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Spring Allergy Alleviation

Springtime allergies are an annual nuisance for many people. Mold growth increases due to rain and many plants begin releasing pollen. Likewise, spring-cleaning activities can stir up dust mites.

To reduce your allergies, be sure to take the following steps:
• Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
• Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
• Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit dust and chemical inhalation and skin exposure.
• Vacuum twice a week.
• Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.
• Make sure the rugs you have are washable.
• Change air conditioning and heating air filters often.

Filed under: Health & Wellness — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:47 pm April 19, 2017

Millennials: Here’s 5 Reasons To Choose a Career in Insurance

Reason #1: Service
Believe it or not, an insurance career is a service career. The industry promotes the common good by encouraging individuals to share risk so no one is ruined when tragedy strikes. And because millennials tend to be a service-oriented group (63 percent volunteer for nonprofit organizations), an insurance career is a good way to satisfy their desire to contribute.

Reason #2: Career Opportunities
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and AARP, 50 percent of the insurance workforce will retire by 2028, opening up plenty of employment and advancement opportunities. Once you have a foot in the industry, you’ll be exposed to a variety of career paths and educational opportunities to match your interests. You may start in customer service, and then discover you like marketing or underwriting. Most insurance companies will support you on the path that best suits your skills.

Reason #3: Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Being a good salesperson is a valuable talent when you work in insurance, but insurance isn’t just a sales job. Because the industry touches every field and involves so many career paths, insurance companies look for workers who have skills in:
Problem solving.

Reason #4: Job Security
Insurance isn’t going anywhere. It’s been around since ancient times, and it will stay as long as people continue to drive cars, own homes, and run businesses. Not even the Great Recession could slow down the insurance industry. Employment with an insurance company or an independent agency offers job security that will help you pay off your student loans and start building a nest egg for the future

Reason #5: The Work-Life Balance
Your career is important, but so is your life outside of the office. One of the greatest benefits of working in insurance is that you can create a work-life balance that satisfies both your bank account and your mental health. Insurance jobs can be fulfilling, challenging, and lucrative. But they also offer the flexibility that lets you enjoy time with family and friends.

Filed under: Blog — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:31 pm

53 Million Vehicles Recalled in 2016

Statistics released by the Department of Transportation (DOT) revealed that automakers issued recalls for a record 53 million vehicles in 2016. This marks the third straight year that there have been over 50 million vehicle recalls.

A majority of the recalls were due to ongoing issues with airbag inflators manufactured by Takata, a Japanese auto part supplier. At least 16 deaths have been attributed to the malfunctioning inflators, which led to a recall of over 42 million U.S. vehicles since 2013. Takata recently pleaded guilty to a felony charge as part of a $1 billion agreement with the Justice Department that also includes financial compensation for automakers and victims of the malfunctions.

The high number of recalls in recent years has been accompanied by an increase in highway fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities rose by 7.2 percent in 2015, the latest year for which data is available. Although the NHTSA has yet to release its full set of data for 2016, preliminary reports from the NSC indicate that the number of fatalities continued to rise.

Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:10 pm April 12, 2017

How Your Business Pays for Employee Substance Abuse

A recent survey from the National Safety Council (NSC) has revealed a gap between employer perceptions and the reality of employee substance abuse. According to the survey, addictions and substance use disorders can cost businesses between $2,600 and $13,000 for each affected employee. However, only 24 percent of employers believe that drug misuse is a problem that impacts their bottom lines.

Employees who abuse alcohol and other substances are more likely to miss work, be less productive and experience higher health care costs. Here are some facts from the survey that highlight the ways that substance abuse can affect your business:

• Substance use disorders and addictions cost businesses and taxpayers more than $440 billion every year.
• Employees in the construction, entertainment, recreation and food service industries are twice as likely to have a substance use disorder compared to the average U.S. employee.
• Health care costs for employees who misuse prescription drugs are three times higher than for other workers.
• Employees with a substance use disorder miss nearly 50 percent more days of work than their peers.
• Seventy-five percent of all adults with a substance use disorder are currently in the workforce.

If you believe that one of your employees suffers from a substance use disorder, it’s in your best interest to help him or her get treatment. Experts have shown that outside concern is a large factor in getting individuals with substance use disorders into treatment. Additionally, the NSC survey found that businesses can save up to $8,400 by providing assistance to these employees.

Filed under: Property & Casualty — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 10:58 pm April 5, 2017