Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Posted on Sun, Dec 04, 2016

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The Holidays are in full swing so we’re offering you some safety tips to make sure that your celebrations go smoothly.  Over the next three weeks our blog will give you ideas to keep your holidays fun and joyous.  Today our topic is Holiday Decorating Safety Tips, next week check out our blog on Holiday Crime Prevention, and on December 18 we’ll be talking about Food Safety Tips.

We would like to thank our friends at the National Safety Council, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Electrical Safety Foundation International for their valuable and timely tips on decorating your home for the holidays.

Connecting Your Decorations

Inspect electrical decoration for damage before use.  Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire. 

Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights.  More than three strands may trip the breaker or cause a fire.

Turn off all indoor and outdoor decoration before leaving home or going to sleep.

Do not overload electrical outlets.  Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires.  Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a time.

Sound the Alarm.  Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home -- especially near sleeping areas.

Keeping Your Cool

Use battery-operated candles.  Candles start almost half of home decoration fires.

Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources.  A heat source that was too close to the decoration was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations.

Protect cords from damage.  To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never by pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.

Water your natural tree daily.  If you have an artificial tree, be sure that it is labeled fire resistant.

Make sure your tree has a stable platform.  Use a tree stand with a wide, stable base.  Make sure that your tree is secure in the tree stand.

Dean and Draper

We hope that these tips will provide you with the information you need to keep your families and friends safe over the holidays.  When you have questions about insurance, we invite you to contact us for great advice.  Contact 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.  <u>ContactUs</u>..

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: Home Insurance, Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Tips for Shopping Safely on Cyber Monday

Posted on Sun, Nov 27, 2016

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According to Adobe Digital Index, in 2015 online shoppers filled eCommerce cash registers with more than $5.8 billion in sales over the Black Friday weekend.  The biggest single day of online shopping for the whole year is tomorrow -  Monday, November 28, 2016.  Just how big will it be?  The IBM supercomputer Watson predicts a rise of 18% to 20% in Cyber Monday spending this year, to $2.4 billion from $2.0 billion last year.  US Today reports that 90% of online shoppers surveyed say low prices are most important to them.  86% say free shipping is next.   

Staying Safe on Cyber Monday

First, let’s begin with a reminder of some of the obvious yet still important tips.

Shop from a secure computer and use a secure connection.  Always look for the HTTPS lock symbol in your browser address window when performing an online purchase.

Use trusted vendors.  Limiting your shopping to established and trusted vendors also limits your exposure. Bookmark the most trusted online retail sites to make sure you don't get redirected to fakes.

If you're shopping from a tablet or smartphone on Cyber Monday, use a trusted vendor's app, not a web browser.

Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi.  When making Cyber Monday purchases, be sure to shop on secure Wi-Fi at home, not a coffee shop, airport, or other public network.

Use a different password for each account.  If you are able to remember your password, it’s probably not a great one. Security experts suggest using complex passwords that include a variety of numbers and characters, or long strings of random words. The majority of internet users have dozens of accounts, making it difficult to remember every password. To keep track, use a password manager or go the old school route and write passwords down on paper to be stored in a safe place.

More Sophisticated Traps

Review credit card and bank statements regularly during the shopping season.  Malware can infect credit-card readers in stores, and unscrupulous cashiers often steal card numbers as well. If you find a transaction that doesn't match your purchases, your account may have been compromised. If so, contact your bank or card issuer.

Purchase with Credit Cards, not Debit cards.  Since debit cards have direct access to your bank account, you should really avoid using it online. If hackers gain access to this information, they have access to all of your funds.

Change your coffee pot’s password. Connectable devices will be a hot item this holiday season, whether they're coffee pots you can turn on with an app on your phone, a drone or a smart light bulb system. But they're also eminently hackable and most come with laughably easy pre-set passwords that take hackers only a few second to get past. When you're setting up your new gadgets, take the extra five minutes to reset the password they came with, so your device doesn't run the risk of becoming part of someone else's zombie botnet.

Be careful of package delivery notices.  Phishing emails that try to get you to click on a link that can install malicious software on your computer are a perennial problem. This year Intel Security says it’s seen an uptick in fake delivery notices.  These look like the common email notices sent out when something you’ve ordered online has been shipped. They might say, “Click here for expected delivery date,” except they aren’t from an actual store but instead from hackers.

Take Your Time

One of the best ideas for Cyber Monday is to take your time.  When you get in a rush to complete your order that’s when the mistakes can be costly.  Review your order, check the information on your order form, and then push that button. 

