What Are The Odds?

What Are The Odds?

When we discuss events that are a long shot, we often use terms like “one in a million” or “Your odds are better of getting struck by lightning. These are relatively simple ways to convey the odds of the event occurring are minimal. But what are the real odds of something happening in your life? Of course, the chances greatly depend on your exposure to such events. Overall, however, here is a closer look.

What are the odds of…

Getting in a Car Accident?

It is a bit eye-opening to realize your odds of being involved in a car accident each time you climb into a car is 1 in 103. Virtually everyone will be involved in a car accident once every eight years.

Getting Attacked by a Bear?

The chances of getting attacked by a bear depend greatly on your exposure. For example, only one in 2.7 national park visitors will get attacked, but if you are in the back country the odds increase to about 1 in 232,000. Spend 80 days in the back country and the odds increase to 1 in 2,600 chance.

Getting a Hole in One?

The odds of an average golfer getting a hole in one is about 12,500 to 1. For a professional golfer, the odds drop to about 1 in 2,500.

Dying in a Plane Crash?

Fear of flying is common but largely unfounded. The odds of dying in a plane crash are about one in 8,800. That translates into a fatal accident on every one in 16 million flights. The odds of dying in a car accident are much higher at 1 in 114.

Having Two Different Colored Eyes?

Heterochromia is when a person has two different eye colors. While these two colors may more frequently be imperceptible, the odds of having heterochromia is less than 1%.

Dying Without Life Insurance?

Out of about 6,800 people who die each day, almost half, almost 3,300 do not have any life insurance and another 1,445 have inadequate coverage. That is almost 70% who have no or inadequate life insurance.

That is one statistic you can change. Contact one of our independent life insurance agents for a life insurance review, assessment and price quote. We look forward to assisting you.

The Things That Protect You When Driving

The Things That Protect You When Driving

When we climb into our vehicles, we rarely give thought to the many elements that go into making driving on our roads and in our cars safer and less risky. Many of these have taken years to be implemented and others have been added more quickly and recently. Driving is safer now than it was a generation or two ago and these are the factors that have decreased our risks on the roadways.

Car Safety Devices

The list of car safety features that have been added to vehicles is lengthy and extensive. They include:

  • Car horns
  • Rearview mirrors
  • Seat belts/harnesses
  • Improved bumpers
  • Airbags
  • Turn signals and flashers
  • Brake lights
  • High Beams
  • Anti-lock braking
  • Padded dashboards
  • Improved tires
  • Improved windshields and glass
  • Blind spot and lane change assist features
  • Pedestrian detection and front end collision avoidance
  • Back up collision avoidance systems

Our cars have been made safer through greater visibility, technology and structural design. We may look back upon some classic cars romantically, but there is no question cars are being produced today that are much safer than they were a generation or two ago.

Road and Highway Safety Features

Most of us don’t even realize the small updates to our roads that are being made as they are constructed and improved. These include safer barriers and road grades between oncoming traffic lanes, cushioned bridge abutments, improved reflective lane paint and reflectors, better exit and entranceways and so much more. Our roads today are better lit, have improved visibility and less dramatic turns. Roads are being improved by research, engineering, design and experience and it is paying off with safer highways.

Automobile Insurance

Another feature that minimizes risks when driving is our automobile insurance. While most states require coverage, the fact is, life would be much riskier without it. In an instant, we could lose the things we worked for or not have the resources to restore our health. Automobile insurance helps protect us, our families and our financial futures. We may not always appreciate our car insurance invoices, but we should at least recognize the protection it provides. Life would be much riskier without it.

If you are unsure whether you are paying too much for your auto insurance or not, we encourage you to compare. Contact one of our independent insurance agents and allow them to shop our network of insurance companies. They can find terrific coverage at a price you can feel comfortable with. Best of all, there is no cost or obligation to see how much you can save.

All About Pets

All About Pets

They are our friends and part of our family. They keep us company and can even be annoying. They are our pets and whether you have a dog, cat, bird, reptile, fish or other creature, they usually have a special place in our hearts.

