October 2019

Terrible, No Good Holiday Disasters to Avoid

It's a time for celebration and remembrance; a time to be surrounded by loved ones, eat well, and rejoice. But holidays are also frequently the days when disasters strike. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that Thanksgiving is a peak day for home cooking fires, and US fire departments respond to over 800 home fires per year that are started by holiday decorations. 

On top of these dangers, insurance companies report that burglary rates jump by 6 percent during the holidays.

To protect yourself, your family, and your home this holiday season, make sure you have the proper insurance policies in place to recover from these common disasters. Following are two of the top holiday incidents that homeowners insurance will cover.

Burning More than Dinner

Whether it was chestnuts roasting on an open fire or a stove-top disaster in the kitchen, your holiday fire is covered. NFPA reports that $12 million in property damage is caused by Christmas tree fires each year, and another $11 million in damage is caused by other holiday decorations. Insurance companies report the median cost for fireplace-related fires is over $10,000. 

If you suffer from a household fire, it's crucial to have insurance to pay for repairs. Typical homeowners insurance coverage will pay for interior damage as well as trees, plants, and shrubs in your yard damaged by fire.

A Visit from the Grinch

If someone helps themselves to what's under the tree or stashed in the closet, your homeowners policy will cover the theft. Most policies provide coverage totaling up to 50 or 70 percent of the home coverage. 

If you purchase a luxury item, keep in mind that there might be limits to your policy, so consult with your insurance agent to see if you need supplemental coverage.

I'm happy to review your policy with you and help you make any adjustments needed to ensure you and your family are fully protected this holiday season. 

How to Shop Smart This Season with These 6 "Tiny" Shopping Habits

Whether you enjoy the adrenaline rush of last-minute holiday shopping or you like to get it done long before the season arrives, this year offers buyers more choices than ever. Try these six smart shopping habits to get the most out of your shopping.

1) Let technology keep you on track so you aren't stressing and overspending: For iOS users, relying on an app like GiftPlanner lets you set and balance your budget for each gift. It also helps you bookmark items that you're browsing online. Plus, you can even use it to remind you if you've wrapped the gift or not, by taking a photo and storing the info in the app.

Android users can turn to an app like Gift List Diary. You can set a budget for each person on your list. It also allows you to mark when you have purchased a gift and when you have wrapped it. Not only that, you have the ability to share your list with your contacts.

2) Take advantage of rewards programs when you shop online and in stores: Rakuten can get you cash-back rewards at many different online stores. Another option is Ibotta. When you provide proof of purchase for certain products, you earn cash-back rewards that you can use for holiday purchases.

3) Use coupon-tracking browser extensions to save online: Honey and RetailMeNot Genie (both free) automatically apply coupons that may be applicable to your purchase as you check out. You don't even have to search for the coupons!

4) If you're shopping for someone who doesn't want or need any more "stuff," go the charitable route: Pick a charity or cause that you know they would appreciate and make a charitable donation in their name.

5) Figure out your backup plans ahead of time: After making your list of gift recipients, pick three potential gifts for each person on your buying list. This way you won't go nuts when the gift you've decided on is maybe too expensive or can't be found.

6) Reduce the temptation: If you know you are susceptible to sales and buying more than you probably should, consider leaving your credit cards at home and just take your debit cards or cash when you go shopping for gifts.

Scott Bosler Earns CPRIA Designation

The intensive, six-segment CPRIA (Chartered Private Risk and Insurance Advisor) program, which requires an 18-month commitment, is the first online certification course designed for insurance professionals who serve high net worth clients. CPRIA is unique in that it provides real-world scenarios, addresses current and complex industry trends and predicts needs of the future.

Earning a CPRIA Certificate is a great accomplishment, and we’re thrilled that Scott is dedicated to continuously learning about this evolving industry so he can provide the best possible advice to our clients.

Maribel Draws the Winning Ticket

Maribel Olivera reaches in and draws the winning ticket for our 3rd quarter DRIP Referral Rewards drawing. The winner was Amber Silva who wins $250 and a $100 check for charity.

Worth Quoting

This month, some famous quotes on vision:
The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.

Helen Keller

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.

Jonathan Swift

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

Warren Bennis

The best vision is insight.

Malcolm Forbes

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Without vision, even the most focused passion is a battery without a device.

Ken Auletta

True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.

Edith Wharton     

Quick Quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just send us an email and submit your answer.

What game originated in India with pieces called infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariotry?

First 10 responders will be entered into drawing for 3 Starbuck's gift cards.

Last month's winners were:

Kelly Rider

Erica Aguilera

Christina Schwarzwalter

Fall Vegetable Medley

Maybe it's time to bid farewell to that tired green bean casserole and put some pizzazz in the veggies at your Thanksgiving table.

This tasty, colorful vegetable medley can be made with any combination of fresh fall veggies. Cranberries add a tangy sweetness and nuts add extra crunch.  

Serves 4

  • 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 lb. cauliflower florets
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnut or pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 

Preheat oven to 400°F

Coat the vegetables with oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Then place the veggies on a large baking sheet and bake until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Agitate the veggies (shake the pan) halfway through baking.

Add the nuts and cranberries just before serving.