The Flu And How It Affects You

the fluEvery year, anywhere from 5% – 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu. Around 200,000 people are hospitalized due to its complications, and another 36,000 die from it. Those are some shocking numbers!!

So what exactly is the flu?

The flu is an infection of the respiratory tract caused by the influenza virus. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can cause complications leading to death.

Flu Symptoms often include some or all of the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Stomach ailments such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (this is more common in children than adults)

The flu is spread primarily with coughing, sneezing or talking close to others. It can also be spread if an individual touches a surface that was touched by an infected person, and then touches his or her own mouth, eyes or nose. People are typically contagious from 1 day before symptoms start to 7 days after symptoms appear.

So what do you do if you have the flu?

  • Stay home from work or school
  • Get lots of sleep
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) medications appropriate for your symptoms
  • Seek medical attention if you are concerned

The best way to treat the flu is to avoid it all together. Prevention is the key to keep the flu away. Simple things such as getting a flu shot, keeping your distance from sick people or washing you hands immediately after interaction with them and maintaining a health immune system by eating health and exercising regularly are all things that can help you avoid getting the flu.

In the unfortunate event the flu turns into something more serious seek immediate medical attention. Now may be a good time to also review your insurance coverage to make sure you have insurance coverage if you are unable to work for an extended period of time. 

How To Avoid Back Injuries While Shoveling

shoveling

  • shovelingYou arrive home after a long day of work and go figure…you can’t get into your driveway because the snow is too deep. After wading through the snow to get in the house, get on your snow gear and grab a shovel, it’s time to get shoveling. This is no easy task and you will quickly break a sweat, but be careful not to break your back.

 

Shoveling Precautions

It’s a good idea to warm up your muscles before shoveling by walking around for a few minutes or marching in place. Then stretch your arms and legs to allow your muscles to move more efficiently. (You wouldn’t run a marathon before warming up, this should be no different). After you’re all warmed up make sure you use the correct snow shovel. A bigger shovel doesn’t always mean better, especially with heavy snow. Look for a D-grip handle to provide a hand placement position that is more angled to the mounting surface.

Make sure to use proper technique while shoveling (yes there is such a thing). Stand with your feet at hip width apart to maintain your balance while keeping the shovel close to your body. Then, bend at the knees, not your back, and tighten your abdominal muscles as you lift the load on the shovel. If you need to move a load to one side of your body, re-position your feet to face the direction in which the load is good.

Dealing with the snow is bad enough, why have to deal with doctors, chiropractors and your health insurance too?

The Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring Comedy Benefit Show Is This Saturday!

Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring

Mid-Ohio Youth MentoringMid-Ohio Youth Mentoring, formerly known as Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Central Ohio, is a well known local program. They have mentored children, ages 5 through 16, in communities across Mid-Ohio for the last 24 years.

Visiting their website you can see their mission

“Our mission is to provide youth in our community with a mentor that supports, encourages, and provides opportunities, that will help them achieve success in life.” 

In order to make their mission successful, they need donations.

One popular event they hold annually is the Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring Comedy Benefit Show. This year’s show is Saturday February 9th at 7pm. (A perfect event if you are looking for something to do with your Valentine!) To get your see more details and purchase your tickets, visit their website. 

http://www.midohioyouthmentoring.com/calendar/2019/02/09/comedy-benefit-show

Help us support them by spreading the word. 

Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring

Important Information You Need To Know When Filing A Homeowners Insurance Claim

Homeowners insurance claim

Homeowners insurance claimDealing With a Homeowners Insurance Claim

If you’ve had a fire, water damage or another unfortunate event in your home, don’t fret. We have all the information that you need to get your claim underway so you can get your life back to normal.

When you have a homeowners insurance claim, your actions can make all the difference. Here’s how to maneuver through the claims process with ease:

  • If you were away from your home when the incident occurred, exercise caution when entering your property. If your property has sustained major damage, contact your local government officials to determine how you should proceed.
  • Report downed power lines to the utility company, and keep your electricity off if there is standing water in your home.
  • If it appears as though it is not safe to be at your home, leave.
  • Contact us to report how, when and where the damage occurred. Make a note of the claim handler’s name, telephone number and identification number when you call.
  • Protect your home from further damage without putting yourself in danger. This may include boarding up windows and salvaging possessions that did not sustain much damage. Your claim handler can advise you on how to do so safely
  • Prepare a list of damaged or lost items from your home.
  • Keep damaged items in your home until the claim handler has come for an inspection. Also, consider documenting the damage with pictures or video.
  • Provide receipts for damaged items if you saved them.
  • If you need to temporarily relocate, save all your receipts for additional expenses. Your policy may cover you for additional living expenses during this time.
  • Once you’ve reported your claim, the claim handler will send you some documents to complete within a specific period of time. Contact us if you have any questions, and return these forms promptly.
  • Contact your mortgage lender to notify them of your loss and to discuss potential contractor bids. Your lender may want to inspect a contractor’s job before making a final payment.

