Top Five Life Insurance Myths!

Don’t let these five misconceptions delay you from protecting your loved ones with life insurance.

H2: More people are preparing for the unexpected
The untimely death of a loved one once seemed like a remote possibility. But the pandemic has brought a new awareness of how vulnerable life can be. Numbers from LIMRA, a life insurance knowledgebase, tell the story:

● Nearly one-third of consumers surveyed (31%) say COVID-19 has made them more likely to purchase life insurance within the next 12 months

You only need to type “funerals” into the search field at GoFundMe to see endless tales of the heartbreaking loss of a loved one, followed by financial crisis for their family. The truth is, life can be breathtakingly uncertain. But the financial impact of a loss can be avoided with life insurance.

We’ve partnered with Ethos to help you find the right policy for your needs, with zero hassle. Get your no-obligation quote in seconds.

The bottom line: Millions of Americans lack critical life insurance. But today, getting coverage is simple with Ethos.

H2: Do these thoughts sound familiar?
Here are five of the most common reasons people put off getting life insurance—and why you should rethink them.
1. I can’t afford it. Research finds people wildly overestimate the cost of term life insurance. Millennials especially overestimate by 5–10x! In fact, a healthy 35-year-old non-smoker can buy a 10-year, $1,000,000 term life policy for about $65 per month through Ethos. That’s less than the cost of many auto and home insurance policies. And of the three—car, house or family—which is more important?
2. My life insurance coverage through work is enough. Workplace coverage is typically 1x salary. That’s not enough to help a grieving family maintain their way of life and fund long-term goals like college tuition. Also, if you leave a job, you can’t always take your life insurance with you.
3. I don’t want to think about it. An Ethos application takes most people less than 10 minutes to finish. There’s no time like the present to spend a few minutes getting the protection your family needs. In the time it takes you to finish your morning coffee, you could be approved for coverage.

● The longer you wait, the more expensive life insurance gets. Healthy, younger adults can get the most coverage: up to $2M in term life through Ethos.
● Circumstances can change and future insurability is not a given. Once you get coverage, you’ll never lose it due to health changes.

4. I don’t need it. Some people believe they’ve got sufficient assets to protect their family if the worst happened. In other words, they plan to “self-insure.” It sounds good—but it may be unrealistic. Consider:

● Forty-two percent of Americans would face financial hardship within six months if the primary wage-earner were to die unexpectedly, according to LIMRA.
● A middle-class child born in 2015 will cost nearly $300,000 to raise to adulthood. That’s not counting the cost of college; currently about $80,000 per year for an Ivy League education.
● Did you know that life insurance policies can offer benefits even while you’re living? For example, if you get a policy with a standard terminal illness rider, you could access a portion of the policy’s death benefit if you become terminally ill.

The truth is, you can choose a policy with much more coverage than you can provide on your own, for an affordable rate.

5. The process is too complicated. This used to be the case. When you wanted life insurance, you had to schedule a medical exam, then wait weeks or months for approval from a carrier. But the Ethos process is built for the way people do business in the 21st century, with no need for blood draws or other intrusive tests. Ethos’ technology enables us to approve about 95% of people aged 20–85 in as little as 10 minutes—with just a few health and lifestyle questions.

H2: Take action to protect your loved ones
If you’re ready to make a plan for life insurance, start by getting a quick quote from our friends at Ethos.

Julissa Gutierrez presented the SGTC Foundation Client First Insurance Solutions CDL scholarship

Repost from: South Georgia Technical College

The South Georgia Technical College Foundation presented Commercial Truck Driving student, Julissa Gutierrez of Oglethorpe, with a $500 Client First Insurance Solutions scholarship recently.  Jody Wade from Client First Insurance Solutions was on hand to make the presentation.

   Client First Insurance Solutions funded five Commercial Truck Driving Scholarships at South Georgia Technical College.  Gutierrez was the second scholarship recipient.  Richard T. Simpson of Talbotten, GA was the initial recipient. The scholarships are being awarded to South Georgia Technical College Commercial Truck Driving students who aspire to become owner/operators.

