Author Archives: mtobol@cgtmarketing.com

How Snowbirds Can Winterize Their Homes Before Going Away

Snow home

If you are a snowbird heading south for the winter, there are several key things you can do to help protect your vacant home. Taking these steps can help protect your home from theft, water damage, heating or electrical system malfunctions while you are away.

Make Your Home Appear as Though It Is Continuously Occupied

Forward your mail, stop newspaper delivery, and ask a friend or relative to collect flyers or other items that may be left at your door.

Take Steps to Protect Your Home from Thieves

Secure external doors and windows with deadbolt locks, security-type hinges and sturdy door frames that cannot be spread apart. Install slide locks or other equivalent security locks on doors.

Protect Your Pipes to Avoid Water Damage by Turning Off Your Water Supply

Drain your pipes of all water by opening the faucets, and flush your toilet to clear the water from the tank and bowl, then consider pouring antifreeze in toilet tanks and bowls to prevent any remaining water from freezing.

Keep Your Home and Plumbing Warm if Your Water Supply Stays On

Set the temperature at 55°F or higher to help keep the interior of the floor and wall cavities above freezing temperatures. Keeping room and cabinet doors open also helps heat to circulate and warm the areas where pipes are located.

 Perform Routine Maintenance Before You Leave

If electrical service to the home is to remain on, consider having a licensed electrical contractor inspect your main electrical panel, wiring and outlets, if necessary.

Make Your Home Unattractive to Pests

Inspect your home for openings that animals could use to enter. For example, make sure your fireplace flue is closed, as bats, birds and squirrels are known to get inside this way.

Be Ready for Emergencies

Install smoke detectors on at least every floor (preferably tied to a constantly monitored fire alarm system so the fire department will automatically be notified in case of alarm), and confirm that the sensors and system are tested regularly.

For more information about how you can successfully carry out each of these steps and winterize your home, visit Travelers Insurance’s Snowbirds blog.

A 2017 Thanksgiving Message From Our President Heidi Petschauer

Thanksgiving Table

During this special time of year where we pause to give thanks, I begin this message with a very heartfelt thank you to my dad, the founder of Petschauer Insurance, John Petschauer. He always provided me with an opportunity to learn the insurance business as well as understand the importance of collaborating with others.

Because of my dad’s imparting wisdom, as leader of the Petschauer Insurance Team, I always focus on promoting everyone working together.  Everyone on our team has incredible strengths which are all unique and appreciated. Therefore, pooling our strengths truly promotes our values of always relating with honesty and integrity, so that we can continue to build trusting relationships with you – our valued clients.

So now, my heartfelt thank you goes out to our amazing Petschauer Team! They are always open and committed, as I was, to seeking every opportunity to learn and grow so that they can continue to keep you, your families and your businesses protected and feeling safe. I am truly blessed to have them as my Team!

To you: our clients, I am so grateful and appreciate your continued trust in us and the values we uphold.

I wish everyone and their families a very blessed, safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. May you all take this time to reflect on the many blessings in your life.

Petschauer Insurance’s Guide To A Happy And Safe Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving turkey

The Thanksgiving holiday is an awesome opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy great food, and create long-lasting memories! We want to ensure that you have the most enjoyable time you can. With that in mind, please allow us to share some great tips around safety and extracurricular activities to make this holiday a phenomenal one from start to finish!

Cooking Up A Great Meal: Preparing the turkey and all the tasty fixings is a big part of the Thanksgiving tradition. In an effort to help everything go smoothly, Travelers Insurance provides a fantastic guide of do’s and don’ts for cooking a successful meal, complete with smart cooking attire ideas and what to be mindful of in the kitchen. The company also provides reassurance by explaining what to do in the event of a fire.

Helping Your Pets Enjoy Thanksgiving: While you and your loved ones enjoy a great meal, your pets deserve to be treated to something good as well. Cooked turkey, sweet potato, and green beans will help them truly embrace the spirit of the holiday! However, as tasty as they may look, the ASPCA suggests that you keep the sweet treats away from your furry friends!

Thanksgiving family dinner

Thanksgiving Gifts That Keep On Giving:  Hosting Thanksgiving at your home will allow you to reap all the benefits of leftovers that last for days! In the spirit of rewarding the host for all of their efforts, Nationwide’s Thanksgiving blog outlines some very creative spins on a bevy of leftovers recipes that may make dinnertime easy for the foreseeable future: try stew, stuffed peppers, and plenty of finger food.

