How Long Would It Take?

How Long Would It Take?

If you want to earn an Associate’s Degree, it will likely take two years. A Bachelor’s degree can take four years. It can take 20 or 30 years to pay off a mortgage. But what if you have other aspirations or are just curious?” Here are some examples of how long it would take…

To Save a Million Dollars

Not including interest, one would need to sock away $1,000 per month for 88 years to save a million dollars. This demonstrates the power of smart investing and compounding interest.

To Walk From New York to Los Angeles

The road distance from New York City to Los Angeles is about 2,799 miles. If you walked at an average pace of 3 mph, it would take a total of 955 hours to walk the route. Walking 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take a total of 116 days, or four months, to make the trek.

To Grow a Foot of Hair

For the average person, hair grows at about a rate of one-half inch per month. That means it would take about two years to grow a foot of hair.

To Fill a Pool From a Garden Hose

This, of course, would depend on the size of the pool. It can also vary if more than one hose is being used. If a garden hose delivers an average of 19 gallons per minute (GPM), a 10,000 gallon capacity pool would take about 17 hours to fill.

To Fly Around the World Non-Stop

Refueling issues aside, it would take the average commercial airliner about 50 hours to circumnavigate the globe. The question is, unless you enjoy spending two days sealed in an aluminum tube, why would you want to?

To Watch Every Game of Your Favorite Baseball Team for an Entire Season

With an average Major League Baseball game lasting just over three hours and with 162 games in the regular season, it would take 486 hours, or 20 days and six hours. That’s non-stop, 24 hours a day… not including rain delays.

To Watch Every Game of Your Favorite NFL Team in the Regular Season

Since there are now 17 games in the regular NFL season, and each game takes about three hours and fifteen minutes to complete, it would take 55 and a quarter hours to watch an entire season of your favorite NFL team. That’s just over two days non-stop.

To Drink a Full Keg of Beer

This depends on how much beer you drink each day. A full-size keg contains ½ barrel of beer or 15.5 gallons. That is about 165 12-ounce servings. If you drank four beers a day, the keg would be empty by day 42.

How long does it take to get a quote on your auto, home, life, or business insurance? It is probably faster than you think, especially when our independent insurance agents do the shopping for you. Contact us today to get started!

Preparing Your Business for “Sickness Season”

Preparing Your Business for “Sickness Season”

If there’s anything we should have learned from the past couple of years, it is that we need to be better prepared for sickness season. This occurs every year, most frequently between October and March, when colder, inclement weather and holiday stress simultaneously arrive. We have no excuse not to be better prepared in the future. Here are some steps businesses can take to be better prepared.

Stock Up On Supplies

You may want to consider stocking up on items like face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant sprays, and yes, even toilet paper. We may not get hit as badly as we have in the past two years, but you can count on the winter flu and cold season to have at least some impact annually.

Communicate With Staff

How do you want employees to react to being sick themselves and interacting with customers? Is it possible to conduct some tasks from home? Just making them once again aware of the approaching flu season can help them prepare themselves and their family.

Consider Flu Shots

Every year, pharmacies, clinics, and doctors offer flu shots, updated annually for the latest variants. Some choose to get them every year, others prefer to ride it out. Make everyone aware of their availability.

While the pandemic certainly caught our attention, the cold and flu sickness season shouldn’t be a surprise. It has been happening for generations. There is little excuse not to be prepared. You may even want to take some or all of the proactive steps listed above. You may even want to go so far as to let your customers know about the steps you and your staff are taking to keep everyone healthier over the season. You can let customers know via an email, your company newsletter, or even through an in-business notice or signage.

Taking steps to protect the health of your employees and customers is a responsible way to operate your company. So is having an appropriate amount of business insurance. Business insurance can help your company survive the unexpected, like a liability claim, storm damage, theft, or vandalism. It can even protect your income during a covered calamity. Contact us to discuss your business and your risks. A business insurance evaluation and price quote is free and there’s no obligation. We look forward to assisting you.

The Nuts and Bolts of Life Insurance

The Nuts and Bolts of Life Insurance

Looking for some straight forward answers to common life insurance questions?

If you want answers but don’t want to be judged, here are some questions and answers you may be looking for.

Can You Take Out a Life Insurance Policy on Someone Else?

You must have their consent and you must be able to prove you have an insurable interest. If you are asking if you can take out life insurance on someone you don’t know, the answer is no.

Can Someone Insure Your Life Without Your Knowledge?

