Author: Shannon Shulters

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Ugh. It’s that time of year again, where pumpkin spice and pink ribbons take over department/grocery store shelves! Whether you are a lover of all things pumpkin and pink or not, this time of the year is very important, it serves as a reminder that an annual mammogram can truly be the spice that could save a woman’s life!

Did You Know?

According to, all women are at risk for breast cancer—research estimates that 1 in 8 or about 12 percent of women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at some time in their lives. Read on to learn about causes and risk factors, and how to identify and prevent breast cancer.

The most common indication of breast cancer is discovering a lump in the breast or underarm area. Other signs include swelling, skin irritation/dimpling, nipple pain/abnormalities, redness or scaly skin and discharge from the nipple.

To detect breast cancer, physicians may use the following tests:

  • Mammogram – a breast X-ray
  • Biopsy – the removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope
  • Estrogen and progesterone receptor tests – to determine the levels of each hormone
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of inside the body

The chance of recovery and the treatment options depend on many factors including the stage of cancer, how fast the tumor is growing, hormone receptor levels, and a woman’s age. The four standard types of treatment used for breast cancer are:

  1. Surgery, ranging from a small lump of tissue being removed to an entire breast (mastectomy)
  2. Radiation therapy
  3. Chemotherapy
  4. Hormone therapy

Healthy Hints

Medical experts attribute the development of breast cancer to a combination of both unknown and known factors. An extensive list of these factors can be found at:

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The Cost Of Employee Turnover

Well, there goes another one. Another what? Employee!

Turn over rates are on the rise and can be costly to your company. Let’s say your company has 3 entry level positions open, you go through the interview process and after process of elimination, you have selected your candidates. Within 30 days you have them hired and trained. At this point you are thinking that all is going good, but then it happens, they start calling in sick, they don’t show up on time or at all and the next thing you know, you are back to square one. This happens all the time, especially this day and age when the job market is screaming for employees. So how do you stop this from happening?! Well, let’s start with the cost factor… and then we will talk about how to lower the turnover rate.

High turnover rates can be incredibly costly to an organization, making employee retention vital to success. While established employees can offer valuable insights based on their experiences in the organization, when they leave the organization they take all of that experience with them, forcing resources to be used on finding and training a replacement. The cost of turnover can be divided into two types: direct and indirect.

  • Direct costs include those tied to replacement costs such as advertising the open position, and interviewing and testing candidates; and the costs of training new hires.
  • Indirect costs include factors that cannot be measured directly but are costly nonetheless, such as lost productivity and knowledge, and lower morale as a result of turnovers.

While the exact cost of each turnover varies, estimates suggest that replacing an employee could cost as high as 200% of the annual salary of that departing employee.

Keeping Turnover Low

Employee turnover is often caused by insufficient employee engagement. While compensation is typically a factor in turnovers, the lack of opportunities to advance and a stressful or otherwise unsatisfactory work environment are also contributing factors. Focus on improving company culture, pay and benefits, and providing a clear path for career development. Offering the ability to submit suggestions and complaints anonymously can encourage otherwise
intimidated employees to share their insights. Additionally, conducting exit interviews with departing employees can offer valuable insight into the exact cause of turnovers and what can be improved to increase employee retention. Any recurring complaints indicate areas for close examination and improvement.

Let us help you create strategies to help over come turnover rates. Contact us today!

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Protect Your Children From Furniture Tip-Overs

Have you ever watched the video from a few years back on YouTube of the toddler twins caught on camera escaping their beds, climbing on a dresser, resulting in the dresser falling over on to one of them? Thankfully the other twin was able to help to slide the dresser off his brother. As a parent watching that video seems like the longest 2 minutes ever. This happens more often than not, and it’s scary to think your kids are safe in bed napping or sleeping for the night, only to find out they are not. Imagine thinking that your home is supposed to be the biggest safety net you own but then it suddenly it’s not. Thankfully manufacturing companies have now been providing wall brackets to secure bookshelves, dressers, and large entertainment pieces, ect. to the wall to prevent incidents like this from occurring again. Below we have provided a few other safety tips to help prevent falling electronics or furniture to help protect your children.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child is rushed to the emergency room approximately every 30 minutes due to furniture or electronics falling or tipping over. Taking a few extra minutes to anchor your furniture could protect a child from a fatal injury.

