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Thank a Farmer Today!

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Today, 10/12/2018, is National Farmers Day so take some time to thank a farmer!

Top 10 Fascinating Farming Facts For National Farmer’s

  1. Farming employs more than 24 million American workers.  (17% of the total workforce)
  2. Agricultural efficiency has increased over the past century from 27.5 acres / worker in 1890 to 740 acres / worker in 1990.
  3. Seeds had to be scattered by hand until Jethro Tull’s seed drill (developed in 1701) made it possible to plant seeds in rows, which could then be easily hoed.
  4. The word “farm” is from the Old French ferme, meaning to “rent, lease,” and the Latin firmare, “to fix, settle, confirm, strengthen.”
  5. In 1954, the number of tractors on farms surpassed the number of horses and mules for the first time.
  6. Approximately 60% of the farmers in the United States are 55 years old or older.  Aging farmers have led to concern about the long-term health of family farms.
  7. Farmers today produce 262% more food with 2% fewer inputs (such as seeds, labor, fertilizers) than they did in 1950.
  8. Raising beef cattle is the single largest segment of American agriculture.  The United States produces more beef than any other country.
  9. Farmers often plant tall, dense trees on the edges of fruit farms.  These trees provide windbreak, which helps prevent soil erosion.
  10. More than 100 agricultural crops in the U.S. are pollinated by bees.  In fact, one out of three bites of food people eat is thanks to honeybees.

Source:  https://www.factretriever.com/farming-facts

Beck Insurance Agency specializes in and has the knowledge, experience, and markets to effectively manage the unique exposures to risk that today’s farmers face.  Call Beck Insurance at 419-446-2777, drop us an email at info@beckinsurance.com, or submit your request online here to begin the review process.

Ohio Plan 30 Year Founding Member

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Beck Insurance Agency was recently honored for being a founding member and agency partner with The Ohio Plan.  The 30 year partnership between Beck Insurance Agency, The Ohio Plan, Hylant Administrative Services, the other agency partners, and most of all the 200+ Ohio Plan Members has far exceeded our expectations.  Conrad Beck was on hand to accept the honor on behalf of Beck Insurance Agency.  Here is to 30 more!

For more information on Beck Insurance Agency, Conrad Beck, The Ohio Plan & The Ohio School Plan or…….please click here.

Conrad can be reached at 419-446-2777, cbeck@beckinsurance.com, or by contacting us here.

Cab Essentials for the Road

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

If you have ever taken your family camping, you know there is a lot to pack. Food, clothing, activities, and so much more. Similarly, truck drivers must understand the items needed on the open road. This knowledge is shared from driver to driver. We then add to this wisdom from our own experiences and personal needs. For example, a long-haul driver operating from coast to coast will need different resources than a local driver who is home most nights. Drivers need to be prepared for delays due to weather, inability to get loaded or unloaded, breakdowns, inspections, fatigue, and even sickness.

Truck Insurance

Here is a short list of items I found necessary to keep in my truck in a regional trucking operation:

1.An emergency preparedness kit. It is sometimes difficult to predict what we will encounter on roadways. As a result, the emergency kit should contain extra batteries, gloves, a flashlight, a sleeping bag, winter clothing when in season, non-perishable foods, extra medication, an extra pair of prescription glasses, a basic tool kit, duct tape, spare bulbs, jumper cables, extra fuses, bottled water, a foldable shovel, window deicer, emergency flares, an extra cell phone charger, and a first-aid kit.

2.Extra money. If your credit card quits working, you lose your wallet, or the store’s power is out, a few hundred dollars tucked away in a safe place can come in handy when you need to spend the night or purchase provisions.

3.Keep your food cold. If your truck is not equipped with a refrigerator, an insulated cooler is important in preserving perishable food items and keeping your drinks cold.

4.How are you cooking? A lot of drivers used to use little propane stoves to prepare meals in their trucks and save money on food costs. My preference is a microwave, which many trucks are now equipped with or have a converter or an APU. A microwave can make a big difference in comfort for a long-haul driver.

5.Another alternative is a slow cooker. Meat, potatoes, and fresh vegetables can be a satisfying end to a long day. A slow cooker allows you to prepare your own healthy food with minimal effort. However, make sure it is secured so it does not cause injury in the event of a sudden stop.

