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~Alex Hastings~

Hastings Insurance Solutions LLC

~Guide One~

2435 Kimberly Road

Suite #100N

Bettendorf IA 52722

 ^ Moving in June 2014 TBD^

563-355-0262 Office

641-494-9494 Cell

855-355-0262 Fax










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Are You Making Any of These Top 10 Insurance Blunders?

When it comes to buying insurance, what you don't know can hurt you...and your family...for years to come. Learn how to identify the top ten insurance mistakes and what you can do about them with my free guide, "The Top 10 Insurance Blunders - and How to Avoid Them."

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A stellate object has what shape?

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Recipe: Mint Lamb Chops with Pea Mash

Serves 4
  • 8 lamb chops
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon mild smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups fresh peas
  • 1/4 cup whole milk


Place chops in a shallow dish and add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, mint, and paprika. Rub the ingredients into the chops and set aside to marinate for about an hour. Heat a large non-stick pan over a medium heat, adding enough oil to coat the bottom. Add the lamb and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until medium. Drain excess fat, then add white wine, cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turning once.

Boil potatoes in salted water until nearly cooked, then add peas. Cook until tender. Strain, return to pot, and mash. Add milk, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lamb chops.

Worth Quoting

This month, quotes on the topics of March and the coming of spring:

March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.


Beware the Ides of March.

William Shakespeare

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

Charles Dickens

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!

Mark Twain

I am never at my best in the early morning, especially a cold morning in the Yorkshire spring with a piercing March wind sweeping down from the fells, finding its way inside my clothing, nipping at my nose and ears.

James Herriot


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Don't Skip the Forks in Your Household Inventory

Some people think it's mandatory to have a record of all your possessions to get homeowners or renters insurance. This isn't true, but an inventory can still be a valuable tool. While the idea of going through every nook and cranny of your home and creating a record of every item likely doesn't appeal, making an inventory is a good way to determine if you have enough coverage, whether it's homeowners or renters insurance.

Both policies provide protection for personal belongings: Renters insurance allows you to choose a coverage amount, and homeowners insurance typically covers personal belongings for a percentage of your home's value.

For example, if your home is worth $250,000, and your belongings are covered at 50 percent of your home's value, you'll have $125K coverage. This may be enough for some, but not for others, illustrating why an inventory is important. Here's how to conduct one:

  • List and estimate the value of large items first, such as your sofa, bed, and appliances.
  • Record and value household items such as clothing, sheets, and towels.
  • Include the value of small things such as forks. Most of us accumulate "stuff", and it's easy to forget how much you'd miss eating with those forks.
  • Once you've estimated the value of everything, tally it up.
  • Double that amount for a rough idea of how much coverage you need. If you have valuable items, such as jewelry, paintings, or collectibles, talk to your insurance professional about scheduling them.

Your Ride Goes Green But Style Still Sells

Car Drive"Green" has taken on a new meaning in the auto industry, and even Corvettes and pickup trucks are getting into the act. Take Ford's F-150. Many of its gaskets and seals now contain 25 percent recycled tires and 17 percent bio-renewable content from soy, according to Ford.

"Green" now means that vehicles are re-using all sorts of products in the manufacturing process. To the slogan, "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle", the auto industry has added "Re-invent." From Ford's soy foam seat cushions to the recycled water bottles used by Nissan for sound insulation, the industry has become conscious of the value of "green" parts. Companies are spending big research dollars and/or partnering with leading companies in the recycling industry in the race to be environmentally on trend.

A recent CAA article by Stephanie Sinopoli lists some of the products we are (or soon will be) riding in: Recycled denim dashboards, sugar cane-based plastic components and trunks lined with coconut fiber are adding to the greening of the auto industry. A newcomer called kenaf, which works like cotton and was originally used for making twine, is reinforcing roofs on GM autos.

More green products are on the drawing board, but designers also haven't left style behind. Take the North American car of the Year, GM's 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: It gets great mileage, thanks to its new aluminum frame, and looks, as Chris Paukert noted on AutoBlog: "fresh, modern and habitually aggressive." Your ride is going green, but you may be too taken with its looks to notice.

Score a Deal with This Savvy Shopping Guide

Shopping LadiesShopping for a vacuum? Need new sheets? There are better times than others to purchase certain items. Be a savvy shopper with this seasonal buying guide, courtesy of Lifehacker.com  and other websites.


