Kinney Pike Receives
Best Practices Award for 20th Consecutive Year
We are very excited to report that Kinney Pike has retained its status as a 2014 Best Practices Agency, along with an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) "Best Practices" Study Group.
IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country's leading agencies in six revenue categories. The selected "Best Practices" agencies retain their status by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year.
Kinney Pike is the only Vermont agency to receive this recognition, and has earned it for 20 straight years!
Deterring Theft of Contractors' Equipment
Theft of contractors' equipment continues to be a serious problem for the construction industry. The
National Equipment Register (NER) estimates the total value of equipment stolen from construction sites to be between $300 million and $1 billion annually and rising. And, these estimates do not include indirect costs from business interruption such as short-term
rental costs, project delays, and lost production time.
Equipment theft occurs with all types of construction contractors in all geographic areas. The frequency
of theft closely follows the amount of construction volume in a particular area. In 2009, the National
Crime Information Center (NCIC) received 13,452 theft reports. The five states with the most incidents
of heavy-equipment theft were Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. Together, those five states accounted for 43 percent of total equipment theft.
Click here to read more and learn how to prevent theft at construction sites.
Check Your Credit Free Once/Year
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion - to provide a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.
The purpose of the FCRA is to promote the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation's credit reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to credit reporting companies.
A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you've been sued or have filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide credit reporting companies sell this information to creditors, insurance companies, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.
How do you order a free report?
The three biggest credit reporting companies have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.
You can visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Do not contact these companies directly. They only provide the free annual credit reports through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228 or via mailing in the form.
You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your report from each of the companies one at a time. The law allows you to order one free copy of your report from each of the nationwide credit reporting companies every 12 months.
Something to ponder while enjoying your coffee...
Researchers have shared some interesting information about what that cup of coffee is really doing for you. Read on here
Kinney Pike staff enjoyed a fun summer event season around Vermont. In July, our employees volunteered time at the Prouty in Hanover and enjoyed the great classic cars at the Swanton Car Show. August brought us to the wonderful Harpoon Point to Point to support the Vermont Food Bank.
Congratulations to our event raffle winners!
- Kevin Agnew of Plattsburgh, NY won a $100 Visa from the Swanton Car Show.
- Dick & Martha Dale of Londonderry, VT had a $200 donation to the Vermont Food Bank made on their behalf, from the Point to Point.
Kinney Pike employees and their families took time out to attend our annual company picnic in August at Bomoseen State Park! Many thanks to The Concord Group for their support in sponsoring our picnic!
Effective October 1, 2014, using a handheld cell phone while driving in Vermont will be illegal. Here's why.
Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,600 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger the safety of drivers, passengers and bystanders, and cell phone use is the number one distraction behind the wheel.
Talking on a cell phone while driving makes you four times as likely to crash, and texting while driving increases your chances of a crash by up to 23 times, according to the National Safety Council.
to read more about the new law, its consequences, and some helpful FAQs from the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance.
For an approved Hands-Free Device Guide in Vermont, click
Identity Recovery Coverage for Homeowners
High-tech gadgets, smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, online gaming sites, social media networks and other high-tech platforms are all susceptible to cybercriminals whose mission is to steal your identity.
Even if you have taken steps to protect yourself, the reality is that information can still end up in the wrong hands. For example, by 2017, more than $1 trillion in transactions will be processed via mobile devices. This gives cybercriminals plenty of opportunity to steal your information.
Recovering from identity theft can be costly, life-changing and stressful. Identity recovery coverage provides professional assistance for only $1/month.
* At no additional charge, a dedicated case management company works directly with you to help you through the claims process.
* Expense reimbursement up to $25,000 annually for expenses incurred after identity theft.
* Up to $250 per day up to a limit of $5,000.
* Any claims made under the coverage option will have no impact on future premiums.
