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Filos Agency Inc. Blog

Time to Renew at the NY State of Health Market Place Nov 14, 2014
Helpful Hints and Tips!

· Plan Compare (http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/PlanCompare)
o The Plan Compare provides information about health plans offered on the Individual Marketplace and is intended to allow you to preview the plans available by county.
· Tax Credit and Premium Estimator (http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/PremiumEstimator)
o This has been updated with 2015 Individual Marketplace plan information.
· 2015 NY State of Health consumer materials
o Materials in English are available at http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/resource-type/materials-english
o Materials in Additional Languages are available at http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/AdditionalLanguageMaterials
· Overview for Small Business Owners (http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/resource/ny-state-health-overview-small-business-owners)
o This is a new six page Small Business Marketplace piece that provides key information for small business owners.
· Picking a Health Plan Video (http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/PickingHealthPlanVideo)
o This new video gives helpful information regarding what consumers should consider when choosing a plan.
· How to Renew Your Coverage video
o The English version is available at http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/RenewalVideo
o The Spanish version is available at http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/SpanishRenewalVideo
· Health Plan Customer Service Phone Numbers and Provider Networks (http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/resource/health-plan-customer-service-phone-numbers-and-provider-networks)
o This page has been updated with information for the 2015 plans. (The information for 2014 plans is still available through a link on the page.)
· Using Your Insurance page (http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/UsingYourInsurance)
o This new page provides resources to help answer questions new enrollees may have about using their coverage.
· Interactive Map of Events (http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/events)
o The map includes events (that are open to the public) at which the Marketplace will have a presence.
o If you are representing the Marketplace at an event that is open to the public, you can submit it to be included on the map via this online form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NYSOHCalendarEvents.
Flood Insurance Aug 18, 2014
In the past five years, a flood or flash flood event
has occurred in all 50 states. No state—and no
homeowner—is immune from the risk of flood.
Although homeowners in hurricane-weary
states, such as Florida and Louisiana, are
well aware of their risk of flood damage and
may be required by their lender to have flood
coverage, few homeowners in other areas of the
country understand their flood risk. They often
mistakenly believe that their homeowners policy
will cover flood damage. Or, they underestimate
their risk because the area has not flooded in
the past. But flood history is only one risk factor,
and risk can significantly increase over time
due to building development that upsets
topography,or aging infrastructure such
as levees and dams.

In the past five years, a flood or
flash flood event has occurred in
all 50 states!!

The statistics surrounding flooding are sobering
to most homeowners. Very few realize that floods
are the number one disaster in the United States.
Many homeowners are also unaware of just how
financially devastating a flood can be. Between
2007 and 2011, the average flood claim was
nearly $33,000.
Even a few inches of water in a dwelling can result in thousands of dollars of damage. Few homeowners have the resources to handle that type of hit to their finances.
The amount of flood damage incurred has little
to do with location. Florida and North Carolina,
two states in traditional hurricane paths,
have average losses of $22,595 and $16,106,
respectively. Some of the highest average flood
claims are in areas not thought to be at risk
of flood:
� Nevada: $43,895
� North Dakota: $44,911
� New Hampshire: $45,469
� New York: $67,107
Floods are a year-round risk that is not limited
to the traditional hurricane season. In the
Midwest and Northeast, snowfall, ice jams and rapid snowmelt can cause flooding. In
the Northwest, heavy winter rains can cause
mudflows.
For example, in August 2014 New York, expecially the middle of Long Island had 13 incues of rain, an non-hurricane event, and people in Islip and Lindenhurst were devistated by flooding water. All I heard on the news was "we are not in a flood area, we didn't think we needed flood insurance."
We are ALL in a flood area, we may not be in an area that is listed as an AE Zone, but even the areas that are not at a high risk to flood are classified as an X zones. The rates in an X zone are fairly inexpensive. If you live any where on Long Island, Please go to or website listed below and get a quote, you may be surprised at how little this valuable coverage costs.

And think about it, Long Island, IT'S AN ISLAND! No one is truly safe from the risk of flooding.

For a Flood Quote Click below‼

Tips for another cold spell.... Mar 24, 2014
As if slippery sidewalks and snow-covered cars aren't bad enough during the winter, you face another potential headache: ruined carpets and water damage to your ceilings and walls from leaks caused by ice dams or bursting pipes. You can avoid the resulting aggravation and expense by taking several basic steps right now to prevent this kind of damage.
If you're handy with a hammer and screwdriver, you can do much of the work yourself. Work involving your home's structure may require a building contractor, however, or even a registered design professional such as an architect or engineer.
Before making any structural changes to your home, check with your local building officials to be sure what you're doing complies with local building codes.

