Labor Day Holiday History

Posted on Sun, Aug 28, 2016

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For most of us Labor Day means the end of summer, a long weekend for the last trip to the beach, or a backyard barbeque.  The original intent of the holiday was to recognize the contributions that laborers make to the United States as a whole. 

Origins

The origins of the holiday are still under debate.  In Canada, the first Labour Day was April 15, 1872.  The Toronto Trades Assembly organized Canada’s first significant demonstration for work’s rights.  Twenty-four of the Toronto Typographical Union members were imprisoned for striking for a nine-hour working day.

In the United States, the first Labor Day parade was in New York City on September 5, 1882.  In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected for the holiday and the Central Labor Union urged similar organization in other cities to celebrate a “workingman’s holiday” on that date.  The holiday was recognized in cities around the country through municipal ordinances in 1885 and 1886.  Oregon was the first state to pass the Labor Day holiday bill on February 21, 1887 followed by Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. 

Founders

The actual founder of the U.S. Labor Day is still under discussion over 100 years after the first Labor Day celebration.  Some of the records name Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor as the first to suggest a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” 

The challenger, Matthew Maguire, a machinist and secretary of the Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, NJ, apparently proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as the secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. 

President Grover Cleveland signed a law designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day nationwide – interesting because Cleveland was not a labor union supporter. 

Union Membership

In the United States membership in labor unions reached an all-time high in the 1950’s with about 40% of the work force participating in a union.  Today, union membership is about 14% of the working population.  Teachers are the largest group of union workers nationwide.  The lowest number of union members is in agriculture, finance, restaurants, and bars – about 1% of the population.

Dean and Draper

We invite you to have a relaxed Labor Day with family and friends celebrating the last days of summer and, of course, the American worker – creator of so much of our nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership. 

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Labor Day History

What Do 5 Major Car Makers Have in Common?  Driverless Cars!

Posted on Sun, Aug 21, 2016

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Most of us think that driverless, self-driving, or autonomous are years away.  What is actually happening is each year more features are added to cars making them require less and less driver attention.  For instance, Tesla’s Autopilot allows the car to maintain a set speed, brake automatically, and stay centered in its lane.  Sounds amazing until you realize that most luxury vehicles and even mainstream Honda Civics can do the same.  Car companies in the hunt for driverless cars include Tesla, Honda, Volvo, Ford, and Subaru.

Autonomous Features

To meet U.S. and European government mandates, automakers have been adding driver-assisted features for years.  Including the Mercedes adaptive cruise control that automatically maintains a distance from car in front that was introduced in 1999.  Or the Ford automatic parallel parking option introduced in 2009. 

Driverless Car Study

In 2011 Google announced plans to develop fully self-driving cars by 2020 touching off automaker’s rush to get there first.  The Boston Consulting Group in a recent study expects that partially autonomous vehicles will hit the road in large numbers for 2017, with the biggest growth coming in the next two decades.  Mass adoption of self-driving technology will result in tremendous economic and societal benefits, and with it, far-reaching implications for automotive companies and other players in the value chain.  By 2035, more than 12 million fully autonomous vehicles and 18 million partially autonomous vehicles are expected to be sold per year globally.

Tesla Accident

What about that Tesla accident in May that killed the driver?  The accident appears to have happened because autopilot – a self-driving mode still in its testing phase – could not distinguish between a white truck and a bright sky, according to Tesla.  If auto manufacturers aren’t cautious enough, and driverless cars are deemed unsafe by consumers or regulators, a potentially life-saving technology might not make it to market.

Dean and Draper

Autonomous or drive-it-yourself, we’re ready to answer your questions about auto insurance.  From one car to a fleet, we can help you find the best insurance.  Contact us for more information. 

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 ©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: driverless cars, autonomous cars, auto insurance

5 Olympic Events You Probably Haven’t Seen

Posted on Sun, Aug 14, 2016

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Now we’re about halfway through the Olympics you might be looking for something unusual to watch.  We have some suggestions for events you may have missed on your schedule.  Here are our recommendations for something exciting, interesting, and somewhat strange to check out.

