The holiday season is a time of light, joy, and wonder. While you finish preparing for the holiday season, be sure to stay safe and protected with these simple tips!

First, did you know that electrical fires are a leading cause of household fires every year? In fact, over $14 million per year in direct property damage is caused by fires that started from Christmas trees and decorations. Common causes of electrical fires this time of year involve overloading circuits, broken lights, and improper use of extension cords. To prevent Christmas tree fires, be sure to regularly water your live tree (and not to if it’s artificial)! Check your lights and replace any burnt-out or broken lights to prevent electricity shortages and discard the strand of lights if there are any tears in the wire insulation. Don’t run extension cords under carpets or rugs and be sure to use “outside” specified extension cords for exterior holiday decorations. Don’t place candles or space heaters close to decorations (including the tree) and never leave them unattended. We know there are a lot of distractions while you are cooking and everyone is together but be mindful not to walk away from the stove while burners are active and have redundant timers set for items in the oven so you don’t forget to check what’s baking. And finally, test that your smoke detectors and their batteries are in working condition and make sure you have at least 1 unused and charged fire extinguisher in your home.

You have also likely already heard not to put the boxes of your big-ticket items out with your recyclables around the holidays because it alerts burglars what goodies Santa brought you. It’s good advice as the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is peak season for home burglaries. Which is we have another tip to pass along – you may want to reconsider increasing your personal contents coverage limits if any of your presents lean towards the expensive end this year because your policy might not cover those items. For example, the average homeowner’s policy includes jewelry coverage, but with a maximum limit per item of $1,000 and an aggregate (or total) limit of $5,000. If you have an item or more that is valued more than $1,000 a stand-alone policy for jewelry might be a better option because the limits correlate to each specific item. This means you will typically be reimbursed for the appraised amount instead of the minimal limit that is provided on your homeowner’s policy. Another benefit to stand-alone policies is that if you need to put a claim in for a specific piece of jewelry, you won’t have to put a claim in to your homeowner’s policy. This is especially helpful as most carriers won’t offer coverage or quotes if you have more than 1 nonweather-related claim in a 5-year history.

Other items you might consider scheduling coverage for could include collectibles, antiques, artisanal carpets/rugs, artwork, and electronics. If you have many of these items, a High-Value Homeowners policy may be a better option for you. However, experts estimate that as many as 40 percent of high-value homes are underinsured so be sure to speak with your agent regarding your options so we can find you the best coverage for your needs. We’re here to help!

We hope these helpful tips make your holiday season safer and more enjoyable. We hope you are able to spend time together with your loved ones, celebrating the past year and looking forward to all the promises of a new year!

Sending you warm wishes for a happy and safe holiday season from all of us at Jallad Insurance!

Cozy Holiday

Last weekend was the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce’s 66th Annual Christmas Parade. If you were in attendance on Saturday, you might have been lucky enough to catch a peek of the special guy in charge. That’s right, our very own agent Tom Rossello was the Chairman of the Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade this year! Tom has been a member of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce for over 30 years. Of course the parade was a wonderful success with him in charge, and continued its well-established tradition of bringing joy to our community. In fact, the long history of this event actually makes it the oldest continuous holiday parade in Central Florida!

This time of year always serves as a reminder for us to reflect on all we are grateful for and how we are able to give to others. We have a lot to be thankful for at Jallad Insurance, one of which is the nonprofit organization, Give Kids the World. If you are unfamiliar with the organization, Give Kids the World provides cost-free, weeklong, whimsical vacations for critically ill children and their families to enjoy time away from hospital visits and medical procedures and just have a little fun together! The nonprofit was started by a Holocaust survivor, Henri Landwirth. He said he understood what it felt like to have childhood snatched away, so over 30 years ago he created a place where children battling illnesses could remember what it was like to laugh, play, and just be a kid. No child is ever turned away.

According to the Give Kids the World website, “Each year 27,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with a critical illness. Half of all children eligible for a wish through a partnering wish-granting organization choose to visit Central Florida and its collection of theme parks and other attractions.” Having a child with a critical illness is incredibly difficult and impacts all aspects of life for the child and their loved ones. Which is why we appreciate the mission of Give Kids the World and are happy to support their efforts to bring joy to critically ill children and their families.

So if you are looking for a charity to give to this holiday season, we hope you will consider adding Give Kids the World to your “Nice” list!

Give Kids the World

It’s that time of year again! The 2019 Health Insurance Open Enrollment period for the ACA Individual market starts November 1st and closes December 15th. Once the enrollment period passes, individuals will not be able to enroll in a health plan again until the next open enrollment or a qualifying event occurs during the plan year. Qualifying events typically include Marriage, Divorce, Employment Status Change, a Birth, or a Death in the immediate family. Employer Group Health Insurance is a little different, as open enrollment is based on the plan anniversary date, but typically follows the same rules.

A common topic of discussion during this time of year relates to Health Spending Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefits. We created this handy chart to break down the biggest differences, so you can better decide which option works best for you!

fsa hsa

It’s important to note that contributions to both accounts are pre-tax and have differing contribution limitations. You may not know this, but the IRS is actually the organization that decides which expenses are eligible for each type of account. More information can be found on www.IRS.gov. If you have other questions about your health insurance policy, be sure to reach out to our Health Insurance Specialist via our department email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

This Saturday, November 10th, Jallad Insurance’s team members will be participating in the Autism Speaks Walk at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs, FL. The event will begin at 10am (check-in starts at 9am) and will include opening ceremonies, a 3-mile walk, and after-party festivities for the whole family to enjoy!

The Autism Speaks Walk is the world’s largest fundraising event to enhance the lives of people with autism today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. According to the CDC, 1 in 68 children in the US is diagnosed with autism. In fact, one of our team members, Lory Gonzalez, has an 8 year old son with Autism. Izaak was diagnosed at age 2 and although he is nonverbal, he is able to communicate with the family by utilizing their tablet. With the support of his therapist, Izaak’s speech has been progressing and they have faith that he will be able to communicate verbally with them one day. Izaak is a very bright and loving boy with a big heart. He loves electronics, rockets, trains and music and is a joy to his family.

Your policy expiration date is fast approaching, and it is time to start thinking about your renewal.  It is important to evaluate changes that may have occurred in the past year that might affect your insurance needs.  To get your wheels turning, we've prepared a list for you - just one more way that we’ve got you covered!

Family
  • Marital status
  • Baby
  • Pet
  • Teen driver
  • College student
Assets - bought/sold
  • Vehicle - car, motorcycle, boat, RV, ATV, golf cart, etc
  • Primary or investment property
  • Home improvements or additions – roof, windows, plumbing, AC, water heater, electric, hurricane protection
  • Change in mortgage lenders/lien holders
  • Personal items - jewelry, collectibles, electronics
  • Business
Lifestyle
  • Extended international travel
  • Quit smoking
We know this isn't a comprehensive list, so please let us know anything else that may have happened over the past year.  We are looking forward to hearing more about your year and making sure we help set you up for success this coming year!

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LSJ Insurance Agency Inc., Insurance Agency, Maitland, FL