News & Events

Wait to Text!

Jordyn Wieber, partnering with Auto-Owners Insurance, speaks on the importance of not texting while driving.

W82TXT

While this video is over six years old, the message is more important today than ever.  Distracted driving is at an all time high and we must reverse this trend.  Please wait to text!

 

6 Tips to Make House Hunting Easy

Buying a home can be one of the biggest purchase decisions an individual or couple will ever make. It is no wonder that when we start the journey of searching for our first—or next—home, we can get a little overwhelmed. Besides the things that are out of our control, like the housing market (supply and price), there are a few things you can do to make home shopping easier.

Before you make an offer, consider the following:

1.Find somewhere you feel safe. Research the community and neighborhood. Talk to people you know who live near the area. If you have kids, researching school districts is also important.

2.Cast a wide net to start. While you may have an idea of your dream home and what it looks like, don’t narrow your search criteria too quickly. Some of the items you see as “must haves” may not be necessary in the end. Part of getting the best deal is knowing what is out there and available.

3.Evaluate the home closely. When you get to the point of touring homes, be sure to pay close attention to details. Are the windows in good shape, or will they need to be replaced? How old are the major mechanicals and roof? Are there signs of structural concerns? These are all costly repairs—especially if they are unexpected!

4.Get an inspection. While this is more commonplace than not, make sure you have a professional inspection of the property. A thorough evaluation of the home can identify safety concerns that need to be addressed.

5.Don’t ignore red flags! The conditions of each contract offer can vary, but if your purchase is contingent on inspection, don’t overlook problems. If it is not something that can be resolved through negotiations with the seller, you must be willing to walk away from a bad deal.

6.Is it a good fit? While all the prior points are important, it is also important to make sure the home is a good fit personality wise. Make sure there is enough space for all your stuff in the bedrooms and closets. Kitchen size and layout can also be important elements.

While there is no doubt that the charm of a home can make you want to buy it on the spot, following a few simple tips can help avoid the headache of a rushed and underinformed purchase. Do you have any home buying tips you’d like to share?

This content provided by Acuity Insurance, written by Addie B. on 08/16/2018.  Original content found here.

Interested in Homeowners Insurance? Contact Kylie Schultz, Natalie Grieser, or Joe Beck at Beck Insurance Agency, Inc.  Phone (419) 446-2777, email info@beckinsurance.com, or submit a request online here.

How Medicare Coordinates with Employer Health Care

If you’re 65 or older, working and have an employer group health plan based on your current work, you may have questions about how your job-based insurance coordinates with Medicare. On the Medicare Rights Center National Consumer Helpline, such questions are among the most frequent ones we get. Here’s what you need to know:

For people who work and have job-based insurance, knowing when to enroll in Medicare falls on them. There is no formal notification from the Social Security Administration or Medicare. Some people are misinformed by employers or don’t have reliable information about Medicare enrollment, leading them to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B and then incur penalties and high medical costs.

The Rules on Coordinating Medicare and Employer Coverage

Having job-based insurance does allow you to delay Medicare enrollment without penalty and delay paying the Medicare Part B premium (the standard Medicare Part B premium is expected to be $134 a month in 2019). However, it’s important to know whether your job-based insurance will pay primary or secondary to Medicare.

In most cases, you should only delay enrollment in Medicare if your job-based insurance is the primary payer (meaning it pays first for your medical bills) and Medicare is secondary. There are additional enrollment considerations if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA); if you enroll in Medicare Part A and/or B, you can no longer contribute pre-tax dollars to your HSA.

Job-based insurance is primary if it is from an employer with 20 or more employees. Medicare is secondary in this case, and some people in this situation choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B so that they do not have to pay the monthly premium.

Job-based insurance is secondary if it is from an employer with fewer than 20 employees; Medicare is primary in this case. If you work at an employer this small and delay Medicare enrollment, your job-based insurance may provide little or no coverage. That’s why you should enroll in Medicare Part B to avoid incurring high costs for your care. The rules are different, however, if you are Medicare-eligible due to a disability or because you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

The Medicare Special Enrollment Period

If you are eligible for Medicare because you are 65 or older and are covered by your job-based insurance or your spouse’s, you have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in Medicare Part B while you are covered by job-based insurance and up to eight months after you no longer have that coverage. This means you aren’t required to take Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), or the seven months surrounding your 65th birthday, when you become Medicare eligible.

