May 2020

Get My 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.

Click below to download your copy of my “Working from Home Survival Guide." 

Working from Home Guide

Making the Claims Process as Easy as PIE
There's been an incident and you need to start the claims process. For many, this scenario can feel intimidating and bewildering. Whether the situation involves property damage, an auto accident, or an employee injury, to make the process faster, easier, and more manageable, follow this PIE recipe:

Photograph. Take photographs of the scene, damages, injuries, the location of the incident, and any other relevant images. If you're unsure of whether you need a photo, take it and err on the side of too many instead of too few photos.

Inscribe. Take copious notes about the incident. Your memory will fade, and details that you take for granted as unimportant may actually be key to determining liability for the accident. Clear notes regarding the people involved, where and what time it happened, what the circumstances were, and any other relevant information are key. These notes may form the foundation of your future insurance claim.

Expedite. File your insurance claim as soon as possible, when the details are still fresh in your mind. The quicker you file with your insurance company, the quicker you will be on the path to ensuring your claim is processed.

Your partner in this process is your insurance company, which can help guide you through all the required steps so your claim can continue to advance.

If you have any questions, contact us as soon as possible, and we'll help you through every step of the process. We're just a call or email away.
Did You Know an Attitude of Gratitude Makes You Healthier?
A healthy body maketh a healthy mind. But what if the age-old axiom works in reverse? As humanity marches on to ever-greater heights, scientific breakthroughs strengthen the long-held ties between the body’s physical health and its emotional health. And now, recent studies propose that gratitude may just make your body healthier as well as improve your mental wellbeing.

"Gratitude ... can be an incredibly powerful and invigorating experience," says respected psychiatric researcher Jeff Huffman. "There is growing evidence that being grateful may not only bring good feelings. It could lead to better health."

The line of research linking physical health with gratitude began in 1995 when a study exploring the effects of emotions on heart rate variability discovered that people who felt sustained appreciation had improved heart health.

Most recently, a Journal of Health Psychology study exploring the impact of gratitude on well-being found that a group who kept gratitude journals for two weeks had lower blood pressure than their counterparts. Gratitude’s other benefits are also purported to be healthier skin, better sleep, and fewer headaches.

So how can you experience these benefits of a more grateful attitude? Take a leaf out of the aforementioned study’s book and keep a gratitude journal. It’s as simple as jotting down anything you’re thankful for.

Follow this up with writing thank-you notes or making a thank-you call to someone for the impact they have on your life. These stepping-stones may lead the way to deeper practices of gratitude like mindfulness and meditation, making gratitude a way of life.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
These classic oatmeal raisin cookies will make your whole household smile.
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
•1 cup packed brown sugar
•1/2 cup white sugar
•1 teaspoon cinnamon
•1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
•1 egg
•1 egg yolk
•1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
•1 heaping cup raisins
•1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Melt butter and let cool slightly.

Mix flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until well blended. Mix in vanilla, cinnamon, egg, and egg yolk until creamy and light, about 2-3 minutes.

Mix in flour mixture until just blended. Add oats, raisins, and nuts and mix until just blended.

Place 1/4 cup balls of dough onto a cookie sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Be careful not to overbake. The edges should look brown, and the centers should still be slightly soft.

Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Quick Quiz
Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just Email us and submit your answer.
On what date did Benjamin Franklin conduct his famous kite experiment?
First 10 responders will be entered into drawing for 3 Starbuck's gift cards.
Last month's winners were:

Jason Oxford
Emalee Mann
Heather Branstetter
Good Words for Nathalie
My agent, Nathalie Kagy, brought my house payment down! She was super nice and very informative! I really appreciate what she did for me!! Wish I had come to Central Sequoia sooner!!!
Michelle DeMeo
How to Protect Yourself from Tech-Savvy Scammers
As the daily functions of our lives become increasingly connected to the Internet, scammers are becoming ever more sophisticated in their attempts to purloin your precious personal details.

After crunching the numbers, the Federal Trade Commission reports that imposter scams resulted in a loss of $667 million for US citizens in 2019, while Social Security thieves took a median individual loss of $1,500 from 166,190 people. Be alert and protect yourself from scammers by following these tips.

Types of Scams. Scammers use a variety of techniques to trick you into giving them confidential information. Social Security number spoofing scams use the falsification of caller IDs that disguise the scammers’ identities. Social Security phishing scams allow scammers to impersonate government officials via email. In both, fraudsters may threaten recipients with arrest or claim they are trying to resolve identity theft, ironically.

How to Detect Scams. Scammers do their homework before making contact and may cite unique details or use flattery or emotional manipulation to win over your confidence. But the government or any official bank will never call or email to ask for your personal details. If you do receive such an inquiry, hang up or don’t reply, then call back via an official number to authenticate the request. Always use caution if you’re pressured for information or immediate payment.

Actions You Can Take. If you receive a suspicious call or email or fall victim to a scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission or your state’s consumer protection office. Remember to file a police report, too!
Homeowners Insurance: What It Does and Does Not Cover
Homeowners insurance is crucial to protect your home (and your pocketbook) against losses. However, it may surprise you to know what is covered by homeowners insurance and what is not. Below are some of those things.

Structure of your home. Whether it is your roof, walls, windows, or other parts of the physical structure of your home, a standard homeowners insurance policy likely covers damages caused by hail, lightning, fire, or other insured disasters. Garages, sheds, and other detached structures are also covered by most policies.

Floods and earthquakes. Many people assume that these natural disasters will be covered with a general homeowners insurance policy, but that is not the case. If your home is in a flood or earthquake zone, it would be wise to consider obtaining flood or earthquake insurance to protect your home.

Personal belongings. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover 50-70% of the value of insurance you have on the structure of the house for personal belongings, such as furniture, clothes, and appliances if they are damaged by insured disasters or theft. However, if you have items of special value, such as jewelry or expensive art, you may wish to consider purchasing additional coverage, as there can be limits on the dollar amount if these items are stolen.

Additional living expenses. If your home is rendered uninhabitable due to a disaster, your hotel stays or restaurant bills above and beyond your usual cost of living will be covered.

Home business expenses. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover any incidents arising from business activity. To ensure maximum coverage, consider obtaining a business insurance policy as well.

We are here to help make sure that your home is protected. Reach out to us today to assess your needs and to help you choose any additional policies that you may need.