Wharton & Power Insurance

April 1, 2021
storm damage

What to Do When You Suspect Storm Damage

What a crazy couple of months we have had! From 10 inches of snow in a few hours, to 70-degree days to a huge hailstorm all within a few weeks. Indiana weather has never been predictable, but 2021 has been especially unreliable. With two incidents that could have created significant storm damage to your home, we thought it would be helpful to share some advice from a home improvement expert, Rob Yeary of Universal Roofing. “You never know when A storm will be THE storm that damages your home. We recommend inspecting your house after each weather event. Walk around the outside and look for loose or torn-off shingles, hanging gutters, or siding damage. The heavy snow we had in February stayed there for a while, melted some, and then froze again. That type of weight and ice build-up can put a lot of stress on your roof and gutters. If your roof is older, the melting ice can seep into your shingles. Skylights can be damaged as well. Our recent hailstorm only added to the roof stress. After two significant weather events, we would suggest calling your local roofing company and having them closely inspect your roof and gutters. Please do not let a ‘door knocker’ or ‘storm chaser’ handle your inspection. Use a local reputable company to ensure a proper assessment after a storm. Leaking is also a sign of storm damage, but our intention is to catch the issue before it gets to that point. Remember, if a piece of siding has come off your house after some severe weather, you may want to have your whole exterior inspected – it takes a lot of force to pull siding off a home. If you do have storm damage, we also suggest having your contractor meet your insurance adjuster at your home. They can serve as the expert in home repair, explaining the implications of the damage they see and what it will take to repair it. Regularly maintaining your roof and gutters will go a long way in helping your home’s exterior stand up to our weird weather patterns. Keep a regular eye on your roof and clean out your gutters to limit blocked or standing water. Storms can take many forms here in Indiana – hail, tornados, severe winds, large snowfalls, heavy rain – at least we do not have hurricanes. Be sure to inspect the outside of your home after every large weather event – and even check out your attic, especially if it is raining. Catching damage early can save you the cost and headache of incurring severe issues inside your home too.” As a Wharton & Power Insurance client, our Team is here to help if you suspect your home has been damaged by a weather event. We will talk you through your deductibles, ensure a quality adjuster follows up, and if a claim is made, handle the logistics. If Indiana’s 2021 weather has you questioning the quality of your homeowner’s policy, reach […]
March 17, 2021
Employee Health Insurance

BAGI Member Carrington Homes on Offering Employee Health Insurance

Many BAGI members come to us when they feel they can begin offering employee health insurance. Carl McIntyre of Carrington Homes reached out in 2019 for two reasons: “To attract and retain good employees, you have to offer a competitive package that includes health insurance. And I wanted good health insurance for myself and my family.” Carrington Homes has been around since 1992 and now has 16 employees. We took him through the many options available through his BAGI membership, including the BAGI Program, the ICHRA Program and Worksmart. According to Carl, “Once Scott mentioned Worksmart, I realized that my partner at my other company was already using them to provide health insurance to our employees. In fact, my current health insurance was through that company via Worksmart. I had already had a great experience with them, so it was an easy sell. Also, the other options were not competitive compared to what Worksmart could offer.” When we asked Carl about his employee health insurance experience with Worksmart, he had this to say: “They are very responsive. My employees can contact them directly with any benefits issues, taking a lot of that work off of me. They are also up-front about the costs of the program, both with me and my employees. I used to pay the full cost of health insurance for everyone, but it became too expensive. Worksmart helped frame the conversation with my employees, noting that this new plan is a shared cost – I as the employer pay a good chunk of the premium, but some of it is on the employee. They made this conversation easier for me and kept our staff happy. Worksmart also does all my payroll, but not our 401k which is a bit of pain so I will probably change that over to them in the future. For now, payroll and health insurance are all one place and therefore all record keeping is in one place, making everything streamlined and easy to send to my accountant. Finally, I have been really pleased with the Worksmart Team. They have a person directly responsible for each issue so I can get my questions answered quickly. For payroll, I call Kristina who answers her phone or gets back to me. Everyone I have worked with has done a great job. I’ve not had one issue or disappointment yet.” For BAGI members, the challenging employment landscape is making employee health insurance even more important to the health of their businesses. If you are interested in offering or changing an employee benefits package, send me an email or give me a call at 317.663.4138.
February 8, 2021
employee health insurance