Race Walking

Race walking is the world’s greatest race that doesn’t look like a race, but more like a group of people trying to beat each other to the bathroom. It’s been in the Olympics since 1904, starting out as a half-mile walk that has since grown to be a 20 kilometer race for men and women, and a 50 kilometer race that’s only for men. The sport itself originated from pedestrianism, a British competitive walking sport that was popular in the mid to late 19th century.

So what makes it race walking and not just long distance running? Athletes must have one foot in contact with the ground at all times, and race judges watch competitors during the event to make sure nobody breaks into a full jog. You can watch the women’s 20km and men’s 50km on Friday, August 19th.

 Hammer Throw

You know what sounds fun? Grabbing something heavy and seeing who can throw it the farthest. The hammer throw is odd-looking, dangerous, and super fun to watch. The sport originally dates back to the 15th century, has been absorbed into the super hardcore Scottish Highland games, and it’s one of the oldest official Olympic events in existence, debuting in 1900.

The hammers the athletes throw are actually hammer weights, with the men’s hammer coming in at 16 pounds and the women’s at nearly nine pounds. To throw the hammer, competitors swing the weight on a cord twice while stationary, then make four or five full-body rotations before releasing the weight into the air. Strength is essential for the hammer throw, but the speed an athlete can build up when spinning is just as important when it comes to gaining distance. Winning is plain and simple: whoever throws it the farthest wins.

You can see the women’s hammer throw competition on Monday, August 15th. You can watch the men’s competition on Wednesday, August 17th, and Friday, August 19th.

Handball

Handball isn’t all that weird for most of the world, and it’s been in the Olympics since 1972, but its lack of popularity in the U.S. makes it a bit of an enigma for Americans. It’s a team sport where two teams of seven players pass a ball around with their hands and try to throw the ball in the other team’s goal. The simplest explanation is “soccer with your hands,” and it’s the closest you’ll get to Olympic Quidditch sans the brooms.

If you want to watch the best sport you probably don’t know about, it’s going on almost every day at this year’s games. Both men and women’s handball have kicked off, but there are games on every day through the end of the Olympics on August 21st.

Steeplechase

Why run around a boring ol’ track when you can add some crazy obstacles like fences and pools to the mix? Enter the steeplechase. It originated in Ireland as a horse race, where riders would go from one town’s steeple to the next jumping over streams and the stone walls that commonly separated estates at the time.

The race is 3,000 meters long, and has 28 barriers to jump over—seven of which are jumps into pools of knee-deep water. Competitors’ shoes get wet and slippery, people trip over barriers, and it’s not uncommon to see someone face plant into a pool of water. Knowing that makes watching the race a lot fun. This year it takes place on August 17th.

Dressage

Dressage is, in essence, horse dancing. But make no mistake, the event requires just as much training and athleticism as any other Olympic-level competition — both for the horse and the rider (those who say otherwise have probably never ridden a horse). In French, dressage literally means “training,” and that’s what’s truly being tested during the competition. As the International Federation of Equestrian Sports puts it, dressage is the “highest expression of horse training.”

If you want to see some finely dressed folks riding a dancing horse (you know you do), you can catch dressage finals on Monday, August 15th

Dean and Draper

We hope that you are enjoying the 2016 Olympics and find our off beat suggestions interesting.  When you have questions about personal or commercial insurance, we also hope that you will call us.  We welcome your questions and are ready to provide answers.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Source: Patrick Allan, lifehacker.com

 

Topics: Olympic Events

Getting Ready for Retirement with Life Insurance

Posted on Sun, Aug 07, 2016

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Yes, you are surrounded by people who want to help you plan for retirement.  In other words, want to sell you something.  Admittedly we have the same idea.  The difference is that we have some solutions that can save you money when you are dealing with your 401(k) and Roth IRA.  We hope that you will find the information interesting and useful.

