It has been an eventful summer.
We welcome all our new clients whom we enrolled with health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, new insurance companies for home, auto and commercial coverages. We upgraded the websites and welcomed new agents and support staff to serve you.
And Most of all - Jan & I welcomed Ben Musial, our first grandbaby. Congratulations to Jennifer and Chris.
As we move into the fall, it will be a busy time for us and you. We'll be sending you important information about "New Options, New Plans, New Opportunities" for your insurance coverage. Helping us with easy feedback will allow us to help you very effectively.
We welcome your referrals and the opportunity to show you why our motto for now 15 years has been "More Value for Your Insurance Dollar$".
Check out our new video below. Many Thanks to Colin, Ralph & Cindy.
My homeowners insurance policy reads as though somebody took all of the bad things that can happen in the world and divided them into two buckets: stuff that is covered and stuff that is not covered.
I'm covered for damage from fire, lightning and malicious mischief. I'm covered if a volcano spews lava onto my house. It's right here under "Additional Coverages." Paragraph 10. "Volcanic Action."
But there's this other section, "Losses Not Insured," that tells you how insurance really works. For example, Paragraph 2, Subparagraph e:
"War, including any undeclared war, civil war, insurrection, rebellion, revolution, warlike act by a military force or military personnel ... "
War is what insurers call a correlated risk: If my house gets blown up in a war, it's much more likely that lots of other houses across a wide area are also going to get blown up around the same time. Correlated risks are really hard to insure against. Insurers could go decades without paying anything, then suddenly face more claims than they could ever pay.
A lot of the stuff insurers don't cover falls into this category. Earthquakes and floods are both correlated risk.
But there's this other category of stuff that insurance companies won't pay for that's not explained by correlated risk.
My insurance policy doesn't cover bedbugs — or any kind of bugs, for that matter. Bedbugs, despite what you may have heard on the local news, are not a disaster on the scale of an earthquake.
Insurance companies won't cover things like bugs because they don't want to give you an excuse to do ridiculous things. If I had bedbug insurance, I'd furnish my entire apartment from stuff I found on the street. What's the worst that could happen?
The fancy term for this is moral hazard.
"Moral hazard essentially involves being less careful because you have insurance," says Dan Schwarcz, an insurance expert at the University of Minnesota. "And so, if you have insurance you have less reason to be careful because the insurer will pay for it."
Moral hazard turns out to explain one of the most mysterious details in my policy: falling objects. I'm covered for damage from falling objects — trees, satellites, whatever — but only if they first damage the roof or an exterior wall of my building. I kept thinking: What other damage could I have from a falling object? Schwarcz explained it to me:
"This coverage excludes scenarios in which there's some falling object in your home, right, that's not caused by an external force. So, let's say that you put your favorite bowling ball right on your shelf and the bowling falls and smashes into your television."
Bowling ball breaking the TV: not covered by my insurance policy.
Self-employed give thumbs up to Obamacare
Small Business Majority's California Director and Healthcare Policy Director David Chase contributed to an article in USA Today about how the new health insurance marketplaces are helping more people become self-employed and start their own businesses. Entrepreneurs are finding reasonably-priced medical plans through the individual marketplaces that are enabling them to leave their traditional jobs to launch companies, grow their businesses and create new jobs.
Years ago, a tenured university professor told me his secret:
He was desperate to quit and start his own business. He had enough in savings but didn't dare leave his job.
As a man in his mid-50s, he couldn't get health insurance on his own.
The Affordable Care Act, which some call Obamacare, was supposed to change that. Supporters said the law would end "job lock" — people stuck in jobs because they couldn't get or afford health insurance elsewhere.
Health insurance exchanges offering reasonably priced medical plans would enable entrepreneurs to launch companies, stay in business and create new jobs.
COLUMN: Obamacare cures 'job lock'
ADVICE: Getting Affordable Care Act subsidies
Has the new law worked? For many, the answer is a resounding yes.... READ MORE
The end of summer means many things, such as cooler weather, shorter days and ... the start of football here in Western North Carolina
But most important, it means kids are headed back to school. And that means we all should be extra careful on the roads, in school zones and around buses in Asheville, Hendersonville and surrounding areas. Remember to watch for bikes, too! Here are some tips for both parents and kids to make sure everyone stays safe.
Use caution on the roads
There are going to be a lot more kids on the sidewalks and streets when school starts, so take it slow and always be aware of your surroundings. That’s good advice for all situations, of course, but be extra cautious around the times when school starts and ends for the day.
· Watch out for school zones! They’re usually easy to spot, as many have flashing signs indicating a slower speed limit.
· Remember to follow school-bus rules. You aren’t allowed to pass the bus on either side of the road when the red lights are flashing. Even when the lights stop, make sure the coast is clear before moving on. Kids can move quickly and erratically.
· Leave yourself extra time to make it to your destination. Whether you’re headed to work or dropping your child off at school, rushing is a recipe for disaster.
· Be especially careful in school or child-care parking lots and loading zones!
Teach kids to be safe while walking
Just a few minutes spent explaining some basic safety rules to your child can help keep them safe when they’re walking to or from school. Young children should never cross streets alone, but if your child is old enough to walk with others, remind them to do the following:
· Always use marked crosswalks when crossing streets and look both ways twice.
· Do not assume that drivers can see you. Try to make eye contact with them, if possible, when crossing the street.
· Watch for driveways when walking on the sidewalk.
· Be aware of cars that are turning or backing up.
· Never move into the street from behind a car or other obstacle. Don’t chase a ball, pet or anything else into the street.
· Always use sidewalks and paths. If there is no sidewalk or path, walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.
Help them stay safe on their bikes
Just as it’s important to help your children learn safety tips for walking to and from school, it’s important to teach bike safety, especially by setting good examples yourself.
· Make sure your child wears a properly fitted helmet every time he or she rides a bike.
· Before the bicycle is ridden, do a quick inspection to ensure it is working properly and reflectors are in place.
· Show your kids how to ride on the right side of the road with traffic and to stay as far to the right as possible.
· Encourage your child to walk his or her bike across busy intersections. Or better yet, choose a route without any busy crossroads.
· Explain to your child why no one should ride on the handlebars.
· Demonstrate the rules of the road by using proper hand signals and obeying traffic signs when you ride bikes together with your child.
· Set curfews so your child is not riding a bicycle at dusk or in the dark.
· Most importantly, supervise your children every time they ride until you are certain they have good judgment.
We know you’re probably familiar with all of these good ideas, but everyone needs reminders. So take it slow, and let’s have a happy and safe school year!