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.

Claims Numbers Hurricane Irma

As a precaution during the upcoming storm, Hurricane Irma, we have created a comprehensive list of 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 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- 1-800-252-4626

ASI- 1-866-274-5677

Bankers- 1-800-627-0000

Capitol Preferred- 1-888-388-2742

Chubb- 1-800-252-4670

Citizens- 1-866-411-2742

Elements- 1-866-709-8749

Florida Family- 1-888-486-4663

Florida Peninsula- 1-866-549-9672

Geovera- 1-800-631-6478

Hagerty- 1-800-922-4050

Heritage- 1-855-415-7120

Homeowners Choice- 1-888-210-5235

Mercury-  1-800-503-3724

MetLife- 1-800-854-6011

Mount Beacon- 1-844-279-7314

Nationwide/American Bankers(Flood)- 1-800-759-8656

Olympus- 1-866-281-2242

Progressive- 1-800-274-4499

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/Flood)- 1-800-342-3407

Travelers- 1-800-252-4633

Universal- 1-866-999-0898

UPC- 1-888-256-3378

For business insurance claims:

American Capital- 866-274-5677

Auto-Owners- 800-437-6164

Guard- 800-639-2567

Hartford- 800-553-1710

Liberty Mutual- 800-362-0000

Nationwide- 866-322-3214

Old Dominion- 877-425-2467

Philadelphia- 800-765-9749

Progressive- 800-274-4499

Tower Hill- 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 our Business Department at comm@mcgriffwilliams.com. We hope everyone stays safe during this time.