Bypassing Roadblocks

The difficulty with some traditional retirement vehicles, such as 401(k) accounts and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), is that if maximum marginal tax rates rise, as they have recently, these accounts may become less effective at preserving wealth. The benefits of making deductible contributions and enjoying tax-deferred growth may be

outweighed by high marginal tax rates when the need to begin making taxable, mandatory withdrawals (required minimum distributions, or RMDs) kicks in, currently at age 70 ½. (Keep in mind that all tax statements in this blog post are based on current tax law and that a qualified tax expert should be consulted when considering one’s individual circumstances.)

In addition, when IRA or 401(k) plan assets pass through inheritance to the owner’s (non-spouse) beneficiaries, they do so as regular income and often are taxed at high rates, as beneficiaries often are in their peak earning years and are subject to correspondingly peak tax rates.

Watching for Potholes

Some retirement plans address these problems by allowing participants to accumulate and distribute assets without paying taxes, although with a significant drawback: the initial contributions are nondeductible. The Roth IRA is an example of this type of plan. In addition to providing a vehicle for tax-deferred growth and zero taxation on qualified distributions, the Roth IRA requires no mandatory withdrawals by the owner, and the money passes income-tax-free to the beneficiaries after the owner’s death. But again, initial contributions are nondeductible.

The Roth IRA also has other drawbacks which may be significant for some people, particularly high-income earners. Single taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross incomes exceed $132,000 (and married couples who file jointly, with adjusted gross incomes above $194,000) are ineligible to contribute to Roth IRAs.

Even for people with incomes below those thresholds, the Roth IRA, like its traditional IRA cousin, limits maximum annual contributions to $5,500 (or $6,500 for people ages 50 or beyond). Also, people who skip making contributions to a Roth IRA in one or more years are not allowed to “make up” the contributions later; those potential contributions and the benefits that may have accrued to them are lost.

Finding A Way Forward

Despite their drawbacks, a 401(k) account, an IRA or a Roth IRA may be useful in retirement planning. However, their utility may be greatly enhanced when other financial products are utilized to help offset some of the limitations and add diversification to a retirement plan.

Life insurance is a prominent example. The IRS does not impose limits on the amount of life insurance premiums a person can pay or the amount of money someone can earn while still being allowed to fund life insurance premiums. Additionally, with a properly structured life insurance solution, the policy holder has the option to miss a payment, or make only a partial payment, and then contribute the missed amount anytime.

Furthermore, life insurance death benefits generally pass income-tax-free to beneficiaries after the policy holder’s death. And unlike a 401(k), an IRA or a Roth IRA, life insurance is a “self-completing” asset. If the insurance policy terms have been met, beneficiaries may receive the full death benefit even if the policy holder died before the contract was fully funded.

Here’s the Bottom Line

Leveraging multiple types of financial products in a long-term strategy may help achieve retirement readiness. With its tax-advantaged treatment, flexibility and other features, life insurance merits thoughtful consideration when planning for retirement and the leaving of a legacy.

Dean and Draper

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For more information about the role of life insurance in retirement planning, please call our expert, Jerry Linville, 281-794-3783.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: retirement planning, Life Insurance

Watermelon - Things You Don’t Know

Posted on Sun, Jul 31, 2016

Fotolia_86283949_XS-1.jpgOne of my favorite summer treats is watermelon.  Little did I know that watermelon is not only a great cool treat, it’s also “nutrient-dense” or loaded with stuff that’s good for you.

In her article in AARP Magazine, 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Watermelon, author Candy Sagon reveals her list of things we all need to know about the summer’s favorite melon.

Here is the amazing thing about watermelons: They are 92 percent water, which is why we want to dive face first into a cold, juicy slice on hot summer days. But that’s not the only reason to gorge on this delicious fruit. Here are six surprising things you may not have known about summer’s favorite melon.

It’s a fruit! No, it’s a vegetable!

Most of us consider watermelon a fruit, because it’s sweet and juicy; it also has seeds — the botanical definition of a fruit. But watermelon is also a vegetable, from the same family that includes cucumbers and squash. So which is it? Oklahoma thinks it knows. In 2007, watermelon was officially declared the state vegetable — probably because the state fruit was already taken.