Let us help you throughout the process—contact us if you have questions or concerns. If you have not reviewed your homeowners insurance policy lately, please do so soon. It’s better to review your coverage before you need it. 

Click here to read more about homeowners insurance coverage. 

What You Need To Know If You Have Employees Working Outdoors In The Cold

Working Outdoors in the cold

Working Outdoors in the coldEmployees working outdoors in the cold are at risk of serious health problems. They are at risk for hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration and muscle injuries, just to name a few. Frigid temperatures can also cause additional pain for those who suffer from arthritis and rheumatism.

Click here to learn more about hypothermia.

To prevent injuries and illness as a result of working outdoors in the cold, it’s important to learn about the causes, symptoms and safety considerations to take so you are prepared to handle winter’s worst.

Causes of Cold Weather Injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is no exact temperature at which the environment becomes hazardous. Instead, factors such as low temperatures, wind speed and wetness contribute to cold-induced injuries and illness.

  • Exposed skin freezes within one minute at -20° F when the wind speed is five miles per hour (mph), and will freeze at 10° F if the wind speed is 20 mph.
  • When skin or clothing is wet, injury or illness can occur in temperatures above 10° F, and even above freezing (32° F).
  • When the body is unable to warm itself, hypothermia and frostbite can set in, resulting in permanent tissue damage and even death.

Signs of Injury and Illness

If you or a co-worker have any of the following symptoms, get indoors and alert your supervisor or call for medical attention if they do not subside:

  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Clumsy movements
  • Fatigue
  • Confused behavior
  • White or grayish-yellow area(s) of the skin
  • Skin that feels “waxy”
  • Numbness

It’s important to note that many people suffering from the warning signs of frostbite do not notice because the tissue is numb. Therefore, it is wise for employees to check on each other periodically.

Safety Considerations

To reduce the risk of cold-induced injuries:

  • Layer clothing to keep warm enough to be safe, but cool enough to avoid perspiring excessively. It should also contain the following:
  • Inner layer – a synthetic weave to keep perspiration away from the body
  • Middle layer – wool or synthetic fabric to absorb sweat and retain body heat.
  • Outer layer – material designed to break the wind and allow for ventilation, such as GORE-TEX®.
  • Wear a hat. Almost 40 percent of your body heat escapes from your head. If you wear a hard hat, add a winter liner that covers your neck.
  • Place heat packets in gloves, vests, boots and hats to add heat to the body.
  • Watch out for the effects of cold temperatures on common body functions, such as:
  • Reduced dexterity and hand usage
  • Cold tool handles reducing your grip force
  • The skin’s reduced ability to feel pain in cold temperatures
  • Reduced muscle power and time to exhaustion

No one wants to see anyone get injured or worse. Even though you have business insurance coverage, you definitely do not want to use it. Taking extra precautions to keep employees and yourself safe are the key to get through these winter months.

Click here to learn more about business insurance information. 

 

4 Ways To Save On Prescription Medications

Prescription

PrescriptionIt’s not uncommon to be on some sort of monthly prescription medication these days. Regardless of what they are, changes are you are looking for ways to cut costs or find less expensive alternatives. We have put together a list of 4 tips to help you with this tasks. 

1) Look for Generic Alternatives

If you are on a brand name prescription, ask your doctor about the generic equivalent. Many times, the generic works just as well as the brand name. Many of the generics have the same active ingredients as the brand name. Your Doctor will be able to determine if this is a good solution for you or not. 

2) Use Mail Order Services

Most health insurance plans offer mail order services on maintenance medications. You can typically receive a 90 day supply direct to your door. And, some plans give you a discount purchasing 90 days at a time instead of the typical 30 days. 

3) Check for Discounts Through The Drug Manufacturer

Did you know that many brand name drugs offer discounts directly through the drug manufacturer. Your doctors office typically has information about these offers. You can also find information by looking online. Many discounts offer that prescription medication to you at specific discount. Others offer some sort of copay assistance where it reduces your copay. There is usually some sort of coupon or rebate card for these services. 

4) Visit the GoodRx website

The website GoodRx is a tool you can use to find the best discount for your prescription. It also tells you the retailer that has that prescription at the lowest cost. Simply visit the website, enter the name of your prescription and click the search button. You will be presented with a list of results and if available, direct links to coupons or discounts. 

You can visit their website by clicking here.

We hope you have found some great tips in this blog. Please share this information with others. 

