CGIA NEWSLETTER– SPRING 2009 Dear Friends: I hope you have all “sprung” forward gracefully! There are times when we try to achieve something and the results do not always match the vision. It is important to not only “try” but to “achieve;” as Yoda said in the original Star Wars Trilogy, “Do or do not; there is no try.” To this end we have taken on the Trusted Choice Pledge of Performance for Independent Insurance Professionals. Please hold us accountable as we continually strive to serve you better. We will work with you to identify the insurance services that are right for you, your family or your business and use our access to multiple companies to deliver those products. Guide you through the claims process for a prompt and fair resolution to your claim. Help solve problems related to your coverage or account. Explain the coverages and options available to you through our agency, at your request. Return your phone calls and emails promptly and respond to your request in a timely manner. Provide coverage with companies whenever possible to serve you 24/7 in the event of claims with emergency phone numbers, Internet account access and/or call centers. Commit our staff to continuing education so they may be more knowledgeable to in serving you. Treat you with respect and courtesy Conduct our business in an ethical manner. Thank you for your trust and your referrals. Maggie Wood PS. We all send our best wishes to Chuck (Ramona’s husband) who is recovering from hip replacement surgery. GET WELL SOON! This year Ramona is beginning the process of earning her Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) designation and I will continue to take additional classes to maintain my Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation. MOBILE & MANUFACTURED HOME COVERAGE Is your mobile or manufactured home properly covered? Have you checked recently to see if changes to your policy are needed? Most homeowners just pay the bill and file the paperwork. We would like to review your coverages with you and see if any changes are needed. The companies that we write with offer 2 different ways to cover mobile/manufactured homes. These are ACV or the actual cash value that you could sell your home for and Replacement Cost, the amount it would cost to replace your current home with a brand new unit of the same size and quality. How you should insure your home, depends on how much risk you are comfortable with. Another coverage that should be reviewed is the contents coverage. Have you made any major purchases lately? Is the dollar value high enough? Do we need to schedule any items? Is your jewelry covered? Contents can also be covered on actual cash value or on replacement cost. How is yours covered? We would also review the other coverages on your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage. Liability coverage is typically too low on a policy that is several years old, and should be reviewed to ensure proper coverage. We can also offer you flood coverage through a separate policy, and would be happy to work that quote for you. Allow us to do an account review for you and ensure that the investment you have in your home and belongings is protected. Just call for an appointment, and we will put on the coffee. Have a Happy Easter! CGIA NEWSLETTER– SPRING 2009 10 Reasons to Buy Rental Car Damage Waivers As we all enjoy our rare vacation chances, it’s important to understand why we should pay the seemingly outrageous damage waivers when renting a car. Many people believe their personal auto insurance is enough coverage, but the rental car industry has specialized rules which may make your insurance inadequate. Here are ten reasons to pony up the extra cash expense: 1. The value of a rental car is determined by the rental company, and may be very different from the amount your insurance company is willing to cover. Who gets to pay the difference when the two disagree? You do. 2. The rental company may begin repairs on a damaged car immediately to minimize their loss of use, but your insurance company has the right to inspect and appraise damage before repairs. If your carrier doesn’t have that chance, you may be denied coverage. 3. The rental agreement may require immediate payment for damages and it is not uncommon for them to charge your credit card before you can even contact your insurance company. 4. Rental agreements typically require reimbursement for ANY loss in value while you had the vehicle. It’s possible your personal policy won’t cover what the rental company claims as a loss. 5. You will most likely be responsible for the rental company’s loss of income from the damaged vehicle. At best, your insurance will have maximum caps on these claims; anything greater will be out of your pocket. 6. The rental contract may make you liable for expenses such as towing, storage, appraisal, etc. None of those are typically covered by your personal insurance. 7. Your personal insurance has an “Out of State” condition which means it must comply with state laws. It can be virtually impossible to know whether your coverage will respond fully with the widely differing laws between states. 8. If you decide to rent a motorcycle, motor home, or trailer, your insurance more than likely doesn’t cover physical damage done to the rental. Even if a trailer is covered, personal coverage is usually maxed at $1,500. 9. If the rental vehicle is damaged while someone else is driving, for example a valet at a hotel or restaurant, your personal insurance may not apply. Having both your insurance and the rental damage waiver greatly reduces this loophole. 10. If all goes perfect and your insurance covers the accident, you’ll still have to pay your deductible. In addition, payment for damage to a rental vehicle may result in a premium increase when your policy renews. The Best Cars for Teen Drivers Safety and reliability are important considerations when buying a vehicle for a teenager. Teenagers usually don’t have a lot of driving experience or money to deal with squeaky breaks, difficult steering, chipped mirrors, etc. Consumer Reports identified and tested vehicles they think are appropriate for younger drivers. Toyota had the most cars making the list with a total of five, including the Camry, Corolla, and Prius. Honda had four cars listed, among them the Civic and Accord. Ford only had two cars listed: the Focus sedan and Fusion, with the cheaper Kia Optima being the only car from Kia’s inventory. It’s important to remember that even though bigger vehicles do well in crash tests, they have unwieldy handling. Unless your teen driver has practice driving larger vehicles, it might not be the best fit. Also, find a vehicle in your price range that has the most offered safety features – if the worst happens, the extra airbags may be a lifesaver. Have a Happy Easter! CGIA NEWSLETTER– SPRING 2009 Recipe of the Month Spiced Red Pepper Burgers This Quarter’s Customer Contest This quarter’s contest is an interactive crossword posted on our website: www.columbiagorgeinsurance.com Simply go to our site and follow the links on the main page to find the fun crossword puzzle! After completing the puzzle, bring or mail in a printed copy with the answers and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win two prizes: One is a $25 gift card to Fred Meyers and the other prize is a pass for 2 free nights at Timberlake Campground and RV Park! Happy puzzle solving! 1 lb hamburger 1 large egg 1 red bell pepper 1 or 2 garlic cloves Olive oil (vegetable oil will also work) ½ tsp chili powder ½ tsp basil ½ tsp black pepper ½ tsp lemon zest 4 hamburger buns Favorite condiments First, slice bell pepper into rounds and clean off seeds. Heat olive oil in small skillet, add chili powder, and sauté pepper slices. While waiting for peppers to cook, finely chop garlic. Place hamburger meat in mixing bowl and mix garlic, basil, black pepper, and lemon zest with meat. When peppers are done, gently pat with paper towel to remove excess oil. Dice pepper into desired size and add both the peppers and the egg to hamburger mixture. One pound of prepared meat will provide 4 patties perfectly sized for hamburger buns. Patties can be broiled or fried, but preferred method is grilled on barbeque. Suggested condiments: 1. Dijon mustard 2. Lettuce 3. Onions (grilled on same barbeque is a plus) 4. Dill pickles Adventurous condiment ideas: 1. Slice of avocado 2. Sliced green or yellow peppers Check us out! New things to come to our website: Link for free resources about improving your health. Links to Crock Pot recipes. Weather in The Dalles. Inexpensive activities for kids. We’re growing into cyberspace, and hope you visit often. The website again is: www.columbiagorgeinsurance.com Have a Happy Easter! CGIA NEWSLETTER– SPRING 2009 3. Mixture of 2 parts ketchup with 1 part hot sauce. Have a Happy Easter!