It has been an incredibly challenging year, but with everything organized and in its place, one last thing you'll have to worry about at the end of this year and the beginning of next year are your insurance plans!
Hello readers, and welcome back to the blog! Can we all just sit back and relax and acknowledge that we did it? We made it through this year, we made it through another open enrollment period, and we are just about to step into a bright and fresh new year! We did it! We have so much to be thankful for, and we are so grateful for all of your support. We are happy to have helped so many of our returning customers find insurance plans that fit them perfectly for yet another year, and we are excited to have helped our new customers find the perfect insurance plans for their needs! Welcome to the Abri family! We are honored to help you, be here to support you, and keep you and your family safe and protected!
While our last blog was all about rushing to use up your benefits now that you may or may not have hit your deductible, this blog is going to be a little extra holiday gift from us you. There is so much to wrap up at the end of the year, and so much to prepare for when the ball drops at midnight and we all step into the new year. To really make the last few days of 2020 count and to get the best foot forward for 2021, we wanted to give you a checklist of sorts. In this blog, we are going to be talking about important end of the year things to do and not forget about when it comes to your insurance plans. We are also going to be talking about some of the best things to think about and do with your brand new insurance plans for your brand new year!
You've purchased all your gifts, sent out your holiday cards, decorated, baked, cooked, and planned. Your holidays are ready to go, but what about the rest of your end of the year affairs? Have you wrapped up everything you needed to with your insurance for 2020? Well, let's go through this list together, and let's see if your hard work has paid off or if there are a few last minute things to do with your insurance plans before we start toasting to 2021!
There you have it! What a list, and what an impressive amount of things to think about and get done before January 1st! We know that it might be difficult to make time to go through a checklist like this, but we promise that each of these bullet points is extremely important. If you are unsure about your insurance policies, have questions concerning life changes 2020 has brought you, or you are interested in upgrading your plans or finding a new provider, Abri is here for you! From all of us at Abri, we wish you and yours a very safe holiday and an even safer new year!
While traveling might look a little differently this year, it's always smart to be prepared.
Traveling throughout 2020 has been such a strange and unique experience, and hasn't looked like anything we've ever seen before. For most, traveling has become something we've put on the back burner and will come back to once it's safe to do so again. However, even with that in mind, the most important thing to remember is that traveling as we've always known it will be back again. We will be able to enjoy every aspect of traveling again someday soon and will be enjoying our regularly scheduled vacation plans again. For now, it's just on pause. Until then, since we all have a little time on our hands, it's a great time to learn a little bit more about the many ways to keep you and your family safe the next time you're on your dream vacations. While you're dreaming about packing up your favorite overnight bag and the stack of books you want to read by the pool, we encourage you to start adding travel insurance to those thoughts and considerations.
One of our favorite topics is, of course, insurance, and it applies to every aspect of your life. In the spirit of celebrating the joy of travel and counting down the days until your next (safe) big trip, we wanted to chat about the truths and misconceptions of travel insurance. Myths and misconceptions on any topic are a dangerous road to go down. They can, sadly, cause hundreds of well-meaning people and travelers to make some not so smart decisions. Thanks to these myths floating around out there, travel insurance has gotten a pretty bad reputation that it's not needed and that it's a waste of time and money. Please know that these myths and misconceptions are called that for a reason and have been getting in the way of guaranteeing safe and fantastic trips for millions of people every year. Also keep in mind that if you are planning on traveling internationally, travel insurance is a necessity, and we wouldn't ever recommend getting on a plane without it.
Myth: My credit card offers plenty of protection while I'm traveling, and I won't need any more protection than that!
