The Phelan Forum
Phelan Insurance Agency’s Newsletter for You…Our Valued Customer
863 E. Main St. * PO Box 1 * Versailles, OH 45380 Winter 2007
Phone: 800-843-3069 * Fax: 937-526-5178 www.phelanins.com
The Holidays Are Upon Us! Specialists:
• James B. Phelan, CPCU, CLU,
A Great Chance For Fun...And Sharing. CIC, CPIA
• Timothy P. Grow, CIC
We are now moving into my favorite time of the year.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming! • Ron Stauffer, CPIA
• Mick McClurg, CIC, CWCA
To me, Thanksgiving is the perfect American Holiday. A time to • Pat Custenborder, CBC, CLTC
go back to our roots and think about how America was created • Todd Phelan, CIC, CRM
and what it means to us. Most impressive are those who host • Brent J. Phelan, JD, CPCU, CIC
others. The Beerman Family Thanksgiving Dinner in Dayton has
• R. Jamie Mescher, CIC, CWCA
hosted thousands of people over some 38 years. The
El Sombrero Restaurant in Miami County has been providing • James Groff, CPIA
Thanksgiving dinners since 1994 to anyone who comes. Both • Eric Epperly, CIC
these truly know the meaning of the giving part of Thanksgiving. What can you do? • Chris Gigandet, CBC
Easy! Make sure you get together with your family and enjoy each other. • Gregg McClurg
• Karen Keiser, CPIA
Following on the heels of Thanksgiving comes Christmas and other Holidays. No matter
• Janet McEldowney, CIC, CPIW
your religion, this is a time to celebrate what you believe in. It will make great memories
for the youngsters in your family. Take the time to think back to what created your best • Terry Barga, LUTCF
memories. Then try to help others in your family create their own for their future.
Lastly, we don’t say it often enough but we really appreciate you and your business. Feedback is always
You are our reason for being and we are very thankful for the trust you show in us. welcome! Just contact:
Have a Great Holiday Season!! Cindy Miller
Get Warm...But Be Safe
Kerosene heaters are a popular heat source because they are Did You Know?
inexpensive and readily available. But they also pose some special risks.
If you are going to use a kerosene heater, follow these simple precautions: • All 13 colonies celebrated
Thanksgiving together for the
• Never fuel the heater inside your home. first time in 1777.
• Always wait until the unit cools down before refueling. • 280 million turkeys are sold for
• Store kerosene in a clearly-labeled container with a tight-fitting lid. Thanksgiving celebrations.
• Use only K-1 kerosene, which is clear like water—never use a yellow- • Artificial Christmas trees have
colored kerosene. outsold real ones since 1991.
• Keep combustible materials away from the heater. • Due to time zones, Santa has 31
• Make sure there is adequate ventilation. hours to deliver gifts.
• Always shut off the heater when retiring for bed. • The movie “How the Grinch
Stole Christmas” (2000) features
Purchase only those heaters bearing the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) seal. UL approved more than 52,000 Christmas
devices will include: lights, about 8,200 ornaments
and nearly 2,000 candy canes.
• Automatic cut-offs that turn the heater off if tipped over.
• Low centers of gravity to avoid being tipped over.
• Automatic starters eliminating the need for matches.
• Fuel gauges that will help prevent overfilling.
ID Theft Insurance — Foods That Will Warm You Up
Do You Need It? Winter's upon us, and it gets mighty cold outside! If cranking up the
thermostat isn’t doing the trick, fuel up with these heat-generating foods.
Identity theft is being talked about constantly these Believe it or not, they really do warm you.
days. Why? Because more and more people are
victims. Approximately 10 million American consumers Fill up on beans, lean meats and leafy veggies. All are good sources of
have discovered that their personal information has iron which helps your thyroid regulate body heat. A study found people
been used to open fraudulent bank, credit card, or
who got only one-third of the recommended 18 milligrams of iron nutrients
utility accounts, or used to commit other crimes.
a day lost 29% more body heat in a cold room than those who did. Drink
Identity theft costs consumers nearly fifty million
more water as being dehydrated requires
dollars last year alone. Plus many others have had
your body to work harder to maintain its
their personal information exposed to this threat.
heat. Also indulge in hot cocoa, oatmeal
Recently in Ohio, nearly one million people’s
and soup. All these have a thermogenic
personal information was possibly compromised
effect, raising your body temperature and
when a single laptop computer was stolen from a
giving you an added boost!
What can you do? Phelan Insurance provides
identity theft insurance at a very low premium. It
doesn’t cover items stolen but it reimburses you for
your expenses in getting your personal information
secured again. Did you know that the average
victim spends about $1,878 out-of-pocket to restore
their identity, not to mention an average of 60 hours
of lost time? Call Cindy Langston or Mike Simon for
Late Car Payment?
more information and a free quote. A small premium
may save you a lot of money!
Is It A Big Deal? Maybe It Is.
We’ve all heard of “credit scoring” used by all financial institutions.
But do you know how your car payment history can either help or
Making just one late car payment means a consumer’s positive
credit score will lose 100 points on average. (Depending on which
system, a top score is 880 or 990). The average credit score for
U.S. consumers with no late auto payments is nearly 100 points
higher (703) than for those who have at least one late payment
(605). Nationwide, 12% of consumers have at least one late auto
Did You Know? payment on file.
• The average consumer spends $1,195 for holiday shopping. Speaking of car payments, the national average
• 70% of shoppers will still be shopping within 5 days of balance on an auto loan is $15,654 and the
Christmas. average monthly payment is $495. Twenty
• 38% of shoppers start holiday shopping in October. eight percent of the U.S. has at least one auto
• 92% of shoppers will buy holiday gifts online. loan or lease.
