Wednesday, November 25, 2015

7 Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

With Thanksgiving just a couple days away and Christmas right around the corner, your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent is here to help you stay safe in the kitchen. Along with the holidays, comes a lot of food preparation. If you're not careful, preparing that Thanksgiving feast can be a recipe for disaster. Use these cooking safety tips when you're in the kitchen this holiday season!

1. Don't Leave the Kitchen Unattended. 


While you're frying, broiling or grilling your Thanksgiving feast, be sure not to leave those items unattended, even if just for a short time. Nearly 45% of consumers say they have left the room to watch television or listen to music.


2. Be Sure to Set Timers. 


With multiple dishes cooking at the same time, it's easy to get confused what has been cooking for how long. Don't rely on your memory, be sure to set timers. With all the activities happening during the holidays, it's common to get distracted. Talking on the phone while you're waiting for food to cook is an easy way to lost track of time. Check the food you're cooking often, even if you do have that timer set.

3. Keep Flammable Objects Away From the Stove. 


Pot holders, oven mits, wooden or plastic utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels and more can easily catch fire if they're too close to the stove. Also be mindful of the clothing, accessories and jewelry you're wearing, which could ignite over a flame.

4. Do the Dishes as You Work. 


Washing up as you work will not only lessen the amount of dishes you have to do at the end of the day, but it will also help you keep your work environment clean - and a clean work space makes for a safer work space. This goes back to keeping things away from the stove top.

5. Ensure Your Smoke Alarms are Functional. 


As annoying as they can be, it's important to make sure you're smoke alarms are functioning properly and never disable them. Use the test button to check that they are working before you begin cooking your Thanksgiving meal. A shocking 29% of consumers reported that they have intentionally disabled smoke alarms while cooking.

6. Avoid Multitasking. 


One way to prevent accidents and kitchen fires from happening is to focus on one task at a time. Keep in mind that one distraction often leads to another, so it's best to focus your attention solely on cooking. Now that's not to say you can't have a couple things cooking at the same time. Be sure to use those timers we mentioned before though, so you don't overcook your meal.

7. Use Crowd Control While Cooking. 


The kitchen is especially busy during the holidays, but as the host, don't be afraid to exercise crowd control. Keep the number of people in your kitchen to a minimum, especially children. Crowded kitchen can cause confusion and result in someone getting burned.

Over half of home cooking injuries occur when victims try to fight fire themselves. Be smart this holiday season by using these holiday cooking safety tips from the best insurance agent at the Lake of the Ozarks. You'll also want to make sure your Lake of the Ozarks homeowners insurance is up to date, just in case there's an accident this holiday season. Give us a call at 573-348-2794!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How much Life Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Not only is having life insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks important, but having an adequate amount of coverage is as well. Keep in mind that life insurance isn't for you, it's for your family that you'll be leaving behind. Think about your monthly expenses and how much your family is going to need in order to maintain their current lifestyle if you're gone. Insure the Lake is here to help point you in the right direction. Here are a few things to consider to help you determine the amount of life insurance coverage you should purchase.

1. How much debt do you have?


Other than your mortgage, think about other debts that you might have. Do you have student loans, car payments, credit card debt? Do you add to that debt each month or do you pay it down? These types of debts mean that you are spending more than you earn. When determining the amount of life insurance coverage you need, you'll want to take into account these debts. Make sure you have enough coverage that they can be paid off if something were to happen to you. You don't want to leave your family struggling to pay off your debts.

2. What are your monthly expenses?


Think about how your money is spent each month. The easiest way to do this would be to create a budget; you can also take a look at your bank statements to see where the money you're earning is going. You can't ensure your family will be taken care of if you don't know how much money you spend each month for basic living expenses. This is something you'll want to give careful thought to, don't just guess an amount.

3. How much do you have in savings?


If you put money away each month into a savings account or investment account, then you're already in good shape. Keep that up and you won't need to purchase as much life insurance as that money will be there to take care of things as well. You can subtract your savings amount from the total amount of life insurance you need and then see what's left to help determine what amount of insurance you should purchase.

4. What future obligations do you have?


If your family is planning to make some larger purchases in the future, you should take those goals into account. Maybe you're going to need a new car in a few years, as your current one is getting up there in miles. Do you have children? If so, do you have a college fund for them? You need to think about these goals and if you have the money for them. If not, you will need to add that amount into the amount of life insurance coverage you choose to purchase.

Some experts say that you should have enough life insurance to cover 5-10 times your annual income. However, the real answer to the question, "How much life insurance coverage do I need?" is that it depends on how much money your family and dependents are going to need after you're gone. You can rest assured that they will be financially taken care of for several years if something were to happen to you. Contact the best insurance agent at Lake of the Ozarks about life insurance today by calling 573-348-2794.  

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Friday, November 13, 2015

7 Costly Gaps in Homeowners Insurance

When it comes to insurance, most homeowners are clueless as to what their policy does and does not cover. From earthquakes to flooding, there are several disaster situations that basic homeowners insurance won't cover. Not knowing what is covered by your insurance policy could cost you a lot of money. Your Lake of the Ozarks insurance company is here to let you know about several areas where you might need additional coverage.

1. Fire Damage  


Many people think that if their house is consumed by fire, the insurance company will cover all the costs to rebuild. Your company will normally pay replacement cost of the structure only up to the limit of insurance.  There are also limits to the amount of debris removal charges allowed.  Keep in mind the company will only pay replacement cost if you replace or rebuild.

2. Earthquake Damage 


Damage to your home caused by an earthquake is almost never covered under your basic homeowners insurance policy. You would need to purchase a separate earthquake policy. Most people believe that these natural disasters are covered in their policies, when really they're not.