From football, to board games and pleasant conversations, the outstanding traditions often go far beyond the food. Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and count our blessings, so we would like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving filled with wonderful memories as you enjoy each other’s company.

Open Enrollment 2018: Key Information, Dates and Reminders

Doctor visit

If you are currently without health insurance, Open Enrollment for individuals is here. Open Enrollment is your opportunity to purchase this coverage so that you can be covered on January 1, 2018.

It is important to be aware that if you are earning an income above the Federal Poverty Level, you will be required to pay a penalty for any three consecutive months that you are without health insurance. If you have lost your coverage previously sponsored by an employer, or you no longer qualify to be on your parent’s plan because you are over 26 years old, Open Enrollment is your time to take action to purchase health insurance.

Here is how you can take advantage of this sign-up period to secure health insurance and avoid any subsequent penalties.

What is Open Enrollment?

This is a period during which an individual can apply for health insurance with fewer restrictions than any other time during the year. It is important for those uninsured individuals to make note of this eligibility period. Open Enrollment for the calendar year of 2018 extends from November 1st through December 15, 2017. During Open Enrollment, insurance companies    waive underwriting guidelines and any requirement for evidence of insurability. When Open Enrollment ends on 12/15/17, individuals seeking coverage need to be “qualified” for Special Enrollment, or they will be required to wait until the next scheduled open enrollment period for 2019.

What is Special Enrollment?

This is a period outside open enrollment during which you are given an exception and can purchase health insurance following a qualifying life event, including divorce, marriage, birth, adoption, moving, death and loss of employer sponsored coverage.

How can individual insurance be purchased?

A number of Health Insurance Companies are offering Individual health coverage either directly through health carrier websites, via the New York State Health Exchange, or off the Exchange through independent insurance brokers.

What penalties will you be responsible to pay if you are not covered?

In 2018: $695 or 2.5% of income (individual) and $347.50 (child). The maximum penalty will be set at $2,085.

Health insurance is extremely important for all individuals, even for those with a clean bill of health. Accidents happen, as do unforeseen illnesses.  The cost of emergency room visits, x-rays, MRIs, hospital stays and doctor visits can all add up and be a financial burden to you and your family. We urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to purchase health insurance.  Please contact us with any questions you have about Open Enrollment.

Great Tips For Keeping Your Cyber Information Secure

Technology provides us with great opportunities to make obtaining and sharing information easy, both in the workplace and our personal lives. While the below video from IIABNY refers to the insurance industry, it’s important for us all to be careful when communicating with others. You can come up with proper risk management procedures to prevent cyber liability. With October being National Cyber Security Awareness Month, this video is a great reminder with tips for the best practices.

How Will Purchasing Life Insurance Benefit Your Family?

Family dog

As part of Life Insurance Awareness Month, we would like to take this opportunity to shed light on the valuable benefits of purchasing life insurance. This is a chance to ensure your family is protected, accommodated, and comfortable in the event of your absence. Allow us to share some of the ways life insurance can take care of your family and potentially mitigate pressing expenses.

Income Replacement: If you’re the primary earner, your family depends on your livelihood. Life insurance can help your family cover the costs of expenses such as:

Mortgage: A mortgage may prove to be difficult to pay for as your family transitions to living life in your absence. The death benefit could help cover this cost while they adjust.

College Expenses: The death benefit could help cover tuition expenses for your children. It may take your spouse some time to find a job in your absence. Even then, there will be other expenses to account for and this benefit would allow your children to continue college with a smoother transition after their mourning period.

Family beachChild Care: If your spouse must work additional hours in your absence to supplement income or require assistance watching over young children, there may be a need for child care services. The death benefit can help pay for this expense.

Final Expenses: Your life insurance can also cover expenses related to your death, including:

  • Funeral
  • Burial
  • Last Rights
  • Medical expenses you leave behind that may not have been covered by health insurance.

Life insurance will offer your family some peace of mind while going through this sad and difficult time. Everyone’s situation is different, so feel free to contact us and we can tailor a plan that best fits your family’s needs in your absence.

Why Should Young Adults Consider Life Insurance?

Young Athlete

When’s the best time to purchase life insurance? The answer is NOW. If you find yourself thinking you’re too young to purchase life insurance, we urge you to stop and keep reading as we debunk other common life insurance myths with an assist from “Life Happens.”

It’s too expensive. In the ever-burgeoning budget of a young family, things like day care and car payments and possibly student loans eat up a good chunk of the money each month, and a lot of people think that life insurance is just outside those “necessities” when money’s tight. Life insurance is often not nearly as expensive as you might think, especially when you can get a good policy for less than the cost of a daily cup of coffee at the local café, and well, if money’s tight now, what if something happens to you? In other words, you cannot afford NOT to have life insurance.

