise to make your operation safer, with fewer accidents and downtime. So, why aren’t all carriers investing in the latest in fleet safety technology? As you might expect, the answer to this question differs by motor carrier.

If it were an easy decision, every carrier would be purchasing all the advanced fleet safety products on the market today. But every operation is unique, with its own combination of safety problems, driver concerns, maintenance challenges, equipment upgrades, and CSA scores to address, while also keeping the bottom line in mind. With the trucking industry operating on historically thin margins, any expenditure on upgraded or new technology will likely have to consider its return on investment (ROI)—whether it will make the company safer and more competitive or just add cost. Other issues include the time to install new systems, employee training, and the expected shelf life due to advancing technology.

These technologies are expected to have longer staying power in the industry than others:

  1. Disc brakes
  2. Collision mitigation technology
  3. ELD/driver scorecards/GPS/truck cameras
  4. Trailer tracking and temperature monitoring
  5. Operations software, dispatch, dynamic routing, and maintenance

This article will review Collision Mitigation Systems (CMS), which have come a long way since their early introduction.

“It’s getting to be more and more the norm that fleets are adopting collision mitigation systems, said Art Trahan, Ryder’s Senior Manager assigned to national accounts. “I don’t think we’ve pushed over the 50% mark because, like everything else, there’s a cost involved.”

While collision mitigation systems often share common features such as an integrated camera, radar, and braking systems, they may utilize different operation methods, including:

  • The collision mitigation system identifies a potential crash situation with a vehicle or obstacle ahead by using combined camera and radar data to generate an early prediction of the situation and allow for a reduction in the vehicle’s speed
  • Stationary vehicle braking (SVB) assists the driver when approaching a line of stopped traffic. Combining the use of radar and camera data to confirm the object ahead, the system alerts the driver and begins to slow the vehicle.
  • Other systems use smart cameras to read the posted speed limit and compare it to the actual vehicle speed. Depending upon the speed threshold set, the system will alert the driver and, if high speed continues, alert the motor carrier.
  • Adaptive cruise control and braking is designed to help the driver maintain a safe following distance. When the distance between two vehicles becomes too close, the adaptive cruise control system provides driver warnings and can take action, including applying the brake, to achieve a safe distance.
  • Some systems combine radar and camera components to create lane departure warnings. These alerts signal the driver of potentially hazardous situations and, if continued, send the alert back to the motor carrier.
  • Other systems offer a form of driver coaching and training to address undesired driving practices.

Regardless of the system you choose, safety technology can help your company’s bottom line. It can help drivers avoid crashes or reduce severity. It can also provide driver coaching and instill good habits among drivers. With fewer accidents, a fleet will achieve lower accident-related costs and less downtime of equipment and drivers, helping to improve driver morale and often increasing fuel savings.

Posted by Cliff J. on July 18, 2019 in Trucker Focus

References:

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/collision-mitigation-advances

ANNUITIES UNDERUTILIZED FOR TAX-FREE LTC BENEFITS, DATA SUGGESTS

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

About 18 percent of all U.S. households own a deferred annuity, estimates the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, yet data suggest many annuities will never be activated for monthly income, leaving potential tax consequences for beneficiaries.

Many of these individuals can benefit by learning more about exchanges under Internal Revenue Code section 1035 of the Federal Tax Law, which can offer tax benefits for beneficiaries as well as provide tax-free long-term care (LTC) benefits, should they be needed.

“Americans have nearly $3 trillion in assets in fixed and variable annuities,” said Chris Coudret, vice president and chief distribution officer at OneAmerica®1. “Annuities can be a more versatile way to provide income during retirement than many people – and financial professionals – realize.”

A new consumer resource, Guide to Long-Term Care Planning Using 1035 Exchanges, explores the basics of how 1035 exchanges can benefit individuals and includes several real-life scenarios.

