Super Bowl LI Traditions and Treats From Petschauer Insurance

Chips & football

The Super Bowl is one of America’s favorite past times. Even if you aren’t the biggest football fan, the big game serves as a great opportunity for family and friends to come together. In addition to the game highlights, there are commercials and good food to enjoy, with fun activities to partake in. With Tom Brady and the Patriots set to face off against Matt Ryan and the Falcons this Sunday, our team at Petschauer Insurance would like to share some of our favorite traditions, recipes, and venues with you.


Game Day Traditions: 

We have Bourbon Tasting during half time.   Everyone brings a bottle of bourbon (we look for something special or new) to the host’s house.   During half time, we all try the different bourbon and then judge and vote for the best bourbon of the year. The host gets to keep all the bottles everyone brought.   It’s very collaborative and fun!   — Rosmarie Wyszinski, Office Manager

We play “quarters.” Each participant puts 25 cents in a bowl at the start of the big game.  The party host is the first person to hold the bowl.  Each time a play is made and no points are scored, everyone adds 25 cents to the bowl and the bowl is passed along to the next person.  When one teams scores, the person holding the bowl is the winner of the contents.  We then start the process over again, with one exception; the person to the left of the winner starts off with the bowl. – LuAnn Schook, Commercial Lines Manager


Recipes:

Office Assistant Tina Rustyak’s Spinach Dip:

INGREDIENTS and STEPS

  • 1 box (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry
  • 1 container (16 oz.) sour cream*
  • 1 cup Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 package Vegetable recipe mix(dry soup mix)

Serve: cold on large hollowed out bread. Enjoy!

Commercial Lines Account Executive Renee Ohms’ Chili Cheese Dip:

INGREDIENTS and STEPS

  • 2 bars cream cheese
  • 2 cans chili with beans
  • 1 extra  large  jar of medium or hot salsa (whichever you prefer)
  • 1-2 bags ( 3-6 cups ) shredded “ taco” cheese (usually Monterey Jack/Cheddar)
  • Spread cream cheese on bottom of glass or corningware baking dish
  • Spread chili on top of cream cheese
  • Strain the salsa in a colander until the excess liquid is gone and add the salsa on top of the chili layer
  • Spread the shredded cheese on top of salsa
  • Bake on 350 degrees until the cheese is melted

Serve: With taco chips. Optional: Add cut black olives &/or sour cream on top to serve.

Personal Lines Account Executive Lori Halloran’s Cherry Bombs:

INGREDIENTS and STEPS

  • Drain Maraschino cherries (keep stems)
  • Soak in vodka (or your favorite alcohol) for 24 hours
  • Drain & dry cherries
  • Dip cherries in melted chocolate
  • Then dip into colored sprinkles (optional)
  • Save cherry flavored alcohol for use later in your favorite cocktail!!

Recommended Super Bowl Venues:

Gottscheer Hall,  657 Fairview Ave. Ridgewood, New York

No cover! Great prices on game day snack favorites.

Click here for the regular menu.

Plattduetsche Park1132 Hempstead Tpke. Franklin Square, New York

Hosting an open bar, all you can eat wings, and a halftime buffet. All included for $50 dollars ($60 at the door).

Click here for more Super Bowl specials.

Paulaner NYC, 265 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

No cover! Great prices on food platters and freshly brewed German beer right in the restaurant. With two projection screens and two more flat screens, you have a great view of the game from any seat in the house!

Click here for more Super Bowl specials. 


Study Up Before The Game!

Those who aren’t huge football fans may still enjoy watching the big game. If that includes you, take a look at the video clip below for a crash course on the matchup between the Patriots and Falcons.

Preparing For A Nor’easter

Fallen tree

In anticipation of the forthcoming Nor’easter, allow us to share some of these helpful tips as you prepare. Here are suggestions of what to keep an eye on before, during, and after the storm hits.

