November 2018

Thank You!!

It’s that time of year again when we pause and give thanks for all the good things that come our way in this great nation of ours. And we want you to know we are indeed thankful for the fabulous clients and friends of our agency! Thank you for your business and patronage!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Guess Which Holiday Tops the Fire Claims List?

That’s right. Thanksgiving is the number one fire insurance claim day; claims are typically twice that of any other day in November.

Most Thanksgiving fires boil down to cooking error; unattended stovetops and grease fires top the list. But there is good news: most of these fires are preventable, and all of them can be covered by insurance. To create a safe atmosphere for your holiday gathering, take the following steps:

Don’t get distracted: Many Thanksgiving Day fires occur because the cooks get distracted. Family time, football, and festivities pull them away from the kitchen, and the unattended food goes up in flames. Keep a close eye on anything currently “under fire.”

Put a lid on it: If you experience a grease fire, don’t try to put it out with water. While cooking, keep a lid nearby to smother the fire. Slide the lid over the pan, and turn off the element.

Don’t try to fry: Many hosts want to impress their guests with a deep-fried turkey. It might taste good, but it may not be worth the risky process. If you do go this route, fry the turkey outdoors, away from buildings and trees; carefully determine how much oil you need; and never leave it unattended.

Insure your holiday: Homeowners insurance typically covers your home and its contents if they are damaged by fire. If you aren’t sure what your policy covers, or what the limits are, now’s a good time to review your policy with your agent.

And have a safe Thanksgiving!

Quotes on Thankfulness

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into Blessings.

William Arthur Ward

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Oprah Winfrey

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.

Willie Nelson

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.

Henry Ward Beecher

Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pomegranate

Serves 6

  • 1 small acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed and sliced into 1/2-inch-wide half moons
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup toasted flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • About 1/2 cup each roughly chopped cilantro, mint, and parsley
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup golden raisin

Preheat oven to 400°. Toss squash slices in oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Roast about 20 minutes until squash is tender. Allow to cool.

Combine quinoa, zest, cinnamon, salt, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. With lid on, steam for 10 minutes. Drain and fluff with a fork. Combine squash, quinoa, and remaining ingredients in a serving dish and serve.

Jose Farias was the winner of our 3rd quarter Client Referral Rewards raffle drawing. He is shown here with Barbara Swanson holding his $250 rewards check. He chose Valley Children’s Hospital for his $100 donation. Jose, thank you for your referrals.

Claims: What to Expect and How Your Agent Helps

You need to make an insurance claim for damage to your property. What should you do first? What can you expect?

If you’re not familiar with this process, it can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, your insurance agent will partner with you to walk you through the necessary steps. The following tips can also help clarify what to expect and what is considered “normal” for this process.

More than one check is normal. As you work through the claims process, you can typically expect to receive more than one check. Often, homeowners receive an initial sum that is an advance for repairs, but it does not represent the final settlement amount. You can still receive additional funds as expenses are documented and claimed. A separate check is also common for personal belongings, since insurance companies often cut checks for each category of damage. If you incur additional living expenses, such as hotel stays, you may receive yet another check for reimbursement of these claims.

Making direct payments is normal. In some cases, your insurance company may pay contractors directly for the work they complete on your property. However, use caution with this process, since it gives you less control of your claim. Make sure the work is done to your satisfaction before your insurer pays the contractor.

Mortgage company involvement is normal. Lenders often require borrowers to name them in their homeowner’s policy. If you have a mortgage on your property, the lender will likely be involved in the claims process. Checks for repairs may be made out to both you and your lender.

This lets lenders ensure the needed repairs are made on a property in which they have a vested interest. The same may be true if you are part of a homeowners’ association.

Many more questions are normal. Most homeowners have questions as they go through the claims process. Don’t hesitate to contact your agent with any inquiries. Your agent’s expertise is invaluable in helping your claim go as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

Thank You Cards – Still In Style or Needless Paperwork?

Fewer people may be sending handwritten notes these days, but thank-you cards still haven’t gone out of style. At least they shouldn’t, according to etiquette experts.

While it can be confusing trying to figure out the “proper” way to communicate in various situations, there are some agreed-upon guidelines for how to send your thanks. For example, gifts received at parties generally warrant a handwritten thank-you note. Think birthday parties (for both children and adults), bridal or baby showers, and anniversaries. Another rule of thumb: if you received a gift in the mail or a gift that wasn’t opened in front of the giver, your best bet is to send a written note. The same goes if you’ve received something that has been made specifically for you. Lastly, if you’ve been treated to a kindness or gift during a difficult time, like an illness, death, or hospitalization, then you should absolutely express your gratitude with a handwritten note.

For gifts given during the holidays or “just because,” a verbal thank-you is perfectly fine, especially as you most likely opened the presents in front of the giver.

But is it ever okay to send just an email? Of course! Thank-you emails are perfectly acceptable in work situations and when you don’t have a person’s physical address. They’re also more than enough if you want to thank someone for a small kindness, like a neighbor picking up your newspaper.

At the end of the day, though, what matters most is that we all remain generous with our gratitude. Being thankful will never go out of style.