In-Home Consultations

I am an independent broker/agent. This means I am an insurance consultant. I am not captive to one life insurance company or health insurance carrier or plan. I’ll disclose that I do earn commission on sales but honestly, I’m more interested in helping you than I am about earning commissions. By contracting with many carriers and plans, I can do more for you. One size does not fit all. That’s why I call it consulting rather than sales. I work with multiple state regulated A-rated carriers to find you the most affordable and most valuable insurance products available given your family’s needs and your personal qualifications. To accomplish this, it is ideal to set up an in-home consultation. I am located in the Florida Big Bend region in Tallahassee and love road trips and meeting families in person whenever possible. However, I am licensed all over the state of Florida, which is a huge geographical area, and a growing number of other states, as well. Therefore, when it gets too busy or too far to travel, which is increasingly common, I do virtual appointments over Zoom or other screen sharing technology. I can help clients anywhere in the country. I am only limited by the states I am licensed in. Check my license and certifications page to see if I am qualified to produce insurance in your state.

James Carvin

What to Expect

While I am with you, whether in-home or virtually, allow me to review any current policies you have. What do you like about your current situation? What do you want to change? What is your goal and vision? Understand that I will not recommend any changes unless it will make a significant positive difference for you and I will disclose both the upside and downside of switching any policies you already have. In-home and virtual appointments usually consist of a brief budget and needs assessment, a few basic medical questions, a solution and identity verification, and a quick approval and application. For health, there are usually two appointments – one to assess needs and another to show plans and enroll. The first can be a quick assessment over the phone so I can come prepared. For life insurance and ACA plans, it is normal for me to produce a policy on my first visit so expect to be fully cared for with an underwriter before I leave. Medicare requires a 48 hour waiting period, a signed scope of appointment form, and recorded interviews when showing plans. These are not my rules. Compliance is required and I will comply with insurance regulations to the letter. For Medicare only, book your time first, either by phone or using my scheduling tool, then complete the electronic SOA form. Otherwise, we will have to postpone our meetup.

Be prepared. Have your insurance cards and policies on hand so I can see them. Husbands and wives often require two and sometimes more policies. That may take a little extra time. Childrens’ policies are inexpensive and also recommended. The initial consultation on a life insurance policy takes five to ten minutes at most, depending on your questions. Health policies take longer because we’ll want to compare the pros and cons of multiple plans and makes sure you have the network you want. After that, allow time to complete applications and write up policies. Those seeking changes to Health Plans may need to do so during allowable enrollment periods. Those seeking changes to Medicare plans need to schedule at least 48 hours ahead of time using a Scope of Appointment form. If anyone calls you to tell you they can help you with your insurance and it will take just a minute or two, they are misleading you. On life policies, I can scan the 95 carriers in my database after you list your presecriptions. I might determine which carrier offers the most value and lowest premium in two minutes. But you won’t have a definite answer until you apply, which takes at least 15 more minutes per policy. On health, I can have a general idea of which network works best after a few questions. Applications take twenty to thirty minutes, at the least. How long it takes depends on how many questions you have. It is very important to me that your expressed objectives are met.

How to Prepare

If you are married, be sure you are both present and attentive. I am sometimes a few minutes early and other times run late. If I’m more than thirty minutes behind helping a family before you, I will call or text to reschedule. If you need to reschedule, I may be with another family and not answer my phone. Text works best. Some HIPAA and Medicare restrictions may require a spouse be listed on a Scope of Appointment if they want to attend. I encourage attendance so couples are in agreement but for healthcare, it is generally an individual healthcare decision unless a family member has legal power of attorney. If a spouse or family member comes to an in-home consultation, it may be considered a walk-in, so there is no 48 hour requirement.

There are several things you should have ready for our visit:

