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February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on CORONAVIRUS | Posted in Family Health & Safety

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronaviruses are common in animal species, and most don’t affect humans. As of now, only seven different coronaviruses are known to infect humans. In their lifetime, most people will be infected with at least one common human coronavirus.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Common coronaviruses typically cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, and those affected exhibit cold-like symptoms. The most common symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose

Some cases of coronavirus can be more severe, and individuals experience more serious lower-respiratory tract illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia. For the elderly, infants and those with weakened immune systems, coronavirus can be even more dangerous.

How is coronavirus diagnosed?

If you’re exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, you should call your doctor, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms and have traveled to countries where outbreaks have been reported. Your doctor will likely order a lab test to detect coronavirus. Be sure to disclose any recent travel to your doctor.

Deadly Outbreaks of Coronavirus

The 2019 novel coronavirus, as well as two other human coronaviruses, have caused severe symptoms. In 2012, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak caused severe illness—nearly 4 out of 10 people infected died. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which was first reported in Asia in 2003, spread to two dozen countries, infected 8,098 people and caused 774 deaths before it was contained.

How can I prevent coronavirus infection?

Most common cases of coronavirus occur in the fall and the winter, but can happen at any time throughout the year. Unfortunately, there is not a vaccine that can protect you from human coronavirus infection. However, because human coronavirus is believed to be spread through person-to-person contact, the CDC recommends the following prevention strategies:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with those who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.

For more information about coronavirus, click here.

Common Auto Insurance Terms

February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on Common Auto Insurance Terms | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Auto insurance can be confusing at times. Policies often contain a variety of terms that can be difficult to understand, especially for someone without a background in insurance.

The following is a list of common auto insurance terms to keep in mind the next time you meet with your insurance broker:

Accident report form: Sometimes referred to as a police report, this form contains important information about an auto accident, such as circumstances that led to an accident, the parties involved and details regarding the citations given.

  • At fault: This term refers to the degree to which a party caused or contributed to an accident. This term is often used to determine whose auto insurance company pays for specific portions of damages incurred as the result of an accident.
  • Automobile liability insurance: This refers to a type of insurance that provides coverage when a party causes an accident and either physical or property damage occurs.
  • Bodily injury liability coverage: This type of insurance provides coverage for injuries or deaths to people involved in the accident other than the insured driver. This coverage kicks in if an insured person is legally liable for an accident and also provides coverage for defense costs if the insured is sued.
  • Claims adjuster: A claims adjuster is a representative from an insurance company who investigates and settles claims. This person’s job is to ensure that all parties involved in an accident receive fair compensation.
  • Collision coverage: A form of auto insurance that provides for reimbursement for loss to a covered vehicle due to its colliding with another vehicle, object or the overturn of the automobile.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This coverage pays for any repairs not directly related to a collision. This includes damages from fires, thefts, windstorms, floods and vandalism.
  • Covered loss: A covered loss is any damage to yourself, your vehicle, other people or property covered by your insurance policy.
  • Declarations page: Sometimes referred to as an auto insurance coverage summary, this is a document provided by an insurance company. These documents list the following for policyholders:
    • The types of coverage elected
    • Specific limits for each coverage
    • The cost of each coverage
    • Specific vehicles covered by the policy
    • Types of coverage for each vehicle covered by the policy
  • Deductible: A deductible is the portion of a covered loss that a policyholder agrees to pay out of pocket.
  • Endorsement: Any change, addition or optional coverage added to an insurance policy. An endorsement may require additional premium.
  • Garaging location: A garaging location refers to the primary location you park your car when it’s not in use.
  • Limits: Limits refer to the maximum dollar amount of protection purchased by the policyholder for specific coverages. State laws often require drivers to have a minimum level of coverage.
  • Loss: Refers to direct and accidental damages to a person or property.
  • Medical payments coverage: Coverage that pays for reasonable medical expenses and death benefits to a policyholder and any passengers injured in the event of an auto accident, regardless of fault.
  • Motor vehicle report (MVR): MVRs are official records held by states that detail a driver’s licensing status, violations, suspensions and other infractions incurred over the last several years. These forms are often used to determine premiums.
  • Named insured: The primary person the insurance policy is issued to.
  • No-fault automobile insurance: This type of coverage is used to compensate victims of accidents without having to prove who caused the accident.
  • Non-owners policy: This policy provides liability and add-on coverage for someone who does not own a vehicle.
  • Personal injury protection coverage: Sometimes referred to as PIP, this coverage pays for medical expenses, and, in some states, lost wages and other damages, if a person is injured in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage often covers pedestrians struck by vehicles as well.
  • Premium: A premium is the amount a policyholder pays to an insurance company for coverage.
  • Primary use: Primary use refers to how a policyholder mainly uses his or her vehicle. Primary use options often include work, business, pleasure or farm use.
  • Principal driver: The principal driver is the person who drives the insured vehicle the most.
  • Property damage liability coverage (PD): If an insured person is legally liable for an accident, PD coverage pays for damage to others’ property resulting from the accident. PD also pays for legal defense costs if you are sued.
  • Rental reimbursement coverage: This coverage reimburses you (up to a set daily amount) for a rental car if your car is being repaired due to damage covered by your auto insurance policy.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM): This coverage helps pay for medical bills, pain and suffering related to bodily injuries caused by a driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN): This is a unique 17-character sequence containing both letters and numbers that identifies a vehicle.

