Personal Lines

Everything You Need to Know About Open Enrollment

Ah, fall. A time to drink pumpkin spice lattes, admire the changing leaves, and watch college football. It's a season of change, of possibility, of openness—which makes it a great season for, yep, open enrollment.

Since this has been a crazy year for many of us—from losing jobs to getting rehired to pursuing a new source of income—your open enrollment may look different this year than years past. To help you prepare, let’s take a deeper dive. 

What is Open Enrollment for Health Insurance?

It’s a small window of time—anywhere from a few weeks to a few months—that allows you to make changes to your health insurance plan or enroll in a new one. 

Why is Open Enrollment Important?

It’s all about that first word: open. For most of the year, enrollment is closed, meaning you can’t make changes to your plan. There are some exceptions, called “qualifying life events,” such as marriage, having a baby, losing a job, or getting a divorce. But unless you have one of these, you can’t make changes to the plan you chose after open enrollment. 

That’s why it’s crucial you choose the right plan. You may discover that getting on your spouse’s employer sponsored plan is cheaper than having your own policy. When you make this discovery during open enrollment, you can switch to your spouse’s plan and enjoy saving money throughout the year. 

When does Open Enrollment Start?

For 2021 plans, open enrollment begins on November 1 and ends on December 15 (to get more information, check out the government website.) If you get health insurance through your employer, your HR department will reach out to you with open enrollment information.

What if I Miss Open Enrollment?

The rules are pretty strict, but there are three ways around it. 

1. You have a qualifying life event. 

When you undergo a major change in your life, you’ll most likely have to adjust your health insurance. Thankfully, the government recognizes that, too, which is why for certain events, you’ll get a special enrollment period. Those events are generally: 

  • Getting married 
  • Having or adopting a baby
  • Moving to a new city
  • Losing or getting a new job 
  • Turning 26 or 65
  • Getting divorced
  • Having someone on your plan die
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen

If you go through any of these events, you’ll get around 30 to 60 days to make changes to your plan.


2. You’re Native American.

If you’re a part of a federally recognized tribe, you get a special monthly enrollment period. You can find more information on that here.

3. You get short-term insurance. 

Short-term insurance is basically how it sounds—an insurance plan that fills the gaps between long-term insurance plans. States have various rules around short-term insurance (like how long you can buy coverage), but if your only alternative is to go uninsured until open enrollment, buying insurance for the short-term might be best for you. 

Need Help With Your Coverage?

Look, we get it. Health insurance is notoriously complicated. If your head is spinning, we can help. Just contact us give us a call at 877-725-1800, and we’ll you give you simple answers to your most complex questions.

Guidelines for Preparing for the Annual Medicare Enrollment Period


If you qualify for Medicare benefits, you’ve probably received or should soon be receiving your” Medicare and You 2021″ handbook as October 15 through December 7 is the Annual Open Enrollment Period. This is the time when you have the opportunity to sign up, keep or make changes to your Medicare and Prescription Drug plan. Here are four basic guidelines on how to prepare for the annual Medicare Enrollment Period, along with some considerations and warnings.


First, make a list of your all your prescriptions, along with their dosages and frequencies taken. Review each insurance plan’s formularies to ensure all your prescriptions are covered. Keep in mind that although plans usually don’t change their prices or name, formularies do tend to constantly change. That’s why you need to review them so that you can maximize your coverage.


Review the past year and how your medical needs were or were not covered. Ask if the coverage was enough and if it covered the medical services you both needed and used most frequently. Do you notice any gaps in your plan’s coverage that you would like to have filled in 2021? Also, determine if you’ve spent more in out-of-pocket costs than you had planned to spend and if you used any out-of-network services.

If you’re happy with your current plan and coverage, you probably don’t have to change anything. Just continue paying your premiums, and your coverage will be renewed. However, be aware of any notices you get from your insurance plans during the next couple of weeks, which may include changes in rates and formularies.


Ask your health care provider or doctor about the specific preventive services you need as well as how often you need them. These include medical services, such as annual physicals, mammograms, bone scans, colonoscopies and scans. Consider that sometimes doctors recommend tests that are done more frequently than what’s covered by Medicare. Fortunately, Medicare does cover some types of diagnostic tests for exams showing abnormalities.  


