All About Banks

All About Banks

When was the last time you were inside a bank? For older Americans, trips to the bank were at least a weekly errand. Today, trips to the bank are rare, and some younger people have never set foot inside one. Between drive-thru’s, online banking and digital financial options, traditional bank buildings have become almost obsolete. That is almost. Here are some surprising facts and features you may not know about banks.

How Many Banks Are There?

In 2020, the FDIC insured about 4,400 commercial banks in the U.S. That is down from about 8,300 20 years earlier. For years, the largest four banks in the country have been Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi.

How Much Cash is in an Average Bank?

Have you ever wondered how much cash is actually inside your local bank? For security reasons, this is not a number commonly discussed but it is believed that smaller branch banks in less populated cities carry from $15,000 to $75,000 in cash. Larger banks in big cities may have hundreds of thousands of dollars in their vaults. A deposit or withdrawal in excess of $10,000 needs to be accompanied by an IRS cash transaction report form.

How Many Bank Robberies Occur Each Year?

The FBI estimates that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 bank robberies in the United States each year. That is about 10 each and every day. Of the total number of robberies that happen each year, only 1.4% are bank robberies. Most bank robberies occur on a Friday.

How Much is The Average Bank Robbery?

In the United States, the average bank robbery nets about $4,100. On the other hand, bank robberies in England result in an average theft of over $30,000. Both far exceed the net gain from robbing a convenience store, which results in an average take of under $700.

Who Was the Biggest Bank Robber of All Time?

It is said that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was the biggest bank robber of all time.

Do People Still Use Paper Checks?

The use of paper checks has reduced dramatically since the year 2000 when almost $43 billion in transactions were made by their use. That number dropped by 2/3rds by 2018, but today, billions of dollars are still written in paper checks each year. Just hopefully not by the person ahead of you in the grocery store checkout.

How Much Money is in the Average Bank Account?

When including checking, savings and money market accounts, the average account has about $5,300 in it today. That is interestingly close to the amount of credit card debt we carry. In 2021, credit card holders had an average debt on their cards of $5,668.

If you want to keep a closer eye on your money, start with a complete insurance review and price quote. We are qualified to review your home, auto, life and even business insurance, no matter who issued the original policy. The savings could be significant. Contact one of our independent insurance agents today for your no cost, no obligation review and price quote.

The Secret Life of the Shopping Cart

The Secret Life of the Shopping Cart

It carries handbags, groceries and small children. They can wobble, pull to the left and be difficult to handle. They can put a dent in your car, block a parking space and run wild in the wind. They are shopping carts, and as familiar as you may feel you are with these wonders on wheels, there’s probably much you don’t know. Welcome to the secret life of the shopping cart.

Shopping Carts are Expensive

When you see rows of shopping carts at your local store you are likely looking at tens of thousands of dollars. To purchase new, each can cost from about $75 to over $400 each.

A Bunch are Sold Each Year

Like many things, annual shopping cart sales vary depending on the economy. Even in slower economic times, shopping cart sales reach about 1.5 million annually, and can double that in more robust times.

Lots of Shopping Carts Go MIA

It may or may not surprise you to know that almost 2 million shopping carts go missing or stolen each year. This can translate into losses of $8,000 or more annually per grocery store.

About Half of All Carts are Manufactured in One State

Just about half of all shopping carts manufactured in the United States are made by a company called Unarco in Wagoner, Oklahoma. It helps that the company has Walmart as a client.

The Shopping Cart is a Relatively New Invention

Although it seems the shopping cart has been around forever, it was invented in 1940, and reinvented in 1946. Carts continue to progress with carts for kids shaped like animals, cars and trucks.

The Lifespan of a Shopping Cart

A shopping cart, if well-maintained, should last five to seven years in a high volume store and 10 years or more in medium to low volume stores.

What is the ‘Shopping Cart Theory?’

The shopping cart theory says that the decision to return a shopping cart is the ultimate test of character and a person’s capacity to be self-governing.

Now if we could only explain why so many shopping carts have a wobbly wheel!

