Hastings Insurance Solutions LLC
2435 Kimberly Road
Bettendorf IA 52722
Is Shopping Online for Insurance Really a Bargain?
Buying auto or homeowners insurance on the internet seems easy and cheap. But is it?
Discover how relying on the web to protect your most valuable assets could cost you more - and put you and your loved ones at risk - by requesting my free guide, "The Dangers of Shopping Online for Insurance."
Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.
Each month I'll give you a new question.
Just reply to this email for the answer.
What did one of the world's richest men, John Paul Getty, have installed for guests?
Why Not Pass Me to a Friend?
If you've enjoyed this newsletter and found its information useful, please forward it to a neighbor, friend or co-worker by clicking this link.
Recipe: Ravioli with Pear and Sage Sauce
- 2 pounds cheese ravioli
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 2 thinly sliced shallots
- 3 cloves of pressed garlic
- 1 cup of roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 2 cups chopped canned pears
- 1/2 cup pear juice from can
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the ravioli according to package directions. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic until fragrant, then add sage leaves and continue cooking until everything is softened.
Add the bouillon cubes, pear juice and pears, and bring to a low boil while stirring and breaking up the cubes - about five minutes. Lower heat and add cream, stirring until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste, then serve over the ravioli.
*Editor’s note: April’s newsletter recipe "Crunchy Napa Cabbage Salad" should say 1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds in the list of ingredients.
This month, some famous quotes on the topic of design:
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Design is not for philosophy, it's for life.
Design works if it's authentic, inspired, and has a clear point of view. It can't be a collection of input.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well
Nearing our Office Move date of June 1st. Stay Tuned:
How to Spring Clean Your Insurance Policies
Warmer weather is finally here, and you've probably already started - if not completed - everything on your spring cleaning list. Or so you thought. In actuality, you need to do some "spring cleaning" of your insurance policies. It's one set of chores that could save you from losing everything you own - something you won't risk if you fail to power wash your home.
So put a hold on the other kind of spring cleaning: Here are three essential steps to spring cleaning your insurance policies.
Step 1: Read your policy
It may not be exciting reading, but you may be surprised at how much you don't know. And you also may discover a coverage exclusion that you now need; for example, perhaps you've always assumed that homeowners insurance covers flood damage, and you live in a high-risk flood zone. Upon reading your policy, you'll discover it's not covered. Be glad you spotted it; being in a high-risk area means you should buy flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) immediately.
Step 2: Ask about discounts if you've changed anything
This is something you should do annually, because your insurer may have just added a new discount and...good news: You may be eligible for it. Also, if you've recently experienced a big life change, such as getting married, having children, or moving to a new city or state, ask about discounts. Perhaps you've removed that old freestanding woodstove?
Step 3: Understand what each coverage means
While reading your policies, note anything you don't understand. Ask your agent about these so you'll be able to identify any holes in your coverage or changes that need to be made. For example, many assume that having full-coverage auto insurance includes towing and labor, rental cars, and medical expenses. However, "full coverage" actually means you carry only comprehensive and collision coverage - which pays for damage to your vehicle - as well as your liability coverage.
Why Not Turn Your Green Thumb to DIY Landscaping?
A little landscaping can go a long way in transforming the look of a garden or yard. If you've got a green thumb and an eye for design, why not try DIY landscaping?
Plan: Don't rip out plants and shrubs or rush to the nearest nursery without a clear, well-defined plan. Analyze your space and the growing conditions you have to work with.
Collect magazine and online images of gardens you like, but try not to yearn for something that may not be right for your space. Then sketch out a design that balances what you love with what you can feasibly do.
Start fresh: As Better Homes and Gardens magazine suggests, try to start with a clean slate. Remove overgrown plants or features you don't like for a clearer idea of how your plan will apply.
Budget: Flowers, trees, and shrubs are not cheap, and it can be easy to spend a lot to make your space feel "full." Decide on a budget before you shop. Take your budget and design to a garden center and ask their experts what they recommend for your growing conditions, plan, and available funds.
If your budget doesn't allow for everything you need to achieve your desired look, consider completing the landscaping in stages.
