Not every day you meet an Olympic Champion!!!

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From the left: Jim Long, Kayla Harrison, Cheri Osterhoudt

 

 

 

We met an Olympian!  It was March 11th of this year at the Inverness Golf Club located in Englewood, Colorado.  We attended an annual Liberty Mutual Insurance Conference and the guest speaker was Kayla Harrison.  Kayla was the first American to win a gold medal in Judo.  She graciously posed in a picture with us and her gold medal from the 2012 London games.  Kayla spoke to the audience about her partnership with Liberty Mutual.  She also shared her journey to becoming an Olympian and the adversities she had overcome.

If you are unsure about what Judo is here are a few fun facts on the subject:

  • Means Gentle way
  • Originated in Japan
  • Derived from Jujutsu
  • Currently greater than 20 million people around the world practice Judo
  • Developed in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano
  • In 1964 Judo became the first martial arts sanctioned as a medal sport for the Olympics
  • October 28th (Today) is World Judo Day
  • To learn more about Kayla or Judo try: http://www.usjudo.org

 


 

Grand Opening!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fall seems like the appropriate time for changes as the leaves change color here in beautiful Colorado.

               fall                                  Jim sign2

So we wanted to take the opportunity to announce that

We have moved!  Our new location:

7800 Miller Dr. Unit C Frederick, CO 80504

As you can see we have been working tirelessly to get ready and we opened our doors September 2nd, 2014.
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We had help from many businesses in the area and would like to recognize their wonderful work.

Starting with Peak Office Furniture in Denver, CO.  They sent us the “two Juans” as they identified themselves and you can see one of them pictured below setting up our desks.  They both did a wonderful job and kept us all laughing with their great sense of humor.

             furniture truck                          Juan

Insurance is our passion and all the signage for our business was provided by Fast Signs of Longmont in Longmont, CO and you can see they are also passionate about what they do.  Check out the signs on the outside of the building too (pictured above or come see in person)!!

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IMG_0936       front office       Jim office

We have worked hard moving in…Cheri nearly broke a finger getting it done but as I stated before Insurance is our passion, moving things we should probably leave to someone else.  We are very excited and feel blessed to be in our new office space and look forward to welcoming you when you stop by to see us.  We just had to celebrate and raise a glass to a job well done.  Thank you to all the businesses and friends who helped us out during this transition….here’s to you!
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Without labor nothing prospers – Sophocles

I was thinking about how Labor Day originated during the 1870s because workers were treated poorly and held to standards like a 58 hour workweek and an 8 hour work day wasn’t even a concept. It makes you feel lucky to have a day off to enjoy a ball game at the beautiful Coors field here in Denver.  We are here to watch the Rockies take on the Giants this afternoon at 2:10 pm. 

Did you know that the unemployment rate for Colorado was 5.5% as of June where the national average was 6.1% and the highest percentage of unemployment by state was 7.9% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We are also celebrating that Colorado was the second state to declare Labor Day a state holiday.  That’s just a couple more reasons to appreciate living here. 

Play ball!!!!

 

I'm proof that great things can happen to ordinary people if they work hard and never give up. - Orel Hershiser
I’m proof that great things can happen to ordinary people if they work hard and never give up. – Orel Hershiser

 

Happy Labor Day from Long’s Insurance Agency!

 

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Distracted Driving: It’s not just about Cell Phones and Texting

distracted-driverTalking and texting on cell phones are the most frequently talked about concerns involving accidents and distracted driving, with texting now taking the lead over concerns about drivers who talk on their cell phones while operating a vehicle.

Among the concerns that cell phone use raises is that drivers often become so focused on the conversation they’re having that it distracts them from attention to the road. Several research studies have found that even intense listening on a cell phone can impair driver attention on the road. Cell phone use, even with a hands-free device, can create a situation where drivers develop a potentially lethal form of tunnel vision that creates what researchers called inattention blindness.

Researchers found that inattention blindness slows driver reaction time by 20 percent and that some tests subjects missed half the red lights they encountered in simulated driving.

They reported that the research subjects took in a reduced amount of information while on the phone. They missed things like swerving cars and sudden lane changes, which resulted in several simulated rear-end collisions.

