You Can Do It!

Tax season is here and for many of us, just hearing the words “tax season” bring anxiety and worry… but they don’t have to! Don’t let deadlines and paperwork intimidate you—everything will still be okay after the dust settles on April 15th.

Remember during this busy season to take a few seconds to relax and center yourself.

>Here are a few common-sense tips to help you relax and get things done during this busy time.

  • Take deep breaths.
  • Take a walk outside.
  • Say no to what you don’t have time to do.
  • Leave work on time.
  • Ask questions if you don’t know and communicate openly.
  • Take care of stressful tasks in the morning to get them out of the way.
  • Look at large projects as a series of steps to complete one by one.
  • Laugh at least once a day.

Let’s have a happy, productive season!

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Don’t Make This Common Mistake?

In the event of an accident, most people will file a claim with their insurance carrier, no matter what happened. Doing so seems like the logical thing to do—right? I mean, you have insurance for just this reason, in case something happens.

The problem with filing a claim before speaking with your insurance agent is that many times this could hurt you and actually COST you money!

Here’s an example: Let’s say your insurance costs $1,000 per year. You have a fender bender and file a claim for a small amount, a mere $700. Your policy carries a $500 deductible. You pay the $500 and the insurance company pays $200 to the body shop. Because of this claim, you may lose discounts up to 20% for the next 3 years. That’s $200 for 3 years, $600 out of your pocket.

Avoid making this common mistake by always checking with us first before filing a claim. We can guide you through the claims process smoothly and efficiently, while making sure to deliver the best value to you.

We’re here to help! Call us every time before you file a claim.

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Save on Your Car Insurance

Now, almost more than ever, American’s are finding new ways to save money. As the economy strengthens, hopefully your ability to save money and plan for the future is too. Where better to save money than on your car insurance?

Here are 3 tips that can help you save big time on your automobile insurance:

  1. Choose a Safe Car — When you buy or lease a car, choose on the basis of safety features and the car’s record of crashworthiness (if it is easily damaged and repair costs). If the safety features you want such as lane departure warning are not offered, let the auto maker know. Safety sells.
  2. Drive Smart — Drive carefully and use safety belts and child restraints. Always drive defensively and stay alert. Even non-fault accidents could cause your rates to go up. Never get behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol or any other mind-altering substance. This is for your benefit as well as the benefit of other drivers. Obey speed limits and other traffic laws. Not only can this lower your rates, but you’re also setting a good driving example for others.
  3. Talk To Your Insurance Agent — You may be able to reduce your premiums by reviewing your policy and your current coverage. Remember, keeping your driving record clean can help lower your premium. Always take advantage of discounts offered, such as EZ Pay, Pay In Full, Multi-Policy discounts, and many, many more!

 Call our office TODAY to find out if you are eligible for any of the many discounts we offer!

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Do You Really Need Life Insurance?

Let’s think about this for a second…

Are you really:

  1. Never going to die?
  2. Going to inherit a fortune?
  3. Going to win the lottery?
  4. Going to let your children support you?
  5. Never going to retire?
  6. Going to let the government take care of you?

Hopefully you don’t believe any of this nonsense above…you really DO need life insurance! Our agency is now making it easier to get the life insurance you need.

Life insurance is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. In the event of a tragedy, life insurance proceeds can help pay the bills, mortgage, continue a family business, finance future needs—such as your children’s education, protect your spouse’s retirement plans, and much more. Life insurance plays a key role in having a sound family financial plan.

A majority of families do not have enough life insurance, leaving them one accident or terminal illness away from a financial catastrophe for their loved ones.

If you already have a life insurance policy with another company, now is a great time to do a free comparison with our agency. If you don’t have a life insurance policy yet, now is the BEST time to look into getting protection for yourself and your loved ones.

Call Our Office TODAY!

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Welcome to January!

Welcome to January, one of my favorite months. I love January because it, like New Year’s Day, the holiday that starts the month, represents a fresh start and a clean slate. In January we celebrate traditional holidays like New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and even wacky ones, such as National Popcorn Day (Jan. 19th) and National Handwriting Day (Jan. 23rd). One of my favorite observances is celebrating January as National Blood Donor Month.

The beginning of a new year is a common time for hospitals and clinics to hold blood drives. Especially so, when the nation has been hit hard by winter illnesses, the flu, pneumonia, and more that may have hospitalized many.

Winter weather disasters, an increase in traffic accidents due to poor weather and holiday travelers, plus much more can also leave blood donation centers in special need of donations in January. Although we see an increase in blood drives this month, please know that there is never a bad time to give blood and there is always a need.

Whether you are a first-time donor or a regular, you should know the importance of these drives and how pints of blood are needed to assist medical staff in communities where natural disasters have occurred.

To give during the winter is especially vital if part of the country has endured harsh storms and an increase in traffic accidents because of black ice.

Why else should you give blood? Consider these important points:

  1. You offer another person a chance at better health. Particularly if you are Type O Negative – the universal donor – your blood is needed to assist medical personnel in hospitals and disaster areas.
  2. You will discover something new about yourself. If you have never before given blood and don’t know your type, you will learn when you give blood. When you visit the American Red Cross to give blood, you will receive a donor card to keep that has your type printed. It’s always good to know your blood type in the event of a family emergency.
  3. You will feel better about yourself (and your body will feel better too!) You may feel queasy or lightheaded after the donation but knowing you have contributed to a good cause is a great way to begin the year. Contact your local Red Cross chapter or health care system and ask about the next blood drive. Give something of yourself this year.

To find a blood drive near you and get involved, visit www.RedCross.org.

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Get Heart Healthy!

February is American Heart month and that means it’s a good time to think about being heart healthy.

Heart Disease kills more than 600,000 Americans each year. It is the leading killer among both men and women.

There are many things we can do to stay heart healthy.

According to the Center for Disease Control, making these healthy lifestyle choices can help:

  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin.
  • Select fat-free, 1% fat, or low-fat dairy products.
  • Cut back on foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
  • Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol.
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
  • Keep an eye on your portion sizes.

It’s also important to know the signs of an impending heart attack, because they can start slowly and symptoms may seem mild. According to the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, these are the signs that may mean that a heart attack is in progress:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.

Many of us aren’t doing enough to take care of our hearts. Start getting heart healthy today with the above tips.

For more information about 
Heart Disease, visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org.

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A Parent’s Guide to Insure Their Teen

Adding a teenage driver to your car insurance policy will raise your rates. But you can control how much they’ll climb. Having teens drive a Camry rather than a Corvette, encouraging them to bring home report cards with straight A’s, and urging them to keep their driving records clean can all have a major impact on rates.

Below are a few things to keep in mind when insuring your new driver:

  • There is a reason teenagers cost more to insure—New drivers are among the most dangerous on the road, racking up tickets and accidents at rates several times the rate of the average driver. Your teenager does not have to drive. Bicycles and bus passes are cheaper, if you live in a place where that’s feasible.

    Virtually every insurer requires that all licensed family members in a household be included on your policy, whether they drive your cars or not. You should let the insurer know when the child gets his or her learners permit, but typically the teen isn’t listed (or your policy charged) until he or she is licensed.

    It is almost always cheaper to add teenagers to an existing policy than to buy another car and then insure it separately. If your household has several cars, it can help to have your new driver assigned to a specific one — the one that’s cheapest to insure. Those vehicles with lower auto insurance losses will typically have lower auto insurance rates. For new drivers, the recommended cars are four-door sedans and crossover vehicles.

  • Don’t overlook car insurance discounts—If your teen can’t get by without wheels, check with our agency to see what types of discounts might be available. We offer good-student discounts to teens who maintain at least a “B” average. We also offer the Teen Smart discount through an online driver’s safety course. Bundling multiple insurance policies, like auto, homeowners and life insurance, will also cut costs.

Ready to Insure your new driver or have questions about how your teen will affect your Auto Insurance policy? Call our office TODAY!

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What Are Your Goals in 2020?

It’s December and that means we are coming to the end of this year and looking forward to the next. Christmas and New Years are always one of my favorite times of year, because they signify new opportunities around every corner.

No matter what happened over the past twelve months, we have a chance now to set new goals and make the next year whatever we want it to be.

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for reflection, and more importantly, looking forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

Did you set a New Year’s Resolution in 2019?

If you did, I hope you stuck to them and achieved everything that you set out to do.

Can you guess what the top 10 most common New Year’s Resolutions are? Does yours make the list?

  1. Get Organized
  2. Help Others
  3. Learn Something New
  4. Get Out of Debt
  5. Quit Drinking
  6. Enjoy Life More
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Lose Weight
  9. Get Fit
  10. Spend More Time with Family

These values are reflective of a New Year’s resolution poll of Americans. A whopping 66% of people resolve to spend more time with their families. 50% said they were going to get fit or lose weight.

No matter what your goals are for 2020, I hope you can achieve all of them. Try setting smaller goals for yourself along the way to help you get there.

We hope that you have a very Happy New Year and 
may all your resolution efforts succeed!

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Protecting What You’re Most Thankful For

Each year in November, we take a moment to step back and count our blessings, recognizing the many things we are thankful for. We move about our busy lives, but rarely do we stop to “smell the roses” and practice gratitude.

One of the things that I am most thankful for is my family and the ability I have to provide and care for them.

That’s why I have life insurance coverage to protect them in case the unthinkable happens.

While talking about this difficult subject is not a conversation that many people are eager to have, I want to encourage you this Thanksgiving to have a conversation with us if Life Insurance is not currently a part of your Insurance portfolio.

In the event of a tragedy, having life insurance can do some pretty amazing things for your family:

  • It can buy loved one’s time to grieve.
  • It can pay off debts and loans, providing surviving family members with the chance to move on with a clean slate.
  • It can keep families in their homes.
  • It can fund a child’s college education.
  • It can keep a family business in the family.
  • It can provide a stream of income for family to not stress about expenses.

Covering your family’s well-being with life insurance is one of the most crucial insurance policies to own.

Most families either have no life insurance or not enough, leaving them one accident or terminal illness away from a financial catastrophe for their loved ones. We do not want this to happen to you! We are here to answer any questions you might have and guide you to the coverage that is right for your family.

Call our office TODAY to discuss how we can help you and your family prepare for the future.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Each year, October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer awareness is an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer and reduce the disease’s stigma by educating people about its symptoms and treatment options. Supporters hope that greater knowledge will lead to earlier detection of breast cancer, which is associated with higher long-term survival rates, and that money raised for breast cancer will produce a reliable, permanent cure.

Most all of us know someone, a mother, aunt, sister, or friend, who has battled breast cancer. Breast cancer is a disease that reaches many of us on a personal level and we have a special interest in fighting this disease.

It is critically important that we support this cause and do what we can to raise awareness for breast cancer.

For more information about breast cancer, including how you can show your support, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.

Did you know…

  • The older a woman, the more likely she is to get breast cancer.
  • Men can get breast cancer. Out of every one hundred cases of breast cancer, one will occur in a man
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the U.S, after lung cancer
  • The National Cancer Institute estimates that a woman in the United States has a 1 in 8 chance of developing invasive breast cancer during her lifetime

Call Our Office Today for Information About Breast Cancer Insurance.

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