The redder the better

Fully ripe, deeply red watermelons are the ones you want. That deep color signifies the most lycopene, an antioxidant and the bright red pigment that gives red fruits and vegetables their rosy color. Seedless watermelons also tend to have more lycopene than the seeded variety, say scientists with the government’s Agricultural Research Service. Research suggests that lycopene may help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. A recent Finnish study found that men with the greatest level of lycopene in their blood had a 55 percent lower risk of stroke.

Beyoncé believes in it

Beyoncé recently announced that she was investing in WTRMLN WTR, a company that turns surplus watermelons into cold-pressed watermelon juice. The entertainer, who has invested in other wellness-oriented companies, called watermelon juice “the future of clean, natural hydration.” Somehow she forgot to mention that it also helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise, according to a 2013 Spanish study.

Good for prostate protection

Chow down on watermelon, guys — it can help with prostate health and erectile dysfunction, thanks to phytonutrients like lycopene and citrulline. Lycopene — also found in other red fruits and vegetables — plays a role in protecting against prostate cancer. And citrulline, according to a recent study published in the journal Urology, can help with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction by improving blood flow.

Eat it with a little fat

Watermelon is a rich source of vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, which is important for vision, healthy skin, teeth and gums. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, meaning it needs to be consumed with some fat to help the body absorb it. Try making a simple summery salad of watermelon, crumbled feta cheese, minced fresh mint and a lime dressing to get the most nutrients.

Kidney disease? Don’t go overboard

Watermelon is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain a normal blood pressure and helps muscles and nerve function properly. That’s great for most of us, but those diagnosed with hyperkalemia — too much potassium in the blood — or who have kidney disease and are at risk for the condition, probably should not eat more than a cup of watermelon a day, say kidney experts.

Heading for the Grocery

Enough talking about watermelons.  I’m headed for the grocery.  Wonder if they have some already chilled…

Dean and Draper

Now that you’ve had your watermelon, we welcome your call about your insurance.  We are here to answer your questions, give you solid information, and provide you with choices.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us.

 

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Health Tips, Staying Fit, getting healthy

Summer in Texas – One Heat Wave After Another

Posted on Sun, Jul 24, 2016

Fotolia_30673234_XS.jpgThe weather in Texas has been more challenging than usual this year.  First it rained until our drought was a distant memory and more than a few houses were flooded.  Now we’re roasting in the heat.  We thought you might be ready for ways to avoid the effects of overheating and some tips on staying cooler. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, high summer heat is responsible for more fatalities than all other types of weather events.  One reason could be that we don’t always take hot weather as seriously as we should. 

Defined as a prolonged period of excessive heat, a heat wave is dangerous business.  No one is immune, and the longer the heat persists, the more likely someone in your family will start showing signs of heat-related distress. Pollutants in the air and the reflected heat from city streets and structures can make conditions even worse.

We have shortened some of the ideas for dealing with a Heat Wave from our friends at How Stuff Works – Science.  Author Sara Elliott has more to say in her article, 5 Tips for Heat Wave Safety

Dress for the Weather

In the heat, fashion takes a back seat to safety and comfort.  Cover your skin with light, loose fitting clothing.  When you’re outdoors wear a hot to protect your face and head.  And keep your feet protected with sandals or shoes.  Be friends with your sun screen, too.

Avoid Strenuous Exercise

Potentially you don’t need this advice.  Strenuous activity outdoors should be last on your list of things to do.  If you must work outdoors, stay hydrated.  It’s best if you can arrange your schedule to work outside during the morning hours or evening when the temperature is cooler. 

If you experience dizziness, confusion, fainting, excessive sweating, nausea, a rapid pulse, headache or your skin is hot but you've stopped sweating, you may be suffering from heat exhaustion or possibly even heat stroke. Stop what you're doing immediately. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Drink Plenty of Liquids

Being outdoors in a heat wave means that you will be perspiring more than normal.  So it makes sense to replenish the liquid in your body.  Drinking four 16 ounce glasses of liquid an hour isn’t too much.  Even if you aren’t thirsty, drink up.  Stay clear of beverages that are high in sugars or contain alcohol.  Very cold drinks can also cause stomach cramps.

