May 2021

5 Tips to Keep Your Car Safe and Protected
With summer here and remote "weekend getaways" on the rise, it's important to remember that even the quaintest of towns experience crime. Prevent a crime that can happen within mere seconds by taking a few of your own to quickly double-check that your car is tucked in for the night, safe and secure:

Lock it down. While it might be tempting to leave your windows cracked on a hot day, make sure that your windows are completely rolled up and the doors are locked. Don't forget the sunroof, too.

Hide valuables. As a general rule, never leave your valuables in the car. Hide sunglasses, electronics and any other "shiny objects" in your glove box or center console. Purses and shopping bags should always be tucked away in the trunk. Always take your garage door remote inside with you.

Park smart. Keep visibility in mind when selecting your parking spot. Parking on well-lit streets and under bright street lights is always ideal.

Anti-theft devices. Car alarms are the best deterrent. Consider the addition of a tracking device, such as LoJack® or OnStar®, which could also qualify you for an extra discount on your auto insurance.

Minimize appeal. Overall, the best way to keep your car safe and protected is to lower the appeal of what treasures could be inside and to make it more difficult, risky and noisy for a thief to gain access to your vehicle.

Let's have a check-up to review other safety tips and see what discounts we can discover for your policy.
Barbecuing 101: What You Need to Know Before You Buy
The glorious summer season is finally upon us! And with it come sun-filled days spent outdoors grilling up a feast. Whether you’re new to the world of barbecue or a seasoned pitmaster, it’s a good idea to know what all your options are before buying a new grill. We'll help you make an informed choice.

A number of factors are going to determine what type of grill you should purchase, including the amount of space you have for storage, what type of flavors you want to impart to the food, the time and attention you want to spend while cooking and the amount of barbecue experience you have. The two most popular types of grills are gas and charcoal, while wood pellet grills are gaining in popularity.

Hands down, the most popular outdoor barbecue is a gas grill because it's just so darn convenient. It’s easy to ignite with a flick of a switch and heats up quickly. Because it has temperature knobs, you have control over the heat setting.

The only downside to gas grills is they don't deliver extremely high heat. That's where charcoal grills excel. These babies can crank up the heat to roughly 700 degrees Fahrenheit and thereby give a flame-grilled flavor to meat. They're also the least expensive option on the market, but they can be tricky if you're new to grilling.

A good middle ground is the pellet grill. Although electronically powered, they use hardwood pellets as a heat source, meaning you have variable temperature settings and you can get that smoky flavor. They can be pricey but may be the right option if you want the best of both worlds.
Janet Joslin Wins Spirit Award
Janet Joslin was recently named the winner of the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women National Spirit Award. Her consistent service to the organization has brought her this recognition. Janet is our Financial Services Admin Assistant to Mark Jennings.

Congratulations, Janet!
Meet Kayley Vargas Roberts
Kayley joins our staff as an Admin Assistant in P+C insurance. The daughter of Advisor Debbie Vargas, she will be married before the end of this month and enjoy their honeymoon.

Welcome aboard, Kayley and Congratulations!!

Can Music Really Boost Your Immune System?

To build and maintain a healthy immune system, doctors recommend a balanced diet filled with fresh fruit and veggies and vitamin supplements. But how about filling your ears with the sounds of Mozart or Bob Dylan to boost your health? "Certainly music has an impact on the brain, and anxiety and stress impact the immune system," says Andrew Levin. A neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh, he manages stress by playing the trumpet. Over the last decade, multiple studies have supported his stance.

A 2013 review in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that the emotional and psychological effects of listening to music have a direct impact on our hormone levels. A 2019 review in Annual Research & Review in Biology found that if the music is soothing and calming, it can reduce anxiety and cortisol, the stress hormone. But, of course, it matters what sort of music you’re listening to. Or, more specifically, that you like the song. Songs filled with good memories or prior associations affect how your body responds. Generally, music with a slower tempo and peaceful qualities is better at reducing blood pressure and heart rate. It’s no wonder streaming services have reported a bump in the streaming of classical, folk and children’s music over the last year!

Listening to music may not be a magic cure-all. But its health benefits certainly fit into the wider "mind-body connection" conversation. So, the next time the pressures of life come knocking, pop on your favorite soothing symphony and float on a melody for a little while.

Good Words for Our Staff


Marlene H.

More Good Words for Our Staff


Jennifer S.
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:


Classic Potato Salad
Makes 12 servings


• 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 3/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup sweet or dill relish
• 6 hardboiled eggs, chopped (optional)
• 2 green onions, sliced
• 1 cup celery, diced
• salt and pepper to taste
• paprika for garnish (optional)

Boil potatoes in salted water about 15 minutes until tender. Drain and let cool completely.

In large bowl, mix apple cider vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise and relish.

Add potatoes and remaining ingredients. Toss well. Season with desired amount of salt and pepper.

Refrigerate at least two hours, then serve garnished with paprika.
Quick Quiz
Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just Email us and submit your answer.
June 5 was whose famous day off?

First 10 responders will be entered into drawing for 3 Starbuck's gift cards.
Last month's winners were:

Brenda Mendoza
Jim McCartney
Emalee Mann
Good Words for Our Staff

Devalyn O.

Here's What to Expect During the Claims Process


When the "unexpected" has happened (e.g., a fire, storm, fallen tree or burst pipe has damaged your property), you'll be glad to know you've selected a trusted insurance agent who genuinely cares for the complexities of your homeowners insurance policy. Here's what to expect during the claims process after the initial dust has settled.

Document. Take detailed photos of the damage. Pro tip: periodically document your home and valuables with photos or videos.

Claim intake. Make the call to initiate your claim. Your insurance provider will collect general information regarding what happened and what is damaged. Remember to ask this person for the following key information: claim number, your adjuster's contact information and next steps with a tangible timeline for follow up.

Remediation specialist. Remediation companies clean up the mess and often later become the contractors who make any repairs. This is why it's critical to hire a reputable company; be sure to ask us for recommendations.

The adjuster. The adjuster or other representative will visit your home, take photos and ask detailed questions. These details help compose the official report, including the determined "cause of loss."

Determining coverage. The "cause of loss" in comparison to the terms of your policy determines what percentage of your claim is covered by insurance. Policy limits are also important to review to ensure that you have adequate coverage. We'd be happy to discuss your current policy to make sure that in the midst of tragedy, you won't experience the added disaster of subpar coverage.

Make you "whole" again. Your insurance provider then pays to replace or repair covered items or property, either paid directly to you or to service providers. If major repairs are required, your policy should include additional living expenses and lodging while work is being done.

When disaster strikes, we become more than just insurance agents. We're here with you, from beginning to end, to help you reclaim some peace of mind and get you "back to normal" as quickly as possible.
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