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Thursday, October 31, 2013

10 Things to Know about Flood Safety

Flooding can occur as streams and rivers overflow their banks, when dams or levees break, with run-off from deep snow cover, or any time there is rainfall with significant duration and intensity.

Keep these facts in mind to stay alive and dry.
1. Flash floods can come suddenly. They can occur within a few minutes or hours of heavy rainfall, or when a dam or levee fails and even a sudden release of water held by a debris jam. Be cautious during storms, or any time that flooding is common
2. Drive slowly as you may not have warning that a flash flood is approaching.
3. Stay home and don't drive unless necessary.
4. Do not drive through flooded areas. If you see a flooded road, turn around and find another route.
5. If there is no other travel route, get to higher ground and wait for the waters to subside.
6. Even if the water looks low enough to cross, don't attempt it. Water hides wholes in the road. Even worse, there may be no road at all under the water. Flooding can wash away the entire road surface and a large amount of ground beneath.
7. If your car stops running, get out of it immediately and to higher ground.
8. As little as six inches of water can flood the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and or stalling.
9.One foot of water will float almost many vehicles.
10. As much as two feet of water can wash away most vehicles — including SUVs and trucks.

See more safety tips at FEMA.GOV,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why do I need Health Insurance?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obama Care, for Texas, is a federally run program where the federal Department of Health and Human Services assumes full responsibility for the development and operation of the Health Insurance marketplace. Texas can move to a State Partnership at any time, which works with the Federal Government but Texas could retain the ability to make all key decisions and tailor the marketplace to meet the conditions and needs.

Here are 5 website that can help you with more information:
The US Department of Health and Human Services

This is the destination for the Health Insurance Marketplace. The categories are Individuals and Families, Small Businesses and All Topics is close to a one-stop shop for state specific information and links to state Marketplaces. Rates and comparison shopping is reportedly on track to go live October 1, 2013. This site has a 24/7 call center with live operatios, Live Chat and Sign Up so a viewer can register their email address to be notified of breaking news and developments. Design is clean and colorful and easy to read.

he Kaiser Family Foundation is a treasure trove of information on ACA and health care related topics. There are benchmark studies on cost and availability, results of opinion polls showing what different segments of the public thinks about specific features of ACA and perspectives from those who are pro and con ACA. allows a reader to sign up for a myriad of update options on a variety of health care topics. Twice daily updates are available to coincide with the news cycle as well as email and text alerts to fast breaking stories. Professionally developed presentations, white papers and downloads of studies and laws are readily available and free. The site is easy to navigate.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the official website for Medicare and Medicaid and cover over 100 million people. There are strong connections between eligibility for the ACA and Medicaid. This section of the CMS site that specifically deals with ACA, Navigators, resources and eligibility.
This website is not quite as user friendly as the other resources listed but the scope of Medicare and Medicaid is enormous. The FAQ and News Release pages are helpful when trying to track down certain topics.

This site has a “wizard” that allows a business owner to select a state, input information their business and quickly navigate the maze of regulations pertaining to a business including information links tailored to the size of business. There is a delay of one year for mandated Coverages for business but this calculator tool is something a business could use immediately, if they wished. The simplicity of the calculator masks the depth of information available on this site when you dig down.

Friday, October 25, 2013

' Why is the Obamacare' Website down? To be fixed at the end of November

The website for Americans to buy insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law should be working smoothly for most users by the end of November, a White House official assigned to fix said Friday.
Jeffrey Zients told reporters in a conference call that Quality Software Services Inc., or QSSI, will serve as a general contractor to oversee the repairs.
The administration has not had a technology company overseeing the entire project. Instead, the government decided early on that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, would serve as the system integrator.
The company, a unit of health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc., already has a technology contract related to the website and testified on Thursday to a congressional panel about problems with the system.
QSSI produced the federal data hub and a software tool for creating online consumer accounts, which was at the center of early logjam problems.
Online insurance exchanges were launched on Oct. 1 under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often called "Obamacare," to offer health insurance plans to millions of uninsured Americans. But many Americans have experienced error messages and long waits in trying to sign on to, which has become a political embarrassment for President Obama.
"By the end of November, the vast majority of consumers will be able to successfully and smoothly enroll through," Mr. Zients said.

