Driving in Mexico? New Laws Require Liability Coverage on Mexico Highways.

Are you planning a winter getaway to Mexico? If you are driving you should be aware of the new law requiring drivers to carry liability insurance. Although many of our companies do offer coverage extensions into Mexico, the Mexican authorities will not recognize United State’s insurers.

Purchasing coverage for your vehicle while in Mexico is easy and can be purchased for only the days you will spend in Mexico.

Give us a call today, 661-327-5531 and we can make sure you have the proper coverage in place.

Its Graduation Time for Bakersfield Students! Here Are Some Teen Driving Tips to Keep Graduation Safe

High school is full of defining moments for Bakersfield teens and two of the highlights for most are prom and graduation.

However, this time of year often sees other, more tragic defining moments – serious car accidents involving teens who are distracted or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

At Crosby and Crosby, we want to help make this season one to celebrate for you and your teen. So, with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are some tips that can keep your teen safe.

First, encourage your teen to follow these general safe-driving rules:

Absolutely no alcohol

Always use seat belts

No cell phone use (including texting) while driving

Special circumstances

Of course, special events such as prom and graduation often present special circumstances. There may be dinner with dates before the dance, and parties before or after either event. It’s a good idea to discuss your expectations well before each event, putting some guidelines into place before your teen heads out for the night. Here are some ideas:

Make sure you know the itinerary of the evening, as well as who else will be with your teen. You should have contact information for everyone.

Have a way to contact your teen at all times. You may want to require them to check in with you once or twice over the course of the evening.

Set a curfew, whether they are coming back to your home or staying with a friend. If they are staying elsewhere, make sure the curfew will be enforced by a responsible adult.

Discuss with your teen how to handle difficult situations, such as facing pressure to drink, or accepting a ride with someone who shouldn’t be driving. It’s a good idea to provide your child with money for a taxi just in case.

Offer a “no-questions-asked” ride home, should they need one during the evening.

If you’re worried about your teen driving, consider alternate transportation. A car service or limousine will provide a responsible, experienced adult driver. You also will be able to limit changes to the itinerary and contact the driver.

Prom and graduation in Bakersfield are special times in a teen’s life. And just a little common sense will go a long way toward making sure your young adult is around to enjoy the other milestones that are sure to come.

 Safeco Insurance Teen Safety Rewards™

Safeco Insurance  Teen Safety Rewards can provide you a collection of tools, benefits and discounts to help your teen become a safer driver — as well as manage the cost of adding them to your policy. There are several discounts available, including the Good Student Discount, Driver Training Discount and more. Call Crosby and Crosby Insurance Services, 661-327-5531 or send us an email, agent@crosbyandcrosby.com for more information!

5 Tips on Getting the Best Deal on Your Bakersfield Home and Auto Insurance

Bakersfield has changed quite a bit since Crosby and Crosby first started writing insurance in 1963. Insurance has changed just as drastically. In the old days, we used a rate wheel to manually provide an insurance premium. Today, we can instantly compare our many different companies and compare side by side coverage and deductible options. To help our clients chose the right coverage options at the absolutely best value, we recommend these 5 Tips on getting the best deal for your insurance.

 

- Combine, Combine, Combine

We have all heard that combining your home and auto can help you to save money on your insurance. The discounts don’t stop there. Have you considered combining other policies such as boat, motorcycle, umbrella and even life insurance? By combining all of your policies, you can save even more through additional multi-policy discounts.

- Compare company specific discounts

Did you know that some companies provide a discount for living in a gated community? Companies have many different discounts available. An independent agent can help you to make sure the applicable discounts are being applied.

 - Compare Deductible Options

Statistically, a homeowner will have a claim every 7 years. How would raising your deductible to $1,000 or even $2,500 impact your annual insurance premium? If you can take the extra risk, a higher deductible option can payoff. Many of our clients are deciding that raising deductibles on the auto up to $1,000 is a smart move that can help to reduce your insurance premium.

- Verify Your Annual Miles

In California, your usage is a primary rating factor on your auto insurance. Annual mileage can vary tremendously from one driver to another. Do you have a short commute? A vehicle provided by your company? Are you retired? These are all factors that impact the usage of your vehicle. Make sure you are talking with your company about how many miles your are driving annually and not overpaying for your insurance.

- Shop With an Independent Agent

An independent agency represents different insurance companies.  An “agent” vs a “broker” does not charge extra fees to write a policy. An independent agent is able to present several quote options and give you a good comparison of different options. By letting an agent compare your quote options, you can make sure you are getting the best insurance value.

