Important Coverage You Need To Know About Your Auto Insurance Policy

I’d like to thank Jerry Nicklow of Huff Insurance for this months blog contribution.

We all know that auto insurance is required on all vehicles on Maryland roads. Car insurance is pretty much the same across the board. The only real difference is the person who sold you the policy and how they explained it. For a majority of people, price is the single biggest reason where they purchase their auto insurance, either through an Maryland Independent Insurance Agent, which is what we recommend, or through companies you see on TV.  Sometimes, these companies, and other insurance agents, fail to explain or even offer the important optional coverage’s in a vain attempt to give you the cheapest price possible. Are they doing you any favors? I don’t think they are.  Believe me, I know price is very important when it comes to insurance. However, it’s also my job to make you aware of all your insurance coverage options and explain how they can help protect you and your family. Ultimately, it’s your choice so you might as well be informed when making these decisions. One of the most important coverage’s you should consider is Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Here are the quick definitions:

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)- This covers bodily injury and other compensatory damages for you or your passengers if you are hit by an at-fault driver who doesn’t have any insurance to pay the amount you are legally entitled to recover.
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)- Provides coverage for bodily injury and other compensatory damages for you or your passengers if you hit by an at-fault driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to pay the full amount you are legally entitled to recover.

According to the Insurance Research Council, if someone is injured in a car accident in the United States, the chances are one in seven(over 14% !) that the accident was caused by an uninsured driver. Now just think about how many cars you share the road with everyday.  I know that 50,000 cars pass our office on Ritchie Highway every day.  Using the averages, that means that 7,000 of those cars do not have insurance!  That is real scary.
Then, when you think about the amount of people driving that are underinsured and carry just the minimum liability limits required by Maryland ($30,000  bodily injury per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident and $15,000 property damage) makes everyday driving even scarier.
Let me give you an example of how this insurance coverage works. There are time bombs out there and I don’t want you to be caught with your guard down. Imagine that you are driving your family across town (not too uncommon right?), and another driver runs a red light and broadsides you. There are significant injuries, loss of wages, rehabilitation costs, total damage to your new car, etc. You then come to find out that the person who hit you doesn’t even have car insurance!

What happens is that you have to rely on the uninsured motorist coverage of your own car insurance policy to bail you out of the financial ruin because of someone else’s negligence. But, if you have enough UM/UIM coverage, you can make your claim with your own insurance company for EVERYTHING (except punitive damages) the bad driver owes you including: special damages (example- loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, diminished earning capacity, & cost to travel for medical treatment), and general damages (pain & suffering, living forever with paralysis, loss of enjoyment, loss of a standard of living, etc.) It’s important to note that NONE OF THIS IS COVERED BY HAVING GREAT HEALTH INSURANCE!!! This situation is all too real and happens every day of the week. I can not stress enough the importance of this coverage. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be added to your policy immediately. After all, this will be coverage to protect you and your family.  Some companies are now allowing you to add UM/UIM coverage onto your umbrella insurance policy as well, adding an additional layer of protection for your and your family.

Please give us a call to review this important coverage.

That’s why we’re here.

Huff Insurance is a locally owned and operated Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agency located in Pasadena, MD.  We have been protecting Anne Arundel County families and businesses since 1960.

Trade Show Exhibitions 101

Thank you, Paulette Morris, for your contribution to our blog and your knowledge of “Trade Shows.”

Trade Show exhibiting is a great way for businesses and organizations to showcase products and services. Planning and setting realistic goals is the key to a successful event. Here is a collection of useful tips for working your next Trade Show.

Trade Show booth

Get the Facts before the Show

Who might attend? How many visitors are expected, do they reside in your service area? Be aware of the dates, hours and the cost. Most shows will provide a table, tablecloth (curtain for booths) and a small sign with your business name. The 3 main categories of the show include: 1) booth: an example would be an   8 x 10 space, although a corner booth can provide added exposure for just a bit more; 2) tabletop (table only) and 3) small group space to include client’s office, your office, rental space or a meeting room. If you plan on selling your products, please check with management ahead of time for rules. Perhaps your goal is to make good connections and follow up after the trade show. TIP – Please do not let “no selling” discourage you. Trade shows offer a great opportunity for new prospects and connections that open doors for future business.

Planning and Setting Goals

What do you wish to accomplish? Are you prospecting for new clients, showcasing new products and services or both?

Theme…Is it Necessary

If the show has a theme…DO PARTICIPATE! Holiday or seasonal themes are great or you can choose a theme that relates to your business. TIP – Please do not let the theme overpower your message or image.