Texting Takes Over As Bad Driver Behavior

Texting on cell phones is now considered an even more serious problem than talking on a cell phone, because it requires looking down at the message the sender is creating while moving fingers that should be on the steering wheel. In addition to not looking where they are going, text message senders are usually focused on their message—not on their driving. Experts tell us that taking your eyes off the road for even one to two seconds can make the difference between avoiding a crash and causing one.

Texting is a particularly serious concern because while 20 percent of drivers admit to texting, when you look at drivers in the age 18-24 year old category, 66 percent are sending or receiving text messages while driving. Add the distraction of text messaging to young driver inexperience and you’ve got a particularly lethal combination.

Currently only a few states outlaw texting while driving, fewer than those that prohibit talking on cell phones when driving, but more states are looking at making it illegal in the wake of a series of spectacular crashes with deadly results.

There’s no doubt having a cell phone with you when you travel is a great resource to use in calling for help or reporting trouble on the road. But whether you use a handhe phone or a hands free device, researchers and safety specialists agree that the only really safe way to use your phone—whether to call or to text message—is to safely pull off the road, stop and then make your call.

Stay safe wherever you choose to go on the road. Your safety is number one to us. For peace of mind on the road, contact Long’s Insurance Agency to talk about an auto insurance policy.

Tips for Creating a Home Inventory

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Do You Really Know What You Have In Your Home?

The other day I was talking with a friend about some fall cleaning that she was doing around her house. She was telling me how she found a bunch things in boxes and closets that she had completely forgot about. It’s always fun to rediscover…sort of like shopping without spending money.

Of course, my insurance brain kicked in, and I asked her if she had done a home inventory in case she had a fire. “No…when do I have time to do that?”, she said. Being an insurance person, it’s sort of an occupational hazard that I look at life through a lens of potential risks and “what if” scenarios. In all honesty, it’s been about 5 years since I’ve updated my own home inventory, and I need to get it done because I know that I couldn’t name everything I own from memory.

Given our busy lives and how much stuff we all have, it can seem like an impossible task to put together an inventory of everything. But, doing so helps you can make sure that you’ve got enough insurance to cover your personal property, and if you experience a loss, you’ll be able to settle a claim quicker and be more likely to get reimbursed for what you have.

The easiest way to start is by going through each room in your house, one at a time, making a list of items as you go. Don’t try to do it all in one day. That’s a sure fire way to get overwhelmed and give up before you get started. Break the project down over several days or weeks into manageable chunks.

A few quick ideas to help you create your inventory:

  • Take pictures with a time stamp on the image. On the back of the image, list the value, serial number, make and model number. If you’re storing it electronically, name the pictures and reference the description.
  • Take a video camera through your home and verbally describing all the items in your home.
  • If you have an iPhone® download a free app from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, myHOME Scr.APP.book app. It guides you through capturing images, writing descriptions, saving bar codes and serial numbers, and stores them all electronically.
  • Download a home inventory spreadsheet at http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/inventory-spreadsheet.html .  A simple format for getting organized plus other tips on getting your inventory done.

As you go through your house, take note of any high value items that may need to be “scheduled” on your home insurance such as expensive jewelry, antiques, fine arts and collectibles, and contact your agent to discuss getting them listed.

So, as I tackle my own home inventory update, I hope you’ll join me it doing your own. Don’t put off getting started on your inventory. It’s easy to procrastinate, but just think of how good you’ll feel when it’s done!

P.S. Don’t store the only copy of your inventory in your home. If there is a fire, you don’t want your inventory destroyed along with your stuff. Make a copy and give it to a family member, friend or put it in a safe deposit box.

 

 

Source: Wayne Texeira Marketing Director, CFMP, AINS, AIS, API

 

Stay Safe on the Roads This Memorial Day Holiday

TrafficStay safe by sharing the road

We have all encountered scenarios in which other drivers make us shake our heads. People often are quick to accuse other drivers of being reckless, but if pressed, they may admit to sometimes driving recklessly themselves. If unsafe driving is everyone’s problem, what is the solution?

Our safety professionals have put together three tips that can help make sharing the road safer while getting from point A to B.