Fact: First and foremost, your travel credit cards only cover a few basic things, and in almost every situation they won't cover much if any healthcare if you get sick or injured while you're out of the country. If you're traveling inside of the United States, it still is very much the same. While your healthcare will be out of network while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home, most likely, it will still be better than traveling globally without any health insurance. If you choose to rely on your travel credit card as your travel insurance while you're away from home, please call and speak with your credit card company first, just so you know exactly what protection you'll have, if any! Even the best travel credit cards out there offer little more than protection for stolen items, loss of baggage, or a canceled trip. While some medical expenses could be covered, the coverage limit will be very low. The amount you could be spending out of pocket could be huge, and much more than you would be paying for a travel insurance plan. We urge you to speak with us or your insurance provider about some travel insurance on top of the protection your credit card offers. This way your medical needs, if by chance something does happen when you're away, can be taken care of much more affordably.
Myth: Travel insurance doesn't cover pre-existing conditions.
Fact: This is a moment where we need to pause and have you read the fine print on any travel insurance package. If you have a pre-existing condition, and you were healthy and stable before the start of your trip, travel insurance will help cover you for things you might need if something happens due to your pre-existing condition while you're traveling. If you need more medication or need to see a doctor because of it, travel insurance will help taking care of you with ease. When planning out a trip and you choose to sit down and talk with us at Abri or with your current insurance provider, make sure you pick an appropriate travel insurance plan with your specific needs and with your condition in mind. According to AAA, they encourage people to remember that the term "pre-existing" can be much broader than many people realize. Don't just dismiss the idea that your condition isn't included under the pre-existing bubble. Make sure to do your research! Also, please don't wait to get coverage for your pre-existing condition added to your travel insurance plan. You will need to apply for it between 10 days and a month of booking your trip, according to AAA.
Myth: Travel insurance is too expensive!
Fact: Remember, as we've mentioned before, if you get sick or injured 100 miles or more away from your home or when you're outside of the country, it can cost you much more than what you'll end up paying out of pocket for your travel insurance policy. According to AAA, travel insurance will cost 5-8% of your trips overall cost. So, yes, the more your trip costs the more you will be paying for insurance. However, if you can't pay the out-of-pocket expenses if your trip is canceled, if you have to rebook your flight or hotel last minute, then travel insurance is the way to go. In any of these last-minute situations, your travel insurance will be able to give you the protection you need financially and for your mental well being.
Myth: I have great health insurance already, so that will cover me on my trip! Travel insurance and health insurance are the same things, anyway.
Fact: This is a very big issue that's found across the board, and it is also a very false statement. Your personal health insurance won't provide protection or support with trip interruption, trip cancellation, damaged possessions, stolen items, lost items, emergency evacuation, or if there is a natural disaster where you've chosen to vacation and you're now dealing with the situation as an expatriate. Travel insurance, on the other hand, does. Also, while your health insurance might cover "customary" and "reasonable" expenses when you're abroad, most of your other costs won't be covered, according to AAA. This can happen when you're simply out of network when you're traveling in the US, too. Also, Medicare does not cover chargers that happen outside of the United States. So, if you have to be moved to a different doctor or specialist while you're traveling abroad (also called medical evacuation) it will not be covered under Medicare and nor will your other medical related issues. Also, if you're using insurance through your employer while traveling, you might be the only one it covers during your trip. While your spouse or child might be covered under this insurance while you're at home, this might not be the cause while you're traveling. This could put your loved ones at serious risk while traveling if all you have is your normal health insurance with you during your trip and not travel insurance.
Myth: I'm incredibly healthy and I'm a very safe person. Nothing will happen to me or my belongings while I'm traveling!
Fact: While you might be healthy and safe, there is so much about life and other people that you cannot control when it comes to traveling and what could happen. So much of what could happen during a trip that could put you in danger or cause you to leave and head back home because of an emergency has nothing to do with how healthy you are or how safe you live your life. You don't have control over the weather, over a canceled flight, or if someone chooses to steal your belongings or passport. Don't assume either, that even if you're just traveling over a short period that you're safe from these disasters. One bad day, one bad storm, or the loss of all your luggage in a matter of one flight can happen when you least expect it. There is no amount of specific time between when a disaster can and cannot happen!