  • Check skylights, vents and chimneys to make sure that no repairs are needed and everything is tight and secure from any water leakage.
  • Check leaders and gutters to make sure that they are clear of leaves, tree branches and any other debris. Clogged downspouts often lead to freezing and ice damage later in the season.
  • Check to be sure that trees and branches are trimmed back and pruned, so that dead branches or tree overhangs do not fall and damage your roof, chimney, skylights, windows and doors.
  • Reach out to your neighbors to see that everyone remains safe and in good spirits through the storm. This is an opportunity to embrace the importance of community and lend a helping hand to those in need around you.
  • Check to be sure furnaces are cleaned and in good working order, so that you do not run the risk of being without heat.
  • Check carbon dioxide and smoke detectors, making sure that they are working properly and the batteries have been changed.
  • Check water pipes for any leaks because a small leak can be managed by changing a pipe or repairing a portion of a pipe. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, be sure to contact your service company for a shut-off as well. A large leak can be a nightmare and do considerable damage to your home.
  • Check your electrical outlets, plugs and cords for any deficiencies such as wear and tear, overload, and fraying cords.
  • With power outages to be anticipated and the roads expected to be dangerous, shop for non-perishable foods before the storm hits. Refrigerated food will only stay safe for up to four hours after a power outage. Click here to see a guide of all specifics.

Maintenance is the key to preventing homeowner claims that may be caused by the elements. We urge you to embrace this opportunity to safeguard your home. We hope that you all stay safe through this storm and the rest of the winter season.

2017 New Year’s Message from Our President: Heidi Petschauer

 

new-years-2017

 

In 2016, we at Petschauer Insurance, focused on putting down our roots in our new home here in Garden City. Our goal was to enhance our client experience by promoting our brand of honesty and integrity so that we could continue building strong and trusting relationships.  It was also equally important for us to promote our brand within the Petschauer Team. We believe that being honest, relating with integrity and building trust by using our collaboration skills, enables us to work together as a team so that we can share our knowledge with you. Together, we can build the best insurance protection plan so that all your needs are covered.

I wholeheartedly thank my entire awesome Petschauer Team for their continued dedication and commitment to enhancing their insurance knowledge and for embracing our professional development and values. Their amazing perseverance, independence and team spirit is what fuels our success.

I also thank you, our clients, for giving us the opportunity to help protect you and provide you with the most current information to help you make good insurance choices for you and your family.

As this New Year begins, I wish everyone health, love, happiness and success throughout 2017.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Celebrating Our 2016 Content This Holiday Season

cartoon-santa-dog

The holiday season is one filled with laughter, songs, good food and even better company. As you celebrate with family and friends, we wish you happy holidays and hope that you create wonderful memories together.

The forthcoming new year also provides all of us an opportunity to reflect back upon the highlights of the past twelve months. As we do, join us in looking back at some of our favorite blogs and a special video from 2016. Once again, happy holidays from all of us at Petschauer Insurance.

  1. Travel Insurance for your Dream Vacation
  2. What You Need To Know When Choosing A Health Insurance Plan
  3. Certificate Of Insurance 101: What Business Owners Need to Know
  4. Key Man and Buy Sell Insurance Simplified
  5. How is your car insurance rate determined?

Keeping You and Your Family Happy and Safe This Holiday Season

christmas-gifts

The holiday season is officially here! This is an opportunity to spend quality time with your family and reflect upon the past year’s blessings. As you look forward to laughing, singing, and having fun with your loved ones, allow us to help you prepare with some safety reminders to ensure this holiday season is a happy and healthy one.

Prepare your home for travel: Whether you are logging long hours shopping for gifts at the mall or making a trip to see an out of town family member, it’s important not to tip off thieves and suggest you aren’t home. Nationwide offers various suggestions as to how you can discourage in-home theft. This will help prevent you from giving a burglar easy access or a green light to come in.

Be smart when shopping for gifts: While we may be past the Black Friday and Cyber Monday crazes, the holiday shopping continues all month long. Think Glink discusses the importance of setting (and sticking to) a budget and taking advantage of free shipping offers from notable retailers. As stores get crowded, choosing to ship will keep you off the hectic roads and help you save money on gas.

lori-christmas-rotate

Put a smile on their face with safety: In addition to being safe as the holidays near, exchanging gifts can present you and your loved ones with an opportunity to set the tone and practice safety all year round. AllState provides a comprehensive gift guide, complete with budgeted ideas for those who enjoy spending time at home, on the road, and outdoors.

Create a bright and starry display in a safe way: When getting into the holiday spirit, you may find fun in outdoing all your neighbors with a festive display outside or entertaining your family members inside. Either way, you can take precautions when putting up decorations. Travelers outlines potential solutions for you, including LED lights, battery operated candles, and more.