“The Pension Protection Act (PPA) provides meaningful tax- and long-term care planning advantages to consumers,” said Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), publisher of the guide. “Few people are familiar with this provision, which encourages individuals to plan for the possibility of needing additional income to cover LTC needs.”

Among other provisions, the PPA enables income tax-free withdrawals from specific annuity contracts that pay for qualifying LTC expenses or LTC insurance premiums. This includes fixed interest annuities with LTC benefits, such as OneAmerica annuity-based hybrid LTC protection.

These annuities provide tax deferral and non-LTC liquidity, while offering a guaranteed payout benefit and the option for lifetime LTC benefits. If policyholders don’t utilize their full LTC benefits, a death benefit passes to the named beneficiary. They can be purchased for a single person or shared between two people, and premiums won’t increase. For more information about OneAmerica LTC solutions, visit www.oneamerica.com.

Repositioning assets to take advantage of the PPA is relatively simple, Coudret said. Under section 1035, an existing annuity can be exchanged into a new annuity on a tax-free basis, so all one needs to do is transfer all or a portion of the existing annuity into a hybrid annuity product featuring LTC protection.

“This new guide can be a tremendous help to financial professionals looking for information and resources for their client conversations,” said Coudret.

Tammy Lieber, Senior Public Relations Manager, 317-285-1462

1 Table 25, Year-End Deferred Annuity Assets by Market Type, U.S. Individual Annuity Yearbook – 2016, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, 2017.

# # #

About OneAmerica®

A national leader in the insurance and financial services marketplace for more than 140 years, the companies of OneAmerica have helped customers build and protect their financial futures. OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of their policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset-based long-term care solutions and employee benefit plan products. Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources who are committed to providing value to our customers. To learn more about our products, services and the companies of OneAmerica, visit OneAmerica.com/companies.

OneAmerica® is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica. AALTCI is not an affiliate of the companies of OneAmerica. Provided content is for overview and informational purposes only and is not intended as tax, legal, fiduciary, or investment advice. This information is not designed to promote nor to endorse 1035 exchanges. Before using a 1035 exchange carefully weigh all the benefits, costs, and implications of replacing a policy.

Products issued and underwritten by The State Life Insurance Company® (State Life), Indianapolis, IN, a OneAmerica company that offers the Care Solutions product suite. All guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of State Life.

*On July 20, 2017, State Life was rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best. This is the second highest of 16 possible ratings assigned by the agency.

CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearninghouse

Friday, November 1st, 2019

The CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a new tool to improve highway safety that will be operational on January 6, 2020.  The goals of the clearinghouse, established by the FMCSA, are two-fold:  (1) to efficiently identify drivers not permitted to operate commercial motor vehicles due to drug or alcohol violations and (2) to provide access to real-time information ensuring that drivers receive the proper evaluation and treatment before resuming their driving duties.

Employers will be required to check the clearinghouse for current and prospective drivers’ drug and alcohol violations before permitting those drivers to operate a vehicle.  In addition, employers will annually need to check the clearinghouse for each driver they employ.

Drivers will be able to voluntarily registering in the fall.  They need to keep in mind that starting January 6, 2020, drivers who want to change jobs will be required to be registered in the clearinghouse as part of their employment-related background check.

To learn more about the clearinghouse, visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/

Cliff Johnson, Acuity Trucking Consultant

4 Tips to Organize Your Garage for Winter

Friday, October 25th, 2019

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but winter isn’t too far away. That means more temperate weather for our friends in the south—and cold for our friends in the north. No matter where you live, you can use these simple tips to help organize your garage.

Store chemicals.

Heading into the winter months, if you live in an area that freezes, it is a good idea to store items that can freeze. If your garage isn’t insulated, these items can be brought inside and stored in the basement. Just be sure to keep chemicals out of the reach of children and flammable items away from heat sources.

Hang gardening tools.

If you don’t keep up with putting tools away after a project, now is the time. Hang your gardening tools to keep them out of the way and safely out of reach.

Clear a spot.

