| Fall Series

What You Really Need to Know About Life Insurance

What You Really Need to Know About Life Insurance

Many people put off having a conversation about life insurance for a variety of reasons.  Maybe it’s because you think you’re young and healthy or maybe it’s because you don’t think you can afford it.  No matter the excuse, the fact remains that right now is the best time to educate yourself on the topic of life insurance.  While there is a vast amount of information on this topic, what you really need to know can be boiled down into these six main points.


You likely need a higher death benefit than you think. 

A million dollar life insurance policy may seem like a lot, but you need to consider everything this will go toward paying.  Funeral costs and any debt you leave behind can take up a good portion of this money.  If you’re the breadwinner in your household, your dependents will need this money to pay for their needs until they can earn income for themselves.  Working with a qualified life insurance agent can help you determine the right death benefit for you.

Understand the difference between Term Life & Permanent Life. 

You may have heard the words “term life” and “permanent life” before, but do you really know what theses mean? Term life insurance will cover you for a set time period (most commonly 10 to 30 years), after which you will no longer have insurance.  This is a good choice for young families who can’t afford permanent insurance, or for those who only want to be insured for a certain time period.

In contrast, permanent life insurance covers you as long as you pay the premiums.  In addition to the death benefit, it also has an investment component that builds cash value over time.  You can choose from whole, universal, and variable permanent life insurance that offer different investment options and the ability to use your cash value to pay premiums.


Pay your premiums on-time. 

This is an important one.  If you forget to pay your premium, your life insurance policy may be canceled.  Should something happen during this lapse in coverage, your beneficiaries will not receive any of the death benefit.  This is a risky game to pay and one that can be easily prevented simply by paying your premium on time!  Set a calendar reminder or set up auto-pay.

Fill out your application honestly. 

It seems obvious to remind you not to lie on your life insurance application, but it happens more than you might think.  Should you be anything less than honest, you could be disqualified from your policy and leave your beneficiaries with nothing.  Take the application, and your answers, seriously.


Make beneficiaries aware of where they can find your policy. 

Another important reminder is to make sure your family or someone you trust knows where to find your policy information.  If you are the only one who has this information, it won’t do your beneficiaries much good should something happen to you.  Have a plan and keep your life insurance policy information in a safe, accessible place.

Don’t wait to get coverage.

Finally and most importantly, don’t put off getting coverage.  When you’re young and healthy, you may not feel the urgency to plan for your death; however this is the best time to invest in life insurance.  The premiums are cheaper when you’re younger, so buying into a plan now will save you — in many ways — in the long run.

Do you have another question about life insurance that wasn’t covered in this article?  Leave a comment or contact me & I’ll provide you with an answer!

8 Ways to be a Smart Patient

8 Ways to be a Smart Patient

In 2006, Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz wrote a book on how to be a smart patient. They felt it was important for patients to be active participants in getting good care. Some of their suggestions include:

1. Stop being passive. Remember the doctor works for you and you are the boss of your healthcare. Smart patients are more assertive and ask questions and politely challenge what they don’t understand.

A photo by Aaron Burden.

2. Make a list of questions before you see your physician. Patients who are prepared for their visits and ask questions will have a better understanding of their health condition. Also consider bringing along a family member to your visits to help you remember what was discussed at the visit.3. Know your family history to determine if you have any risk factors for genetic or family related conditions.

4. Bring a list of all your medications to all medical appointments. This helps to avoid duplications of medications and possible drug to drug interactions.

5. Get your medications from the same pharmacy and become friendly with your pharmacist. Consultations are free and pharmacists have a wealth of information about drug side effects, drug to drug interactions, and ways to reduce drug costs.

A photo by

6. Understand how to take your medications. It is important to know the following:

  • What is the medication treating?

  • Does it replace anything else you are taking?

  • How do you take it – should it be taken at a certain time of day, on an empty stomach, or with food?

  • How long will you be taking the medication?

  • What are the common side effects?

  • Is it safe to take with my other medications?

7. Stop playing the waiting game. Ask when a test result is going to be available and call the office that day to get the results. Don’t depend on the office to call you with results in a timely fashion or to notify you when your test results are abnormal.

8. Keep a copy of your medical records and sign up for patient portals to get copies of the most recent lab tests, office notes, or x-ray reports.


If you need assistance with:

  • Facing the challenges of a new or existing health-related condition

  • Navigating the details of your treatment

  • Understanding costs and coverage associated with your insurance

  • Or managing the care of an aging parent or loved one

Call Sue Severino at Severino Health Advisors with a free and confidential 15 minute phone consultation at absolutely no risk and no obligation.  Once your or your loved one’s needs and goal for care have been identified, Sue Severino will provide you with a quote for her services.   Fees are based upon an hourly rate and can be tailored to fit your budget.  Whether you want Sue to handle everything from research, recommendations, implementation, and follow-up or whether you simply want advice on the best options available to you, services can be customized to meet your need.

