Hastings Insurance Solutions LLC
872 Tanglefoot Ln
Bettendorf IA 52722
Is Shopping Online for Insurance Really a Bargain?
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Recipe: Couscous with Pine Nuts and Dried Cranberries
This is a great base dish; add or subtract different nuts, herbs, dried fruit, and/or crumbled goat cheese.
Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Bring the broth, water, and two tablespoons of olive oil to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour boiling liquid over couscous and stir to combine. Add the dried cranberries, combine, and then cover with plastic wrap. Set aside about ten minutes or until liquid has been absorbed.
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
- Salt and pepper to taste
Remove plastic wrap and fold in pine nuts and chopped herbs. Add salt, pepper, and additional olive oil to taste before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This month, some famous quotes on the subject of travel:
It's easier to find a traveling companion than to get rid of one.
Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.
When the plane you are on is late, the plane you want to transfer to is on time.
We're lost, but we're making good time.
He who hesitates is not only lost, but several miles from the next freeway exit.
The average tourist wants to go to places where there are no tourists.
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Inside Your Newsletter this Month...
Moving in? Love Is Great, But Insurance Is a Necessity
When you embark on an exciting future with a life partner, insurance is probably the very last thing on your mind. But you should be aware that your new life will impact your insurance policies. Consider the following examples:
Homeowners and renters insurance
Auto Insurance: Domestic partners need separate policies. You can't list both your vehicles on one policy. However, depending on the state and the insurer, each person must be listed on the other's policy as one of the following: nondriver, excluded driver, or driver. Talk with your agent about different state and insurer requirements for auto insurance, and also about the impact of your change on other policies.
- When renting a home together as an unmarried couple, be aware that neither the insurance industry nor the law considers your personal belongings jointly owned, and therefore you need separate renters' policies or additional insured be Listed on the policy. For good reason. If, for example, you added together the value of each person's property and purchased a policy covering the total amount in one person's name, only the policyholder would receive compensation for the personal property claim. There's nothing requiring the policyholder to share half, and no legal recourse if he or she doesn't.
- John's a homeowner. Jane moves in. She's not listed on the property deed, and therefore is not able to be covered under John's homeowners insurance policy. In insurance terms, Jane is considered a tenant, and she will need renters insurance coverage for her belongings.
This Month's Smile: Summer Jokes
When the kids complain they're bored, keep them smiling with these groaners:
Q: What do you call a dog on the beach in the summer?
A: A hot dog
Q: Why do bananas use sunscreen?
A: Because they peel
Q: What do frogs like to drink on a hot summer day?
Q: What's a cat at the beach?
A: A sandy claws
Q: What does the sun drink out of?
Q: What did the pig say on a hot summer's day?
A: I'm bacon
Q: Why did the teacher wear sunglasses?
A: Because her class was so bright.
Your Third Coffee May Be Charmed
That third daily cup of coffee may be a lucky charm. Drinking it could reduce the chance of increased coronary artery calcium (CAC), high levels of calcium buildup on the coronary arteries that may be an early sign of heart disease.
For more than two years, researchers in Seoul and Suwan in South Korea gave comprehensive health examinations to more than 28,000 men and women. This included CT scans that measured the amount of participants' CAC. Participants also completed surveys about their dietary habits.
The researchers found that people who drank between three to five cups of coffee a day had significantly less CAC buildup than those who drank one to three cups a day, and those who drank less than one cup a day. However, they don't yet know why.
They also don't recommend excessive coffee consumption; people consuming more than five cups a day had the highest amount of CAC. Meanwhile, other studies on coffee indicate it may reduce the chances of developing multiple sclerosis, Type 2 diabetes, and different cancers. It may also improve memory.
Barista, I'll take that third cup now.
5 Common Homeowners Insurance Claims
Virtually every homeowner is likely to experience a problem that will result in an insurance claim. However, it's important to know what sorts of claims are common and what protection you need should you experience a problem. Following are the five most common homeowners' insurance claims:
Water Damage: Even though you live far from riverbanks or the ocean, water damage is one of the most common-and most serious-claims. Burst pipes and overflowing toilets are just a couple of possible water sources. Ensure your policy covers water damage, whatever the source.
Severe Weather: Severe weather damage is expensive, especially in areas that are particularly prone to it. Coastal states experience hurricane winds and hail. States further inland face tornadoes, harsh winters, and uncommon occurrences like derechos (severe windstorms). Align your coverage with your area's particular weather risk.
Accidents: Even best friends may sue if they are injured on a friend's property. Carry high liability limits and an umbrella policy. That extends your policy's liability limits if resulting injury claim expenses max out your policy limits-easily possible when combining your injured visitor's lost wages, medical bills, attorney costs, and more.
Dog attacks: Fido may not hurt a fly, but for whatever reason, he decides to bite a houseguest. Your guest has every right to sue you. As with accident claims, you could end up owing a lot, especially when children are involved. Carry at least $300,000 in liability coverage.
Fire: Any fire loss is devastating, and the resulting claims process is taxing. You will need to prove that the property's value is destroyed. But note: your insurer may not agree. To streamline claims and ensure adequate compensation, keep detailed personal property inventories like values, home upgrade information, correlating receipts, and appraisals. Carry sufficient coverage to replace your home and everything in it. And make sure to keep them safe in a fire safe lock box or online.
The Easy Option Isn’t Always the Best One
It's the eve of open enrollment, when you have to select which employer-sponsored benefits you want for the coming year. Should you go with the flow and accept your employer's benefit plan, or should you take the time to talk to your insurance advisor?
Many of us wait until the very last minute and then choose not to choose. We select the easy option-the group life insurance offered by the company in the amount it sets.
And why not? As benefit options become more complex, it seems easier to pick the default.
But it's for this very reason that you should consider consulting your insurance professional.
Although your company may provide a certain level of life insurance for no cost, if the insurance is worth more than $50,000, it's not really free. That's because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers any coverage in excess of $50,000 as part of your income, meaning it's subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes. How do you know whether you are paying tax on your insurance? Just look at your pay stub. You'll see a category called GTL, which stands for group term life. GTL is taxable income on your pay stub.
Job and health changes
On the other hand, a life-insurance policy that is not considered to be carried directly or indirectly by an employer has no tax consequences to the employee-a sufficiently compelling reason to look beyond your employer's plan. But also consider what could happen if you change jobs and your health deteriorates; you may not be able to get outside insurance.
Compare your options
Now is the time to discuss your life insurance situation with your insurance professional. Ask him or her to help you compare the policy offered by your employer to exactly the same kind of policy you could purchase individually. The comparison may surprise you.