Wherever you go this holiday season, we also encourage you to be safe on the road. Happy Holidays!

A 2016 Thanksgiving Message from President Heidi Petschauer

turkey-cartoon

This is the time of year when we all stop to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. I would like to share my appreciations:

To our loyal clients: Thank you for all the trust that you have in our agency and staff. You are all very open to our knowledge and expertise as we protect you, your family and your business.  Every year we focus on ways to enhance your experiences so that you always feel safe.

To my amazing and knowledgeable staff: I am so blessed to have your commitment and dedication to our firm and our clients. Each one of you truly embraces our Petschauer Brand of honesty, integrity and trust. You also bring your team spirit and collaboration in your work with our clients, our projects and our Petschauer team.

To my family and friends (and my dogs Dobie & Gracie): Thank you for all your love and support. I truly feel so blessed to have you all in my life.

To my dad and our founder: Thank you for creating a Petschauer Insurance philosophy that has now become your legacy. Your wisdom continues to guide us every day.

May everyone have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Understanding the Need to Prepare for Long Term Care

older-couple-ipadMuch like death or disability, thinking about a potential long term care event is difficult. It is critical to the financial, physical and emotional well-being of your family to put a financial plan in place prior before you require medical assistance. It may be difficult to anticipate what could happen in the future. Tending to long term care costs sooner than later ensures that you and those you love will not feel the financial burden if that time does come.

In the event that you are plagued with a physical impairment or chronic illness, you may need to rely on long term care. You may also require long term care if you experience a decline in intellect and require ongoing care, supervision, and assistance completing life’s daily tasks.

These are conditions that can be medicated, yet not cured. Ailments and diseases that fall under this category include the following:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Brain Tumors
  • Strokes
  • Spinal Cord Injuries

older-couple-drinks

Long term care provides the necessary attention for you while in need, at the same time lessening the burden on your family to step in and provide it instead.

Your children may feel obligated to take care of you, in turn allowing their own life goals to be placed on the back burner.  This sacrifice often takes a severe emotional and physical toll on a loved one to provide care while juggling all the other obligations they have. Having to reallocate your own funds (or those of your family) may also limit your ability to take care of other financial responsibilities.

When opting to purchase life insurance, you may do so in order to protect your family in the event of an unexpected death. Long term care insurance can be looked at with the same regard.

Long Term Care insurance can be purchased as a stand-alone policy that provides funds for extended care costs or as part of a Permanent Life policy. The death benefit here can be accessed for a qualified Long Term Care event prior to the insured’s death. If you become frail and require extended care services, the benefits from a Long Term Care policy can be accessed if the insured requires assistance in the six activities of daily living.

These are defined as:

          • Eating
          • Dressing
          • Bathing
          • Toileting
          • Continence
  • Transferring (getting in and out of bed, chair, etc.)

The benefits may also be accessed if you have a cognitive condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s that requires supervision to prevent harming yourself or others. Long Term Care insurance provides funds when the family needs it the most.

We encourage you to review this information carefully so that you can make good choices now that will keep you and your family feeling safe and cared for later on in your life.  Contact us today to help you consider your best options.

Petschauer Insurance’s Guide To A Safe and Happy Halloween

family-pumpkins

Having spooky adventures is all part of the fun during Halloween. That said, the real scare would be not being careful on this frightful holiday. Allow us to walk you through some key safety tips to ensure a fun-filled holiday.

Halloween Parties: Gatherings can be exciting, and hosts will be worry free if they’ve reviewed their homeowners coverage before the fun begins. Taking up well known traditions can be done in a careful manner. When carving pumpkins, it’s important to keep carving tools away from young children. They can decorate with markers instead. You can supplement candles with energy efficient LED lights. The FDA recommends rinsing fruits and vegetables under cool running water before bobbing for apples. If you’re hosting a party and charge money for entry, Travelers notes that it could be considered a business opportunity and the proper insurance would come in handy.

halloween-costumes

Trick or treating: AllState recommends that children travel in groups, do so in brightly lit areas, and have a mutual place to gather should they end up getting separated. On the flip side, as a driver you’d be smart to keep an eye out for children running in the street, especially if it’s a darker area. As a parent, you can keep kids’ food allergies in mind and prepare them with a raised level of awareness around the risks of encountering strangers. On a day centered around snacks and sweets, Utica offers some healthier alternatives.

