Monthly Archives: January 2014

What happened on this day in history

January 31Friday is here.  Now, to get ready for Super Bowl Sunday.  Are you are ready?  We figured we would do a little history today and see what special events happened on January 31 over the years. Regardless of which team you are rooting for this weekend, we hope you enjoy yourself and always remember to celebrate safely.

1747 – The first clinic specializing in the treatment of venereal diseases was opened at London Dock Hospital.

1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. It was ratified by the necessary number of states on December 6, 1865. The amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

1893 – The trademark “Coca-Cola” was first registered in the United States Patent Office.

1936 – The radio show “The Green Hornet” debuted.

1940 – The first Social Security check was issued by the U.S. Government.

1949 – The first TV daytime soap opera was broadcast from NBC’s station in Chicago, IL. It was “These Are My Children.”

1958 – Explorer I was put into orbit around the earth. It was the first U.S. earth satellite.

1960 – Julie Andrews, Henry Fonda, Rex Harrison and Jackie Gleason, appeared in a two-hour TV special entitled “The Fabulous ’50s”.

1971 – Astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.

1982 – Sandy Duncan gave her final performance as “Peter Pan” in Los Angeles, CA. She completed 956 performances without missing a show.

1983 – The wearing of seat belts in cars became compulsory in Britain.

1990 – McDonald’s Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow, Russia.

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Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Penny Hanley Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

Save Money on Your Homeowners Insurance

homeowners insuranceWe are always looking for ways to cut costs, whether it’s groceries, electric bill or even your insurance.  Here are 5 tips you can do to help reduce your homeowner’s insurance costs.


Companies offer several types of discounts, but they don’t all offer the same discount or the same amount of discount in all states. For example, since retired people stay at home more than working people they are less likely to be burglarized and may spot fires sooner, too. Retired people also have more time for maintaining their homes. If you’re at least 55 years old and retired, you may qualify for a discount of up to 10 percent at some companies. Some employers and professional associations administer group insurance programs that may offer a better deal than you can get elsewhere.

Good Credit:

Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price homeowner’s insurance policies. In most states, your insurer must advise you of any adverse action, such as a higher rate, at which time you should verify the accuracy of the information on which the insurer relied. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don’t obtain more credit than you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate.

Stay with the same insurer:

If you’ve kept your coverage with a company for several years, you may receive a special discount for being a long-term policyholder. Some insurers will reduce their premiums by if you stay with them for three to five years and even more if you remain a policyholder for six years or more. But make certain to periodically compare this price with that of other policies.

Home Security:

You can usually get discounts for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. Some companies offer to cut your premium if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations. These systems aren’t cheap and not every system qualifies for a discount. Before you buy such a system, find out what kind your insurer recommends, how much the device would cost and how much you’d save on premiums.

Make your home disaster resistant:

Check with your insurance agent or what steps you can take to make your home more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. You may be able to save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials. Older homes can be retrofitted to make them better able to withstand earthquakes. In addition, consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage.

If you have done any improvements or updates to your home in the last 6 months, give us a call and let us know.  We will update our system and may be able to offer you a reduced rate.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

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Tips for starting you own small business

starting a small businessWith a tough economy, high unemployment rates many people are looking for other solutions including starting up their own small businesses.  Opening your small business is a big decision to say the least.  If you are one of the many looking to start your own business here are some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Be clear on why you want to start a business. Don’t look at opening your own business because you’ve run out of options.  If you are truly interested in being your own boss then you be ready for a lot of hard work. The satisfaction and possibilities of financial security are worth the effort to run your own business.
  2. What type of business will you choose? Be original in your business plans.  Choose a business that can fill a nitch that others have not yet done. Use your experience and skills to help you choose a business that best suits you.  You want to do something you enjoy and have passion for.
  3. Business Plan.  Don’t get too carried away with doing a detailed business plan.  Consider a one-page business plan that covers what you offer, who you will be targeting, how much you will charge for your service, your marketing strategy, financial backing and how you plan to make this happen.  Keep it simple to start.
  4. Target Customer. Know who your target customer is.  Your marketing depends on you knowing who to target. Example: if you are making all natural products, like soaps and lotions, don’t target “all people”.  Look for markets where women/men are interested in using natural products.  Consider local spas, gift shops even health living stores.
  5. Pricing.  This is always the most difficult part for business owners.  Finding a price point where they make a profit and still keep it affordable for their customers.  Remember not to undervalue your time and talent. Choosing the perfect price might take some adjustment as you become more familiar with your target audience.  Pay attention to your demographics.  If you are looking only to market locally then make sure the price point is correct for your area.  If your overall goal is to market globally, you have a little more wiggle room to play with on pricing.
  6. Insurance.  Many don’t think of the importance of insurance with your first business.  It’s very important to have the proper business insurance that will cover your style of business.  From a simple General Liability (GL) to Commercial Insurance or Workers’ Compensation if you have employees. Find a local insurance agent that you trust to sit down and discuss your business plans so they can help find the best business insurance for you.

We hope these tips will help you as you plan your new business.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

Small Business Advertising on a Budget

Small Businesses have a lot to deal with each day just to make ends meet and keep their doors open.  In this economy many small businesses look for ways to promote their business on a very low budget and still hopefully reach their audience.  As we’ve talked in the past there are many ways small businesses can do this on little to no money.

