Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Circle of Champions Award for Jeff Sopko

Congratulations Jeff Sopko!

From the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight 200 in Washington, DC 

Congratulations! As a top performer, you have earned a spot in the HealthCare.gov Circle of Champions because of your outstanding performance enrolling individuals and families in Marketplace coverage. You have helped these individuals and families with more than 20 plan selections during Marketplace Open Enrollment. I would like to personally thank you for the work you have done to positively influence your clients’ lives. You play a crucial role in reaching the uninsured population and have contributed to bringing the uninsured rate down to a historic low.

Kevin J. Counihan Chief Executive Officer, 
Health Insurance Marketplaces Director,
Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight

Friday, December 9, 2016

Homeowners Insurance: What Do Gaps In Insurance Mean?

You Have Probably Seen the Commercials Talking About Gaps in Insurance; But What Does That Mean?

     Current statistics in a study by J.D. Power and Associates show that 59% of homeowners are under insured. As humans, we tend to tune out commercials. This may seem to have no impact on us, unless we realize we are part of that 59%.

     However, as homeowner or renter you need to be extremely aware of where you stand in this picture.  If you fall in the 59% range, this means that if something were to happen to your home, your insurance would only cover about 79% of what actually needs to be covered.  Worse yet, the under insured category includes, as documented by Chief Actuary, James Lynch of the Insurance Information Institute, that 4% of homeowners have no insurance whatsoever. This translates to them, having the full burden of replacing their home which would leave most people in dire straits.

Being insured only 79% of the way would be a hard hit because restoring the remainder of loss would rest totally on your shoulders. Your loss for being under insured would be 21%. The following example illustrates in practicality how this works.

For ease of this example, we will work with simple numbers. Let’s say your home is worth $100,000. In the occurrence of a catastrophic event that nearly destroys your home, you report to your insurance company. If you fall in the under insured category this is how it will play out. Your insurance company pays $79,000 to restore the damage; you have to come up with the extra $21,000 to get your home back to where it was.  Would this be easy for you to do? Keep in mind if you were at this basic level, your contents of the home would not be covered. Also note the replacement cost of your home may have increased.

It  is important to have your insurance reviewed at least every two years. Being aware that an increase in your home’s value, also means an increase in its replacement cost. Even if your home was to decrease in value, the replacement cost continues to grow. This is due to the nature of economics as labor and materials progressively cost more.

This is valuable information to take to heart. We insure our property for our protection. If you find your premium rises a bit to be properly insured, it is vital to understand that this is extremely lessening the risk on your shoulders. How much extra a month is worth not having to come up with $21,000 or more on your own?

Whenever improvements are made to your home, this is a cause to have your homeowners insurance reviewed and updated. Take advantage of free insurance reviews, they are very educational and in your best interest. 

(800) 324-1004

Our agents pay close attention to detail and are very thorough. They will keep you from engaging in risky business when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones.  Your agent will assess the cost to rebuild and replace your home and assets (as opposed to insuring only market value).

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Safety Tips

December is such a fun month with Christmas family traditions to look forward to. Most people enjoy the flurry of activity and special events to plan and attend. Here is wishing you a happy and safe holiday season.

We Have Put Together Some Old and Some New
to Keep in Mind During Our

  • Keep your home well lit when you are not home. Automatic timers that can turn lights off and on in various parts of the house are a good plan. Never set them exactly on the hour. You can even set up a radio or your TV to be on.
  • Stand in front of your home once during the day, and once after dark. See what a potential intruder may spot as an easy target. Make adjustments as necessary
  • BE VERY CAREFUL WITH SOCIAL MEDIA, this is something our parents never had to consider. Unfortunately, there are people who will scour social media to see when you might be attending an activity, a day trip or spending a few days out of town.  If you must post, post AFTER the fact when you have already returned home. EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN TO DO THE SAME.
  • Remember with social media, many strangers are able to access what you write through friend of a friend of a friend . . . and so on. Vandalism and break-ins are no longer just happening at night. Any time of the day is good for a bad guy.
  • Christmas packages need special arrangements and thieves are on the lookout to simply swipe a package before it ever enters your home.  Try to schedule them for when you know someone is home. Speak with a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out for when you are expecting a package and ask them to grab it. Make yourself available to do the same for them. If possible, use of online tracking to better gauge when you package will arrive.
  • If your workplace will allow it, have packages sent to you at work.
  • Make a special effort to NOT BE DISTRACTED while you are shopping and paying for items. Always keep your purse, wallet, and cell phones close. Do not let the business of the season put you at risk for a moment. Plan ahead in your mind how you will handle many stops and transactions using, cash, debit cards or credit cards. As you hurry through check out lines make sure all your stuff is secure.
  • As always the safest place for your holiday packages are in the trunk. Do not tempt a thief to break your car windows because they see something appealing inside.
  • Naturally be aware of your surroundings, as you load packages into your vehicle.
  • Safest home strategy is to have a good relationship with neighbors and keep an eye out for each other. Discuss how you can best help and protect each other’s home and property. Alert each other of special circumstances that might need extra watchfulness. Make sure you have each others numbers so you can text or call when something is in question. Always better safe than sorry.

I admit a little sadness in having an article like this. I wish everyone would just be so happy and wonderful to everyone else. Focus on the delightful. These reminders were to bring a sense of heightened awareness for your safety and the safety of your family.

Merry Christmas!

Sponsored by

Sopko Farmers Insurance
(800) 324-1004

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