6.Food for truck drivers is no longer one size fits all. Many cultures and tastes influence our food choices. I chose to stock up on items that remained safe at room temperature and could be easily prepared, such as granola bars, bread, peanut butter, jelly, apples, bananas, nut varieties, deli meat, cans of soup, and water—lots and lots of water. There are a lot of healthy choices out there. Google and decide what works best for you.

7.Paper towels and wet wipes were essential items for me. They can be used for maintaining personal cleanliness, as a cleaning cloth in the truck, or as a rag to complete an unexpected repair.

8.Extra clothing. You will need several changes of clothing, depending on the duration of your trip. I found that extra socks, underwear, gloves, and footwear could make life much more comfortable in unexpected events such as weather and breakdowns.

9.Personal hygiene items, including deodorant, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a comb, mouthwash, and floss.

10.Know where you are going. A motor carrier map can prove very helpful in arriving safely to your destination. Understanding your route options and identifying toll roads, inspection stations, and roadway and bridge restrictions can prove invaluable. Personally, I used a trucker’s road atlas first and GPS as a second referral only while driving.

11.Stay warm and pack essentials. If you have ever been really cold and alone, you will identify with why I also kept a small propane heater stowed away. The same holds true for a portable toilet. Whether trapped in a traffic jam or in a remote location, having extra toilet paper and a clean portable toilet can bring a lot of comfort in those emergency situations of life on the road.

When you are stopped, take some pictures to share with family and friends, and remember to take the time to enjoy your trucking experience—appreciate the sunrises and sunsets, the old barns and cattle grazing, and the mountains you encounter along America’s roadways.

Cliff J. on August 15, 2018 in Trucker Focus , Acuity.

Interested in an insurance review and competitive bids on your Trucking Operation?  Call Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777, send an email to joe@beckinsurance.com , or click here.

Beck Insurance Agency is committed to advanced education.

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Joe Beck, CIC & Vice President at Beck Insurance Agency is in Millford, MA this week attending a “CPRM” class “Evaluating & Protecting the Lifestyle. The CPRM(or Certified Personal Risk Manager) is a designation earned by passing series of 5 classes on insuring and risk management coverage and techniques for affluent, high net worth, and super high net worth clients.

Topics in the current class are marine/yacht, aviation, kidnap & ransom, domestic employees, farm/ranch, and on site business exposures.

Wait to Text!

Friday, September 7th, 2018

Jordyn Wieber, partnering with Auto-Owners Insurance, speaks on the importance of not texting while driving.

W82TXT

While this video is over six years old, the message is more important today than ever.  Distracted driving is at an all time high and we must reverse this trend.  Please wait to text!

 

6 Tips to Make House Hunting Easy

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Buying a home can be one of the biggest purchase decisions an individual or couple will ever make. It is no wonder that when we start the journey of searching for our first—or next—home, we can get a little overwhelmed. Besides the things that are out of our control, like the housing market (supply and price), there are a few things you can do to make home shopping easier.

Before you make an offer, consider the following:

1.Find somewhere you feel safe. Research the community and neighborhood. Talk to people you know who live near the area. If you have kids, researching school districts is also important.

2.Cast a wide net to start. While you may have an idea of your dream home and what it looks like, don’t narrow your search criteria too quickly. Some of the items you see as “must haves” may not be necessary in the end. Part of getting the best deal is knowing what is out there and available.

3.Evaluate the home closely. When you get to the point of touring homes, be sure to pay close attention to details. Are the windows in good shape, or will they need to be replaced? How old are the major mechanicals and roof? Are there signs of structural concerns? These are all costly repairs—especially if they are unexpected!

4.Get an inspection. While this is more commonplace than not, make sure you have a professional inspection of the property. A thorough evaluation of the home can identify safety concerns that need to be addressed.

5.Don’t ignore red flags! The conditions of each contract offer can vary, but if your purchase is contingent on inspection, don’t overlook problems. If it is not something that can be resolved through negotiations with the seller, you must be willing to walk away from a bad deal.

6.Is it a good fit? While all the prior points are important, it is also important to make sure the home is a good fit personality wise. Make sure there is enough space for all your stuff in the bedrooms and closets. Kitchen size and layout can also be important elements.

While there is no doubt that the charm of a home can make you want to buy it on the spot, following a few simple tips can help avoid the headache of a rushed and underinformed purchase. Do you have any home buying tips you’d like to share?

This content provided by Acuity Insurance, written by Addie B. on 08/16/2018.  Original content found here.

