Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup
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Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup
We can help you protect your family, home and lifestyle with a variety of Farmers Insurance products.  Stop by for a visit to learn more or call us: (510) 874-5700 • 3560 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610 • http://stroupinsurance.com
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Be Happy Monday: Pent Up Anger Can Shorten Your Life 

Be Happy Monday: Pent Up Anger Can Shorten Your Life  | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

Anger is not a pleasant emotion. It can eat away at you over time, or it can explode all at once, blinding you to the feelings of others—it can make you feel like you don’t have control over your own life.

Yet, it’s an emotion that many people carry for long periods, even years at a time.

If you’re holding onto resentment, you may be familiar with the stress and exhaustion that it can bring. Cordett McCall, LMHC, QS, CAP, a Clinical Supervisor for Tampa Community Hospital and individual therapist in Florida, weighs in on the mental and physical effects of anger, and offers strategies for addressing it.   

Unresolved anger may also up your odds of developing:

  • Eating disorders like bulimia
  • Type II diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Sleep disorders
  • Various addictions like smoking and drinking to self-soothe

Angry outbursts can trigger heart attacks and, for people who already have heart disease, suppressed anger may lead to worse long-term health outcomes.

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Did you know... holding onto anger can damage your health and relationships. Discover healthy ways to unleash your rage and vent some of that frustration!

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The Great Delay: Student Loan Debt + Homeownership

The Great Delay: Student Loan Debt + Homeownership | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

A record number of millennials, individuals aged 18 to 34 years, are delaying household formation. This Great Delay, instead of the forbearance of impending doom, may actually be a sign of prudent economic decision making from a generation coming of age during turbulent economic times. Instead of forming a household, many have enrolled in college or stayed in school to pursue a college degree. This personal investment has short-run and long-run implications of great interest to the housing market.

When young Americans delay household formation, they often delay renting or buying a home. The relationship between the Great Delay and the housing market is most clearly seen in the record number living with their parents and the decline in homeownership rates among Milennials. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau quarterly survey of housing vacancy and homeownership shows that for adults under the age of 35 the homeownership rate dropped from a record high 43.6 percent in the second quarter of 2004 to its current record low of 36.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

The decline in the homeownership rate can be partly attributed to long-run demographic trends. Researchers point out that Americans, on average, are waiting 5 years longer to get married when compared to 1970. Additionally, Americans are waiting longer to have children. The average age at first birth in 2006 was 25 compared to the average age at first birth age of 21 in 1970.

The decline in the homeownership rate is also the result of short-run economic conditions. Facing poor earning potential without a college degree a record number enrolled in college; 38.9% of individuals aged 18 to 24 years in 2012. In addition, student loan debt soared to an average of $29,400 per borrower for the class of 2012, growing at an annual rate of 6% from 2007 to 2012.

The increase in college enrollment has significant implications on the future economic well-being of young adults. On one hand, those with a college degree have higher earning potential than those without a college degree, increasing both economic well-being and the likelihood one purchases a home. On the other hand, the increased reliance on debt to finance college attendance may crowd out home purchases.

Research shows an association between student loan debt and homeownership. At the national level, student loan debt increased while homeownership rate among those under the age of 35 years decreased. In additional, a recent study finds an association between the level of student loan debt and the probability of owning a home.

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

A record number of millennials, individuals aged 18 to 34 years, are delaying household formation.

What does this mean for the future of home ownership?

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Come Fire Or High Water! Genius Ideas For Disaster Proofing Heirlooms 

Come Fire Or High Water! Genius Ideas For Disaster Proofing Heirlooms  | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

Karen Baker will never forget September 26, 2015. Like a lot of moms, she was spending her Saturday shopping for back-to-school clothes for her two kids, when her cell phone rang. A neighbor was calling. ‘Get home now,’ she told Karen. “Your house is on fire.”

Minutes later, Karen pulled up to her three-bedroom ranch house in Trumbull, Connecticut, and confronted a surreal scene: Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and a swarm of neighbors all gathered in front of her smoldering home.