What You Need To Know Before You Lower Your Auto Insurance Limits

Auto Insurance Limits

Auto Insurance Limits

The cost of living can be pretty expensive. Everyone is looking for ways to cut costs and lower expenses. Auto insurance premiums are one expense many would like to lower. While you may be tempted to lower your auto insurance limits make sure to weight out all the risks. 

Determining Which Coverage You Need

An auto insurance policy is designed to provide you with a level of protection in the event you are involved in an accident. This includes protection against property, liability and medical costs. Understanding the different parts of coverage is important when selecting your auto insurance limits. 

  • Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
  • Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage. 
  • Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses. 
  • Underinsured motorists coverage pays for property damage and bodily injury caused by another driver whose coverage is insufficient to cover damages suffered.  

Selecting the correct liability limits is fundamental. On your auto insurance policy you will see your limits listed something like this – 100/300/50. In this example 100/300/50 means you are covered for up to $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $300,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident and $50,000 in property damage per accident.

Many states have minimum liability limit requirements. You may be tempted to reduce your liability limits to the minimum legal level. Or even dropping underinsured motorists coverage. While it may reduce your premium, it could also subject you to substantial risks. 

Collision Coverage – Know The Value Of Your Car

Your policy will not pay for repairs that exceed the value of your vehicle. For this reason, if you are driving a vehicle that isn’t worth more than a few thousand dollars, it may not make sense to purchase collision coverage. Your agent can help you determine if collision insurance makes sense for you. 

Top Ways To Save On Your Auto Premiums

  • Consider raising your deductible.
  • Keep up your good driving record.
  • Drive less to qualify for a low-mileage discount.
  • Drive a car with safety features such as anti-lock brakes and airbags.
  • Install an anti-theft device.
  • Ask about our multi-policy discount. 

We’re here to help. Accidents happen to cautious drivers too. Having adequate auto insurance limits can save you from serious financial burden should you be involved in an accident. We can help you determine which auto insurance coverage is needed and what limits to purchase. 

Everything You Need To Know About Blood Donation For National Blood Donor Month

National Blood Donor Month

National Blood Donor MonthDid you know January is National Blood Donor Month? It was declared in 1970 by President Richard Nixon to pay tribute to voluntary blood donors and increase donations by others. Each year the Red Cross holds numerous blood drives to collect donations for those in need. This year they are holding a local event on January 7th to “Celebrate National Blood Donor month by giving blood”. You can find the details by Clicking Here

About Blood Donation

Blood is needed for many reasons, including during emergencies and for people with cancer, blood disorders, sickle cell anemia and other illnesses. However, blood can only come from a volunteer donor—meaning donating blood can be the difference between life and death.

Who can donate?

In general, to donate blood, you must be healthy, at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and not have donated blood in the past 56 days. Depending on state law, 16 year olds may be able to donate with parental consent.

Women who are pregnant are not allowed to donate. If you recently traveled outside of the United States, you will be asked a series of questions to determine eligibility.

Is donating blood safe?

Absolutely. The needles and bags used to collect the blood are sterile, only used once and then discarded.

Can I donate if I’ve been turned down before?

Yes, you should try to donate again. Most reasons for donors being turned down are only temporary (for example, due to recent travel outside of the United States or a recent immunization).

Should I give blood now or wait until I am called?

If you want to donate, don’t wait. Eligible donors are encouraged to donate as often as possible. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

How long does it take to donate?

Donating blood takes about an hour and 15 minutes. The process starts with registration, a health history and a mini-physical. Then, if eligible, you move on to the actual donation, which usually only takes about eight to 10 minutes. The final step is enjoying refreshments while your body adjusts to the slight decrease in fluid volume.

How much blood is taken—will it make me weak?

You will only lose approximately one pint of blood. The vast majority of donors do not feel any different after their donation. A small percentage of people feel lightheaded, dizzy or have an upset stomach after donating blood. Your body will replace the lost fluid within 24 hours.

Can I direct my blood donation to the military?

Yes, you can. The American Red Cross has created a network that will help direct your blood donation to the areas of the country—or world—where it is needed the most.

How can I ensure a pleasant donation experience?

To ensure a positive experience, try the following tips:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before donating.
  • Eat a good breakfast or lunch before you donate.
  • Make sure you have adequate iron levels by eating iron-rich foods such as clams, spinach, beef and poultry.
  • Wear a shirt with short sleeves or sleeves that can easily be pushed over the elbow.
  • Drink plenty of fluids beforehand, but avoid caffeine.

After donating blood, take the following precautions:

  • Make sure to eat and drink something at the facility and continue drinking non-alcoholic fluids over the next 24 to 48 hours to rehydrate.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for the remainder of the day.
  • Eat well and consider adding iron-rich foods to your diet to replace iron lost during your blood donation.