Interested in Homeowners Insurance? Contact Kylie Schultz, Natalie Grieser, or Joe Beck at Beck Insurance Agency, Inc.  Phone (419) 446-2777, email info@beckinsurance.com, or submit a request online here.

How Medicare Coordinates with Employer Health Care

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

If you’re 65 or older, working and have an employer group health plan based on your current work, you may have questions about how your job-based insurance coordinates with Medicare. On the Medicare Rights Center National Consumer Helpline, such questions are among the most frequent ones we get. Here’s what you need to know:

For people who work and have job-based insurance, knowing when to enroll in Medicare falls on them. There is no formal notification from the Social Security Administration or Medicare. Some people are misinformed by employers or don’t have reliable information about Medicare enrollment, leading them to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B and then incur penalties and high medical costs.

The Rules on Coordinating Medicare and Employer Coverage

Having job-based insurance does allow you to delay Medicare enrollment without penalty and delay paying the Medicare Part B premium (the standard Medicare Part B premium is expected to be $134 a month in 2019). However, it’s important to know whether your job-based insurance will pay primary or secondary to Medicare.

In most cases, you should only delay enrollment in Medicare if your job-based insurance is the primary payer (meaning it pays first for your medical bills) and Medicare is secondary. There are additional enrollment considerations if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA); if you enroll in Medicare Part A and/or B, you can no longer contribute pre-tax dollars to your HSA.

Job-based insurance is primary if it is from an employer with 20 or more employees. Medicare is secondary in this case, and some people in this situation choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B so that they do not have to pay the monthly premium.

Job-based insurance is secondary if it is from an employer with fewer than 20 employees; Medicare is primary in this case. If you work at an employer this small and delay Medicare enrollment, your job-based insurance may provide little or no coverage. That’s why you should enroll in Medicare Part B to avoid incurring high costs for your care. The rules are different, however, if you are Medicare-eligible due to a disability or because you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

The Medicare Special Enrollment Period

If you are eligible for Medicare because you are 65 or older and are covered by your job-based insurance or your spouse’s, you have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in Medicare Part B while you are covered by job-based insurance and up to eight months after you no longer have that coverage. This means you aren’t required to take Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), or the seven months surrounding your 65th birthday, when you become Medicare eligible.

Using the Part B Special Enrollment Period means you will not have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty (LEP). Normally, for every 12 months that people who are Medicare-eligible and not covered by employer insurance delay enrollment, they accrue a 10% penalty, which is then added to their monthly Part B premium amount. In most cases, the penalty lasts for as long as someone has Medicare.

Retiree Coverage, COBRA, Affordable Care Act and Medicare

Many Medicare-eligible individuals do not know that employer-offered retiree coverage is almost always secondary to Medicare.

Similarly, health insurance coverage through COBRA (employer-sponsored coverage you can pay to keep after you leave your job, usually for up to 18 months) is also always secondary to Medicare coverage. If you have employer-offered retiree coverage or COBRA, you should enroll in Medicare when first eligible to avoid possible penalties, higher medical costs and gaps in coverage.

You should also make sure you understand how to make Medicare Part B enrollment decisions if you are enrolled in a Marketplace plan under the Affordable Care Act.

If you have an insurance plan certified by the Marketplace, known as a Qualified Health Plan, deciding what to do as you approach Medicare eligibility depends on your circumstances. If you delayed enrolling in Medicare so you could stay in your Marketplace plan, you may be eligible to request time-limited equitable relief. That will let you enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty or eliminate or reduce your late-enrollment penalty under certain circumstances. The opportunity to request time-limited equitable relief lasts until September 30, 2018.

Source:  Written by Joe Baker, Next Avenue Contributor, linked via Forbes.  Original content here.

In the Northwest Ohio area please contact either Natalie Grieser or Bill Beck at Beck Insurance Agency for more information.  Beck Insurance Agency is located at 120 N Defiance Street in downtown Archbold, Ohio.  Phone 419-446-2777.  Natalie Grieser email is Natalie@beckinsurance.com , Bill Beck email is bbeck@beckinsurance.com.  Or click here to contact via the Beck Insurance website for more information on medicare.

Why We Ask. Life Insurance Matters.

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Here is a moving video courtesy of Pekin Insurance on the importance of Life Insurance for you and your loved ones.

A new widow left with inadequate life insurance urges every family to make sure they have enough. In this Pekin Insurance video, new widow Catina Lawyer says that life insurance matters for everyone, even younger people, and explains what a difference good life insurance would have made for her.

