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December                                2014


"May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility"


Happy
Holidays
Health Care Reform for 2015

There are a number new things to be aware of for 2015 in regards to health care reform. These reforms are:

- Applicable large employers with 100 or more full-time employees must offer coverage to FT employees (that is affordable and provides minimum value) or pay a penalty

- Under final IRS regulations, the employer mandate rules will generally apply to employers with 50-99 FT employee starting in 2016.

- Limit on salary reduction contributions to health FSAs increase to $2,550, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1,  2015


​Make sure to Be aware so to avoid any mis-communications and penalties.

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 Brown & Brown Metro, Inc. would like Wish you a beautiful holiday and a New Year of peace and happiness!

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Minimum Wage Increase for 2015
Most employers in the U.S. are subjected to minimum wage provisions set by the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  They require employers to pay employees at a rate of at least $7.25/hour. Many state though have adopted wage rates higher than the federal rate.

Beginning January 1, 2015  the minimum wage  will increase for 21 states. With state and federal rate being different, the employer must pay their employees the higher rate. Affected employers should review their employees' pay rates, and update their minimum wage poster notice.

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Brown and Brown Celebrate 75 years!!!
This is a special time for Brown & Brown. We are celebrating our Diamond Jubilee.

Since 1939 Brown & Brown has been delivering the most innovative solutions and top customer service to our clients, enabling us to grow becoming the seventh largest insurance intermediary in the world today.

We are glad to have you as one of our valued customers and thank you for your contributions to our success. 


ACA Checklist for 2015 Compliance
The Affordable Care Act has made numerous changes to group health plans since the law was enacted over 4 years ago. Many key reforms like health plan design changes, increased wellness program incentives, and reinsurance fees became effective in 2014.

More reforms are scheduled to take effect in 2015 for employers sponsoring group health plans. The biggest impact will be the shared responsibility penalty and related reporting requirements for applicable large employers.

As 2014 ends employer's should review the checklist to help and be ready for the 2015 reforms.

To view the checklis
t CLICK HERE

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One Home with Two Estimates
Market Value vs. Replacement Cost

​In recent years, the real estate value of most homes has steadily declined, while residential reconstruction costs have continued to gradually increase, especially on custom homes.

Comparing Valuation Methods

 
Market Value, the price which your home may sell for in the current real estate market.  It includes factors such as depreciation, quality of local school systems, and popularity of the neighborhood. 
 
Replacement Cost  estimates the current cost for material, labor, and other activities associated with rebuilding a home with identical features and components in the event of a total loss.
 
The Key Factors used for each method:
 Market Value
  •  Characteristics of the home (size, feature, layout, etc)
  • Recent sale price of similar homes
  • Volume of unsold homes in the area
  • Location
  • Property size and land value
 Home Insurance Assessment
 
  • Characteristics of the home (size, features, age, access, etc)
  • Current and projected material and labor costs
  • Architect and contractor fees
  • Building Code Upgrades
 It is important to have an appropriate amount of insurance for your home so that it can be rebuilt to the same quality if a major loss occurs.  Let your insurance advisor know of any home remodeling projects, renovations, or additions that may increase the value of your home.
 
We're here to help!
 
Your Personal Lines Advisors


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Credit Card Savings
Payment options are normally cash, credit, or debit. Using cash normally helps you stick to a budget as it limits spending. Consider using a cash-back or rewards card as you can save more while using it responsibly.

With cash-back cards you earn cash when you use the card. These cards give you about 1 to 3 percent in reward money for dollars you spend, but some may give a higher percentage for certain categories of purchases. 

Rewards credit cards allow you to accumulate points when you use your credit card. Points can be redeemed for a variety of items that may include gift cards, a mini vacation or other deals. A perfect way to treat yourself or to grab a last minute gift for someone.

Here are a couple of tips on to be smart on credit card use:
  • Don't spend a lot just to earn points or cash back
  • Pay bills in full, to avoid interest.
  • ​Take CHARGE of your limit.

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Host Liquor Liability Coverage
It's a cold winter day and Employees of Courtly Computer Services are gathered in the company meeting room for a holiday party.

Their employer organized the event to celebrate the holidays and thank the employees for their hard work for the past year.The employer has provided the food and several cases of wine. The festivities have been going on for a few hours and are winding down.

Tom, an employee of Courtly Computer Services has consumed a bottle of wine and is feeling a little wobbly so he waves goodbye to his co-workers and toddles off to his car.
 
Tom is about half way home when he runs a stop sign.  There is a loud crash as Tom broadsides a car driven by a local businessman named Ed,
Ed is injured and sues Courtly Computer Services.  His suit contends that the company was negligent because Tom's superiors allowed him to continue drinking after he was visibly drunk.  They also did nothing to prevent Tom from driving even though they could see he was inebriated.  Ed seeks $75,000 in damages.  Courtly Computer Services is insured under a general liability policy that includes a $1,000,000 "per occurrence" limit. Will Courtly's liability cover Ed's lawsuit? 

 
In most cases the answer is yes but each policy should be thoroughly reviewed to ascertain the standard coverage has not been amended or excluded. Also the suit Ed filed against Courtly Computer Services is a common law suit based on negligence. Social hosts may also be liable under state or local statutes. Most social host laws prohibit the serving of alcohol to minors.  Some laws also apply to liquor served to adults who are visibly drunk.

A person who violates a social host statute may be subject to a fine or even imprisonment. To lean what social host laws apply in your state or community, ask us or your attorney.

HAPPY AND SAFE HOLIDAYS
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