FREEZING PIPES
Frozen water in pipes can cause water pressure buildup between the ice blockage and the closed
faucet at the end of a pipe, which leads to pipes bursting at their weakest point. Pipes in attics, crawl
spaces and outside walls are particularly vulnerable to freezing in extremely cold weather, where holes
in your house's outside wall for television, cable or telephone lines allow cold air to reach them.
To keep water in pipes from freezing,
take the following steps:
• Fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping to slow the heat transfer. The more
insulation the better.
• Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes with caulking.
• Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to allow warm air to circulate around pipes
(particularly in the kitchen and bathroom).
• Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through an
unheated or unprotected space. Or drain the water system, especially if your house will be unattended
during cold periods.

ICE DAMS
An ice dam is an accumulation of ice at the lower edge of a sloped roof, usually at the gutter. When interior heat melts the snow on the roof, the water will run down and refreeze at the roof's edge, where temperatures are much cooler. Eventually, the ice builds up and blocks water from draining off of the roof. This, in turn, forces the water under the roof covering and into your attic or down the inside walls of your house.
Once an ice dam forms, the potential damage can be serious. Take these steps now to avoid trouble later:
• Keep the attic well ventilated. The colder the attic, the less melting and refreezing on the roof.
• Keep the attic floor well insulated to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within
the house.
This two-step approach decreases the likelihood that ice dams will form or, at least, reduces their size.
As an extra precaution against roof leaks in case ice dams do form when you re-roof, install a waterrepellent membrane under your roof covering. Talk with your local building official about minimum code requirements for ice dam protection. Unfortunately, ice dams may be unavoidable if your
home has recessed lighting near the roof. Heat generated from these lights melts snow, which then
contributes to ice dam buildup. The only sure way to avoid this problem is to eliminate recessed light fixtures near the roof.

The President Signed the bill!! Mar 24, 2014
HR3370 Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act is signed by the President

The President has signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, (HFIAA14) sent for his signature on March 13, 2014 after passage with bipartisan support by both the House and the Senate.

With presidential signature, FEMA and the NFIP will begin to set implementation timelines, and identify the procedures to bring the relief offered by this new law to the policyholders and property owners across the country.

For more information and highlights of the new law, please see our previous communication:
Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act Passes the Senate and Moves to the President for Signature to become law.

"We are very encouraged that this new law both provides relief to property owners and the real estate market while it continues to move the NFIP toward a sustainable future." Said Patty Templeton-Jones, COO Wright Flood. "We will continue to work closely with FEMA and the NFIP to develop implementation plans to provide relief to those impacted by BW12."


Flood Bill Passes House and Senate Mar 14, 2014
Yesterday, following the March 4th House-passage of H.R. 3370 of flood insurance legislation, the Senate passed (72-22) the same measure, finalizing the changes to the National Flood Insurance Program aimed at addressing some of the "unintended consequences" resulting from the implementation of Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Act of 2012 (BW12) legislation. This Act reforms BW12 and reverses several key provisions of that 2012 law. The bill, H.R. 3370 (Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014) as passed by the House and Senate will now be sent to the President for signature and enactment. If the President does not sign the bill within 10 business days, it will become law.

H.R. 3370 specifies timetables for implementation of these reforms. It is likely that any H.R. 3370 reforms will take at least a year or more to be implemented. Keep in mind that while BW12 was enacted in July 2012, the first provisions wasn't implemented until October 2013. For the foreseeable future, the Write Your Own companies (WYO) will continue to operate under BW12. Nothing will change until FEMA issues rules, regulations and interpretations.

Some of the key pieces to H.R. 3370 that were included in the final legislation are:
1. FEMA/NFIP directly providing refunds to policyholders; and
2. FEMA/NFIP required to involve the WYO insurers throughout the process of implementing this legislation.
There is a summary of the bill available here and you can read the full text of the bill here.
It should be noted that as a condition of the Senate voting on H.R. 3370, Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) reached an agreement with Senator Lee (R-UT) to hold a vote on a completely separate and new measure, S. 2137, which was introduced today. S. 2137 reportedly would prohibit any refunds, as required under H.R. 3370, to policyholders with second homes. The Senate passed S. 2137 by voice vote. It is unclear if the House will take up this new measure.
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