The garage is often a dumping ground for all sorts of things. Take a day or a weekend to empty the garage, and only put back the things you need. If you have other options for storage, there may be a better place for those summer toys or the lawn mower. While everything is out, be sure to blow or sweep out the garage too.

Utilize the space.

While you are limited by the size of your garage, you don’t have to be limited by its storage potential. Many items can be hung up over the winter months. Use wall hanging systems and even the garage rafters or attic space to get things up off the floor and away from salt or melting snow.

Do you have any DIY garage organization or storage tips to share?  Original content provided by our friends at Acuity Insurance Company.

Need a home or auto quote?  Call Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777, or click here!

Auto Repair Shop / Auto Dealership Insurance

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

If you own or manage any type of auto repair shop or auto dealership, you need to know that Beck Insurance Agency has both a full understanding of your coverage needs, but also the full backing of multiple insurance companies with excellent Garage Insurance Programs.

Joe Beck, co-agency principal and a garage insurance specialist, has nine years working experience working within a franchised auto dealership.  Also a former ASE Master Technician, Joe has a unique understanding of your needs not only from an agency perspective, but also from your perspective as well.

Beck Insurance will take the time to properly evaluate your auto shop’s insurance needs, and provide accurate coverage solutions for your: Property, Garage Keepers Liability, Dealer Blanket, Employment Practices Liability, Ohio Stop Gap, Group Health, Life, Commercial Umbrella, Commercial Auto, and anything else that may come up.

Our markets are strong, and stable.  Have you recently had a large rate increase?  Has your insurance provider “un-capped” the wind / hail deductible on your inventory?  These are issues we’ve been hearing about, and we can help.

Call Beck Insurance today at 419-446-2777 or click here and we will be in contact soon!

 

Are there any exceptions to the ELD mandate?

Monday, September 9th, 2019

The electronic logging device mandate does have a few exceptions, such as the 100 air mile rule.

“Are there any exceptions to the ELD mandate that you are aware of?”

“Well there are several. Getting back to the small business one, if they are a contractor for example and they are building a house in lets say Indiana and they are domiciled in a home office in Ohio there is one exception where they have a 100 air mile rule so they can operate on a time card basically for their 100 air miles back to their normal work reporting location – as long as they report within a twelve hour period.  The important thing for contractors in these industries that go and do a job out in the field for a longer period of time is that they can change that normal work reporting location from let’s say the home office back in Ohio to that work location in Indiana.  So that one hundred air mile operating radius can change depending on their work location that they have.  So that’s very important to know.”

For more information on electronic logging devices for your trucking business please watch the full live stream with Cliff here: https://www.facebook.com/acuitytrucki…

15 Useful Apps for Truckers

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

With so many apps available to the trucking industry, choosing the right app can be somewhat confusing, and it can be difficult to know where to start. So, why would you want to use an app? Simply put, mobile apps extend the reach and productivity of your time and business.

By equipping your smartphone, tablet, or laptop with apps, it can perform a wide variety of business functions for you while out of the office, traveling, at a shipper, talking to brokers, or determining your best route of travel. A mobile app usually enables the user to do something specific, like accessing their bank account or tracking hours of service (HOS) using an ELD app. But most importantly, apps can help truckers enhance three important areas: time, money, and safety. In short, apps can have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line.

In this article, we focus on 15 free trucking apps that may be helpful to your operation.

1. oCFR

The U.S. DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) made available their online Code of Federal Regulations (oCFR) mobile app, which provides quick access to both its hazardous materials and safety pipeline safety regulations.

2. Drive Axle

Drive Axle is an app that allows you to scan and send documents through your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. It allows both drivers and motor carriers to document work completed more efficiently and invoice quicker.

3. Truckstop Mobile or DAT

The Truckstop and DAT apps are both fast and effective ways to find loads. Post your truck or choose from thousands of loads posted daily.

