Social Liability: Ways to Make Sure you Don’t Serve a Lawsuit at Your Holiday Party

untitled

Planning on hosting a party this year whether at your home or work place? The guest list, decorations, food and activities are the not the only items to keep in mind when planning your party. Many across the country host and attend holiday parties unaware of the risks. As an independent insurance agent, WTM would like to explain some of the responsibilities of inviting others into your home and serving food and drinks.

While holiday parties are encouraged for this festive time of year. Understanding the risks and planning accordingly will go a long way to make sure that a lawsuit will not be served at this year’s holiday party.

Prep:  

  • Individuals should call WTM and make sure that there is sufficient liability on their homeowners or renters policy for protection in the event that they are sued or found liable for and accident or illness that could occur from serving food and drinks.
  • Know your state statutes and laws. In many states, party hosts can be held liable if a guest is involved in an alcohol-related accident.
  • Consider an Umbrella Policy, this type of coverage is a great idea for a frequent host. Umbrella Insurance provides exactly the type of coverage that it sounds like it would; it provides an umbrella for you to stand under. This protects your assets should a lawsuit occur over your homeowners or renters policy limits on your property.
  • Reasearch Caterers and delis and use only reputable establishments.

 

Party Time:

  • Watch what you eat and serve to others, not talking about the waist line. Make sure you inspect both food that is catered and prepared at home to make sure nothing looks undercooked or unsanitary. Have needed serving supplies for hot and cold foods to serve at the appropriate temperatures.
  • Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the party ends. If you are having a large party, you might consider hiring an off duty police officer to handle any alcohol related problems as guests leave.
  • Mix up the activities at the party, have activities that do not center around drinking. Have a mix of beverages that are alcoholic and non-alcoholic so as to vary beverage options. Know who designated drivers are ahead of time.
  • If you do not feel comfortable with the liabilities associated with hosting at your home, consider hosting at a restaurant that has a liquor license and can take on the liability

 

Happy and safe holidays to everyone!

 

 

 

 

Ideas for the best online shopping experience on Cyber Monday

If you didn’t get all of the sales you wanted on Black Friday, Cyber Monday is here. Though there may be no physical crowds to deal with, it is still a good idea to have a plan for online gift buying this year. So as you go online for the biggest online shopping day of the year, here are few tips to keep in mind to create the best online shopping experience possible.

  • Book Mark links you would like to visit ahead of time
  • Research and make a list before starting, know pricing on items needed so you can recognize a deal
  • Set a budget as corresponds with the above created list
  • Only shop remaining bargains after listed items are accounted for
  • Shop from the bottom up. most visitors start and snatch flash sales near the top
  • Sort by size, there is no sense in falling in love with an item if they don’t have your size left
  • Target the sites that you frequent and could possibly have loyalty points to redeem
  • If you see something great, buy it right away

If you buy any big ticketed items online this year, don’t forget to talk to your local agent, WTM to make sure that you have the appropriate coverages on your insurance policies.

Happy Monday and Happy Shopping!

 

Recipes You Will Want to Gobble Up with Your Turkey: From the WTM Team Kitchens

Photo Credit: https://goo.gl/8dMtGw

Here are some favorite Thanksgiving recipes from around here at WTM ! Some of these you may just want to incorporate into your Thanksgiving Day feast next week! Getting hungry just looking at these recipes. Enjoy!

Favorite Thanksgiving Traditional Dishes

MiMi’s Cornbread Stuffing (Contributor: Beth Daniels)

  • Cornbread(2 1/2 c) Bread(biscuit or roll) (1 1/2c),
  • Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix (1 1/2 c)
  • Eggs(2-3), Hot chicken broth (1-2 c), Margarine-1 stick(1/2 c)
  • Salt, pepper, sage, lemon pepper to taste
  • Celery and Onion (3/4 c)

Mix bread together. Add eggs and broth, add margarine, seasonings and vegetables. Mix well in bowl and cover.

Refrigerate overnight (will be very wet) Cook in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until the it is the color you would like it.

*Note  Cornbread should be at least a day old and bread should be stale if possible. Biscuits make it really nice.

Crock Pot Dressing (Contributor: Debbie Burns)

  • Bread (13-14 c)
  • Eggs(2), Butter(1 c), Mushrooms (1, 8oz can)
  • Poultry seasoning, Salt, Sage,Thyme to taste (1-1 1/2 tsp recommended)
  • Chicken or Turkey broth(3 1/2 -4 c)
  • Onions and Celery chopped  (2 c)
  • Parsley (1/2 c)

Melt butter and saute onions and celery until tender. Add herbs and seasonings and pour over bread. Moisten with broth.