If you are looking for the answer to high insurance premiums, connect with us. We can help you in your search for quality coverage at prices you can be happy with. For auto, home, life and even business insurance, contact us.

What You May (Or May Not) Know About Major League Sports Team Names

What You May (Or May Not) Know About Major League Sports Team Names

It may take us a while to get used to some new major league sports franchise names that have recently changed. The toughest may be referring to baseball’s Cleveland Indians as The Guardians. But just as we got used to calling the Redskins the Washington Football Team, they have become the Commanders. These two franchises are not the only major league team names inspired by Native American tribes, however. We still have baseball’s Braves, the NFL’s Chiefs, the NBA’s Warriors and the National Hockey League’s Blackhawks.

But what has inspired the names of other sports franchises?

Birds frequently play a role, as in the Cardinals, Blue Jays, Orioles, Falcons, Ravens, Hawks, Seahawks, Pelicans, Eagles, Mighty Ducks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Colors are often a focal point, as in the Reds, Red Sox, Red Wings, Blue Jays, Blues, Blue Jackets and White Sox. The Browns were not named for the color, nor their legendary running back Jim Brown. They were named after original coach Paul Brown, who, by the way, went on to start the Cincinnati Bengals.

There are names with spiritual and mystical overtones, like the San Diego Padres, The New Orleans Saints, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards and the Devil Rays (now just The Rays).

Some teams have taken a swashbuckling approach, like the Raiders, Buccaneers, Cavaliers and Pirates.

If you want to see the Lions and Tigers, head to Detroit but the Bears (oh my) play in Chicago.

Perhaps no league has better city-centric nicknames than the NBA. They have the Indianapolis Pacers, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns. Now, how Utah and Jazz got together is another story.

Some sports team names have been at the suggestion of fans or have been decided in a contest. Each has its own history and back story.

What’s the story behind your insurance coverage? Has it been carefully crafted or patched together? Are you getting the best prices and taking advantage of every discount? We can help. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for a complete review of your auto, home, life and even business insurance. There’s no cost or obligation to get your review and price quote today!

“Sing My Name, Sing My Name”: First Names in Music

“Sing My Name, Sing My Name”: First Names in Music

Have you ever been introduced to someone named Angie and immediately thought of the Rolling Stones hit by the same name? Ever meet a Michelle and didn’t think of the Beatles song? First names have long been a part of music history, especially in the rock era.

Here are some things you may not know about first names in music.

The Most Popular Name Used in Music

Those who track such things state that the name most frequently used in song through the years has been some form of John. Jimmy Dean not only gave us delicious “pure pork sausages” but sang about “Big Bad John”. Chuck Berry rocked with “Johnny B. Goode” and DeBarge sang about the robot in “Short Circuit” with “Who’s Johnny”. The Beach Boys got into the act with “Sloop John B”, as did Taylor Swift with “Dear John”. Johnny Cash even sang about “The Legend of John Henry’s Hammer”. Dion included a reference to President Kennedy with “Abraham, Martin and John” and the list goes on and on.

Same Name, Different Spellings

Both the Monkees and Steve Winwood had hits with totally different songs with the same girls’ names, though spelled slightly differently.. The Monkees released “Valleri” in 1967, while Steve Winwood had a hit with the similarly titled “ Valerie” in 1982.

So Sue Me

When it comes to names in songs, Sue may be the female equivalent of John when it comes to popularity. From “Runaround Sue” in 1961 to “Susan” by the Buckinghams in 1967, some form of the name Sue, Susan, Suzie and Susie have dotted the charts for decades. Rockabilly artist Dale Hawkins released Susie Q in 1957, but Creedence Clearwater Revival amplified his success in 1968. Buddy Holly rocked with Peggy Sue and Johnny Cash made us smile with “A Boy Named Sue”.

Marry Me

Creedence Clearwater Revival also had a “Mary” hit with “Proud Mary”, as did Ike and Tina Turner. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers recorded “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”. The Kings of Leon kept it simple with the popular song “Mary”, while the Monkees doubled it up with “Mary, Mary.”

While some names are used frequently and in multiple variations, others have hit with singular power. These include “Gloria”, “Lola”, “Billie Jean”, Cecilia, “Jessie”, “Jolene” and so many more.