Here are some interesting stats about pets.

Pets Are Popular

Over 90 million American households have a pet. That is over 70% of the entire U.S. population. Pet popularity increased during the pandemic when many were secluded in their homes looking for company.

Cats vs Dogs

There are 42 breeds of cats and 197 official breeds of dogs recognized by the AKC. Worldwide, there are far more dogs than cats, with 471 million dogs and 373 million cats. There are some 76 countries, however, where cats are more popular than dogs. About 25% of families in the U.S. have cats as pets.

Beyond Canines and Felines

Next to dogs and cats, fish are the most popular pet in America with about 10% of us owning them. Birds are next in popularity, followed by reptiles, snakes, and lizards (5%), hamsters and guinea pigs at 2%, horses at 2% and rabbits at 2%.

Pet Spending

It may not be surprising that pet owners spend more feeding their dogs than cats in the U.S. Surveys indicate that dog owners spend 442 dollars on dog food while cat owners spend about 329 dollars annually on cat food.

Overall, Americans spent an estimated 109 BILLION dollars on pets in 2021.

End of Life Services

End of life services for the average-sized cat or dog cost an average of $300-$400. This can include euthanasia and cremation. In-home euthanasia services are more expensive but are becoming very popular.

Top Dog Names

The top five names for female dogs in 2021 was Bella, followed by Luna, Lucy, Daisy and Zoe. Top male dog names include Max, Charlie, Milo, Buddy and Rocky.

Good pet owners provide a loving, protected environment for their pets as they do for their families. This can include protecting your home with home insurance to cover your property and protect against liability claims. If it has been longer than you remember since you had a home insurance review, contact us. We can review your insurance and provide a price quote. Contact us today.

The Midwest’s Playground: Wisconsin Dells

The Midwest’s Playground: Wisconsin Dells

Part of what makes America so great is that each region of the country has its own regional playground where families may spend year after year, returning to explore, relax and create memories. For millions of people in the Midwest, the Wisconsin Dells serve as just such a place. Annually, people from Cleveland, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee make a trek to the central, middle part of the state of Wisconsin to enjoy The Dells. If, however, you are not from this part of the country, you may never even have heard of it. For others, it served as their annual vacation spot. Here’s a little closer look at the Wisconsin Dells.

The Dells of the Wisconsin River

The Wisconsin Dells is geographically the Dells of the Wisconsin River. Its name is taken from the French “dalles” or slab-like rock formations. It is about a five-mile gorge on the Wisconsin River in the South-Central part of the state that offers extraordinary scenic beauty. Like many parts of the U.S. that feature exceptional natural points of interest and beauty, the area embraced the tourist industry and became a Mecca for vacationing families through the years.

Natural Sandstone Cliffs to Go Karts

While the area is famous for its beautiful sandstone-layered cliffs that can be best appreciated from the river and other outdoor adventures ranging from kayaking, rafting, canoeing and zip lining, the City of Wisconsin Dells embraces visitors with everything from indoor water parks, video arcades, miniature golf and go karts to endless souvenir shops. You can enjoy a trip to the Wisconsin Dells while camping, glamping or by staying in a major resort hotel.

An Almost Year-Round Destination

The advent of large resorts with indoor water-parks and the appreciation of winter sports has made the Wisconsin Dells a nearly year-round destination for families and couples. Those from nearby major cities like Milwaukee and Chicago come to enjoy long weekends and the many special events planned annually. Like many destinations, the Dells has struggled through the pandemic years but are bouncing back to welcome record crowds.

Wisconsin Dells is part Gatlinburg, part Branson, and a bit of Niagra Falls. Nature lovers will appreciate the beauty of this area while there are still plenty of family-friendly, heart-pounding adventures to be had. If you’ve never been to the Wisconsin Dells, it is a place that you should consider for your next vacation.

Tired of overpaying for your auto, home or life insurance? Could you use some advice on your small business insurance? We can help. Reach out to one of our independent insurance agents today for a no-cost review and price quote. We look forward to assisting you.