We hope we've put your traveling plans in a new perspective after reading this blog! During these unknown times where traveling is already a gamble, travel insurance shouldn't be a question. Be prepared, travel safely, and make sure to put travel insurance at the top of your to-do list when making plans for your next trip. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out and chat with us! We are here for all of your insurance needs and questions! We are excited to work with you and love being a part of the Summerville community!
The dawning of November means the beginning of open enrollment. If you are new to the process or you're looking to make it a much easier process than you've experienced, that is what this blog is all about!
While the idea of turkey and stuffing is on the minds of most of our readers, November is an incredibly busy month for us and it has nothing to do with picking out what sides to match our turkey or the perfect pumpkin pie. While these are things we still make time for and hope you get a ton of enjoyment out of, November for all of us at Abri means one thing; Open Enrollment! While we want you to enjoy the most out of your Thanksgiving and the last bit of fall here in Summerville, if your insurance plan is expiring and you will be needing new health insurance coverage, we hope you make open enrollment one of your priorities over the next month. We are here to help you through every step of this process and want to make it an extremely pain-free experience. That is why we wanted to dedicate this blog to multiple ways on how you can make it a pain-free process and what some of the best ways to handle open enrollment are. Don't stress, you've got this!
Open enrollment for 2021 began on November 1st and it ends on December 15th. Every year you only have a little over a month to search for, research, and choose your next best healthcare plan. Just a tad overwhelming. For our readers new to the blog and the insurance world, you might be curious about what open enrollment actually is. According to the dictionary, open enrollment is "a period of time during which one may freely enroll in or change one's selection of health insurance plan or other benefit programs that is ordinarily subject to restrictions." The short version is that your health insurance plan is expiring and it's time to get a new one. Sounds relatively easy, right? Well, we are here to make it as simple and as easy for our clients as we possibly can. Sadly, this is not the case for everyone.
Enrollment is a short period that pushes people to pick their plans very rapidly and has also been created to limit adverse selection. What makes it hard, even when you know all year that you have a short period to buy your plan, getting information about what your options are and what's available to you can be difficult to find or very confusing. That's where we can come in. If you are looking for an independent plan on the marketplace and outside of what your employers may or may not be offering, we can search the whole market with you and your family's needs and best intentions in mind. This can help you save time, save stress, save money, and help guarantee that all of you and your family's needs will be taken care of.
While you begin your journey and begin the search for health insurance, we wanted to provide you with a list of tips and suggestions on what to be thinking about and what to avoid while you're searching in the market.
Now that you've read through this blog, are you feeling better about open enrollment? Regardless if you are or not, please remember that we are here to help. We know that you have many difficult questions to ask yourself to make sure you and your family are covered and cared for. We are here to do the rest of the heavy lifting once those decisions are made. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us now before open enrollment closes! We are excited to work with you and love being a part of the Summerville community!
The joy of fall can be tainted by the threat that hurricane season is still with us until November 1st. Make sure your home and your family are prepared and insured for anything that could happen.
Hurricanes and the Lowcountry go together like a day at the beach and a potential sunburn. No matter how much we love living here, there are just a few things that come with the territory. Hurricanes, flooding, and tropical storms are just some of the potentially dangerous, scary, and everyday threats we have to live with. It's the price to pay for living in one of the most beautiful places in the southeast. No matter if you're new to Lowcountry or not, you always need to make sure you're prepared for anything. Your home needs to be safe and secured, your evacuation plan needs to be established, and your insurance needs to be ready to support your home and property through what ever damage these storms could bring. According to Forbes, NOAA updated its 2020 storm prediction to upwards of 13 to 19 storms, already reaching 9 named storms by August of this year. In the past that many storms didn't appear until October. Over 60 million people are living right in the hot spot for these storms, and South Carolina is apart of that. Even if you aren't currently insured for the damages a hurricane can bring there is no better time than now to get started.
How does your insurance plan stand up to all of these requirements, needs, and reminders? Are you ready for hurricane season and what's left of it? If not, please don't panic. We are just a phone call away and are here to help you get protected and covered. We are excited to work with you and love being a part of the Summerville community!