Whether you are a Bob, Mark or Steve, a Barb, Molly or Karen, we can potentially help you get more from your insurance budget. Life, business, automobile and homeowners’, our independent agents can help you with a no-cost, no obligation price quote. Connect with us today and maybe you’ll be singing a different tune about your insurance premiums.

Places in the United States People Move to for the Weather

Places in the United States People Move to for the Weather

One of the major reasons individuals relocate is due to the weather. It may just be for a personal preference or even for health reasons. There are some specific locations and regions that are more desirable than others. Here are a few of the places in the U.S. people gravitate to, often because of the weather.

Florida

Some people underestimate how long and wide the Sunshine State is. This creates some diverse weather extremes from the far north to the southern tip. One can guarantee, however, that the weather in the state is warm for an extensive portion of the year. As a peninsula, weather directions and patterns can change frequently. Florida is terrific for lovers of the outdoors and watersports. Rather than summer and winter, Florida more likely experiences wet and dry seasons.

Arizona

Arizona has become a Mecca for retirees and those with breathing and health issues. The reason? Arizona is a desert and the air is dry. More importantly, because it is mostly dessert, the state has little vegetation. This makes it a perfect choice for those with allergies and asthma.

San Diego

Those who want to avoid temperatures that get too high or too low have found Southern California and San Diego, in particular, an excellent choice. Summer temps rarely exceed the 80s and in the winter, the 60s are common. The city’s mild temperatures are due to its longitude and latitude and its location on the Pacific Ocean. San Diego is known for not only some of the best weather in the country, but in the world.

Seattle

Temperatures in Seattle remain relatively moderate year round. The city’s climate avoids steamy summers and frigid winters. While rain is often a topic of discussion, rain is most frequent in the winter, when other areas are getting snow. The rain in Seattle is often light, although more frequent than some other regions.

Colorado

While many people move to enjoy more moderate temperatures and a relaxing atmosphere, Colorado is a center of winter and outdoor sports. Snow skiing, snow boarding and snowmobiling are a favorite, as is hiking, biking and rafting. A lengthy ski season and a location where you are never far from the slopes make Colorado a winter sports lover’s paradise.

With more of us working from home, many are choosing to explore where they call home. It is always good to have more options.

The same can be said for home, life, auto, and business insurance. Our independent insurance agents can seek out more options from a variety of companies in our network. An insurance review and price quote is free. Just contact us today to get started.

Famous Vegetarians Throughout History

Famous Vegetarians Throughout History

Fans may know that Cardi B., Miley Cyrus, and Carrie Underwood are all vegetarians. Today, there are more vegans and vegetarians than ever, including pop stars, athletes and film stars. What some may not realize, however, is that history has been dotted with famous people who chose a vegetarian lifestyle. Here is a look at some of the more noted vegans and vegetarians in history.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg

Dr. Kellogg is most famous for starting Kellogg cereals and inventing corn flakes. Even though he created corn flakes by accident, he had a huge interest in nutrition and frequently experimented with differing foods. As a vegetarian, his focus was on fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains.

Mary Shelley

Born in 1797, Mary Shelley became a novelist who gained fame as the author of Frankenstein. The horror classic is believed to be the first work of science fiction. Not only was Shelley a teenager when she wrote Frankenstein, she was a vegetarian as well. In the novel, the monster is told “My diet is not of man. I do not destroy the lamb and the kid to glut my appetite, acorns and berries afford me nourishment.”

Paul McCartney

The former Beatle is not only an animal rights activist but has been a vegetarian since being married to his first wife in 1975. He has been a vegetarian ever since.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison was noted as the inventor of the light bulb, telephone transmitter, phonograph, movie camera and viewer, and more. He was an avid reader who devoured books but avoided eating meat.

Albert Einstein

The super genius became a firm believer in being a vegetarian although he didn’t embrace the lifestyle until late in life. He became such a believer in the lifestyle that he is quoted as saying “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

Becoming a vegetarian is easier than ever with more meatless options available than ever in both grocery stores and restaurants. Are you ready for a change? You have plenty of company if you are.