'A lot of problems'

Mr. Zients said he had brought in technology experts to establish the problems with the website and to prioritize the repairs. Based on that assessment, he described as being "fixable."
"It will take a lot of work and there are a lot of problems that will need to be addressed, but the bottom line is that it is fixable," he said.
He said experts had identified "dozens of items" to be fixed in terms of both performance and functionality, and said a problem related to communications with insurers was on the top of the list. He did not provide further details about the nature of the glitches.
Earlier this week, the government told insurers in a meeting that it was working to fix data transmission problems with applications and also with the technology that can allow insurers to directly enroll consumers in exchange plans.
The government expects about 7 million people to enroll for individual insurance in 2014, many of whom are expected to receive government subsidies. Consumers must enroll by mid-December to have insurance on Jan. 1 and by the end of March 2014 if they want to avoid paying the penalty laid out in the Affordable Care Act.
About 90% of people who try to create accounts are able to do so, but the ability to complete an application has been "volatile," Mr. Zients said. The government said that about 700,000 Obamacare applications had been filled out across the country but has not provided enrollment figures.
The federal government is running the website for 36 states while 14 other states have built their own exchanges to sell insurance policies under Obamacare. Some state sites have also had technology issues.
Republican lawmakers, long opposed to Obamacare, have pounced on the rocky rollout to launch multiple investigations into the administration's missteps and the role of contractors.
Some Democrats have also criticized the administration and called for extending the open-enrollment period beyond the existing March 31 deadline.
Two committees in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will hold hearings next week, one with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and another with Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The White House said last week that President Obama still has "full confidence" in Ms. Sebelius, whose department is responsible for implementing the law.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What to do after you have an auto accident

I've Had an Auto Accident, Now What do I do?

I've had an auto accident, now what do I do?

I get this question a lot, espcially after someone has left the scene of an accident. So, this information should come in handy before or if you have an auto accident.

1. Check to see if anyone is injured, either in your auto, or the other autos. Document the injuries.
2. Call "911" for the police to come to the scene, and am ambulance, if someone is hurt. You will be asked by the 911 operator if anyone is injured and my suggestion is to answer that you "don't know". Simply, because you don't know if anyone will feel pain or soreness later on, and, the policy will take longer to come to the scene if no injury is reported.
3. Take photos of the scene, damages to the all cars, passendgers, drivers, etc. The goal is to document everything to be reviewed later. Of course, get the insurance and id information from all other drivers, and name of passengers.
4. Collect names and phone numbers of any witnesses. A witness could be a key deciding factor on fault. Sometimes, if the accident happens on private property, the policy will not come out to the scene so your witnesses will really be important to you then.

If you have any questions about what to do after an accident, don't hesitate to ask or call us at 713-688-8669. We can even provide you with a competitive auto insurance proposal as well!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What is a Texas SR22 and Why I Might Need One?

What is a Texas SR22 filing and where do I get one? Many people think that when they need an SR22, it is a special kind of insurance but that is wrong. An SR22 is an Insurance Certificate of Financial Responsibility. Often, Texas may require a driver to secure an SR22 due to driving offenses such as a crash, judgement or conviction (think Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), several speeding tickets, reckless driving, etc.).

An SR22 is a Certificate that an Insurance Company will provide stating the insured has an auto insurance policy with at least the minimum limits. The auto insurance carrier will keep the state informed of the status of your auto insurance policy were it to cancel or lapse. It is the law in Texas to carry and maintain the minimum liability coverage of $30,000 for death or bodily injury per person, $60,000 for death or bodily injury per occurrence, and $25,000 for property damage done to others. With out such a policy, driving privileges may be suspended or revoked.

Many carriers will offer an SR22 so all you would have to do is inquire. However, many carriers will cancel your auto insurance policy if they find out you need one as it may indicate to them of risky driving behavior. The companies that do offer an SR22, you might be able to get a good rate before of if you are convicted of an offense. Usually, if convicted, your rates would be affected for the reason of requiring an SR22. If you are already in the policy term, the rate would be affected at renewal, not at the time of obtaining the SR22.

