Health Insurance Open Enrollment Dates

Many individuals have received notice that their health insurance rates are going up on January 1, 2016.

Although health insurance Open Enrollment is through the end of January, in order to avoid automatically paying your renewal rate, you must make a change by December 15, 2015.

What happens if I make a change to my policy between December 16, 2015 and January 31, 2016?

The chart below displays the effective date for policy changes made within various time frames. Please note, until a change is made you will automatically be charged your increased rate amount. For example, if you don’t make a change to your policy until December 16, 2015 (and before January 16, 2016), you will pay the automatic renewal rate for the month of January.  If you don’t make a change until January 31,2016 you will pay your automatic renewal rate for three months (January-March).

health insurance open enrollment dates




If you do not make to your health insurance policy by January 31, 2016 you will be locked into the automatic renewal rate through the end of 2016.

*Please note, any changes made to Medicare supplement plans must be made by December 7, 2015 will take effect January 1, 2016.

What Florida Home Buyers Need To Know About Hurricane Season


Insurance companies can suspend home insurance policy binding when a named storm approaches the area.

Florida insurance companies are permitted to suspend the binding (which is simply the final process of securing coverage) of home insurance policies a few days prior to a storm approaching and continue to not allow securing coverage until after (even a few days after) the storm has passed.  Named storms are not limited to hurricanes, and can include tropical storms, etc.  There are no set rules on when Florida home insurance companies are permitted to suspend the ability to secure coverage and the decision is made by each company individually; therefore, one company may suspend limit securing home insurance coverage to 5 days out, while another company may allow home buyers to secure coverage 3 days out.

buy home in gainesville fl

What if I’m purchasing a home and my closing is during this time?  If your insurance has not been finalized prior to the time of suspension your closing may be delayed.

How can I prevent delaying the closing process? Confirm with your insurance agent that all information has been provided and the application has been completed (i.e. signed, etc.). Take action early – Do NOT wait until the last minute to purchase home insurance during hurricane season.

What happens if there is a suspension during the time of my closing, but I completed the application process prior to suspension? If all documents were submitted to your agent prior to suspension, but the date of closing is during the suspension, your coverage will still be put in place on the date stated on the insurance application paperwork.

Why do Florida home insurance companies suspend the ability to secure coverage when a named storm approaches? Florida homeowners insurance companies have implemented their authority to suspend the ability to secure coverage in order to prevent home owners from attempting to secure insurance only during times they see as an immediate threat.


Let’s look at an example:

Assume you are purchasing a house in Florida and your closing is the last day of the month. A week prior the news is broadcasting about a storm that may potentially affect the state. You’ve received a quote for your home insurance but have not yet contacted your agent to secure the policy. Insurance companies tend to suspend binding as the storm approaches the state. Since there is no set rule as to when these suspensions are put in place, it’s best to contact your agent if there’s a chance of the storm approaching and your closing is in the near future.

If you wait until the storm reaches the Florida coast, it’s possible that you will be unable to obtain insurance, thus delaying your closing.

Gainesville, FL health insurance agency recognized by Florida Blue

McGriff-Williams Insurance recently received regional and statewide recognition for their sale of Florida Blue health insurance policies in Gainesville, FL.


As an agency, McGriff-Williams Insurance was recognized as one of the top 5 agencies in the northeast region for the sale of Medicare supplements (individuals 65 years of age and above), and as one of the top 15 Florida Blue health insurance agencies in the state of Florida. McGriff-Williams was also ranked within the top 10 in the northeast region for individual health insurance policies for individuals under age sixty-five.

A BIG congratulations to our Health Insurance Advisors, Pat Canty and Travis McGriff, on their individual achievements!

McGriff-Williams Health Insurance Advisor, Pat Canty, receiving her award as top health insurance agent in Florida.
McGriff-Williams Health Insurance Advisor, Pat Canty, receiving her award.

Pat Canty, a veteran of the health insurance industry and top performing Florida Blue sales agent, was recognized as the top (#1) sales agent for health insurance policies for individuals over 65 (Medicare supplements) in the northeast region and second in the state of Florida.

Health Insurance Advisor Travis McGriff, was  recognized as the 2nd top sales agent for health insurance policies for individuals over 65 (Medicare supplements) in the northeast region and 5th in the state.

Have questions about your health insurance policy?

We would love to help guide you through the process. Please feel free to call (352-371-7977) or email us at



Do I need an umbrella insurance policy?


Although many individuals believe personal umbrella policies are only of value to the wealthy, anybody can value from additional liability coverage, which is exactly what a personal umbrella policy provides.

A personal umbrella provides coverage when your primary insurance policy doesn’t provide sufficient liability protection. Depending on the company and risk exposure of the individual purchasing the umbrella policy, $1 million in coverage may only cost a couple hundred dollars annually.

Individuals who fall under any of the following categories could benefit from an umbrella policy:

·         Own a home, rental properties or multiple residences

·         Host social gatherings at your place of residence

·         You drive a vehicle or let someone else drive your vehicle

·         Have young drivers in your household

What else should I know about personal umbrellas? The majority of umbrella claims are related to automobile accidents. In fact, below are a few real-life scenarios that resulted in over $1 million dollar payouts from personal umbrella policies:

·         An individual mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brake and propelled through the front of a restaurant injuring several patrons

·         A driver didn’t see a motorcyclist when pulling out causing the motorcyclist to hit the side of their car

·         An individual’s son was allegedly driving under the influence and struck a bicyclist.

·         An individual accidently set fire to his apartment which then spread to other units.

You see, none of these scenarios are too far fetched, and all of the individuals benefited from having a personal umbrella policy. When you tell yourself, “This won’t happen to me,” realize you are not the exception, and although we hope it doesn’t happen to you, it could …it could happen to anyone.

The Importance of Scheduling Valuables

By scheduling valuables, your coverage for these items extends to “all risk loss.” Although personal property is included within your homeowner’s insurance policy, there are some stipulations. Your standard homeowner’s insurance policy only covers specified items in the event of certain perils or occurrences (i.e. fires, theft, etc.).

Please review your individual policy for specifications on coverage.Jewelry Insurance

When an item is scheduled, the coverage extends beyond the listed perils within your standard policy. Additionally, the personal property section of your standard homeowner’s insurance policy also has financial limitations for specified items.

For examples, jewelry may only be covered up to $1,000. In addition to extended coverage, in most instances scheduling items also eliminates deductibles for those items.

Items most commonly scheduled, include but are not limited to: jewelry, fine art, furs, fire arms, musical instruments, cameras, silverware, etc. In order to schedule an item you must provide a current appraisal or bill of sale at the time you add the item to your homeowner’s insurance policy. Although updated appraisals are not required after scheduling items, it may be in your best interest to do so regularly.

Insurance coverage for scheduled jewelry typically ranges between $13 and $22 per $1,000 value. For example, if you want to schedule a $3,000 piece of jewelry, it will cost you roughly between $39 and $66 per year.

Various insurance company guidelines differ in regards to the required minimum and maximum value a scheduled item must be, and how recent the appraisal is required to be in order to schedule the item.