Pre-Show Advertising

Make the most of your Trade Show investment by getting the word out. Use mail, email, social media, or your blog, etc. Invite fellow exhibitors; (If possible, obtain a list from show management.) Advertise in the newspaper, membership organizations, and networking groups. TIP - Advertise your show date on outgoing mail & emails.

Create an Inviting and Informative Booth or Space

Choose the literature and/or imprinted products you wish to hand out to visitors. Help visitors and prospects to remember you by having your business or organization name on everything you hand out at the show. Your table display should give someone a quick snap shot of your products and/or services when they are standing in front of your booth. Door Prize Drawings and/or Games can create excitement and increase traffic to your booth. TIP - Use the back of door prize slips to take notes, wants & needs of prospects for easy follow up after the show.

Greet each visitor with a smile!

Meet and Greet a Variety of Visitors

Position your table and materials for visitors in various areas of your space to accommodate multiple types of visitors and at the same time preventing traffic jams in your booth. (Some may want to just pick up info quickly & others may linger longer.) TIP – position the “Door Prize” drawing on one side of your table and handouts on the other side. Chat with visitors while they are filling out the form. Don’t forget to bring your tools; pens, small clipboard/or writing surface, business cards, calculator, planner, emergency kit for making quick repairs to your display, if needed. Wear a name tag.

Games and prizes

Trade Show Etiquette and Networking Essentials

Please mind your manners…booth displays or games should never be disruptive to neighboring exhibitors. Be sure to greet everyone who steps into your space. TIP - If you are already chatting with another prospect when a new person steps up to your booth, a quick hello and smile will make them feel welcome to browse.

Please visit other booths, but be ready to “clear out” when they have visitors. Eat lunch away from your table (a drink is good to maintain your voice). If you do not have additional staffing, consider the buddy system with a neighboring exhibitor who may also need a break. Prepare an “Exhibitor Packet” to hand out to your fellow associates.

Respect the show “Break-Down” schedule. Leaving early may be disruptive to other exhibitors. Please check with your show coordinator regarding rules for early departure.

After the Show

Follow up…mail, email, telephone, face-to-face…DO IT!!! TIP: Don’t forget to include fellow exhibitors if they would be good prospects. 

 Evaluate

Set several dates for tracking show success: 2 weeks, 2 months, etc… Determine how much business was gained by the show. Were your expectations met? Make notes while your memory is fresh for the “next time”.

Trade show exhibiting is hard work, but with proper planning and organization, it will be well worth the effort. Wear comfortable shoes (after all, it is a work day). Wear your Best Smile and enjoy the show!

Idea Weaver

Idea Weaver Promotions, Inc.                                                                   410.360.8882                                                                                                                    www.ideaweaver.com

I Just Wanted A Better Wireless Internet

I would like to thank John Clark for the submission of this month’s blog. You will read about the “disparity” John felt regading technology and its capabilities.

First, the setting. He first became interested in computers in 1983-1984. The Apple II. The Apple IIe. The Apple IIc. Blazing 56KB modems. A 1 MEGABYTE hard drive. “Unbelievable!” Of course you can tell that he’s being facetious about these amazing computer technology marvels, but they were the “bomb” at the time. Then, came the Apple Macintosh. Imagine….”point and click” to open an application. Printing what you see on the screen. “WOW!” Eventually, the IBM PC world started catching on with Microsoft Windows, but it wasn’t even close to the ease of use. So, back then, IBM ruled the business world with software by Peachtree for accounting and Word Perfect. Integrated software (like MS Office) was only available with Apple Works at the time. Anyone reading this blog can name so many other software packages for business IBM offered. Then there were the IBM COMPATIBLE computers. More power. Less money! Competition breeds innovation!

Spring forward a few years….The 1 gigabyte hard drive! “Your kidding me!” And that was ONLY available to the government (at the time). What about the modem? 14,400 KB transmission speeds! Again “UNBELIEVABLE!” What about the laptop computer? Imagine sitting with a fully functional computer on your lap and use it on a plane, in a hotel room, or in your living room. BUT…..no Internet connectivity yet. That was coming in the next few years.

So, now here we are in 2013. Whatawegot? Smart phones with 32 GB storage and Internet. Star Trek type tablets, that communicate through a WAN or a LAN. Flash drives that hold 128GB. And this man’s problem. He wants to BOOST his WIFI signal to the end of his house. His office on one end. The wireless router on the other. How do you do this? My answer turned out to be very simple. Go back to a wired-connection. The WIFI connection wasn’t that much slower, but just enough to be annoying. As for the WIFI booster. Just not needed. Transmission speeds were as good as there were gonna be. Forget watching YouTube when receiving the signal wireless. SO ANNOYING! So, technology marches on. What about you? Please make your comments. “10-4 Good Buddy” “Beam me up Scotty” Text me and we’ll do lunch ;-)    You know what I mean!

