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September 2014

Three Insurance Mistakes You REALLY Don't Want to Make 

Sometimes we make mistakes because we don't know and don't ask. This is often the case with insurance, so here are three important general insurance mistakes to avoid:

  • Not carrying the right policy: Just because you can buy a certain type of policy doesn't mean it's the best fit for what you want to insure, even if it is cheaper. For example, standard auto insurance is cheaper than collector car insurance, so many people insure their valuable collector cars with standard auto insurance, just as they would any other car. In fact, collector cars should be insured on an agreed-value or stated-value basis. They present different risks than other cars, so a standard policy may be insufficient or not even cover a claim. Discuss what you want to insure and the kind of protection you want with your insurance agent.
  • Failing to read your policy: Insurance policies can be a bit long-winded, but read them to understand what protection you have – or don't have. Failing to do this can be devastating. For example, a large number of homeowners whose homes were completely destroyed in Hurricane Katrina learned - after the storm - that homeowners insurance doesn't cover flood damage.
  • Leaving coverage gaps: Learn exactly how your policy works. Take homeowners insurance, for example. There's quite a gap between insuring your home at replacement cost versus its market or appraised values. If you know how the policy works, you won't be left with a gap, nor will you pay for more insurance than you need.

 

Are You in Danger from Identity Theft?

At least nine million Americans have been the victims of identity theft. Don’t be one of them!

Discover how to protect yourself and those you love from the pain and expense of having your identity stolen by requesting my free guide, "Inside the Mind of an Identity Thief"

 

Quick Quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question. Just reply to this email for the answer.

What is it called when a new or full moon is in closest proximity to Earth?

 

Recipe: Coconut Braised Spinach and Chickpeas

Serves 4

1 tablespoon oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper

1 large lemon, zest and juice

15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

1 pound baby spinach

15-ounce can coconut milk

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground ginger

 

Directions

Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to brown - about 5 minutes. Add garlic, pepper and lemon zest and stir for another 3 minutes. Add chickpeas and cook over high heat for a few minutes until everything is coated with the onion and garlic mixture. Add spinach in several batches until all is included and wilted. Add coconut milk, salt, ginger, and lemon juice. Lower heat, cover, and cook for 10 minutes or until everything is warmed through. If needed, add more salt and lemon juice.

 

Games Can Change Your Commute from Boring to Brilliant

There are many millions of commuters across North America - 128.3 million in the US alone. They commute by train, subway, bus, bicycle, car...and nearly every one of them hates it. The global average commute is 40 minutes. According to research, a commute of more than 30 minutes diminishes life satisfaction and may spike blood pressure. In other words, the average commuter isn't healthy...or wasn't.

Now that interactive gaming has arrived, the trip seems faster, blood pressure is stable, and anxiety reduced. Commuters are actually having fun on that used-to-be-awful ride to work.

However, as mashable.com reports, there are two problems facing commuting gamers: First, many modes of transport don't have Internet access, so your Angry Birds Season 2014 won't work on your train commute. Second, you should be able to play your favorite game with one hand while holding the safety strap with the other.

The digital game, Cart-Load-O-Fun (CLOF), has the second issue covered. A research project developed in Exertion Labs at the University of Melbourne, Australia, CLOF can be installed on buses, trams, or trains. Two players work together to move a dot around a laptop screen by manipulating pads fixed to safety straps. In the YouTube demo, passengers loved it!

While CLOF isn't for drivers, they and their passengers can still have fun (and be safe) on their commute with Licence Plate Poker, Dashboard Scrabble and more. Check out the oldie-but-goodie website, thefuntimesguide.com, for games drivers can play. And don't suffer through your commute. Play something!

 

This Month's Smile: Teenage Angst

The teenage years are described as "that awkward moment between your birth and your death." Or maybe more...

Teenage Angst #5004: Not paying attention. With dire consequences. Like the 9th grader who accidentally transcribed a conversation with her best friend about a boy she liked into the school newspaper's horoscope section.