A life insurance policy requires the consent and signature of the insured. This would make it impossible for someone to insure your life without your knowledge, unless they were to forge your signature. This, of course, is illegal.

Are Life Insurance Proceeds Paid Promptly?

Yes. Unless there are issues with the claim, life insurance proceeds are usually paid within 30 days.

Are Life Insurance Proceeds Paid in a Lump Sum?

Yes. Unless arrangements are otherwise made, benefits are paid in one single payment.

Are Life Insurance Benefits Taxable?

No. Generally speaking, any money you receive as a beneficiary of someone who has passed away is non-taxable. Any interest made on those proceeds, however, may be.

Is Life Insurance Affordable?

Most find it surprisingly affordable. Keep in mind it is most affordable when purchased in good health at a young age, so don’t wait.

Can I Make My Pet My Beneficiary?

No. You can, however, have someone be a caretaker for your pet and assign that person as a beneficiary.

Will I Need to Have a Physical Exam?

The vast majority of life insurance applicants can get coverage quickly and easily with no medical exam.

If you have any questions about life insurance, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are independent agents and are qualified to review life insurance policies issued by any company. Discover how affordable life insurance can be. Connect with us for your quote today!

What to Check Before Buying Your Next Car

What to Check Before Buying Your Next Car

Car buying has changed dramatically in recent years, to the point where some select a car, apply for a loan, and schedule the car for delivery right online. For most, however, it can still mean looking at classified ads, visiting a dealer, or meeting up with a private seller. Here are some things to check for before buying your next car.

Maintenance Records

Even a car that is just a few years old should have some maintenance records, including oil changes. This can verify how well the car was cared for.

A Car History Report

A car’s history report can detail any accidents or insurance claims that were made on a vehicle. It also should verify that the car has the appropriate title and has not been “salvaged.”

Carefully Check the Body

Many buyers just glance at the car’s body. Look closer for dents, dings, and scratches. Check the corners of the vehicle, which are more likely to have been dented. These small damaged areas may not be a deal breaker, but you want to know about them in advance of your purchase.

Check the Oil

While it’s not foolproof, if the oil is clean it may be a good indication the car has been taken care of.

Check Details

It can be easy to forget some details when buying a car. Does it have its own jack, spare tire or “donut” tire? Does it have the owner’s manual? Is everything working, including all the power windows?

Check Insurance Rates

A newer car will likely mean adjusted car insurance rates. You can avoid a negative surprise by checking insurance rates on a car before making a commitment. A newer car may have some safety features that your older car may not have had. Whether you are buying a new car or not, it is always a good idea to compare car insurance rates every year or so. One of the best ways to do that is through an independent insurance agent. Independent agents have access to a network of companies and can do the shopping for you. The final choice, of course, is always yours. Contact us today to get started!

Should You Buy Renters Insurance Through Your Property Manager or Leasing Agent?

Should You Buy Renters Insurance Through Your Property Manager or Leasing Agent?

As more large investment firms and professional property management companies get involved in rental properties, more are requiring tenants to secure renters’ insurance. Some have gone so far as to “suggest” or “recommend” a provider. The question is, should you get your renters’ insurance through your property manager? Are there any benefits to doing so?

Convenience

Clicking on a button on your leasing agent or property manager’s website to secure renters’ insurance may seem to be simple and convenient. But there may be a price to pay for that convenience. You may not get the coverage you deserve at a price that is comfortable for your budget. There are reasons you should secure renters’ insurance on your own.

Shopping for your own renters’ insurance policy keeps you in control. You decide the limits, coverage, and deductibles. You will also likely have more options to suit your budget.

When you make the decision on your renters’ insurance, you may qualify for a bundle discount with your auto insurance provider.

When you purchase your renters’ insurance individually, you are purchasing protection that works for you, not just your current landlord or property manager. This includes a variety of add-ons to cover personal electronic devices, coverage while traveling, and liability.

If you rent where you live, renters’ insurance is a good idea to protect your personal belongings and cover you for liability claims. Perhaps best of all, renters’ insurance is very affordable. We invite you to see just how affordable it can be for yourself.

If you are looking at renters’ insurance options, we encourage you to reach out to one of our independent insurance agents. They will connect with a network of companies to get you the coverage you deserve at a premium you can feel comfortable with. Securing renters’ insurance is prudent, but getting it through your landlord or property manager may not be. Contact our independent agents today.

America’s Biggest….

America’s Biggest….