Dean & Draper

Wishing you a fun and successful Cyber Monday.  After your shopping is done, please let us know if you have questions about your personal or commercial insurance.  We’re ready to talk with you and welcome your call or email.  Contact 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.

Sources

We would like to acknowledge the companies and websites that contributed to our blog. 

Market Watch

Zone Alarm

USA Today

Tom’s Guide

Topics: personal insurance, Cyber Monday Safe Shopping Tips, comercial insurance

Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Posted on Sun, Nov 20, 2016

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The Holidays are just around the corner.  Possibly you’re already feeling the stress – families gathering for Thanksgiving, round-the-clock food preparation, polishing the silver, and making everything perfect.  Then there is Christmas only 31 days after Thanksgiving.  No wonder your stress levels are creeping up.

Our friends at WebMD have some great tips for reducing your stress throughout the season.

Do a little planning

  • Set a spending limit.Money is a huge stressor during the holidays.  How about setting a budget and sticking to it?  You’ll be glad in January when you aren’t getting huge credit cards bills.
  • Give something personal. Show love and caring with the meaningful gift of thanks.  Letting someone know how much you care about them can be done with words instead of an expensive gift.  Possibly your words are attached to a homemade gift. 
  • Work your calendar. Make lists or use an appointment book to keep track of tasks to do and events to attend.
  • Share your tasks with other people and make it fun.  How about spending time with family or friends and accomplish your tasks in a group?  Wrapping gifts, decorating, and even cooking is more fun when you share the task.
  • The art of saying “no.” First realize that you don’t have to accept every invitation that comes your way.  Be selective and say "yes" to events that you do want to attend.  Turn down invitations by saying “I already have plans for that evening.”  You don’t have to explain that those plans are for staying home wrapping gifts.
  • Be realistic.Don’t put pressure on yourself to create the perfect holiday for your family. Focus instead on the traditions that make holidays special for you. And remember that just because it's a holiday, family problems don't go away. If you have a hard time being around your relatives, it's okay to set limits on your time at events and visits.

Take Care of yourself

Okay, you can’t create a totally stress free Holiday season.  You can make some plans for dealing with the stress that arrives uninvited. 

  • Break time.When the crowd gets to be too much, spend some time by yourself.  A few minutes with your feet up, a nice hot shower, a short walk, meditation, or even relaxation breathing could be the break you need.
  • Stick to your regular schedule. Limit your alcohol. Staying as close as possible to your normal schedule is great for reducing your stress.  Leaving the alcohol out of the mix can be helpful as well. 
  • Ask for support. Depression is sometimes triggered during the Holidays.  Circumstances like the death of a loved one or a breakup in a relationship can be especially hard during the Holidays.  Consider getting help with your emotions.  Talk with your doctor about counseling and medicine for depression.

Dean and Draper

If one of your stresses is over your insurance, we can certainly help you.  Use our expertise to get your insurance questions answered so you can scratch that item off of your list.  Contact 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: Holiday Stress

Thanksgiving Turkey Safety Tips

Posted on Sun, Nov 13, 2016

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Thanksgiving is next week and we’re all thinking about that turkey and all of the fixins we’re going to eat.  To add just a moment of reality to our blog, according to the Calorie Control Council, the average American will consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day.  That’s 3,000 for the meal and another 1,500 for snacks and nibbles.  Yikes!

Wondering how much of that meal is turkey?  Americans will eat 46 million turkeys over this food fest holiday.  More turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving than any other holiday including Christmas.  Getting those birds on the dinner table can be a challenge, so we thought we would offer some tips.

Thawing Turkey

According to our friends at Culinary Arts, there are 4 ways to thaw your bird and they don’t recommend 3 of them.  By the way, if you’re reading this article on Thanksgiving morning and your turkey is still in the freezer none of the suggested methods will work for you.  Click here for a connection to cooking a frozen turkey. 

Do not thaw at room temperature

Like on the kitchen counter, or the dining room table, or in any other room of your house.  Or dare we say it, the bathroom, thawing a turkey at room temperature is a terrible idea. Uncooked meat or poultry (including frozen) shouldn't be left at room temperature for more than two hours.

Any longer than that and you're just begging for a case of food poisoning. So, don't even think about this one.

Don’t thaw in the microwave

First of all, most microwaves are too small. If you have a turkey small enough to cram into your microwave, you don't really need to resort to this method in the first place. There's a better option for you a bit further down the page.