How to Handle Requests for Donations

How to Handle Requests for Donations

As a small business owner, you are likely to get donation requests weekly. There are area high school yearbooks, sports programs and fundraisers. There are independent sports leagues, civic groups and non-profits. Sure you want to help as much as possible, but there’s only so much you can do. Here are some options to consider.

Know the Difference Between Advertising and a Donation

You may be asked to “buy” an “ad” in the high school newspaper or yearbook, but this is likely more of a donation than advertising. Don’t allow these donations to cut into your advertising and marketing budget.

Avoid Donating Cash

If possible, donate a gift certificate to a cause instead of cash. Gift certificates invite someone to do business with you and they may either spend more than the certificate amount or may not redeem it at all. Donating older inventory may also be a better option than cash.

Think Outside the Box

Maybe you could sponsor a shopping spree ( gift card) for the person who raises the most for the charity or fundraiser. Perhaps you could offer the major prize in a raffle or team with other businesses in a larger value basket.

Let Someone Else Say No

If, as the face of your business, you are uncomfortable saying no, give that responsibility to a staff member. If you want to say yes, do it yourself. If you are inclined to say no, delegate the request to a staff member. This way, you are insulated from looking like the “bad guy”.

Implement Use of a Donation Request Form

You can create a short donation request form to give to solicitors. You could even have a printable copy online. Any requests for donations must be accompanied by a form, which you can review monthly or quarterly. Eventually, local organizations will understand this is how you handle such things.

Sure, supporting local organizations and charities is part of your responsibility as a small business owner, but you should figure out a plan to keep things under control. The above ideas could help.

As a business owner, you also should take the necessary steps to protect the future of your business. A smart business insurance plan can do just that. Contact us today to get started on your business insurance plan.

Discovering More About The World Around Us

Discovering More About The World Around Us

Some are fortunate enough to travel extensively to learn more about the world around us. Others may have to settle on videos or books to quench our thirst for knowledge of life in other countries.

Here are some facts that demonstrate both how similar, and different, people can be across the globe.

Most Popular Religions

Christianity is the most popular religion in the world with over 31% considering themselves Christian.  Islam is next at 24%, followed by Hinduism at 15% and Buddhism at 7%. Those who claim “no religion” account for 16%.

Who Has Space Programs?

You may be surprised to learn about the number of countries who have space programs on the planet. Along with the US, Russia and China, Canada, India, Japan, Ukraine, South Korea, Mexico and Denmark all have programs. So far, representatives of 42 countries have gone into space.

Most Spoken Languages

English is the most spoken language on the planet, followed by Mandarin Chinese. Hindi is next, followed by Spanish and French.

Who Has Nuclear Weapons?

Nine countries have nuclear weapons, including the United States, Russia and China. The others include the United Kingdom, France, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea.

Largest Countries

By area, the largest country in the world is Canada. It is followed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, the United States and Australia.

How Many Countries Don’t Have McDonalds?

There are still a large number of countries that do not have McDonalds Restaurants. Some of these include Jamaica, Afghanistan, Belize, Yemen and more. In fact, 105 countries do not have a McDonalds.

Who Has the Longest Lifespan?

The Japanese have the longest lifespans in the world, followed by those who live in Switzerland, Singapore, Australia and Iceland. The United States ranks 26th in average life expectancy.

One thing we all have in common is that our time on the planet is limited. Life insurance is designed to be a gift to loved ones left behind. Along with paying debts and final expenses, life insurance can provide living expenses, allow the family to keep a home and even provide for college. Many are surprised at how affordable a sizable life insurance policy can be. Contact our independent insurance agents to get a no-obligation price quote today.

Songs About Cars

Songs About Cars

Americans love their cars. So much, in fact, we can’t stop singing about them. Driving, cruising, racing and traveling in cars has long been a theme for both male and female singers. Tracy Chapman sang about a “Fast Car” and Sammy Hagar shouted “I Can’t Drive 55”. Gary Numan sang “Cars” and The Cars sang “Drive”.