Becoming a vegetarian is a choice just like your insurance policies. Our independent agents can help determine if there are better options. Contact us for a no obligation life, auto, home or business insurance review and price quote today.

Some of the Most Populated Cities in the World

Some of the Most Populated Cities in the World

Most recognize that New York City is the most populated city in the country. Although Chicago is known as “The Second City”, it is actually the third most populated behind Los Angeles. The rest of the top 8 includes some surprises, like Houston at #4, Phoenix at #5, Philadelphia #6, San Diego at #7 and San Antonio at #8.

What about elsewhere on the planet? There are likely some very large cities you may not have even heard of.

In Russia, for example, Moscow tops the list at about 12.5 million people, followed by St. Petersburg at just less than half of that. The city of Novosibirsk is next at 1.6 million, with Yekaterinburg at 1.5 million.

Scotland’s largest city is surprisingly small at just 600,000, followed by Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Dundee.

What is the largest city in Egypt? If you guessed Cairo, you got it. Cairo is home to over 20 million people. It is followed by Alexandria at 4.5 million, Giza at 3.6 million and Shubra-El at 1.1 million.

Although much smaller, it is likely you could name the three largest cities in Canada more easily, with Toronto at 2.7 million, Montreal at 1.7 million and Calgary at 1.2 million. There are an amazing 8 cities in China with over 15 million people each, including Shanghai (34 million), followed by Guangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Chengdu, Chongqing and Tianjin at 15.4 million. All combined, about a quarter of a BILLION people live in the 14 largest cities in China.

It may not be surprising that, in spite of their size, you may not have heard of some of these places. It works a bit like that in the insurance industry. There are plenty of large, well-respected and highly reputable insurance companies you may not have heard of either. These companies are often represented by independent insurance agents like ours. When you contact us for a life, auto, home or business insurance quote, you are opening your options to a whole new world of choices and opportunities. You may also be able to save significantly on your insurance premiums. Looking for an insurance review or price quotes? Want to consider more of your available options? Contact us. We look forward to assisting you.

Imagine a World Without Washers and Dryers

Imagine a World Without Washers and Dryers

Of all the inventions, creations and appliances around the home, perhaps nothing saves us more work than the humble washer and dryer. These precious machines are far too often taken for granted, hidden away in laundry rooms, basements and garages. They are still mostly box-like in appearance and most often come in plain white. Simple. Effective. Reliable. What more could one ask?

Want to know just how valuable these major appliances are? Imagine life without them for a month. Even when available at a laundry mat, it would still mean loading baskets and bags full of dirty clothes to the nearest location. One would then spend hours listening to the hum and tumble of dozens of them, washing and drying as one. Then the folding and repacking of them, only to repeat the process the following week. Ugh.

The modern washer and dryer are true unsung heroes. After all, it was not that long ago the laundry was washed by hand and hung outside on a clothes line to dry. Not only was this a lot of work and time-consuming, but it involved hanging your most intimate garments outside for all to view. Then there were those pop-up showers that would occur while the clothes were almost dry enough to bring in. And we think it’s tough remembering to put a dryer sheet in.

Those days were filled with clothes pins, bleach stains and colors that ran.

Today, washers and dryers are energy efficient, water saving and even quieter. They can be stackable and portable. They’ll let you know when clothes are clean and when they are dry. There are even steam washers and dryers and washers and dryers in the same unit.

To put all this in perspective, Maytag produced old wringer-style washers until 1983. It was not all that long ago that life in the laundry room was very different.

So here’s a toast to the washers and dryers out there. Dust them off, check their hoses, clean behind them and clear their filters. You may even want to give them a hug. Life would be far more difficult without them.

Life could also be far more difficult and financially challenging without insurance. Your auto, home, life and business insurance policies help protect your family from devastating financial losses. Yet, when was the last time you had a real comprehensive insurance review? Contact one of our independent insurance agents today. They will even shop for you, seeking improved coverage at better rates. The decision, of course, is always yours. Connect with us today!

