Most of us are hardworking honest people, who are building strong families and are productive members of our community. Unfortunately, there are a few people who try to take advantage of us and we need to be educated on what to watch for. Fraud, including insurance scams, is the second-most burdensome financial crime in the United States. Tax evasion is number one.
Your personal insurance company and agent can be a great resource to you before, during, and after an accident.
Here are a few of the most common scams:
1.Forced Rear-ending – Typically, the scammer will slow down or come to a stop in busy traffic, or swoop in front of the victim at an intersection or an on-ramp, causing the driver to crash into them from behind. In most states, the person who rear-ended the other driver is the liable party, thus the scam begins. At this point, the scammer will claim high medical bills and unusual property damage, (loss of IPhone, damage to other personal property, etc).
2.Counterfeit Air Bags - Each year, about 1.6 million air bags inflate during crashes, saving thousands of lives. But, during the repair process, at least a small percentage of those deployed air bags will be replaced with counterfeits, which can be life-threatening. Make sure you use a reputable repair shop and ask to have factory airbags installed.
3.Windshield Replacement Rip-Offs - Don’t fall for the person in a van who stops you to say he can offer to fix your windshield. The scammer takes your insurance information and files a false claim. Only use well known repair shops.
Phantom Victims - Often after an accident, you are not fully aware of everyone and everything around you. The scam is the injured party will say there was another passenger in the vehicle and make a false claim. When gathering information after an accident, such as the other driver's license number and contact information, also count the number of passengers in the other car (if any) and take photos of the other car, its passengers, and the general scene.
As always, all of us at Stephen B. Groton, California Insurance thank you for your continued business, and hope you are enjoying your summer!
Are you one of the people who think you don’t need life insurance? Please think again. Life insurance provides real security for those you care about. Life insurance benefits can provide financial security and resources for your family or loved ones after you are gone. Let’s look at a few of the reasons to consider life insurance:
• Payment on Debt– If you have any outstanding debt (mortgage, credit cards, etc.) at the time of your death, it does not go away. Your estate will still be responsible to settle all accounts. Life insurance can provide the financial resources to cover debt.
• Continuation of Income- Life insurance can provide the funds to replace your income upon your passing. Family income will certainly diminish with the loss of an income earner, which means your family will experience a lower standard of living. The death benefits of a life insurance policy can prevent this from happening, or at least keep the impact to a minimum, by replacing income lost with the demise of the breadwinner.
• Unpaid Medical Expenses- It is highly likely that you will incur medical expenses prior to your death. Some of which may not be covered by health insurance. Adequate life insurance proceeds ensure that these final expenses are covered.
• Funeral Expenses- Most people don’t plan for, or fund, funeral expenses. Again life insurance is there to help.
The good news is that life insurance rates are low and there are many different kinds of products to select from. One question we often get is, “How much life insurance do I need”? The answer to that depends on your individual situation, but the general guideline is, a life insurance limit of at least ten times your annual gross income is a start. For example, if you earn $50,000 per year, your family would need to replace somewhere close to that amount. A $500,000 life policy could return $45,000 to $50,000 annually, depending on interest rates.
The most cost effective type of policy is term insurance. Term insurance provides protection for a specific, limited amount of time, usually in five-year segments, such as for 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. Typically you pay annually and the premium is locked in for that period of time.
Stephen B. Groton, California Insurance has some excellent affordable plans available, so please email or call us at 626-584-6303 so we can help you plan for the future.
Every spring, North Americans gear up their grill, stock up on the meat, and prepare for many mouth-watering barbecues. But how much do we really know about the art of barbecuing? From the familiar pastime's origins to surprising tips and tactics, this list will provide you with all the information you need to wow your friends at the next neighborhood barbecue!
Barbecues originated in pig-pickings, feasts that were common in the Southern United States prior to the Civil War. Whole pigs were cooked and eaten by the crowd.
Smoking was used as far as 6000 years ago in order to make meats safe to eat and store. The meat was exposed to smoke and low heat in order to prevent bacteria and enzymes from growing.
In Australia, a barbecue is commonly referred to as a barbie. The famous statement Ill slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you, which appeared in Australian tourism advertisements, is often used to refer to the country.
What most North Americans partake in today isn't actually barbecuing. Barbecuing is cooking at temperatures around the boiling point of water (180-220*F) for a longer time period, in order to make the meat tender while preserving its natural juices. Today, the method most commonly used is, in fact, broiling: cooking at 475-700*F in much less time.
According to the Barbecue Industry Association, half of all marshmallows eaten in the U.S. have been toasted over a grill.
For an easy way to check how much propane you have left, bring your bathroom scale outside and weigh the gas tank.