Some blogs don’t require a lengthy introduction. This is one. These are the answers to “What is America’s biggest…”

Convention Center

With a combined total of 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space over four buildings, Chicago’s McCormick Place is the nation’s largest convention center. Orange County Convention Center in Orlando is second, with 2.1 million square feet of exhibit space over two buildings.

Shopping Mall

Shopping habits and the pandemic have greatly impacted mall shopping in recent years, but the Mall of America in the Minneapolis, MN area still reigns as king.

Fanbase

It is estimated that the Dallas Cowboys have over 8.5 million people in America who call themselves fans. This makes them the most popular professional sports team in the country. It is also, in part, what makes them so valuable. The New England Patriots are a distant second.

Casino

The largest American casino isn’t in Las Vegas or even in Nevada. In terms of gaming tables and gambling machines, it is said that WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma is the biggest. When it comes to square feet, Foxwoods in Connecticut has the honor.

Stadium

Not including raceways, the largest stadium in the country is at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. It has a capacity of 197,601. It is followed by Beaver Stadium at Penn State at 106,572 and Ohio Stadium in Columbus with a capacity of 102,780.

Gas Station

Fuel and convenience store chain Buc-ees is building mega-gas stations so large and expanding so quickly that this could change at any time. For now, the honor is being held at the Buc-ees location in New Braunfels, Texas. The location is over 66,000 square feet and has the world’s largest car wash.

Ferris Wheel

The tallest Ferris Wheel or Observation Wheel in the United States is in Las Vegas. The “High Roller” is owned by Caesars Entertainment and is located at the LINQ Hotel Resort and Casino. It places riders over 50 stories in the air at its peak.

McDonalds Restaurant

Located near the International Drive tourist district, the country’s largest McDonald’s is a multi-level marvel that is 19,000 square feet. Here you’ll find video games and amusements, along with a menu you won’t find at your neighborhood Mickey D’s. Burger lovers headed to Orlando can also discover the World’s Largest White Castle, at nearly 5,000 square feet. Bon Appetit.

While one could argue whether bigger is better, few would disagree with the fact that more options are better than fewer options. That’s what you get when you insure through our independent insurance company… more choices. You see, as opposed to captive agents that can only offer the products of the company they represent, we work with a network of insurance companies who compete for your business. This means we do the shopping for you! For auto, home, life, and business insurance, compare. Contact us for a no-obligation quote today.

Why Some Partnerships Fail

Why Some Partnerships Fail

When you start a business, one of the first things you’ll need to do is decide on your business structure. It could be a sole proprietorship, a corporation, an LLC, or a partnership. A simple partnership often involves just two people who decide they can work successfully together to build a business. While partnerships can offer a sense of security compared to going it alone, it can have its drawbacks. This is why some partnerships fail.

Similar Skills

Partners should complement each other with different skills and talents. If partners come from similar backgrounds or education, their skills may not be diverse enough.

Unequal Efforts

Many partnerships fail because one partner puts in more work than the other. In some cases, partnerships fail because one partner FEELS LIKE he is working harder than the other. It is important to split and assign responsibilities so each is accountable.

One Partner Gets Distracted

Owning and operating a business takes commitment. It takes long hours and financial sacrifice. If one partner or the other feels like they have to supplement their income by doing outside projects, it can be the beginning of the end.

Personal/Family Stress

At some level, when you are in a partnership with someone, you are also in a partnership with their spouse and family. Be cautious if you don’t get along with a potential partner’s spouse. It could mean trouble ahead.

Fundamental Business Differences

It helps when both partners are on the same page when it comes to fundamental business goals and decisions. Where do profits go? How important is growth or expansion? What are your long-term goals? Of course, all this needs to be addressed before going into business together.

Starting, building, and maintaining a successful business can be a huge challenge. While having a business partner beside you can be reassuring, make sure you are compatible and that each of you brings something unique to the table. A failed partnership can be a financial disaster and damage relationships forever.

One thing you should be able to agree on is business insurance, including life insurance for each partner. Our independent business insurance professionals can help. We’ll discuss your goals and potential risks. We can help design a business insurance plan, especially for your organization. Reach out to us today.

Worldwide Facts About Life Insurance

Worldwide Facts About Life Insurance

Most don’t give it much thought, but life insurance is a product that extends beyond the U.S. borders. It is sold worldwide. There are some aspects that can change from country to country, while others are the same or similar. Here is a look at “the world” of life insurance.

The United States is the Global Leader in Life Insurance

While life insurance is available in many countries, most of it is still sold in the U.S. In fact, it is estimated that 55% of all life insurance is sold here.