Contact Sue at 717-561-2720 for you free 15 minute phone consultation!

Severino Health Advisors has helped clients reduce their healthcare costs and gain peace of mind.  Ultimately there is no better investment than an investment in your health!

Learn more:

Severino Health Advisor’s Website

Severino Health Advisor’s Facebook

© 2015 Severino Health Advisors LLC.

Upcoming Medicare Open Enrollment

Upcoming Medicare Open Enrollment October 7th through December 15th 2016.

If you are either turning 65 or are already enrolled in a Medicare Supplement with a Part D plan & you did not review your RX plan last year, it is imperative that you review this during open enrollment.

Changes are Happening

With changes to plan premiums, increasing deductibles, co-pays, and formulary differences, you can potentially save hundreds – possibly even thousands of dollars on a new plan.  Open enrollment time is limited so you have to act fast.


Contact my Friend Todd Olejniczak

Todd is the owner of the Capital Senior Services Insurance Agency.  He specializes in Medicare Supplements & Advantage Plans.  Todd helps seniors make educated decisions about their healthcare options.  As an independent agent licensed with many Medicare companies, he can help you choose the best plan for your specific needs.

You can find Todd on Facebook.

Visit his website at

Call Todd on his cell phone (717) 991-8500.

Todd has offered up a free one hour policy review for any client & their friends or family members!

5 Tips to Help Kids Transition Back to School

5 Tips to Help Kids Transition Back to School

With the end of summer fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about the start of the new school year. Your back-to-school checklist likely includes some new clothes, notebooks, pencils, and a backpack, but it’s equally important to mentally prepare your kids for the structure of the school year. Here are five tips to help you with a successful transition back into the classroom!

A group of young children getting on the schoolbus

1. Get Them Excited

With the freedom and flexibility of summer, it can be hard to convince your kids that they will have just as much fun sitting behind a desk. Get them excited for that first day of school by giving them something to look forward to. Let them pick out a new lunch box or backpack or hold a “fashion show” where they can pick out and show off the outfit they plan to wear on the first day. These small and simple gestures can go a long way toward building up excitement for the return of the school year.

2. Ease Into a “Practice” School Routine

Structure is probably the most difficult transition for everyone in the family when gearing up for the school year. Think about what time the kids will need to wake up to do their morning routine and catch the bus on time. Then, day by day, get them up 10 minutes earlier from their summer sleep schedule to gradually adjust to the earlier monrings. By the time the first day of school rolls around, you won’t be trying to rouse sleepy and cranky children.
Also, do a practice run of your morning routine where you challenge everyone in the house to be awake, clothed, and fed by the same time you’d need to leave on a school morning. If you succeed, plan a fun treat, like a stop at your favorite ice cream spot as a reward.

Ice Cream

3. Spend Quality Time Together

A great way to help with the anxiety that can occur when transitioning back to school is to spend some time fully engaged with your children. An end of the summer adventure is a great way to put an exclamation point on the fun memories you have created together over the past few months. Let the kids vote on a small list of activities that you can do as a family. Soak up every moment and move into the school year without any regrets!

4. Get Them in the Mindset to Learn

Over the summer months, your kids have likely grown used to no homework assignments, deadlines, or other school-like obligations. It’s time to ease these reponsibilities back into their daily routines. Plan an educational activity for them each day that they must complete before turning on the TV or iPad. This could be a backyard scavenger hunt or a trip to the library with some questions they must research. As they get used to (and hopefully look forward to) these daily assignments, they will be better prepared for the homework that is coming their way in the not too distant future.

Kid with Crayon

5. Prepare Yourself, Too!

Going back to school is not only a huge transition for your child, but also for you as the parent or guardian. If you are used to having them with you during any part of the day, plan some new activities during this time that you can look forward to once the school year begins. Meet a friend for coffee, take a walk, or tackle some of theose household items that have been put off over the chaos of summer. Being around other adults and feeling productive will help keep you occupied during the first couple of weeks when you might be inclined to worry about how your children are transitioning back into school.

Did you find these tips helpful? Share how you plan to trainstion your kids back to school!

Getting Married? Don’t Overlook These Important Steps!

Getting Married? Don’t Overlook These Important Steps!

When planning a wedding, there are countless decisions to be made that can easily overwhelm even the most organized person. Picking the right dress and flowers are fun details, but don’t forget about the other important steps that should also take place during your wedding planning process. These are things like preparing for the name change process, choosing the right insurance to protect your wedding day and mapping out your financial future together. Although these details may not be as fun and creative as trying your hand at a DIY wedding centerpiece, they will have a lasting impact on your new life together.
Here are few items you should be sure to add to your wedding planning checklist!