4. Dock411

Interested in knowing the details about a pickup or delivery location? For example, do they have restrooms available to drivers, are they pet friendly, what is the average time to load or unload, or do they allow overnight parking? The app is populated with information reported by other drivers.

5. Trucker Path

Trucker Path provides useful information, including truck stop locations, fuel prices, parking availability, and weigh station locations.

6. Drivewyze PreClear

Drivewyze is a trucker app that, depending upon your CSA score, allows you to bypass more than 700 weigh station locations.

7. Weigh My Truck CAT Scale

This app provides truckers the opportunity to weigh their truck, pay for the transaction, and have their axle group and gross weights displayed on their smartphone and emailed.

8. BigRoad Trucking Logbook

BigRoad is an electronic logging device app and electronic logbook. It tracks hours of service and can help you maintain compliance with the ELD mandate.

9. Lose It! Calorie Counter

The LoseIt! app can help you control your weight by setting calorie intake goals and tracking your meals, exercise, and nutrition.

10. Weather Channel

Weather is something every motor carrier and truck driver must plan for. This app will help ensure you won’t be caught off guard by weather.

11. Waze

Waze is a GPS app used by many in the transportation industry. It provides a lot of roadway information, but it does not provide low clearance, road weight restrictions, or other trucking-specific information.

12. Vigillo

Exclusive for Vigillo Scorecard subscribers, Vigillo’s CSA Daylight mobile app provides CSA BASICs as a bar chart. It aggregates your BASIC percentiles, including HOS, Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances, Crash, Vehicle Maintenance, Unsafe Driving, and Hazardous Materials.

13. Trucker’s Slide Calculator

This app is able to calculate how much each axle is over or under, including the gross, and provide suggestions on where to slide axles or move weight to become legal.

14. Audiobooks.com

The Audiobooks.com app has over 125,000 offerings with more than 8,000 free titles. One nice feature is that the books can be downloaded so they can be listened to when Wi-Fi is not available.

15. 511

511 apps are available through many states. They are the official mobile apps travelers can use to find information for the state’s Department of Transportation. 511 apps can provide current traffic, winter road conditions, road closures, and many have freeway camera images available. Just enter a state’s two letter abbreviation followed by 511 (e.g., WI511) in your app store.

Content courtesy of Acuity.

Time to dust off that motorcycle!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Finally….it’s that time of the year again! (if the rain would stop)

Right now you are pulling your beloved steel horse out of storage…changing the fluids, airing up the tires, checking the lights, topping off the tank, and getting a nice polish on it.

Storm S. Schultz
Archbold, Ohio

But do you have proper insurance coverage on it (and yourself) as well?

Before getting back on the road again, have Beck Insurance Agency review your motorcycle insurance needs.  Lets make sure your values are correct, your liability limits are good, all that extra chrome is accounted for, and that your rate is fair.  Beck Insurance Agency has several of the top markets for your motorcycle insurance needs.

Call Kylie Schultz at Beck Insurance Agency today!  Phone 419-446-2777, or click here.

Max and Kassie on Life Insurance

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Max & Kassie discuss the importance of having life insurance from the world headquarters of Beck Insurance Agency in Archbold, Ohio.

Hi!  I’m Kassie, and I’m Max….coming to you from Beck Insurance in Archbold.  Parents, we want to remind you of the importance and low cost of life insurance.  Do you have kids?  A mortgage?  Loans?  A spouse?  Kids??

You need life insurance!

Only 62% of people have life insurance.  And over half of those have way too little.  Even worse, one out of three households admit they would suffer financial disaster within a month of the main breadwinner passing.

What would we do?

And it’s not as expensive as you think.  80% of people think life insurance is more expensive than it really is.  But it’s like less than a java chip frappechino a day….more like a couple of pop tarts!

So what’s your excuse?  Mom?  Dad?

Contact Beck Insurance today for your painless life insurance review!

Call 419-446-2777, click here, or stop by Beck Insurance Agency in Archbold, Ohio.