   “We are very appreciative of Client First Insurance Solutions for their willingness to partner with South Georgia Technical College through their sponsorship of these scholarships for this high demand career field,” said SGTC President Dr. John Watford.

   Jody Wade of Client First Solutions thanked Dr. Watford and SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and SGTC Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird for the opportunity. “We are very pleased to partner with South Georgia Technical College for these CDL scholarships. We realize truck drivers are essential workers and they are responsible for delivering goods to our communities.  This is our way of showing appreciation to those individuals who are choosing to enter this career field,” said Wade.

   The primary focus of Client First Insurance Solutions is to meet the needs of its valued clients and prepare insurance solutions for the things that matter most.  They provide auto, home, commercial, life insurance and more.  They service clients in Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.

   Dr. Watford shared that “statistics show there is a current shortage of truck drivers and this is predicted to increase over the next few years. Almost every job ad you see is advertising for certified drivers.  South Georgia Technical College is striving to meet that demand by expanding its Commercial Truck Driving training program and these scholarships are a tremendous help.”

   Commercial Truck Driving is one of the Governor’s High Demand Career fields that qualifies for additional funding through the Hope Career Grant program.  Qualified residents receive up to $1000 toward tuition for enrolling in the CDL program.

   The Commercial Truck Driving program at South Georgia Technical College is an eight-week program and can be completed in day or evening classes.  The curriculum includes in-class work, skills-field training, and on-the-road experience.  The median annual wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $47,130 in May 2020.

   South Georgia Technical College is currently registering students for Fall Semester.  Fall semester begins August 18th.  To enroll in the CDL classes, contact the admissions office at 229-931-2394 in Americus or 229-271-4040 in Cordele.  For more information about the CDL program contact Robert Cook at rcook@southgatech.edu or visit the SGTC website at www.southgatech.edu.

   South Georgia Tech offers over 200 associate degree, diploma or short-term certificate of credit programs of study.  Now is a great time to get the training needed to update or start a new career!

Photo:  Shown above (l to r) are South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford with SGTC CDL instructor Ken Hair,  scholarship recipient Julissa Gutierrez with Client First Insurance’s Jody Wade making the presentation.  Also shown is SGTC CDL Instructor Ken Coptsias.

Client First Insurance Solutions Acquires Newman Agency

Left to right: Kirk Lyman-Barner, John Newman, Jody Wade.

On April 1st, 2022, Client First Insurance Solutions purchased the assets belonging to the Newman Agency, another local insurance agency founded by Mr. John Newman.

Mr. Newman, who has decided to retire, is working closely with the Client First team to ensure a smooth transition, and had this to say to his former clients:

“We have always strived to give the best customer service to our insureds and I am confident that Kirk and his staff at Client First Insurance will be able to maintain that same high level that you have come to expect. I will miss you all and wish the very best for you.”

Any insurance policies written and maintained by Mr. Newman will continue to exist and will not be modified; the only change for customers will be that Client First will process payments, endorsements, and any other policy changes instead of Mr. Newman.

Client First Insurance is located on Lamar street next to Sweet Georgia Baking and is open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Questions about Life, Health, Home, Auto, and Business insurance needs may be directed to Client First at (229) 596-1002. 

Client First Insurance Solutions Establishes CDL Scholarships At South Georgia Technical College

Client First Insurance Solutions invested in Americus recently when it presented the South Georgia Technical College Foundation with a $2500 check to establish five Commercial Truck Driving scholarships for the 2021 – 2022 academic year. The scholarships will be awarded to South Georgia Technical College Commercial Truck Driving students who aspire to become owner/operators.

Commercial truck drivers are in great demand and this demand is expected to increase over the next few years. Client First insures many commercial truck drivers and is proud to fund this scholarship to encourage more students to take advantage of this growth industry.  

“We are very pleased to partner with South Georgia Technical College for these CDL scholarships,” said Kirk Lyman-Barner, CEO of Client First Insurance.  “Truck drivers are essential workers and they are delivering goods for our communities.  We would like to show our appreciation to those individuals who are choosing to enter this career field.”

Finding the best commercial truck policy – most coverage, lowest premium – can be a challenge, but Client First Insurance has been doing it for years and is the go-to agency for commercial drivers. Our currently insured drivers continue to refer other drivers to us because we are trustworthy, honest, and really do put our clients first. 