Stay Indoors

The best place to be in a heat wave is indoors – preferably in an air conditioned space.  If your home isn’t air conditioned, take yourself to cool public buildings like the mall, library, or theater during the hottest part of the day.

Protect Those Most at Risk

While the heat is tough on everyone, there are people who are particularly at risk.  Take a moment to check on people in these circumstances:

  • people living alone
  • young children
  • the elderly
  • outdoor laborers
  • the chronically ill
  • those without air conditioning in their homes
  • pets

Ways to Keep Cool When It's Hot

Medicine Net published a list of 15 tips for keeping cool.  We have listed our favorites here. 

  • Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors.
  • Some people swear by small, portable, battery-powered fans. At an outdoor event I even saw a version that attaches to a water bottle that sprays a cooling mist.
  • Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer fare including frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products.
  • Finally, use common sense. If the heat is intolerable, stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces.

Get Answers

The Center for Disease Control has some great answers to your FAQ.  Click here to see their Frequently Asked Questions About Extreme Heat.  Need a checklist? Click here to get the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist.

Dean and Draper

We hope you find the information in our blog interesting and helpful.  We appreciate your comments. 

When you have questions about your insurance, we welcome your call. 

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

 The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 ©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: health insurance, Heat Wave Safety

Pokemon Go – Injury Magnet?

Posted on Sun, Jul 17, 2016

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Just in case you’ve been on a deserted island for the past couple of weeks, Pokemon Go is the newest app top the charts.  Over 5 million people downloaded the free app when it became available on July 6, 2016.

What’s Pokemon Go?

Wondering what Pokemon Go is?  According to Wikipedia, “Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company.”

“The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world. It makes use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices. The game is free-to-play, although it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items. An optional companion Bluetooth wearable device is planned for future release, thePokémon Go Plus, and will alert users when Pokémon are nearby.”

Watch Out for Injuries

Interestingly, while Pokemon Go is being heralded for getting people outside and active, many trainers (Pokemon Go Players) are reporting injuries.  

"Not even 30 minutes after the release last night, I slipped and fell down a ditch," said the Reddit user. "Fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot, 6-8 weeks for recovery. I told all the doctors I was walking my dog lol ... Watch where you're going, folks!"

The Pokemon Go app itself includes a warning in the loading screen asking players to pay attention to their surroundings, but it's clear that some people are getting so excited that they forget to heed it. Niantic, which partnered with the Pokemon franchise to create the game, has some rules of the road for its other major title, “Ingress,” that may prove useful.

“Pay attention to your surroundings; you never know what beautiful or interesting things you'll see while playing the game,” the company cautions in its advice to players.

Niantic has also reminded “Ingress” players to respect real-world rules when an in-game point of interest shows up on someone’s private property -- no trespassing -- which is a good reminder for Pokemon Go players and any augmented-reality game the future may bring, too.

In a statement, The Pokemon Company said, "We are constantly looking at ways to add safety features to Pokémon GO and expect to incorporate some features based on user experience into future builds."

Check Out Your Insurance

Our friends at PropertyCasualty365 have a great take on how your insurance can serve you well as this Pokemon Go obsession crosses the country.  A blog Playing Pokemon Go? Here are 3 kinds of insurance you need released on July 15, 2016 and written by Rosalie L. Donlon, reveals how your current insurance can be really helpful if you are playing the game.

Home Owner’s and Renter’s Insurance

“While you’re out and about pursuing those elusive pocket monsters, rest assured that your possessions are covered if thieves break into your home. And, if someone runs off with your mobile phone, you’re in luck if you have cellphone insurance — though it might not reimburse for your lost Pokémon!”

“Also, if you accidentally trample somebody’s flowerbed while hot on the trail of a Bellossome (or a fellow player is injured in your home and decides to sue), most homeowners' and renters' policies have coverage for damage you cause to other peoples’ property and possessions as well as liability for mishaps on your property.”