Fortunately, no one was home at the time, and the fire, believed to have been electrical, was contained to her home office. But toxic soot particles had spread throughout the entire house, embedded every porous surface. Coupled with the mold caused by the downpour of water from firehoses, the family suffered a total loss. And it wasn’t just the structure; the majority of her most cherished family heirlooms and mementos — old photos, antique jewelry, prized books, even the baby teeth and locks of hair she collected from her children over the years — were gone forever.

“We lost pretty much everything we owned,” says Baker. “We came out with just the clothes on our backs.”

 

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

In disasters, people grab photos and family heirlooms first, here are some ideas on how to disaster-proof your home!

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Do you know about Scoop? Reinventing Flexible Shared Commuting!  

Shared commuting (rideshare) service and mobile application for improving your commute to work via automated, smart carpooling.
Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Are you a commuter in the Bay Area? Check out Scoop and here is an invite code to use on sign-up, code: JARED2YX

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Top Ways for Bikers NOT to Get Hit by Cars!

Top Ways for Bikers NOT to Get Hit by Cars! | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

This page shows you real ways you can get hit and real ways to avoid them. This is a far cry from normal bicycle safety guides, which usually tell you little more than to wear your helmet and to follow the law.  But consider this for a moment: Wearing a helmet will do absolutely nothing to prevent you from getting hit by a car.  Sure, helmets might help you if you get hit, but your #1 goal should be to avoid getting hit in the first place.  Plenty of cyclists are killed by cars even though they were wearing helmets.  Ironically, if they had ridden without helmets, yet followed the advice on this page, they might still be alive today.  Don't fall for the myth that wearing a helmet is the first and last word in biking safety.  In truth, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  It's better to not get hit. That's what real bicycle safety is about.

TIP: The Uninsured Motorist clause on your auto insurance may pay if you're hit & runned while bicycling. Check your policy.

The next most common bike safety advice after "wear a helmet" is "follow the law," but most people are already aware that it's stupid to race through a red light when there's cross traffic.  So the "follow the law" advice isn't that helpful because it's too obvious.  What you'll find here are several scenarios that maybe aren't that obvious.

The other problem with the "follow the law" message is that people may think that's all they need to do.  But following the law is not enough to keep you safe, not by a long shot.  Here's an example: The law tells you to ride as far to the right as is practicable.  But if you ride too far to the right, someone exiting a parked car could open their door right in front of you, and you'll be less visible to motorists pulling out of driveways and parking lots, and motorists coming from behind may pass you way too closely in the same lane because you didn't make them change lanes.  In each of these cases you were following the law, but you made it easier for yourself to get hit.  This page doesn't focus on the law, it focuses on how to not get hit by cars.  Now let's see how to avoid getting hit.

Ten ways you can get hit by cars (with pictures) and meaningful ways to avoid them. Not your typical lame Bike Safety page.

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Ten ways you can get hit by cars (with diagrams) and meaningful ways to avoid them. Stay safe out there and look for bicyclists!

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Sleep Hacks + Tech for a Better Night's Sleep

Sleep Hacks + Tech for a Better Night's Sleep | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

Losing sleep, it turns out, is even worse than you thought – poor sleep habits have been linked to obesity, depression, and a host of other ailments.

“Sleep deprivation is the new smoking,” according to Arianna Huffington, author of the recently released The Sleep Revolution. (She also thinks sleep deprivation is causing Donald Trump’s mood swings.)

Back to Bed Basics
There’s a lot of debate around what makes for a better night sleep, but removing all electronics from your bedroom before dozing off is something on which everyone seems to agree. The reasoning, in part, is due to the light your electronics emit. Too much blue light can reduce your levels of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep.

If you’re an Apple user who can’t part with your iPhone or iPad for the night, you’re in luck. In March the company introduced “Night Shift” with its iOS 9.3 release. Once enabled, the color temperature of your screen will shift based on location and time. When the sun sets, less blue light is emitted from the screen; and in the morning your screen returns to normal. The app f.lux, for Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and Android does much the same for your computer and phone display.

