GreatFlorida Healthcare Insurance - Lake Wales, FL - Esther Echeverria
Healthcare Insurance Agency in Lake Wales, Florida

Healthcare Insurance Agency in Lake Wales, FL

Esther Echeverria

Esther Echeverria - GreatFlorida Insurance - Lake Wales, FL.

863-676-2886

1386 State Road 60 East
Lake Wales, FL  33853
Fax : 863-676-3432

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Lake Wales, FL Health Insurance

Healthcare Insurance | Lake Wales, FL

You might be the picture of health, or have suffered with health issues for years. No matter your situation, there is no denying Lake Wales, FL residents need health insurance.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help you navigate through the process of selecting the right coverage level for you and your family.  Our relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida or Florida Blue, offers our customers quality healthcare services with a broad range of network doctors and healthcare specialist in Lake Wales.

Esther Echeverria at GreatFlorida Insurance Lake Wales, FL will explain the new healthcare laws, plan features and benefits as well as co-pays and deductibles. We will make sure to find a plan that fits your budget while leaving you feeling comfortable about your future healthcare plan.

Your local GreatFlorida Insurance Agent in Lake Wales can help you find the right Healthcare Insurance policy at the right price. more...

Lake Wales, FL Health InsuranceHealthcare Coverage FAQs

You cannot afford to gamble with your health. Life’s unforeseen events such as an accident or sudden illness can catch you off guard financially.

GreatFlorida Insurance has affordable medical coverage in Lake Wales that can protect you and your family from emergencies and keep you maintaining a healthy lifestyle with preventive care.

Our experienced agents in Lake Wales can help you asses your current and future healthcare needs to find health insurance to fit your budget.

We offer flexible healthcare plans that provide a variety of services while offering a comprehensive network of doctors and medical facilities for your convenience.

Do not let the cost of medical insurance rob you of a healthy lifestyle. GreatFlorida Insurance can make it easy for you to find affordable, quality health care coverage.

Lake Wales, FL Health InsuranceDo you need Health Care Insurance?

GreatFlorida Insurance is committed to helping Floridians make informed decisions about their health care. Health insurance is designed to protect individuals and families from the high costs of health care.

Whether you are facing a pre-existing health condition, an emergency situation or just want preventative and wellness care, health insurance will pay part of your costs.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, also known as Florida Blue.

We can help clear up any confusion about recent health reform, the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) and answer any of your questions concerning health care.

How does health insurance work?

Your health insurance plan is a contract between you and your insurance company.

You pay a monthly bill called a premium for the health plan and the insurance company agrees to pay part of the costs for covered medical services.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has four levels of coverage, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

The plans have varying costs and coverage to meet your needs and budget. Another option includes a Catastrophic Plan for single people under 30 who qualify through financial hardships.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help you understand your choice of plans and options for health care through Florida Blue.

We will help you apply for and enroll in a plan that works best for you.

Affordable Care Act

In March 2010, President Obama signed into law, comprehensive health reform, Affordable Care Act, (ACA). The law makes preventative care more accessible and affordable for many Americans.

The health care law is designed to provide better benefits and expanding coverage while creating a stronger Medicare program.

What if I do not get health insurance in 2014?

If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you will be penalized and must pay a fee. The fee in 2014 is 1 percent of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher.

The fee increases every year. In 2016 it is 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher. In 2014 the payment for uninsured children is $47.50 per child.

New Options Include:

Floridians can find out if they are eligible for lower costs for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, (CHIP) and enroll in health coverage.

Parents can keep their children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.

Insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

In 2014, health insurers will no longer be able to charge more or deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition.

Health insurance companies now have to spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on health care or improvements to care or provide you with a refund.

Insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more.

Insurance companies are banned from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.

Preventative services such as colonoscopy screening for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women, well-child visits and flu shots for all children and adults, will be covered with no deductible or co-pay required.

Increases funding to community health centers

Strengthens Medicare Program

Increasing coverage for brand name and generic drugs

No deductibles or co-pays for preventative services seniors and people with disabilities

Extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by ten years

Simply call 863-676-2886 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Health Care Insurance Agent in Lake Wales will help you find the best deal for you.

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Florida Healthcare  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
7/22/2016

The General Mills Flour recall linked to an E. coli outbreak is making its way into other foods, causing several products to be removed from store shelves. Experts believe more recalls will come as a result of the tainted flour.