After evaluating your current insurance plan and considering how your medical needs may change in 2021, the next step is checking out the plans that are available where you live. For example, maybe a particular plan wasn’t available last year but will be available in 2021.


  • Consider that choosing a different plan could mean paying less for high out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Check to see if your physicians and medical clinics are still in-network. 
  • If you need additional information, regarding comparing insurance plans, call 1-800-MEDICARE after October 15.


Questions? For more information or to receive a free quote, contact us or call 877-725-1800. We handle both personal and commercial insurance.

Happy family mother housewife and child in laundry with washing machine

Why 2020 is the Year We Need Life Insurance.

Simply put, life insurance provides your spouse, children, and loved ones (also known as “beneficiaries”) with financial support if you were to pass away. Making sure you’re covered is one of the most empathetic financial decisions you’ll ever make: you’re not thinking about your death so much as you’re thinking about the quality of your loved ones’ lives. And in that sense it’s an essential part of your overall financial plan.

Happy family mother housewife and child in laundry with washing machine

Why do you need Life Insurance?

2020. That's why.

But seriously—if your loved ones depend on your income, you need life insurance. Here are three big reasons why. 

1. To relieve financial burdens.

Funerals are expensive—on average, $7,000 — $10,000. You don’t want to leave your family paying out-of-pocket for that. On top of funeral and burial costs, your family will be in charge of paying the mortgage (or rent), utilities, groceries, credit cards, debt—the list goes on (and if you pass during an economic crisis, like the “Coronavirus Crash,” that list feels way longer). Life insurance replaces your income for years to come, so your family won’t be stuck in a tough place if you’re not around. 

2. To give your family time to plan.

It also gives your family time to grieve without worrying about paying the bills or finding a new source of income. You’re buying your family time to figure out what life looks like without you and what steps they need to take next. 

3. To give you and your family peace of mind. 

Life insurance answers the big “what if” question that keeps us tossing and turning at night: what if I pass away?  Though no policy can replace you—your humor, your love, your personality—it can put to rest the fear that your family will struggle financially in your immediate absence. 

Make Sure Your Loved Ones Are Covered

Look, here’s the thing—we often get so wrapped up planning our own financial futures, we forget to secure our loved ones’ futures if we die. If you don’t have life insurance, make it a point to get some today. Take a moment and contact a Snyder insurance representative, and we’ll help you customize a plan that fits your family’s needs.

Boat Storage

3 Basic Steps for Winterizing Your Boat

Boat Storage

If you own a boat, most likely, you’ve enjoyed cruising up and down waterways with your family and friends. But before long, cooler temperatures will arrive and you’ll need to put away your boat. That’s why it’s important you know how to properly prepare your boat for storage so it can be in good shape next season. Here are three basic guidelines for preparing and storing your boat during the off season, along with some considerations and warnings.


First, you’ll need to take your boat out for one last ride so that you can detect anything that doesn’t seem right. Listen carefully for possible issues with the engine. If you do find anything wrong, get the problem fixed immediately before storing your boat. Ignoring the condition can result in the problem becoming worse while your boat sits idle in storage.  Check out our blog on boat safety here.


The next step is to completely drain your boat after removing it from the water. When draining it, be sure to drain the water tanks, bilge, pipes, the head and seacocks. Next, add antifreeze. This is especially important if your boat is being stored in a place that isn’t climate controlled.


Although refueling your boat may not make sense at first, it’s important because it helps in preventing moisture from accumulating and causing damage. Be sure to add a high-quality fuel stabilizer to avoid fuel deterioration from your boat sitting idly for several months. When fuel deteriorates, which can occur within two months, gum and varnish buildup can affect engine performance. This can make your boat hard to start as well as compromise the lifespan of the engine.


There are several options for storing a boat.