Using the Part B Special Enrollment Period means you will not have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty (LEP). Normally, for every 12 months that people who are Medicare-eligible and not covered by employer insurance delay enrollment, they accrue a 10% penalty, which is then added to their monthly Part B premium amount. In most cases, the penalty lasts for as long as someone has Medicare.

Retiree Coverage, COBRA, Affordable Care Act and Medicare

Many Medicare-eligible individuals do not know that employer-offered retiree coverage is almost always secondary to Medicare.

Similarly, health insurance coverage through COBRA (employer-sponsored coverage you can pay to keep after you leave your job, usually for up to 18 months) is also always secondary to Medicare coverage. If you have employer-offered retiree coverage or COBRA, you should enroll in Medicare when first eligible to avoid possible penalties, higher medical costs and gaps in coverage.

You should also make sure you understand how to make Medicare Part B enrollment decisions if you are enrolled in a Marketplace plan under the Affordable Care Act.

If you have an insurance plan certified by the Marketplace, known as a Qualified Health Plan, deciding what to do as you approach Medicare eligibility depends on your circumstances. If you delayed enrolling in Medicare so you could stay in your Marketplace plan, you may be eligible to request time-limited equitable relief. That will let you enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty or eliminate or reduce your late-enrollment penalty under certain circumstances. The opportunity to request time-limited equitable relief lasts until September 30, 2018.

Source:  Written by Joe Baker, Next Avenue Contributor, linked via Forbes.  Original content here.

In the Northwest Ohio area please contact either Natalie Grieser or Bill Beck at Beck Insurance Agency for more information.  Beck Insurance Agency is located at 120 N Defiance Street in downtown Archbold, Ohio.  Phone 419-446-2777.  Natalie Grieser email is Natalie@beckinsurance.com , Bill Beck email is bbeck@beckinsurance.com.  Or click here to contact via the Beck Insurance website for more information on medicare.

Why We Ask. Life Insurance Matters.

Here is a moving video courtesy of Pekin Insurance on the importance of Life Insurance for you and your loved ones.

A new widow left with inadequate life insurance urges every family to make sure they have enough. In this Pekin Insurance video, new widow Catina Lawyer says that life insurance matters for everyone, even younger people, and explains what a difference good life insurance would have made for her.

Please contact Beck Insurance Agency today for a life insurance review. Click or call 877-446-2325 today.

Long Term Care Insurance

An estimated 70% of individuals 65 or older will at some point require some type of long term care services.

According to Genworth, the 2018 average monthly cost of service for Toledo area nursing homes is $7,017. That’s over $84,000 a year!

A private room averages $7,989, while a home health aide would still set you back nearly $4,200 a month.

If you become part of the estimated 70% that requires long term care services….how do you plan to pay for it?

If you are married, would these costs leave your spouse with anything? Your family?

Beck Insurance Agency has several products and methods available in addition to conventional LTC products to help leverage against these possible costs.  Contact us today to schedule a review.  Click here, or call Beck Insurance at 419-446-2325.

10 of the Best Lake Safety Tips Boat Owners Need to Avoid Accidents

What’s better than a day on the lake? Safety tips to make sure you have as much fun as possible while staying safe.

Fishing. Swimming. Sailing. These are but a few of the fun things you can do when you take your boat out on the lake. Safety tips can add to the fun by ensuring you and your friends don’t get injured or have an accident, leaving you stranded. Because no matter how much fun you have on the water, it feels good to get home and crawl into bed at the end of the day.

For some boaters, lake safety tips might not seem especially relevant. Waters are generally calm, visibility is excellent, and you’re probably just cruising. The reality, however, is that the majority of boating accidents happen on sunny days in calm waters. And according to the U.S. Coast Guard, accidents in lakes, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs account for nearly ten times as many accidents as those that happen in ocean waters.

