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Does Your Hobby Need Insurance Coverage?
Gary and Nancy Doss of Burlingame, CA have been collecting Pez dispensers for two decades. They now have more than 500 of the small candy containers. The rarest product, a "Make a Face" Pez from the 1970s, is worth $5,000.

Do you have a hobby that has grown larger than you may have anticipated? You don't have to be as dedicated as the Dosses to find yourself heavily invested in a hobby. A model locomotive could be valued at $300. One guitar can easily cost $1,500.

Whether you collect, build, or play, funding for hobbies can quickly add up to significant amounts. If you think you've invested quite a bit in your hobby, do a quick review.

Consider the value of your items and supplies. Is it more than $500? If you have invested more than $500 so far, you should make sure it is properly protected.

Review your insurance policies to make sure the items are covered under your homeowners or renters policy in the event they are damaged or stolen.

Keep in mind there are certain limits to most policies, and high-value items might max out the coverage. You may need to purchase a rider to add a particularly valuable piece of equipment to your insurance coverage.

If your hobby investment is less than $500, you should still make sure any high-priced items are included in your home inventory.

January is the perfect time to update this list. Be sure to add any recent holiday gifts to the inventory!

If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or needs, feel free to contact me. I'm just an email or phone call away.

Laughter May Be the Best Medicine After All
As the festive season passes, leaving behind joyful echoes of feasting and family, thoughts naturally turn to the new year and making a fresh start. New Year's resolutions can be met with either trepidation or confidence, but why not tackle them with a belly laugh and a radiant smile instead?

"Laughter is the best medicine" may seem like a well-worn adage, but the phrase carries glimmers of scientific proof. Known to trigger positive physical and emotional changes, a good giggle not only lifts your mood but has also been found to boost the immune system and provide pain relief, according to the research of American journalist, professor, and inquiring mind Norman Cousins.

Cousins and his upbeat attitude were put to the test when a connective tissue disorder left him in an almost quadriplegic state with a slim chance of recovery. Embarking on his own treatment course, he undertook a "laughter routine" in which he induced hours of laughing, leading to significant pain reduction and an eventual clean bill of health.

Whether this medical miracle resulted from his unorthodox cure or the placebo effect, it's worth taking a page out of Cousins's book this new year. An often-untapped wellspring of healing and renewal, laughter stimulates the production of the happiness hormone serotonin, leaving you calmer and better able to handle life's curveballs.

Seek out more opportunities to laugh in 2020. It's the perfect excuse to head to the theater, enjoy a comedy show, or make a friend laugh.

Could a Vacation to Mars Be in Your Future?
The skills and technologies needed to take people to Mars already exist, with most of them being developed during the Gemini missions that sent astronauts into space in the 1960s.

Since then, NASA has done extensive testing on the International Space Station and explored the surface of Mars with robot landers. They've developed exploration vehicles, lightweight, flexible spacesuits, and habitats that would enable astronauts to live and work on Mars.

And Virgin Orbit, a subsidiary of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic enterprise, has announced plans to send small spacecraft to Mars within three years. The company has partnered with several Polish universities and a Polish satellite maker to design robotic missions to the Red Planet and says it has found a way to send small, light vehicles into deep space on its own proprietary rocket, LauncherOne. If successful, these would be the first entirely commercial missions to Mars.

There are still obstacles to overcome before people start booking vacations to the Red Planet. For starters, a journey to Mars would involve a two-and-a-half-year round trip: six months to get there, six months to return, and a year and a half hanging out waiting for Mars and Earth to move back into position for the return journey.

And there are other challenges as well. For example, we don't know how humans might respond to long periods of microgravity or how to supply (or produce) adequate food, water, oxygen, and fuel needed for their survival. Then there are the problems associated with landing a payload the size of a Boeing 737 on Mars and logistical issues around getting back to Earth.

Will these advances make Mars a top vacation destination someday? Time will tell.

What Auto Insurance Do I Need in 2020?
Liability. Collision. Comprehensive. What exactly do these insurance buzz words mean, and which coverage do you actually need? The right type and amount of coverage vary by individual. To determine your personal needs, first familiarize yourself with the options available.

Liability

This protects you in the event you are held responsible for bodily injury or property damage to another party.

This coverage is required by law, but the minimum amount required varies. A good rule of thumb is to carry a bodily injury liability policy with a minimum of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident plus enough property damage liability coverage to cover the cost of a new car. Considering the cost of medical bills and potential lawsuits today, it's often recommended that you bump up your limits to $250,000/$500,000.

Collision

This type of insurance is not required by law, but it covers the cost of damage to your car after an accident.

If you have a new and/or valuable car, collision is typically worth the investment to protect your asset. However, as a car ages and drops in value, you may want to consider whether collision coverage is necessary. For example, if your car is worth $1,000 and you have a $500 deductible, it might make sense to invest your insurance dollars elsewhere.

Comprehensive

This coverage protects you from various damages that aren't included under collision. Common comprehensive claims include fire and theft. If you lease a car, this coverage may be required. Otherwise, you can decide whether you'd like this extra protection and what deductible you prefer. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

Many vehicle owners choose to add this coverage. It's often only a few extra dollars, but it provides peace of mind that virtually any type of damage to the car is covered. Is it time to make adjustments to your auto coverage? Feel free to contact me with any questions about your current and future insurance needs.

Are Your Home - and Your Family - Really Safe?
Home is truly where the heart is, but that doesn't stop accidents, fires or thefts from happening at home.

Discover how to keep your property and your loved ones out of harm's way by requesting my free guide, "Three Ways to Keep Your Home - And Your Family - Safe."
Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

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Easy Corn Chowder
There's nothing like a bowl of hearty, nourishing soup to fill hungry tummies. This delicious, wholesome chowder will satisfy the adults at your table and even get the kids to scarf down their vegetables
Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons butter
2 or 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup carrots, coarsely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans cream-style corn
2 cups half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika and parsley to garnish (optional)
Directions
Sauté the potatoes, onion, celery, and carrots in butter for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth and creamed corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, warm the half and half in a saucepan until bubbly but not boiling. Blend it into the chowder just before serving.

Dust the chowder with paprika and garnish with a sprig of parsley for a festive look. Serve with breadsticks and a salad for a quick, easy, crowd-pleasing meal.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.

Posted 5:47 PM

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NOTICE: This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state. By using this blog site you understand that there is no broker client relationship between you and the blog and website publisher.
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