Hurricane Dorian claims information

As a precaution for the upcoming storm, Hurricane Dorian, we have created a comprehensive list of phone numbers you should call in the event that you need to file a claim. During this time, we will be checking our emails and main phone line messages as often as possible to be available to all of our clients.

 

For personal insurance claims:

AAA: 1-888-929-4222

Allied/Nationwide: 1-800-282-1446

American Integrity: 1-866-277-9871

Auto-Owners: 1-888-252-4626

ASI/Progressive Home: 1-866-274-5677

Avatar: 1-877-233-3237

Bankers: 1-800-627-0000

Capitol Preferred: 1-888-388-2742

Chubb: 1-800-252-4670

Citizens: 1-866-411-2742

Florida Family: 1-888-486-4663

Florida Peninsula: 1-866-549-9672

Florida Specialty: 1-866-554-5896

Geovera: 1-800-631-6478

Hagerty: 1-800-922-4050, ext. 4

Heritage: 1-855-415-7120

Homeowners Choice: 1-888-210-5235

Mercury:  1-800-503-3724

MetLife: 1-800-854-6011

Assurant (Flood): 1-800-423-4403, ext. 3

Olympus: 1-866-281-2242

Progressive Auto: 1-800-776-4737

Safe Harbor: 1-866-482-5246

Safeco: 1-800-332-3226

Security First: 1-877-581-4862

Southern Fidelity: 1-866-874-7342

Stillwater: 1-800-220-1351

St. Johns: 1-877-748-2059

Tower Hill Home: 1-800-342-3407

Travelers: 1-800-252-4633

Universal: 1-866-999-0898

UPC: 1-888-256-3378

Wright Flood: 1-877-270-4329

 

For business insurance claims:

American Capital: 1-866-274-5677

Auto-Owners: 1-800-437-6164

Guard: 1-800-639-2567

Hartford: 1-800-553-1710

Liberty Mutual: 1-844-325-2467

Nationwide: 1-866-322-3214

Old Dominion: 1-877-425-2467

Philadelphia: 1-800-765-9749

Progressive: 1-800-274-4499

Tower Hill: 1-800-342-3407

 

If you do not see a number listed for your personal insurance carrier, please email us at mwi@mcgriffwilliams.com, and we will be happy to assist you in whatever way we can. For business insurance, you can email comm@mcgriffwilliams.com. We hope everyone stays safe during this time. Thank you.

When do I need to sign up for Medicare if I’m still working?

TRUE OR FALSE: “I don’t need to think about Medicare until I’m 65 or retired since that’s when I become eligible.”

FALSE. Please tell us you answered FALSE.

Medicare is a federal health care program that is regulated by CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and with that, comes a lot of important guidelines to follow. And breaking these rules can result in much more than a slap on the wrist. We’re talking financial penalties that can stick with you indefinitely. Forever. Or worse, make you ineligible for coverage.

Medicare is typically available to people at age 65 or retired, but is also offered to those under 65 if disabled or suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease/permanent kidney failure.

Here are a few scenarios that could get you a not-so-nice penalty:

  • Your group employer does not provide sufficiently credible coverage OR you enroll in Medicare but don’t think you need Part D because you aren’t currently taking any medications.
    • Result: Part D penalty that gets tacked on to your premium when you do obtain the correct coverage & will stay on forever. As of now, this is 1% of the base beneficiary premium for every month after age 65 that you didn’t have it.
    • How to avoid: Enroll in even a low premium Part D plan, regardless if you need it at the moment or not.
  • Your employer has fewer than 20 employees & you didn’t sign up for Part B since you’re still working.
    • Result: You could have major coverage gaps you aren’t even aware of.
    • How to avoid: Enroll in Parts A&B at age 65 if still working with 20 or fewer colleagues.
  • You’re still working & contributing to your HSA account.
    • Result: You are at risk for being assessed a tax penalty.
    • How to avoid: Stop contributing to your HSA 6 months prior to Medicare eligibility. You can still use the funds in that account for deductibles, copays or coinsurance but you cannot add any more money to it.
  • You elected COBRA coverage at the time of retirement but didn’t enroll in Part B.
    • Result: COBRA is now secondary to Part B so you must enroll in Part B in order to not have a coverage gap.
    • How to avoid: If you already have Medicare, you can get COBRA…. But if you become Medicare eligible while on COBRA, you cannot keep it.  Most importantly, losing COBRA does NOT qualify as a Special Enrollment to get Part B.

So much of this is situational and really depends on your personal circumstance. We are happy to discuss this individually and help determine exactly what you need to do and when.

Identity theft is getting creative… don’t fall for it!

You’ve probably seen the latest trend gone viral where you can get a glimpse of what you’ll look like in 30 years. “Face App” has gained popularity after celebrities like Carrie Underwood, Drake, LeBron James and Taylor Swift posted filtered photos of themselves on social media portraying an aged image with grey hair and wrinkles. While it may be the first time there’s been humor surrounding looking older, it also revealed some warnings of identity theft by the parent company based out of Russia. There may only be a few quick boxes to check when downloading an app like this but agreeing to terms you haven’t read is never a good choice.