You shouldn't carry more than one auto insurance policy so if you have one in affect with a carrier that doesn't provide an SR22, you would need to change auto insurance carriers. If you don't own a vehicle, you can purchase a "non owners" policy with an SR22 filing.

Sometimes, you may require a temporary SR22 while your case is being reviewed. If not convicted of a driving offense, then only a small charge may be applied to the premium of a carrier that will issue an SR22. The SR22 filing can be canceled with proof from the court that an SR22 is no longer needed.

For more information about a SR22 filing, you can visit the Texas Department of Insurance website.

Monday, October 21, 2013

What happens when a neighbors tree limb or tree falls on my car or on my home? I can help!

What happens when a neighbors tree limb or tree falls on my car or on my home? Well, I have the answer. I get this question all the time from all over Texas so here is how your insurance would apply as well as liability.

If a neighbors tree or tree limb falls on your car, or home, it would be "your" insurance that takes care of the damage, minus your deductible. Even though the limb is from a tree that belongs to your neighbor, and you feel that your neighbor was negligent in some way by not trimming the limb, you would need proof that the neighbor knew the tree was dead or diseased, and proof that you had asked the neighbor to trim the limb on several occasions by copies of certified letters sent to them and/or photos of the tree/limb. This will not guarantee that your neighbors insurance company would pay for the damages to your auto or home, nor would it guarantee that a court would find your neighbor negligent, but it would be the only course of action you could attempt to get your damages paid for by our neighbor or your neighbor's insurance short of small claims court.

If the limb falls on your car and causes damages to your car (or your windshield only), your comprehensive (other than collision) would be the coverage on your auto policy that would apply (if you have the coverage). You may want to consider the cost of the repairs compared to your comprehensive deductible because your deductible may be more than the cost of the repairs. If this is the case, you want to reconsider placing a claim to ensure the claim would not affect your rates. If you don't have comprehensive coverage on your policy, the damages would be paid for out of your own pocket.

If your neighbors tree or tree limb falls on your home, your home insurance policy would cover this damage, minus your deductible. You may want to compare your homeowners deductible to an estimate of repairs before you place a claim as the cost of repairs may below your deductible. If you don't need to place a claim, then don't to ensure the claim would not affect your rates. However, as in the example of a tree or tree limb falling on your car, you would need proof that your neighbor knew the tree was dead or diseased and you had copies of certified letters showing you had requested the neighbor to remove the risk to your property. Again, this won't guarantee you coverage by their insurance but would be the only avenue you could take.

Consider asking your neighbor to share the cost of cutting down the limb or even paying for it by yourself. It might be cheaper than an insurance deductible. I have a neighbor who had a pine tree limb hanging over my driveway and he gladly allowed me to pay to have it trimmed.

Friday, October 18, 2013

What is Full Coverage Auto Insurance? Can I afford full coverage?

I often get the request for full coverage auto insurance. I always ask the client "What does full coverage auto insurance mean to you?". Often, they are stumped because all they know is that they need something called "full coverage auto insurance". Usually, they will tell me that full coverage auto insurance includes liability, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage (also known as Other Than Collision), and rental car coverage. However, in reality, there is no such thing as "full coverage" because it doesn't exist. There is no auto insurance policy available that provides coverage for every possible scenario or event that could happen to you. Still, what "full coverage" should mean includes:
  • Liability coverage (the Texas State minimum required is $30,000 per person, $60,000 per occurrence, and $25,000 for property damage done to others)
  • Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist (coverage for you and your passengers should you be injured and incur damage by an at fault party that doesn't have or doesn't have enough insurance). There is a $250 deductible for this coverage
  • Collision Coverage (covers damage to your auto, vehicle, truck or car if you are at fault)
  • Comprehensive or Other Than Collision (covers your car, vehicle, truck or auto for fire, flood, theft, vandalism, falling objects, windshield)
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers medicals bills for anyone in your vehicle that is injured while in the vehicle, no matter if there is an accident or not, no matter who is at fault. Plus, it can cover a portion of lost wages due to the injury.
  • Medical Payments does the same thing as PIP, but doesn't cover the lost wages. Using either PIP or Med pay usually doesn't affect your rates.
  • Note: If you decide against either PIP or Med Pay, and/or Uninsured or Underinsured motorist, you have to sign paperwork declining the options.
  • Rental Car Coverage which provides money to go towards a rental car if you have a covered loss. It does not provide you a rental car if you are having maintenance done on the car - it has to be a covered loss.
  • Towing coverage provides towing up to a certain dollar amount or radius. Be sure you know which one. Usually, if this coverage is used it doesn't affect your rates.
  • There are other coverages too such as life insurance should you pass from an accident and extra stereo or aftermarket equipment.
How can you afford full coverage? Well, buy raising your comprehensive (Other than collision) and collision deductible to $1,000 or higher. You can also decline PIP and/or Med Pay as well, especially if you have health insurance. Also, ask for discounts for your profession, alarm or GPS tracking device discount, multi-car discount, auto/home or auto/renters discount, Life Insurance discount, mutli-lines discount. Don't be afraid, ask for every discount you can.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween, Keep it fun, keep it safe