But even supposing you had some colossal microwave oven, this still would not be a very good plan. Given the number of different wattages, power levels, minutes per pound and other variables, the most likely outcome of microwave thawing is a turkey that's still frozen in some parts, while other parts are already cooked. Not good. Stay away from this method.

Don’t thaw in cold water

It's technically possible to safely thaw a frozen turkey in a sink full of cold water, but it won't be easy. The problem is, you need to allow 30 minutes of thawing time for every pound of frozen bird, and you MUST keep the water at 40°F or colder the entire time. For a large turkey, that means monitoring the temperature and changing the water every half hour for 12 hours!

What's so special about 40°F?  If the turkey gets any warmer than that, it gives dangerous bacteria a chance to multiply like crazy. So unless you're strictly committed to changing the water up to 24 times, don't bother with this method.  And by the way, whatever you do, don't try to thaw a turkey in HOT water. That's even worse. 

Do thaw your turkey in the refrigerator

Thawing in the refrigerator is the ONLY safe way to defrost a frozen turkey. Here's how to do it:

  • Make sure that your refrigerator is at 40°F or colder.
  • Leave the turkey in its original wrapper.
  • Place the bird on a tray or in a pan to collect any juices that leak out.
  • Keep it at the bottom of your fridge so that any leakage won't contaminate anything below.
  • Allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of frozen turkey.

Storing Your Left Overs

Two-Hour Storage: Store leftovers in separate containers within two hours after cooking.

Three Days to Eat: Your leftovers will last 3 days in the refrigerator. Eat or freeze leftover turkey within that time period.

Dean and Draper

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with laughter, family, friends, and lots of wonderful food. 

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: Food Storage, Food Safety, Turkey Safety Tips

Change Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries

Posted on Sun, Nov 06, 2016

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You changed the time on your clocks last night, right?  How about going one more step to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?  The International Association of Fire Chiefs(IAFC) and Energizer® brand have partnered for 29 years to keep us safe with the Change Your Clock Change Your Batteries™ program. 

Why is taking some time with your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors so important?  The National Fire Protection Association reports that missing, disconnected, or dead batteries were the reason 71% of the smoke alarms failed.  Each year these life-saving detectors need your attention. 

Facts and Figures About Smoke Detectors

The National Fire Protection Association has some startling information about smoke detectors. 

  • In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
  • No smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38%) home fire deaths.  
  • The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).
  • In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. 
  • Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.

Tips from Energizer®

In addition to changing the batteries, the great tips below are from Engerzier’s Change Your Clock Change Your Batteries program.

Replace Your Smoke Alarms.  The international Association of Fire Chiefs recommends that you replace smoke alarms every 10 years. 

Safety Test Detectors.  After replacing the batteries, push the safety test button to make sure the alarms are working. 

Count Your Smoke Alarms.  You need at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home along with one in each bedroom and outside of each sleeping area.

Clean Your Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors.  The sensitivity of these detectors depends on being clear of dust and spider webs.  A monthly cleaning will keep them clean.

Check and Change Batteries in Connected Home Devices.  Devices connected to your smartphone or the Internet need to be checked, too.  Batteries power the majority of smart thermostats, motions sensors, and HVAC controls in homes today.

Dean and Draper

Taking a few minutes to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly is a good use of your time.  We hope this reminder will spur you on to taking care of this project. 

If you have questions about your home insurance or are looking for some advice, please give us a 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: Home Insurance

Credit Card Information Hacking

Posted on Sun, Oct 30, 2016

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In their recent 2016 Crime Survey, Gallup indicates that Americans are more likely than they were a year ago to say their households were the victims of credit card information theft.  The 2016 survey indicates 27% of Americans now say they or someone in their household had information stolen from a credit card used in a store in spite of recent efforts to make the use of credit cards in stores safer. The theft of credit card information tops the Gallup list of 9 crimes listed in the 2016 Survey and has been the number one crime since credit card information theft was first added to the survey in 2014.

Credit Card Companies Adding Chips

Both Visa and Master Card rapidly replacing the magnetic strip cards with the new chip cards that generate a unique code for each transaction.  Master Card is reporting that 88% of their customer credit cards now have the chip to protect information from hackers.

U.S. Stores Slow in Adding Terminals

The disconnect is among U.S. stores.  With a third of the stores able to process chip transactions according to Visa last August, the National Retail Federation indicates their members find the cards do not provide enough security along with the credit card company’s terminals slowness in signing off on transactions. 

Who is Worrying

Higher earning households are most likely to report credit card information theft and mostly likely to have cards – and are 40% less likely to worry frequently to them.  Middle-income Americans are 46% likely to worry about information theft.  The least likely to worry are lower-income Americans at 30%.