Protect Your New Valuables

You’ve likely purchased or received a sparkly (and expensive) engagement ring which is what started this whole wedding planning process. Make sure this valuable keepsake is protected! Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may cover the cost of a lost or stolen ring, but you’ll want to check with your insurance agent to be sure.
Wedding Rings

Discuss How You Will Share Finances

Once you’re married, you’ll share a lot more than just a last name. Every couple is different and so is how you plan to share your finances. It’s important to at least start the conversation of how you plan to divide up the responsibilities of paying bills and whether you plan to merge your bank accounts prior to your wedding. This will be one less stress on your shoulders later on. (If you do change your bank account, don’t forget to update that for any automatic payments you have!)

Plan for the Unexpected on Your Wedding Day

Inclement weather, damage to your venue, illness and injury are not things you want to be thinking about taking place on your wedding day. However, they can and do sometimes happen which is why it’s so important to be prepared. Event Cancellation Insurance can help cover you should your big day need to be postponed. 
Rain Couple

Keep You & Your Guests Safe

On your wedding day, you want to fully live in the moment and not worry about something going potentially wrong – like a guest getting hurt. To put your mind at ease, and to protect you both financially and legally, it’s a smart idea to look into Event Liability Insurance. Coverage is usually available for private events and covers you for a short, specified period of time. Especially if you’re considering hosting your wedding on private property, like in someone’s backyard, you’ll want to consider Event Liability Insurance!

Prepare for the Name Change Process

Another important item you should include on your wedding planning checklist is to prepare for the name change process. If you’d like to take your spouse’s last name, you need to know all the forms that are required for making this change official. You’ll want to be sure to change it across every account associated with your name including bank accounts, insurance policies, driver’s license, passport and social security card, just to name a few. Keep in mind that each state has its own procedures, which is why you’ll want to plan ahead and devote some time to this important step!
Happily Ever After

Are you planning a wedding? Don’t hesitate to reach out and let us help you answer any additional questions you may have related to these important steps!

6 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe This Summer

6 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe this Summer

It’s summertime and the living is easy — for you and your pet! It’s a great time of year to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather with your furry friends.  However, it’s important to be mindful of the possible dangers that could cause your pet injury or illness.

Ther’s a lot we can do to keep our pets safe, from using common sense to purchasing Pet Health Insurance.  To help get you started in the right direction, here are six tips for keeping your pet safe this summer.

Always provide access to shade & water

If you’re hot and thirsty, your pet is likely hot and thirsty too.  Never leave your furry friend in a situation where they do not have access to shade, fresh air, and water, such as in a car.  Even an open backyard space can be too hot for your pet if there are no trees to provide shade.  Consider addding ice cubes to their water dish to keep them cool and hydrated!

Apply sunscreen

That’s right, just like our skin can burn in the sun, so can our pets.  Pets with thin or light colored fur are especially susceptible to sunburns which will cause them the same pain it causes us.  Foremost, avoid having your pet in the sun for long periods of time.  If they are going outside, apply a sunscreen made for babies or specifically for pets.  Don’t forget their ears!

Walk your pet at the coolest times of the day

Hot concrete can cause your pets paws to burn.  Ouch!  Try and walk your furry friend either early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is not so direct.  Allow them the option to walk on grass instead of sidewalks and roads.  If the pavement feels too hot for your own feet, it’s likely going to feel just as uncomfortable for your pet.

Keep your dog on a short leash in potentially dangerous settings

Camp fires, BBQ’s, outdoor swimmin pools, and Fourth of July celebrations that include fireworks are all potentially hazardous situations for your pet.  The smell of food can entice them to get too close to a grill or fire.  Outdoor pools are dangerous if your pet cannot swim and fireworks can look like a big stick to your pet, just begging to be played with.  For all of these reasons and more, keep your pet on a short leash if there’s a chance they could get injured at your summer social gathering.

Regularly bathe, groom, and check your pet for parasites

During the summer, your pet is likely to be outside a lot.  It’s important to bathe them frequently to remove their coasts of any lingering dirt, chemicals, and pests.  This is also a prime time to look for parasites when giving them a good scrub down.  If your pet has longer hair, consider a cooler haircut for the summer months and keep their fur mat-free to avoid skin irritation.

Be mindful of allergies

Finally, just like people have allergies, so do pets.  It’s possible your furry friend could be very uncomfortable in certain outdoor situations if they’re near an allergen.  Watch for watery eyes, excessive sneezing, coughing, and general discomfort.  The culprit could be something in the air!  Either avoid the allergens or talk with your vet about possible medications that could help.

Photo by Nomao Saeki

Photo by Nomao Saeki

Now that you know a few of the ways you can help to keep your pet safe and happy during these summer months, be sure to soak up every sun-filled moment with your four-legged friend!  And if you want to be even more prepared for any unexpected pet illness or accident that may arise, consider learning more about Pet Health Insurance for your cat or dog!

Pet Health Insurance Brochure

Pennsylvania Residents: Please call the Downey Agency at 717.432.1361 during normal business hours for a pet health insurance quote tailored to your specific pets.


David Downey
Insurance Agency Owner
11 N US Hwy 15, Ste 7
Dillsburg, PA, 17019
Send Me An Email