Ghost, goblins and ghouls aren’t the only things to be concerned about on Halloween. Accidents and mishaps increase dramatically when children trick-or-treat.1 If your family will be out trick-or-treating, think safety first. Here are some tips that may be easy to remember:

Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.2

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.2

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.2

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating. Limit the amount of treats you eat.2

Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don't run from house to house.2

Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.2

Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.2

Lower your risk for serious eye injury: Don’t wear decorative contact lenses.2

Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.2

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.2

Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.2

Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses — don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.2

Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.2



Fun facts:

Did you know …

Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings.3

Halloween candy sales average about $2 billion annually in the United States.3

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.3

Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.3

Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.3


Halloween Recipe

Are you creating a menu for your Halloween or Harvest Party? Here’s a delicious recipe for Apple Salad that you can serve as an appetizer, side dish or even dessert. For more holiday recipes check out HalloweenWeb.

Apple Salad4

Recipe Ingredients

•1 (20 oz.) can of crushed pineapple, undrained

•⅔ c. sugar

•1 (3 oz.) pkg. lemon Jello

•1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

•1 c. diced, unpeeled apples

•1 c. diced celery

•½ c. chopped nuts

•1 c. whipped topping

Combine the sugar and pineapple in a saucepan. Bring to boil and boil for three minutes. Stir in the Jello until dissolved. Add the cream cheese and stir until thoroughly combined. Cool. Fold in apples, celery, chopped nuts, and whipped topping. Pour into a 9”, square baking dish. Chill in fridge until firm. Enjoy.

Save money with tons of grocery coupons and free stuff at


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When accidents happen, Be smart with your smartphone

Nowadays many of us have smartphones (or photo-capable cellphones) and have them at hand most if not all of the time. So it’s not surprising that an increasing number of insureds are submitting auto accident notifications to their insurance companies with at-the-scene photographs of vehicle damage. If you don’t have a smartphone (or photo-capable cellphone) keep a disposable camera in your glove box or console — be prepared for the unexpected.

Real-time photos
Insurance companies typically do an in-depth analysis of an accident which requires photos that balance detail and context. For instance, a close-up photo of a damaged fender is necessary but to provide context, an additional wider-angle shot may help determine the angle of impact and the scope of the damage. Here’s some guidance that may help make you smarter about on-the-scene photos so your information may be more useful:

•Establish boundaries of crash scene and impact zone. Make sure to photograph every vehicle involved from all angles and the relative position of each to other vehicles. This helps to establish the boundaries of the crash scene and the impact zone.
•Broaden the view to include street layout, landmarks, traffic controls, and signage. Try to include pictures that show the vehicle’s position relative to its closest landmark. Details that include these fixed objects can help investigators reconstruct accident events accurately.
•Focus on the damage sustained by all the vehicles. Take close-up photos of the damage and broader views for context.•Take shots of the vehicles’ identifying features. Capture license plates, VIN numbers and any other unique, identifying features. •Document roadside debris, strewn vehicle parts and so on. Try to show the relationship of the vehicle(s) to the debris depicted in the image.Care for those needing medical help first
Most importantly, call 911 immediately if anyone needs medical attention. Take care of safety concerns before worrying about photography. If and when you begin taking photos, be respectful of the privacy rights of others and take care not to share your images on social media sites.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Renters Insurance Can Be a Relatively Cheap Form of Protection for Your Possessions

Getting your first apartment can be a liberating experience. It brings new levels of personal choice, privacy, and freedom to your life. It can also be a learning experience, and to make sure that learning experience isn't the unpleasant kind, one of the things you should learn about is renters insurance.