  1. Have your Medicare card on hand and your primary care phsician’s info and any specialists you want to keep so I can make sure they’re in the network for any plan you switch to. Please have available any policies you think I should review. (If you can’t remember who you are insured with, check your bank statement because you are probably paying them every month). If you don’t have the policy, ask them to mail you a copy. They should do this for free. And you should ask for as many copies as you have beneficiaries so everyone has one. You can do this before I arrive.
  2. Work policies are sometimes tricky. People often think they have life insurance policies through their employer but it is something else. If you have a copy of your employer’s life insurance policy, it should be about thirty to sixty pages long. Otherwise, you probably only have a certificate, which means you don’t actually own the policy. Policy ownership would mean that you have control over it. And if it is a whole life policy, you would be able to borrow on the policy’s cash value. Otherwise, it is a term policy. When I assess your family’s needs, I will help guide you through whether a term policy is best suited for you. Often it is best to have both a whole life and a term policy. The important thing is that you know what your goals are and you know what you have. I will quickly help you assess this.
  3. Be sure you are ready to apply. You may not need a check book, but you will probably need your account number so you can pay your monthly premiums through EFT and if you have a separate account from your spouse and both enroll in a program, you’ll need both sets of numbers. Strict privacy laws apply so I can’t share your sensitive medical information or other personal information. Any person information I take in will be secured and stored for ten years, as the law requires.
  4. Have other identification and contact information ready, including your drivers licenses and social security numbers. The social security number will be needed to check your medical history through the Medical Information Bureau as part of the simplified underwriting process and is subject to HIPPA portability laws.
  5. One of the conveniences of in-home visits is the fact that you have your prescriptions right in your medicine cabinet. For life insurance policies, I will need to know what the insured (you or your husband) takes, how long they’ve been taking it and what conditions they have that require it so I can match them only with programs that won’t disqualify them because they take them. For health insurance policies, I will only need to know if there are any particular medications or specialists you want me to look up.
  6. For life insurance policies, think about who you want as beneficiaries and what sort of policies you might like before I arrive. Typically, I’ll write one policy for a husband with the wife as the beneficiary and one policy for the wife with the husband as the beneficiary, and when there are children, the children are sometimes listed as contingent beneficiaries each receiving a portion based on how many children you have. With some carriers, you can also list grandchildren. And also, it isn’t unusual to leave some portion of benefits to a favorite charity. This is something you should discuss with your spouse and be in agreement on, at least to some extent, before I arrive. Keep in mind that life insurance benefits are tax free and creditors won’t have any claim on them.
  7. Work on your budget. If you buy more insurance than you can afford, everything will fail because your policy will lapse. I make it my goal to save you enough on your health insurance that you can afford a good life insurance policy. Typically life insurance policies are one of the first household expenses people decide to trim. As soon as people go through some financial stress or get tempted to buy something they really want, they convince themselves they can buy another policy any time later. Beware. Prices tend to rise every year on life policies, while face values drop. I urge you to keep policies you’ve bought early. When you terminate a policy, any money you’ve put in so far will be wasted. I don’t want that to happen. That’s why it’s so important to start every meeting with a budget assessment and a savings plan. So, perhaps the most important thing you can do to prepare for my visit is to get your budget figured out.

Let’s Meet!

Okay. Now that you know what to expect, let’s set aside some time. You can easily book or cancel and reschedule using the form below. I won’t typically answer my phone while I’m visiting families, which is what I’m normally doing all week long, because I’m giving my undivided attention to the people I’m helping, but I do check my schedule between visits. So, I’ve found that the best way to reach me while I’m on the road is either online or by text. Are you ready to get started?

  1. Choose a date and time when both you and your spouse will be present.
  2. Begin by tapping on one of the dates below.
  3. Fill out the form completely.

This online booking tool only extends for one week. People tend to forget I’m coming if I book more than a week in advance. If the time you want isn’t available or you need to schedule your visit more than a week from today, send me a text. More often than not, I can work something out.

You can send your texts to the phone number on the business card below. If you do attempt to schedule by text, be sure to include all of the information requested on the scheduling form. In other words …

  1. Name
  2. Email
  3. Spouse Name
  4. Beneficiary Names
  5. What your Goals Are
  6. If you have a gate code, apartment number, dogs, parking instructions, hard place to find, etc.
  7. That you’ll be prepared with the prep list above.
Business Card
The dolphin with the top hat is my personal brand. The dove is the Spirit Agency at FFL

You can also send all that info in an email, but you must book the appointment by text. Otherwise, it may get lost in my junk mail.

Medicare & Medicare Options

Medicare Annual Enrollment periods overlap with Federal Facilitated Marketplace Open Enrollment periods. The fall is particularly busy for me and we may have to do a virtual appointment by Zoom or over the phone even if you are in Leon County, Florida, where I live. For virtual appointments, if possible I prefer an environment where we can share a screen and we can talk at the same time and exchange emails as we speak. The best environment is Zoom but if you don’t have Zoom I have alternatives. Keep in mind that with Medicare, in particular, some communications must be recorded according to Federal regulations. This is especially true when discussing plans for Medicare, Medicare Options, Medicare Supplementary plans, Advantage plans and Medicare Prescription Drug plans. And again, when discussing Medicare plans a Scope of Appointment form has to be completed 48 hours in advance. A Scope of Appointment form dictates exactly what we are permitted to discuss. Fortunately, you don’t have to mail one in. You can do it online. If you do check all of the boxes, we may not have time to cover each plan, but at least we’ll have permission to discuss it, so I encourage it. Click here for an electronic Scope of Appointment form.

NOTE: If you are NOT seeking Medicare or Medicare options such as supplementary insurance or Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or equivalent, do NOT check the Medicare Disclaimer on the Scheduling tool.  The disclaimer says, BY PROVIDING THE INFORMATION ABOVE, I GRANT PERMISSION FOR A LICENSED INSURANCE AGENT TO CONTACT ME REGARDING MY MEDICARE OPTIONS INCLUDING MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT, MEDICARE ADVANTAGE, AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLANS. Medicare and Medicare options constitute a portion of my business but not all of it.Therefore, this disclaimer is required by law. However, many and perhaps most of the families I help are looking for other types of products, such as life insurance, annuities, group insurance or health insurance and drug plans that don't require Medicare qualifications, limitations and restrictions. Do NOT check off the Medicare Disclaimer field if you are NOT looking for information about Medicare plans, Medicare Supplementary plans, Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Prescription Drug plans or options. If you DO check this option, all calls will be recorded and stored for up to ten years, as required by law. You will then receive a text or email asking you to complete a separate Scope of Appointment Form, which will describe the exact purpose of the following appointment, as required by Medicare marketing and compliance regulations. This option is unchecked by default. You do not have to complete a Scope of Appointment Form unless you are inquiring about a Medicare program or options.If you aren't, then just schedule a regular unrecorded in-home consultation by following the prompts.