Some artists have taken it further though, singing about more specific cars, some including makes and models. Here’s a look at songs about particular cars that have hit the charts.

Hot Rod Lincoln

Released in 1971 by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Flying Airmen, the song was originally penned by Charlie Ryan, owner of the Hot Rod Lincoln that raced a Cadillac in the song. The tune included the line “Son, you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop driving’ that Hot Rod Lincoln.” They just don’t write them like that anymore.

Little Deuce Coupe

When the Beach Boys sang about a “Little Deuce Coupe” in 1963, they were singing about a hot rod that was already over 30 years old. The little deuce coupe was a classic 1932 Ford that was considered the ultimate hot rod of its time. The song helped create the genre known as “Hot Rod Rock”.

Little GTO

Following the success of Little Deuce Coupe, in 1964 a group of session musicians in Nashville called Ronny and the Daytonas gave the world “Little GTO”. It reached number 4 on the Billboard rock charts. The GTO was produced by Pontiac, with the GTO coming from the Italian Gran Turismo Omologato. The GTO later became a Pontiac muscular car later in the sixties.

Little Red Corvette

Alright, Prince wasn’t really singing about a Chevy when he released Little Red Corvette on his 1982 album, “1999”. He was using the car as a metaphor for a woman who moves quickly from man to man. The theme is evidenced by the lyrics “Move over baby, gimmie the keys, I’m gonna try and tame your little red love machine.” Smooth talker that Prince.

Big Yellow Taxi

This song was written and released by Joni Mitchell in 1970 and released by Counting Crows in 2002. Rather than a song about public transportation, “Big Yellow Taxi” was a song of environmental lament and has turned into a sort of anthem for the cause. Lyrics include the iconic “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.” Mitchell is said to have been inspired to write the song from looking at the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii and then looking at the massive paved parking lot of her hotel.

Red Camaro

You don’t have to be a country music fan to appreciate the theme of Red Camaro. The mere sight of a girl driving a red Camaro brings back fond memories for the singer. Uplifting lyrics to Red Camaro include “ Turn up the music loud, take the T-top down, and let the chrome shine.” Now THAT’s a car song.

Whether you drive a Camaro, Lincoln, Corvette, Pontiac or Ford, our team of independent automobile insurance agents has you covered. Let us do the comparison shopping for you. Connect with us today for your no-obligation price quote.

Nine Inexpensive Tips To Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Nine Inexpensive Tips To Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Sure, you can spend thousands of dollars on a bathroom or kitchen remodel, but getting your home ready for sale doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of things you can do yourself (or pay someone to do) that are easy and cost effective. Here are some tips on where to start.

Painting

Dollar for dollar, perhaps nothing has a bigger impact on the price than a gallon of paint. Brighten up those dark rooms and put a coat over those dramatic accent walls. New paint even adds a fresh smell to a musty room.

Clear Space in Cupboards and Closets

Your home can look like it doesn’t have enough storage space if the closets are wall to wall clothes and shoes. Take at least half of what is in there, out and store, sell or donate it. Same thing with cupboards and cabinets in the kitchen and bath. Make no mistake, any visitors will look inside of them.

Clean Windows, Sills and Frames

If you are selling your home, just cleaning the window glass isn’t enough. Take the time to clean in and around the windows, including in-between and the frames. Open and close them to ensure they are in good working condition.

Pay Particular Attention to the Entranceway

Often times, real estate agents will fumble sorting through keys at the front door while showing a home. There is literally nothing else to do in these precious moments than to look around. Make sure this area is pristine and pleasant.

Mow, Trim and Edge

Now is the time to have your lawn, bushes and grass looking as good as they ever have. Spend a few dollars and get your mower blades sharpened and get that yard into shape.

Clean Carpeting and Flooring

Whether you do it yourself or pay a professional, it is important that floors are clean and spotless. Clean flooring makes the home look well kept and clean carpeting can remove any slight lingering odors.