- Safeco Insurance
Establish Online Precautions
and Rules for Kids
The Internet is a marvelous tool for staying in touch and learning new things, but it's important for kids to stay safe and exercise precautions when using it. In particular, children and teenagers can be unaware of online risks, such as the danger of libeling a third party or cyberbullying. For example, an Englishman is currently suing 10,000 Twitter users for tweeting and retweeting libelous claims about him. The following are important points to review with your children who access the internet and spend time on social media.
◾ Children should not give out their full name, address, or other personal details unless you approve it.
◾ Children should not give out their passwords to anyone other than their parents.
◾ Parents should check the privacy settings of their computers and make sure they are up-to-date.
◾ Parents should restrict their children's Internet use to computers that are only in the living room or in another common area; this reduces the chances that their youngster will talk online with strangers or visit inappropriate websites.
◾ Use parental controls available on various operating systems, such as Windows. These controls allow parents to include time limits, provide access to approved websites, and restrict use to only certain applications.
◾ Install antivirus software with regular updates to avoid viruses and other malware.
◾ Explain to your children what the terms "defamation" and "libel" mean. Emphasize to them the importance of exercising caution regarding what they post on various social media sites and explain that whatever they post can be traced back to you and them. If they cannot post something positive or neutral about someone, then perhaps they should not post at all.
◾ Create an Internet safety contract. Ask your kids to read and sign this contract, a copy of which should be near the computer. There are premade contracts for this purpose available on the Internet.
Get Rewarded for Your Referrals!
Earn up to $20 in gas cards!
We value our clients and would like to reward you for your referrals, while thanking you for your loyalty and support!
Here's how our Referral Program works:
- Kinney Pike will reward you with a $10 gas card for every
qualified referral that we quote on
- We will reward you with an ADDITIONAL $10 gas card for each
qualified referral that becomes a new client!
- The reward is for new personal, commercial or group benefits
coverage for a NEW Kinney Pike client
- A "qualified" referral is a prospect looking for the following
types of coverage:
* Home/condo/renter + auto insurance
* Business insurance
* Life insurance
* Any combination of the above
Thank you to all of our great clients who refer their friends/family to us. We truly appreciate it!
Questions? Please email us, and we'll get right back to you!
Vermont Health Connect Update for Small Employers and Individuals
The 4th Quarter is nearly here already, a time when many of us think about our health care costs for the upcoming year.
To give you an early indication of what premiums may look like on the Exchange (Vermont Health Connect) in 2015, the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) recently reviewed and cut proposed rate increases for 2015 Vermont Health Connect insurance plans. The GMCB reduced Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont's average annual rate increase from 9.8 percent to 7.7 percent and MVP's from 15.3 percent to 10.9 percent.
Please note that the enrollment area of Vermont Health Connect's website has been temporarily taken down to complete ongoing operational, technical, performance and security improvements in advance of the next open enrollment period, which begins in November.
During the weeks the website is offline, enrolled Vermonters will still be covered and will be able to make premium payments by mail or by calling the call center. Vermonters can contact the VHC customer support call center for assistance
toll-free at 855-899-9600. The toll-free Small Business Hotline is 855-499-9800.
Please contact our Employee Benefits Advisors if we can assist with any of your Employee Benefits needs.
Morrison's Custom Feeds has provided farmers with custom-formulated animal feeds, made with the highest quality ingredients. They have proudly been serving their farmers, both big and small, for over 30 years.
Morrison's delivers organic and conventional bulk feed throughout Vermont, Northern New Hampshire, and Southern Maine, and they offer bagged feed throughout the Northeastern United States. Their staff also offers professional nutrition with on-farm consultations.
Morrison's is a family-owned and operated business. Let them help your family give the best nutrition to your animals. Their Mission has been committed to growing and changing with New England farms for more than 30 years, providing quality animal feeds and personal service backed by expert nutritional support. They continue to promote sustainable family farming by purchasing locally grown grains whenever possible, operating efficiently and nurturing their relationship with the environment and their valued customers, both big and small.
Morrison's Custom Feeds, Inc.
Barnet | VT