“Seniors, the young and those with a compromised immune system are at a greater risk for developing food borne illnesses,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency.

So far, 42 have been reported as being sick across 21 states from E. coli. This particular strain, E. coli 0121, is a potentially deadly strain of bacteria that causes bloody diarrhea and dehydration.

Recalled products include:cake-mix-recall

  • Gold Medal Flour
  • Gold Medal Wondra flour
  • Signature Kitchens Flour
  • Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix
  • Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix
  • Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake Mix
  • Marie Callender’s Cheese Biscuit mix
  • Kabob’s Acquisitions Pre- Made Appetizers
  • For more information on the recalled products, click here:

http://www.generalmills.com/flour

General Mills has expanded the recall, “out of an abundance of caution.” Many of the products were made with the possibly tainted flour. The most recently reported illnesses are linked to the consumption of raw cake batter.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against eating raw dough or raw baking mixes due to uncooked flour. “Most people are familiar with warnings against raw mixes because of raw eggs and the link to salmonella, says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent health insurance agency.

“General Mills initially recalled 10 million pounds of flour, but expanded that to include another 20 million pounds after lab tests linked more of the flour to the outbreak,” reports Food Safety News. General Mills is working with health officials to ensure safety to its customers.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides reliable and affordable health insurance to Floridians across the state. Contact us today for a free quote.

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The post General Mills Expands Flour Recall to Other Brands appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
7/11/2016

In a season that should be thriving with business and beach goers, along Florida’s Treasure Coast, the only thing blooming is blue-green algae. The algae growth has caused some beaches and waterways to be closed.

“The detrimental water conditions are keeping many residents indoors,” says Ellsworth Buck, vice president of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency. Florida residents have described the algae as; “thick,” “slimy,” “greenish gunk,” smelling, “atrocious,” “worse than the sewer” and “putrid”.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reports, blue-green algae also known as, “cyanobacteria” typically develops in nutrient-rich lakes that contain high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen. Standard conditions in Florida, such as high temperatures, warm water and ample sunlight provide ideal conditions for the toxic blooms to thrive.

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The harmful algae blooms did not occur overnight. The Tampa Bay Times reports that in May, water managers discovered a 33-square mile algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee.

In January, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started dumping water from the lake into the St. Lucie Estuary due to flooding from heavy rains. The discharges from Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s largest freshwater lake- also considered heavily toxic, began to flow into surrounding waters including the ocean.

According to samples taken by the DEP, the alga is toxic. The governor has declared a state of emergency twice this year. Affected areas include: Martin, St. Lucie, Lee and Palm Beach counties.

“The toxic nature of the algae blooms can cause serious health problems leaving children and pets vulnerable,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent healthcare insurance agency.

The blue-green algae can cause skin rashes, nausea, respiratory issues, cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Long term problems include; liver, kidney and nervous system damage. If you leave in the affected counties and begin experiencing unusual symptoms, see a doctor promptly.

Environmental damage includes, killing seagrass, and small animals such as shrimp, crabs and even fish.

To help ease the algae bloom problem, the Army Corps began reducing the flow into the St. Lucie and the Caloosahatchee Estuaries. Officials will continue to monitor the algae’s toxicity levels.

Blooms can last, days, weeks or months depending on conditions. Scientists cannot predict how long the blooms will last. The blooms run their course and dissipate naturally to prevent the spreading of toxins.

You can report algae blooms in your area by calling 1-855-305-3903 or visiting www.reportalgalbloom.com.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides customized and affordable health insurance policies to suit you and your family, contact us today.

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by GreatFlorida Insurance
6/29/2016

The sun’s rays are strongest during the summer months so it is important to take care of your skin while you enjoy the outdoors.

“It is crucial to use some sort of sunscreen to protect your skin while out in the strong Florida sun,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that everyone use sunscreen regardless of age, gender or race, everyone can get skin cancer.

There is a lot of information out there about sunscreen, let’s start with the basics.

SPF-Sun Protection Factor, SPF is a product’s ability to block out the sun’s harmful rays. If you use a sunscreen with SPF 15, you can stay in the sun 15 times longer than you can without sunscreen before you sunburn.

UVA/UVB-The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains, there is only notable protection up to 50 SPF. Claims with an SPF higher, are most likely false.

