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doctor typing

Try out these suggestions to prepare for your life insurance medical exam.

When you apply for life insurance, the insurance company may require you to undergo a medical examination.  While these exams are very relaxed and not something to worry about, there are some things that you should do to prepare.  Here are some of the things that you can do to get ready.

Medical Exam Preparations

  • Fast for 4-8 hours before the exam to ensure the most accurate readings.
  • Limit your salt intake and refrain from eating fatty, high-cholesterol foods 24-hours prior to the exam.
  • Avoid alcohol for at least 24-hours before the exam as alcohol consumption can increase the amount of fat in blood and liver functions.
  • Limit caffeine and nicotine in the 24-hours leading up the exam as they can increase your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Drink a glass of water one hour before the exam.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the exam.

Questionnaire Preparations

  • Have a photo ID ready at the time of the exam.
  • Be prepared with all the names and dosages of your current medications.
  • Be ready to explain if you have a history of problems associated with giving a blood sample.
  • Prepare the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any doctors and clinics you have visited in the last five years.
  • Be ready to report your regular physical activity levels.
  • Be ready to report if you take aspirin or vitamins on a daily basis.
  • Be ready to report medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, urinary specimen problems, heart conditions, and so on.

These are some of the things that you can do to prepare for your life insurance medical exam.  Do you have additional questions regarding your life insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Scotia, New York for assistance today.

bright sun

Take these precautions to protect yourself from the summer heat.

As temperatures increase, so does your risk for serious heat-related illnesses.  If you are not careful, then these illnesses can lead to serious medical complications and even death.  To protect yourself and your loved ones this season, make sure that you these precautions.

Watch Out for Signs of Heat-Related Illness

It’s important that you know the early warning signs of heat-related illnesses.  This way, you can identify potential issues before they become serious and potentially life-threatening.  Common signs to look out for include the following:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Fast pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Tiredness and/or weakness
  • Muscle cramps

Wear Light Clothing

When outside, you should wear lightweight, breathable, and loose-fitting clothing.  These types of clothes will ensure that you are not trapping heat close to your body and will keep cooler air circulating past your skin.  While it might seem counter-intuitive, you should also wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants if you are going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time.  Covering up will reduce sun exposure and protect your skin from burning.

Drink Lots of Fluids

When you are hot, your body produces sweat as a way to cool itself back down.  However, sweating quickly depletes your body’s water supply, leaving you dehydrated.  This is why it’s so important to drink plenty of fluids while you are out and about.  Please note that sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated drinks will actually leave you more dehydrated than before.  So, it’s best to stick to plain water this season.

These are some of the precautions that you should take to prevent heat-related illnesses this summer.  Are you looking for assistance with your insurance this summer?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

laptop and smartphone protected by padlock

Poor cyber security can cost your business dearly.

As a small business owner, you are responsible for protecting the sensitive information of your customers and your business.  Failing to employ adequate cyber security measures can cost your company dearly.  Here’s what a cyber attack on your business can cost you and what you can do to upgrade your cyber security measures.

The Cost of Cyber Attack

It’s important for business owners to understand just how badly a cyber attack or data breach will affect their company and their customers.  For starters, your business would be responsible for covering all the costs associated with the breach.  This includes the following:

  • Cost of notifying clients
  • Cost of restoring identities of affected parties
  • Cost of recovering compromised data
  • Cost of damaged computer systems
  • Cost of ongoing credit monitoring of affected parties
  • Cost of lawsuits

In addition to these monetary losses, businesses who are hit with a data breach also face reputational harm and the loss of client trust.  This can make it difficult for a business to retain customers, attract new clients, secure future contracts, and so on.  In some cases, the damage caused by the data breach is so severe that the business never recovers and is forced to close its doors.

Preventing Cyber Attacks

There are many things that your company can do to mitigate its risk for a cyber attack.  For instance, here are some of the steps that you can take.

  • Make Backup Copies of Important Information

You should regularly back up your company’s computers to ensure that there is a secure copy of important word documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files.  Schedule automatic backups at least once a week, so you do not forget to take care of this important security step.

  • Conceal Your Wi-Fi Networks

If you have a Wi-Fi network for your business, then make sure that it is secure, encrypted, and concealed.  To hide your network, set up wireless access points and routers so that they do not showcase the network’s name, or SSID.  Secure your router with a password so only approved parties can access it.

  • Set Up Strict Password and Authentication Protocols

Employees should be required to update their password settings every three months.  Additionally, you should set up multi-factor authentication procedures to ensure that hackers and criminals cannot gain entry to your system with a stolen password alone.

These are the costs of a cyber attack and what you can do to upgrade your cyber security protocols.  Want another way to protect your business against online risks?  Then make sure you have the right commercial insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your business insurance needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

someone handing over keys to new car

Consider these factors when deciding between a new and used car.

If you are shopping for a car, then you might not know if you should go new or used.  While your budget will certainly affect your decision, this isn’t the only factor to consider.  Weigh these other considerations to help you make your car buying decision.

  • Insurance Costs

Insuring a brand-new car is typically more expensive than insuring a used vehicle.  This is because new cars are more costly to repair or replace.  However, keep in mind that buying an older used car will not necessarily save you money on insurance.  Because older cars do not have updated safety features and tend to be less reliable, they are more likely to be stolen or involved in an accident.  These risks translate into higher insurance costs.  Generally, buying a used car that’s only a few years old is the best way to maximize your auto insurance savings.

  • Technology

New cars come equipped with the newest in driving and safety technology.  For instance, new cars will have things like automatic braking, blind spot monitors, backup cameras, GPS, and other updated features that used cars may not offer.  If you want the newest tech to enhance your driving experience and your safety, then investing in a brand-new car is the way to go.

  • Reliability and Maintenance

When purchasing a car, reliability is one of the most important things to consider.  Brand-new cars will naturally be more reliable and have fewer maintenance issues than older, used cars.  As a general rule, the older the car, the less reliable it will be.  If you are planning on buying a used car, it’s vital to get a vehicle history report and have it inspected by a mechanic.  Taking these steps will ensure that the car you are buying has been well maintained and has not experienced issues in the past.

  • Your Image

For some people, a car is a status symbol.  If impressing your peers, co-workers, friends, or loved ones is a priority for you, then a new car is your best option.  However, it’s important that you do not base your car-buying decision on your image alone.  There are many other factors (namely your budget), that should take precedence over your desire to impress others.

These are some of the factors to consider when deciding between a new or used vehicle.  No matter what decision you make, your new ride needs the protection that only the right auto insurance can offer.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

"claims" spelled out in wood blocks

Here’s how home insurers will pay out claims.

After filing a claim with your home insurance provider, you may be anxious about receiving your payment.  To help you know what to expect, here are some of the essential things to know about claim payments.

The first thing that homeowners should understand is that they control how quickly their claims will be paid out.  This is because your claims adjuster requires you to complete certain steps before they can review your claim and issue payment.  So, if you want to receive payment in a timely manner, you should make sure that you have provided all the necessary information and filled out all the important paperwork.  You should also check in with your adjuster frequently, so you know if they need any more information to move forward with processing.

Once your home insurer has processed your claim, they will decide who to issue a check to.  An insurance check can be made out to the owner of the home or a named insured on the insurance policy.  In some cases, your insurer will write a check to your mortgage company.  If this happens to you, will need to work with your mortgage lender in order to cash the check.  Your insurer can also write a check directly the contractor you have hired to take care of home repairs.  Finally, if the claim was for third-party property damage or injuries, then your insurer might make the check out to the affected party.

When you file a claim, then there are some instances in which your insurance payout will come as multiple checks.  This will depend on your insurer’s claim policies, the type of claim filed, and the information that you provided while filing the claim.  Because every insurer will have their own rules, make sure to speak to your agent, so you know what to expect.

These are some of the important things that you should know about home insurance and claim payments.  Do you have further questions regarding your homeowners coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas for assistance today.

kids swimming

Why early swim lessons are a good idea.

If you are planning on spending this summer by the pool, at the beach, or near other bodies of water, then it’s time to consider teaching your child to swim.  While you might think that your kid is too young for swim lessons, the American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends lessons for all children aged 4 and older.  Here’s why it’s good to teach your kids to swim when they are young.

Teaching your child how to swim when they’re young is a great way to teach them water safety at an early age.  Additionally, early lessons can also help to instill a love of water and physical activity in your children.  When your kids are comfortable in the water, they are less likely to panic which will reduce their chances of drowning or hurting themselves.  Perhaps the most important benefit of early swim lessons is that they can teach children some drowning prevention skills.

It’s important to have reasonable expectations about your child’s swimming ability.  While the lessons will teach them some basics and can save them from drowning, they are absolutely no substitute for careful adult supervision.  Whether your children are taking official classes or an informal lesson in the backyard pool, may sure that there is an adult in the water with your child at all times.  This is the best and most effective way to ensure your child’s safety.

This is why you should sign your kids up for swim lessons when they are young.  Want another way to keep your kids and other loved ones safe this summer?  If so, then make sure you have the right insurance protection in place.  For assistance with your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

man driving

What to know about your auto insurance before lending out your car.

When you let a friend borrow your car, you might assume that their auto insurance will be the primary coverage.  However, in most states, including the state of Texas, this isn’t usually the case.  This is because insurance laws dictate that auto insurance follows the vehicle rather than the driver.  So, before you lend out your car so freely, here are some of the things you need to consider about your coverage.

Because the car owner is financially responsible for the damages caused by their vehicle, it’s important that you know your coverage limits before you lend out your car.  In some cases, your auto insurance policy may impose lower coverage limits when your car is being operated by a driver not listed on your policy.  Additionally, there are some instances in which your insurance will not cover another driver at all.  For example, if you regularly lend your car out to someone who is not a member of your household or if you lend your car out for business purposes, then your auto policy might deny the driver coverage.

If you frequently lend your car to someone that you do not live with, then you should add this person onto your auto insurance policy as an additional insured.  You should also take this step if you are lending your car out for an extended period of time.  This way, you can ensure that the driver has the coverage that they need.

This is how insurance works when you lend out your car.  Do you have additional questions regarding your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

home insurance paperwork and binder

Key things to know about your home insurance policy.

It is only in the wake of a major damage event that many homeowners find out how little they know about their homeowners insurance.  Obviously, this is a bad time to discover things like coverage exclusions and limits.  To ensure that you are not taken by surprise, it’s important to know a couple of things about your policy as soon as you receive it.  Here are some of the essential things to know about your home insurance at all times.

Basic Information

First things first, it’s important that you know all the basic information about your home insurance.  For instance, you should know who your insurance provider is and who to contact to file a claim.  You should also know where to access a copy of your policy so you can review the specifics of your coverage.

Coverage Limits

Your homeowners insurance likely comes with varying limits for different areas of coverage.  For instance, your policy probably places specific dollar limits on things like dwelling and personal property coverage.  Make sure you read through your policy and work with your insurance provider to determine if your coverage limits are high enough to address your risks.  If you need to increase your limits, then your insurer should be able to make these adjustments for a small premium increase.

Covered Perils

Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that their homeowners insurance protects them from every threat that comes their way.  However, there are certain perils and damage events that will not be covered by your standard home insurance policy.  For instance, regular home insurance will specifically exclude coverage for floods, earthquakes, sewer backups, pest infestations, and issues related to a home business.  To ensure that you are not caught off guard by a coverage gap, make sure you read through your policy and speak to your home insurer to discover exactly what your policy will cover.  Keep in mind that there are various insurance endorsements and specialty policies that can fill your coverage gaps.

These are some of the things that you should know about your homeowners insurance at all times.  Need help reviewing your home policy?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas for assistance today.

outside of an apartment building

Try out these suggestions to protect your apartment from thieves.

If you live in an apartment, then it’s likely that your home is in the middle of a high traffic area.  While your apartment building might be equipped with buzzers, ID-enabled entry systems, or doormen, you should not let this lure you into a false sense of security.  Because you are still at risk of having your apartment burglarized, you should take these steps to prevent a break-in.

  • Secure Your Apartment

While this seems obvious, 60% of all apartment robberies happen because the apartment owner has left their door or windows unlocked.  The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) recommends that you leave your apartment door locked even when you are inside the apartment.  You should also ask your landlord to install a deadbolt lock on your door for extra security.  Finally, be sure to keep windows closed and locked when you leave your apartment, especially if you live on the ground floor.

  • Protect Your Keys

When you first move into your apartment, request a lock change to ensure that the previous tenants cannot get back into the space.  You should also carefully monitor who you give spare keys to.  For instance, you should not give spare keys to anyone doing maintenance or renovation work on your apartment.  As a general rule, you should not let workers or other strangers into your apartment when you are not present.

  • Hide Valuables

Even with solid security measures in place, you cannot completely eliminate the threat of a break-in.  However, there are steps that you can take to ensure that burglars do not steal your most expensive or valuable belongings.  For instance, you should keep things like your checkbook, jewelry, portable electronics, and other valuables in hidden or discreet places.  This will reduce the chances of a thief grabbing these high-ticket items before running out.

These are some of the suggestions that you should try to keep your apartment safe from burglars.  Want another way to protect yourself and  your rental?  The make sure you secure the right renters insurance.  For assistance with all your insurance needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.