One Small Step for Autism

Written By Charlotte Insurance on November 30, 2015. It has 0 comments.

In North Carolina alone, one in 58 children fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Starting next year, many of those children will now have better access to health care through their insurance providers.

Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill in Charlotte on Thursday, October 15 that will require most insurance plans to cover certain treatments for autism. This is good news for families affected by autism, as well as autism advocates in the community.

North Carolina is the 43rd state to make insurance coverage for autistic children the law of the land. South Carolina was one of the first to adopt a similar law back in 2007.

The new regulations will expand coverage for treatment considered to be medically necessary. This includes speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, pharmacy care, and psychiatric and psychological care. Coverage will be capped at $40,000 a year and will continue for children through their 18th birthday.

The new law goes into effect July 1, 2016 and will apply to new plans or renewing plans on or after that date. The changes will affect large group plans, grandfathered plans – individual and small business plans in effect and unchanged since March 2010, and grandmothered plans – individual and small business plans that aren’t grandfathered in but were in effect prior to 2014. There are some exemptions including companies who have self-funded insurance. Those companies may opt-in but are not required to do so.

Parents of autistic children around North Carolina will be able to breathe a little easier knowing their children will be able to receive therapy and care they desperately need. Less money coming out of their pocket and less time spent trying to provide the care themselves will help not only the thousands of children affected by this law, but their parents and families as well. This law removes a barrier for some children and provides relief to their families. It’s good news for families and communities across North Carolina.

Whether you’re a small business offering insurance to your employees or a family with an individual plan, Charlotte Insurance can help you understand how this law will affect your health insurance. Give us a call – we’re here to help.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Becky Wetherington.

What we’re Thankful for

Written By Charlotte Insurance on November 23, 2015. It has 0 comments.

The year is winding down and the holiday fun is ramping up. Before everyone get’s lost in the hot cocoa, tinsel, and gift-giving whirlwind of the season, we wanted to take a moment to pause and reflect. Thanksgiving is just around the corner – let’s remember what the current season is for – being thankful.

Here at Charlotte Insurance, we have so much to be thankful for this year.

  • Our customers and clients who are the reason we’re able to continue for yet another year.
  • Our business partners who help us offer incredible service to our customers.
  • Our staff who make it all possible each day by showing up and doing their absolute best.
  • Our friends and family who love and support us while also making sure we have enough coffee in the morning to be our cheerful selves once we’re open for business.

None of what we do here at Charlotte Insurance would be possible without all of you – customer and employee, family and friend. We are so grateful to know you professionally and personally.

We’ve served the Charlotte area since 1992, and it has been our pleasure to help build a better community. We are honored to be able to bring our special brand of relationship-building and care for our customers to all of our customers. We plan to continue changing insurance for the better in Charlotte and beyond for years to come.

While you’re spending the holiday season with your friends and family, know that we’re here, ready to help you protect those you love the most when life hits the hardest. Thank you for believing in us, depending on us, and relying on our expertise to protect the people and places that mean the most to you and your family.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Eat too much food. Take a nap. And most importantly, remember to be thankful for your friends and family. We’ll be doing exactly that this Thanksgiving season.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Thinking of Opening a Food Truck? Consider this First

Written By Charlotte Insurance on November 20, 2015. It has 0 comments.

food truck image

Whether it’s pizza, tacos, or gourmet meals, food trucks of all shapes, sizes, and cuisines are popping up across the country. Comparatively low overhead, an exciting new trend, and bringing a restaurant directly to the people are just some of the reasons food trucks are pulling into parking lots everywhere.

The Charlotte Food Truck scene is growing. Thinking of starting your own? Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself, your future customers, and your dream business.


Sure, food trucks may seem like an easier option than opening a restaurant, but it’s still a business. Food trucks have plenty of the same worries, risks, and considerations as any other business. There are several things you’re going to need to have before you start:

  • Business plan
  • Budget
  • Marketing plan
  • Equipment and inventory
  • Safety regulations and health codes
  • Business insurance


You might already know you need general liability insurance but there are so many other risks involved in any business, that you’ll need to make sure you have the right coverage for your food truck business, as well.