For a quote or more information, give us a call. We know the territory, our drivers know and trust us, and we’ll do our best for you, guaranteed.

Read the Press Release from South Georgia Technical College here.

Health Insurance: COVID-19 Special Enrollment

Would you like a little good news? A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Marketplace Health Insurance has been announced for the period of February 15 – May 15th, due to the COVID19 pandemic. This special enrollment period is designed to help families and individuals get the health coverage they need during the pandemic because no one should be worried about whether or not they can get insurance coverage during a global health crisis. 

Marketplace Health Insurance is usually only available for forty-five days each year. Even in a “normal” year, it can be tough to align your insurance needs with that one month. But during a pandemic, it’s even more important to make sure you and your family can get the coverage you need. Fortunately, this Special Enrollment Period extends your ability to gain affordable health insurance for three months! You can do a lot in three months!

Client First Insurance Solutions is well-known in our community for being accessible, knowledgeable, and helpful when you need assistance getting your health insurance questions answered. If you’re not sure what your current situation is or if you need to change your current plan, or if you know you need to get health insurance quickly, give us a call (229)-596-1002) or stop by our office at 132 W. Lamar Street in Americus, Georgia. We’ll spend time with you to get the best coverage at the most affordable rates. As always, we’re here to help.

Citing uncertainty, Blue Cross seeks big rate increases in Georgia

In a blow to consumers insured on the state’s Obamacare exchange plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia has proposed to raise rates an average of 40.6 percent in 2018.

Blue Cross said that if policy in Washington weakens the exchange, it may even pull out of the Georgia Obamacare market.

The insurance company is the only one left that insures residents in every county in the state under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Three other insurance companies have signaled they will continue offering plans in parts of the state. But they, too, have proposed rate increases: averaging 12.4 percent for Ambetter, 18.6 percent percent for Alliant and 25 percent for Kaiser. Humana is staying in the small-group market, but it announced earlier this year that it would drop out of the individual market.Read more

Kirk Lyman-Barner recognized as top performing agent

AMERICUS – Americus resident, Kirk Lyman-Barner, was recently recognized as one of the top performing agents and brokers in the country by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This nationwide recognition as a member of the HealthCare.gov Champions Circle goes to agents and brokers for their success during the 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace SM1 Open Enrollment. Agents and brokers, who are certified through a registration process in order to assist people in enrolling in health insurance through the Marketplaces via HealthCare.gov, receive recognition when they exceed 20 consumers making plan selections on HealthCare.gov.

“Agents and brokers, like the ones we have recognized, are there for people in the community,” said Kevin Counihan, Marketplace CEO. “They help people get the coverage they need for their families, when they need it.”
The HealthCare.gov Champions Circle recognizes the hard work of agents and brokers who improve access to health insurance in the community during Open Enrollment. Agents and brokers in the Champions Circle go above and beyond to enhance the community through service to their customers. These exceptional agents and brokers help CMS connect to and meet the needs of these consumers.

To learn more about Marketplace Open Enrollment via HealthCare.gov, you can contact Lyman-Barner at 229-942-9025 or by visiting this website at www.client-first-insurance.com.

Put down the phone and drive!

Want to know how to save a ton of money with your cell phone? Ignore it. Yep, while you’re driving, put the thing away. Georgia has had a particularly bad year for accidents, and the one glaring, major cause is distracted driving. The majority of times, that’s going to mean the use of a cell phone. The state already has a ban on text messaging or “the sending of internet data,” but you’re liable to get stopped if a police officer so much as sees you with a phone in your hand if it’s not up against your ear. Easiest way to save yourself $150 and a point against your license? Turn the phone off, pull over to answer it, or hand it to a passenger.

That said, phones can still be extremely dangerous even when your eyes are still on the road. Mythbusters is a favorite of ours, and they did the dirty work for us to discover that a phone conversation can actually be as detrimental to your driving as having a blood alcohol level high enough to get you put away for DUI. Whether your eyes are on the road or not, if there’s a phone occupying your attention, you’re putting yourself and others at serious risk, even though it’s not illegal (yet) to talk on the phone while driving.

