Monthly Archives: October 2013

Here are 5 Things You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) states that, on January 1, 2014, every American is required by law to have health insurance coverage, whether they obtain it through their employer, purchase it from a government-moderated “exchange,” or go with a federally subsidized insurance plan like Medicaid or Medicare.

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Source: Seattle Times

Beginning October 1st, the government insurance exchange was supposed to “go live” online to allow people to pre-purchase their mandatory health insurance, but the system was plagued with issues as millions of Internet users flocked to the site to learn more and sign up.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who does not have health insurance, or you are considering changing your provider, here are a few things you may want to know about the Affordable Care Act before you decide on coverage:

  1. If you don’t have health insurance by the beginning of 2014, you will be assessed a monetary penalty for failure to comply with the Affordable Care Act requirements.
  2. Even if you don’t intend to change your current health insurance plan, changes to the law may require changes in your plan, so you could be required to select new coverage options.
  3. People with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied or charged more for coverage.
  4. Parents will now be able to keep children on their insurance plans until the kids reach age 26.
  5. You have to obtain insurance during specific enrollment periods (or you could face penalties).

The Affordable Care Act does not create indecipherable chaos into modern society, so don’t let it intimidate you.  Our professional staff here at Schumacher Insurance Group can help you select the right health insurance plan to meet your needs and your budget, ensuring that you are in compliance with the ACA when January 1st rolls around.  Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!

Let Us Help You Insure Your Commercial Vehicles

Whether your company owns a fleet of vehicles, you rent them from a commercial rental agency, or you just have a small number of cars and trucks for company use, protecting your assets with the right insurance coverage is a must.  It is impossible to anticipate and avoid unfortunate circumstances that can cause damage or loss to your commercial vehicles, but you can be prepared to handle the situation in the best way possible when you select a commercial auto policy for your company.

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Source: Free Digital Photos

Our professional staff here at Schumacher Insurance Group can work with you to find a coverage plan for your company automobiles that gives you maximum protection at affordable rates, and we work with a large selection of national carriers.  This broad range of options enables us to find an insurance policy that best fits your needs.  Your business auto policy can be an individual plan or you can package it with other commercial insurance needs, and the vehicle coverage can offer coverage options for things like towing services if your vehicle is disabled while out on the road, liability or comprehensive coverage, and assistance with rental vehicle reimbursement if your commercial vehicles are out of service for an extended period of time.

Contact us today to speak with a qualified representative to find out more about how our insurance options for commercial vehicles will provide you with a policy that gives you what you need at rates that you can live with.  Our friendly and knowledgeable staff here at Schumacher Insurance Group will work closely with you to ensure that the plan you choose is the right one for your business.

Be Sure to Consider These 7 Health Conditions When Looking for Life Insurance

When you are shopping for a life insurance policy there are several things to keep in mind.  The first is that an agency that works with several major insurance providers, like we do here at Schumacher Insurance Group, can give you a broader range of options with regard to the plan you choose because of the diversity in the policies available.

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Source: Free Digital Photos

The second most important consideration is that there are certain aspects of your lifestyle or health conditions you may be dealing with that can negatively impact your ability to obtain an affordable life insurance policy.

Evaluate the way you live and the condition of your health to see if there are ways you can make adjustments to help you get the most coverage possible at a price you can live with.  Here are five health conditions that can negatively affect your rates when choosing a life insurance policy:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea or Narcolepsy
  • Heart Disease
  • Asthma
  • Weight Issues (Obesity)
  • Cancer

While insurers will still underwrite policies for people who are afflicted with those conditions, as well as many others, it can cause an increase in your insurance rates. Several physical conditions can be controlled and managed through a change in diet and exercise, medication, therapy, or treatment, and that is taken into consideration, as well.

For more information about obtaining a life insurance policy that fits your needs and lifestyle, contact us today.  Our expert representatives can work closely with you to find the right policy at the right rate, and we do so with a focus on providing the highest standard of customer service possible.  Let us help you with your insurance needs and find out why Schumacher Insurance Group should be your only choice!

Get Your Car Ready for the Winter With These 3 Tips

Winter will be here before you know it, and there are several things you can do in preparation of the coming season.  Naturally, you’ll be swapping out summer clothes for warmer ones, digging coats and boots out of storage, and making sure your home is ready for colder weather.

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Source: Weather Channel

One thing you don’t want to neglect is your vehicle.  Your car needs preparation for winter just as much as your wardrobe and your home, so get it ready for cold weather, snow, sleet, and ice with these three car safety tips:

  1. Check the fluid levels and make sure you have coolant that is rated for the anticipated lower temperatures.  Some coolants are appropriate for year-round use, but make sure you read the labels and your car’s owner’s manual, to keep the correct coolant in your car.
  2. Either test the battery yourself or have it checked at a local auto parts store or service center.  Cold weather can quickly sap the charge from your battery, so make sure it is in good shape (and check the cable connections for corrosion, too).
  3. Have any cracks or damage to your windshield repaired and change your wiper blades if needed.  With splash-back from slushy roads a common occurrence in winter, your wiper blades should be in excellent condition to keep your vision from being obstructed.