  1. General liability protects your business when customers, vendors, or non-employees are injured or experience property damage while visiting your food truck. At least $1 million in coverage is standard but every business’s needs are different.
  2. Liquor liability is only needed if you make alcohol available to customers or allow them to bring it to your venue. This kicks in when there are alcohol-related incidents including car accidents after patrons leave.
  3. Workers compensation protects your employees if they’re injured or become ill while at work. Medical expenses and lost wages are paid to your employee, and your employee is prevented from suing you for additional damages.
  4. Property insurance will cover you if any property in your care is damaged or lost.
  5. Cyber liability is a good option if you take orders – including payment information – over the web. If your system is hacked, even if it’s a third-party payment or ordering system you use, and your customer’s data is breached, you’ll be covered.
  6. Hired and non-owned auto insurance is perfect for employees who may need to drive their own vehicle or a rented car to run errands, drive to work locations, or any other driving they have to do while on the job.

While you’re planning your food truck business and dreaming of all the great food you’re going to make, be sure to factor in your insurance needs. It may not be as exciting as duck confit served in a parking lot, but insurance is what will keep your business going if disaster strikes.

When you’re ready to start your food truck business, contact us here at Charlotte Insurance so we can work up a quote that protects you, your customers, and your business.

Why did my Auto Insurance go up?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on November 18, 2015. It has 0 comments.

Every six months when your auto insurance renews, it probably seems like the price inches up a little higher. Then – BAM – out of no where, the cost went up significantly, and you’re left scratching your head.

You’re a good driver. You pay your premiums on time. Your car is in decent shape. What gives?

There are a number of factors that go into deciding your auto insurance premium, and every insurance company is a little different. Here are a few you should be aware of.


Married people tend to have lower insurance rates than single men and women. Studies show that married people tend to get into fewer accidents than their single counterparts, and when they do, the accidents are less expensive. If you’re newly single, you may notice a difference in your premiums at your next renewal or when you change your policy.


You’re how old? It doesn’t matter that 50 is the new 30. Or is that 20? Either way, some insurance companies will consider you an “older” driver the moment you hit the half century mark. Older drivers are considered to be a riskier group who are involved in more accidents. Ironically, the 64-69 age group is the safest group of drivers, while those 85 and older are involved in the most car accidents each year.


Had problems paying your bills? Are bankruptcy or foreclosure a part of your life right now? A low or poor credit score can affect your auto insurance premiums. Even if your low score is the result of previous problems and you consistently pay your bills on time now, you may have to pay more for your auto insurance. Don’t be surprised if your insurance premiums go up as your credit score goes down.


If you’re driving more for work, school, or because the kids have an activity every single night of the week and you’re playing taxi driver, your insurance rates could be affected. The more miles you drive, the more time spent on the road – and the higher chance you’ll be involved in an accident. Your premiums could go up as a result.


We definitely don’t advocate getting married just to lower your premium or pretending you’re still 29, for the 25th time. But there are other things you can do to help lower your auto insurance premium:

  • Pay your bills on time and work to increase your credit score. Request your credit report from the three credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Every one is entitled to a free copy once a year. Look for errors that could be bringing down your score.
  • Carpool, use mass transit, and find other ways to reduce the miles you put on your car each day. Less miles driven is good for your wallet by lowering your premiums and the amount you spend on gas.
  • Talk to your insurance agent to make sure your current auto insurance provider is the best one for you and to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the discounts available to you.

When you’re ready to lower your auto insurance premiums or look for better coverage, Charlotte Insurance is here to help. Contact us today!

You Can’t Afford To Not Have Health Insurance

Written By Charlotte Insurance on November 12, 2015. It has 0 comments.

You may have any one of a dozen reasons not to have health insurance. It’s too expensive. You’re young and healthy. You don’t like insurance or doctors. Pick a reason, any reason, and anyone without health insurance can tell you why they haven’t purchased a policy. The biggest reason, though, is often the cost of the premiums or the deductible.

Those reasons are all understandable, but there are some very good reasons why you can’t afford not to have health insurance. With increased fees and exposure to risk, not having health insurance can and will get very expensive, very quickly.


Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act penalties and fees for those who don’t purchase health insurance have been a reality. The fees went into affect in 2014 and were very modest – a maximum of about $285 or one percent of household income. Looking to 2016, the change in the fees is drastic.