This isn’t meant to scare you, though. Being aware and informed are essential parts of having fun. Follow these tips for a guaranteed good time on—and in—the water.

Boat Safety

Boat Safety

10 Lake Safety Tips

1. Follow your boating safety checklist.
Your boat safety checklist is your key to ensuring a good time on the lake. Use your checklist to make sure you don’t forget important safety items.

2. Boat defensively.
Be aware of your surroundings and what other boaters are doing. Watch out for wakes and other hazards like sandbars, submerged tree limbs, and debris.

3. Boat courteously.
Take it slow in populated areas, and be conscious of your wake.

4. Wear a lifejacket.
At the very least, there should be one lifejacket for each person on your boat, and children should always have a lifejacket on.

5. Keep an eye on the weather.
Just because it’s calm when you cast off doesn’t mean the weather won’t change. Check the forecast before you take your boat out and know what to expect.

6. Check your surroundings before swimming.
Don’t let anyone jump off the boat before carefully checking the surroundings. There may be large rocks or other hazards in the water that are just deep enough to be out of sight, but still dangerous.

7. Be constantly aware of children.
If a child is missing, check the water immediately. Seconds count.

8. Don’t drink the lake water.
Lake water can be full of microorganisms, some of which can cause severe illness.

9. Know how to escape from strong currents when swimming.
Everyone on your boat needs to know how to get out of strong currents. While this might not be an issue on a calm lake, if you’re boating on a river or in the Great Lakes, it can be a concern. The first step is to remain calm and don’t fight the current. Try to swim parallel to the shore or float until the current subsides, then call for help. The same goes for river currents: relax and go with the current. Swim toward shore if you can, but fighting against the current will only deplete your energy.

10. Know what drowning looks like.
The last thing anyone wants to think about when you’re heading out for a day on the lake is drowning, but that fact is, this knowledge could save a life. According to WebMD, someone waving their arms and calling for help may be in distress, they may need help, and it’s important to recognize that and get help to them quickly. However, active drowning looks very different. Our physiological response to drowning is a “silent, almost calm behavior.”

Water rescue expert Francesco Pia, Ph.D., points out what someone drowning will look like:
•Silent: There’s no spare breath to call for help.
•Bobbing up and down: His mouth sinks below the water’s surface, pops up just enough to breathe and sinks back down.
•Stiff-armed: Instead of waving for help, his arms are out to the side, hands pressed down on the water to keep him afloat. He can’t even reach out to grab a life preserver.
•Still: He won’t be kicking. His body will be straight up and down, almost like he’s standing in the water.

Any time you’re at the lake, safety tips are a vital part of having a good time. And the more you know, the more power you have to ensure the best time possible for you, your family, and your friends.

Courtesy of Pekin Insurance, “Beyond the Expected”.  Original content here.

Fun Things To Do In Wauseon

Wauseon is known for many things and having fun is one of them.

For those who want to enjoy themselves and spend time in the area, here are three of the best options to put on your itinerary as soon as you can. The fun you will have is going to be impressive.

Knotty Vines Winery

Love a glass of wine from time to time?

Many people do and that is one thing you are going to get at Knotty Vines Winery every single time. There is a lot to do at the winery and you will have a great time taste testing throughout the day.

Sunny’s Campground

Want to be outdoors and take a look at the natural beauty in Wauseon? This is the only option that is going to bring it all and make sure it is in one place. You will adore walking around the location once you drive in.

The DB Downtown Billiards

If you are looking to have some fun and party during the night then this is a good spot to visit. You will find a lot of fun people around the area and it is a great time for anyone. For those who do spend time in Wauseon, this is going to be on the list immediately. The pool tables are in pristine condition and are incredibly fun during the day. You are able to join a game or just have fun with your buddies if that is what you are looking to do.

In Wauseon, there are many fun things to do and it all comes down to what you want and what you find to be entertaining. Anyone that is hoping to have fun will be able to find it in the area because it is one of the well-kept secrets in the state.