Add beaten eggs. Pack into crock pot, Cook on high for 45 minutes or low for 4-8 hrs.

Ray’s Grilled Pineapple (Contributor: Ray Williams)

  • Pineapple (1 fresh, 1/2 in slices)
  • Bourbon or Rum( as desired)
  • Cinnamon (as desired)
  • Brown Sugar (as desired)

Put slices into a gallon sized bag,(add bourbon and some brown sugar) Seal and marinate over night in refrigerator.

Place on baking sheet and sprinkle cinnamon over both sides. Grill them on a hot grill 5-10 minutes on each side.

Favorite Casserole Sides      

 

 Sweet Potato  Casserole  (contributor: Lynn Mathis)

  • Sweet potatoes (8-10)
  • Sugar (1 c), Milk (1 c),Butter (1/2 c)
  • Eggs(3-4), Vanilla (1tsp), salt (1/2 tsp)

Place whole unpeeled sweet potatoes in large pot , cover with water and cook until fork tender.With tongs remove each potato

from the water, slice through the middle and each tip and carefully remove the peel. (This process will make the potatoes less stringy).

Place in mixing bowl and combine with other ingredients. Beat until well incorporated, creamy with no lumps.

Carefully take the bowl out from the mixer blades. Do not scrape the blades (to avoid strings). Pour into buttered 9×13 pan.

Cover with topping and bake 350 until browned about 45 min.

Topping:

  • Butter(1 stick), Brown Sugar(2 c ), Self-Rising Flour(1 c), Pecans (2 c chopped)

Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Stir in brown sugar. Then add flour and nuts. Mix all ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle on top of potatoes.

 

Grandma’s Squash Supreme Casserole (Contributor: Beth Cooney)

  • Squash (2 c cooked and drained), Sour Cream (1 c)
  • Carrot (1 grated), Onion (1 small chopped), Salt to taste
  • Cream of Chicken Soup (1 can)

Put all in casserole dish, top with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

Vicki’s Macaroni and Cheese Casserole (Contributor: Vick Beacham)

  • Elbow Macaroni (1 pkg cooked), Sharp Cheddar Cheese (1 pound grated)
  • Mushroom Stems and Pieces (1 can drained)
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup (1 can, 10 1/2 oz)
  • Pimentos(1 jar, 2 oz), Mayonnaise (1 c)
  • Milk (1/2 c), Butter (1/4c)
  • Cheese Crackers( crushed)

Combine macaroni, cheese, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, pimentos, mayonnaise, and milk.

Top with crushed crackers and melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.

Favorite Cold Salads

 

Pam’s Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad (Contributor: Pam Kidd)

  • Cauliflower and Broccoli (1 head)
  • Bacon (1 package)
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese(2 c shredded)
  • Optional raisins or craisins
  • Mayo (1 c), Sugar (1/2 c), Vinegar (2 tbsps) for the dressing

Cut broccoli and cauliflower into small bite size pieces, Cook bacon and crumble. Combine veggies and cheese.

Mix dressing in another bowl then add veggies. Sprinkle bacon on top when ready to serve.

Debbie’s Apple Jello (Contributor: Debbie Burns)

  • Orange Jell-O (1 small box)
  • Granny Smith Apples (2)
  • Miniature Marshmallows (2 c)

Peal and grate apples. Make the orange Jell-O according to the box directions. Put the apples in the Jell-O and top with marshmallows. Chill.

Favorite Chocolatey Goodness

 

Carie’s ‘Buckeyes’ (Contributor: Carie Cato)

  • Peanut Butter (1 c at room temperature)
  • Butter (1/2 c unsalted and softened)
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Vanilla Extract (1/2 tsp)
  • Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (4 oz)

In a large bowl, bear peanut butter, softened butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Place in freezer for 30 minutes, until firm.

Melt chocolate chips per package directions, Using a toothpick, dip peanut butter balls halfway into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off.

Return to parchment lined baking sheets, with a moistened finger smooth out the toothpick holes.

Refrigerate to harden chocolate, keep refrigerated until serving.

 

Beth’s Chocolate Sheet Cake (Contributor: Beth Daniels)

  • Sugar(2 c), Flour(2c) Margarine(1 c, 2 sticks)
  • Water (1 c) Cocoa(3 tbsp), Eggs (2), Buttermilk(1/2 c)

Bring to boil: margarine, water, cocoa; add baking soda to milk-then mix all ingredients with flour and sugar, beat well,

pour into greased jelly roll pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 mins. Frost while warm.