Keeping your vehicle properly maintained with these car safety tips will help to make sure you stay safe while driving.  Another thing that should be a necessity for winter or any season is car insurance, because accidents can happen easier in winter than any other season due to road conditions.  Schumacher Insurance Group can help you find a policy for your vehicle that gives you maximum protection at an affordable rate, so contact us today to speak with one of our expert agents.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Deciding What Type of Home Insurance to Have

Having the right home insurance is essential to ensure that your property and the contents of your home are protected if a variety of unfortunate situations should happen to occur.  Here at Schumacher Insurance Group, we work with a large selection of national insurance providers which allows us to select a home insurance policy that fits your needs at rates you can afford.

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Source: Free Digital Photos

When you are selecting a homeowner’s insurance policy, there are some things that can cause your rates to be higher than they should.  Make sure you avoid certain mistakes when you are deciding what type of insurance to choose for your home, like the following:

  1. Your deductible is extremely low.  If your out-of-pocket deductible is low, your premium will generally be much higher so the insurance provider can offset their financial risk when something occurs that requires a claim.
  2. Your policy hasn’t been reviewed to make sure you are paying only for the coverage you actually need.  You may no longer need coverage on certain items because you don’t own them anymore, or the coverage needed should be less because the item has depreciated in value.
  3. You don’t have safety features added to your home like smoke detectors, security systems, or more secure door and window latches.  Making your home less attractive to burglars and intruders can lower your insurance rates.

You can save even more on your policy when you combine it with other plans like insurance for your vehicle or life and health insurance.  Learn more about how Schumacher Insurance Group can provide you with the right coverage for your home by contacting us today.

We Can Help Your Business With All Types of Surety Bonds

Generally, a surety bond is a “guarantee” obtained by a contractor to provide assurance to a project owner or client that the terms of the contract will be fulfilled in the event of a default by the original contractor.

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Source: Free Digital Photos

Fulfillment can be achieved by the surety company with the acquisition of a new contractor to complete the project, or compensation for financial losses incurred by the project owner.  There are four primary types of surety bonds:

  • Bid Bond: Guarantees that the bidder will enter the contract, provide payment, and secure performance bonds if awarded the contract.
  • Payment Bond: Provides assurance that vendors, subcontractors, and suppliers will be paid for services provided to meet contract terms.
  • Performance Bond: Ensures that the terms and conditions of the contract will be adhered to in the completion of the contract.
  • Ancillary Bond:  Guarantees that requirements critical to the contract, but not performance-related, are fulfilled.

Our fantastic team of professional agents here at Schumacher Insurance Group can help your business with all types of surety bonds and other business insurance needs.  We work with a large selection of major national insurance carriers, which allows us to utilize a variety of resources when locating policy options that are best suited to your requirements.  Contact us today to find out how we can help your business get surety bonds and insurance coverage that meets your needs without breaking the bank!

Using an Independent Insurance Agency Gives You the Best Deal for Your Family

When it comes to choosing an insurance policy for your needs, whether it is life, health, auto, or even insurance for your business, working with independent insurance agencies often provides several benefits over picking policies directly from the insurance provider.

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Source: Free Digital Photos

Working with a broker gives you a broader range of policies and policy options to explore and choose from, since independent insurance agencies often partner with several – if not dozens – of major insurance carriers to be able to provide their clients with the best possible insurance policy at a price that falls within their client’s budget.

Some of the advantages of working with independent insurance agencies are:

  • Cost – In reality, it can often be much less expensive to buy insurance through a third-party rather than directly from the source.
  • Ease – Working with a broker is easy and hassle-free because of the wide variety of options available when picking your policy.
  • Peace of Mind – With a third-party insurance agency, you have the peace of mind of knowing that you are able to select a plan that offers all the options you are looking for.
  • More Options – Choosing insurance through a broker, as mentioned, gives you a much larger selection of options when it comes to what type of policy you want.

The expert staff here at Schumacher Insurance Group will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your insurance needs, and will work with you to determine what type of plan will best fit your situation.  Make sure you have the right coverage for your home, life, car, and health by contacting us today.

5 Great Tips for Preventing Winter Damage to Your Clare Home

Your home is your castle, and with winter coming before you know it, one thing you’ll definitely want to do is take steps to prevent winter weather damage to your residence.  Here are a few great tips for preventing or minimizing the damage that cold weather can do to your property:

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Source: Free Digital Photos

  1. Trim the trees in your yard, especially those closest to the house.  When it snows, the accumulated weight can cause branches to break and fall onto your roof, car, or into your windows.
  2. Make sure your water pipes are insulated to prevent freezing.  When water freezes, it can also crack the pipes, which can be a costly repair for homeowners.
  3. Check your doors and windows to make sure they are all insulated and sealed properly.  This will prevent your home’s heat from escaping and help save money on your utility bills.
  4. Don’t let snow build up on your roof, because it can melt and re-freeze several times, which will damage the roof and can cause leaks into your attic or overhead crawlspaces.
  5. Have your chimney cleaned thoroughly before starting a roaring fire in the fireplace, and consider installing a spark arrester to prevent cinders from igniting leaves, branches, or parts of your house.

Take care of your most important asset this winter with these tips for preventing weather damage.  Another great tip is to have your homeowner’s policy reviewed to see if there are ways you can save money on your premiums or add options to give you better coverage.  Contact our professional staff here at Schumacher Insurance Group and let us work with you to find a home insurance policy that fits your needs at a price you can live with.

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