Family Holiday Traditions

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the office, not a creature was stirring, not even the bosses. As the holidays approach everyone is gearing up for spending time with family and loved ones, eating delicious foods, and listening to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” on repeat. It appears that every family has their own traditions so in the spirit of the season we went searching around the office to figure out some.

Christmas Decorations

While some Scrooges like to wait until it’s closer to the Holidays to do their decorating others want the head start. Our receptionist, Brianna, and her family do their decorating the day after Thanksgiving. Don’t leave them up to long! For them it’s bad luck if they don’t take them down before the New Year!

Special Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper is a fun and creative way to keep gifts a secret and add decoration to your home depending on what you choose. Our accountant, Terry, picks a special wrapping paper for each of her family members and wraps all of their gifts in it. This year she chose Star Wars for her son and kittens/puppies for her daughter.

Christmas Eve Gift

A few of our staff resonated with the time honored tradition of having one special gift to open on Christmas Eve. For some it’s a pair of festive pajamas to wear while waiting for Santa to bring the rest of your gifts. For others their children were overjoyed to get a Christmas Eve gift to keep their attention during Midnight Mass. No matter what the gift it’s exciting to get something leading up to the big show on Christmas Day. Bonus points if you get holiday pun pajamas that you can wear while you watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Christmas Day

While you may find yourself begging your kids to get up for school in the morning they’re surely up before the sun on Christmas morning. For one of our Personal Insurance Advisors, Courtney, her family quells the kids desire to open gifts by letting them open stockings. This allows all the adults to wake up a bit. Much to the chagrin of the kids they aren’t allowed to open the rest of their gifts until after Christmas Brunch.

Another Christmas Day tradition is food! One of our Business Account Advisors, Lisa, shares a tradition with her mother and family of making spaghetti. Her mom is Italian so after opening gifts the family makes the sauce and pasta from scratch. Lisa’s kids get involved and love turning the handle of the pasta machine and playing with the dough (and making a mess!). Lisa shared this picture of her family making their Christmas Day Spaghetti.

Spaghetti Traditions

Traditions are important to everyone around the holidays. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about ours and have a Happy Holidays and New Year!

 

 

Medicare Monday: Open Enrollment

Medicare open enrollment began on October 15th. This is the time of year when you can review your Medicare coverage and make any changes you find necessary. Being educated about your options can ensure that you are getting the coverage that best fits your life.

What kinds of changes can you make?

The first thing to know for open enrollment is if you are happy with your current coverage then you are not required to make any changes. If you are interested in changing your coverage for the New Year it is important to figure out your options early.

In most cases the open enrollment period is the only time you’ll be able to pick a new Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D plan. If you’re currently on a Medicare Advantage plan you will have the opportunity to switch to original Medicare if you want.

If you have questions about your current coverage or what options you have, we are here to help. Feel free to give us a call, 352-371-7977, or email info@mcgriffwilliams.com.joyce-huis-280682

Open Enrollment 2018

2018 Florida Blue Open Enrollment Dates – Mark your calendar!

Open enrollment for 2018 is here and there are some very important dates to put on your calendar if you would like to obtain health coverage for 2018.

October 4, 2017

If you do NOT qualify for, or need a subsidy, and are under the age of 65 seeking health insurance coverage for 2018, you may enroll earlier than standard Florida Blue open enrollment (November 1st).

October 15, 2017

Open enrollment for individuals seeking Medicare coverage begins.

November 1, 2017

Standard open enrollment for individuals under the age of 65, not seeking Medicare coverage begins.

 

December 15, 2017

Last day to enroll in coverage or change Florida Blue plans for coverage to start on January 1, 2018. Florida Blue Open Enrollment ends.

Keep in mind, any coverage activated during this time do not take effect until the start of the new year (2018). In order to have your coverage begin on January 1, 2018 you must enroll by December 15, 2017.

Please call us, (352) 371-7977, with any questions about your coverage or changes you may want to make.

Halloween Safety Tips

It’s the most spooktacular time of the year: Halloween! While your mind might be on delicious candies or ghoulish hauntings safety should remain a top priority! Follow these tips to keep your home safe from accidents involving your decorations and your family safe during trick or treating.

Home Safety Tips

This rule applies for every day life, but don’t overload your extension cords. We know it’s important for you to have the fog, sound, and light machines for the perfect haunted house. Preventing your cords from overheating can prevent potential fires.

Avoid using open flames. If you want to light Jack-O-Lanterns or put out some spooky candles be sure to use battery-operated instead.

Light and clear the path to your home for trick-or-treaters. A clear path is important, as it gets darker throughout the evening so children don’t trip or hurt themselves walking to your door.

Trick-or-Treater Tips

Include comfortable shoes in costume ideas. Walking from house to house can become old very quickly if you or your child’s shoes are giving blisters or pinching toes.

Bring a flashlight. As it gets darker you’ll be thankful to have one for places that may not be well lit or as your navigating paths up to your neighbors homes.

Avoid costumes with extra length. Make sure your child’s costume isn’t too long to ensure they aren’t tripping as they walk.

Use soft and flexible props. You’ll avoid unnecessary injuries if your child and friends use the props throughout the night.

Check your child’s candy before you let them eat it. Candy that appears to have been opened or is not in a wrapper should be thrown out.halloween

Hurricane FAQ for Clients

In the time leading up to and following a hurricane or major storm the chances that you have questions regarding damages, insurance policies needed, and general preparedness of clients are high. We have assembled this FAQ to ensure that clients are receiving the best service possible.

If a customer purchased home insurance prior to a storm approaching, is it still valid during and after the storm?

Yes, if the insurance was bound and submitted prior to the storm the policy will still be in place and effective using the date on the application. Make sure you have confirmation of a bound policy prior to the storm approaching Florida.

Can a customer purchase flood insurance when a storm is approaching?

Typically flood insurance comes with a 30-day wait period. This means that if a flood policy is paid and purchased on January 1st, the policy will not become effective until 30 days from January 1st. The only way to avoid the 30-day wait period is if flood is required by a mortgage company for a new home closing.

When a storm approaches, at what point do insurance companies start to shut down?

Each insurance company treats this differently. Many insurance companies have a geographical boundary they will restrict writing of new policies and changes to existing policies if the storm has crossed. During hurricane season, it is always best to secure coverage early to prevent any issues with getting insurance for your home closing.

Who is liable if a tree falls while a home is listed for sale?

The rules for liability when a tree falls work the same whether a house is listed for sale or not. If the tree is on the property and falls on the house or other structures then it is typically covered by that homeowners policy. This typically applies if a tree blocks a driveway or wheelchair ramp but does not damage a structure. If a tree falls from a neighbor’s yard or a tree from your yard falls on a neighbor’s and structures are damaged then the owner of the structures, not the tree, will cover the cost through their homeowners policy. Keep in mind, most polices in Florida come with a higher out of pocket hurricane deductible. Be sure to check your own policy for precise information. For more information about tree liability reference our blog.