• The top three holiday gift requests are clothing, plasma TVs, or
cash and gift certificates.
Computers Versus Personal Touch
A recent consumer poll found Americans prefer the personalized service and human interaction from their
insurance agents. Three-quarters of consumers are very satisfied with the service provided by their agents and
remain committed to working with them in the future. This despite possible enticements that online options
promise. Agents now have innovative technologies to deliver more personal customer services. For
example, only 15% of respondents said they would consider dropping their agent to save $150 annually by
purchasing insurance online. Fifty-four percent indicated no amount would make them switch. Forty-four
percent of consumers said their insurance provider is more innovative when compared to other industries. Seventy one percent of
respondents said they would call their agent directly for future insurance needs. When you call your agent, you expect and get a real
person to listen and help you. That is the difference Phelan Insurance offers and we are proud to do so!
Winterize Your Car And Avoid Big Problems
The following tips literally could be life-saving and serve as reminders of simple steps to stay safe and keep your
vehicle in good working order this winter.
• Get the right kind of oil change. It should have the right viscosity, or thickness, for your vehicle at this time of
year. Oil tends to thicken as it gets colder, and if it’s too thick it won’t do the best job of keeping your engine
• Make sure you can see. Windshield wiper blades usually work effectively for only about one year, so purchase
new ones if you’re due. Also fill up with windshield washer fluid.
• Give your battery a little TLC. Make sure your battery’s posts and connections are corrosion-free and that your battery has all the water
• Examine belts and hoses. Check the belts and hoses for wear and tear—even if you’re driving a newer car. Cold weather can do a num-
ber on them.
• Check tire pressure. Your tires must be properly inflated to have the best possible traction as you drive—which is often severely
jeopardized in rain, snow or ice. Plus tire air pressure drops as the temperature drops.
• Check the status of your four-wheel drive. Most 4WD systems are not used much in the summer so make sure the system engages
and disengages easily. Also make sure all the drivers in your household know how and when to activate it.
• Get the antifreeze mixture just right. Aim for having a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water inside your radiator to prevent it from freezing
even at ridiculously cold temperatures.
How Safe Is Your Party? Before It’s Too Late
The percentage of alcohol-related traffic fatalities increases Taking inventory is an important part of protecting your
significantly in the days between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. personal property. We recommend that homeowners make
That's a great reason to carefully plan holiday parties that will ensure a full account of their possessions every year. Here are
both a pleasant experience and a safe journey home for all. If alcohol some tips:
will be served, also offer alternative non-alcoholic cocktails or NA beer
for drivers and those on medicine. Remember, your responsibility may • Start with one room; Write down
last well beyond the time they are in your home. everything you see and how much
you paid for it, or estimate the cost.
• Always stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends. • Write down the model numbers and
• Serve measured standard drinks rather than doubles or “holiday even serial numbers of electronics.
specials”. Guests can better control their drinking when they are • Save and protect receipts when you
drinking amounts with which they are familiar. buy items, especially unique items
• Provide plenty of protein and fat-filled foods. Eating will slow the or antiques.
effects of alcohol. Avoid salty foods that may produce thirst. • Videotape or take pictures of all of your belongings, and/or
• Choose fruit juices instead of carbonated mixes because create a computer spreadsheet file for documentation.
carbonation speeds alcohol absorption. • Keep copies of the inventory in multiple locations and in a
• Remember, nothing can “sober up” a person immediately. It takes fireproof place. For example, you may keep one at home
the human body about two hours to metabolize each ounce of and one at work or in a safety deposit box. And update
alcohol. Coffee or a cold shower only creates a wide-awake them each time you make new purchases.
You can hire a professional inventory specialist. But a better
Most important of all, don’t let someone route is to just call us and we can provide this service for free!
who has been drinking drive home. Use a Then we can review your policy and your inventory values to
designated driver! Have a wonderful and make sure you have adequate limits. Some items might be
safe holiday season! worth too much to be protected properly under your basic
coverage. And increasing these items costs very little.
Electronic Gadget Junkie? Do You Qualify?
Satellite radio, GPS, MP3 player, PDA, plasma flat-screen TV? If you have most of them, you are a tech junkie. But that
gadget arsenal doesn't come cheap. Insuring these items can be a hassle, especially if they’re frequently replaced with a
more advanced version. Since these devices might be kept in the car, in the office, at home, or in a dorm room, all require
special attention so that they’re properly insured. Call our Personal Insurance Agents, Cindy Langston or Mike Simon,
and review what you have and where you have it. It may save you lots of dollars in case of a loss.
Certified Risk Managers International recently conferred the designation of Certified Risk Manager (CRM) on
Todd Phelan. To attain this CRM designation, Todd completed all five courses in the program and passed
extensive examinations in each of the following subject areas: Principles of Risk Management, Analysis of Risk,
Control of Risk, Financing of Risk, and Practice of Risk Management. Todd Phelan, Vice President of Phelan
Insurance, provides a formal Risk Management Plan™ to help his clients improve their business operations
which ultimately increases their profits. He believes in meeting with every insured several times per year to
review their business, not just their insurance.
Melissa Shappie recently joined Phelan Insurance Agency as an Account Executive. She is responsible for
providing risk management and insurance services for Phelan Insurance clients. She makes sure clients receive
the necessary coverages, value added services, and the excellent customer support they deserve. Melissa
came to Phelan Insurance with a background in banking after earning a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from
Wright State University. She and her husband, Mark, have three kids and reside in Russia. She enjoys spending
time with her family, playing softball, reading and baking.
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