Frosting

  • Margarine (1/2 c), cocoa (3 tbsp), Milk (5 tbsp)
  • Powdered Sugar(2 c), Vanilla (1tsp)

Favorite Cranberry Sides: To make every Thanksgiving Meal Complete

 

Pam’s Cranberry-Apple Casserole (Contributor: Pam Kidd)

  • Red Apples (3 c peeled and chopped)
  • Cranberries( 2 c fresh, whole cranberries)
  • Sugar (1 1/4), Oats (1 1/2 c reg)
  • Flour (1/3 c), Brown Sugar(1/2 c)
  • Margarine (1/2 c, 1 stick melted)
  • Pecans (1/3 c)

Combine apples, cranberries and sugar. Spoon into greased casserole dish.

Topping: Combine oats, flour, margarine, brown sugar, and pecans. Spoon into casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr.

 

Mom’s Cranberry Salad (Contributor: Micah Corrigan)

  • Crushed Pineapple (4 oz can)
  • Black Cherry Gelatin (3 oz)
  • Cranberries (6 oz dried)
  • Sugar (1/2 c)
  • Pecans (1 c broken)
  • Sour Cream or Whipped Cream for garnish

Drain pineapple and reserve juice. Add juice to 1/2 cup hot water and heat to boiling. Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water.

Dissolve softened gelatin in hot water-juice mixture. Let cool until it starts to set; don’t let the gelatin harden. Put cranberries through a grinder.

Add ground berries, pineapple, nuts, and sugar to cooled gelatin mixture. Mix well. Pour into a bowl or mold. Refrigerate until completely set.

Place mold in a warm water bath and run a knife around the edges to loosen. Invert onto a serving plate, and a dollop of sour cream or whipped cream.

 ENJOY!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety Tips for Black Friday Shoppers

Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is all about being smart with your money and getting the best deals. But there is one thing you do not want to overlook: your personal safety.  While Black Friday brings out shoppers by the thousands, it also is the perfect place for thieves and pickpockets to lurk in order to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. So while you are making a map of the stores and deals you are going to scout out, make a personal safety plan as well.

To avoid being a victim, here are some ways to shop safe while you shop smart for bargains this Black Friday, November 29. This includes safety both inside the store and outside the store in parking lots.

In Store Safety:

  • Use credit cards to avoid large amounts of cash that are irreplaceable. Only take one credit or debit card with you, in the event that your wallet is stolen,you’ll only need to cancel one card. You may even want to consider onetime or multiuse disposable cards.
  • Keep purses zipped and close to your body and never leave unattended in shopping carts. Men, carry your wallets in front pockets.
  • It may be a good idea to keep a list of account numbers for your credit cards in a safe place at home.
  • To avoid “shoulder surfers”, do not take out your credit or debit cards until directed by the cashier, as credit card information can be gathered by looking over your shoulder while in line at check out.
  • For visibility, make sure you do not overload yourself with more than you can carry. As this is an easy way for your purse to be snatched without your knowledge.
  • If you are shopping with children, plan in the event that you are separated in the store. Have a “designated meeting area” . Point out employees and mall security, in case they get lost. Have them memorize your cell number, home number and address.

Out of the Store Safety: Parking Lots and on the Road

  • Park as close to the store as possible in well-lit areas.
  • Have your keys in your hand when you leave the store, heading to your car.
  • Make a mental note when you go into the store as to where you are parked, in order to head straight to your car with keys in hand when you leave the store.
  • Lock all doors, roll up all windows, even if going into a store for a short time.
  • Keep all packages out of sight, put in trunk or take packages home between stops to avoid having to leave them in your car while shopping.
  • When backing out or your parking spot , be aware of other cars, pedestrians and motorists who speed through the aisles.

In addition to reviewing these safety tips, you should also review your coverages with your insurance agent. Make sure you have the proper coverage if an accident or theft does occur. WTM would be happy to review your coverages with you or answer any questions that you may have regarding this.

Happy Shopping!

Plan Ahead: Prepare your Home or Business from the cold weather and Jack Frost’s Visit this Year

Colder weather is just around the corner. With a cold winter coming up fast, WTM thought they would send along a few tips to prepare for your visit from Jack Frost this year. Protecting your home, business and transportation are important things to consider as they are big causes for insurance claims.