3. Frozen Pipe Break


If your pipes freeze and break during the winter, your insurance might not pay for it. You have to take certain steps to protect your home or you might be liable for the costs. In this case, if you fail to keep your home heated or keep the pipes drained, especially while you're away, the damage that results from freezing might not be covered.
 

4. Sewer Backup


If your sump-pump backs up and floods your home, the damage is typically not covered by your homeowners insurance. In this case, you as the homeowner would be responsible to pay for those costly repairs, unless you specifically added coverage for water and sewer backup.  This is a minor cost for a great additional coverage.  You should make sure this is on your policy.

5. High-Value Belongings 


While all homeowners policies cover your personal belongings up to a limit, certain items may not be included. Valuables such as jewelry, silverware and collectibles, like stamps and coins, are typically only covered up to around $1,000-$2,500. Most policies cover stolen items, however they don't always cover if your possessions mysteriously disappear. The best way to handle these specialty items are to specifically schedule them which may require an appraisal.  There may also be an opportunity to write the coverage as an Agreed Value verses Actual Cash Value.  Your agent should be able to discuss your options with you.

6. Building Code Upgrades


The majority of homeowners think that if building codes change, your insurance policy will cover the cost of the upgrades to get it back up to code. Unfortunately, most policies do not pay for upgrades, even when they are mandated by new laws. You would need to take out additional "ordinance or law" coverage.

7. Home Office 


Most homeowners policies will limit coverage for business equipment in a home office to $2,500. The policy also offers no liability coverage for business use of your home. A separate business office policy may be able to provide liability and contents coverage for a couple hundred dollars a year.

These gaps could end up costing homeowners a lot of money. On the other hand, many homeowners policies provide coverage for many unexpected things such as electronic data like music and damage to appliance caused by power surge. The bottom line is that it's important to know what your Lake of the Ozarks homeowners insurance policy does and does not cover. Give Insure the Lake a call today to see how we can help with all of your insurance needs!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mark Your Calendars for Winterfest 2016!

Save the date for Saturday, February 27, 2016 for the 20th Annual Winterfest celebration. Steve Naught and Insure the Lake are proud supporters of this annual event benefiting Lake area charities through the Lake Ozark Daybreak Rotary. The event will be held at Tan-Tar-A Resort and will be one of the BIGGEST events this winter! This year's theme is "Roaring 20's Speakeasy." Put on your Glad Rags, jump in your Jalopy and come join us for a night of fun!

What To Expect This Year


This party will be the Bee's Knees! You can look forward to the following at this year's event:
  • Live and Silent Auctions
  • Wine Pull
  • Gangster Cocktails
  • Mugshots
  • Live Music
  • Costume Contest
  • ...and More! 

Tickets for this year's event are $60 each or a Table for 10 is $600. Sponsorship Opportunities are also available. Contact Steve Naught at 573-348-2794 or any Daybreak Rotarian for tickets.

About Lake Ozark Daybreak Rotary


As Rotarians, we strive for service above self. We proudly serve the Lake of the Ozarks Area and surrounding communities with the caring and involved approach defined by Rotary International. Locally, we support over 40 organizations in addition to international service projects worldwide. We are comprised of business people and community leaders, and offer opportunities for hands on involvement in improving our community and the world. 

Winterfest is a great event that raises funds for over 40 local charities and organizations at the Lake of the Ozarks. Insure the Lake thanks you in advance for your generous support of this event and we hope to see you on February 27th at Tan-Tar-A Resort.

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Friday, November 6, 2015

Healthcare Open Enrollment is Here!

With the new healthcare laws, everyone is required to have health insurance or else they have to pay a penalty. Open enrollment for 2016 healthcare coverage started November 1, 2015 and will run through January 31, 2016. Let's take a look at open enrollment and some tips to help you apply for health insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks for next year.

What is Open Enrollment? 


Open enrollment is the limited period of time that those without healthcare coverage can apply for it. It is the only time of year that you can apply for cost assistance, switch plans, or enroll in a major medical plan that counts as minimum essential coverage in the individual and family market without qualifying for a special enrollment period.

Marketplace Eligibility


To be eligible to enroll in a health coverage plan through the marketplace, you must meet the following 3 criteria:
  • Must live in the United States 
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen, National or be Lawfully Present
  • Can't be incarcerated
In addition, those that are on Medicare are not eligible to use the marketplace to buy a health or dental plan.

Marketplace Tips 


1. The Marketplace is for people without coverage. If you already have health insurance coverage through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying coverage, you do not need to apply for a plan in the Marketplace.

2. Insurance premiums depend on your income. Your savings will depend on your estimated income for 2016. Based on the income estimate you provide on your application, you could be eligible for a premium tax credit that will lower your monthly insurance bill. Some people can also save on out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and co-pays.

3. If you don't have health insurance, you may have to pay a fee. Most people must have a qualifying health coverage plan or they will have to pay a fee with their 2016 federal taxes. If you don't have coverage in 2016, you'll have to pay either 2.5% of your income or $695 per adult, whichever is higher. In some cases, you might qualify for exemption, but talk to a Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent today to make sure you don't have to pay the penalty.

4. Apply now. Enroll by December 15 for your coverage to start January 1, 2016. After January 31, 2016 you won't be able to buy a health insurance plan unless you have a life change, such as having a baby or getting married, etc, that qualifies you for a special enrollment period.

If you don't enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan by January 31 2016, you won't be able to enroll unless you qualify for a special enrollment period. Make sure you don't have to pay a penalty by considering your Lake of the Ozarks health insurance options today! Insure the Lake is here to help you with all of your insurance needs, health to auto to home, personal to business. Give us a call at 573-348-2794 to get started!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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