3 Holiday Travel Stories that Will Melt Your Heart
With the holidays upon us, it is likely that you or your loved ones will be making a journey to be with your nearest and dearest. Bring yourself a touch of joy with these three heartwarming stories about holiday travel.

A generous tip. Irish waiter Ben was living in Texas and expecting his first child with his partner. However, with his modest waiter’s salary, a trip back to Ireland for his family to meet his newborn was sadly out of the question. Somehow, during the Thanksgiving period, a stranger eating at the restaurant heard about his story and decided to leave him an overwhelmingly generous tip, $750, to help him make the journey.

Hold the plane. On one occasion in Phoenix, a family was traveling to Tennessee to bury their father when, due to a delay to their inbound flight from Minneapolis, they missed their gate closure. With the plane still taxiing on the runway, the pilot disobeyed orders from air traffic control to take off, instead turning back to pick up the bereaved family.

A new addition to the family. When Wanda Dench tried to invite her grandson to Thanksgiving dinner in 2016, she accidentally sent the text to a wrong number. The recipient was Jamal Hinton, a 17-year-old completely unrelated and unknown to the family. But when the confusion had cleared up, Wanda didn’t rescind her offer. Instead, she began a beautiful annual tradition, with Jamal traveling to Mesa every year since to spend Thanksgiving with her family.
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4 Tips for Protecting Your Identity while Holiday Shopping
In recent years, many of us have moved on to doing our holiday shopping online. It’s quick, it’s easy, your gifts get delivered to your door (even the heavy ones!), and you can do it from the comfort of your sofa. But shopping online comes with its own risks. Here are some tips to protect you from identity theft.

Shop securely
Check that the website you’re shopping on starts with https instead of http. The “s” stands for secure.

Use a private Wi-Fi network
The safest way to access the internet is on your own secure, password-protected network. If you’re using a shared or public network, don’t input your private information.

Use a credit card
If you do run into some nasty hackers who start to steal your money, cancelling and reclaiming funds on a credit card is much easier than with the funds on your debit card.

Be careful with emails
If you get an email from an address that doesn’t seem right, often promoting a deal or suggesting you’ve bought something you haven’t, don’t open it. It’s probably a phishing email that will hack your information.

Following these tips can help you avoid identity theft this holiday season. If you want to add another layer of protection, consider identity theft insurance. This helps cover the costs related to recovering your stolen identity and credit rating if you fall victim to identity theft.

Reach out to find out how you can add identity theft insurance to your homeowners or renters policy.
How Insurance Protects You from Holiday Shenanigans
The holidays are a stressful time around the home. There’s gift wrapping, cooking big meals and, of course, family and friends coming to visit. Not being protected from any accidents that might happen at this time is an extra stress you don’t need. Here’s how insurance protects you from holiday shenanigans.

Let's say you have family over and the eggnog has been poured. Everyone is feeling merry, and your uncle decides to show you his party trick, which ends up in a nasty fall and a broken leg. Since he broke his leg in your house, is it your responsibility to pay for the medical bills? Good news: if your homeowners policy has liability insurance, you’re covered. In fact, this policy covers all sorts of accidents and incidents that can happen around your home, including food poisoning, your dog biting a partygoer and an array of other trips and slips.

What else does your home insurance cover? Well, say you’re driving around town picking up gifts for your friends and family when all of a sudden, you hear the back window smash, and someone steals the contents of your back seat. Although this is a terrible thing to occur, this would be covered by your homeowners (or renters) insurance as “personal property off premises” coverage.

Protection from theft doesn’t end at your car, either. Let’s say you have a party and the new person at work comes along with a plus one. They wander through your home and have a root through your personal items, taking a few pieces of jewelry. Your trust may be broken, but your insurance will cover the theft, depending on your deductible. Remember, if you are letting strangers into your home, it’s safer to lock valuables away.

If you’re unsure what circumstances your insurance will cover, call or email us.

Spiced Apple Cider
Serves 9

Cozy up to this warm treat this holiday season. Not only is this delicious spiced apple cider recipe easy to make, but it’s also a perfect way to use sweet seasonal ingredients.

1/2 gallon apple cider
1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 orange, sliced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 apple, sliced
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
5 star anise pieces

Put crockpot on low heat, add apple cider, nutmeg, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and star anise and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add orange, lemon and apple slices, then simmer for 2–4 hours. Ladle into serving glasses. Serve.

Optional extras:

Top with whipped cream and caramel while hot.

Cider can be served chilled by removing fruit slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise pieces after cooking and storing in fridge overnight.

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