Which Insurance Profession cracked the Top 10 for Best Jobs in America?

Coming in at number four, the position of Actuary was the only insurance career to break the top 50 of America’s best jobs according to CareerCast. 
 
The ranking is based on 5 metrics: demands of physical labor, work conditions, income level, stress, and hiring prospects. 
 
CareerCast ranked the position of actuary highly due to an increased need for insurance-related analysts and risk assessment in wake of the Affordable Care Act and the growing sector of health insurance. 
 
Here is CareerCast’s list of top 10 best careers in 2014. 
  1. Mathematician
  2. University Professor (tenured)
  3. Statistician
  4. Actuary
  5. Audiologist
  6. Dental Hygienist
  7. Software Engineer
  8. Computer Systems Analyst
  9. Occupational Therapist
  10. Speech Pathologist


 

Q&A with Lynn Mathis: Rental Vehicle and Valet Parking

valet

 

Question: Would my auto policy coverage extend on a rental vehicle using a valet service in the event of a collision?

Answer:Lynn Mathis

A fairly standard condition in many personal auto policies provides physical damage coverage for a non owned auto. The definition of a non-owned auto is any private passenger auto, pickup, van or trailer not owned by or furnished or available for the regular use of you or any family member while in the custody of or being operated by you or any family member…

If that valet driver isn’t part of your family, your policy might not respond if he wrecks your rented car on vacation. Hey it’s usually cheaper to park it yourself anyway!

 

Ways to Make your Home more ‘Burglar’ proof when going away on Vacation

 

 

It’s summer and vacation time for many. If you are going away on an extended vacation it is important that you make sure your house is not an “easy mark” for burglars while you are away.

Research states that if it takes more than 4-5 minutes for a burglar to break into a home they will go elsewhere. An added benefit of the peace of mind of making sure your home is safe is many insurance companies will offer 2-15 percent discounts based on the presence of devices that make your home more safe.

What are some things you can do to keep your home safe while away?

  1. Hold your mail or have a neighbor pick it up for you. Your mail can be held by going to the post office and requesting that your mail be held for a certain period of time. Burglars interpret full mail boxes as “come on in”. Likewise it would be a good ideas to stop newspaper delivery during this time as well.
  2. Trim Shrubbery, burglars love privacy. Also arrange for your lawn to be mowed once a week. This will also make it easier for neighbors and friends to keep an eye on your home while you are way.
  3. Don’t Tidy up if you normally leave a car parked in the driveway or the water hose out or maybe a child’s toy on the side of the house, leave these things to keep the illusion that someone is home.
  4. Keep it Quiet, don’t advertise on social media that you are way as not all message are private. Stay on the safe side and talk about your trip after you are back with pictures and a safe house.
  5. Advertise your alarm system, if you have alarm protection, let them know. You can use signs and if you want to trick the burglar you can put up the sign for a different company in case they are familiar with alarm company procedure.
  6. Hide the hidden key, if you normally hide a spare key under a mat or plant…take that away so as to not may it too easy to enter.
  7. Safe Keep your valuables, put valuables in a PO Box or safe while you are away.
  8. Alert your alarm company, let them know the dates you are away. Make sure your alarm is set and working when you leave.

Williams, Turner and Mathis: 44th Anniversary, est. 7.1.1970

In honor of WTM’s 44th Anniversary,here are some little factoids about the history  of WTM.

  • The Raymond S. Williams Agency was formed July 1, 1970
  • November 18,1974 the first board met, Raymond S. Williams was elected President of the Board
  • Helen C. Williams was elected secretary
  • March 1, 1977 Ray S. Williams Jr. passed away
  • July 3, 1978 Ray Williams III elected President
  • December ’78 premium goals were $200,000
  • December ’82 first computer purchased
  • May ’83 Lynn Williams Mathis elected Secretary/Treasurer
  • November ’83 office moved to Montreal Rd
  • May ’95 Williams, Turner and Mathis, Inc was formed

It’s Fruit Season: Top 10 Healthy Summer Fruits

June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables month. Summer is also the time where you are having barbecues, vacations and access to all kinds of foods. But don’t forget to take advantage of the most healthy sweet and fresh thing you can eat…fruit. This excellent snack and dessert idea for summer is full of an abundant supply of fiber, minerals and nutrients that can boost your metabolism and strengthen your immune system.

