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thankyouchickJune 1st was an important day.  Still can’t quite believe it’s true.  We just celebrated 17 years of being an independent insurance agency.  As you gasp about me being really old, keep gasping, because it’s also my 27th anniversary of “working in” the insurance field.  I had a life as a claims adjuster before I opened the agency.  So yeah, I’m pretty much “seasoned” by now.

Just want to say thank you to everyone who made the journey possible.  In the beginning, we had less than five folders in the cabinet…we checked the phone over and over again to be sure it was in service, we wondered if we would be around for our “five year” mark.  And here we are, rolling into our 18th year.  We are delighted to be a “flock” of chicks, five plus me.  We continue to grow our book of business and we have a solid retention ratio that indicates the loyalty of our clients.

We appreciate your trust in allowing us to craft your insurance programs.  We value your friendship.  We squeal every time you send a friend our way for insurance.  And we treasure the opportunity to help you when you have a question or a claim.

Never thought we could be at this anniversary so quickly.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  And this 17 year journey has been a supreme amount of fun.  Thank you so much for bringing us to this point.

 

lipbalm2So, every now and again, something promotional seems to be a really funny fit for our “brand” as InsuranceChix.

Lip balm.  Chickens don’t have lips, do they?  Some of the office team wondered if other names might be more appropriate.  Beak Balm, Chix Stick.  Chick Gloss. Brood Balm.  Let your mind wander. Got a better one?  Find our contest page and feel free to throw your name in the ring!  Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/822373401184551

The reason we’re doing a promo of these lip balms is because I found a lip balm in my drawer that never looked all that exciting, but I chose to use it one day because it was small and fit into my pocket.  Lo and behold, it was the best lip balm I’ve ever used!  Why?  It had SPF protection, no petroleum product in it, lots of natural ingredients and it felt, smelled and tasted amazing!  Moist and slick without being slippery!  And it had the taste and smell of a blue raspberry snow cone from my childhood!  It amused me more than the $7.50 per tube stuff at the specialty store in the mall to which I’d become accustomed.

Me and my friend Google spent a little bit of time together searching out the manufacturer.  Thinking that since I loved them so much, I’d be willing to place a multi-unit order, maybe four or five of them.  I quickly found that the minimum was quite a bit higher.  Wild giggling ensued.  Now what?  Even ordering a truckload, it was a reasonable price when you compare it to the $7.50 per tube price.  So I clicked and my idea was hatched.

So, now I’ve got a BOATLOAD of these guys.  I designed and ordered some labels, had an arts and crafts hour of stickering them, and now have some to share with family, friends and clients.  If you’d like one of these AMAZING and magical lip balms, call for a home or auto insurance review.  610-530-0304

Trust me when I tell you, you won’t want your old stuff anymore.  Love, love, love this stuff!

donnaclaraTime flies.  We hear that all the time.  It’s true.

Seems like yesterday that I was sitting on my grandmother’s lap…but it’s really more than 50 YEARS ago!?  How?

Back in those days, it seemed like only “old people” died.  Skewed thinking, of course.  My circle of friends and family was small.  Now, I know many more people through the business and other social circles.  Recently, it seems as if several folks pass away every week.  And too often, they seem to be in the prime of their lives. They’re not all grandparents who are 80+ and sitting in rocking chairs.  They’re busy, active  people with whom we shared coffee.  Smiling, happy souls who we banter with on the computer.  People JUST LIKE US.

Some of them are leaving people and things behind.  People who depend on them.  Things that require their special talents.  Financial obligations, too.

While life insurance is one way to help with the financial burdens, there are several other things that each of us should do to make the ultimate transition easier for those left behind.  It’s not something that we want to consider, but we must.

  • Have you prepared a will?  Do it.  Now.
  • Have you prepared a health care directive to help make end of life decisions for you?
  • Does someone know where all of your “important papers” are kept?  Deeds, vehicle titles, birth certificates, etc?
  • Do you have a list of your passwords available for those who may need to know?
  • Do you have a list of how you want to dispense items that could cause arguments among others?  (Jewelry, collectible items, photographs, things that would be sentimental to others?)
  • Do you have a list of all of your assets, including life insurance, retirement accounts, bank accounts, etc?
  • Do you have a realistic figure of what is owed on your home, cars, kids’ education, etc?  Are there funds to make sure these things are able to be paid?
  • If you are a key employee or business owner, are your tasks clear to those who will become responsible?

If you don’t yet have all these puzzle pieces in place, take an hour or two to brainstorm a list of what you need to do. JUST START.

Find a reputable attorney, accountant and insurance agent to help you craft a plan that will ease things for others. Don’t know anyone in particular?  Call me.  I know lots of good peeps who can help you with it.

And remember, even if you don’t do it all right now, it’s important to get started.  SOME is better than NONE.  If it’s “better than it was” when you’re done, it’s a win.

French Fries!

french fries

As some of you know, my mom passed away in October 2008.  During the three weeks preceding her final journey, I kept a notebook to document all of her medical care, doctors names, etc.  Trying to keep things straight can be difficult so I wanted to make sure I captured everything that was important.  Well, I also found myself noting little moments that happened during that time.

Each October, I find myself looking at it, remembering some of the special moments that have become my “roses in December” treasures.