The History Of Wauseon Ohio

A trip through Ohio, especially if you are near Toledo, should include a trip over to Wauseon. It is a very small city, numbering only 7300 people, and it was named after a Potawatomi chief. The first historical population count was just under 400 people. Since that time, it has grown very little, averaging just a couple hundred additional people in the city each subsequent decade. Here is the history of Wauseon Ohio and a couple reasons that you may want to consider visiting there for a few days.

Origins Of Wauseon Ohio

This location was first populated back in the 1850s. Part of the population growth had to do with the railroad that came out to that location. Once it was incorporated, it became a commercial success. That was also because of the railroad. A courthouse was subsequently built, and then the city, which was nothing more than a small town. Fortunately for those that live there, it has remained relatively small, providing a very nice place to raise children. There are currently about 2000 families that are there. Almost 40% of them have kids that are under 18. The median age is roughly 35 years, and 90% of the people are white. There are other nationalities including Latinos which make up just over 14%. These statistics have not changed for 10 years, and it is likely to remain very similar as it has for decades.

What Can You Do In Wauseon Ohio?

When you visit, as you would expect, most of the larger activities are outside of the city. For example, Sauder Village is a very popular destination that is about 8 miles away. You can visit the Knotty Vines winery which is in town, and there is also Sunny’s Campground. Once you have gone there, you will be ready to come back because of how quiet this location is. If you are visiting from Toledo, it is a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are a tourist, you will get to experience how life once was before large cities began to populate the state of Ohio.

Why You Should Think About Moving to Wauseon, Ohio

Do you want to move to a small-town area where you can feel safe and live comfortably with the people who are closest to you? If you are prepared to make a move, consider moving on over to Wauseon, Ohio. The city has a population of less than 8,000 people. Although it is not the most populated city in the state of Ohio, it is still a great place to live because it has more to offer than most people even realize.

If you want to move away from the city because you would prefer to live in an area where you are surrounded by trees and nature, this is the city for you. Many of the homes that are on the market in this city have spacious front yards and backyards where your pets can roam freely, and your children can have a lot of fun spending their time outdoors. The homes in this part of town are known for being much more affordable than homes in other cities. You may be able to find a beautiful, large home for less than what you would be expected to pay when living in the city.

Even though there is not a whole lot to do in the city, you can easily to get to different places by car. Wauseon, Ohio is not far from several great attractions in the state of Ohio, including the DB Downtown Billiards Bar, Skye Cinema Movie Theater, and the Field of Dreams Drive-In Movie Theater. As long as you have a license and a reliable vehicle to use, you can easily get around to a lot of different places while still enjoying the opportunity to live in a slightly secluded area where you will no longer have to deal with so much noise, pollution, or traffic.

3 Good Reasons To Visit Wauseon Ohio

Have you ever been to the city of Wauseon in Ohio because if not, then you should consider going there. There are many reasons why you should, but we’ll discuss a few of them. That being said, continue to read on to find out three reasons why you should visit the city.

The Parks

The city is home to a number of parks, both small and large. If you visit the city, make sure to check out some of the parks, such as South Park, North Park and Homecoming Park. If you’re a fan of parks, then you’ll definitely enjoy spending a bit of time in Wauseon.

Knotty Vines Farm & Winery

Another reason to visit Wauseon, Ohio is because the Knotty Vines Farm & Winery is located there. The menu selection is impressive, the atmosphere is inviting, the staff is friendly and the surrounding scenery is impressive. Trust us when we say this place is worth the trip from anywhere.

Quiet Place

It may be a city, but the population of Wauseon is small and this means it is a quiet place, especially when you compare it to other cities in the state. If you’re looking for a quieter place than Toledo and Columbus, then look no further than Wauseon, Ohio. As soon as you step foot into the city, you’ll notice the difference between it and other major cities. You’ll love the overall laid back feeling of the city.

There are a number of attractions located throughout the city, and the ones mentioned above are only a few. We strongly recommend researching other things to do and see in Wauseon, that way you can plan ahead before you arrive. If you’ve never been to this city, then book a trip there as soon as possible because the chances are you will love it.