Shop now for winter gear. This year's stock will be heavily discounted as retailers make room for summer clothing. Watch for sales on sweaters, jackets, and winter sporting goods.

Now is also the time to pick up the snowblower you've wished you'd had all winter long - not much demand for those in the rainy spring.

In early May, rifle through flyers for deals on patio furniture and gardening accessories. Stores may offer discounts on these items to encourage high sales.


Grilling season is starting, so watch for special pricing on barbecues. Also look for deals on hammers, saws, and other tools.

The kids are still enjoying summer holidays, but retailers have back-to-school on the brain. Don't wait until September to buy school supplies.

Replacing bathing suits and outdoor furniture? They'll be on sale at the end of summer; ditto last year's indoor furniture, as new models arrive soon.


Planning a winter getaway? Book before the cold weather hits - at least two months before your desired vacation time. The later you leave it, the higher the prices and the leaner the pickings.

You can find a deal on almost anything on Black Friday, especially electronics, but winter clothing is also value-priced.


Traditionally, Boxing Day brings good sales. Shop for the clothes and electronics you wished Santa had brought.

Bridal and boat shows are typically held in January or February. While you're there, scope out deals on event planners, wedding dresses, and big power toys. And you may want to consider getting married in the winter months. Spring and summer are far more popular times for weddings, so you might snag a deal on venues and catering.

How to Monitor Your Teen's Driving Habits

As every parent knows, paying for a teen's auto insurance isn't pleasant. In fact, many would call it painful, as teens can cause their parents' insurance rates to increase by as much as 500 percent.

If you're paying, you'll be glad to know there are now ways to make your teen somewhat responsible for their premiums. And it benefits them, even if they don't realize it.

Monitor grades

If your teen maintains a GPA of at least 3.0, most insurers will extend a "Good Student Discount," with savings on premiums of 3-7 percent.

You can also make your young driver responsible for maintaining good grades by tying driving privileges to marks.

Outlaw cellphone use while driving

Put your foot down when it comes to cellphone use- especially texting - while driving. There's no bigger danger or distraction when driving, and as we know, most teens constantly communicate through texting.

Insist your teen keep the cellphone in the trunk or out of reach while driving so he or she isn't tempted to use it. Monitor cellphone records to ensure your driver isn't using it while driving. You're helping prevent serious accidents, while at the same time keeping premiums low.

Control when your teen drives

The riskiest time for driving is between midnight and 6 a.m. Make it a rule that your teen doesn't drive during these hours.

While teen drinking and driving is a lethal combination, don't pretend it won't happen. Encourage your teen to ask you for a ride if he or she has been drinking, and warn but don't punish when it happens.

More accidents occur on Saturdays, so minimize the time your teen spends driving on weekends. This is difficult, because that's when they meet friends or go to work, but try to come up with creative ways reduce weekend driving; you'll be minimizing risks and lowering premiums.

 Life Insurance Is Possible with a Serious Illness

Your health affects your ability to obtain life insurance, and the rate you'll pay for it (in some cases increasing your premium by as much as 100 percent), but that doesn't mean you need to worry if you've battled a serious illness; you may be able to get reasonable coverage anyway.

According to the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE), 2-4 percent of life insurance applications are rejected annually. That said, many people with pre-existing medical conditions whose applications have been approved will pay higher premiums.

What medical conditions should concern you?

           You're unlikely to get insurance with HIV/AIDS, and there are health conditions that could increase the price you'll pay. The top five are: cardiovascular problems (such as a recent heart attack, bypass surgery, or valve surgery), stroke (even a mini-stroke), diabetes, cancer, and Hepatitis C.

While conditions such as these will likely increase your premium, it may only be for a period of time. Active cancers, for example, may lead to a denial of coverage. However, insurers may consider offering coverage - perhaps even at standard rates, and especially for some types of breast and prostate cancer - after two to five years of remission.

Insurance companies have different underwriting preferences:

If you suffer from pre-existing medical conditions and want life insurance, you should talk to your insurance agent. He or she will be able to advise you on what to do if your application is turned down. Insurance companies have different underwriting preferences, so even though one may reject your application, another one may accept it.

Your agent may contact an impaired risk specialist on your behalf. This specialized agent can make inquiries of other insurance companies at no cost to you.

You'll only need to proceed with a formal application and medical exam if the impaired risk specialist indicates the situation looks promising.

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.
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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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