Here are 10 of the top vitamin providers you should look for this summer.

1. Strawberries: Are high in vitamin C, provide natural sun protection and immunity toward colds, flus and other infections

2. Cherries: Cherries boost antioxidant activity in your body and aid in immunity to those pop-up summer colds

3. Limes: Give you 20-30 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C

4. Mangoes: Great for the diet, these sweet fruits help reduce body fat

5. Peaches: This fruit is low in fat and is loaded with 10 different vitamins.

6. Raspberries: This tart-y berry is your friend it can slow signs of aging and help prevent cancer

7. Watermelons: True to its name, watermelon is an excellent summer source of hydration and is an excellent source of vitamin A

8.  Kiwis: This is the perfect snack, low-calorie, high in fiber and has a variety of vitamins

9. Papayas: Can be eaten raw or cooked, high in vitamins and good for the digestive track

10. Blueberries: One of the most health promoting fruits you can eat, filled with vitamins and protect from heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and inflammation.

Hungry for some fresh fruit yet? The other great thing about these fruits in season is they are more readily available. There are pop-up Farmer’s Markets. There are also farms open where you can go and pick some of the above fruits yourself.

 

Grill Up Some Summer Safety at your Bar-B-Que

Family Enjoying A Barbeque

As the weather is heating up for summer, that means getting together with family and friends as well as weekends spent gathering around the grill for picnics and cook-outs.

One thing that goes along with hosting events is making sure your guests are happy and safe.

According to the United State Fire Administration(USFA), the fires departments respond to thousands of home grill fires each year causing millions of dollars in property damage.

As part of  June being National Safety Month, we would like to highlight grilling safety this week. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as you gear up for this summer’s grilling season.

Where to put the grill outside?- Position the grill well away (at least 10 feet) from siding, deck railings, over hanging branches. Also away from any lawn activities, play areas or places with foot traffic.

Where should I grill?- Always grill outside and never indoors. This also includes not grilling in the garage, car ports, near eaves, or any above surface that can catch fire.

What about for the person at the grill?- Do not wear loose clothing while cooking and use long handled grilling tools to give plenty of clearance from yourself and the flame.

How about grill prep?- Check the gas tank hose for leaks each year before using grill. Keep the grill clean. If using a charcoal grill only use lighter fluid BEFORE the fire. all of the above will help prevent fire hazards.

How should you supervise grilling area?-  Declare a “kid-free” zone within at least 3 feet of the grill and keep pets away also. Keep all matches and lighters used away from the children. Also get rid of the lighter fluid with any children around. Teach children to be on the look out for these things and report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.

Remember to not ever leave the grill unattended while you are cooking.

Happy Summer and Happy National Safety Month!

 

 

Watercraft Safety Tips to “Hit the Water Safely This Summer”

 

USCG-Boat-Safety-LJ-1-1024x680The weather is heating up, Memorial Day has past, schools are out for the summer and the water is calling your name.

Whether you are out on a lake, river or ocean…safety should always be the primary concern.

In 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard recorded over $38 million dollars worth or property damage resulting in claims from recreational boating accidents.

Here are practices every person with personal watercraft should keep in mind, when these tips are practiced, summer boating is everything is should be fun, exhilarating and safe!

1. Vest up! Everyone on the watercraft should be wearing a life jacket (correctly sized) for each individual. This includes adults who know how to swim. This is a U.S. Coast Guard requirement.

2. Equip! Make sure you have the appropriate emergency call equipment. This includes a marine radio if you need to call for help or check on whether updates. A signaling device such as a flare or whistle.