So, think of it this way. Even if the state doesn’t penalize you for talking on the phone, any use of it while driving has the potential to lead to an accident that could have disastrous consequences for your auto insurance premiums, let alone the fact that you could seriously harm or even kill others. Nearly everyone who’s been involved in an accident related to cell phone usage will say that whatever conversation they were having at the time was simply not worth the damage it caused. So please, if the conversation is that urgent, it’s important enough to pull over for.

Get to know your homeowners (HO) insurance options

“HO” insurance coverage – you could certainly use it, and if you’re not already familiar with the term, we promise that’s not an insult. It actually just refers to homeowners insurance, but can also apply to renters’ insurance as well. Whenever possible, it’s extremely important to have your dwelling covered. Your residence is likely one of your biggest, if not actually your biggest financial asset, and getting insurance coverage can mean the difference between a temporary setback and a major disaster if something happens to it. Of course, you never need this kind of coverage until you do, so if it’s something you can budget for, do it.

Fortunately, there are different kinds of coverage, so depending on what your home is at the greatest risk for, you might be able to choose a cheaper option. The following nomenclature is standard everywhere except Texas, so talk to your agent for more info if you’re looking for coverage there.

HO-1, HO-2 and HO-3 policies are all homeowners’ policies from specific perils. HO-1 is the most basic, and usually the most affordable. HO-2 will include coverage against things like damage from falling objects or ice, which isn’t really as big of a risk factor if your home is in, say, Arizona. In most cases, if you’re living in a place like that, you can stick to HO-1 and save yourself some money. HO-3 covers everything that’s covered in an HO-1 or HO-2, as well as anything that isn’t specified with the exceptions of damage from war, a nuclear plant malfunction (read: *kaboom*), an earthquake, or a flood. This option is great if you want absolute protection.

HO-4 is renters’ insurance, and is usually more affordable than you’d think. It protects your personal property from everything an HO-2 would cover except for the building itself – it’s your landlord’s responsibility to insure that. An HO-5 is a bit of an uncommon policy. It’s total coverage against basically everything for both the building and personal property. It’s pricier, as you might imagine, and there aren’t very many situations where an HO-1, HO-2, or HO-3 wouldn’t do the trick just as well. HO-6 is a condominium policy, and carries special protections for such situations. The HO-8 is similar to an HO-1, except that it covers repairs or the actual cash value of an object that gets damaged. It’s useful in situations like an historic building that has greater replacement value than its market cost.

The terminology may differ depending on carriers and other factors, but this should give you a good idea where to start with your agent when you’re ready to get covered. Don’t hesitate to contact Client First if you have any questions!

In Sickness and Health – Merging Insurance Companies

Concerned about all the merging insurance companies? Wondering if your coverage will change now that another company bought your health insurance provider? 

The health insurance marketplace can seem like an uncharted frontier lately. With new health insurance laws always at the forefront of legislative discussion and action, there’s a lot in flux right now, and one thing that everyone can benefit from being in the loop about is the mergers that are occurring as the health insurance field shifts and stirs.

Take Aetna’s purchase of Humana, for example; it’s a 37 billion dollar deal, and the largest in insurance history. A purchase of this size and scope will inevitably impact consumers, and certainly faces antitrust issues. That said, it’s not necessarily a bad thing for you and your family. Mergers have some different effects as they concern consumers, but depending on your situation, they might actually be a boon instead of a setback.

A bigger market share for one insurer will tend to mean fewer policy options. Antitrust procedures reduce the likelihood that one big bad insurer could exploit this, but in general, it means that there is less competition, and that usually tips the scales against the little guy. Don’t despair, however – the silver lining is that these acquisitions mean that the number of doctors that are considered “in network” increases substantially. So you may actually have an increased likelihood of having access to the care you need.

The process of merging insurance companies is huge and complex. If your carrier is merging and you’ve got questions about how it could affect your coverage, don’t hesitate to give Kirk a call or stop by the office and chat – health care may be a hot button issue in the political realm, but at Client First, there are no politics. It’s just you, the best possible coverage at the most comfortable price point, and whatever it takes to make a connection between the two.