  • If you have room in your garage, this may be the best option even though it will mean having to give up a lot of space.
  • If you’re thinking about indoor storage, choose a facility that has good security.
  • Many boat owners use dry stacked storage, which involves multiple boats being stored in a warehouse.
  • There’s also outdoor storage, which may be a good choice if you live in a mild climate. Marina storage can also be a storage option for areas not subjected to freezing weather.
Boat Storage


  • Before putting your boat in storage, remove any belts to prevent them from cracking or snapping.
  • Thoroughly check fuel lines and hoses, as well as refill levels.
  • Before using your boat after it’s been stored, test all the electronics, including every button, switch and knob. Also, watch out for possible circuit problems.

Owning a boat means taking care of it in the off season. Purchasing a high-quality insurance policy is critical for extending it’s life for many boating seasons to come. For all your insurance needs, you can depend on Snyder Insurance. Contact us for any questions, along with a free quote.

Back to school shopping list

Back-to-College Shopping? Why Renter’s Insurance Should Be On Your List

Back to school shopping list

Are you sending your child back to college this semester? After you’ve finished shelling out your hard-earned cash for textbooks, clothes, toiletries, laundry supplies, and other essentials, there’s one more item to put on your shopping list. An item that too many people overlook and forget.

…No, it’s not that new laptop they’re asking for. We’re talking about a good renter’s insurance policy, which is a must no matter whether your child is staying in a dorm or living in an apartment off-campus. 

It’s not as exciting as a new laptop, but it can help protect that laptop! (Along with everything else they own!) Dormitories aren’t the most secure facilities with students and their guests entering and leaving all day. And let’s be honest, college students like to throw parties, and sometimes strangers sneak in. Dorm keys get misplaced. Doors are left unlocked. And pretty soon, laptops, cellphones, and other costly items could disappear.

The same is true of apartment complexes, especially those that predominantly rent to a student population. Many landlords require prospective tenants to have a renter’s insurance policy as a part of the rental application. But even if they don’t, you should consider purchasing one to protect your child’s personal property.

Many people think that if an apartment building burns down or is flooded, the insurance a landlord holds will cover the cost of their damaged possessions. But a landlords’ insurance policy only covers damage to the structure of their building. Without a renter’s insurance policy, you’ll be left to cover the replacement costs of your personal items yourself.

What Renter's Insurance Covers

Renters Insurance

There’s no one-size-fits-all policy. 

Each policy varies based on relevant state laws, as well as the specific coverage options you select. However, typically, renter’s insurance policies cover:

  • Personal property. Renter’s policies will cover the value of your child’s items up to the coverage amount you selected. You can purchase policies with coverage amounts in increments of $10,000. The higher the value, the more expensive your monthly premium.  However, the monthly cost of most renter’s insurance policies can range between $10 and $30 a month depending on required limits and insurance scoring – a small price to pay for peace of mind. Some insurance policies — but not all — may require a special provision (known as a rider or scheduled item) inserted into their standard policy to cover high ticket items like laptops or jewelry. Riders typically cost extra, so read each insurance policy you’re considering carefully. Ask questions to make sure you have the coverage you need.
  • Liability: Liability insurance protects your child in case someone is injured as a result of negligence. Medical bills (for others injured) can be quite expensive, but liability insurance can save you from paying those hefty bills out-of-pocket. You’ll have the option to determine how much liability coverage you want to purchase. For example, you may buy a renter’s insurance policy with $30,000 worth of property coverage and $100,000 worth of liability insurance coverage.
  • Relocation expenses: This is also known as loss of use coverage. If your child’s rented living space is damaged or uninhabitable due to a covered loss on your policy, your policy may cover the cost of a hotel or other temporary accommodation while repairs are made.

How Do I Purchase Coverage?

Snyder Insurance can provide you with quotes from a variety of different carriers, and help you find the best policy for your student and your wallet. We can help you with standalone renter’s insurance policies or help you save money by bundling renter’s insurance with policies you may already have or looking to purchase. 

For more information or to get a quote, get in touch with a Snyder Insurance representative today by calling 877-725-1800.


Flood Insurance

A Case for Flood Insurance

Flood insurance seems very straightforward:

You buy or build a  home near water. You know you’re running the risk of flooding. As a responsible homeowner, you purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy. Now you’re covered for flooding. Right? Most likely, no.