Use of broad spectrum coverage is suggested. This means a product offers ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) and ultraviolet B radiation protection (UVB). UVA rays, aging rays, penetrate deeper into the skin and cause wrinkling. UVB rays, burning rays, are the primary cause of sunburn and skin cancer.

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Water-resistant/Waterproof-Water-resistant sunscreen provides 40 minutes of effectiveness in water. Waterproof products offer 80 minutes of protection in water.

Types of Sunscreen-This is where the subject of sunscreen can be divisive. Doctors and organizations differ on their opinions over the types of sunscreen that are best for you.

“Lotions, oils, gels, spray and sticks- picking the right sunscreen for you and your family is a matter of personal choice,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent healthcare insurance agency.

Mineral-based/physical sunscreen-Commonly referred to as “natural” and considered more of a sun block. Containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, these products tend to sit on the skin’s surface. Many feel they are messy and they can leave a white or colored film on your skin.  Manufactures have made some improvements to their products over the years, so it is not true for every mineral based sunscreen. Some, such as Consumer Reports, reveal that most of these sunscreens do not live up to their SPF claim on the label.

Chemical sunscreen-These products contain ingredients that act as filters to reduce ultraviolet radiation penetration to the skin. They act as chemical absorbers.  Most popular commercial sunscreens are chemical sunscreens. In a recent report, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) warns many products rely heavily on an active ingredient, oxybenzone, a proven hormone disruptor and allergen. Another harmful ingredient is methylisothiazolinone, a proven serious skin allergen. While vitamin A seems good, it can heighten sun sensitivity.

Sprays are convenient and easy to use but they are currently under review by the FDA due to an inhalation risk.

Some AAD recommendations regarding sunscreen are as follows:

  • Use at least a 30 SPF, broad spectrum sunscreen
  • 1 ounce, enough to fill a shot glass is the right amount to use on your body
  • Reapply
  • Check the expiration date but your sunscreen should be good for three years
  • Babies under 6 months old should not use sunscreen

You cannot depend on sunscreen alone to keep you from dealing with skin cancer. If you are looking for a caring and knowledgeable health care provider, contact GreatFlorida Insurance for all your healthcare insurance needs.

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The post The Truth About Sunscreen appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
6/9/2016

Buzzing in your ear and sucking your blood, mosquitoes are not only annoying, but they are considered the deadliest creatures on the planet. Recent concerns over Zika have Floridians on edge when it comes to mosquito- borne diseases.

“Mosquitoes are an irritation we have to put up with living in a tropical environment,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency. “It is easy to forget about the different illnesses mosquitoes can carry.”

Florida Cases

The Florida Department of Health monitors outbreaks across the state of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile, Zika, Eastern encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue and chikungunya virus along with malaria. Currently, Monroe County is under a mosquito-borne illness advisory. Nineteen Florida counties are under a declared public health emergency due to travel related Zika infections.

In 2009- 2010, Key West had close to 90 cases of dengue fever reported. An outbreak of 28 cases of dengue, were reported August and September of 2013 in Rio and Jensen Beach.

As of June 1, 2016, 128 Zika cases were reported in Florida but none of them were acquired locally, although 11 cases in the United States were transmitted sexually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC.zika-by-state-report-06-02-2016

Symptoms

“The symptoms can often mimic other illnesses so it can be difficult to discern if your mosquito bite is the cause. If you have traveled to an area where mosquito illness is found, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider immediately,” reminds Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent healthcare insurance provider.

The CDC explains,” Zika, dengue and chikungunya spread the disease through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. There are no vaccines or medicines for these diseases.”

Zika– Fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis are common symptoms, death is rare. Zika can cause birth defects in babies born to mothers have been infected.

Dengue-Most people infected with dengue exhibit no or mild symptoms which include, fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain or rash. Dengue symptoms can quickly become severe and even fatal.

Chikungunya-Rarely fatal, symptoms can include the sudden onset of fever and joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling and rash. Joint pain can severe and debilitating.

Prevention

  • Use insect repellent! Consumer Reports recently tested and rated their top picks which include-Sawyer Picaridin, Ben’s 30% Deet Tick & Insect Wilderness Formula and Repel Lemon Eucalyptus.
  • Do a check and eliminate breeding grounds for insects such as standing water in bird baths, buckets, planters, kiddie pools and boats.
  • Cover up- wear long sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • If you are vacationing to a location where mosquito-borne illnesses are common, use a mosquito net around your bed and look for accommodations with air conditioning.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers a variety of health insurance plans to fit your needs and your budget. Contact us today.