Today’s entry was particularly good.  She had just received the cancer diagnosis and prognosis predicting three more months of time on our planet.  Too short, of course.  But as you gathered, it ended up being only three weeks.

She was a bit surprised, shaken and blue.  My two nieces and I sat with her as we processed it together, best we could.  A few minutes later, one of the cafeteria servers at the hospital entered the room.  She placed the covered platter onto Mom’s bed tray, quickly yanking off the silver cover to display her lunch.  Without skipping a beat, Mom exclaimed with a huge smile, “OH BOY, FRENCH FRIES!” and embraced the moment with joy and delight.

How?  She lived in the moment.  She was “mindful” (the big buzzword nowadays for counting blessings)

I’m smiling now…not crying.  Remembering her big grin and sense of appreciation for the “little” things is something I hope to have myself.  What else can I appreciate today?  How ’bout you?

collegehat

So, a recent Facebook discussion lit my fire to write this blog post.

How many of you are facing some serious debt consequences when you send that kid off to college? Costs are rising, so you probably are!

A recent news article pointed out the debt impact when the student died.  That being said, is there a smart way to protect a family from the financial hardship that ensues when something like this happens?

Yes, in a perfect and happy world, the student graduates, earns lots of money and the debt is paid off in a traditional way.

But if a car accident, health condition or other reason causes that student to pass away…the debt may remain and be a heavy burden for the family.

Life insurance is a smart and affordable way to provide that protection.  For example, a healthy 18 year old female rates out at about $123/year for $100,000 of 10-year term insurance.  That’s about $10/month!  Not much more than $2/week!  About 34 cents a DAY!  Would emptying your coins from your pockets daily and losing 34 cents even be noticed?  Doubt it!

For a specific illustration for your situation, please call us at 610-530-0304. Consultations always complimentary.  We’ll make it easy.  Promise.  (PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS ONLY)

 

You are unique!

Picture 007You agree.  You are special.  You are different.  You are unique.

Yet, many folks ask the same question again and again.  “Why isn’t my insurance the same price as my neighbor’s”?

Why?  Because you are special, you are different, you are unique.  Rates are driven by a multitude of factors and it’s rare to see the same rate for different folks.  Rating has become very sophisticated and takes many variables into account.  Some things are commonly understood.  Others are more subtle.  But know that age, geography, usage, claims history, vehicle type, amenities within a home, distance to a fire hydrant and fire company are all parts that account for fluctuation.  Pay plan choices, discounts, advance quote status are also pieces of this puzzle.

Rest assured, when we ask you more questions than you ever imagined, we have a reason.  As independent agents, we are trying to MAXIMIZE your coverage and MINIMIZE your premium.  We want to find an attractive AND valuable package of protection for you.  We want to do it right.  We want to provide a program that is going to make a difference for you if you ever need it!

Let us make the process enjoyable and fun.  We’ll ask lots of questions, we’ll get to know you. We’ll find out what’s important to you and what your risk tolerance is. And, when we’re all done, we’ll provide you options that are affordable and comprehensive. And they’ll be crafted JUST for you, because you are special, different and unique.  No doubt about it! 

 

 

tulips

After a really long winter, we are ALL ready for Spring, right?  OK…while we wait, let’s test our knowledge of insurance coverage!

I get carried away singing along to a Def Leppard song on the radio, I sneeze from the hyacinths in the back seat, I swat at a bumblebee in my car.  Losing control, I hit a telephone pole.  What coverage on my auto policy will pay for my car’s front end damage?

  • A) Comprehensive coverage
  • B) Collision coverage
  • C) The Rock ‘n Roll/Insect Rider

I host an  “I’m Pretending It’s Spring Because I’ll Die If It Snows One More Time” party.  As I hand out bunches of daffodils to my guests and release the flock of butterflies, I realize my dog has just bitten one of the peeps who are doing the Chicken Dance.  What part of my homeowner’s policy may respond?

  • A) Medical Payments Coverage
  • B) Personal Liability Coverage
  • C) Sinkhole Endorsement

Anxious that temperatures have finally broken 30 degrees, I am out walking for fun and fitness when I am plowed down by a city bus.  My fall broken by a hearty patch of daisies, I still decide to get checked at the local emergency room.  What policy will pay for my visit?

  • A) Homeowners Insurance Medical Payments
  • B) Health Insurance
  • C)  Auto Insurance First Party Medical Benefits Coverage

See, Spring brings its own set of challenges.

Answers:

1.  B, Collision Coverage.  Because you’ve collided with another object, collision coverage is what would respond to pay for your damages.  Be sure you’ve selected a comfortable deductible as that is the amount of the claim that would be your financial responsibility.  If you’ve wisely selected rental car reimbursement, your insurer will also be able to extend payment for a replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired.

2. A & B.   In this case, the actual medical bills could be paid by the Medical Payments Coverage portion of your policy as it happened at your home.  The Liability Coverage may also extend to cover “pain and suffering” from the event where your negligence in controlling the pet caused harm to another.

3. C.  Your auto insurance policy  is primary in regard to paying for injuries “sustained through the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle” and broadly extends for pedestrian injuries of this type. 

Hopefully Spring will arrive before my next quiz!

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