Use these tips to prevent furniture tip-overs:

  • Make sure all TVs and large furniture such as dressers, bookcases and nightstands are properly anchored. Although you should always follow the anchoring kit’s instructions for proper installation, here are some basic guidelines to follow:
    1. Install the brackets as high as possible to the back of your furniture.
    2. Secure your wall anchor into a wall stud or sturdy base.
    3. Tighten the restraints between the wall anchor and the furniture bracket to make sure the connection is secure.
  • Follow design and weight restrictions on all furniture. Avoid exceeding any furniture weight limits. If these restrictions aren’t followed, you could increase the chances for injury.
  • Reduce the temptation to climb. Don’t place any toys, snacks or other tempting items on the tops of large furniture. Instead, place items in a safe space, like a childproofed cabinet or drawer.
  • Keep heavier items on lower shelves. Place TVs and other large appliances on lower shelves of furniture to reduce the risk of tip-overs.

Safety First

As an added safety precaution, check to see if your furniture’s manufacturer complies with the tip-over safety standards set by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) International. Although furniture manufacturers are not required to meet these safety guidelines, you can rest easy knowing your furniture meets some of the highest furniture stability standards.

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Need A Rental?

Well it happened, you were in an automobile accident and now your vehicle is either totaled or in the body shop for repairs. Great. Now what?! You need transportation to get to work, if you have kids they probably need run all over the place, which means you do not have time to be without 4 wheels! You’re also thinking that this accident just got a whole lot more expensive because you are going to need to get a rental car and have to purchase the insurance that they offer, right? Not necessarily, there may be rental car coverage within your auto insurance policy. How do you find out? Well we broke it down for you…

When renting a car, the rental company will typically ask if you’d like to purchase insurance coverage for the vehicle. It’s at this point when you have to ask yourself: Do my personal insurance policies provide the coverage I need, or should I purchase insurance through the rental car company?

Although standard auto insurance policies may extend to rented vehicles, you should never assume you are protected. Examining your own auto insurance policy will show you the types of coverage you already possess and where additional coverage may be needed. Since auto policies differ, it’s a good rule of thumb to contact your broker so they can help you navigate your policy and determine if you have the appropriate amount of coverage when renting a vehicle.

Examining Your Insurance Policies

When deciding whether or not your personal insurance will cover your rental car, there are a few different coverages you should have. If you answer yes to all of the following questions, you may not need to purchase additional coverage:

  • Do you have liability, collision or comprehensive car insurance? Liability, collision and comprehensive insurance are the three main coverage options available when purchasing car insurance. Although it is not always required to purchase all three coverages, they can optimize your protection in the event of an accident. You do however need all three coverages on at least one of your vehicles for your insurance to extend to the rental car.
    • Liability insurance provides coverage if you damage or injure another person or their personal property.
    • Comprehensive insurance provides coverage if your car is damaged by a variety of exposures such as theft, vandalism or natural disasters.
    • Collision insurance provides coverage if your vehicle is involved in a collision, either with another vehicle or object
  • Does your policy cover administrative fees, loss of use or towing charges? It’s always a good idea to check see whether your insurance company pays for—or provides a rider for—additional fees associated with rental cars. This coverage can be helpful if a car you rent is lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Do you have a renters or homeowners policy that will cover your belongings if lost or damaged? Your homeowners or renters insurance policy covers your personal belongings from theft, fire or vandalism within your home. Policies often include off-premises coverage that can extend your coverage to outside your residence. Therefore, if personal belongings in your vehicle are stolen or damaged, your homeowners or renters insurance policy may be able to cover a percentage of your losses. Not all insurance carriers will extend coverage to protect personal belongings within your vehicle—always check with your broker to see what your renters or homeowners policy covers.

What Is Rental Car Insurance, and What Does It Cover?

Car rental companies provide additional coverage that is often used to supplement insurance you already possess.