By donating a pint of blood, you can help up to three people in need. Use the tips above to ensure a positive blood donation experience.

Identity Theft and What You Need To Know

Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Matt and Lisa have the perfect date night planned. Dinner, theater, then desert. However, that perfect date night quickly turns into a disaster when Matt goes to pay for the dinner. Both his debit card and credit card are declined. With the mood for the night now ruined, they return home and start making phone calls to find out what is going on. They quickly determine that the checking account has been drained and the credit card is maxed out and all the purchases were made several states away. Matt has been an unfortunate victim of identity theft.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft occurs when personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank account information or credit card numbers are obtained without permission. Once thieves have this information, they can use existing credit cards or open new ones, make purchases in the victims name, write bad checks, even take out loans. If the theft is not recognized immediately, a victims credit score could be tarnished without them realizing it. The FTC estimates that 17.6 million Americans have their identities stolen annually.

How can thieves steal your identity?

There are a number of ways that thieves can still your identity but the most common means are:

  • Dumpster Diving – thieves rummage through your trash looking of bills or other papers with personal information.
  • Skimming – Thieves steal credit and/or debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
  • Phishing – Thieves pretend to be financial institutions and send spam e-mails and pop-up messages to your computer to get you to reveal personal information.
  • Changing your address – Thieves divert your billing statements to another location
  • Stealing (the old-fashioned way) – Thieves take your purse or wallet, bank or credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers and tax information from your mailbox.
  • Pretexting – Thieves use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, and use that information to make changes.

Signs of identity theft.

Stay alert for any of the following signs of identity theft:

  • Accounts you did not open and debits on your account that you cannot explain.
  • Fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit report.
  • Failing to receive bills in the mail.
  • Receiving credit cards in the mail that you did not apply for.
  • Being denied credit or being offered less favorable credit terms, such as a higher interest rate, for no apparent reason.
  • Receiving calls and letters from debt collectors about merchandise/services that you did not purchase.

Do I need Identity theft insurance coverage?

While identity theft insurance does not protect against actual monetary theft, it does cover the cost victims will incur while they are recovering their identity. The coverage may include:

  • Phone call and photocopying charges
  • Postage fees for mailing documents
  • Salary loss due to uncompensated time away from work while repairing one’s identity
  • Legal fees
  • Access to a fraud specialist who can assist in restoring good credit and protecting one’s identity again
  • Help with preparing documents, filing police reports and creating a fraud victim affidavit.

Since victims may spend a considerable amount of time recovering from identity theft, these services can make the situation a little less stressful. Both on the mind and your wallet.

In addition to identity theft insurance you should also make sure to protect your social security number, take caution when throwing documents in the trash, exercise caution on the internet, select intricate passwords , verify sources before giving out any personal information and check your credit report on an annual basis. Life is stressful enough, the last thing you want is the additional stress of identity theft. By taking extra precautions and purchasing identity theft insurance you can have some extra peace of mind that your identity is safe.

Interested in purchasing identity theft coverage? Information can be found by clicking here.

A Rinehart Insurance White Elephant Gift Exchange

White Elephant

Rinehart Insurance White Elephant 2018Have you ever been to a Christmas party where they do a white elephant gift exchange? Here at Rinehart Insurance it’s an annual tradition. We require the gift to be homemade for an added bit of fun! 

What are the rules?

We found the official rules at White Elephant Rules website. – Click here to visit the site

  1. Each person brings one wrapped gift to put under the tree.
  2. Everyone draws a number, this determines what order they will go in.
  3. Gather around the tree where you can see all the gifts.
  4. Player one picks a gift and opens it.
  5. Player two can pick a gift from under the tree, or steal an already opened gift. Anyone with their gift stolen, can open a new gift or steal someone else’s gift. 
    1. A present can only be stolen once per turn, which means players who have a gift stolen from them have to wait to get it back.
    2. After three steals, the gift is “frozen” and can no longer be stolen. Whoever has it, gets to keep it 🙂 
  6. After all players have a turn, the first player gets a chance to swap the gift they are holding for any other open gift. (except for the gifts that are “frozen”). 
  7. The End! 

A white elephant gift exchange is a great addition to your Christmas party. We hope these rules will help you have loads of fun and laughter. 

Check out the fun from our 2018 White Elephant Gift Exchange

Rinehart Insurance White Elephant 2018Rinehart Insurance White Elephant 2018Rinehart Insurance White Elephant 2018Rinehart Insurance White Elephant 2018
Rinehart Insurance White Elephant 2018Rinehart Insurance White Elephant 2018Rinehart Insurance White Elephant 2018Rinehart Insurance White Elephant 2018