Let Crosby and Crosby Compare Options and Provide you with an Insurance Quote

It is easier than ever to see rates from our great companies. You can call us, 661-327-5531, email us agent@crosbyandcrosby.com, or quote live online. We provide a great comparison quote with companies like Safeco, Metlife, Kemper Preferred and Travelers.

Crosby and Crosby is Now A Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider For Home and Auto Insurance

We have long been fans of Dave Ramsey. His sound financial advice has helped us personally. We are now very proud to announce that we are Dave Ramsey “Endorsed Local Providers” for home and auto insurance.

Dave, has been a big advocate for local independent agents. We agree that an independent agent, with several great companies to chose from, is the best option for purchasing your home and auto insurance.

Crosby and Crosby Insurance serves insureds in California, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Wisconsin.

Give us a call if we can help. 661-327-5531 or complete a free no-obligation quote here.

California will not be extending date for cancelled health insurance

Please see the attached press release from Covered California. The Covered California board voted unanimously yesterday to uphold the December 31st deadline for non-ACA health insurance plans. The cancel notices that have gone out will not be reversed. Have questions about what this means to you? Call us at 661-327-5531.

COVERED CALIFORNIA UPHOLDS ORIGINAL DEADLINE FOR ENDING HEALTH PLANS THAT DON’T MEET LAW’S STANDARDS
Strong Enrollment in New Health
Insurance Marketplace a Factor in Decision
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As consumer enrollment continues to grow, the Covered California™ Board unanimously voted today to uphold its Dec. 31, 2013, deadline for health insurance companies to discontinue plans that don’t meet basic standards. The board cited that extending the deadline offers no benefit to the consumer and may create confusion about accessing affordable health care coverage through Covered California.
The board, consistent with President Barack Obama’s recommendations, also urged Covered California staff to implement helpful tools for consumers currently enrolled in affected plans, to better understand their options.
The decision to maintain the original deadline also confirms the state exchange’s commitment to transitioning Californians into plans that are compliant with the reforms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, protecting consumers from double deductibles and stabilizing the risk pool to control costs for consumers beginning in 2014.
Additionally, Covered California is implementing five key strategies to sustain, if not increase, its enrollment momentum and help affected consumers:
• Extending the deadline for enrollment for coverage taking effect on Jan. 1, 2014, from Dec. 15, 2013, to Dec. 23, 2013, and extending the deadline for payments due from Dec. 26, 2013, to Jan. 5, 2014.
• Establishing a telephone hotline for consumers to resolve enrollment questions. The hotline, (855) 857-0445, will be available beginning Monday, Nov. 25.
• Sending information directly to nearly 1.13 million affected individuals that provides clear options for coverage. The information will be sent from Covered California and the individual’s current insurance provider.
• Collecting and reporting data, on a regular basis, showing the impacts of conversion for individuals.
• Engaging consumers in their communities through the thousands of Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and Certified Educators now deployed statewide.
“The consumer is front and foremost in Covered California’s policy decision process. These new strategies will provide consumers a better enrollment experience, more flexibility in the selection of a plan and, most importantly, increased knowledge with which to make the best health coverage choice possible,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee.
The board and Covered California staff discussed options for maintaining or extending the deadline after President Obama last week gave state insurance exchanges flexibility on when policies that were not grandfathered and are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act could be ended.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.

Covered CA Q&A

We get questions daily on Covered CA and try to answer them as quickly as possible. Here are some questions and answers recently posted by Health Care Shopper you may find interesting:

Covered California Q&A

________________________________________
• Why Are Rates Higher in Northern CA?
• Why are Networks Restricted?
• Who Sets Prices?
• Continuation of Non-ACA Policies
Why Are Rates Higher in Northern CA?
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 04:50 PM PST
**Question**: Rates are considerably higher in the northern part of the state than in SoCal. What’s up with that? I understand San Francisco being higher because everything is costlier there, but even the rural areas of the north counties are pricier than LA and Orange County. Can you make sense of it? **Answer**: In a nutshell, it’s about population and competition. More population means more hospitals, large medical groups and other providers. That means more competition with more providers willing to contract at lower rates to get a leg up. That translates to a 48% difference in premium rates between San Francisco and Los Angeles for a 40 year old buying the 2nd lowest priced Silver Plan – $373 vs $252.
Why are Networks Restricted?
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 03:07 PM PST
**Question**: There has been much talk about restricted provider networks in the Covered California plans. If the plans have to be the same as those offered outside the marketplace, how are they restricted? Or all all individual plans restricted in comparison to group plans? Can you shed some light on this subject? **Answer**: Individual plan provider networks have been “narrowed” for 2014 as a way of controlling costs. That’s because a smaller number of medical providers are willing to agree to lower contract rates. Carriers who offer qualified health plans in the exchange must “mirror” those plans (including networks) outside of the exchange, so the individual plan networks are identical in the exchange and off the exchange. Group plans will generally have broader networks than individual plans, if not the same as pre-2014.
Who Sets Prices?
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 02:06 PM PST
**Question**: Does the ACA set prices for procedures etc or are insurance companies allowed to charge anything? Also, which insurance company has the best record for not overcharging for procedures? **Answer**: The ACA does not set prices for medical services, nor for that matter does the law set health insurance rates. Insurance companies negotiate with health care providers – doctors, hospitals, etc.- to set a contract rate for each medical procedure or service. There is considerable variance in medical costs between insurance companies for the same service or procedure and also between providers within the same insurance company network, because negotiated contract rates are lower with some providers than others. There is no transparency for the consumer in this system so there is no way to compare the contract rates among carriers.
Continuation of Non-ACA Policies
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 02:37 PM PST
**Question**: I got a letter from Blue Shield that my existing policy would be terminated Dec 31st 2013, and I would be switched over to some new bronze ACA plan for the next year. A few weeks ago I received another letter and that states my current policy can continue until March 31, 2014. What is the significance of March 31st deadline? Has this something to do with the administrative directive Obama administration issued regarding individual mandate? The above letter was before the more recent development of the administration allowing non-ACA policies to continue till the end of the year. In light of that, should I expect yet another letter from BlueShield extending the current policy until Dec 31, 2014? **Answer**: It is possible that Blue Shield will extend current non-grandfathered plans for another year. If so that would be a result of the recent mea culpa announcement by President Obama. The initial Blue Shield extension was ordered by the Department of Insurance because Blue Shield allegedly did not give policyholders sufficient notice of cancellation.

Our Insurance Discounts for Bakersfield Teachers Just Got Better

Insurance companies have long recognized that certain occupations deserve lower insurance rates. Many companies including Safeco and Travelers Insurance have been offering large auto insurance discounts for teachers over the last decade.

The Bakersfield office of Crosby and Crosby Insurance helps numerous teachers, counselors and adminstrators with their home and auto insurance.

Our discounts have just got better! We can now offer an occupation discount on our homeowners insurance coverage in addition to the great discounts we have had on auto insurance.

These discounts are the best way to receive the best value for your insurance. Saving money is great and saving money while receiving the proper coverages is the way we have been selling insurance since 1963.

It is easy to get a quote. You can give us a call at 661-327-5531 or complete an instant online quote here.

 

Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act) Opens Today

Starting today the state exchanges opened to enroll in health care for January 1st. We know it has been all over the news the past few weeks but we are still getting a lot of questions on what it all means and how to enroll. Do you have to enroll? Do you have to go to the exchange? How much is this going to cost? Where is the “free” healthcare you heard about? There is so much to cover and the answers are specific to each individual. If you need help please let us know. We can answer your questions and help you enroll if you would like. We also have options to get health insurance off of the exchange. Don’t let it overwhelm you; call us today at 661-327-5531 or email Jenni at jennI@crosbyandcrosby.com. We are here to help!

Aetna Pulls Their Individual Health Insurance Products from California

Last week Aetna announced it will pull its individual health insurance products from the market in California. Their individual plans will no longer be sold as of July 1st and current Aetna individual health clients will be cancelled on December 31st. Letters have started going out this week to alert current Aetna insureds that they will need to find alternate coverage by year end. You can find more information in this article from the Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323734304578546144234962424.html. If you are a current Aetna customer, or have any questions regarding health insurance, please contact Crosby & Crosby Insurance Services at 661-327-5531, www.crosbyandcrosby.com or stop by our office at 111 H Street. We know it is a confusing time in health insurance and are here to help!

Anthem California Health Insurance Rate Adjustments

Anthem Blue Cross News Flash: Anthem has reached an agreement with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) to reduce our Individual premium increase that was implemented beginning on Feb. 1, 2013 and impacted approximately 636,000 Individual members.

Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company (Anthem) originally filed for an average 17.9 percent increase, and after negotiations with the Department of Insurance, agreed to change the increase to an average 13.9 percent increase. As a result of the revised rates, the majority of your Individual clients will receive a lower rate than previously communicated.
Anthem will lower the premium for these Individual market products and will allow policyholders who switched to a lower cost product to switch back to their former product. The members who dropped coverage because of the rate increase can reinstate in the product they recently dropped without going through medical underwriting.

If you have any questions regarding your personal health insurance or group health policy with Anthem Blue Cross please contact us at Crosby & Crosby Insurance Services, 661-327-5531.

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