Health Coverage Needs: Expecting Parents

Congratulations, you’re expecting a baby! Whether it’s your first or fourth, as new parents, there are some changes you will need to make with your health insurance. The options may seem singular, just add your new baby to an existing family policy, but it may be more affordable and better for your newborn to have his or her own policy.

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What are your options as new parents?

Adding a baby to an existing family plancan increase premiums by substantial amounts. It may seem like the easiest option, but simply getting a separate can give you better coverage and a lower premium. In most instances you will have 30 days from the time a child is born to secure some type of health coverage for you baby. A policy you purchase in the 30 days backdatesto begin on the birth date. If you are adding a baby to an exchange plan you may have up to 60 days. It is not suggested that you wait, according to BankRate.com.

According to the Affordable Care Act, there are specific times during the year that you can purchase health insurance. There are some life events that qualify you to get insurance outside of the enrollment period. Having a baby or adopting a child is considered one of these events. Don’t hesitate calling your agent to find out what your options for coverage for your new baby are.

Contact Us

Have questions about your coverage or if you qualify for a Marketplace plan? Feel free to comment below, email us (info@mcgriffwilliams.com) or call to speak with one of our agents, (352) 371-7977.

How Much Life Insurance is Enough?

When it comes to life insurance it can be difficult to predict how much coverage you need. There are several factors to consider. These include how many children you have, cost of living, and how long you will be replacing income.

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The Simple Solution

According to our Financial Insurance Advisor and resident life insurance expert, Nick Deas, the amount you need is oftentimes 10 to 20 times your annual income. For example, if you make $50,000 a year the amount of life insurance coverage you’d need is anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million. Now it may seem like taking the easy road would be productive enough, but doing so doesn’t factor in whether you and your spouse are insured, whether you have saved already, or expenses for a child’s college education.

A More Detailed Look

Knowing what you’re saving for and breaking down the amounts can be helpful when choosing your life insurance. One factor to calculate and consider is debt. This includes your mortgage, credit cards, loans, and anything else that has yet to be paid off. The next factor is your children’s educations. Deas’ estimate is $100,000 per child for room, board, and tuition for a four year degree. This may not apply if you already have a fully funded college payment plan. The final factor is the amount of income you are replacing and the length of time it is needed. If you are a stay-at-home parent then you should consider the cost of keeping up your home and childcare versus a traditional salary.

Give Nick Deas a call, 352-371-7977, or email him, nick@mcgriffwilliams.com, today for different quotes and options for your coverage. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

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When Did Car Repairs Get So Costly?

Does it seem like every time you go in for car repairs the cost goes up? There are several reasons simple repairs, such as replacing a headlight, seems so expensive compared to five or 10 years ago.

New Technology

One reason for increased cost of repairs is a difference in technology used when constructing vehicles. According to Safeco Insurance, one of the most frequently damaged parts of a car is the headlamp. More and more vehicles are switching to adaptive headlights. According to HowStuffWorks.com, many countries are beginning to require vehicles to have these headlights. They enhance visibility with sensors that adjust to bends in the road. The cost of these headlights for repair can be anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 times that of standard headlights.

More Parts

Another factor that increases your repair costs is the number of parts in your vehicle. According to Safeco Insurance, a 2015 Accord LX has approximately 2 times the number of parts that the 1996 vehicle of the same model had. If you get into a wreck or damage your vehicle you may have more to repair. The parts in the vehicle that you have to repair can be expensive.

Don’t be surprised if you own a newer vehicle and repair costs seem more expensive than they did in the past.

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Tax Tackling Tips

According to CNBC, 13% of Americans would rather go to jail than do their taxes. While you may not feel as strongly, there is a good chance that there are plenty of things you’d rather spend your time doing than taxes this season. Use these tips before filing this season to help you maximize your time and return.

Get Organized

Keeping all of our important tax documents in one place will make a world of difference the day you do your taxes. Create a designated folder on your desktop for digital receipts and documents and a physical folder for paper copies. Trust us that your taxman (or woman) will thank you when you come organized. If you’re doing your own taxes then you’ll save yourself the hassle of searching for what you need.

Get What you Need from Work

By now your 2016 employers should have sent your W-2 or other documents you need. If you have not received the proper documents contact your employer as soon as possible. If you have contacted employers and received no reply then it might be time to contact the IRS. USA Today has helpful steps for how to handle not receiving your proper documents this tax season.

File Early

While the deadline to file your taxes is not until April 15, 2017 it is useful to file early. There are several reasons that filing early is beneficial whether you are getting money back or have taxes you owe. Filing early will guarantee you get your return earlier, as it generally takes two to three weeks for your refund to process and receive money. If you file and it turns out you owe then you’ll have additional time to pay off the money owed. TurboTax, online tax prep software, has additional benefits to filing early.

It may be a frustrating season, but using these tips could help ease your mind!

Insuring Valentine’s Valuables

With the 2017 Grammys behind us and Valentine’s Day just two days later plenty of people will have new bling this week. According to Property Casualty Insurers, more than $19 billion was spent on valuables last year on Valentine’s Day in 2016. That’s more than ever before! While your standard homeowners insurance policy may include coverage for these valuable it may only be covered by losses caused by perils included in your policy unless you purchase additional coverage. By “scheduling” items (listing them in your policy individually with values) you can ensure your items are covered for additional protections and increased limits of value.

Some items that may be considered valuables include jewelry, fine art, fire arms, musical instruments, cameras, silverware, collectibles, and furs. 

In order to schedule valuables at the proper value it is recommended that you take the following steps:

  • Take inventory of items of value.
  • Obtain an appraisal for significant items. This may require going to a specialist to determine the proper value.
  • If the item was recently purchased, a bill of sale will likely be accepted as the appraised value, depending on the type of valuable.
  • Submit appraisals to your homeowners insurance agent to discuss additional coverage options for theses specific items.

The PCI also had great tips for protecting your valuable purchases including:

  • Taking pictures of the items
  • Only bringing jewelry you plan to wear when traveling
  • Regularly inspecting jewelry
  • Keeping your valuables in a secure place

Don’t be caught in a situation of loss without enough coverage to get the value of your items! Happy Valentine’s Day!