Jonathan Edewards

Southern California Earthquake Risk Increases; Most Homeowners Uninsured

A sudden flurry of minor earthquakes at the tip of the San Andreas Fault has seismologists worried that the “Big One” could be triggered, the Los Angeles Times reports. In any given week, the normal risk of a major quake that would cause homeowners and commercial property owners in Greater Los Angeles to lose their properties is about 1 in 6,000, scientists estimate. This week’s swarm of quakes dramatically increases the risk of a major (7.0+) quake occurring within 7 days to as low as 1 chance in 100. Read the Los Angeles Times article here.

 

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Despite the annual warning notices that insurance companies mail to homeowners, most property owners have let their earthquake insurance policies lapse or have never purchased coverage, and would lose their home or business if an earthquake levels it. For the past decade, there have been few options to purchase earthquake insurance, and policies came with such high deductibles (15%) that homeowners were discouraged and opted to forgo coverage and take the risk.

In recent months, new earthquake insurance policies have become available with improved coverage.

Under the previous offerings, a 15% deductible meant that a home insured for $500,000 had to sustain at least $75,000 in damage for the policy to pay a claim; faced with the thought of having to pay the first 15% of their home’s insured value, many homeowner preferred to ignore the risk altogether.

(Notice that fine point: the earthquake deductible applies to a % of the insured value, not a % of the damage.) For example, if an earthquake hits a home insured for $500,000, and the earthquake causes minor cracking of the foundation and walls, and also results in water damage from a burst pipe, and that damage costs $100,000 to repair, the claim would be settled like this:

$100,000 repair cost – (15% x $500,000 insured value) = $25,000 claim payout.

New Earthquake Insurance Policies are closing the gaps in coverage that older policies contain.

The new earthquake insurance policies now offer lower deductible options: 5% or 10%. That means that homeowners can sleep better at night! It’s much more comforting to know that your earthquake insurance policy will pay the cost to rebuild or repair your house in the event of an earthquake without having to take a out a loan to cover the policy’s deductible.

In addition, some of the new earthquake policies now include substantial coverage for swimming pools, walkways, driveways, patios, and retaining walls. Most earthquake policies limit coverage on those items to just $3,000 or so. Clearly, $3,000 would not be sufficient to replace a swimming pool or a lot of paving/decking. The new policy options can take care of those items, too, if you are careful to purchase a policy that specifically provides that coverage.

For advice and help obtaining earthquake coverage for yourself or your business, contact Jonathan Edewards at Citrust Insurance at 626-765-4495 or GetHelp@Edewards.com.

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For advice and help obtaining earthquake coverage for yourself or your business, contact Jonathan Edewards at Citrust Insurance at 626-765-4495 or GetHelp@Edewards.com.

 

How President Abraham Lincoln obtained a last-minute insurance policy the night before leaving for Washington D.C. to be inaugurated.

 

Like any American homeowner, Abraham Lincoln was rightfully proud of his home in Springfield, Illinois, the only home he ever owned. All of his children had been born there, and he made many improvements, even adding a second floor to accommodate his growing family.

On February 10th, 1861, on the eve of Lincoln’s departure for Washington DC for his first inauguration, his home in Springfield was buzzing with friends and well-wishers.  But there was work to be done that night, and Lincoln had asked his old friend, Hartford insurance agent James J. Hill to help, because he was planning to rent out his home while he was living in the White House.
Lincoln sought the protection and security of a fire policy from The Hartford.  Carefully measuring the rooms, and even providing a discounted premium for Lincoln’s new wood stoves, Agent Hill worked long into the night to diligently write the $3,200 insurance policy that Lincoln would sign the next morning before departing for Washington DC.
Jonathan Edewards is an independent insurance agent in Pasadena, California who is proud to continue the work of insuring homeowners and business owners, and represents quality insurance companies such as The Hartford, Safeco Insurance, QBE, and others.