Assume you are invisible
It can be easy to assume everyone else on the road is paying attention, following traffic laws, and can see you clearly. However, that is not always the case. Next time you are expecting another driver to respect your right-of-way or let you merge into another lane, do not assume they are on the same page.

Avoid competitive driving
Whenever you are on the road, resist the urge to drive competitively. Instead, go with the flow and drive defensively. See yourself as part of a community of drivers – all trying to get to your destinations safely. Your improved driving behavior may rub off on others and help create safer conditions for everyone on the road.

Control your emotions
It may be easy to react to aggressive driving by becoming aggressive yourself. But taking the high road is often the best route. Someone cuts you off? Take a deep breath and just let it roll off your back.

Here are some ways to help prevent your emotions from getting the best of you on the roadway:

  • Be patient when traffic delays slow you down.
  • Keep a safe following distance behind other vehicles. You never know when someone may stop short.
  • Avoid confronting aggressive drivers—be polite and courteous, even if others are not.
  • Use your turn signals and leave plenty of room when turning or changing lanes.

Contact Long’s Insurance Agency today for all of your auto insurance needs…  A free no hassle quote will give you strong peace of mind that you are protected on your next road adventure.  Contact us Today!!

 

Source: Travelers

What’s a “firenado”?

FirenadoThe Week in Severe Weather

What’s a “firenado”? Just ask the residents of San Diego County, California, where wildfires have been raging since Tuesday and where several swirling vortexes of fire were spotted in photos from the front lines. A column of smoke and flames even made its ways through one San Marcos neighborhood at midday on Thursday.

“It’s just like a spinning column of flames,” National Weather Service forecaster Michael Watkins told the LA Times. Firenadoes, or “fire whirls” as they’re known in the science community, can burn fuel at a rate that’s three to seven times faster than an open flame.

As many as 14 wildfires burned in the San Diego area this week, according to Aon Benfield’s weekly natural disaster report, with early damage estimates already reaching $20 million. More than 125,000 evacuation notices were issued at the height of the fires. The Poinsettia Fire near Carlsbad destroyed eight homes, a condominium complex and two commercial buildings before being contained on Friday. In Texas, two people were killed by wildfires in the Panhandle region, where fire destroyed at least 225 homes.

Photo: Twitter/Marcus Smith

As of Friday, officials were starting to life evacuation orders is some affected areas in California and there were hopes that cooler, calmer weather over the weekend would stop the fires’ spread.

Severe weather continues in the East

Strong thunderstorms continued to ravage the Central and Eastern U.S. this week, injuring more than 10 people and causing widespread damage across 10 states. There were 60 local storm reports of tornadoes this week, as well as 330 reports of damaging winds and 348 reports of hail. Between May 10-15 “thousands” of structures were damaged, according to Aon Benfield, with economic losses in the 100s of millions.

Overseas, heavy rains in southern and eastern China this week caused widespread flooding and landslides across six provinces, killing at least three and doing an estimated US $316 million worth of damages. Some 12,000 structures were damaged or destroyed. And five were killed in Serbia and Bosnia after the heaviest rains the Balkan region has seen in 120 years destroyed thousands of structures and did millions worth of damage.

Source:  Property Casualty 360

Better Business Bureau Warning – All Computer Users

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Take Precautions to Prevent Your 

Computer from Being Taken Hostage

Ransomware – viruses that either lock or scramble your computer or Android device until a ransom of $300 to $400 is paid to restore functionality – is making the rounds again with a new twist: Displayed images impersonate law enforcement.

Ransomware, like other malware, arrives most commonly when you visit a malicious website or a website that’s been hacked. Victims get pop-up notices declaring that to have their files restored they must pay a ransom via money wire or Green Dot MoneyPak.

To avoid getting infected, ensure your computer’s software and anti-virus definitions are up-to-date and avoid suspicious sites. If your machine is already infected, do not pay the ransom. Instead, follow instructions provided by your anti-virus provider or contact a reputable security expert, who you’ve checked out at bbb.org, to assist in removing the malware.

Start With Trust. For more more consumer tips and information, visit bbb.org.

Source: bbb.org