3. Forecast! Know the weather predictions ahead of time as a calm, sunny day can turn into a dangerous storm. This is also where the radio comes in handy to keep yourself updated on the weather as you are on the water.

4. Don’t Drink and Drive! This like auto accidents leads to fatal accidents, if drinking and driving on a boat. This impairs vision and judgement while navigating the waters.

5. Insure! Make sure you have proof of proper insurance coverage, in case of accident or injury.

6. Learn! Take a boater safety course. Learn the rules of the waterway. Learn the proper regulations and safety requirements from the state. Just like the road, there are rules of the waterway regarding passing, speed, and navigational rules to avoid risk of mishaps.

7.Maintain! By checking for preventative maintenance each time you take the boat out, you can make for a more safe experience as well as prevent costly repairs by not doing so. If your boat has a cabin install carbon monoxide detectors and ventilate the cabin after filling it up with fuel.

8. Map it! If you are out on a large open body of water, make sure you have up to date chart of the water.

Have Fun! Have confidence when you are using your personal watercraft that you are insured, prepared and safe on the waterway. Happy Summer!

Call your agent if you have any questions regarding properly insuring your personal watercraft.

 

10 Smart Tips to Plan a Successful Beach Trip This Year

1. Picking Your Destination– There are literally thousands of beach destinations to choose from. Make a budget, think of proximity or closeness, if you will be driving or flying and how long you are going to stay. If you are driving you want to keep it to a minimal distance so it doesn’t eat into your vacation time. If you have kids think of the availability of beach activities that would be important to you.

You can also save a sizable sum by simply heading to a lake rather than the ocean. Many lake resorts on large lakes have sandy beaches and nearly all of the water activities you can find at the beach.

A very important consideration is the weather. Many destinations may be too hot during the summer but not during the fall, however, depending on where you go it may be rainy season or hurricane weather…so check the weather report often.

2. Savings- Once you get to your destination, be sure to keep an eye for coupon booklets in the hotel lobby. These can provide discounts for restaurants and attractions to add up for real savings by the end of the trip. Fun Tip: Front Desk Staff at hotels can provide room upgrades or better rooms within your price range for people who make an extra effort to be nice or mention that this is a special trip.

3. Go Early-This is a good idea especially if you have children. The beaches are less crowded early in the morning. You also get your pick at a prime spot by the water. Additionally, if your kids get worn out, you can try to get in a nap under the beach umbrella or go back to your room and get a good amount of beach and play time before hand.

4. Bring or buy your own beach gear, don’t rent it– Here is another savings idea. Beach hotels will often charge a lot for beach equipment such as boogie boards, beach chairs etc..for just a few hours. Bring these items or buy them locally once your get to the destination, if it is something like beach toys and you don’t have room for them on the way home, pay it forward and give these items to another family.

5.Create Shade- This is important for long hours on the beach and can be a good land mark for your kids. Bring a bright umbrella and set up your towels and gear near a lifeguard station or jetty. It makes it easy for your kids to spot and find their way back if they lose track of where they are on the beach.

Another idea for good coverage is a tent. You can use it for naps, a place to keep your cooler out of the sun, a place for your kids to eat lunch. You can even put child-size portable potties in the tent and make a restroom area on the beach.

And of course, this keeps you from over exposing yourself to the sun for long hours.

6.Picnic- Plan for hunger and thirst on the beach. A well stocked cooler is a must. And can be kept in the above mentioned shady areas you create on the beach. Fill it with water bottles, fruit, lunch items, and enough juice pops for your kids and for sharing. It is also very important that you stay hydrated in the sun. There is no substitute for water to help keep you hydrated in the sun.

Also try to create a place to eat as sand free as possible. An idea would be to have a chair for everyone and a small beach table(they sell these at any retailer) for the kids to eat on.

7.First Aid – Bring one with your beach supplies. Also carry a small spray bottle with vinegar for any jellyfish stings.Also soaking the sting in hot water and taking Tylenol can help as well. And of course having the kit around for any scrapes or scratched with the seashells and hot sand is a good idea.

