THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2021
Be sure to have some crusty bread on hand, because this sauce is KILLER. When it comes to chicken breast recipes, its hard to beat this one.
YIELDS: 4 Servings
PREP TIME: 5 Minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40 Minutes
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
3 c. baby spinach
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
2. In the same skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are beginning to burst then add spinach and cook until spinach is beginning to wilt.
3. Stir in heavy cream and parmesan and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and cook until heated through, 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Serve with lemon wedges
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2021
|For most of the United States, winter equals cold weather. Even in areas with mild climates, a cold snap is not unheard of. However, in areas with more traditional winter conditions, prolonged periods of cold are likely to hit. Though hard freezes aren’t something most people think of as dangerous (because they are not something you can see or hear) they can do a lot of harm to your home in the wrong situation.
To stabilize your home against the threat of heavy cold periods, there are quite a few safety precautions to keep in mind. The better prepared you are, the less of a risk of damage you will face.
How Cold Weather Affects Homes
Your home is the place you go to be protected from the cold. It makes sense, therefore, that it is going to be durable when faced with freezing temperatures. However, nothing is perfect, and even your home’s natural insulation will begin to wear out over time. You might face damage threats like:
- Cracks in your foundations caused by shifts in the ground as freezes and thaws occur.
- Damage to your roof from high winds, heavy snow accumulation or similar weather.
- The risk of burst pipes within poorly insulated plumbing.
- Damage to your HVAC or electrical system caused by heavy usage.
- Fire risks that arise from using space heaters, furnaces or fireplaces.
Of course, some of these damages are simply related to normal wear & tear. In those situations, your homeowners insurance won’t be able to cover the cost of the damage. However, when sudden damage like a fire or partial roof collapse occurs, your plan might be able to step in. All the same, it is always better to plan ahead to protect your home from the effects of freezes.
How to Prepare for Freezes
With a few simple steps, you will be able to get your home ready for the effects that cold weather might bring:
Clean debris off your roof and clean out your gutters. This will make it easier for any moisture to run off the home and prevent debris accumulation.
Make sure your water lines are not damaged. If you have exposed pipes, then wrap them, or keep a small stream of water dripping in them to prevent them from freezing.
Keep an eye on your energy usage. If you use too much heat or electricity during cold periods, then you could overburden your system.
If you use your fireplace or space heaters, never leave them unattended or place flammable objects near them. Use protective screens as necessary.
It’s not easy to prevent every type of damage that a freeze might do to your home, so you should have homeowners insurance to help you out. However, there’s no excuse to not take the appropriate precautions to begin with. It might save you a lot of money in the end.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021
|Getting rear-ended at a stoplight is not your fault. After all, another moving vehicle ran into the back of your stopped car. Still, even an accident that isn’t your fault might cause your auto insurance rates to rise. As unfair as it sounds, this is because you still represent a higher financial risk to the insurer following any type of vehicle accident.
It’s always better to avoid car accidents, including those for which you would have no culpability. Here are a few tips on avoiding the ramifications of being rear-ended.
How Getting Rear-Ended Can Increase Your Auto Insurance Rates
Any driver that is involved in a car wreck is probably going to have to file a claim against either their auto policy or the policy of the at-fault driver. Therefore, they are going to be a cost burden to the insurance company. As a result, the more accidents you have, the more you are going to cost your insurer. They might have to raise your rates after even one accident, even though it might not have been your fault.
There are multiple reasons for why you might see these increases in your insurance rates.
- When and where you drive could mean you're at a higher risk of an accident — either because you drive on more dangerous roads or at times of day when accidents are more common. An accident on your insurance record will be proof of this. Therefore, you might face a rate hike.
- If you have a history of at-fault accidents on your record, then the addition of a no-fault claim on your plan could still cause a rate hike. Even though one accident might not have been your fault, you remain a high coverage risk to the insurer.
- The other driver was at fault for rear-ending you, but they do not have liability insurance, or flee the scene of the accident, then you might have no choice but to file a claim on your own benefits. This is a cost to your insurer, which might increase your rates.
Still, not all insurers raise rates if you are the victim of being rear-ended, simply because they won’t want to penalize someone for something that wasn’t their fault.
