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Don't 'Double Dip': How to Save on Car Rental Insurance
 
Are you squeezing in one last family road trip before the school year starts? If your vacation includes renting a car, here's what you need to know about insurance, before you sign on the dotted line:

Rental company options
  • Liability: This coverage is usually a low figure, offering the minimum required by the state for liability insurance.
  • Loss damage waiver: Technically this isn't an insurance policy; it relieves you of responsibility if the car is damaged or stolen, and is usually voided if the damage is a result of speeding or driving under the influence.
  • Personal accident insurance: This covers medical bills for injuries sustained by the driver and passengers in a car accident.
  • Personal effects coverage: This policy protects you if items are stolen from your rental car.
Other options: Do you own a car? Is it insured? Typically, the coverage and deductibles you have on your own car apply when you rent one. This can make rental car insurance an unnecessary expense, as you'd be duplicating coverage. For example:
  • Your standard auto policy includes liability.
  • Comprehensive coverage usually covers rental car damage.
  • Your car insurance usually covers medical expenses.
  • Your homeowners or renters policy often includes protection against theft away from home.
  • If you charge the rental, your credit card company may also offer automatic protection.

 
HSBR CUSTOMERS AND FRIENDS:

Celebrities Fore KidsYou are invited to join with HSBR as we support a worthwhile effort here in our community, "CELEBRITIES FORE KIDS."

This organization partners with local families who are dealing with the challenges of having a child with cancer. The struggles that families face can be really tough, but affording the fuel necessary to travel to and from multiple doctor's visits doesn't have to be one of them.

CELEBRITIES FORE KIDS provides $50 gas gift cards to these local families so they can afford the travel costs necessary to give their kids the best medical treatment that is possible.

Would you join us in supporting this local effort? $50 gas gift cards to any provider can be dropped off here at our office or mailed to us. Together we can provide support to our local families who are going through these challenges of having a child with cancer.


Borrrrring ... ! Why We Have the Attention Span of a Goldfish
 
Gold Fish
Why are we so bored? It's a question scientists are asking as they research boredom in the 21st century. With so much to occupy our time (work, friends, devices) you'd think we'd be too busy being busy to be bored.

But according to a recent article in the Guardian, "Despite the plethora of high-intensity entertainment constantly at our disposal, we are still bored." In fact, reports the UK newspaper, we now have an attention span of 8 seconds, that of a goldfish.

Online site Live Science highlights the work of York University researcher John Eastwood, who defines boredom as "an aversive state of wanting, but being unable, to engage in satisfying activity." Apparently, our brains are now so accustomed to constant stimulation that anything less is unpleasant.

Quoting Eastwood's findings, Live Science notes, "And while seemingly benign, though little understood, boredom can be a chronic condition that may lead to issues like binge eating, drug and alcohol abuse, and gambling problems."

In Psychology Today, Temma Ehrenfeld explains that it seems our brains are hardwired to seek pleasure and fast-paced activities that stimulate the body's release of endorphins, the opioid peptides that our brains love.

Ehrenfeld quotes Dr. Irving Biederman, a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California: "To stoke your inner opioids, keep trying new things, or delve deeper into an area you already know and love, triggering fresh insights." Says Biederman, "The best way not to be bored is to do what you like doing. ..."

 
Facing Job Loss: Is COBRA the Right Choice for You?
Access to health care is challenging if you lose your job. However, in this situation, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) can be a lifesaver. 

COBRA allows employees to keep their employers' plans for up to 18 months after a job loss. And while you'll pay more for it than you would pay through your employer's plan, COBRA may actually prove cheaper than alternative health coverage because you receive a lower group rate than with most individual plans. 

A number of qualifying events will trigger COBRA coverage. These include the death of a spouse; divorce or legal separation; termination other than for gross misconduct; or a reduction in number of work hours.

Generally, private sector businesses with more than 20 employees, plus state and federal governments, must offer COBRA; these employers also must notify you of your COBRA rights upon job loss. Note that if your children lose coverage due to your job loss, you should find out if they are eligible under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). 

Before you choose COBRA, consider other options. If your spouse has group health coverage, you may be able to join this, even outside open enrollment. You are also eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But whichever is best for you, ensure you select it within 60 days. 

When faced with a job loss, avoid making a rash decision. However, contact your insurance agent quickly. He or she can examine your options with you and help you make the best choice for yourself and your family.

 
Dog Bites Person: That Will Be $40,000, Please...
 
One day, you are sure your beloved Fido could never hurt a fly.

The next, you are shelling out almost $40,000 for a dog-bite claim. Many dog owners can relate to this: last year, more than one-third of the funds paid out for homeowners insurance liability claims was the result of bites and other injuries by dogs. The average cost paid was $37,214. This average has risen by a dramatic 94 percent since 2003, due to increases in settlement amounts and the increased cost of medical care.

With these stats in mind, it is essential that dog owners take steps to minimize those dog-bites-person incidents. Follow these C.A.N.I.N.E. tips to reduce the chance that Fido's actions cause an injury that results in a hefty insurance claim:
  • Consult with a vet or breeder before getting a dog to determine what kind is best for your family and neighborhood.
  • Always keep your dog secured if someone comes to your door. And don't forget to securely fasten your dog's leash before a walk.
  • Never leave young children alone with any dog. And never allow children to disturb a dog that is sleeping or eating.
  • Immediately seek professional help if your dog becomes aggressive. There may be health issues involved, or your dog may simply need more training.
  • Never approach a strange dog (either alone or with your dog).
  • Expose your dog to other animals and people slowly and carefully to develop healthy socialization.
Even with these precautions in place, dog owners should have an insurance policy to cover any potential dog incidents. Homeowners and renter's insurance typically cover dog bites; however, there are some exclusions, so you may need umbrella coverage to increase your limits to an appropriate level. Breed-specific policies are also available.

Check with your insurance agent to verify you have the proper coverage to protect yourself and your pooch.
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Is Shopping Online for Insurance Really a Bargain?
Buying auto or homeowners insurance on the internet seems easy and cheap. But is it?

Discover how relying on the web to protect your most valuable assets could cost you more - and put you and your loved ones at risk - by requesting my free guide, "The Dangers of Shopping Online for Insurance."
Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

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Recipe: Mexican-style Grilled Corn
This also works well when you cut the cobs in half
Serves 4
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Zest of one lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 ears shucked corn
Salt to taste
1/2 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
1 lime cut into wedges
Directions
Turn grill on high and preheat for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cayenne pepper, lime zest, and cilantro.

Oil grate and place corn on grill, turning occasionally until all sides are a little charred, about 8-12 minutes.

Place corn in a dish and season all sides with a sprinkling of salt. Add half the mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat.

Serve with remaining sauce, cheese crumbles, and lime wedges.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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