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Why Did My Auto Insurance Premium Increase?
Did your auto insurance rate go up? If you noticed an increase in your premium, this is often due to one of three reasons. Fortunately, there are three things you can do to push that figure back down. Here's the scoop.

Tickets: Did you receive a traffic citation? Tickets are a common cause of insurance rate increases. The severity of your citation is considered in this rate adjustment. For example, a speeding ticket for doing 50 MPH in a 40 MPH zone typically affects your rate less than a DUI conviction would.

Claims: Filing claims may cause a rise in your premium. Multiple claims in a short time period further increase the chances of a rate adjustment.

Conditions: If the risk factors in your area change, this could affect your insurance rates. Increased crime rate ( increase in stolen vehicles) and extreme weather events are factors that can cause premium increases. The Vehicle you own may have a Symbol change, higher risk/cost, due to other Same vehicles having higher claim payments for liability and repair expenses increased over prior year. 

If your rate has increased (or you want to lower your current rate) take the following steps that can reduce your premiums.

Package: Ask your insurance provider about discounts for multiple policies. Often, if you bundle your home and auto coverage with one company, you can receive a discount.

Protect: Does your car have any safety features that reduce your risk? Factory installed Automatic Braking for example.
If you have a vehicle that is stored for a couple months or more. Lowering its coverage to Comprehensive only can save a lot over the time its not driven.

Prepay: Pay for your full premium up front. By paying for coverage for six months or a year at once, you may be eligible for a large discount.

Telemetrics; For those open to temporary (3-6mo.) monitored driving with a dataport device or newer smart phone hardware on the carriers app. Many clients opt in to save long term with rating discounts for better driving habits and lower risk to the carriers without late night driving etc.

Contact us for more details.

Where Will Technology Take Us Next?
Products like smartphones and voice-command speakers used to be the stuff of Jetsons-esque fantasies. Then they became reality and altered our world dramatically. So, what's next? Here's a roundup of the emerging technologies with the greatest potential to change our lives.

Drones: These aren't just for taking Instagram-worthy aerial shots. Drones offer plenty of yet-to-be-fully realized potential. They're being explored as tools for farm crop assessment, law enforcement, and disaster relief.

Blockchain: This technology is much more than cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Trustless and Unconfiscatable; By facilitating the distribution of digital information without copying, blockchain can power all kinds of activities, from providing financial solutions to unbanked people to auditing supply chains around the world.

Artificial intelligence: Computers with human smarts get a lot of flak for the scary side of their potential. But there's plenty of good stuff too, like an A.I.-powered system that analyzes a baby's cry to instantly diagnose birth asphyxia, a top cause of infant mortality.

Driverless vehicles: Autonomous vehicles are already here. When they become widely available, they could help those who are underserved by public transportation, reduce the space needed for parking, and improve road safety.

CRISPR: Named after CRISPR DNA sequences (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), this DNA-altering technology can be used to precisely edit genetic information. While it received bad press after a Chinese scientist announced he had used it to create genetically edited babies, the tech has incredible potential for everything from healthcare to agriculture.

Ready, Set, Go: Streamlining Your Morning Routine
If you leave your house in an anxious mood, you could arrive at work in a frantic state. That's why you need to use your mornings wisely.

Start before you go to bed. Choosing appropriate clothes, packing your bags, preparing your lunch, and making a list of the most important things to do the next day can mean there are fewer decisions to make in the morning. This can save time.

You should also avoid using your phone as your alarm clock. Notifications during the night can disturb your sleep. Plus, waking up to emails and messages can be stressful, and you're likely to jump right into these if your phone is your alarm. You don't want to send important messages before you're coherent. Plus, responding to messages takes time and can cause you to be late. Your messages will still be there when you get to the office. Read them when you're settled in there.

Another tested trick is to set your clocks ahead. This can get you out the door faster and potentially keep traffic delays from slowing you down. Of course, this only works if you don't use this extra time as an excuse to dawdle or check your emails.

You can also choose your morning beverages and meals strategically. Drink water first. It will rehydrate you and help make you alert for the day. If you do need a morning coffee, consider investing in a timed coffee maker that starts making your coffee for you. This will allow you to accomplish other tasks. Remember, keep your routine simple so you won't forget what you need to do.

Is Your Home Riskier Than Your Neighbor's?
Did you know two homes can have identical square footage but vastly different insurance costs? They might even be right next door to each other. How is this possible?

The cost of premiums is based on the risk factors of the homes. With vastly different features, the two properties don't have the same likelihood of claims. What features influence this risk? Following are a few of the top factors.

Construction: Older when originally built homes often cost more to insure due to their construction and age. Features such as ornate moldings, stained glass windows, and plaster walls are typically more expensive to replace than are modern amenities, so insurance premiums reflect this. Other construction factors include the age of the electrical system and the type of exterior used.

Safety: If a home offers features that reduce the risk of fire, burglary, or other damage, the insurance costs go down. Smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, and security systems are examples of safety features that can reduce your homeowners insurance premiums.

Amenities: Certain features can not only add appeal and ambiance to a home but also increase the cost of insuring the property. A swimming pool or spa, for example, can add fun and relaxation appeal, but it also increases a homeowner's liability and requires additional coverage. A wood-burning stove can be charming, but it can be seen as a fire risk and increase your premium.

Pets: While a hamster probably won't affect insurance premiums, a pit bull might. Homeowners insurance includes liability, which protects the property owners if they are sued by a person who is injured by the homeowner's dog. If you own a dog, especially one whose breed is considered dangerous, you might pay more for insurance.

Upgrades: Remodeling projects typically increase the value of the home. A new addition, a finished basement, or an updated kitchen may require additional insurance to adequately cover the upgraded property. Newer Furnace and Roof will trend toward a lower rate too! So don't forget to let your agent know when you make those updates.

If you're considering purchasing a house or altering the features of your current home, consult with us. We can provide premium estimates and offer further insight into how your choices would affect your insurance risks and costs.

Is Shopping Online for Insurance Really a Bargain?
Buying auto or homeowners insurance on the internet seems easy and cheap. But is it?

Discover how relying on the web to protect your most valuable assets could cost you more - and put you and your loved ones at risk - by requesting my free guide, "The Dangers of Shopping Online for Insurance."
Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

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Chicken, Artichoke & Lemon Braise
Serves 4
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon each dried oregano, rosemary, thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4.5 pounds skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 onion, chopped
1 lemon, sliced
Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together oil, vinegar, broth, garlic, mustard, herbs, and pepper flakes. Place chicken in a rimmed 13 x 9 baking dish, season generously with salt and pepper, then pour the oil mixture over it. Marinate it here for up to 1 day or cook immediately. When ready to cook, arrange onions, artichokes, and lemon around chicken.

Bake uncovered for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley if using, and serve.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.
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