John Clark, Website & Technology Chair          

410.320.3145

 

From Weddings to Funeral’s and Everything in Between

I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland; more precisely, Brooklyn, with a birds-eye view of St. Rose of Lima Church and school on 4th Street. I was baptized at St. Rose, received confirmation, and finally graduated from eighth grade there. Back then, there wasn’t middle school; you went from 1st through 8th grades and then into high school.

Gonce’s funeral home was just down the street and many Saturday mornings we would see the limousine from Gonce’s ride by, heading down to St. Rose for another wedding. My father always said, “there goes another idiot, putting one foot in the grave.” My father exemplified characters right out of Mad Men on AMC.

The Pasadena Business Association has members that offer services who can assist you in getting engaged; Sanders Diamond Jewelers, to wedding photography by Katrina Krauss, Susan Ann and J. Hurst Photography. And, if things don’t work out, well, I’d like to say we have lawyers you can talk too; anyone out there know a lawyer that may want to become a PBA member? We do have someone that can create your Will though.

In case you plan on purchasing a home, we have (5) Mortgage Lenders. I’m sure you can negotiate a great rate with one of them.

The Pasadena Business Association has so many options and offers a variety in services; it would be ashamed to overlook the obvious choice. Shop local weekend was just here; why not browse locally year round by visiting the PBA site.

Maybe in the next blog, we’ll discuss caregiving. “I don’t take that striped pill anymore; you can throw that one away.” “Do you know what it was for?” “No, but I take (15) other RX’s, so I dont’ think I need that one.”

I’ll look forward to hearing stories from other sandwich generation folks. Laughing through the insanity.

HAPPY SUMMER!

Sue

Let’s Support One Another in Business!

Are you aware that there are 100 + categories listed under the PBA directory? http://www.pasadenabusinessassociation.com/directory/category-listings.php

Is there something in particular that you would prefer to share with PBA members and the local community to help us learn more about your business? Would you like to write something highlighting essential information about your profession that other PBA members and the public would find helpful or encouraging? Maybe something that hasn’t been published on the PBA website or mentioned at a meeting?

This is your opportunity. We would like to promote your business and why not start by saying it in your own words.

As PBA members, one common bond we share is connecting too and working within our community. Why not share our expertise and knowledge about our specific occupations?

I would like to encourage you to take a few moments, think about the influence your work has had on you, your employees and or family, and let us know something we didn’t before.

We look forward to reading your words and hope that we can share them in an upcoming blog. Please submit your information to me for preview, susan@virtualeyours.biz. You may surprise yourself once you put fingers to keyboard or pen to paper and write something to share about your business and best practices.

Make it a great day!

A Welcome Season is Approaching

Spring will be arriving soon, something that makes me happy. Along with cleaning out the closets, setting up gardens and maybe painting a room, have you considered updating your business pages?

Do you have a Web Site, LinkedIn account or Facebook business page that could use a spring cleaning? The saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

The attached link, “Your Web Site: Your 24-Hour Storefront” explains just how important your Web Site is, especially in these tough economic times.

If you have an opportunity, please check out the PBA’s directory to find members that have the knowledge and expertise to help you with your web needs.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

Consider This a New Beginning

I don’t make resolutions, but gently remind myself to remain compassionate with people, be a good listener and keep family close to my heart. I think it’s important to volunteer and teach our children to do the same. These are the things I contemplate at the beginning of each New Year.

Now, consider the Pasadena Business Association; what I’m reminded of is exactly what this association and its members do day in and day out, year after year. Their community involvement is unwavering; the PBA has fundraising drives during the year to benefit various organizations; they sponsor charitable events and scholarship programs for education. The PBA collects food (tons and tons of food) for those in need, school supplies for the less fortunate, and work with the county legislation to help bring improvements to our community. Actually, some of the members are government officials.

The Pasadena Business Association will advertise your company in the directory as well as on the website and you could attend workshops designed to help grow and promote your business. There are monthly membership meetings with a variety of speakers and an occasional happy hour. As a member of the PBA, you connect to your community and share the pride we all feel in Pasadena and our surrounding neighborhoods.

Whether or not you make New Year’s resolutions is a personal choice. I wanted to offer a small insight into a wonderful business association that you may want to consider joining this year. If we work together, we will continue to promote a healthy and flourishing community.

May you enjoy a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

If you are interested in the origins of New Year’s resolutions, please see the following link: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/39353#ixzz2HULJHEtR

Christmas Traditions Anyone?