Decorations: The quickest and safest way to avoid injury for any visitors is to keep your front and back yards clean and to clear a path for trick-or-treaters. According to The Washington Post, Halloween is unfortunately a day with a higher risk/percentage of home burglaries and car vandalisms. Luckily, Nationwide offers a complete outline to keeping your home and car safe.

Costume Safety: Putting together costumes for your kids can be done in a safe manner as well. Face paint can be less restricting on a child’s eyesight than a fully covering mask. Costumes that don’t run very long will give trick-or-treaters the flexibility to walk freely without risk of tripping. The toy weapons from your child’s favorite superhero should not be able to cause legitimate harm. AllState points out that flame-resistant fabric is always best, especially if there’s still an easily accessible spot for children to keep their cell phones, in case of an emergency.

To get into the spirit of the holiday, you can also check out one of our favorite Ask Sherri videos. Happy Halloween!

Understanding the ACA Obamacare Tax Penalty For the Uninsured

health-insuranceWhen filing your 2016 tax returns, you could face a sizeable fine if you and/or your family are without health insurance.

The Affordable Care Act mandates that anyone that has gone without health insurance for a span of three months or more is subject to paying a fine. The penalty this year has increased to equal the greater amount of $695.00 or 2.5% of an adult’s income. For every child under 18 without health insurance, the penalty is half that of an adult’s.

This penalty is deducted from any income tax refund you may be eligible for. It would be unfortunate to be burdened by such a penalty and have it get in the way of the potential tax refund you look forward to receiving every year.

There are, however, exceptions to the rule.

You may qualify for an exemption if you fall under any of the following categories:

  • Individuals and families who fall under the income-tax federal threshold would be exempt, or receive the necessary subsides to offset the costs of the health insurance.
  • If you are unemployed and are unable to find coverage costing less than 8% of your adjusted gross income, you would be exempt from penalties as well.
  • You may also qualify for a hardship if you are homeless or have been evicted in the last six months.

We encourage you to review this information carefully so that you can make good decisions for you and your family.

Please note, Open Enrollment for 2017 begins on November 1st  2016.  Feel free to contact us today to discuss the options that best fit the needs of you and your family, as the penalty will be the same for next year.

How is your car insurance rate determined?

carHave you ever wondered what determines the price of your car insurance? How and why do your rates change? Why are you paying more (or less) than you were at this time last year? These are all questions that go through a consumer’s mind when evaluating their respective rates.

Allow us to walk you through some crucial factors that help determine your insurance premium.

° Deductibles: The higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be, and vice versa.

° Coverages: Opting for more thorough liability coverage to better protect your assets and future earnings, as well as additional coverage (such as rental, reimbursement, full glass, and roadside assistance) will, understandably so, contribute to higher rates.

° Credit Based Rating: Many companies use a credit based insurance score to determine your car insurance rates. Higher scores correlate with responsible driving habits.

° Motor Vehicle Driving Record: If you’ve received a traffic violation or had an accident within the last 3 to 5 years, most insurance companies will take that into account. The rate could subsequently increase. On the flip side, if a driver has gone a longer period of time without a violation or accident, the rate could end up being lower.

° Age: Drivers between the ages of 25-65 typically pay lower rates.

° Make and model: Vehicles that perform better in crash safety tests usually have lower rates. Vehicles with higher sticker prices usually have higher comprehensive and collision rates.

° Residence: Living in heavily populated urban areas will make your premium more expensive than living in a suburban area. Urban areas have higher rates of vandalism, theft, and accidents, all making them more expensive than rural areas and small towns.

° Mileage and Usage: The more you drive and the further you drive, the more you pay. Your reason for usage (personal, business, etc.) is a factor in the rate as well.

With so many personal factors determining your auto insurance rates, it’s easy to understand why it often varies from one person to the next. Here are some ways to lower your rates:

° Increase your deductible

° Take a defensive driving course

°  If you’re the owner of multiple cars, there’s also the possibility of receiving a multi-car discount

° Driving fewer miles

° Some companies use vehicle tracking devices (like Progressive’s “Snapshot”) that monitor driving, which can offer additional discounts

° Bundle your home, auto & umbrella policies together with the same carrier, as they may offer multi-policy discounts.

There are many factors not in the control of an individual, so it’s important to take advantage of those that are. Contact us today if you are interested in getting the best coverage for you and your vehicle.