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by GreatFlorida Insurance
5/9/2016

A listeria scare has triggered a substantial recall at hundreds of grocery stores nationwide.

“Food recalls should be taken seriously,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency. “Some foodborne sickness can cause serious, life-threatening illness.”

CRF Frozen Food, a major supplier of frozen fruits and vegetables has issued a voluntary recall after discovering listeria at a major production facility in Pasco, Washington. The expanded recall affects 358 products under 42 different brand names.

Traders Joes leads the extensive list of suppliers that includes other stores such as Walmart, Safeway and Costco. Some of the brands that are affected include; Kirkland, Great Value, Organic by Nature, Parade and Panda Express.

The company reports the manufacturing process may have been tainted as long ago as May 2014. The recall extends to products with sell by dates between April 26, 2016 thru April 26, 2018.

Products include organic and non-organic broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, corn, edamame, green beans, Italian beans, kale, leeks, lima beans, onions, peas, pepper strips, potatoes, potato medley, root medley, spinach, sweet potatoes, various vegetable medleys, blends and stir fry packages, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, peaches, raspberries and strawberries.

A complete list from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is available hereimg1_thumb

Several people have been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports at least seven people from three states became ill and were hospitalized due to the listeria strain that can be traced back to the plant.

“If you are experiencing unusual symptoms you should see your healthcare provider right away, before the illness has time to develop into something more serious,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading health insurance provider.

The CDC reports listeria causes high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In pregnant women it can cause miscarriages, premature delivery and stillbirths.

If you are looking for dependable health insurance for you and your family, contact GreatFlorida Insurance. Our agents can find affordable health insurance while remaining in your preferred physician network.

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The post Massive Frozen Food Recall appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/16/2016

According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey, nearly one in five motorcyclists does not have motorcycle insurance.

“Florida law does not require motorcycle insurance,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent motorcycle insurance agency. “Motorcycle insurance is not required however, if a motorcyclist is charged in an accident, then they are financially responsible for injuries and property damage.”

AAA estimates the economic cost to society for each motorcycle death is $1.48 million. These costs include; lost productivity, medical costs, legal and court fees, emergency services, insurance administration costs along with property damage and workplace losses.

Florida has the most motorcycle fatalities in the nation, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motorcyclists accounted for 19 percent of motor vehicles deaths in the state. Florida Department of Highway Safety reports in 2014, there were 449 motorcycle fatalities.

Further complicating the issue is the helmet law in Florida. A motorcycle rider is not required to wear a helmet in Florida.

“There are exceptions to the helmet law,” says Buck from GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent motorcycle insurance agency. “Those under 21 and anyone without a minimum of $10,000 of medical insurance coverage are required to keep their helmet on while riding.”

The helmet law is not without its controversies. In Florida, 32 percent of motorcyclists do not think they should be required to wear a helmet when riding.  “Since the repeal of the helmet law in Florida, motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled,” said Karen Morgan, Public Policy Manager, AAA.

The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,630 motorists in Florida in 2013. They believe if all motorcyclists wore helmets, an additional 715 lives could have been saved.

GreatFlorida Insurance can create a custom policy for you regardless of the type of bike you ride. We have available moped insurancescooter insurancedirt bike insurancemotocross insurance, Harley-Davidson Insurance and more, there is a policy to fit every biker’s needs. Give us a call today.

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by GreatFlorida Insurance
2/1/2016

When filing your taxes, you want to take every opportunity possible to save money on expenses that can reduce your taxable income.

“Deductions are sometimes available on health programs and treatments such as smoking cessation, weight loss and alcohol and drug abuse, if it is not covered under your current health insurance policy,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency.”

