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Protect your college student's possessions Aug 10, 2017
Protect your college student’s possessions

By Laura Lewis

Consult your agent for advice on covering items your student takes to college.
Do you have a young adult heading off to college? College can be a fun time for the student but a stressful one for the parent. Reduce some of the stress by planning ahead to make sure your college student has appropriate insurance protection while away at school.
Insurance companies cover full-time students under age 25 in various ways. You’ll want to consult your agent with questions about your specific policy and situation.
There are three basic ways a student may have coverage:
As a percentage of the personal property limit on the parents’ homeowner policy. Many insurance companies consider campus housing a secondary residence for the student and may cover your student’s possessions as a percentage of the personal property limit on your homeowner policy – personal property means items you can remove from your home or premises. For example, if you have $75,000 in personal property coverage, your student may have 10 percent of that, or up to $7,500, in coverage for belongings taken to school. Liability coverage – which insures legal liability for bodily injury or property damage to others – may not be included.
As part of the personal property limit included in the parents’ homeowner policy. Some insurance companies offer broader coverage through their homeowner policies. These companies allow the parents’ personal property limit to include the student’s belongings and liability without defining a percentage. For example, if you have $75,000 in personal property coverage on your homeowner policy, this includes items you have in your home as well as those that your student takes to school, and liability coverage is automatically included.
Under a separate renter’s insurance policy in the student’s name. Some insurance companies contend that being away at school for nine months of the year is long enough to require a separate renter’s policy to cover belongings and liability. Liability insurance is usually included in a renter’s policy. Keep in mind that a renter’s policy in the student’s name may be the more expensive option. In most situations, each roommate needs a separate insurance policy.
As you prepare to send your child to school this fall, remember to ask your independent insurance agent to review your policy so that you and your student can make the transition to college as stress-free as possible.
Are you a 'homepreneur'? Protect your successful business Jan 26, 2017
Are you a ‘homepreneur’? Protect your successful business

Home-based businesses need insurance, too.
You made it! You turned your passion into a going concern. Maybe you turned your sewing hobby into an alterations business. Or perhaps you left corporate bookkeeping to strike out on your own. Congratulations on your successful, home-based business.
Now are you willing to bet your house on it?
That’s what you might be doing if you aren’t properly insured. Standard homeowner policies generally don’t cover business-related losses. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner’s home.
If you’re one of these business owners, a review of your situation may reveal that you need coverage for:
business supplies, inventory and equipment if a fire destroys your home
liability claims if a delivery employee trips and falls on the sidewalk while delivering a business package to your home
product liability if your product causes injury to a consumer
the cost to recover a stolen company laptop and lost business records
Your independent insurance agent can help you find the right coverage for small retail and service businesses operated from your residence, for example, bookkeepers, crafts makers, music teachers, secretarial services, tutors, home distributors, hairstylists and photographers. If your receipts are modest and you have a few or no employees, a residential business package may be right for you. But if your business activities exceed the requirements for a residential package, a small business policy may be a better fit.
If your primary business operates at your clients’ site, such as mowing, landscaping and snow removal, you probably won’t qualify for a home business package. You’ll also probably need more specialized insurance if you are a home childcare provider or cosmetics distributor. Your agent will know how to help you.
Don’t risk your home or the business you built. Make sure you have the protection you need.
5 tips for getting organized Jan 3, 2017
5 tips for getting organized

By Maureen Johnson

Keeping organized doesn’t have to be hard.
For many of us, one of our New Year’s resolutions is to be more organized. The good news is that unlike that other resolution we all seem to make each year, improving organization doesn’t require hours at the gym to see results.
Here are five simple ways to have a more organized new year.
 
 
 