“Lastly, your Pokédex may be in good order, but you might also want to consider creating an inventory of your real possessions, which can make filing a claim easier in the event of an insurable loss.”

Motor Vehicle Related Incidents

“Hit while running down a Rotom? Depending on who’s at fault (and local statutes), you may be able to file a claim against the driver’s auto liability insurance policy.”

“Almost all states require that vehicle owners and drivers carry liability insurance to cover personal injuries to third parties. Or your own uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage may pick up the tab if not.”

Identity Theft and Cyber Crime

“Sure, the game’s called Pokémon Go, but it’s really your data that’s in play.”

“If thieves make off with your information, many insurers will cover identity theft, either as part of a homeowners' or renters' policy or as a stand-alone policy. Identity theft insurance reimburses victims for the cost of restoring their identity and repairing credit reports and related expenses.”

Have Questions About Insurance?

Taking a break from Pokemon Go?  We’re ready to answer your questions about your insurance coverage.  We’re only a phone call away and can deliver the answers in moments so that you can get back to Pokemon Go.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Renter's Insurance, auto insurance, Identity Theft, Cybercrime, Home Insurance, Pokemon Go

High-Tech Car Thieves

Posted on Sun, Jul 10, 2016

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Since most of us are driving cars that have on-board computers, the concept of hacking a car is probably not a surprise.  Thieves are using laptop computers on late model cars to steal the vehicles, raising alarms about the auto industry’s greater use of computer controls.

In a recent article by Jeff Bennett in The Wall Street Journal, he talks about thieves hacking their way into a Jeep in Houston.

“The discovery (of thieves hacking into cars) follows a recent incident in Houston in which a pair of car thieves were caught on camera using a laptop to start a 2010 Jeep Wrangler and steal it from the owner’s driveway. Police say the same method may have been used in the theft of four other late-model Wranglers and Cherokees in the city. None of the vehicles has been recovered.

“If you are going to hot-wire a car, you don’t bring along a laptop,” said Senior Officer James Woods, who has spent 23 years in the Houston Police Department’s auto antitheft unit. “We don’t know what he is exactly doing with the laptop, but my guess is he is tapping into the car’s computer and marrying it with a key he may already have with him so he can start the car.”

While a code is necessary to get computer access to a car, thieves are suspected pf bribing dealer employees or hacking into dealer websites to gain access.  Entering the code into the car’s computer will grant acceptance of the new key. 

The recent reports highlight the vulnerabilities created as cars become more computerized and advanced technology finds its way into more vehicles. Fiat Chrysler, General Motors Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. have had to alter their car electronics over the last two years after learning their vehicles could be hacked.

Last year Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million vehicles to close a software loophole that allowed two hackers to remotely access a 2014 Jeep Cherokee and take control of the vehicle’s engine, air conditioning, radio and windshield wipers.

“In an era where we call our cars computers on wheels, it becomes more and more difficult to stop hacking,” said Yoni Heilbronn, vice president of marketing for Israel-based Argus Cyber Security Ltd., a company developing technologies to stop or detect hackers. “What we now need is multiple layers of protection to make the efforts of carrying out a cyberattack very costly and deter hackers from spending the time and effort.”

This month, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx is slated to attend an inaugural global automotive cybersecurity summit in Detroit. General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra and other industry executives are scheduled to speak.

“In the Houston car theft, a home-security camera captures a man walking to the Jeep and opening the hood. Officer Woods said he suspects the man is cutting the alarm. About 10 minutes later, after a car door is jimmied open, another man enters the Jeep, works on the laptop and then backs the car out of the driveway.

“We still haven't received any tips,” the officer said.

“The thief, says the NICB’s Mr. Morris, likely used the laptop to manipulate the car’s computer to recognize a signal sent from an electronic key the thief then used to turn on the ignition. The computer reads the signal and allows the key to turn.”