Gallup Bottom Line

According to the Gallup 2016 Crime Survey, the bottom line of their responses include:

“Concerns about hacking have produced a worldwide transition to machines that accept chip-enabled cards. The pressure on businesses in the U.S. ratcheted up last year on October 1 when merchants without chip-reading terminals became liable for fraudulent transactions from counterfeit cards.”

“At this point the changes taking place in the U.S. have neither allayed the fears of consumers that their credit card information will be stolen nor reduced the percentage of Americans saying their households have been victimized.”

“As differences between merchants and credit card companies are resolved, a broader rollout of chip-reading terminals in U.S. businesses could bring a drop in credit card information theft and a subsequent lessening of worries about the crime.”

Dean and Draper

Thank you for being a part of our blog family.  We hope you find our information and topics interesting and informative.  We also welcome your requests for information and questions about your insurance. Contact 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: protecting credit card information

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

Posted on Sun, Oct 23, 2016

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Halloween is just around the corner.  If you’re planning to include your pet in the festivities, here are some tips from the ASPCA and Banfield Pet Hospital for keeping your favorite pets safe.

Stash the Treats
The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Fluffy or Fido. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach
While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, the candle inside can easily be knocked over by your cat or dog.  Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.

Be Careful with Costumes
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it.

If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her “birthday suit” or don a festive bandana instead.

Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable
Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors arriving at the door, and too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours.

While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. And always make sure your pet it wearing proper identification—if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.

Keep Pets Away from the Front Door

Keep your pet in a separate room during trick-or-treat hours. The continuous opening and closing of the door, ringing of doorbells, and general noise associated with groups of people approaching the house can be stressful or confusing to pets. Dogs may feel the need to protect their home and humans, and may bite your bizarre-looking visitors. Your pet may also become frightened and dart through the open door.

Do Not Leave Your Pet in the Car While the Kids Go Trick-or-Treating

Pets may find it very frightening to sit in a dark car while scary creatures of every size and shape walk by. Furthermore, your normally friendly pet can become aggressive and protective and lash out at a friendly ghost or witch. For the safety of your pets, leave them at home, inside where they are safe.

Dean and Draper

We hope your Halloween is filled with fun and laughter – not to mention great candy.  We are always here to answer your insurance questions.  Contact 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: Pet Safety on Halloween

Live on Less Than $40K – 10 Great Places

Posted on Sun, Oct 16, 2016

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Seems like living the good life for less is on all of our lists for retirement.  Our friends at AARP tackled the task of identifying great places to do just that in their October/November 2016 issue.  Author Sarah Mahoney and her cohorts offer their Top 10 recommendations for our consideration.

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Sheboygan River, the bustling waterfront of this small city provides its heartbeat. As the locals say, it may get cold, but it never gets old.

Abilene, Texas

Don’t write off this small-city gem as a dusty relic. Still authentically Texan, it’s also an affordable trendsetter with a diverse population. With offerings far beyond steak and BBQ, it’s becoming a haven for foodies, too.

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

A laid-back island spirit informs this affordable city in Florida’s Panhandle. It’s growing fast and attracts lots of tourists, but that just means there’s always something to do. 

Cleveland, Ohio

With its varied neighborhoods, world-class orchestra, thriving downtown, elite medical centers, miles of biking and hiking trails along Lake Erie and — finally!— championship sports teams (thanks, LeBron), this Rust Belt city is staging a mighty comeback.

Eugene, Oregon

Known for its bike-friendly culture and paths that crisscross the city, this northwestern hamlet has a distinctive resident blend that includes college students, arts enthusiasts and aging hippies. Sure, it rains a lot, but Eugene has carefully cultivated its image as an outdoors-lover’s paradise, and as the home of Nike, it may be the running capital of the world.

Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee

If you like the outdoors or music or both, start packing. Spanning two states, this southeastern border town is ideal for fans of country music, NASCAR, lakes and mountains. 

Cañon City, Colorado

Plenty of people only discover this welcoming little haven when they’re out playing. Because it straddles the Arkansas River, it attracts plenty of river rafters, but also offers rock climbing, hiking and fishing. It lacks the sprawl, congestion and traffic that plague other Colorado towns and offers low unemployment and endless outdoor fun. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Come for the authentic cowboy culture, affordable housing and tasty steaks. Beyond its Wild West street cred, the city is all business. Its recent reinvention has included the addition of lots of affordable housing — much of it built to woo downsizing Baby Boomers. 

