Government shutdown effects on flood insurance and the real estate market

While December 21, 2018 was the deadline for official decisions in order to prevent a government shutdown, agreements were not made. Now as we narrow in on the beginning of 2019, whether or not we’d like to start a new year in this way, there are many things still up in the air. One thing has been resolved though, after just a few days of major backlash.

FEMA, which oversees the National Flood Insurance Program, initially announced that there could be no business conducted regarding flood insurance until the shutdown was resolved. That included issuing of new business, renewals/reinstatements, or coverage changes on existing policies. Nothing. It was estimated that had this suspension continued, up to 40,000 real estate transactions (mainly the sale of homes in flood zones mandatory to carry special coverage) per month would be delayed. This would significantly affect homeowners, realtors, mortgage lenders, inspectors, and many other affiliates’ livelihood.

It was decided that this could drastically affect too many people in irreversible ways. Therefore as of December 28, just one week later, FEMA has reversed that decision and is now allowing all flood insurance business to continue for the time being.

Please contact info@mcgriffwilliams.com or (352)371-7977 with any questions regarding flood insurance in Florida.

The IRS Holiday Gift to Large Employer Health Plans

The IRS has an early holiday gift for employers, on November 29, 2018, the IRS released an extension for large employers to file the 2018 Form 1095-C or 1095-B under the Affordable Care Act requirements. The agency has pushed back a critical Affordable Care Act (ACA) deadline for the fourth year in a row.  The forms, which outline employer-provided medical benefits, must be submitted annually by businesses with 50 or more full-time workers. The IRS uses these reports to track employer compliance.
-The deadline for furnishing 2018 Form 1095-C, or Form 1095-B, if applicable, to employees and individuals is March 4, 2019 (extended from January 31, 2019).

-The deadline for filing copies of the 2018 Forms 1095-C, along with transmittal Form 1094-C (or copies of Forms 1095-B with transmittal Form 1094-B), if applicable, remains unchanged:

-If filing by paper, February 28, 2019.

-If filing electronically, April 1, 2019.

The extended due date applies automatically so employers do not need to make individual requests for the extension.

Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

It’s hard to believe but Thanksgiving is here! And it’s one of the busiest days of the year for travel. AAA estimated that 54.3 million Americans will travel for this holiday and approximately 48.5 million of those are by vehicle. The roads will be busy and we want you to stay safe! You may even be renting a car to make your road trip or have once you arrive at your destination. Here are some tips on how to make your trip successful as well as how insurance coverage factors in for a vehicle that is not owned by you.

Be sure to prep your vehicle by fueling up and checking your oil and tire pressure. The Red Cross recommends always having an emergency kit with supplies such as water, a flashlight, cell phone charger, jumper cables, first aid kit and spare tire.

If you run in to bad traffic, check out the app called “Waze” for notifications or detours. And if you’re running low on fuel, “Gas Buddy” can help find the nearest station. While these can be helpful, have your passenger navigate them for you so you can avoid distractions and remain alert to the heavy traffic around you.

Often times, the auto insurance you carry on your personal vehicle will transfer over to a rental car. Sounds simple, but there are some stipulations to consider. The rental vehicle cannot be used for business. In order for your coverage to carry over, the rented vehicle must be used for personal use for 30 days or less and inside the United States.

Also, the only coverage that carries over is what you have on your own car. If you have no comprehensive and collision coverage, then you’re left without it on the rental car. Knowing this information can save you a lot of money. You can get away with not purchasing extra insurance in some cases but it may be wise to add it for the minimal cost that it is.

Stay safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Health Insurance Open Enrollment – 2019 coverage

The time for 2019 coverage selection is now! It’s open enrollment, the short time frame that is infamous for all decisions to be made regarding upcoming health insurance coverage. McGriff-Williams can assist in plan changes or confirmation of renewal if you stay on the same plan that you currently have. Our agents are knowledgeable and ready to help guide you through this process. And if you don’t have a plan already in place, now’s also the time to purchase new coverage! Here are some important dates to keep in mind:

October 1 – Open enrollment begins for off-marketplace (ACA but non-subsidized) plans

November 1 – Open enrollment begins for marketplace (subsidized) plans

December 15 – Deadline for all new coverage and plan changes, which will be effective January 1, 2019

Medicare Monday: Open Enrollment starts today!

Medicare Open Enrollment begins today, October 15th. This is the time of year when you can review and change your Medicare coverage for 2019. Being educated on your options and comfortable in your decision ensures you are getting the right coverage to fit your needs.

Changes can be made NOW through December 7th, however, you are not required to take any action during this time if you do not wish. If you currently have original  Medicare and either an advantage plan or a supplement and you are happy…. Your coverage will renew as is for next year. If you’d like to switch things up and try a different route, now’s the time!

Whether you’re brand new to Medicare or not quite there but starting to get inundated with information, we can help! At McGriff-Williams, we hold quarterly seminars to explain and simplify the whole Medicare process, while also comparing advantage plans to supplements and how prescription drug coverage comes into play. We understand this can be very overwhelming and stressful but it doesn’t have to be! Let us help you navigate the joys of being 65 and/or retired so you can reap the benefits of all the hard work you put in.

Please contact us anytime with Medicare-related questions or call to register for one of our 2019 seminars, which are all Wednesdays @ 10:00am:

April 17th, 2019

July 17th, 2019

October 16th, 2019