Cold Weather Preparedness

extreme cold
We are expecting to get an arctic blast of cold weather in the upcoming days. Are you prepared for temperatures below freezing? Here are some tips that everyone should read courtesy of Ready.gov!

For Your Vehicle-

  • Check Antifreeze levels
  • Battery should be in top condition with clean terminals
  • Check for any leaks in exhaust system
  • Keep a full tank of gas- this will keep fuel from freezing
  • Make sure heater and defroster are working properly
  • Check Lights and Hazard Lights, Oil, and Windshield Wipers
  • Install Good Winter Tires- it is important that your tires have adequate tread

Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:
a shovel
windshield scraper and small broom
flashlight
battery powered radio
extra batteries
water
snack food
matches
extra hats, socks and mittens
first aid kit with pocket knife
necessary medications
blanket(s)
tow chain or rope
road salt and sand
booster cables
emergency flares
fluorescent distress flag

For Your Home-

  • Maintain heating equipment and have chimneys cleaned yearly
  • Insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip during cold weather to avoid freezing
  • All fuel burning equipment should be kept outdoors and well ventilated
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure all members of the household know how to use them
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows

It is also a very good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home and never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.

Stay Safe and Warm!

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Healthcare Open Enrollment Begins November 15!

Stethoscope
This past year brought many changes in the healthcare arena. Some individuals waited past the open enrollment deadline and were unable to obtain coverage. Still others purchased coverage and didn’t review the network of providers and ended up not having their preferred doctors and hospitals in the plan they chose. Some individuals chose not to obtain coverage because they couldn’t afford the coverage yet many of these individuals were eligible for a discounted premium or subsidy because of their income. Failure to obtain coverage, unless the individual can prove hardship, will result in a tax penalty as described below.

The fee for not having coverage in 2014:
If you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll pay one of these two amounts in a penalty when you file your 2014 federal tax return:
• 1% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
• $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.

The fee for not having coverage in 2015:
If you don’t have coverage in 2015, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:
• 2% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
• $325 per person for the year ($162.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $975.

Beginning November 15th open enrollment for Healthcare products will start and last until 2-15-2015. What this could mean to you, if you have not purchased coverage, you can purchase coverage during open enrollment. You may have gotten a notice that your present policy for 2015 will be changing, if you did, I would like to review those changes with you, before you sign up for another year. If you purchased insurance this past year and would like to look at a new policy, please let me know when you can be contacted. I can contact you, beginning Monday November 17th and explain the options you have. If you are wanting a policy in place for a 1-1-2015 start date, the application must be completed by 12-15-2014.

Please call Robert today! 877-591-8815
robert
Robert Barnette is Vice President of the Life Insurance Division at AssureSouth. He has over 37 years of experience in the insurance industry. His specialties include Life, Long Term Care, Disability, IRA and Annuities.