Consider hiring help: For more complicated aspects of landscaping, such as installing a water feature or laying down stonework, consider using professional services. Hiring for one specific job while completing most of the rest yourself keeps costs down while ensuring a professional-looking result.
How to Find More Space in Your Home
The temperatures are warm, and April showers have brought May flowers. It's spring. With summer on the doorstep, it's also time to ready yourself for long leisurely summer days and outdoor entertaining; it's time for spring cleaning and reorganizing
There are two sides to this battle: You're either obsessed and want to rid yourself of everything that reminds you of winter, or you're relaxed - cleaning and organizing when, where, and how you feel like it.
Either way, here are helpful tips from experts, including moving company co-founder Laura McHolm writing in the Huffington Post.
The pantry - get rid of excess packaging to create more shelf room. Instead of having dozens of oddly shaped boxes on your shelves, hold pasta and other dried goods in clear containers. Cut important info off the packaging and tape it to the outside of containers so you'll have it at your fingertips.
The kitchen - think vertical. If you have large deep drawers, stacking pots and pans on their sides will maximize space, and help you find items quickly.
The dresser - speaking of vertical...by folding your clothes and placing them vertically in your dresser drawers you take up less space than if you stack them on top of each another. Plus, it's easy to pick and choose. Note: You may need dividers to hold your stacks upright.
The closet - if you don't have space for clothes or shoes in your closet, they end up as clutter somewhere else. Organize your closet shelves with see-through bins or pretty boxes.
The kids' rooms - hey, kids have stuff. To cut clutter, buy bed risers and store bulky items in plastic bins under the bed.
Picture this - when you're storing out-of-season clothes, take photos before you put them away so you'll know what's in each box when it comes time to pull them out again.
What You Need to Know About Insuring Your Vacation Home
The process of finding insurance for vacation homes is much more complicated than for city homes. Insurers seldom jump at the chance to insure these "risky" investments. So, why are vacation homes so difficult and expensive to insure?
Many vacation homes are located in areas which are particularly at risk for what is known as, "acts of God," such as hurricanes, and flood damage.
As well, many vacation homes, which aren't rented out, are left vacant for long periods of time - meaning they are at greater risk from thieves and vandals. At the same time, vacation homes, which are rented when the owners aren't using them, also present problems of theft and vandalism, plus liability claims.
So how do you get the protection you need for your vacation home? In this case, it's even more important to compare insurance options. Vacation homes will cost more to insure than your average similarly constructed inland house because of the risks.
However, like other insurance products, companies have different ways of measuring risk proportionate to premium. Talk with your insurance agent. He or she may be able to suggest options you wouldn't have thought of and suggest how to reduce risks.
For example, you'll probably find more affordable rates if you don't rent the property. Do the math; if the cost of your income from renting out the home exceeds the costs of insurance and upkeep, go for it. Otherwise, keeping it as your private sanctuary may be your best - and cheapest - option.
Your Health Insurance May Not Cross State Lines
How would you feel if you traveled from one state to another and then discovered that your healthcare insurance plan doesn't cover you once you've crossed state lines? It's an understandably upsetting discovery, since you then would have to pay for healthcare costs yourself or purchase a new plan, likely with a higher premium.
Unfortunately, health insurance transferability across states is still an issue that affects many Americans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 36 million people moved in 2012, and many of them moved from one state to another. That's a large number of Americans concerned about this issue.
The majority of U.S. border-crossers are affected by red tape and legislation that can make transferring health insurance from one state to another virtually impossible. Residents of other countries entering the U.S. may have equal difficulty transferring their health insurance plans.
According to a statement by Steven B. Larsen, J.D., Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight with the Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, "The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows health care to be sold across state lines when both states agree and consumer protections are maintained."
The ACA would allow states to form interstate compacts to sell health insurance across state lines, and private insurers to create multistate plans to offer through state exchanges. However, there is confusion over the issue of each state maintaining its own consumer protections, plus concerns that selling health insurance across state lines would cause premiums to increase.
The best way for policyholders to avoid this confusion and minimize worries? Despite recently created state health insurance exchanges and a barrage of insurers offering health insurance policies online, the wisest and most effective course of action is to work with an agent you know and trust to help you navigate these tricky waters.