BAGI Member Jason Gettum Talks About Offering Employee Health Insurance

The Wharton & Power Insurance Team has been partnered with BAGI for over 10 years to help provide members with access to employee health insurance options. With three programs available to small businesses, we work with BAGI members to choose the plan that best suits their situation. Jason Gettum of Gettum Associate Inc offered a reflection on his decision to offer health benefits to his employees and the Wharton process. “We wanted to provide a health insurance plan to our 13+ employees for two reasons: 1) we feel a moral obligation to take care of our employees in any way we can and 2) we know that offering health benefits helps attract and retain good employees. Both reasons support our bottom line by having a positive work environment and happy employees. We launched our employee health insurance plan in 2020 with help from Wharton & Power Insurance, who we knew through BAGI. Our experience with group health plans was that they did not provide the flexibility or affordability our small business needed. The Wharton Team told us about the ICHRA option, which ended up working well for us. The Wharton Team offered up cost comparisons for group health plans and showed us how the budget we had already set to supplement a health insurance plan could be used for our employees. With the money we provide, our employees are able to apply it all to a healthcare plan, use it all for supplemental insurances, or a mixture of both. ICHRA gave us and our employees great flexibility while allowing us to remain a financially viable company.” The ICHRA program was promulgated by the US Departments of Health & Human Services and the Treasury in 2019. It allows businesses to contribute pre-tax dollars toward employee health coverage. This new program offers employees a lot of flexibility on how they use the dollars, places fewer restrictions on which businesses qualify and which employees can participate, and allows employers control of their spending. Click here to read more about the ICHRA program. The ICHRA program is not right for every business, that is why we spend the time to review the three options we provide. Our clients find the path to offering employee health benefits that suit their needs. Jason offered these final words in his reflection: “I found the Wharton Team extremely easy to deal with. They answered all of our questions and provided plenty of information in a clear format. They made it easy for us to understand our options and to choose a plan that worked well for our company.” If you are considering starting an employee health insurance plan, we would appreciate the opportunity to help you through the process. Send us an email or give us a call at 317-663-4138.
January 18, 2021

Higher Deductibles on Your Home and Auto Insurance Can Help You Save

It’s an unfortunate fact that as Americans we are getting used to managing higher deductibles on our health care. While these large limits help keep premiums down, they also require some financial planning to help ensure you can pay for your yearly medical needs. Home and auto insurance is a bit different in that claims are not as prevalent – we have insurance in case of an unexpected issue, not as a form of maintenance. Increasing the deductible on these policies might make a lot of sense. This tactic can save you money on your premiums while still providing the coverage you need for the rare catastrophe. Below are some examples of how much money could be saved by increasing a home and auto insurance deductible AUTO INSURANCE COVERAGE DEDUCTIBLE YEARLY PREMIUM Comprehensive with Glass $500 $1963 Collision $500 Comprehensive with Glass $1000 $1807.20 Collision $1000 ($156 Savings) Comprehensive with Glass $2000 $1603.20 Collision $2000 ($360 Savings) HOME INSURANCE COVERAGE DEDUCTIBLE YEARLY PREMIUM $478,800 home value $1000 $2,842.00 $478,800 home value $5000 $2,372.00($470 savings) Health insurance deductibles are tapped into each year – home and auto insurance deductibles are rarely applied. Think about it – many of us have had a minor car accident where we choose not to put the claim in. And when was the last time you had a claim on your homeowner’s insurance? It may make sense to take on a higher deductible to save money on your premiums for these coverages you rarely use but are necessary to have. If you are interested in seeing how this change can affect your home and auto premiums, reach out to us for a quote. Send us an email or give us a call at 317.663.4138.
December 14, 2020
business insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