DELA-WHERE? WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT OUR SECOND SMALLEST STATE

DELA-WHERE? WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT OUR SECOND SMALLEST STATE

Being second comes with its own unique anonymity. While you may not know much about Rhode Island, for example, most recognize it as the nation’s smallest state, at least geographically. But what about Delaware, our second-smallest state? Many would be hard-pressed to mention any distinctive qualities about it. So, here we go with some facts you may not know about the great state of Delaware.

  • While its lowest point is at sea level along the Atlantic coast, its highest point is just 448 feet above sea level in New Castle County.
  • It is the “First State” because it was the initial state to ratify the Constitution.
  • Its corporate-friendly laws make it home to more companies than individual residents.
  • Agriculture and mining remain a critical part of the state’s economy in spite of its corporate-oriented focus.
  • Beyond being known as The First State, Delaware is also known as the Diamond State and the Hen State.
  • Wilmington is the state’s largest city at just over 70,000 people, but the state’s capital is Dover, at nearly half that size.
  • The State Bird is the Blue Hen and the State Flower is the Peach Blossom.
  • Reggae icon Bob Marley called Delaware home for over 12 years.
  • The highs in July in Delaware average about 86 degrees while the lows in January average 22 degrees.
  • While the state has no major league sports franchise, the Dover International Speedway is host of an annual NASCAR race. The state has multiple minor league sports teams.
  • Candy Apples at the Delaware State Fair are considered a delicacy.
  • Milford, Delaware is home to the annual Bud and Bug Festival.
  • Children still dance around the Maypole during the Dover Days Festival.
  • Delaware is the registered corporate home of more Fortune 500 companies than any other state in the U.S.

Sometimes smaller is better. It is why we offer insurance coverage from insurance companies both big and small. We will seek out the company best to serve your auto, home, business or life insurance needs. Contact our independent insurance agents today for a no obligation price quote. You always have the final say in your decision. See for yourself by exploring more options from more companies. We look forward to assisting you.

WHY DO KIDS (AND PARENTS) LOVE DINOSAURS SO MUCH?

WHY DO KIDS (AND PARENTS) LOVE DINOSAURS SO MUCH?

We’ve all witnessed children who were terrified by Santa Claus or a plate of Brussels sprouts. Yet, when most children come into contact with dinosaurs in videos, on TV or in stores, they seem to be attracted to them. From Dino in the Flintstones to Barney the Purple Dinosaur, these giant, prehistoric animals seem to somehow captivate children. What’s up with that? Why do children (and their parents) seem to love dinosaurs so much?

They No Longer Exist

While dinosaurs are huge and frightening, kids are taught from the outset that they no longer exist and are extinct. This makes them less scary and even less threatening.

They Have Individual Traits

Sure, there are multiple breeds of dogs and cats, but dinosaurs encompass a whole new world of diversity. Some eat just vegetables while others favor meat. Some are tall and others short and stout. Some climb, others fly. Kids can relate to these differences in their own lives, although it may not be apparent to adults.

They are a Perfect Subject for Self-Exploring Children

Children between three and five years old find themselves exploring who they are and their boundaries. Dinosaurs open up a whole new world beyond numbers and the alphabet. It is a bit more complex and children of that age enjoy exploring these new subjects.

Dinosaurs Can Separate Them from the Crowd…and Their Parents

As children learn about dinosaurs, they begin to realize this knowledge makes them different from their friends and even their parents. They take pride in learning their names, characteristics and personalities. This, in turn, helps make them special and unique. For the first time, children may discover they know more about a subject than their parents.

Dinosaurs Help Bind Young Friends

These prehistoric animals are often the first real subject that can bind kids to one another. It is a shared interest, much like sports or music will be later in life.

Parents See Them as Non-threatening and Educational

What parent doesn’t love it when their child can start identifying dinosaurs by name and eating habits? Dinosaurs help connect kids with parents who may have had similar interests at that age.

Is your insurance coverage prehistoric? When was the last time you looked at your homeowners insurance or compared auto insurance rates? It may be time to connect with one of our independent insurance agents for a modern review and price quote on your policies. Take a lesson from your kids and keep exploring. We can help. Contact us today.