But keep in mind, blue light is only half the problem with phones at bedtime. Any stimulation – from an email from the boss to a game of solitaire – can keep you awake.

Nap Smarter
Napping is a great way to sneak in a few winks. According to the Mayo Clinic, the best time to nap is between two and three pm. Keeping it short – 10-30 minutes – is key, so you don’t wake feeling groggy. You could also try a coffee nap. A cup of joe before a 20-minute snooze gives your body just enough time to absorb the caffeine into your bloodstream.

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Sleep is such an important part of your health... here are some great tips! Share with us how they work...

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Where Are Your Car Keys? Drivers Helping Thieves... Growing Problem! 

Where Are Your Car Keys? Drivers Helping Thieves... Growing Problem!  | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

Last year, one out of every eight car thefts was a freebie for the thief because the driver left the keys or the car access device inside.

It’s a growing problem according to a report from the insurance industry’s National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The 57,096 thefts with keys left in the car in 2015 amounted to a 22 percent increase over the previous year. Over the past three years, this kind of theft grew by 31 percent.

n 2015, there was a theft every six and one-half minutes where the driver left the keys or the FOB inside.

The NICB contends that many people do not admit to leaving their car unlocked with the keys or FOB inside and thus the actual numbers of thefts with the keys left in vehicles may be higher than in its report.

“Anti-theft technology has had a tremendous impact on reducing thefts over the past 25 years, but if you don’t lock it up, it’s not going to help,” said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle. “Complacency can lead to a huge financial loss and inconvenience for the vehicle owner. Leaving a vehicle unlocked or with the key or FOB inside gives a thief the opportunity to take not only the car, but also any possessions inside.”

Wehrle noted that a thief may also be able to gain access to personal information if the driver’s registration is left in the car.

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Where are your car keys? Did you know... "last year, one out of every eight car thefts was a freebie for the thief because the driver left the keys or the car access device inside."

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Scary... Traffic Deaths Surge More than 10% �

Scary... Traffic Deaths Surge More than 10% � | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

We’re driving more—but mobile devices may also be to blame.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released fresh traffic fatality statistics, and they’re remarkably grim. There were 17,775 deaths on the road in the first half of the year—up 10.4% from the same period in 2015. That follows a rise of 7.2% in the number of fatalities from 2014 to 2015, which according to NHTSA was itself the largest percentage jump since 1966. We’re now on track to see more than 35,000 traffic deaths for the year, which would make it the deadliest since 2008.

That, of course, was the year the Great Recession hit. Broad reductions in incomes and employment pushed down overall miles driven in the U.S., contributing to steep declines in traffic fatalities in 2009 and 2010. But those reduced numbers broadly held largely steady, with a single 7.9% spike in 2012, even as the economy recovered.

But now, not only is the overall amount of driving surging, the rate of fatalities is inching back up. Between 2010 and 2015, there were 1.05 fatalities or fewer for every 100 million miles driven (again excluding a spike in 2012). But the 2016 fatality rate thus far is 1.12 per 100 million miles.

Citylab argues that one culprit could be a steady rise in the use of mobile devices while driving. According to numbers from the National Safety Council, 2.2% of drivers admitted to texting and driving or similar activities as of 2014, up from just 1% in 2010. More recently, researchers found that a disturbing number of drivers were playing Pokémon GO behind the wheel.

 

We’re driving more—but mobile devices may also be to blame.

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

"An increase in the rate of distracted driving could explain some of the increase in fatalities." Please remember put down your phones in the car!

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What To Do If You're Near the Shore (Earthquake Safety Video)

Practice Earthquake Safety with Millions: http://ShakeOut.org. Starring Catherine Luensmann, Narrated by Brittany Dixon. Produced by the Southern Californi
Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

What if you are at the beach during a quake? Yeah that could happen...

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What to do...When You're Driving in an Earthquake (Video)

Practice Earthquake Safety with Millions: http://ShakeOut.org. Starring Catherine Luensmann, Narrated by Brittany Dixon. Produced by the Southern Californi
Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Do you know what to do if driving during a quake?

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Avoid the Shock... Pet Insurance!

For as little as $19 / month, you can insure your best furry friend and avoid unexpected medical bills. Look into affordable Pet insurance from Farmers t
Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Got a pet at home? Did you know we offer pet insurance to help ease vet bills? Call for more info: 510-874-5700

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Contractor’s Remodel Horror Stories • Indoor Waterfalls to Mosquito Larvae!

Contractor’s Remodel Horror Stories • Indoor Waterfalls to Mosquito Larvae! | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

More than 15 years have passed since homeowner Dan Bawden completed a two-story addition to his rancher in suburban Houston, but he can recall details of the project as it if it happened yesterday. Highlights include mosquitoes breeding in the house, children scaling scaffolding, and weeks of grilled cheese dinners eaten on lawn chairs in the driveway.

Oh, and there was the accidental indoor waterfall.

Bawden’s remodeling horror story is particularly telling, given his career — he’s CEO of Legal Eagle Contractors, a company that specializes in major remodels. While his six-month project was well planned, he says nothing prepared him for the day-to-day reality of the massive build-out. “This project taught me so much about what our clients go through,” he says. He offers these critical takeaways for any homeowner planning a significant home addition:

* “Start construction during a two-month window of good camping weather — because that’s what your home will feel like.”

“You’re most vulnerable and exposed during the first two months of an addition project,” says Bawden. This is the demolition stage when all mechanical systems (electric, plumbing, A/C) are disassembled and moved, and interrupted for weeks. Your new surroundings are exposed framework with no drywall, no roofing and plastic tarps for walls.

Bawden remembers this phase clearly. “The slightest rumble of thunder made us jumpy,” Bawden says. “We heard it one day while we were in church, so my wife and I grabbed the kids and raced home to find a wet, soaking mess in what was the den.”

* Answer one question when considering a major addition: How long do we plan to live in this house?”

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

WHOA....hear some horror stories from a contractor and his experiences in dealing with home issues!

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Do Americans Put Too Much Faith in Homeowners Insurance?

Do Americans Put Too Much Faith in Homeowners Insurance? | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

Too few Americans take steps to prepare for disasters and too many assume their home insurance policies will bail them out if one strikes.

As disaster season peaks, a new national consumer survey commissioned by Trusted Choice and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”), reveals that many homeowners lack adequate insurance coverage, do not fully understand their homeowners policies and do not have enough savings to support their households in the event of a disaster.

At least 73 percent of respondents don’t have a flood insurance policy that is separate from their homeowners coverage and more than 40 percent of those surveyed don’t have or don’t know if they have coverage that will fully replace their belongings and home in the event of a disaster.

At least 28 percent of homeowners polled do not have enough savings to support their households for even one month after a disaster if they had to leave their home. Only one-third said they could support their household for more than three months in this circumstance.

Also, according to the August 2016 survey, less than one-third of respondents have an up-to-date and complete home inventory stored away from their premises.

“Most people think that a basic homeowners policy will cover them in the event of a disaster, however these new findings highlight that a startling number of homeowners have not taken some of the most basic steps to adequately prepare for a disaster such as a hurricane, flood or fire,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Trusted Choice president and Big “I” president & CEO. “This is disturbing as hurricane and wildfire seasons are about to peak, affecting many parts of the country.”

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Don't become an insurance statistic! 

"40% of survey don’t know if they have coverage that will fully replace their belongings and home in the event of a disaster!"

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Top Key Terms of Your Homeowner's Policy - Demystified

Top Key Terms of Your Homeowner's Policy - Demystified | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

Local Farmers Insurance agent in Oakland, CA. Helping customers identify their insurance needs and coverage that best fits each person or company.  Personalized to help make you smarter decisions about insurance.  Award-winning, knowledgeable and experienced to help you better understand  your coverage options--whether that's auto, home, renters, business  insurance and more. Visit us in Oakland today!

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Not quite sure what some of the key terms on your policy mean... you are not alone. So we created this helpful document, just for you!

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The Vanishing Married Household?

The Vanishing Married Household? | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

Did you know that in 1970 married couples with children made up 40 percent of American households? Today, they comprise just 20 percent (see figure). 

 What looks like a dramatic drop in married households may be more of a change in when, and in what order, adults experience certain life events. In other words, a family postponed is not necessarily a family forgone.

During the 1970s, younger baby boomers were still children living at home. Because boomers were the largest generation in U.S. history, they left a lasting footprint on the makeup of households and family life.

 As those children grew up and moved out, we saw an increase in people living alone while also seeing a decline in households with married parents. Over the last 40 years, the share of adults living alone grew by a third for women. It more than doubled for men.

 These trends also mirror the rising age at marriage, which has climbed by 5 years for men and women since 1970. Whereas previous generations may have lived at home until they married in their early 20s, not only are adults getting married at an older age but they now are often living on their own before tying the knot.  

 Childbearing is an important part of the equation too. Just as adults are waiting longer to marry, they are also delaying having children. The average age when women give birth to their first child has risen from 21 to 25 since 1970. This helps explain why the share of households made up of married parents has fallen so dramatically while that of married couples without children has not.

 To find out more about the composition of modern American families, check out a new report released today, “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012.”

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

"Increase in people living alone while also seeing a decline in households with married parents. Over the last 40 years, the share of adults living alone grew by a third for women. It more than doubled for men."

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Top 10 Best East Bay Public High Schools 

Top 10 Best East Bay Public High Schools  | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

The East Bay is home to two counties, nearly 30 school districts and dozens of local public high schools. What's exceptional about the region, however, is the amount of high-quality educational institutions that are located within its confines.

 

The top 10 public high schools in the East Bay, according to rankings and review company Niche, all have A+ ratings and sit in the top 100 of the best public high schools in the state. Additionally all of the schools have average graduation rates of more than 90 percent.

 

Even with those stellar stats, some districts stood out. One example is the Acalanes Union High School District, which serves Southwest and Central Contra Costa County and has four of the schools in the top 10. Another exemplary district was the Pleasanton Unified School District, which has its two high schools on the list.

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Congratulations to Berkeley High #9, Piedmont High and Albany schools for the best of the Bay!

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San Francisco named California's most dangerous city for drivers!

San Francisco's is the state's most dangerous city for drivers, a new study from the Liljegren Law Group and 1Point21 Interactive, one of only two NorCal cities to appear in the top five.

The study looked at factors including injury rates, alcohol-related wrecks, average rainfall, daily vehicle miles driven, number of young drivers, collision rates and speed-related crashes to figure out which cities were the most dangerous for California drivers. It looked at cities with populations over 100,000 — and found that collectively, San Francisco poses the most risk to drivers.

San Francisco has roughly 1.5 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles, with the second-highest rate of pedestrian injury and death of any city in the nation. Only one other Northern California city made the top five overall: Berkeley, which came in fourth for its total metrics on the scale. Berkeley also has the state's second-highest rate of hit-and-runs.

Other contributing factors were the amount of rain a city got annually, as well as how many young drivers it has on the road.

"The 20 most dangerous cities receive nearly 4 more inches of rain per year on average than the 20 safest cities," the report says. "Drivers aged 15-29 were involved in 51 percent of all collisions analyzed in our study, despite representing just over 22 percent of the population."

Read more...

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

WATCH OUT... SF just named the state's most dangerous city for drivers by injury rates, avg rainfall, # of young drivers and more! Read this one for sure.

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Best Age to Get Life Insurance? Ruth Stroup "The Insurance Lady" (video)1

Ruth Stroup Insurance Agency in Oakland, CA for over 10 years, a Farmers Agency at 510-874-5700 http://stroupinsurance.com

In this video, Ruth Stroup (aka The Insurance Lady) explains the ages in life that are best to consider a new life insurance policy.

As your local Farmers® agent in Oakland, CA, our team helps customers like you identify the insurance coverage that best fits your needs. Our process is straightforward and personalized to help make you smarter about insurance. We have the knowledge and experience to help you better understand your coverage options; whether that's auto, home, renters, business insurance and more.

Contact us at http://stroupinsurance.com 510-874-5700 and hello@stroupinsurance.com

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Ruth Stroup "The Insurance Lady" explains the best ages in life to consider a new life insurance policy. Contact Ruth for more a Life Insurance review 510-874-5700

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Can Tobacco + Cannabis Smokers or Alcohol Drinkers Still Get Life Insurance?

Are you wondering if you should apply for or can get life insurance if you drink alcohol, smoke tobacco or a cannabis user? Watch Ruth's video to learn more about this sensitive topic. 

Ruth Stroup Insurance Agency supporting people in the Bay Area for over 10 years! http://stroupinsurance.com or call 510-874-5700. In this video, Oaklan

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Are you wondering about if you can or should apply for Life Insurance... watch to learn more!

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Why Are Car Insurance Rates Rising in the US?

Why Are Car Insurance Rates Rising in the US? | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

Yes folks, car insurance is rising across the US and across all major insurance companies. We break down for you the reasons and the impacts of  this increase. As the economy continues to improve, more consumers are purchasing vehicles, and low gas prices are putting more cars on the road for longer distances. An increase in overall miles driven is increasing the number of auto accidents and fatalities. New car sales are at record highs and the technology in these cars makes them much more expensive to repair. This means that we are seeing both an increase in the number of claims and the average cost of a claim. Please contact us for more info and how this may impact you!

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

We wanted to be the first to update you about US rates rising due to a "perfect storm" of factors! Please contact us for questions.

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Pay attention, CA; Why Liberty Mutual paid $925K settlement for 'accident forgiveness' ads

Pay attention, CA; Why Liberty Mutual paid $925K settlement for 'accident forgiveness' ads | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

The Liberty Mutual Group, Inc, which offers Liberty Mutual auto insurance, will pay $925,000 to three Southern California District Attorney's Offices for not properly disclosing in ads that the company's "accident forgiveness" program was not available in California.

The settlement was obtained Thursday, Oct. 20, by the Riverside, San Diego and Los Angeles District Attorneys' offices, according to a Riverside County District Attorney's Office news release. The district attorney's offices filed a consumer protection lawsuit against the Boston-based company in response to a TV ad campaign launched in 2014 for auto insurance that featured actors standing in the foreground of the Statue of Liberty talking about the program and its benefits.

"California law requires that all advertising must clearly and conspicuously disclose any material facts that viewers need to avoid being misled," the news release said.

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Learn more about this and Proposition 103 "a ballot measure also required each insurer to "roll back" its rates 20 percent. Prior to Proposition 103, automobile, property and casualty insurance rates were set by insurance companies without approval by the Insurance Commissioner." Contact us for questions!

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Got a Marijuana Prescription - Cannabis Card? Does it effect your Life Insurance?

Got a Marijuana Prescription - Cannabis Card? Does it effect your Life Insurance? | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

Life insurance companies can be like prudish acquaintances. Smoke cigarettes? For shame. Weight gain? Unfortunate. Deviations from perfection usually lead to higher life insurance prices when you buy a policy. But wait. Smoke pot? Shrug.

Not only can you qualify for life insurance as an occasional marijuana user, but you may get decent life insurance quotes.

Occasional marijuana use doesn’t count as “smoking” at almost a third of life insurance companies that have guidelines about rates for pot users — as long as they don’t also use nicotine products — according to an April 2015 survey of almost 150 underwriters by Munich American Reassurance Co.

How often you use marijuana does count, though. Heavy recreational use is generally counted as smoking, even at companies that take a more lenient attitude toward cannabis, and could even result in a denial with some insurers.

Life insurance companies may not even care if you smoke pot. Here's a look at rates for marijuana users. Read more...