 

 

 

 

frozen-hosebib_0PREPARE YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS

1. Outside Factors:

  • Disconnect and drain all hoses and outside water valves
  • Repair any roof leaks and remove any tree branches that could be weighted down with ice or snow and fall on your house or neighbor’s house
  • Have your chimney cleaned annually if you plan on using your fireplace

2. Inside Factors:

  • Insulate and weatherize doors, windows and attics to prevent drafts, Also to save on utilities
  • If you use your fireplace, keep the flue closed when not in use
  • Check your furnace and heating system, have your furnace inspected every year by a professional prior to the start of the heating season
  • Don’t store newspapers, rags or combustable materials near your furnace, hot water heater or space heater
  • If a space heater is being used, make sure it is not left on when you are not in the room. Make sure it is atleast three feet away from anything that might burn
  • Make sure your furniture is not blocking your home’s heating vents

pressuretemperature_hero_580x330PREPARE YOUR VEHICLE

1. How to Winter-Proof Your Car

  • Check tread and air pressure in your tires
  • Add de-icer fluid solution to your wipers to prevent spray from freezing
  • Check concentration level of anti-freeze in your engine
  • If you live in extreme temeratures keep a winter survival kit in your trunk
  • Program your auto service provider, insurance agent and towing service into your cell phone

 

 

 

 

Oh Deer! Georgia Motorists cautioned, Influx of Deer on Suburban and Urban Roadways

DeerCrossingSignHC0911_L_300_C_YIt’s that time of year, fall, for the deer in your area that means mating season. According to Georgia Wildlife, it is estimated that 50,000 deer-car collisions happen annually in Georgia. Mating season occurs between October and early December.

This impacts Georgia Drivers in several ways.

During mating season males go into a rut actively searching for mates. This contributes to an increased amount of deer coming into roadways.

As “fall back” daylight savings time comes into effect this matches rush hour commuting schedules and peak hours of activity for deer.

While motorists living in rural areas may expect to see deer, Georgia Wildlife cautions that suburban and urban areas are prime spots as well. This is contributed to the fact that increased human population and rural development have caused deer to move into new areas in search of food and water.

According to Georgia’s office of public safety, 300 people were injured in 2011 that were involved in deer collision.

While deer can be beautiful to watch in their natural environments, they present unpredictable and real hazards to Georgia motorists.

WTM insurance would like to share a few tips and things to consider for roadway safety during deer mating season.

Am I covered? As automobile claims from contact with a deer rise dramatically during the fall. WTM encourages all motorists to check their auto policy and with their agent to determine if they have adequate coverage. While the claim results when your auto and the deer “collide”, the needed coverage is most commonly found in comprehensive coverage of an automobile policy. This is an optional coverage.

Don’t Be Fooled: Deer are unpredictable, a deer standing calmly on the side of the road may bolt or cross the road if startled.

Others will follow: When you see one deer that generally means there are more as deer travel in groups. That creates for more unpredictable behaviors in which case slow speeds are strongly advised.

Best Driving Practices: Minimize your damages, if it is too late to avoid a collision, slow down as much as possible before impact. Resist the urge to swerve to avoid the deer as this can cause more damage by sending the vehicle off the road causing it to flip or a collision with another vehicle.

 

 

 

 

Halloween is Right Around the Corner, Here are Some Tips to Make your Halloween Safe

Automn Mix Candy in Happy Halloween Pail
With Halloween approaching quickly,  there are important safety tips to keep in mind for any potential hazards that could be in disguise this Halloween.

WTM Insurance would like to help better prepare families for some of the more spooky Halloween hazards.

Here are a few safety tips for adults and children alike to keep in mind this Halloween:

  • Dress-Up Scary and Smart– Make sure costumes do not have any sight or hearing obstructions. Materials should not be too long as to create a tripping hazard. Avoid accessories that are sharp or have uneven edges. Use hypoallergenic  make-up  and make sure costume materials are not flammable.
  • Avoid Road Frights: Consider decorating your car as well in order to be more noticeable to children who may be crossing the street. Drive below the posted speed limits during trick or treat hours. Watch for children in dark costumes.
  • Use Treasure Map: Accompany or know which houses your children or teens are allowed to approach in your neighborhood. Only go to familiar areas and go online to make sure there are no offenders in your area.
  • Two Goblins are More Scary Than One: Travel in groups and stay in well-lit areas.
  • Create Accident-Free Yard Haunts: Clear all paths to the door of any debris, lawn furniture or other obstacles that could trip or hurt visitors. If you are going all out and expect a lot of visitors to view your yard haunt, additional insurance should be considered even if for the single night.
  • Light up the Jack-O-Lanterns: Preferably with a battery charged light. If lit with a candle make sure they are out of the path of trick-or -treaters where a costume can be ignited.
  • Candy Police: Instruct your children not to eat any candy until they have brought it home to be inspected. This gives parents an opportunity to look for any problem candy and a pick at the best candy! Never eat any unwrapped candy items. Candy should only be collected  from trusted neighbors and pre-approved areas.

Have a fun and Safe Halloween!

 

Photo Credit: https://goo.gl/HIg3VU