The Beauty of Winter Can Bring a Blizzard of Problems

winterWhen I was in 2nd grade my mother helped me write a poem that ended up being published in our school newsletter.

I saw a little snowflake all dressed in white,
it landed on my windowsill just the other night.
The night I saw the snowflake I went to tell my mother,
when we got back, guess what, there came another.

I often think about this as we enter the winter season.  It’s funny how your childhood memories carry so much meaning in your adult life.

Most of us have endured a snowstorm in our lifetime. It can be thrilling, scary, or even inconvenient depending upon where you live, what your past experiences have been, and what impact it has on you at that moment.  When I wrote the poem above, I was thrilled by a snowstorm.  It meant a day at home to watch TV, go sleighing, and drink hot cocoa – all better options than going to school. As we get older, our experiences influence our responses to many things including snow storms. The thrills of youth become the anxiety of old.  Keeping yourself, your family, and your home safe are most important.  You should always pay attention to driving conditions, whether you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, or one that you may be most vulnerable in.

[Read More]

Renters Insurance: Why It’s Important for Landlords

rental insuranceAnyone who has ever rented a residence (or is currently considering renting a residence) has most likely heard about the importance of having renters insurance in place. We all know that our “stuff” is important and needs protecting. We also know that these types of policies provide liability coverage, but we may or may not fully understand what that means.

But what if you’re a landlord? Should your tenants have renters insurance?

Absolutely! Your house, condo, or apartment is just as valuable as your tenant’s “stuff,” correct? Here’s why it shouldn’t only be suggested but required by the terms of your lease.

[Read More]

What’s Mine Is Yours…for A Fee

The sharing economy is a term that describes the peer-to-peer economic model in which individuals can rent or borrow assets (goods and services) owned by someone else. Other names include the gig economy and access economy. While the practice is not new, due to the rise of Internet commerce, it has rapidly expanded in the last decade and is estimated to grow to a $335 billion business by 2025. Such rapid growth is understandable considering anyone with reliable Internet access can partake. Companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb are leading the way with global operations and millions of users worldwide. While such easiness makes these platforms accessible, they also present pitfalls and dangers that are not present in other forms of commerce. Whether you are thinking about joining the sharing economy or are already partaking, realize that there are dangers.

[Read More]

Journaling Toward Your Goals

Journaling Toward Your Goals

If you have a long term goal that seems almost impossible to accomplish, why not try this journaling method?

A few weeks ago, our company hosted a Power Hour luncheon that really struck a chord with me. Jeff Jenkins of Blueprint Consulting Group spoke about his personal journey and shared his “journaling” approach to accomplishing goals. I left the Power Hour feeling refreshed, inspired, and ready to start tackling my goals.

Read More.

E-asy Button – Go Paperless

paperlessHas a service provider or company asked you to go paperless or to sign up for e-billing?

If you haven’t been asked this, I would be genuinely surprised. In today’s world, paper statements are becoming a thing of the past. Have you ever thought about why companies are pushing the idea of paperless billing? Here are a few great reasons
{Read More…}

School Safety Saves Lives

distracted drivingIt’s back to school time and for many children, school is already in session. Today as I drove my son to school, I realized how important it is to use extra caution while driving, now that school is in session. This is the time of the year when we say goodbye to the leisurely summer traffic, and start sharing the road with hurried parents, new teen drivers, student pedestrians, and school buses. Not only do we want to send our kids off to school safely each day, but it is equally important that each of us make it to and from work safely. Why not start this school year by sharing the following safety tips from the National Safety Council:

    • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods, especially near bus stops, playgrounds, and parks.

 

    • Leave enough time to get your destination, so you won’t be tempted to speed.

 

    • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.

 

    • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it’s stopped to load or unload children.

 

    • Be alert; children are often unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

 

    • Be aware of inexperienced teen drivers who may struggle with judging gaps in traffic, driving the right speed for conditions, and turning safely.

 

    • Avoid distractions such as eating, putting on makeup, or using your phone for texting, talking, or apps such as Pokémon Go.

 

    • Acknowledge and encourage staff members who are willing to share ideas or experiences about how they exercised a little extra care and caution on the road.

 

  • Talk to your children about being aware of their surroundings (no walking while wearing headphones or while texting or talking), crossing only at cross walks, always walking on sidewalks when possible, and looking left, right, then left again before crossing the street.

Though many of us have probably heard or shared these tips before, I like to live by the motto that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Let’s join together in promoting a safe and accident-free school year. After all, nothing is more important than you, your family, and your staff making it home safely each day.

For more information or resources regarding this topic, please contact your loss control representative.