“Small Group” Health Insurance – why rates are increasing, and the difference between “Grandmothered” or “Grandfathered” plans vs the new “ACA” plans

January 2016: No more “grandmothered” health insurance plans, and now any employer with 1 to 100 employees is considered a “small group.”

Employers who have more than 50 employees* are now required to provide health insurance, or face a large tax penalty.

 

This infographic, published by Anthem Blue Cross is very helpful for explaining:

“Why are small group health insurance rates increasing?”

and

“What is the difference between the way that the new “Obamacare” /  Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) plans are rated vs the way they were rated previously?”

 

Why are small group health insurance rates increasing, and what is the difference between the way that the new "Obamacare"/ACA/Affordable Care Act plans are rated vs the way they were rated previously. The explanation is: 1. No more "discounts" (previously known as a "RAF"). 2. In many cases, the new ACA plans have better or increased benefits that are mandated by law. The new plans cover more. 3. New regulations regarding how plans charge consumers, designed to spread the cost more equally among the population, so that there are fewer instances of some people paying very little and some people paying extraordinarily high rates. This benefits people who are sicker and older, or who live in areas where hospitals and doctors charge more, and it hurts people who are young, healthy, or live in areas where healthcare costs are very competitive.

Essentially, there are three fundamental trends:

  1. No more “discounts” (previously known as a “RAF”).
  2. In many cases, the new ACA plans have better or increased benefits that are mandated by law.  The new plans cover more.
  3. New regulations regarding how plans charge consumers are designed to spread the cost more equally among the population, so that there are fewer instances of some people paying very little and some people paying extraordinarily high rates.  These new regulations on rates benefit people who are sicker and older, or who live in areas where hospitals and doctors charge more, and the regulations hurt people who are young, healthy, or live in areas where healthcare costs are already very competitive.

* 50 employees = the sum of all your full time employees plus “full-time equivalents.”  Call us at 626-676-3466 for a full explanation.


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Rates and Doctor Networks are changing.  Give me a call for assistance!  As a Covered California Certified Insurance Agent (CIA), I can help you:

  • Renew or Change your plan.
  • Make sure you’re getting the best value.
  • Help you qualify for the correct Tax Credit / Subsidy. (And avoid mistakes that might haunt you at tax time!).
  • Know which plans have your doctors & hospitals “in-network,” and which plans do not.
  • Figure out billing issues and answer other questions.
  • Provide an alternative to waiting on hold with Customer Service hotlines.
  • Troubleshoot.

No Cost to You – No Extra Fees.

 CALL:
626-676-3466

626-676-3466

Breaking News! Cedars-Sinai Joins Blue Shield PPO Network—March 2015

In-Demand Hospital finally becomes accessible to many residents who live on Los Angeles’ West side.

On January 26, Cedars’ website was updated to show Blue Shield’s Individual and Family Plan (IFP) PPO options as “in-network”.

Screenshot of cedars-sinai.edu taken on1/29/15

Screenshot of Cedars’ Insurance Page taken on 1/29/15.

These plans are available both “on-exchange” (through a Covered California Certified Agent) and “off-exchange” (directly through a Blue Shield agent).  There is no difference between “on” and “off” exchange plans; simply a different method of submitting an application for coverage.  (Purchasing an on-exchange plan is the only method to apply for a tax credit/subsidy, however).

Blue Shield’s plans have been the lowest-cost PPO plans available in LA County for the last two years, but the lack of access to Cedars-Sinai was previously a disadvantage that was a deal breaker to many people who live nearby in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Los Angeles, or who value the hospital’s excellent reputation.Print

Now, many people may consider switching plans to take advantage of the premium savings.  However, the opportunity to change plans (or enroll in a new plan) closes with the end of Open Enrollment on February 15, 2015.

Blue Shield also offers excellent Dental and Vision Insurance options, but only when enrolling “Off-exchange”. (Covered California has plans to offer Dental options, but the rollout has been delayed.

If you would like to explore your options with Blue Shield (or any other insurance company) call me at 626-676-3466 and I’ll be happy to provide advice and assistance.