Your Coverage Extends to Other Countries

Your U.S.-based life insurance policy remains in force should you visit, or even move to, another country, assuming you keep your premiums up-to-date. However, you should let your provider know if you have moved.

Life Insurance in China

Life insurance in China is administered by a state-run financial enterprise. Life insurance in China is not mandatory. In terms of overall premiums paid, China is second only to the United States.

Life Insurance in Russia

Life insurance is the most popular insurance product that is non-compulsory in the country. Much like in the United States, a large number of insurance companies compete against each other to gain market share.

Life Insurance in India

IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company is India’s first life insurance firm that started in 2009. The company has seen rapid growth and offers both group and individual insurance policies.

Life Insurance in Egypt

There are only 32 companies selling insurance in Egypt, and only 13 of those are considered life insurance companies.

Life Insurance in Japan

A large percentage of households in Japan have life insurance, making it the third highest country in the world for life insurance premiums.

What is your life insurance situation? Do you have enough to take care of final expenses? What about your debts? Could you pay off your house or provide for your spouse and family? You may be surprised at how affordable life insurance may be. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for a free quote today.

What Your Car Knows About You

What Your Car Knows About You

Who knows you best? Your spouse? Your smartphone? Google? Perhaps it is your car. Over the past decade or so, cars have become increasingly adept at retrieving and storing data, including that from smartphones. Your car may know more about you than you imagine.

It Knows What Makes You Happy

If your car has modern memory features, it knows where your seats need to be positioned for your comfort, what temperature the cabin should be, and even what music you like. Some vehicles can even adjust interior mood lighting to preset levels.

It May Know What Your Smartphone Knows

If you’ve connected your smartphone to your car, odds are your car knows the data that is in your smartphone. This can include your contacts, text messages, emails, call histories, and photos.

How You Drive

Cars are now constantly collecting data on how you drive, including speed, acceleration, and braking patterns. This information can be used in determining insurance rates and even to determine blame in automobile accidents. Yes, your car may even know if and when you are wearing your seat belt.

Where You Go

Your car’s navigation system knows where you go, how long you spend there and the routes you are most likely to take. As part of this information, it knows where you are likely to eat lunch, dinner, shop, and buy gas. Some buy-here / pay-here car dealers install GPS tracking so they know where to repo a car if payments are missed.

Why is it important that you know what your car knows about you? Because, at some point, you will want to sell or trade in your vehicle. Do you really want those private messages, contacts, and photos left in the car’s database?

Thankfully, they can be cleared through a series of steps and your car dealer can even help clear the data. There are a lot of reasons it is convenient for your car to collect data. It also can be a bit problematic when selling your car.

Protect yourself, your car, and your passengers with sufficient car insurance protection. We can help. Our independent auto insurance agents shop with a network of companies to find you the best value in car insurance. Contact us to get started today.

Five Factors Influencing Home Insurance Rates

Five Factors Influencing Home Insurance Rates

Taking the mystery out of homeowners’ insurance can start with understanding the factors that impact home insurance rates. If you’ve ever wondered why your cousin Bob pays less for home insurance than you do, it could have to do with one or more of these five factors.

Property Location

A major factor affecting home insurance rates is the location of the home. Not just the neighborhood, but the terrain and risks of natural disasters. Rates may also be impacted by the proximity of the nearest fire department and even fire hydrants.

Price, Value, Replacement Costs

The cost of your home and what it would cost to replace it in a total loss plays a large role in the rates one pays. This value can be impacted by square footage, building materials, features, and amenities as well as where it is located.

Coverage Limits

Generally speaking, the higher your coverage limits, the more home insurance will cost. This includes structures, contents, and liability coverage. An independent insurance agent can help you determine what a reasonable amount of coverage for your situation is.

Deductible

Your home insurance deductible amount is the amount of money you pay out of pocket for a covered loss before your insurance policy proceeds kick in. The larger the deductible, the lower the premiums may be.

Age and Condition

As construction techniques and building codes have improved, so has the general safety of homes. This is why it can be cheaper to insure a new home than a vintage one. Older homes can have older plumbing, out-of-date wiring, and roofs that may soon need replacement. Some properties may be uninsurable unless some basic improvements are made.

While insurance companies use similar factors in determining rates, the weight they place on each factor can be different. This is why it is important to compare when shopping for home insurance. Our independent insurance agents can assist you. They can reach out to a number of companies to find the coverage and premium you are comfortable with. Contact us today to get started.