All the same, you still don’t want to deal with the hassle of this type of accident. While you can’t be responsible for others, you can be responsible for yourself and your car. Therefore, to avoid the risk of being rear-ended, keep a few practical tips in mind:
- Always leave space between yourself and other vehicles.
- Make sure your turn signals and other rear lights always work appropriately.
- Never try to cut in front of someone at lights or intersections.
- Allow yourself plenty of stopping distance.
Even though being rear-ended likely won’t be your fault, it never hurts you to do what you can to keep yourself as safe as possible.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021
Why You Have Coverage Requirements
When you take out a mortgage on your home, you receive a loan from the bank to make the purchase from the seller. However, you agree to pay that loan amount back to the bank over the years. The money doesn’t belong to you, and is instead the banks. They will have a long-term investment in your home for as long as you have the mortgage.
Because of this relationship, most lenders require homeowner's insurance. If there were to be something that came along and severely damaged the home, then both parties could lose out on the deal. The damage will cost money to repair, and in a worst-case scenario you might even face the total loss of your home. That is a threat to both you and the lender, and as a result, both parties can benefit from the assistance provided by homeowners' insurance.
In many cases, mortgage lenders are required by law to secure these investments by requiring the homeowner to buy home insurance. They won’t have reason to ever lose money on the investment. However, this requirement is equally important for the homeowner, too. If you can let your home insurance pay for repairs, then you won’t have to choose between meeting your mortgage and repairing your damage. Therefore, your overall financial security will remain intact.
Getting the Right Homeowners Insurance
When your bank tells you that you need to buy homeowners insurance, they will likely set a few minimum standards on what coverage you need. To cover their investment, they will usually require dwelling insurance that equals the replacement cost value of your home. This is an amount of money that reflects how much you would have to spend following the total destruction of your home.
Furthermore, if you have other structures on your property, then your lender might also mandate that you buy detached structures coverage, which is part of most standard insurance plans. Some lenders require additional coverage, such as liability insurance and possessions coverage.
It’s important to work with your insurance agent to determine which coverage will help you maximize the assistance you can receive from your plan in case of a claim. At times, this might even exceed the coverage required by the lender. You are unique and have your own personal insurance requirements, as well.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021
We all probably know that we could stand to be a little more conscientious behind the wheel. Still, we’re all human, and we all make mistakes. The unfortunate thing is that when we make driving mistakes, we might have to pay the price. Traffic citations are often frustrating penalties, not just because of the inconvenience, but also the cost burden they might cause you. At times, they could even cause your insurance rates to rise.
Let’s take a closer look at why citations could drive up your insurance rates, and what you can do to if this ever happens to you.
What is the Importance of a Traffic Ticket?
Some people think that tickets or other driving citations represent no more than a warning and a fine. On one hand, that’s exactly what they are. However, they are also going to become notations on your driving record, which is the permanent record of your driving history. Therefore, the ticket will reflect that you have committed infractions in the past. As a result, it could impact your insurance future.
If you get a ticket while driving, then you have a traceable record to reflect that you have broken the law. Therefore, when you go to renew your auto insurance policy, your agent will see that you have committed this infraction. As a result, they will have to note it on your policy, and this will indicate to the insurer that you have a higher driving risk compared to another driver who has never gotten a ticket.
As a result, you might see your auto insurance rates increase. The greater your risk to the insurer, the greater your chances of having to file a claim on your policy. After all, by getting the ticket, you have already proven that you aren’t the safest driver. What’s to say that your next ticket will not be related to a car wreck that leads to a huge claim on your insurance. As a result, your insurer will likely have to raise your rates to cover this additional risk.
What to do About Higher Rates
If you get a ticket, then don’t worry. It isn’t the end of the world. Even though it might increase your auto insurance rates, you’ll likely find that you can keep your benefits affordable. A few things to keep in mind are:
- Let your agent compare the policies within their network to see if a different plan now offers you more affordability.
- Ask if you have maximized the discounts on your current plan. If you can qualify for new discounts, then you might save money.
- Consider increasing your policy deductible. However, never increase it so much that you won’t be able to pay it in the event of a claim.
The good news is that most tickets will only remain on your driving record for a certain number of years, and they eventually might become moot points from your insurer’s standpoint. Therefore, if you get a ticket, the best thing you can do for your insurance purposes is to not get another one.