Below is a list of some commonly missed tax deductions and credits that could be available to you.deduct-home-business-expenses

  • State and Local Sales Tax Deduction– Floridians do not pay a state income tax making taxpayers eligible to deduct state income tax paid on purchases. If you purchased a large item such as a car or boat, you can add the sales tax paid to the amount sown on the IRS tax table.
  • Charitable Contributions-Money donated to your church, a charity or even if you purged your closet or home of household items and dropped them off at Goodwill, those can be counted. Out-of-pocket expenses such as food ingredients needed to prepare meals for a soup kitchen or if you drove your car for charitable activities, you can deduct 14 cents per mile.
  • Tuition-There are Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits, as well as the American Opportunity Tax Credit available for those taking classes. A tax credit is available for tuition, fees, books and other educational supplies for you, your spouse or dependents.
  • Health Insurance-“Health insurance premiums for self-employed people, are 100 percent deductible from their gross income,” reports Buck from GreatFlorida Insurance.
  • Job Relocation-Your moving expenses are deductible if you took a first job and moved more than 50 miles away. You can deduct 23 cents per mile of getting you and your household goods to the new area, including parking and tolls.
  • Casualty, Disaster and Theft-Casualty, disaster and theft losses can be deducted on your tax form, but the IRS has some stipulations. The IRS states, “You may not deduct casualty and theft losses, (generally covered by homeowner’s insurance) unless you reduce the loss by the amount of any reimbursement or expected reimbursement.”
  • National Guard-National Guard and Reservists can claim overnight travel expenses.
  • Gambling Losses-Your losses cannot surpass your winnings, which must be reported.
  • Child Care-A child care tax credit is offered, worth 20 – 35 percent of what you pay in childcare while you work.

Financial management company, Intuit suggests a tax credit is better than a tax deduction because it reduces your tax, dollar-for-dollar. As painful as filing your taxes is, take your time to think back over your finances for the year to save money on your taxes.

GreatFlorida Insurance is the leading independent insurance company in Florida, offering health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance and boat insurance. Call us today for a free quote.

The post Overlooked Tax Deductions appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
1/25/2016

“Everyone is familiar with the harmful health effects that result from smoking, but many smokers probably do not take the time to calculate the expense attached to the habit,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent health insurance provider.

For years Floridians have been educated on the dangers of smoking.  The American Lung Association reports, “More than 480,000 people in the U.S. die every year from tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke. It is the leading cause of preventable death in this country.”

Cigarettes are loaded with cancer causing chemicals and are the primary source of lung cancer and COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also causes coronary heart disease and stroke with a list of other health issues.

You cannot ignore the addiction of smoking without being sympathetic to the difficultly in breaking the habit.  Nicotine is a physical, social and psychological addiction.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, close to 35 million smokers want to quit each year. Unfortunately, more than 85 percent of those who try to quit on their own relapse within a week.

“Most smokers confess that smoking is bad for your health, but that doesn’t make it easier to quit,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.

If the above evidence isn’t enough to persuade you to quit, personal finance website, WalletHub.com recently published a study calculating the costs of smoking per state. “The study calculated the potential monetary losses including the cost of a pack of cigarettes per day over several decades, healthcare expenditures, income loss and other costs brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Over a lifetime, the average smoker in Florida will spend, $1, 453,333. Healthcare costs are estimated at $163, 277. Over a year, the average Florida smoker will spend $28, 497 with healthcare costs totaling $3, 202.

Whether the figures are exact for each smoker or a mere generalization, the fact is smoking is a drain on your wallet, healthcare costs and more importantly your life.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides health insurance that covers the cost of programs designed to help smokers to quit. Check with our independent insurance agents across Florida today to see how they can help.

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The post The Real Cost of Smoking appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
1/19/2016

What is important to you when it comes to selecting insurance? There is no right or wrong response, the answer is based on personal preferences.

A survey of over 400 agents and brokers from Insurance Journal found overall, regional insurance carriers scored better than national carriers. “Local insurance provides an opportunity for more personalized service, you’re not just a number” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency in Florida.

In order to guide you through your decision making process, below is a list of the top ten reasons to choose a Florida based insurance agent rather than a nationally based one.