“We have no idea how many cars have been broken into using this method,” Mr. Morris said. “We think it is minuscule in the overall car thefts but it does show these hackers will do anything to stay one step ahead.”

Dean and Draper

We welcome your questions about your auto insurance – in fact we’re happy to answer your questions about personal and commercial insurance, too. 

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: auto insurance, cyber car theft

Celebrating the 4th of July

Posted on Sun, Jul 03, 2016

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Americans take their holidays seriously and one of the most celebrated, unique American holiday is the 4th of July or Independence Day.  While we’ve been celebrating the date since July 4, 1776, the holiday finally became official when it was declared a federal holiday in 1941.

In the beginning…

In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

The Liberty Bell

Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war. George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

Federal Holiday

In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees. Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.  Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.

Fireworks

One thing for sure, when we celebrate Independence Day there better Be some fireworks involved.  Our ancestors used their cannons to make some noise for the early celebrations.  After the cannons were retired in the late 19th century, fireworks were used for both noise and their beauty.

Who has the best fireworks?

Based on current research, the single best firework display on July 4 is indisputably New York presented by Macy’s for the 40th year.  Sources fall apart in their rankings after agreeing on New York.  In the Top 4, Boston with their Pops concert and fireworks, Washington, DC, and San Diego are almost always included.  

Dean and Draper

We wish you a 4th of July filled with laughter, family, friends, patriotism, and a deep appreciation for our country. 

We’ll be back in our office on Tuesday, so if you have questions about your insurance, please call us.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: How Americans celebrate July 4

Disaster Plan for Pets

Posted on Sun, Jun 26, 2016

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With the above average amount of rain we’ve had here in the Houston area and the number of weather disasters in Texas, we thought that some information about creating an emergency plan for your pets would be appropriate. 

In the event if an evacuation, pets often are left behind.  By creating a plan, you can include your pets in the evacuation process.  We found some great information on the FEMA website and want to share it with you.

Emergency Planning

Prior to a disaster create a family emergency plan that includes your pet(s).  It is very important to:

  • Make sure each pet's tags are up-to-date and fastened to its collar.
  • Have a current photo of you and your pet(s) for identification purposes.
  • Make a pet emergency kit.
  • Identify shelters in advance that will allow your pets.
  • Have a secure pet carrier, leash, or harness for your pet.

Ready.gov has a section with more information on taking care of your animals plus great ideas and tips for Caring for Animals.

Pet Confusion

Following a disaster, familiar scents and landmarks may be altered.  Pets may become confused and lost, so it is critical to maintain close contact with and leash pets when they go outside.  Also, snakes and other potentially dangerous animals displaced by the disaster may have migrated into the area (especially after flooding).  In addition, downed power lines can also be a hazard for people and their pets.  Be aware of your surroundings and protect your pet(s) and yourself.

Similar to children and adults, disaster-related stress may change a pet’s behavior. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive.  Watch your animals closely, and be cautious around other animals – even pets you know.  If you evacuate, take your pets with you!

Emergency Shelters for Pets

Contact local emergency management for information regarding availability of emergency shelters for pets.  However, if you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet(s) at home alone can place your animal(s) in great danger! Confine your pet(s) to a safe area inside -NEVER leave your pet(s) chained outside!  Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water.

Locate a Missing Pet

Pets displaced by a disaster are frequently kept in shelters and by organizations in the State where the disaster occurred.  Contact your local humane society, animal welfare organization, County or State Animal Response Team to locate the shelters or organizations near you. 

The search and rescue of pets lost during disasters is undertaken in a coordinated effort between State and local government and local animal response groups with support from FEMA and a range of national animal welfare organizations (such as NARSC, the Humane Society of the United States [HSUS], and Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams [VMATS]).  If you are trying to locate pets lost as a result of a disaster, contact your local or State emergency management agency.

You can check www.211.org to determine if a particular area has 2-1-1 services.  There can be additional services which can assist in locating pets or caring for pets after a disaster.

Dean and Draper

We hope that you have found this information useful and interesting.  If you have questions about your insurance, we welcome you call.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Disaster Plan for Pets