Flood Insurance

In fact, there are a couple of costly assumptions in this seemingly simple statement. 

Consider this: It’s spring and it’s been raining more than normal. The weather is looking downright nasty and the storm drains in your neighborhood are already blocked and filling up. When the water starts to creep down in your basement it will take less than a foot of water to cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages. 

You didn’t get a flood insurance policy because you’re not in a flood plain. There’s not a river or lake within 75 miles of where you live. But floods aren’t only caused by rivers and lakes. They also result from levee or dam failures, broken water mains, and in the scenario above, clogged storm drains. In fact, according to FEMA, 99% of US counties were impacted by floods between 1996 – 2019. The numbers speak for themselves; your home will, at some point, most likely be subjected to flood waters. 

It should also be noted that the average homeowner policy doesn’t cover flooding. And while you likely feel you already pay too much for insurance, we at Snyder Insurance think not being properly covered comes at an even larger price. The National Flood Insurance Program reports that the average flood payout claim in 2019 was $52,000 and the average annual flood insurance policy premium in that same year was just $700. 

When you weigh it out, paying tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket versus a few hundred dollars a year seems like a simple choice. One that your Snyder insurance representative is happy to talk over with you. 

For more information or to add this coverage to your existing homeowners policy, get in touch, we’re here when you’re ready. 

Sources: Fema

equipment breakdown

What is Equipment Breakdown Coverage And Why You Should Consider Getting Some

What is Equipment Breakdown Coverage And Why You Should Consider Getting Some

equipment breakdown

You own a home and consequently have a corresponding homeowners insurance policy. Well done and also this is the minimum amount of coverage you should have for this important asset. 

In a previous post we spoke about the importance of having coverage for the utility service lines leading into and out of your home.  Similarly, equipment breakdown coverage is an additional, inexpensive endorsement that is meant to cover household appliances that stop working in case of electrical or mechanical failure. While your regular homeowners policy will cover appliances if they are lost or damaged in a bad storm or fire, there is little to be done outside of these instances. 

Equipment breakdown coverage functions similarly to a home warranty, covering everything from furnaces to refrigerators to air conditioners if they break down. The difference is that you can add equipment breakdown coverage to your home insurance policy as an endorsement at a nominal fee; a home warranty is typically a separate product that you buy through a separate entity.

Here are some examples of covered equipment:

  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Computers and computer equipment; data restoration
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Food spoilage
  • Washers and dryers
  • Ovens and microwaves
  • Boilers and furnaces
  • Water heaters
  • Home entertainment systems
  • Sump pumps
  • Some home gym equipment like a treadmill
  • Jacuzzis, hot tubs
  • Electrical power panels
  • Home security systems

Your equipment breakdown coverage endorsement will typically reimburse you for physical loss or damage resulting from:

  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Accidental breakdown caused by improper installation
  • An artificial electrical current, like electric arcing
  • Pressure systems breakdown

However, it will not cover for appliance replacement or repairs if the damage or loss is caused by wear and tear, including rust or corrosion, deterioration, any defects, mold, cracking, shrinking or expanding, or pest damage. 

For pennies a day this endorsement is something we encourage all homeowners to consider adding their existing policy. Think of it as a well-deserved homeowner upgrade that will likely pay off in the end. 

For more information or to add this coverage to your existing homeowners policy, get in touch with your Snyder Insurance representative today. 

Service Line Coverage

Service Line Coverage — The Coverage You May Not Have Heard About That You Absolutely Need.

The Coverage You May Not Have Heard About That You Absolutely Need.

Service Line Coverage

Picture this: It’s a Sunday afternoon and suddenly you’ve lost water pressure. There’s a trickle of water coming out of your bathroom faucet and there’s no chance the last load of weekend washing is going to get done. You’re not sure what the issue is. Sure, it’s a pain to deal with but you’re not worried because you have a homeowners insurance policy. 