  1. Customer Service – When calling a local agent, you will get them phone, giving you one- on- one service. Your personal agent is already familiar with your policy and coverage. When you phone a national insurance company, you will most likely reach a call center and a different representative every time.
  2. Personal Contact – Local insurers are better at building personal relationships and getting to know their clients. They ask you specific questions and examine your needs more to make sure you are not underinsured. They can also make you aware of discounts, special savings or bundling opportunities for your car insurance and homeowner’s insurance.
  3. Know the Area – A local insurance agent has intimate knowledge of your area. They can assess possible risks and will inform you if you require specific coverage. For instance, if your home address is in a flood zone and you require flood insurance not just homeowner’s insurance. They are also familiar with common claims in the area and can make recommendations due to that information.
  4. Human Resources – A local insurance agent can serve as your personal HR department if you own a small business. If one of your employees has a question regarding their health insurance, they can inquire with the agent.
  5. Flexibility – Local insurance agencies will offer more flexibility to customize coverage. National insurers usually work off a standard operating procedure.
  6. Second chances – No one is perfect. If your driving history has a blemish, local insurance agencies are less rigid and more accommodating to offer car insurance coverage. A national carrier often has their hands tied to strict company policy.
  7. Options -A local independent insurance agency, such as GreatFlorida Insurance, can comparison shop with different insurance providers for you. While a captive agent is obligated to one insurance company.
  8. Support a Local Business – Money spent locally, stays in your community. Forbes points out; local businesses will give back to the community, further increasing community character and economic benefits to build up the area.
  9. Prompt Service – Direct access to your agent usually means you get answers quicker and the claims administration process will be faster.
  10. Security – With the constant breach of security at large companies online, inputting your personal data can leave you more vulnerable. Knowing who you are submitting your personal information directly to feels more secure.

GreatFlorida Insurance has been offering auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance throughout Florida for 25 years. Our independent insurance agents can find the right insurance for you, give us a call.buylocalbanner

The post Buying Insurance Local vs National appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
1/8/2016

As a new year begins, many people make resolutions and pledges in hopes to living a happier and healthier lifestyle. That usually means making changes to the way you currently live.

“Most doctors will be quick to tell you the benefit to simplifying your life, is a decrease in stress,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, one of Florida’s leading healthcare insurance providers. “Reducing stress levels can save your health and sanity.”

Streamlining your life is not a new idea. The simplicity movement is taking hold and has many followers who believe you can be more with less.

Writer and Minimalist, Joshua Becker has a website, becomingminimalist.com, where he shares 10 tips on how to simplify your life and the benefits it offers.

  1. Possessions – We love our belongings, but sometimes they can begin to take over and complicate our lives. Becker recommends removing the non-essentials. Salvation Army or Goodwill are reliable charities that will accept your donations. Some stores such as H&M and Ann Taylor will offer a discount on your purchases in exchange for your used clothing.
  2. Time Commitments – Extracurricular activities are great, but they can become a drain on your time. “Remove activities that are not in line with your greatest values,” recommends Becker.
  3. Goals – Setting goals for your life will no doubt help you create purpose, but too many goals can be overwhelming and cause you to lose focus. Put your efforts toward one achievement at a time. Once that is accomplished you can focus on your next goal.
  4. Negative Thoughts – Negative thoughts are useless. They consume your mind and cause depressing emotions. “If you are positive, you’ll see opportunities not obstacles,” Activist Dr. Widad Akrawi. “Positive thoughts and positive self-talk can help with stress and improve your outlook on life, improving your mental health,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top health insurance agency.
  5. Debt – Financial debt will control you. Even if you can only do a little, start working toward getting from under its power.
  6. Your Words – Proverbs says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Becker urges people to communicate clearly and honestly with people, “mean what you say and avoid gossip.”
  7. Artificial Ingredients – It doesn’t take a doctor to know, natural is good for your body. Natural rather than artificial ingredients can boost your energy and help you feel better. Take the time to read the labels of your most often purchased foods. Check for partially hydrogenated oil, artificial sweeteners, MSG and BHA- butylated hydroxyanisole. Men’s Fitness reports, BHA is considered a carcinogen by the Department of Health and Human Services but allowed by the FDA.
  8. Screen Time – The amount of time you spend in front of the computer, TV or a mobile device can affect your physical and psychological health. Your attitude can be greatly influenced by the media.
  9. Connections to the World – Relationships with people are good but, a constant stream of distractions from social media is not healthy. Becker points out, “A steady flow of distractions from other people make us feel important needed and wanted, but feeling important and accomplishing importance are completely different things.”
  10. Multitasking – Multitasking deceives us into thinking we are extra productive. Research from Stanford University actually found that multitasking is less productive than performing one task at a time. Their study found it can lower your IQ and even cause brain damage. Focus on accomplishing one task at a time and doing it well, before moving on to the next thing.

Simplifying your life can help you live a healthier and happier life by reducing stress, promoting healthy behaviors, all while being “present” and living in the moment.

If you are looking for top notch health insurance in Florida, contact GreatFlorida Insurance today.

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