Please contact Beck Insurance Agency today for a life insurance review. Click or call 877-446-2325 today.

Long Term Care Insurance

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

An estimated 70% of individuals 65 or older will at some point require some type of long term care services.

According to Genworth, the 2018 average monthly cost of service for Toledo area nursing homes is $7,017. That’s over $84,000 a year!

A private room averages $7,989, while a home health aide would still set you back nearly $4,200 a month.

If you become part of the estimated 70% that requires long term care services….how do you plan to pay for it?

If you are married, would these costs leave your spouse with anything? Your family?

Beck Insurance Agency has several products and methods available in addition to conventional LTC products to help leverage against these possible costs.  Contact us today to schedule a review.  Click here, or call Beck Insurance at 419-446-2325.

10 of the Best Lake Safety Tips Boat Owners Need to Avoid Accidents

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

What’s better than a day on the lake? Safety tips to make sure you have as much fun as possible while staying safe.

Fishing. Swimming. Sailing. These are but a few of the fun things you can do when you take your boat out on the lake. Safety tips can add to the fun by ensuring you and your friends don’t get injured or have an accident, leaving you stranded. Because no matter how much fun you have on the water, it feels good to get home and crawl into bed at the end of the day.

For some boaters, lake safety tips might not seem especially relevant. Waters are generally calm, visibility is excellent, and you’re probably just cruising. The reality, however, is that the majority of boating accidents happen on sunny days in calm waters. And according to the U.S. Coast Guard, accidents in lakes, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs account for nearly ten times as many accidents as those that happen in ocean waters.

This isn’t meant to scare you, though. Being aware and informed are essential parts of having fun. Follow these tips for a guaranteed good time on—and in—the water.

Boat Safety

Boat Safety

10 Lake Safety Tips

1. Follow your boating safety checklist.
Your boat safety checklist is your key to ensuring a good time on the lake. Use your checklist to make sure you don’t forget important safety items.

2. Boat defensively.
Be aware of your surroundings and what other boaters are doing. Watch out for wakes and other hazards like sandbars, submerged tree limbs, and debris.

3. Boat courteously.
Take it slow in populated areas, and be conscious of your wake.

4. Wear a lifejacket.
At the very least, there should be one lifejacket for each person on your boat, and children should always have a lifejacket on.

5. Keep an eye on the weather.
Just because it’s calm when you cast off doesn’t mean the weather won’t change. Check the forecast before you take your boat out and know what to expect.

6. Check your surroundings before swimming.
Don’t let anyone jump off the boat before carefully checking the surroundings. There may be large rocks or other hazards in the water that are just deep enough to be out of sight, but still dangerous.

7. Be constantly aware of children.
If a child is missing, check the water immediately. Seconds count.

8. Don’t drink the lake water.
Lake water can be full of microorganisms, some of which can cause severe illness.

9. Know how to escape from strong currents when swimming.
Everyone on your boat needs to know how to get out of strong currents. While this might not be an issue on a calm lake, if you’re boating on a river or in the Great Lakes, it can be a concern. The first step is to remain calm and don’t fight the current. Try to swim parallel to the shore or float until the current subsides, then call for help. The same goes for river currents: relax and go with the current. Swim toward shore if you can, but fighting against the current will only deplete your energy.

10. Know what drowning looks like.
The last thing anyone wants to think about when you’re heading out for a day on the lake is drowning, but that fact is, this knowledge could save a life. According to WebMD, someone waving their arms and calling for help may be in distress, they may need help, and it’s important to recognize that and get help to them quickly. However, active drowning looks very different. Our physiological response to drowning is a “silent, almost calm behavior.”

Water rescue expert Francesco Pia, Ph.D., points out what someone drowning will look like:
•Silent: There’s no spare breath to call for help.
•Bobbing up and down: His mouth sinks below the water’s surface, pops up just enough to breathe and sinks back down.
•Stiff-armed: Instead of waving for help, his arms are out to the side, hands pressed down on the water to keep him afloat. He can’t even reach out to grab a life preserver.
•Still: He won’t be kicking. His body will be straight up and down, almost like he’s standing in the water.

Any time you’re at the lake, safety tips are a vital part of having a good time. And the more you know, the more power you have to ensure the best time possible for you, your family, and your friends.

Courtesy of Pekin Insurance, “Beyond the Expected”.  Original content here.