What we’ve found as a small business that has been working well for us is Facebook Ads.  Recently they have made some changes on Facebook Ads that can benefit all small businesses. You can choose to build an ad that will help increase page likes, page post engagement, website clicks, website conversion, offers and more.  You have the ability to really target your market area much easier now.  The ability to either choose to advertise by State, City or All.  You also have the ability to choose an age range to market to as well as occupation.  If you haven’t tried Facebook Ads up till now, you should give it a try.

small business ads

On a very small budget you can build an ad, choose your demographic area and decide how long you want to run this ad for.  We typically run our ads for one week at a time capping our daily spending limit to $5.00 a day.  We generally pick up 25-40 new likes on our page with this one week ad.

The other thing to watch is the new insights that Facebook has recently updated.  This helps you track where your traffic is coming from.  It breaks it down to age range of your fans, what states your fans are from, and how many people like, engage and share your posts and so much more.  These tools will help you when running your Ads, so you know whom and where to target those ads.

We hope you found this information helpful, as we know how important it is for small businesses to succeed and thrive in this economy.  Remember we are always here to assist you with all your small business insurance needs.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job


Winter Storm tips if you are stranded in your vehicle

stranded car in snowWith today’s storm approaching we thought we would share a few safety tips with you.  If you are ever caught in the middle of snow storm on the road, you know it can be a bit scary. If you find yourself stuck in your vehicle due to road conditions remember these safety tips.

  • Pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.
  • Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Be careful; distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to in deep snow.
  • Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
  • Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews.
  • Eat regularly and drink ample fluids to avoid dehydration, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs – the use of lights, heat, and radio – with supply.
  • Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.
  • If stranded in a remote area, stomp large block letters in an open area spelling out HELP or SOS and line with rocks or tree limbs to attract the attention of rescue personnel who may be surveying the area by airplane.
  • Leave the car and proceed on foot – if necessary – once the blizzard passes.

We hope these winter weather tips will help you in the event you become stranded in the middle of a snowstorm.

Also remember to make sure you clear your vehicle off of all snow before heading out to travel to avoid any fines.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

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January 17th: This Day in History

January 17It’s Friday the end of the work week.  Thought we go back and check out what happened this day in history.

1949 U.S.A. Volkswagen Beetle 17th January, 1949 : The first Volkswagen Beetle ( The Peoples Car ) in the U.S. arrived from Germany, designed by Ferdinand Porsche at the request of Adolf Hitler.

1938 U.S.A. Carnegie Hall Jan. 17th, 1938 : The first jazz concert is performed at Carnegie Hall. Benny Goodman and his orchestra performed at this iconic New York City venue and the event included guests like Count Basie and other popular names of the day. It gave the genre credibility as a legitimate musical preference.

1950 U.S.A. Brinks Robbery 17th January, 1950 : The Great Brinks Robbery ( Boston ) A team of 11 thieves, steal more than $2 million from the Brinks Armored Car depot in Boston

1961 U.S.A. Eisenhower On January 17, 1961 Eisenhower gives his last speech as president of the United States. In his speech he expresses his hopes of the future, as well as his concerns.

2008 U.S.A. Possible Recession 17th January, 2008 : Economists, The Federal Government, Politicians and everyone else are for the first time mostly agreeing and discussing a possible recession and how to avert..
The triggers for the change in defining current state of the economy have been the continuing concerns over sub-prime mortgages and defaults.

2013 United States College Football Player in Online Hoax
17th January, 2013 : A linebacker for the University of Notre Dame, Manti Te’o was involved in a bizarre hoax in which his girlfriend who had allegedly died of cancer was revealed to be non-existent. Te’o revealed that he had been the victim of a prank and that his girlfriend was really someone else who had tricked him into an online romance.

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We hope you enjoyed a little history on this 17th day of January.

Have a happy and safe weekend.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Technology a Game-Changer for your Business

internet business insuranceAs we have discussed in the past making sure your business is keeping up with the global trend of technology is very important.  There is so much offered now to help promote and advance our business exposure that every business can make use of.

There is a great article recently written by Daniel Burrus called 25 Game-Changing Hard Trends That Will Create Both Disruption and Opportunity on a Global Level. It discusses all the uses of technology that can help support and grown your business.  Technology is truly the Game-Changer for today’s businesses.

We thought we would share some excerpts from this article.

Cloud Computing Gets Personal and Advanced Cloud Services will be increasingly embraced by business of all sizes, as this represents a major shift in how organizations obtain and maintain software, hardware, and computing capacity. As consumers, we first experienced public clouds (think about when you use Google Docs or Apple’s iCloud). Then we saw more private clouds giving companies the security and limited access they needed, as well as hybrid clouds that provided both, giving customers and consumers access to specific areas of a company’s cloud. Companies of all sizes are using the cloud to cut costs in IT, human resources, and sales management functions. As individuals increasingly use personal mobile clouds, we will see a shift to services and less of a focus on the devices we use to access our services. This shift will also help us address the three limiting factors of mobility: battery life, memory, and processors.

Wear Your Own Device (WYOD) will take off this year as wearable technology goes mainstream with big players launching smart watches, smart glasses, and more, creating new problems as well as opportunities for organizations of all sizes. Over the past few years, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) caught many IT departments by surprise; it’s now time to get in front of this this predictable hard trend and turn it into an advantage.

Social Business Applications take on a new level of urgency as organizations shift from an Information Age “informing” model to a Communication Age “communicating and engaging” model. Social Software for business will reach a new level of adoption with applications to enhance relationships, collaboration, networking, social validation, and more. Social Search and Social Analytics will increasingly be used by marketers and researchers, not to mention Wall Street, to tap into millions of daily tweets and Facebook conversations, providing real-time analysis of many key consumer metrics.

This is just a small part of the article.  The information in this article is valuable to all type of businesses large or small.  Read the full article here.

For more information on obtaining Insurance for your Small Business feel free to contact Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance