September 2021 Make Sure Your Halloween B.O.O.s Are Covered It's the spookiest night of the year, and if you're not careful, the tricks could lead to more than just a little fright. We all love a good scare, but on Halloween night, it's possible to get a little more than you bargained for. Don't be scared. Your homeowners and renters insurance policies are there for you.If you have these in place, you'll be covered for the most common Halloween B.O.O.s.Breakage. Trick or treat might seem like a fun game, but Halloween is a top time for vandals. If your property is at all affected by acts of vandalism, make sure you contact your insurance agent straight away. We may be able to "treat" you if you've been "tricked."O' lanterns. Halloween is the fifth worst night of the year for candle fires. Try swapping real candles for battery-powered ones in your jack-o'-lanterns. But if your pumpkin does go up in flames, your homeowners or renters policy will cover the damage.Offenses. Whether you're throwing a party or just opening your doors to hungry trick or treaters, it's possible many little feet will be entering your property. If any guest gets injured while partaking in the festivities, you will be covered by the liability portion of your insurance. This also includes four-legged friends who may get overexcited.Get the costume and get the coverage. Contact your insurance agent to verify your policies are current and include the necessary coverage for this season. Quick QuizEach month I'll give you a new question.Just email us and submit your answer.Who pioneered filming before a live studio audience?The first 10 responders will be entered into a drawing for 3 Starbucks gift cards.Last month's winners were:Brenda MendozaNicole SwansonEmalee MannClick Here to Submit! Good Words for Our Staff"You all have been absolutely amazing to work with. You respond quickly and pleasantly to our questions and requests and are helpful in every way. We appreciate you and your office very much and would wholeheartedly recommend you all to anyone looking for the services you offer."- Carol M."Mark has been our guy since before we were married 1988. Love him so much, the only insurance guy I’ve ever met that truly had our best interests at heart."- Jeffrey J. Lego Made from Recycled Plastic: Can it Be? One of the world's most popular toy companies, LEGO, is making an exciting new step towards sustainability with a prototype new brick design made from recycled plastic. With the protection of the environment and the ever-growing plastic waste crisis being some of this century's most pressing societal issues, this is a welcome new development for conscientious children and adults alike.LEGO's new prototype uses plastic made from recycled bottles, known as polythene terephthalate, or PET plastic, for short. The procedure involves procuring discarded bottles made from PET plastic and grinding them down into tiny flakes before purifying them, grinding them into even tinier granules and putting them through an innovative new process patented by LEGO to strengthen the grains, making them tough enough to fit the durable design we all know and love. Finally, the grains are molded into the classic LEGO bricks and color is added.The new process is not yet ready for mass production but signifies the latest in a line of changes made by LEGO to play their part in protecting the environment, after recently beginning to remove single-use plastic from their packaging and switching the materials used in some elements to Bio-PE, a product made from sugar cane.Not only could LEGO's new initiative be a building block in the quest to reduce the amount of plastic pollution produced globally, it may also eventually contribute to the cleanup of nonbiodegradable waste by making use of the litter that already exists. Pumpkin Spice SquaresSevers 16Ingredients10 Medjool dates, pitted and diced (about 1 cup diced)2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice1 1/2 cups oat flour1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/2 cup milk of choice (dairy or plant milk)1 15 oz. can cooked pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)Optional: 1 cup frostingIn small bowl, soak dates with 3/4 cup water for 15 minutes.Preheat oven to 375ºF.In a large bowl, combine pumpkin pie spice and flour. In a blender, add soaked dates, date soak water, vanilla and milk and purée 1–2 minutes until smooth. Add to bowl with flour and spices along with pumpkin. Mix with wooden spoon until dry ingredients are incorporated.Pour batter into 8x8 baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25–30 minutes until lightly browned with some cracks. Cool for 10–15 minutes. Cut into squares before serving. Frost, if desired, before serving. Make Your Next Claim Easier With These 4 Tips:Even when you are insured, claiming for minor mishaps and small collisions can be a major stress to handle. However, there are ways to make it easier. Follow these four tips to make your next claim a breeze.Keep it togetherPut all your insurance documents, from policy to ID cards, in one place, and make sure you keep checking that they're there. Don't move them unless absolutely necessary. Keep auto insurance documents in your glove compartment for easy access in case of a collision.Know what you've gotMake sure you're aware and up to date on your insurance policy. What are the policy details? What can and can't you claim? Knowing this before you call your insurance agent will make the process easier.Gather informationIf you've already done your homework, the claiming process will go a lot smoother. Keep all your important receipts in the same place, and make sure it's safe! If it's an automobile claim, find out everything you need to know about the driver as soon as the accident occurs, such as name, license plate and insurance information. If extra information is needed, be sure to respond promptly.Take photosBe sure to take pictures of whatever you're claiming against, especially on the road. Videos are even better. Try and do this as soon as possible, and you should have no issues with your claim. If you have to ask yourself whether or not you have enough, chances are you need more. Better safe than sorry.Of course, the best scenario is a claims-free one. To avoid accidents and claims, use best practices for driving and home safety. If you do need to file a claim, do so as soon as possible. Contact our office immediately following an incident for assistance with starting your claim. You Can Negotiate like a Pro with L.A.T.T.E. Whether it's a business deal at work, a domestic issue at home or a group decision with friends, negotiating a difficult situation to get an outcome that works for you can be a daunting prospect. Thankfully, there's a tried and tested technique you can use to improve your ability to negotiate. Enter "L.A.T.T.E.," a useful acronym coined by negotiation expert Jacqueline Twillie that will put you on your way to a successful outcome.L: Look at the details. Making sure you're fully informed about every detail and potential outcome will help you to decide what decisions you can make.A: Anticipate the challenges. It's probably a given that you'll receive some pushback or have some hurdles to overcome during the conversation. Make sure you're ready for the kind of questions or resistance you might face while negotiating and have your responses prepared.T: Think about what you want to walk away with. Be clear in your mind about what you actually want from the negotiation, what you are prepared to be flexible on and which parts of your desired outcome are not up for negotiation. Also, be sure to consider what the other party wants from the conversation for a stronger approach.T: Talk it through! Practicing talking through your points out loud will help you be confident and collected when it comes to the real thing. You may even find that hearing your points out loud helps you identify where your tone or approach might need to change.E: Evaluate your options. Before making a final decision, give yourself time to review the outcomes you've been offered from the negotiations to make sure it's what's best for you! Thank You for your Referrals! We succeed when people like you refer us to your friends, neighbors and loved ones. It’s the best kind of feedback we can receive. So thanks for continuing to pass this newsletter on to people you care about.