As you move through life, you may find yourself buying various kinds of insurance, from auto to health, homeowners to life insurance. Of all these forms of insurance, renters insurance may well be the cheapest, so it can be a good place to learn about how to buy insurance. At the same time, it can provide you with valuable protection as you start to accumulate possessions.

What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance is a policy which covers the contents of an apartment or other rental property. Your landlord should have a policy which covers the value of the structure itself, but what about your possessions? To make sure you are covered against loss, theft, or damage to the contents of your apartment, you may want to consider rental insurance.

Rental insurance can either cover the estimated value of your possessions, or what it would cost to replace them. So, for example, your five-year old television set may only be worth a hundred dollars or so if you tried to sell it. However, replacing it would set you back a few hundred dollars. Since replacement cost is typically more than current value, replacement cost insurance is likely to be a little more expensive.

Renters insurance does not only protect possessions. It can also help cover certain living expenses if you are displaced from your apartment by a fire or other disaster. Short-term accommodations can be expensive, but renters insurance can help provide for these emergencies.

Why is Renters Insurance Important?
There are several reasons why renters insurance is important:

If you are just starting out trying to accumulate some savings and possessions, you can ill afford to be set back to square one by a one-time event.
As a renter, you typically have little control over the safety and security of your building. Renters insurance can provide you with protection even if your landlord doesn't.
Similarly, you have no control over the other tenants in your building. They may not be who you would choose to share living space with, but at least you can guard the value of your possessions with renters insurance.

How Do You Buy Renters Insurance?
Here are some steps to take when buying renters insurance:
Make an inventory of the contents of your apartment. Note serial numbers where applicable, and estimate the approximate value of each item. Document any particularly valuable or unique items with photographs. This inventory should not only be helpful in getting insurance quotes, but it could come in handy if you ever have to fill out a burglary or damage report.

Renters insurance isn't just worthwhile if something bad happens. You may find the day-to-day peace of mind is well worth the cost.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

When you’re sharing the road Size matters

Semis, 18-wheelers, extra-long buses, RVs and towed trailers — big rigs of all kinds are everywhere. If you’re not aware of their limitations, sharing the road with these large vehicles can be dangerous. They typically don’t have the same stop-and-go capabilities as passenger cars, and considering their height and weight, they can inflict serious damage to smaller vehicles and their passengers — not to mention pedestrians. Here are some driving tips that may help you be smarter about sharing the road with a big rig:

“No-Zones” are a no-no — Never stay in any of the four blind spots or No-Zones along each of the four sides of a truck. Never drive directly behind or on the right side of a truck where the driver can’t see you. If you’re driving on the left side of a truck, keep in mind that if you can’t see the driver’s side view mirror, then you’re in a blind spot. If you can’t see the mirror, the driver can’t see you! If you can see the mirror, try to make eye contact with the driver. Once you’ve overtaken a truck, never get in front of it unless you can see the entire front of the truck in your rear view mirror.1

Cut-offs and exit ramps — Don’t jump in front of a big rig and then brake to make a turn or exit. They typically take as much as three times the distance to stop as the average passenger car — don’t risk your life by cutting a truck off and then slowing down in front of it.2

Avoid a “squeeze play” — In order to negotiate a right turn, particularly in urban areas, truck drivers sometimes swing wide to the left. They can’t see directly behind or beside their vehicle so don’t create a “squeeze” by cutting between the truck and the curb. Pay attention to truck signals and give them plenty of room to maneuver.3

Be smart

As you share the roads and highways with trucks, buses and large hauling vehicles, be smart about what you do: Be attentive and stay focused. And remember, the more you know about insurance the better you can plan. Make sure you have the auto coverage you want should the unexpected and unintended occur. Get smarter about insurance — let’s have a conversation.