References:
“Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road.” Back to School Safety Tips for Drivers. National Safety Council, n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.
“A Teen’s Biggest Safety Threat Is Sitting on the Driveway.” Teen Driving. National Safety Council, n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

Source: https://blog.central-insurance.com/2016/08/25/school-safety-saves-lives/

 

5 Tips to Spring Clean your Computer

People don’t think that spring cleaning involves their computer but believe it or not, your computer can get unorganized very quickly; think about all those junk files and forgotten documents that have been piling up. Keeping your computer organized is easier than it seems. Here are some tips to help prevent your computer from becoming your next major headache:

 

1. Use folders to organize your desktop.

Your desktop can quickly become littered with shortcuts, duplicate files, and screenshots which can slow down your computer and make it difficult to find what you’re looking for. You can prevent this by creating folders to organize your files and shortcuts. Create a folder on a Mac by right-clicking on the desktop and select “New Folder”; for a Windows-based computer, right-click the desktop and select “New”, then “Folder”. You can easily rename your folder and drag-and-drop files here to help you stay organized.

 

2. Don’t be afraid to delete unnecessary or duplicate files.

Unused files and copies of documents can take up a lot of space on your computer. The “Downloads” folder is often forgotten about and the files here are usually no longer needed. Save space and improve your computer’s speed by deleting these unnecessary files.

3. Clear your internet browser.

Cleaning your internet browser’s cache and browsing history regularly is a great thing to do. How you do this will vary depending on your browser but you can typically find an option to clear the history under “Options” or “Menu.” Some browsers might ask if you want to clear your cache and cookies too; do this regularly and you can improve your browser speed, as well as keep your computer safer

4. Scan your computer for viruses.

This is really important because scanning your computer for viruses and other issues can not only improve your computer’s performance, it can save your computer’s life! While there are many programs that can scan your computer, I suggest using anti-viruses and anti-malware programs like Malwarebytes and Advance System Care; both are free and easy to download.

5. Back up. Back up. And back up!

One way to make sure your computer stays clean and safe is by backing up your important files and programs onto another hard drive. An external or flash drive is a great option if it has enough memory available. You can even use an external or flash drive to store files from your computer so they don’t take up valuable space.

Hopefully these five easy tips will help keep your computer clean and organized, not to mention save you from some headaches! Please let me know if my tips helped, or if you have any additional suggestions by leaving a comment below.

 

Source with permission to repost: https://blog.central-insurance.com/2016/05/25/5-tips-to-spring-clean-your-computer/

7 Safety Tips to Prepare Your Social Media Profiles for Vacation

 

Vacation

Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are popular forums for sharing special moments, life adventures and family vacations. While you may be encouraged to bring your entire following along for the ride, consider that you could end up sharing well beyond your intended circle of friends or followers.

According to a 2011 survey on home security, 78% of burglars admitted to using social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, to seek out and select possible victims—and this was 3 years ago! As the digital age progresses, and audiences on these networks expand, utilization of these channels for less than honorable reasons is sure to be even higher.

Below, we share seven social media quick tips to play it safe and help protect your family’s valued possessions when you have to leave them behind.

 

1) Keep your vacation plans or travel intentions – not even “Heading out for night out on the town!” – private. These kinds of messages or notifications only invite technology-savvy thieves who actively search keywords on Facebook and other social media platforms to target your home.

2) If you’re a Foursquare fan, you might want to forego it. Vacation time or other activities that leave your home unguarded may not be the most ideal time for broadcasting your whereabouts. Nothing say’s “rob me” like sharing your exact location.

3) Keep your pics off Instagram, Facebook and other social sharing sites until you are back home. Use your time away to snap away, and organize your photo sharing plans for publish upon your return.

4) To avoid the potential of a break-in, never post pictures of expensive souvenirs or other valuables online. Such pics will only increase your chances of becoming a target.

5) Take time to take a look at your current profile privacy settings. Networks occasionally change your settings without your knowledge, making you susceptible to unintentional overshare. Facebook, in particular, is notorious for making changes. The evolution of their privacy policy from 2005 to 2010 is even depicted in this infographic, which shows its preference to push more and more content you share out to the entire web over time.

6) Turn off location sync capabilities on your mobile device. Having location identification in play on your phone can make you susceptible to tracking, as well as tag your location on social media posts. So, even if you don’t say you’re away, a simple post about anything can actually sound the alert that you’re away.

7) Make sure that you share these safety tips with your entire social media household. Teens especially have a penchant for sharing special plans and photos instantaneously, not thinking of a potential downside. And this includes posting on Instagram. Educate them on why it could be important to wait.

Original post authored by Ohio Insurance Institute and share with their permission.

– See more at: https://www.ohioinsurance.org/category/oii-insurance-matters/