Rochester, New York

This often overlooked upstate New York town — it’s the state’s third largest — offers a diverse, artsy lakeside setting and boasts top universities and stellar health care. And home cooks, take note: Wegmans, the much-loved supermarket chain, was born here. 

Sioux Falls, South Dakoda

The city ranks high on happiness measures, with abundant outdoor activity, a strong sense of community and a friendly spirit. More upsides: There’s no state income tax and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. 

Dean and Draper

We’re sure that you have you own list of favorite places to retire and welcome your comments and suggestions.  Please take a moment to send us your ideas for the best place to retire.  Contact 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.  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: retirement planning, Live on Less Than $40K

Columbus Day History

Posted on Sun, Oct 09, 2016

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The first celebration of Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the new world took place in 1792, when New York’s Columbian Order–better known as Tammany Hall–held an event to commemorate the historic landing’s 300th anniversary.  Colorado was the first state to make Columbus Day an official holiday in 1906.  In 1937 Columbus Day became an official federal holiday.  The voyage has been celebrated since the colonial period including the 300th anniversary in 1792 in New York and other major cities.  Since 1970, the holiday is celebrated on the second Monday of October.   

Columbus History

The Italian-born explorer had set sail in August, 1492, backed by the Spanish Monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He intended to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia; instead, he landed in the Bahamas, becoming the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland during the 10th century.

During the journey, Columbus sighted Cuba and thought it was mainland China.  He established Spain’s first colony with 39 of his men in Hispaniola, which he thought was Japan.  On his triumphant return to Spain, Columbus took gold, spices, and “Indian” captives. Then on his third journey to America, Columbus finally realized that he wasn’t in Asia but instead on a continent unknown to Europeans.  For more information on the adventures of Christopher Columbus, check out History.com Columbus Day: Christopher Columbus Sets Sail

Celebrating the Holiday

Interestingly, the celebration of Columbus Day varies around the country.  Right here in southeast Texas, some of us have the day off and others seemingly are ignoring the whole event.

Columbus Day Observations

  • Federal Offices, including Banks, Courts, and Social Security
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • NASDA Stock Market
  • U.S. Post Office

Business as Usual

  • HISD, Check your individual school districts for information
  • City of Houston including trash pickup
  • Harris County Offices

For More Adventure

During the research for this blog, a history.com video bringing up the question of Columbus’ clam of discovering America caught our attention.  We thought you might enjoy seeing "Did Columbus Really Discover America?

Dean and Draper

Whether you are enjoying the day off or it’s business as usual, we hope you found our Columbus Day information interesting.  We will be in our offices on Monday and ready to serve you.  Please let us know if you have questions about your personal or business insurance.

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: Columbus Day Celebration

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on Sun, Oct 02, 2016

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One of the primary colors of October is pink – a reminder of the annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities each October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research, into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure. 

Breast Cancer Charities

We would like to encourage you to become involved with raising awareness of breast cancer this month.  Providing you with great, useful information is what each of these groups do.  Here are some of the organizations that are doing a great job and can use your support.

The Race for the Cure

In October 1983 the Race for the Cure was held for the first time in Dallas, Texas, where 800 people participated. According to the organizers, by 2002 the number of participants reached 1.3 million and the event was held in over 100 US cities.

The Houston Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was held on Saturday, October 1, 2016. This year there were 451 5K finishers, 184 men, and 277 women. 

Throughout the year, the Susan G. Komen Foundation provides additional activities and events.  Check out their website for more information. And click here to see your friends at the race.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

NBCAM was founded in 1985 in October as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca, producer of several anti-breast cancer drugs). The aim of the NBCAM from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation

National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor, Janelle Hail.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1980 at the age of 34.  At the time of her diagnosis, there was little information about the disease, and she was forced to make a decision about her health with few options.  After her treatment, Janelle made a commitment to help women around the world by educating them about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.

NBCF’s mission is to help women now by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.

Getting More Information

During October the National Breast Cancer Foundation is offering a free copy of their book, What Every Woman Needs to Know.  To get your copy, click here.

While you’re on their site, check out the information on Early Detection Plan, Beyond the Shock, National Mammography Program, Patient Navigator Program, Breast Health Program, and Breast Cancer Research.

The American Cancer Society is another source for in depth information about breast cancer.  And their new report on Breast Cancer Fact and Figures 2015 – 2016 is available for free download. 

Dean and Draper

Thank you for visiting our blog.  We hope you find the information we provide interesting and useful.  When you want more information about your insurance, we are happy to help you.  Contact 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: health insurance