In this example, anyone that agreed to the company’s terms allowed access to their photos and full licensing to use the photos however they’d like without any permission or the ability to take legal action. Driving along a highway and seeing your face on a billboard that you weren’t aware of is a scary thought, right? Even worse, that headshot could potentially be used for photo recognition allowing access to your bank account or personal information. Even the newest iPhone unlocks based on your smiling face.

This isn’t intended to call anyone out or make you worry if you were curious enough to check out your best Grandma or Grandpa look…. But it is a peek at what is happening out there in regards to identity theft.

Not necessarily for Face App issues, but there is a simple step you can take when it comes to ID theft and your insurance. Identity theft insurance is intended to cover the expenses, typically up to $25,000, related to restoring your identity and credit score (if applicable), not the amount of stolen funds. Such expenses may include: costs of executing affidavits, notary and certified mailing costs, application fees for re-applying for loan(s), reasonable attorney fees and loss of income resulting from time taken off work to complete theft/fraud paperwork.

Identity theft insurance can be added to your property insurance policy (home or renters), or possibly even your auto insurance policy, for approximately $50/year.

Tips for avoiding identity theft:

  • Keep the amount of personal information you carry to a minimum
  • Make sure you have up to date firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus programs installed on your computer AND phone
  • Carefully monitor your bank and credit card accounts on a regular basis, as well as your credit report
  • Passwords should always be unique and never the same password used for multiple accounts/logins
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi when possible
  • Shred any personal documents or statements that you dispose of
  • Check for updates to social media privacy policies that you may not have been notified of

Cybercrimes happen every 14 seconds… is your business next?

Cybercrime is a big business, in fact 58% of cyber-attack victims were small businesses in 2018. If your business is attacked, the damage could cause financial strain or cause you to close the business. The lost revenue due to system downtime, the money spent attempting to remediate a breach and the reputational damage can really add up. While spending time and resources on making sure your network is secure and up to date is extremely important, it’s equally important to provide training for your employees. The top cybersecurity threat to small businesses is internal, because employees mistakenly let the cyber criminals in. While cyber threats change daily, the two most common we’ve seen recently are:

Ransomware– A virus downloaded via employees clicking on phishing links that is intended to bring business to a standstill, by locking up data with a demand for extortion money or else… the complete destruction of all data.

Funds Transfer Fraud– Hackers manipulate businesses or their clients to wire money into the hacker’s bank account. Simply put, money is accidentally wired to the wrong place.

 

Can it happen to you?

If you don’t think it can happen to you, we encourage you to think again. In the last week, two Florida cities have been hacked and over $1 million dollars were paid in ransom to gain access to their system. The details for these are below:

Lake City, Florida

“The mayor of Lake City told CBS 47 Action News Jax on Tuesday that the small city in northern Florida would give the hackers $460,000 to hand back control of email and other servers seized two weeks ago. I would’ve never dreamed this could’ve happened, especially in a small town like this, Lake City Mayor Stephen Witt told Action News Jax.”

Riviera Beach, Florida

“The leaders of Riviera Beach, Fla., looking weary, met quietly this week for an extraordinary vote to pay nearly $600,000 in ransom to hackers who paralyzed the city’s computer systems.”

 

It’s projected that by 2021, cybercrimes will cost $6 trillion worldwide. This activity will not slow down as we increase technology use, it will only become more complicated. Please call your account advisor today to discuss cyber protection for your business.

Calling All Moms!

One of the most important insurance policies a Mom in today’s society needs is life insurance…. so why do most Moms not have enough of it or any at all?

Historically, many Moms stayed home to care for the children while Dad worked. Currently, more and more Moms are working and with that, may not be covering themselves like they should.

According to Transamerica, 44% of women do not have life insurance. But yet, 40% of working mothers in US families are the bread winner. And it’s expected that 66% of the nation’s wealth will be controlled by women by the year 2030. It is extremely important for these working Moms to have the right protection!

Life insurance would be a great start to getting Mom covered. We all know most families would suffer tremendously in many ways if they were to unfortunately lose the matriarch, but life insurance could help sustain the family by paying for a nanny, a family member to move to help, a childcare facility, schooling, etc if Dad became the sole care giver. And Moms are busy, right? Now, there are even some companies that will issue life insurance with no medical exam! Less time spent and very little effort so Mom can stick to her juggling act of everything else.

Whether or not a family is fully dependent on Mom’s salary, disability insurance or “income protection” is also something that many Moms overlook. This too is a pretty simple process that would help pay the bills or get extra help if Mom is injured or ill.

Mothers are so valued and appreciated for intangible things so let’s not leave them underinsured! We’re always happy to help: nick@mcgriffwilliams.com or (352)371-7977.