Expect to pay the higher of these two options:

  • 2.5 percent of your household income; the maximum amount will equal the total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold in the healthcare exchange
  • $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18; the maximum amount would be $2,085

That’s a big difference from 2014 and will take a big chunk out of your income tax return, assuming you’re eligible for a refund and don’t have to pay the IRS instead.


Yes, health insurance makes it easier for you to receive medical treatment for illness or injury. You don’t have to depend on the emergency room or avoid going to the doctor. Many preventative care measures are covered by health insurance helping you stay healthier, longer. The medical protections you receive from health insurance can’t be denied.

The financial protection is just as important. More than 30 percent of all financial bankruptcies in the United States are medical bankruptcies. Those emergency room visits, without health insurance, add up quick. Specialized tests like MRIs, PT scans, and other procedures can cost thousands of dollars. If you’re unfortunate enough to need life-saving surgery, that number could jump to the tens or hundreds of thousands.

You could go bankrupt from one bad injury or illness. You could pay penalties and fees to the government for refusing health insurance. You could miss work because of an untreated illness or injury, putting you further behind financially. Or you could pay a monthly premium – which may be subsidized to give you a steep discount – and know that you and your wallet are covered in case you get hurt or sick.

If you’re ready to look at your Charlotte health insurance options or to find out if you qualify for any discounts or subsidies to lower the price, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. Your health and well-being matter. Let us help you stay healthy and minimize your financial risk from out-of-control medical costs.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Sharon Sinclair.

How does Divorce Affect my Insurance?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on November 9, 2015. It has 0 comments.

Divorces aren’t fun for anyone. Your marriage is over, even though you thought it would last forever. Life as you know it has changed forever, and it can take a while to get your bearings and figure out what to do next. Your insurance coverage may not be the first thing on your mind once you file for divorce or even after it’s finalized. Not taking care of your insurance can bring on other, bigger headaches if something happens to you, your home, or your vehicle, though. Take a look at what you’ll need to keep in mind for every type of insurance you carry.


While you were married, you had the multi-car discount, a good driver discount, and only one policy to worry about between the two of you. Things are a little different now.

  • After one of you moves out, change your policy to reflect the new location of the vehicle.
  • Once the divorce is final, remove your ex from the policy if you’re retaining it or purchase a new policy for yourself.
  • For those families with young drivers, determine whether one parent or both will cover your child on the auto insurance policy before you make any changes.


Sometimes the toughest question in a divorce is, “Who gets the house?” Regardless of who stays or who moves out, there are a few considerations.

  • Whoever moves out will need a renter’s insurance or homeowner policy for their new home.
  • While you’re both listed on your insurance, no changes can be made without the consent of both.
  • After your divorce is final, contact your agent to find out what you need to do to have the policy adjusted either out of your name or to remove your ex’s name.


Health insurance from an employer is a fairly simple matter for the person who insured the whole family. Once the divorce is final, contact your employer and let them know you’ve had a life change and need to adjust your policy. For the spouse left needing to obtain their own health insurance or if you have children, you’ll need to think about a few things:

  • Look for a new plan – either through an employer or by working with your insurance agent.
  • Before the divorce is final, figure out who will keep the children on their health insurance. If possible, compare which parent has the better plan. Keep the health and well-being of your children in mind when you have this discussion and forget about who will have to pay more than the other.


Hopefully you’ve had a policy for a while. If not, this is the time to purchase one – especially if you’ve got kids. For those who must deal with existing life insurance policies, you’ve got choices.

  • If your ex-spouse will be the main caregiver of your children in the event of your untimely death or they are dependent on the alimony they receive, you may want to keep them as the beneficiary of your life insurance.
  • You can change the beneficiary from your former spouse to someone else – a trusted friend, your children, etc.

Divorce is never easy, and it’s always stressful. Keep this list handy so you can take care of your insurance with as little hassle as possible. Knowing you’ve taken care of your children, your home, and your health may help you rest a little easier at night. If you’re going through a divorce and need to check your current policies or need new coverage, contact us here at Charlotte Insurance. We can help you protect everyone and everything that matters in your life.


Image courtesy of Flickr user Cordell and Cordell.