While losing water pressure doesn’t regularly happen it is fairly common to think that a homeowners policy will cover any homeowner issues that may arise. However, this would be incorrect. While a homeowner’s policy covers any issues that arise within your home there are plenty of issues that can occur outside your home and still affect everyday living.

Let’s take the situation described above. A loss of water could be an issue with the pipes leading into your home: those on your property but exterior to your home. It  could be from an old growth tree root that has penetrated your water pipe. Once it’s on your property it’s not the city’s issue it’s yours and a normal homeowners policy is not going to cover the cost as it’s outside the home. 

According to one estimate, the average cost of installing/replacing a water service line can be over $2,500.

Enter Service Line Coverage. Underground service lines are exterior pipes and wiring that provide services to a home. These lines can be damaged by causes not covered by the standard homeowners insurance policy. Coverage can often be purchased for a nominal annual fee that can add up to thousands of dollars in repair savings that would otherwise come out of your pocket. 

Coverage could include:

  • Underground service line repair or replacement costs
  • Excavation costs required to repair or replace the covered service line 
  • Damaged trees, shrubs, plants, lawns, walkways, and driveways
  • Additional living expenses while repairs are made

See below for the types of underground service lines covered and the most typical causes of failure. 

Types of underground service lines covered:

  • Natural gas
  • Steam 
  • Waste disposal 
  • Water 
  • Drainage 
  • Compressed air 
  • Electrical
  • Heating 
  • Communications 

Typical causes of an underground service line failure:

  • Wear and tear or deterioration 
  • Rust or other corrosion
  • Mechanical breakdown 
  • Damage from weight of vehicles, equipment, animals, or people
  • Artificially-generated electrical current 
  • Freezing or frost damage
  • Vermin, insects, rodents, or other animals
  • Collapse
  • Tree root or other plant root invasion 

For more information or to add service line coverage to your existing homeowners policy, get in touch with your Snyder Insurance representative today!

To learn more about home insurance and how to protect your assets, please click here.

New Car? Make sure it’s protected!

Congratulations on Purchasing Your New Car!

Now, Let’s Make Sure You’re Covered.

Buying Car

Consider this scenario: It’s a holiday weekend and you’re out and about. Maybe you’re doing errands and also plan on dropping by the Honda dealership to ask a couple of questions you have for an upcoming car purchase later in the year. You’re a planner and like to know all the details up front and in advance. Maybe you’ll spend a half hour on some quick research and then on to that new lunch spot in town you’ve been meaning to try out.

But wait. Your simple research trip quickly takes a turn toward an actual purchase because the saleswoman shows you the model, color, and style of car you’ve been eyeing and it’s well under the normal asking price. It’s too good to pass up, but you’re worried: You haven’t called your insurance agent in advance and it’s Sunday, their office is closed. Will this new car be covered?

Great question and also a common one. The short answer is yes it is. But let’s talk about the longer answer. In this case the car you’re buying is a replacement car for the one you previously owned. Most companies provide automatic coverage equal to the coverage you have on your current or other cars you own. In other words, if you already have a car insurance policy in effect and you purchase a new vehicle, that policy will cover you. Great news. 

It should be noted that the amount of time before you need to update your agent depends on your insurance company. It’s not unusual to have a four day window of time. In this scenario, if you buy the car on a Sunday afternoon and the office opens on Tuesday morning after a holiday weekend, you’re covered. 

The type of coverage depends on the wording in your current policy. If you currently only have liability coverage, the same will be true for your new car. Remember: If you’re financing the vehicle it’s likely the bank will require collision and comprehensive insurance. If your current policy only has liability coverage, then you would not have the required coverage to drive off the car lot. In this case, it’s vital to contact your agent before your purchase. A major bummer, but also it’s better to be covered up front then finding yourself in a compromised insurance situation down the road. 

After signing on the dotted line, at your earliest convenience call your insurance agent and give them the year, make, model and VIN number of the vehicle and if applicable, the contact information for any lender or leasing company. 

Is a new car purchase in your future? Contact your Snyder Insurance agent today to better understand the ins and outs of your coverage. You’ll be happy you did when you’re driving your new wheels off the lot with confidence.