8. Tanning- Apply sunscreen often. For children, use high spfs as they are more sensitive to sunlight (at least 30spf or higher). Pack Aloe or sun care lotions to treat any areas of burns. The areas most susceptible to burns are feet, where your hair parts, under your nose, your chin, and any area of your body that has not been exposed to the sun in months.

9. Useful tips for  beach fun(especially for those with kids)– Bring baby powder, sprinkle it on your skin and any clinging sand will fall right off.

For little kids, bring a tiny baby pool with beach water to put beside you in the shade for the baby/infant. Fill it with just a couple of inches of water with beach toys, the baby will keep cool and you will be able to keep an eye on the baby/infant.

If you can separated from your child always look “downwind”. This is a technique that life guards use as 9 out of 10 times the child will take the path of least resistance and travel in the direction the wind is blowing.

As digital cameras do not like the heat. Save the silica gel packs from your vitamin and medication bottles and tuck them in your camera case. Keep the camera in this bag while you are not using it and this will help decrease the effects of humid climates on your camera.

10. Be mindful of tides and currents– Last but not least, while visiting the beach inquire about tides and currents. Many beaches will have flags out as well. During high tides the shoreline may disappear or make swimming quite dangerous, this normally happens twice a day.  Ask hotel staff or lifeguards about the currents and tides at the beach you are visiting to the keep the children out of the water at those times.

Have a safe and fun summer vacation on the beach!

Back to School: Insurance Checklist for High School grads, College grads and their Parents

As we are celebrating high school and college graduations across the country, these same graduates are planning on moving to college or entering the workforce. A part of these plans often include buying new computers, furniture and vehicles. Since the graduate is now out of the house, parents often want to save a little money and remove that individual from their policy. In response to the above, here are some things to consider and things about to make sure a high school or college graduate has the correct coverages.

  • Vehicle: Check with your agent to make sure the vehicle is listed and properly insured.
  • Furniture and Electronics: Does the renters or homeowner’s policy have enough contents coverage?
  • Laptop: If a student is traveling a lot with their laptop, scheduling the device to provide expanded coverage may be prudent.
  • Apartment Lease: Do you have a renters policy? Chances are the apartment complex will require this, but make sure it has enough contents coverage for the all of the electronics and furniture you moved with.

A couple of tips for parents: 

  • Check with you agent regarding state rules on removing your student from your policy. If your home is still listed as their primary residence then they are considered a household member and will need to stay on your policy if they will be driving your vehicles on the weekend or holiday breaks. In some states you are able to ‘exclude’ them from your policy and ‘include’ them when they come home for breaks…if you are looking to save a few bucks. But again check with your local agent for the rules of your state.
  • In most instances, your homeowner’s policy will extend personal liability coverage while your son or daughter is away at school, this is good a time to consider a Personal Umbrella Policy to provide extra protection for you and your family.

If you have any questions regarding your policies or specific coverages listed above, call your local agent to guide you through this process. This is a very important time in your family’s life, but it also comes with additional exposures. Congratulations to all of our WTM friends that are graduates and their family!

Protecting your Income: Disability Insurance

 

diamMay is Disability Awareness Month, this is an important aspect of insurance to look at. Everyone is concerned to make sure their Auto and Home are covered as these are very valuable assets. So what about Disability Insurance? What about another important asset, your income? Disability insurance protects your income should an unexpected event happen to keep you from being able to work. According to statistics a person is more likely to lose their home from disability than a fire or death.

Many people have no idea if they have this coverage through their employer or if this is something they are even interested in. This is a conversation you should have with your employer and then your agent if you need additional disability coverage.

Have no idea how much disability coverage you would need? Here is a tool to help:

Try this Disability Calculator from Auto Owners as an interactive tool to see how much coverage you will need based on your income and a few other factors found in the calculator.

Click here to access the calculator.

Let us know if you need any assistance with this process!