December 7, 2020
business quotes

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

November 30, 2020
wharton & Power

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

November 20, 2020

Managing Employee Open Enrollment During COVID

At Wharton & Power Insurance, open enrollment is usually a time when we meet with our clients’ employees as a group and one-on-one to review the group health plan. The remote nature of work these days is making that essential communication challenging. Our firm is recording the content so it can be delivered digitally by the employers. However, for employees who are new to the plan, have a new medical diagnosis or medication, or have claim questions, this one-size-fits-all communication does not serve their needs. And, it is up to the employer to ensure everyone views and understands the information, rather than having us available at that moment to clarify. It behooves employers to make sure open enrollment efforts achieve their goal – successfully onboarding employees to the group health insurance plan. For employees, it is imperative they understand their coverage. Below we offer some tips to help everyone begin 2021 on the right track. Offer an Easy Conduit Internally for Individual Questions Employees tend to look to their Human Resources representative for employment-related questions, including health coverage. During open enrollment, it might make sense to offer special “office hours” to ensure HR has the time to field an influx of inquiries. Also, if the same general questions are being asked, place the answers on a virtual community board. Anticipate the Unique Questions COVID Brings Beyond upending our normal communication and social options, the pandemic has offered a slew of new medical situations. Do employees know where they can get a COVID test? Do they know if their family members can get tested? Do they understand what COVID-related procedures are covered? Once a vaccine is available, will they know how to receive one? Creating a central spot for current and evolving pandemic-related information will go a long way in helping employees feel more comfortable during this challenging time. Work with a Broker Committed to Customer Service We have all had to flex during these strange times, and our firm has led the charge. Our employees and our partners are creating personalized content for each of our clients’ employee groups per their specifications. We are also offering one-on-one consultations with their employees. We understand that few benefits are as personally, emotionally and financially charged as health coverage. Our team is ready to guide each employee through their options regardless of this virtual world in which we now find ourselves. For most of us in the workforce, we are not accustomed to the lack of social interaction and personalized information. As an employer, you are investing in employee health insurance because you value your employees and they value the coverage! The Wharton & Power Team is committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure our clients have an impactful open enrollment season. Let us know if we can help you too. Send me an email or give me a call at 317.663.4138.
November 16, 2020
business insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

November 9, 2020
business insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

November 2, 2020
wharton power

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

October 29, 2020
employee health insurance

Small Businesses Have A New Affordable Option for Employee Health Insurance

A ruling by the US Departments of Health & Human Services and the Treasury in mid-2019 changed the game for small businesses looking to compete with large organizations when hiring high-quality employees. The ICHRA program allows employers to contribute pre-tax dollars for employee health insurance which employees can use to purchase a plan. This affordable avenue toward offering sought-after benefits gives small businesses a real chance at attracting and retaining a talented workforce. How We Helped a Local Business Offer Employee Health Insurance We recently worked with a full-service salon located in Downtown Indianapolis. Pre-pandemic they had a large client base, even working with the Colts Cheerleaders. When COVID hit and the Downtown offices shut down, the salon had to shift. The owners decided to purchase a spa located on the northwest side of Indy. They were able to secure PPP loans for the few employees that stayed on, however once the economy began opening up again, the salon was having a difficult time attracting employees back. COVID has brought employee health insurance plans front and center in the minds of workers, and many will not lend their talents to a place that does not offer one. For some people, going back to work in itself is a risk, going back without health insurance is more of a risk, and working for an industry that is struggling is an even greater risk. The salon owners knew they had to provide some form of access to health insurance to ensure the longevity of their business. A traditional group plan was not viable for the salon, so we suggested the ICHRA program. It allows more coverage flexibility for employees, fewer restrictions for employers, wider availability to varying employee classifications, and no limits on contribution or participation levels. Unlike traditional health insurance plans, ICHRA allowed our client to offer pre-tax funds toward employee health insurance for those who wanted it without having to worry about the percentage of participation. And, they were able to set a budget that worked for them and their employees, rather than have the amount mandated. It was a win/win for both the employer and the employees. Click here to read more about the benefits of the ICHRA program. When the ICHRA program was first introduced last year, our Team thought it would create even more complexity in the employee benefits world. However, as we studied the details, we found that it is a viable option for many of our clients. The ruling pushed the insurance brokerage industry out of its comfort zone – and we are one of the few organizations who have taken the challenge head on. ICHRA is now a solid part of our bevy of employee health insurance solutions for our clients. If you are facing challenges in offering health coverage to your valued employees, reach out to me. The Wharton & Power Insurance Team will review your options and find a fit that works for you and your workforce. Send me an email or […]
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