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Interesting article about the impact of marijuana / cannabis on life insurance rates? Direct message us for questions hello@stroupinsurance.com

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TOP Most Common Places That Fires Occur in the Home

TOP Most Common Places That Fires Occur in the Home | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it
Of all fires reported in the U.S. every year, 31 percent happen in residential homes. That’s due to a number of factors: negligence, open flames, cooking, and more. A key to preventing fire is understanding common causes. SafeWise expert
Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Do you the areas of your home that are most likely to catch a fire?

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Tips for Naming Your Cars - Him or Her?

Tips for Naming Your Cars - Him or Her? | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

But the fact remains that there are a surprising number of people out there who give names to their vehicles – some flattering and noble, some insulting or incomprehensible. Maybe it has something to do with feeling a closer bond with your ride. After all, cars are an increasingly important part of our daily lives. There’s certainly no law against naming your car, and if it makes you feel better to drive “The Bullet Phantom” or “Mindy’s McSweetmobile” rather than plain old “Honda Civic” or “Toyota Camry” then that’s your business.

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

We give names to our boats, so why not our cars? Did you know that October 2 is National Name Your Car Day? Read these tips on naming your car.

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Tips for Autumn Home Maintenance

Tips for Autumn Home Maintenance | Family Insurance Tips by Ruth Stroup | Scoop.it

As the summer heat fades into cool, crisp fall weather, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your home for the winter months. Colder, wet weather can take its toll on your home, and the cost of repairs can mount quickly if you don’t take the time to guard against it. Truly, an ounce of prevention can be worth several pounds of cure when it comes to prepping your home in September. In addition to home maintenance, autumn offers an excellent time to review some key home safety items and ways to save on heating costs, as well. Let’s take a look at what you can do now to help give you some peace of mind for the winter ahead.

Makes sure your home properly drains.

If your gutters get clogged and pool up with water, you could suffer costly roof damage. Clean your rain gutters completely with a scraper or trowel, and then rinse them out with a hose to ensure the gutters and the downspouts freely drain. Also, tend to your yard’s drainage. Ensure your yard provides proper grading around the entire perimeter of your home so that water can’t collect around your foundation.

Prepare your yard.

While you’re in the yard, clean your patio furniture and either store or cover it. If you live in a cold climate region, turn off the water leading to outside water spigots, including sprinklers, and switch off any electronic sprinkler controllers, as well. Also, remove and store any hoses connected to spigots.

Tend to your garage door.

Inspect your garage door for any loose hinges and hardware. Lubricate them along with the rollers using a good penetrating oil. If you find any major repairs, especially those involving the springs, leave them to the professionals. If your garage door is wood, determine whether or not it needs a fresh coat of paint to protect it from the cold and wet ahead.

Check your doors and windows.

The seams and weather stripping around your doors and windows can leak hot air, and drive up costs. To check them turn on any exhaust fans in your home (such as bathroom fans or oven hoods), and then carefully move a lit candle or lit incense around the seams of your doors and windows. If the flame flickers or the smoke shifts, then you know air is leaking in (or out) at that point. Also, if you have screen doors or window covers that you typically remove before winter, now is the time to do it.

Keep your water heater clean and cozy.

If you have a gas-fired hot water heater, cut heating costs by insulating the tank so it keeps water warmer longer. These insulating wraps are available at most home stores, and provide installation instructions. While you’re at it, turn off the heater and water, release the pressure valve and drain out a bucket or two of water from the tank. Focus on fire safety. More home fires occur in winter than any other time of year. So, replace the batteries in all your smoke detectors, and test them to ensure they work properly. Also, create a family fire evacuation plan and meeting point and practice it. Map out escape routes for each room, and determine if you will need portable fire ladders. Place easily accessible fire extinguishers in key areas, and make sure they are charged.

By tackling these few simple chores, you’ll make winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring!

Ruth Stroup Insurance Tips's insight:

Our Bay Area late summers will soon turn into wet fall days here are some tips to help you out!

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