If you need clarification on any terms or conditions when meeting with your insurance broker, don’t hesitate to ask. Doing so ensures that you fully understand your policy and get the coverage you need.

To discuss your auto insurance needs, contact Hodge, Hart & Schleifer today.

Selecting Tires for Winter Driving

December 31st, 2019 | Comments Off on Selecting Tires for Winter Driving | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Chimney Maintenance

October 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on Chimney Maintenance | Posted in Family Health & Safety
Both metal and masonry chimneys require maintenance so that smoke and flue gases are ventilated properly. At the very least, you should have your chimney inspected annually before each heating season. In addition:
  • Have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis to reduce creosote build-up.
  • Make sure your masonry chimney has a flue liner in place to reduce the possibility that the masonry could absorb creosote.
  • Replace cracked or damaged liners, as they will allow creosote to accumulate and heat to escape.
    • When hiring someone to reline your chimney, only allow the contractor to use a product that has been tested and listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
    There are two types of chimneys that require specific maintenance to minimize the dangers in your home.
    • Fireplace inserts (hearth stoves):
      • Vent should be connected to the flue of the chimney.
    • Factory-built metal chimneys:
      • Do not use natural gas, fuel oil vents, well casing, stovepipe or other material in the chimney, as they cannot withstand the heat in the wood burner.

View more Home Matters tips here.

What’s a HSA?

October 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on What’s a HSA? | Posted in Family Health & Safety


5 Age-Defying Dinner Recipes

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on 5 Age-Defying Dinner Recipes | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Here’s the thing about metabolism: It ages faster than we do. Starting around age 30, it slows by 5 percent with each decade, says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical CenterSo by the time you’re 45, you’re burning 200 fewer calories a day than you did in your mid-20s. The good news: You can “reignite” a tired metabolism, Dr. Apovian says. By eating more protein, fruits and veggies, you’ll be providing the fuel you need to stay full, feel more energy and—when combined with plenty of sleep and muscle-building exercise—lose weight. These protein-packed meals—all from Apovian’s book, The Age Defying Diet — can help get you started. 


The flavor of this fruity sauce intensifies the longer you cook it. Add a salad, some fruit, non-starchy vegetables and a small serving of grains, and you’re all set.

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You’ll need to judge the cooking time for this recipe by the thickness of the fillets. Thin fish like trout, tilapia and flounder should take about 12 to 15 minutes; salmon, halibut and other meatier fish will take about 16 to 20 minutes.

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Turkey burgers paired with juicy roasted portabello mushrooms in place of buns make a delicious combo. Cook the burgers nice and slow until well done, and top with mayo and a squirt of mustard.

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A rich red wine and mushroom sauce finishes the steaks perfectly in this recipe. Choose the leanest beef you can find, and trim off all the fat before cooking. 

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Made with boneless pork chops—a lean source of protein—this tasty dish takes just minutes to prepare. Be sure to trim off the fat before cooking.

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Social Media Safety

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Social Media Safety | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Social media services like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are great for staying in touch with friends and family members, but you need to be careful about what you post online. Follow these tips to stay safe when using social media.

Happy 4th of July

July 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Happy 4th of July | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Give Cycling a Try

July 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Give Cycling a Try | Posted in Family Health & Safety


My parents told me I should give it a try.

At the age of four, I was introduced to the bike. Not for competition, just for fun. I didn’t think about it back then, but the bike was my first form of self-powered transportation — a way to get away from parents, siblings or neighborhood. I liked being out on my own. Little by little I started to explore further, and I could go as far as my legs and my bravery would take me.

Six years later, I was introduced to bike racing. It really reminded me of the times I put two feet on the pedals and rode my single-speed department store bike for hours. Seeing parts of my city I could only get to on a bicycle, but this time, I was doing it much faster.

I was beginning to figure out that cycling lets you transcend your life. No matter where you come from, what ethnicity or color you are, what kind of financial security you have or don’t have, cycling lets you transcend your life.

If I’d never given it a try, I wouldn’t have a degree from Indiana University or hold seven national cycling championship titles. I wouldn’t be able to give back by helping children in underserved communities get introduced to cycling through the Bahati Foundation. But even if cycling hadn’t become my career, it would have helped me transcend, because being active daily helps you live longer. I gave cycling a try, and now I tell everyone to do the same thing.

Just give it a try because it’s a healthy alternative to running and other high impact sports. Give it a try because it’s great for your core, back, legs, heart, and lungs. Give it a try because it’s a great way to see nature and a natural way to get into a healthy lifestyle.

Most of all, I tell people to give cycling a try because of this beautiful fact at the heart of it: Only you decide how far and fast you can go.