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tirme to check your Tire Pressure

With the recent change in outside temperature, tire air pressure can be affected. Keeping the correct air pressure in your tires is essential to help your tires wear longer, save fuel, enhance handling, and prevent accidents. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that gas mileage can be lowered by 0.4% for every 1 PSI (pound per square inch) drop in the pressure of all four tires. The Rubber Manufacturers Association states that 85 percent of drivers surveyed do not check their tire pressure properly, and many don't even know where to find the recommended proper tire inflation for their vehicle. Most places, such as discount tire, offer a free air ressure check.

Friday, October 4, 2013

10 Things to Know About Liquor Liability

1. Liquor liability insurance is defined as coverage for bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policyholder, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

2. The breadth of liquor liability coverage varies by state because each state has its own interpretations and evidence requirements of who is legally liable in the event of an injury to a third party.

3. The I.I.I. reports that “dram shop liability,” or social host liability, holds a social or commercial host liable for injuries inflicted on a third party by an intoxicated guest of the host’s event or establishment.

4. 44 states and the District of Columbia have enacted dram shop liability laws or statutes that extend to social or commercial (retailers) hosts, according to a report from the Center on
Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

5. In some states, every bar in which an intoxicated person drank can be pulled into a lawsuit if the person causes bodily injury to a third party. The establishment must prove that the patron was not or did not appear intoxicated while there.

6. Other states require proof that the establishment sold alcohol to the intoxicated individual, injuries were sustained and the injury was the direct result of the individual’s intoxication.

7. CAMY’s report states that 54.3 percent of binge drinkers who reported driving after their most recent binge drinking episode drank in an on-premises, retail alcohol establishment such as a bar, club or restaurant.

8. If liquor liability is covered by a homeowners insurance policy, it may be limited to $100,000 to $300,000 in coverage, says the I.I.I.

9. In February of this year, ISO revised the liquor liability exclusion contained in its general liability forms to address “bring your own” alcohol establishments. The new exclusions now have an exception for insureds that are not considered to be “in the business of serving, selling or furnishing alcohol under the scope of the liquor liability exclusion simply by allowing someone to bring and consume their own alcohols on its own premises.”

10. Many carriers offer discounts on liquor liability coverage to establishments that provide alcohol awareness education and training to employees.

Insurance Expert David Lorms Hits Amazon Best-Seller List With “Change Agents”

Houston, Tex. – September 24, 2013 – Insurance expert David Lorms recently joined noted business development expert, Brian Tracy, and a select group of the world’s leading business professionals to co-write the book titled, Change Agents: The World's Leading Experts Reveal Their Secrets for Successfully Changing the Status Quo to Help Their Clients Lead Better Lives and Run Better Businesses. The book was released on September 19, 2013 by CelebrityPress™ - a leading business book publisher.

CelebrityPress™ describes the book: “Descriptively known as Agents of Change, the Celebrity Experts® in Change Agents seek to make new inroads into the fields of expertise they represent. They have attained success by changing both themselves and the world around them to some degree. Never afraid of change, however difficult, they know that they will never enjoy the sweet taste of success only doing what everyone else does.” David Lorms contributed a chapter titled “Picture This!”

On the day of release, Change Agents reached best-seller status in seven categories - reaching as high as #2 in the “Direct Marketing” and “Marketing for Small Business” categories. The book also reached best-seller status in the following categories: “Sales and Selling,” “Marketing,” “Entrepreneurship,” “Marketing and Sales,” and “Small Business and Entrepreneurship.”

David Lorms is a Farmers Insurance Agent in Houston, TX. His prior work included experience in sales and insurance claims giving him a solid background for becoming an Insurance Agent. He has won numerous awards including the Blue Vase and Toppers Club. David is heavily involved in his community as a member of his Home Owners Association, an Usher at his Church, and donating time and money to several local Elementary, Middle and High Schools. One program he is proud of is his creation of awarding students for perfect attendance with bikes, medals or other items deemed appropriate by the school. David is also involved in the March of Dimes, AIDS Walk, and Cell Phones for Soldiers, a program that collects old cell phones to exchange for minutes for soldiers to use to call their family.