The origin of the word barbecue is unclear. Some believe it came from the American-Indian word barbacoa for a wood on which foods were cooked. Others say it came from the French words de barbe queue, meaning whiskers to tail.
To add a smokey flavor to your gas-grill-cooked foods or foods cooked inside the house, use liquid smoke. A condensation of actual smoke, this product can be easily added to your barbecue marinade or sauce.
9) Brisket, the extremely hard cut of meat taken from a cow's chest, takes one to two hours per pound to barbecue. That's an average 12 hours on the grill for a basic 8-pound piece!
10) Kansas City, Missouri, Texas, and Lexington, North Carolina, all claim to be the barbecue capitals of the world. Memphis, meanwhile, stakes a claim to being the pork barbecue capital.
Now you're set to impress!
All of us at Stephen B. Groton, California Insurance thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you. Happy BBQ'ing!
Most of us are at home, hoping the COVID-19 pandemic passes as soon as possible. Adjusting to a life of social distancing can be a challenge for many reasons, simply because it might seem like there is not much to do while sitting at home. We came up with a few ideas to help you manage your time.
Set a schedule for your kids that might include times for reading, school work, exercise, and game time.
Schedule a family happy hour each evening before dinner. Use it as a time to talk about what is going on and share fun family traditions.
Teach your kids to cook.
Have a family movie night with popcorn.
Set up an exercise routine. Run up and down the stairs.
Organize that room you have meant to over the last year.
If the weather is pleasant, playing outside is a terrific option when you need to get out of the house.
Take time each day to share something you are thankful for or are hopeful for. It can be difficult to deal with all the news right now. Why not share something positive, like a video of people showing solidarity during this pandemic or a good news story that you found online?
Learn from our YouTube tutorials.
Take care of your physical health. Get a good amount of sleep and exercise, and use other ways to reduce anxiety, such as meditation, yoga, listening to music.
Get out all those old-fashioned board games. Watch TV together or share an electronic game or two. This would also be a great time to watch old family videos. Connecting with happier times is always good for our mental health.
Limit the news. For your own mental health and the mental health of your children, titrate the intake of news.
Connect with old friends or family members.
Start a garden. Garden centers are open, and you can get vegetables to plant.
Clean out your garage and get your stuff ready for a garage sale.
Camp in the back yard.
Make a family COVIS-19 bracelet.
Listen to a podcast, To say that podcasts are having a moment is a massive understatement. Whether it's to have a serious LOL or be inspired in your career, there's never been a better time to plug into some juicy conversations.
Learn a craft. Ever wanted to knit, crochet, or learn how to do woodworking? YouTube will keep you busy with plenty of videos to choose from.
Please check our website for any updates on changes regarding our operational procedures during this pandemic.
All of us at Stephen B. Groton, California Insurance encorage you to be safe, and be strong.
Now that the weather is changing throughout much of the country, many of us are heading outside to have some fun or start the home improvement projects that we have been planning for all winter. But before the outdoor fun begins, please remember to do it safely. Every year, more than 60,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for lawn-mower injuries. In 2016, there were 6,100 reported home fires involving gas or charcoal grills leading to $29.1 million in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Be Safe While Having Fun
If you are planning on having some fun this spring, remember these safety tips:
If you are going on a bike ride, be sure to wear a helmet. Verify that the helmet sits level on top of the head–not rocking in any direction–and always fasten the safety strap.
When using a barbecue grill, always be sure to leave sufficient space between the grill and your home’s siding and eaves.
Keep children and pets far away from the grill.
With gas grills, be sure that the hose connection is tight and check hoses carefully for leaks.
If you own a pool, install a pool alarm to detect accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. Always have an adult in the area when children are using the pool. Limit use of alcohol when enjoying your pool.
It would be a good idea to test all play structures, including tree houses. Check play structures for sharp screws, bolts, or nails. Make sure the swing set is on a level area and the legs are properly anchored.
Do not leave tools or sharp objects in the back yard.
Be Safe While Completing Work Projects
Spring is a good time to complete an inspection of all motorized equipment to make sure they are in good working order.
Always wear shoes and long pants when using gardening power tools to protect your legs and feet from flying rocks and debris.
Never start your projects when you are tired. Fatigue can cause severe injuries with accidental slippage while using a dangerous power tool.
If you are digging around your yard, confirm that there are no electrical or gas lines in the area.
Remember that your body may not be used to heat, so if it is hot be careful not to get heat stroke. Hydrate yourself on a regular basis.
All of us at Stephen B. Groton, California Insurance appreciate your continued business and referrals. Please don't hesitate to call or email us for any reason. We would love to hear from you!