Teenage Angst #387: Communication failure. Example: the boy who finally decides to confess his undying love to his secret crush but slipped the note into the wrong locker.

Teenage Angst # 4: Domestic miscommunication: "My parents say it's their house, but when it's time to clean, it magically becomes my house too."

Ah, those awkward but instructive moments!

 

Worth Quoting

This month, some famous quotes on the topic of teenagers:

“High school is worse than having to swim through multiple prahana (sic) -filled lakes – and that's before the truckload of homework.”

Taylor Gaskins

 

“I think being a teenager is such a compelling period in your life – it gives you some of your worst scars and some of your most exhilarating moments.”

Stephenie Meyer

 

“She had been a teenager once, and she knew that despite the apparent contradictions a person's teenage years lasted well into their fifties.”

Derek Landy

 

“The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don't have to pay taxes, naturally, no one wants to live any other way.”

Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

 

Do You Have Enough Auto Liability Coverage?

When buying auto insurance, you may be tempted to opt for the liability limits your state legally requires you to carry, and pay lower premiums. However, this can be a dangerous decision. If you're at fault for an accident, the liability portion of your policy would pay for two things:

Bodily injury liability would pay for another person's medical expenses. Property damage liability would pay for damage you cause to another person's property. If damages and medical expenses exceed the policy's limits, you're responsible for them out-of-pocket. If you can't pay out-of-pocket, you could be sued, and if found liable by courts, your assets could be seized or wages garnisheed.

According to the AAA, the average auto accident costs roughly $26,000. In some states, required liability limits would barely begin to cover the costs of repairing or replacing vehicles, other property damage, or medical expenses. For example, Ohio only requires $12,500 in bodily injury coverage and $7,500 in property damage protection. If you plow into a Porsche with two people inside who require emergency medical care, you could end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars from your own pocket because of insufficient coverage.

Carry at least $50,000/$100,000 in bodily injury liability (limit per person/limit per accident respectively), and $25,000 in property damage. If that's too costly, carry $25,000/$25,000 plus $25,000 for six months to a year, and step it up the following year. You're unlikely to see skyrocketing rates, because you're establishing "financial responsibility" as a policyholder, meaning cheaper rates in the long run – another reason minimum coverage isn't really the cheapest. Carrying state minimum liability simply means you're legal to be on the road - it doesn't mean you have sufficient protection. Talk with your insurance agent to find a coverage you feel adequately protects you. Then be confident that your financial future is secure - at least insurance-wise.

Our Location

Abney Insurance Agency

1155 Winter Garden Vineland Road, Suite 101
Winter Garden, FL 34787
Main office: 407-477-6754
Toll free: 877-615-1208

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Silvia
Just wanted to let you know how thrilled we are to be back with your company for our auto insurance needs. We signed up with you and your company almost 25 years ago when your offices were in Metro West. We left because we found a little cheaper rates while price searching but always thought we might come back one day. I wanted to let you know how helpful and professional Brandon was with my husband and myself. I'm guessing he's your son (sorry if I have that wrong) and know its always nice to get compliments where they are due. GREAT TO BE BACK. Thanks again.
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"Nora J. Fussell-Smith is an absolute asset to your office. She is awesome! She always responds promptly and professionally. She has really made my job easier and given us peace of mind. If we have any questions we just "Ask Nora." Our experience thus far with Abney Insurance Agency has been great due to her."
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Aaron Abney was so helpful with my husband's car claim after getting in an accident. Aaron was able to get the insurance company to pay for everything. Aaron helped me do everything!
Donna
The claim service assistance I received from Paula Abney and Monica Thilmony on a recent not at fault auto accident went beyond the call of duty. To express my sincere thanks, I presented both of the agents with a personalized coffee mug.
Joe S
I was down on my luck and was struggling to make ends meet when I thankfully talked to Paula. Not only did she help by understanding my situation, she also added a personal touch by encouraging me to push through. Abney Insurance is not only a fantastic insurance agency, but they truly care about their clients - not just their policy number. I'm so thankful to have them as my insurance agency.
Deborah