When you're in the market for insurance, you can feel like a number lost in the shuffle of large corporate agencies. Here are some of the top reasons why you should be working with an independent insurance agency.
Hello, friends and family in North Charleston and beyond! We continue to appreciate your support of our company and our social media presence. We are very excited to start a brand new venture; blogging! That's right! Twice a month we will be giving you fun, informative, and interesting blogs to help guide and education you in the world of insurance. We know you love our company because of its individuality and the personal attention we give to our clients. Through these blogs, we hope you find even more reason to enjoy working with us, have fun learning, and feel free to ask any questions you would like in the comment section after every blog. We look forward to you joining us on this adventure! In this first blog, we are going to start with the basics, the top three reasons why you should be working with an independent insurance agent!
First off, if you're new to our company you might know the difference between an independent insurance agent compared to a captive or direct insurance agent. A direct insurance agent works for, represents, and can only offer policies from one insurance company. An independent provider, like our company, offers multiple plans through multiple insurance companies. The goal of a captive agent is to work for and benefit the insurance company. The goal of an independent agent is to work for the client and to find them the best plan available to them based on their personal and financial needs. This has been our goal since day one when we started in a spare bedroom right here in North Charleston way back in 2014.
#1. Better Customer Service
As we mentioned above, our job is to work with you to find the best insurance policy for your needs. We get to learn about you and your family, and you get to learn about us! We search through all the plans and providers out there to create a handpicked plan based on the time we take to get to know you. It goes beyond picking the perfect plan, too. Once we've found the best plan, we keep up with your needs as time goes on. We help you resolve your claims much faster, it can be in a matter of days compared to a large agency that could take weeks or months to resolve an issue. We make sure to answer all calls, questions, emails, and general inquiries in a very timely manner. We can keep that personal connection with our current and future clients. An independent agent also knows and understands your policies and can easily catch any mistakes made on a claim, or a mistake made by an adjuster to avoid denial of your claim. An independent agent can also directly explain any confusing or difficult language within a policy that might not make sense or that you might not understand right away.
#2. A Lifetime Partnership
Once you begin working with an independent insurance agency, you can have a partnership with them through all the stages of your life. They get to know you as they pick out your very first policy, so they understand when your coverage needs to be reviewed and possibly changed. Did you just buy your first home? Have your first child? Send your child to college? Get that big job? Retire? All of these new and exciting stages in your life will come with new challenges and will need new insurance policies to match. You won't need to shop around anymore, once you begin working with an independent agent, you just have to pick up the phone or pay a visit to the person you've been dealing with this whole time. This is such a rare and special quality. What also makes an independent agent so unique is that they are right here in your neighborhood and represent the same community you do. They understand your economy, what unique needs are needed for living in your area, and love living in your community just like you. They aren't just your insurance agent, they're your neighbors.
#3. Fighting For You
Like we've mentioned previously, independent agents work for you. They don't work for the big insurance companies. When things get difficult in a situation where your insurance is needed, they can become your advocates. If a claim needs to be adjusted, if a mistake has been made, or you've had a huge life change and you need to edit your policy, your independent agent can act as a buffer between you and your insurance company. They can help you fix any of these issues promptly. Also, they can become your personal advisers, helping you make some tough decisions. They can give you a few options based on their long term knowledge of working with you. Also, an independent agent is a one-stop-shop. You can get every kind of insurance you need at one time, and each will be handpicked and curated to your needs and budget.
Pretty spectacular reasons, right? These are just a few of the basic ideas about why we love doing what we do. We encourage you to read more into the other benefits of working with an independent agent. You will be blown away by the amount of information a basic google search will give you! If you have any more questions, please feel free to reach out at any time or put them in the comments below. We are excited to work with you and love being a part of the Summerville community!
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We've created this blog to keep our customers and others in the know. When it comes to insurance and keeping people safe, no knowledge should be off limits.