Keep Lists
Reduce the stress of having to remember everything by writing it down. This works well for groceries, errands, and general “to-do’s.” You’ll be amazed at how much you get done. Technology today offers so many convenient options, it’s easy to find a solution that’s right for you. Between smartphone and tablet apps for taking notes and creating lists, 2017 is the year you should give something a try. It won’t take long to get hooked, and you’ll wonder how you managed without it.
Reduce Paper Clutter
Take advantage of the electronic delivery and online payment services that your banks, utilities, credit card and insurance companies offer. If you already pay online, but still receive paper statements, it’s time to turn them off. I know you like the control, but you’re missing the convenience of auto-payments where bills are paid automatically … and on time! Not only do you eliminate late fees and paper files at home, you also reduce the risk of identity theft and make a positive impact on the environment.
Start Prepping for Your 2017 Taxes
Yes, I know you haven’t even started on your 2016 taxes yet, but imagine not having to search high and low for all of your charitable donation receipts and other documentation. Create an annual folder for medical expenses, business receipts and tax documents so that as you receive items throughout the year, you have a place to keep them. When you make the donation to a local charity in July, simply drop the receipt into the folder. You will rejoice next January when all of your tax documents are in one place.
One Bite at a Time
Commit to putting down the smartphone or tablet for 15 minutes each day to keep organized. Use the time to sort the mail, put away dishes or clear the clutter from that spot in your home where everything seems to collect. Tasks seem more manageable when done in smaller chunks and, chances are, you can find a little time each day.
Organize Photos on Your Mobile Devices
Most of us have more pictures than we know what to do with on our mobile devices. Make it a habit to delete the photos that aren’t worth saving. It’s an easy thing to do while you are standing in line or waiting to meet a friend for lunch. Be sure that you save your photos to a secure location and organize them to make it easier to find the perfect picture when you need it.
What are your best tips to stay organized? Share them in our comments section. Blog comments are moderated, so there could be a delay before they are posted to the site.
Have a happy and organized new year!
Memorial Day Message May 23, 2013

A Special Memorial Day Message
On May 27, we as a nation will pause to remember a group of Americans to whom we owe every freedom we enjoy.

The strength of our nation has been built on the sacrifices made by the men and women who lost their lives protecting it. This weekend you'll have the opportunity to remember those who gave their lives in the name of freedom. How you choose to spend this time is a personal choice only you can make.

It is my hope that at some point over the next few days you'll take a moment to consider those sacrifices and what they've meant to this country.

Remember a generation of Americans that is unfortunately dwindling by the day. Our World War II veterans rode a groundswell of patriotism after Pearl Harbor. They flooded the recruiting offices and defended this nation with a will and resolve that we still owe them for to this day.

Thousands of them never came home from the Far East, France or Great Britain. Many were lost while serving on or beneath the sea. Those who lived led this country for 60 years after the war, but their numbers are diminishing. Remember them this weekend.

Remember our loved ones that sacrificed so much in Korea and Vietnam. These hero's fought wars thousands of miles away from home while their fellow Americans debated it at home. They fought enemies emboldened by our country's discord, and they fought for one another.

Think back to the day immediately following 9/11 and the thousands of young Americans who, like their grandparents, joined the military to defend this nation against an enemy who attacked us because we are a country that embraces freedom. We've lost many of them too, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember them as you do our veterans of Korea, World War I, II and Vietnam.

This weekend is a time we've traditionally set aside to honor the sacrifices of those who died in service of our nation. Memorializing them goes to the core of who we are as Americans. Our thoughts should be with them every day, and I hope yours are. And, if not every day, then certainly this Monday.

Stay safe this weekend. Enjoy your families, and never forget the men and women who took an oath to defend this nation, then made the ultimate sacrifice upholding freedom and democracy.

Law Enforcement Apps to Protect You Apr 2, 2013
On Your Side: Law Enforcement Apps To Protect You
When you need to contact the police, it's simple: You dial 911 or, if it's not an emergency, call the local police department. But law enforcement, judicial and safety organizations, together with information providers play a much bigger role in safeguarding citizens, increasingly using online services and apps to help keep us informed and protected. Here are a few of those apps that you might want to know about:

FBI Child ID: May 25 is National Missing Children's Day but, with more than 800,000 youngsters unaccounted for in the US, the issue is with us every day. This free app for Android and iOS (Apple) devices enables parents to store photos and vital information about their children that can be quickly emailed or provided to police officers if a child disappears. The app also includes tips on keeping kids safe and a couple of one-click buttons for dialing 911 or contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Offender Locator:This iOS app ($0.99) draws on publicly available information to show where registered sex offenders live. Wherever you are, at home or away, it uses GPS to confirm your location and identify offenders living in the area.
POM Alert: The same company that produces Offender Locator also provides this app that monitors local law enforcement and administration services to alert you to a wide range of potential hazards, from earthquakes to terrorist activities. Again, it's for iOS and costs $0.99. POM, by the way, stands for "Peace Of Mind".
Cargo Decoder: If you're on the scene of an accident involving a truck or tanker, this Android app ($0.99) enables you to identify the presence of hazardous materials by entering a four-digit number off the vehicle.
Your PD: No, that's not the name of an app but a sign of the times. Increasingly local Police Depart-ments have their own apps with info on local crime and, often the ability to anonymously report incidents. They're usually free. Check with your PD. If not, try MyPD (Android and iOS, free).
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Located in Lorain, OH . We also serve the Avon, Avon Lake, Huron , Sandusky and Westlake areas. - Licensed in Ohio
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