This year will be my sixth year at “Midnight Madness” in St. Michael’s. If you or someone you know is a Scrooge, this will get them out of their Ho, Ho, Ho mood. All of the shops offer discounts; many offer baked goods, hot chocolate, hot mulled wine and cider, or beer and wine. Who can be unhappy with those offerings? Santa goes around town singing Christmas carols with everyone. Then, at midnight, they raffle off (8) prizes, which consist of huge gift baskets containing items from various shops as well as $1500.00 gift certificates. It’s a win-win weekend? We stay on Tilghman with friends, but there are several B & B’s as well as marinas where you can stay overnight.

I have movies that are a must see; Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, Little Shop Around the Corner and Polar Express, to name a few.

I rebelled last year and didn’t put up the tree for the first time in over thirty years. You see, my daughter, Meg, moved to North Carolina. I thought, if my grandsons, Hunter and Logan, wouldn’t be here to enjoy the tree, why be bothered. Well, I realized the importance that putting up my TREE was to ME and how it makes me feel. I listen to Christmas music, wear my Santa cap and get sentimental taking each ornament out of its tissue paper. I carefully place each decoration, stepping back to survey the tree as it takes shape, and smile at the memories before my eyes.

I miss loved ones who are no longer here to share this season with me, but am ever grateful for my family and friends. Merry Christmas Paul and Katie; you’re always here in spirit.

So, in honoring another tradition, why not join us at the PBA Christmas tree lighting ceremony on December 4th at 7:00pm? This is the third year for the lighting and we hope to see you at Lake Shore Plaza, next to Arundel Federal Savings Bank for the fun and festivities. Please consider the donation of a gift or cash which will be used to support “A Child’s Christmas.”

Merry Christmas to all of the PBA members and their families and thank you so much, Sandi and Lisa!

A Parade is Coming!

Finally, after a scorcher of a summer, Fall is definitely here. Fields are full of children playing soccer and football, mums and pumpkins assemble everywhere, and Thanksgiving sits closely on the time line. PBA businesses and community groups are preparing for the big Thanksgiving Caring and Sharing Parade on Sunday, November 4, 2:00 pm step-off, when dozens of floats and vehicles wind their way from Tick Neck Park on Edwin Raynor Boulevard, turning right on Mountain Road, then right on East Shore Road, left on 218th Street and left onto Outing Avenue, ending at George Fox Middle School.

It’s an exciting time for the children lining the streets sitting in front of adults who claim their viewing spots early in the day. The many vehicles, fire trucks, antique cars and sports cars are mirror-shiny, and the floats filled with friends and neighbors represent many hours of work to spread the message of the business or organization.

But the real purpose of the Parade is helping those in need in Pasadena: Each year literally tons of food is distributed to local food pantries. Amazingly generous Pasadena residents bring food to the collection bins of PBA businesses, or bring bags of groceries to the Parade, or buy the discount certificates offered at Lauer’s Supermarket and Bakery.

In 1996, Tom Redmond, a past PBA president, organized the Parade and it has become an exciting time for everyone. Come out and enjoy the fun and, if you can, contribute to the pantries which all distribute only to Pasadena residents needing a helping hand during the holidays and all-year round.

Susan Rouse tells in her blog how she became involved in this remarkable event – you may find as much joy as she does if you follow her lead. If you collect food for the Parade at your company or organization, let us know and we’ll publish your story here.

Everyone Loves a Parade

For the past four years, I have been collecting canned goods and food in my office at Anne Arundel Community College. What prompted the collection was a man who works at the college, Mike. He has worked for the facilities department for more than twenty five years, and asked me to get the word out to my tutors and instructors. Mike enthusiastically talked about the parade near Tick Neck Park starting on Ft. Smallwood Road and proceeding down to Mountain Road.

At the time, I wasn’t aware that the parade and food collection was an annual event sponsored by the PBA. My concern was that families in need be taken care of and we were happy to help.

Three weeks ago, I posted my annual appeal to those same tutors and instructors; and each year, they are more generous than the past. I don’t stop with one message either; if I haven’t heard from a tutor or instructor or haven’t received a donation, I will call them. There is no end to my persistence when it comes to helping the community.

The theme of this year’s parade is “PASADENA THANKSGIVING PARADE: A CARING & SHARING HARVEST.” Check out the History of Parade’s to see the background behind some of the world’s oldest parades.

So set the DVR, watch your football team a little later and get out with your family and friends to support this wonderful tradition. The parade takes place on Sunday, November 4th at 2:00pm Pasadena Parade. This is after-all, a social event and we would love to see as many of you as possible. Oh, and please don’t forget to bring a canned good!

17th Annual Pasadena Thanksgiving Parade -- Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 2:00 PM.