Or, click THIS LINK or the photos below to explore your options online.

 

 

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What do you need Liability coverage for?

The liability coverage on your homeowners or renters insurance policy covers you for your responsibility for property damage or bodily injury. It’s not always easy to think of an example, but here is a news article in which a homeowners insurance policy paid $100,000 to a man who broke his spine in the course of a search and rescue attempt.

http://www.latimes.com/local/orangecounty/la-me-0117-hiker-rescue-20150117-story.html

Open Enrollment for Health Insurance begins again on November 15th

Covered California urges consumers to find a local insurance agent.
Agents can help their clients decide if it’s best to renew their current plan or switch to a new one.

Frustrated with Covered California? Phone lines jammed, and hold times too long? A local insurance agent get help immediately, and answer your questions about health insurance, and help you decide if you should renew your current plan or switch to a new one. Call Jonathan Edewards of Citrust Insurance Agency for help

Rates and Doctor Networks are changing.  Give me a call for assistance!  As a Covered California Certified Insurance Agent (CIA), I can help you:

  • Renew or Change your plan.
  • Make sure you’re getting the best value.
  • Help you qualify for the correct Tax Credit / Subsidy. (And avoid mistakes that might haunt you at tax time!).
  • Know which plans have your doctors & hospitals “in-netowork,” and which plans do not.
  • Figure out billing issues and answer other questions.
  • Provide an alternative to waiting on hold with Customer Service hotlines.
  • Troubleshoot.

No Cost to You – No Extra Fees.

 CALL:
626-676-3466

626-676-3466

How much is the penalty for not buying Health Insurance?

Starting January 1, 2014, most consumers must have health insurance. This may be through your employer, coverage you buy for yourself, Medicare, or Medi-Cal.

Consumers who don’t have health insurance may have to pay a penalty called a “shared responsibility fee” that increases each year up to a maximum amount.

2015: The fee is 2% or $325 per adult, plus kids.

In 2015, the fee is 2% of the annual household income, or $325 per adult, whichever is higher.

In 2016, the fee increases to 2.5% or $695 per adult, whichever is higher.

For example, the chart below shows the penalty with the maximum for an uninsured household of four:
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If you’re uninsured for just part of the year (longer than 3 months), you pay a pro-rated penalty.  That is, 1/12 of the yearly penalty for each month you’re uninsured.

The penalty is due when you file your taxes at tax time.

Remember, if you are uninsured you also pay 100% of your medical costs.

The Good News: Help is Available.

If you can’t afford either the monthly premiums or the penalty, there is help available.  Call me at 626-676-3466 and we can discuss your options.

 

Your friendly insurance professional

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Give me a call for assistance!  As a Covered California Certified Insurance Agent (CIA), I can help you:

  • Renew or Change your plan.
  • Make sure you’re getting the best value.
  • Help you qualify for the correct Tax Credit / Subsidy. (And avoid mistakes that might haunt you at tax time!).
  • Know which plans have your doctors & hospitals “in-netowork,” and which plans do not.
  • Figure out billing issues and answer other questions.
  • Provide an alternative to waiting on hold with Customer Service hotlines.
  • Troubleshoot.

No Cost to You – No Extra Fees.

 CALL:
626-676-3466

Legislative Overhaul is in the Works Gov. Jerry Brown, Business Associations, & Labor Unions are hammering out a deal Insurance companies that provide workers compensation insurance in the state of California have had a rough time of it… Read More

What’s Going On with Workers Comp?

Startling Stats about Business Closures following Extreme Weather

What happens to small businesses that suffer from an interruption of business?

Power outages, water damage, unavailability of employees to report to work, and the inability of customers to access your business could force you to close up shop in the aftermath of a major storm.  What happens then?

The Hartford has published this terrific graphic that demonstrates the importance of comprehensive Business Income insurance protection:

For the full article and graphic, visit the The Hartford’s website here.