Rental car agencies offer four different coverage options:

  1. Supplemental liability insurance: Most car rental companies need to have the minimum amount of liability coverage required by the state, but oftentimes it isn’t an adequate amount of coverage. If you have a personal car insurance policy with a high liability limit, you may not need additional protection.
  2. Loss damage waiver (LDW)/collision damage waiver (CDW): This is not insurance per se, but rather a document that can alleviate your financial responsibility should your rental vehicle be damaged or stolen. This also includes loss of use coverage if the rental company charges you for the amount of time the car could not be used while being repaired, as well as other administrative fees the car rental agency assesses. The LDW may become void if the incident occurred from the driver of the rented vehicle exhibiting reckless behavior, speeding or the vehicle being driven on unpaved roads.
  3. Personal accident insurance: This will cover the driver and any passengers within the rented vehicle for any medical bills caused by a car crash. This coverage is useful if you do not already have health insurance or personal injury protection insurance.
  4. Personal effects coverage: This covers any personal belongings that are stolen from the rental vehicle. If you already have renters or homeowners insurance, this may already be covered under your policy.

The coverages offered are oftentimes the same as what you already have for your personal car insurance. Again, to avoid paying for coverage you already have, review your policy before renting a vehicle.

Does Your Credit Card Provide Rental Insurance?

Many reputable credit card companies offer rental insurance to their customers. To utilize this secondary form of coverage, you must put the total amount of the car rental on your credit card. In many cases, credit card companies will also require you to deny any insurance offered by the car rental agency in order to access their coverage. In the event that your rental car is in a covered incident, the credit card company will help cover costs of damage or theft up to a certain dollar amount. Various rental car fees can be covered by your credit card, but this can vary by provider.

Before purchasing any additional coverage through the car rental facility, call your credit card company to see if your card offers car rental insurance. Since most credit card rental insurance is classified as a secondary form of coverage, you may need to rely on your personal auto insurance coverage first.

Ask About Your Policy

Deciding on your rental car coverage can be a tricky endeavor. Before purchasing any extra coverage, talk to your insurance broker about your personal auto insurance policy and whether you may need to purchase any additional insurance. No one wants to pay more for their auto insurance, and you shouldn’t have too.

If you have any questions or are unsure if rental vehicles are covered under your policy, contact Stapleton Insurance Group today.

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A Stone To The Windshield, A Deer, A Tree, A Pole, Another Car! Yikes!

Who hasn’t experienced having windshield chip or crack due to a stone being thrown, a deer that you didn’t see coming, a patch of ice or slick roads that resulted in your car meeting a tree or utility pole, not to mention the possibility of you or another driver not paying attention on the road and resulting in an accident? Most of us probably have, so what happens after these incidents occur? You call your insurance company to find out what is covered and what isn’t right? That’s right, but two out of the five examples given will be filed differently when making the claim. So here lies the question: What is the difference between Comprehensive and Collision Coverage? Search no further for the answer! We have the basics that you need to know when it comes to knowing the difference:

Collision and comprehensive coverages provide financial safety nets in the event that your vehicle is physically damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced. Although these coverages are generally not required by state laws, they can reduce your financial hardship during a loss.

Also, if you are financing a loan for a car, your lender will most likely require both collision and comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance policy.

Collision Coverage (The Tree, Pole or Another Car)

Collision coverage pays for the cost to repair damages to a vehicle due to an accident, either with another vehicle or an object. Typically, you will collect only the actual cash value of your car versus the replacement cost value. Gap insurance protects you in the event you owe more than your vehicle is worth.

  • Collision coverage is generally the most expensive portion of a car insurance policy.
  • Premiums are based on a number of factors, including your deductible, driving record and the type of car you drive. If your driving record is fairly clean (no or very few tickets or accidents), your premiums will be lower because you are less likely to have a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage (The Stone or Deer)

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused by theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters or hitting an animal.

  • Comprehensive coverage comes with a deductible and the insurer will only pay as much as the vehicle is worth at the time of the incident.
  • To calculate how much your car is worth, look up the Kelley Blue Book value or the National Automobile Dealers Association’s Official Used Car Guide value. If your car is low in value, the yearly premiums for comprehensive coverage may not be a sound investment.
  • Comprehensive coverage has many limitations, so it’s best to review your policy carefully to make sure you are properly covered

We are always ready to answer any other questions that you may have and encourage you to contact us to learn more about collision and comprehensive coverage, and how we can protect you against losses.

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