November 2020

3 Ways to Save on Your Homeowners Insurance
Your homeowners insurance policy is your safety net for when the unthinkable happens. From natural disasters to robberies, crises happen, and having a homeowners insurance policy means you will be able to cover repairs and losses. But premiums can be pricey. Below are a few tips to help you save on this crucial insurance policy.

Make your home safer. You may not be able to control freak accidents and hazards to your home, but you can make changes to make it safer, which can lower your insurance premium. This could include updating your electrical and plumbing systems, installing or beefing up your home security system, and installing a new roof, which is less likely to be damaged by wind and hail than an older roof.

Mitigate or eliminate risk factors. There are some risk factors that come with the area, such as inclement weather. However, adding a pool to your property, building a fireplace, smoking, owning a pet, or having a trampoline can create unnecessary risks that increase the likelihood of someone getting hurt. All of these may raise your premiums.

Increase your deductible or bundle your insurance. If you have a savings account that you can always rely on, sometimes a good money-saving move is to increase your deductible, which is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before insurances take effect. You can also bundle your homeowners insurance with your car, boat or other insurance products to take advantage of unique savings.

Please feel free to contact me today if you are interested in ways to save on your homeowners insurance policy. I can help you determine what is right for you, given your individual financial circumstances and goals.
Quick Quiz
Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just send us an email and submit your answer.
Where do the World Ice Art Championships take place every year?
 
Last month's winners were:

Marlene Henry
Larry Johnson
Nicole Swanson
Green Bean Casserole
Serves 8
• 1 lb green beans
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 2 tablespoons water
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 lb sliced mushrooms
• 1/4 teaspoon thyme
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 onion, diced
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 cup crushed potato chips or French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Prepare a large pot of boiling salted water. Blanch green beans about 2 minutes until bright green and tender-crisp. Drain and cool in a bowl of ice water. Drain and set aside.

Whisk together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, thyme, nutmeg, garlic and onions. Cook 3-4 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in milk, heavy cream and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in green beans.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Evenly sprinkle potato chips or fried onions over the top. Bake about 15 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.
Get Our Free Working From Home Survival Guide
As we continue to social isolate, working from home (WFH) life can start to feel overwhelming. I’ve put together a helpful guide to help you bust some bad habits and help you become your most productive self.

6 Fun, Easy Ways to Celebrate Holidays over Distance
Being separated from loved ones during holiday celebrations can leave you feeling blue when you should be feeling warm and content. Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways you can close the distance and inject some much-needed joy into your forthcoming festivities. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Go digital. From Zoom to Skype, various video call platforms allow you to schedule a family get-together in a few simple steps. The ease of a digital event makes it easy to attend, as complex travel arrangements and parking plans fall away, reducing your carbon footprint in the process.

Expand your guest list. Given the above, you'll be able to invite extended family and friends who might not have been able to make a physical event, making proceedings extra special.

Encourage participation. To ensure your guests don't clock in, "do their time" and clock out, send recipes and teasers ahead of time and ask for their input. It's a great way to keep people invested.

Dress with holiday flair. Make the event immersive by dressing up for your chosen holiday. Better yet, come up with a dress-up theme and get the good times rolling in unconventional garb.

Get gaming. Up the fun factor by orchestrating a virtual scavenger hunt, whodunnit or quiz. There are dozens of budget-friendly resources online, such as Kahoot , playingcards.io  and pogo.com.

Add a song and dance number. Thanks to screen-sharing technology, you can supply a backing track and karaoke-style lyrics to the budding vocalists in your family. Throw in a dance-off, and you've got a winning event on your hands!
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Check Out our New Insurance Agent App 
Submit a claim the right way, pay bills, check your policies, get an auto ID card, email/text/call your agent or customer service person, inventory your valuables... you can do it all anywhere with our new app. Click on the image above for a short video, then click on Apple or Google to get it:


or

Safe Driving Tips to Protect Yourself and Your Passengers
Keeping yourself and your passengers safe is always your priority when you drive. Below are a few tips to help protect yourself and your passengers every time you get behind the wheel.

Concentrate on driving. Whether it's due to changing the radio station, talking to other passengers, or texting on your cell phone, distracted driving can cause a crash or worse. Always be sure to concentrate on the task at hand and not get distracted.

Practice defensive driving. Not every driver is as careful as you are out there, and some are careless, distracted or reckless, with no regard for other people's safety. Make sure to always know what drivers around you seem to be doing, keep a cushion (two seconds in good weather, four seconds in bad weather) between you and the car in front of you, and never believe that another driver will act in a way that is responsible and will help you.

Create a safe driving plan. Know where you're going. Create a plan that includes time for rest stops; cell phone breaks to check in with family and any detours that might arise as the result of highway or road construction. Don't eat while you're driving.

Be safe inside your vehicle. Don't try to pick up items that may have rolled under your seat. Have needed items, such as toll cards and garage passes, within reach. Secure cargo so it doesn't shift while you drive.

Keeping you, your family and your vehicle safe is of utmost importance. Call us to review your auto coverage and policies so we can ensure you are protected.
Giving Back: One Man's Mission to Change the World
Professional traveler Barton Brooks is as comfortable on the back of an elephant in Laos as he is hiking in Uganda, exploring Dubai's beaches or spinning prayer wheels in Tibet. Yet there is more to this wanderlust-struck wanderer's worldwide adventures. Wherever he roams, Brooks takes it upon himself to leave the places he visits better then when he arrived.

Brooks's extraordinary career includes volunteering, which involves hands-on work such as digging school toilets, donating clothing, laying bricks, building wells and planting trees, amongst other endeavors. If something is within Brooks's power to do, he does it. The courageous backpacker is truly being the change he wishes to see in the world.

Inspired by a high-spirited yet needy group of children while vacationing in Cambodia, Brooks decided to trade in his career as a New York real estate broker for a simpler existence. After leaving his job, he launched a grassroots organization called Global Colors, a small yet mobile grassroots organization that set out to connect travelers and volunteering work.

Establishing a reputation for being able to cut through red tape and bureaucracy, Brooks kicked off the guerrilla aid movement in 2010 with projects geared towards creating immediate, tangible change on the ground, simultaneously teaching individuals, families and travelers how to do the same in their communities. Whilst he may seem like a single drop in an ocean, Brooks and his tireless efforts have certainly made ripples and waves, proving it only takes a little to change a lot.