I’m strong and healthy! You eat right, you stay active, and everyone admires how grounded and centered you are. You passed your last physical with flying colors! That’s GREAT! You’re neither immortal nor indestructible. It’s not even that something could happen to you—though it could—so much as when you’re at your strongest and healthiest, there’s no better time to get a policy to protect your loved ones. If you fall seriously ill or suffer significant injury later, it will make it tougher to get that kind of policy, if any at all. Simply put, purchase it now while you are healthy and it’s less expensive, so that it’s there for you and your family when cost/availability is out of reach in your mature years.

I don’t have kids. Kids are a big reason why some people get life insurance. That’s not the only litmus for needing protection. If there is anyone in your life who would suffer financially from your loss—your spouse or domestic partner, a sibling, even your parents—a life insurance policy goes a long way in making sure everyone’s still OK even if something happens to you. For peace of mind, purchasing life insurance now is key.

Check out more information from “Life Happens” during Life Insurance Awareness Month.

13th Annual Petschauer Insurance Team Building Outing

 

Petschauer Insurance recently completed yet another successful team-building experience at our 13th Annual Team Building Outing. We spent the day working on our professional development skills so that we always remain mindful and present when consulting and communicating with our loyal and valued clients. We did this all while having fun and learning to dance with Heather Berman at the Garden City Dance Studio! By supporting one another through the emotional intelligence process of turning our challenges into successes, these strategies enable us to continue being the best insurance professionals we can be for you! Watch our video and let us know what you think.

What Car Insurance Discounts Do Student Drivers Qualify For?

Girl in new car

The start of a new school year signifies a wonderful and exciting time filled with the promise of a bright future! As a parent, there’s so much to look forward to for both you and your children as they embark on this next phase of their lives. It’s an opportunity for you to celebrate the young men and women they’re becoming as you provide a healthy foundation of love and support.

As your children blossom into young adults, they may take this opportunity to begin driving to school! With that in mind, we’d like to share the various discounts that could apply to the young drivers on your policy.

  • For students attending college over 100 miles away, many carriers offer an Away From Home Discount.
  • If you have chosen to purchase a new car for your child as they head off to school, you may also qualify for a New Car Discount if the car is less than three years old.
  • Completed Driver’s Education courses help young drivers sharpen their skills and add to their knowledge, all while earning a discount at the same time.
  • It could also be especially motivating for your kids to know that they could be rewarded for doing well in school. A Good Student Discount is often awarded to full-time students (25 years old or younger) that maintain a “B” average or sit on their school’s Dean’s List or honor roll.
  • Defensive Driving courses are easily completed online and offer substantial discounts for primary drivers in the household.  Visit our website for more details.

As your kids prepare for this next adventure, we wish them a successful school year filled with new beginnings as you reap the benefits of automobile discounts! Feel free to contact us if you need more information or have additional questions.

Have You Considered A Job In The Insurance Industry?

Job Interview 2

Congratulations! You’ve completed your collegiate career and are excited to use what you learned and embark on a new career. Celebrate your accomplishments! You have earned it!

As you enter this amazing time in your life and reflect upon where the next road leads, we encourage you to stay positive during what can be an overwhelming and challenging time.

As an ambitious professional looking to dive in head first and get real world experience, where can you turn?

We are here to share with you the many rewarding and lucrative areas of the insurance industry!

There are so many possibilities the insurance industry can offer with your versatile talents.

Check them out!

  • Customer service
  • Claims
  • Underwriting
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Information Technology
  • Social Media
  • Human Resources

In addition, there are many perks to working in insurance.

• With various careers and respective roles to choose from, you will find of plenty of room for creativity, growth, and stability. Companies are often looking for young, energetic talent to train, nurture, and develop to help fill these roles.

• Insurance will be around forever! Insurance will always be needed regardless of the economic climate, so there will always be a place for you! Therefore it will provide ambitious individuals with the groundwork for job security. With varied roles to fill, you are bound to meet co-workers with diversified talents and personalities. No work day is ever quite the same.

• Most rewarding, you will come away with a sense of purpose. You’ll be part of an industry dedicated to helping people protect themselves, their assets, and their families in hopes of securing the best future and overall quality of life.

With all of this to look forward to, what are you waiting for? Visit our career page to stay on top of the opportunities we may have for you moving forward!