Store Personal Photos and Mementos 

Personal photos and personal items can add to a home’s cluttered appearance. It also can serve as a constant reminder to a buyer that this is someone else’s home. You want to make it easy for them to imagine your home as theirs.

Use Simple Staging Tricks

Take at least the time to stage the living and dining areas with fresh flowers, plants, place settings on the dining room table, a centerpiece and other small touches.

Pay Attention to the Small Things

Multiple small items in need of repair can quickly add up in the mind of a prospective buyer. Look for the little, inexpensive things you can quickly repair. These may include a leaky faucet, broken or missing handle on a drawer, cracked glass in a window or small wall damage.

When buying your own new home, make sure you compare before selecting your homeowners’ insurance. Odds are it is a policy you may have for a long time. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for help.

Tools We Don’t Seem to Use In Business Anymore

Tools We Don’t Seem to Use In Business Anymore

When you think of tools not used in business anymore, you may think of typewriters, adding machines, bells over front doors and even fax machines. There are some other tools we can lose sight of, however, that we may forget to use as often as perhaps we should. Here are a few.

Common Sense

It may not happen in your business, but it certainly is seen in others. The lack of common sense can be frustrating. A company letting their best salesperson go because he or she is making too much money. Charging 50 cents for some extra sour cream on a $25 meal. Putting political programming on a TV in a waiting area. Even with so many restrictions and fine print on a coupon or discount program, to make it a dis-incentive.

Compassion

Nobody expects you to take potatoes instead of cash for payment or to start tabs for every customer who may be a little short, but more businesses could use a bit more compassion. If a client is clearly on a tight budget, look for less expensive alternatives. Perhaps you have scratch and dent items or returns that may help. Look up from the cash register and you may see something else the customer needs.

Friendliness

There is a reason why bartenders and waitresses try to remember the names of their good customers. It impacts their bottom line. People are so used to being treated like a number, even a small amount of friendliness and a smile can set a business apart. People are giving you their hard-earned money for your products or services. That should make you happy…and friendlier.

Referrals

Referrals have long been a tool in building businesses, but it is a tool that is often forgotten. If a customer is happy, they should have no problem sharing their experience on social media or review websites. They may even give you the names of potential customers. We all know word of mouth advertising is effective, we just sometimes forget to use it.

One common sense tool to protect your business is commercial or business insurance. Yet almost half of small businesses don’t carry it. See for yourself how affordable it can be. Contact one of our independent business insurance professionals for your free quote today.

Discovering Your Child’s Hidden Talents

Discovering Your Child’s Hidden Talents

Talented and gifted children often display common traits. Gifted children are often curious, have long attention spans and have good memories. They will also develop language skills early and display an interest in the world around them. But what about discovering their particular talent? What can you do to help identify the hidden talents in your child so you can help nurture them?

Observe the Activities Your Child Enjoys

Does your child like to twirl around the room? They could be dancers. Do they like to run or wrestle? They could be good at sports. Pay attention to the activities your child does on their own. It could be playing with blocks, putting together puzzles or painting and drawing. Often, children will tell us what they are good at, if we watch and listen enough.

Provide a Diverse Array of Opportunities

Talents come in many forms. They can be artistic, athletic, musical, scholastic and more. Provide opportunities for your child to explore each. Keep in mind they may have musical talent but may have difficulty selecting the right instrument. They may be athletic but not be drawn to golf. Let them explore all categories in search of something that clicks. Be cautious not to imprint your own goals onto them.

Expose Them to the Talents of Others

Many times, young people will be inspired by experiencing the talents of others. This could be a sporting event, concert or theater performance. Children have been inspired by watching the Olympics on TV, going to an automobile race or attending a marathon. The more activities your child can see, the more choices they are exposed to.

If you have a family member with talents in art or music, let them share it with your child. Some talents appear to be hereditary.

Life is a combination of luck, circumstance, planning and heredity. One of the aspects of your control is acquiring life insurance. A well-planned life insurance program can help protect the financial future of your family. Contact us to get a no obligation, no cost quote today.