After such a successful release, David Lorms will be recognized by The National Academy of Best-Selling Authors™, an organization that honors authors from many of the leading independent best-seller lists.

To order a copy of the book, please go to

The royalties from this project will be given to Entrepreneur’s International Foundation, a not for profit organization dedicated to creating unique launch campaigns to raise money and awareness for charitable causes.

Learn more about David Lorms at

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Short Sleepers Most Likely to Be Drowsy Drivers

Federal data suggests that 15 to 33 percent of fatal automobile crashes are caused by drowsy drivers, but very little research has addressed what factors play a role in operating a vehicle in this impaired state. New research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is revealing that short sleepers, those who sleep less than six hours per night on average, are the most likely to experience drowsy driving, even when they feel completely rested. The study is published in the October issue of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

“Falling asleep at the wheel is a major cause of road accidents. It might even be more of a problem than drunk driving, since it is responsible for more serious crashes per year,” said corresponding study author Michael Grandner, PhD, instructor in Psychiatry and member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology. “We already know that people who are sleep deprived in the laboratory have impaired driving performance, but we haven’t been able to better define what sleep profiles and patterns put drivers in the general population at the highest risk.”

Previous research on drowsy driving has utilized results from laboratory experiments, but the new study, utilizing data from the CDC’s 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), evaluated individuals in the general population. BRFSS is an annual, state-based, random digit-dialed telephone interview survey of adults aged 18 years and older from all over the U.S., conducted by the CDC. It is the world’s largest telephone survey, designed to monitor health-related behaviors in the general population.

Using the BRFSS data, Grandner and colleagues found that people who self-reported sleeping 6 hours or less (short sleepers) on average were about twice as likely as 7-hour sleepers to report driving drowsy in the past 30 days, and those sleeping 5 hours or less (very short sleepers) were nearly 4 times as likely.

They also examined the data on the subset of short and very short sleepers who reported that they always receive sufficient sleep, finding that these people are still 3 times as likely to report drowsy driving in the past 30 days. This means that short sleepers, even if they feel fully rested, are more likely to drive drowsy.

Other study authors from Penn include senior author Indira Gurubhagavatula, MD, MPH, James Findley, PhD, CBSM, and Querino Maia.

Source: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tips on Identifying a Flood-Damaged Vehicle

Hurricanes and tropical storms affect more than just homeowners. Following Superstorm Sandy, which hit October 28, 2012, insurance companies processed more than 250,000 claims for damaged vehicles. Damage can range from scratches and minor dents to vehicles being crushed or flooded.

Rising water can cause major damage to the vehicle,” said Bob Passmore, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America’s senior director of personal lines. “Water damage to a vehicle is typically covered under an auto policy’s comprehensive insurance coverage.”

Consumers and adjusters should be wary of vehicles that are exposed to flood waters. Unfortunately, there are many instances of flood damaged vehicles being resold to uninformed buyers. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), dishonest car dealers can purchase flooded cars, clean them up and sell them with hidden damage. They then can transport the damaged cars to states that were unaffected by the storm, and then sell them without disclosing the vehicles true history.

What to look for in a washed up vehicle
The NICB outlines specific things to be on the look out for:

• Inspect the vehicle for water stains, mildew, sand, or silt under the carpets, floor mats, headliner cloth and behind the dashboard.

• Check for recently shampooed carpet.

• Inspect the interior upholstery and door panels for fading.

• Check for rust on screws in the console or areas where water normally doesn’t reach.

• Check for mud or grit in the spare tire compartment, alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses, around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.

• Check inside the seatbelt retractors by pulling the seatbelt all the way out and inspect for moisture, mildew or grime.

• Check door speakers as they will often be damaged due to flooding.

• Ask about the vehicle’s history. Ask whether it was in any accidents or floods.

• Inspect the title and ownership papers for any potential or questionable salvage fraud.

• Conduct a title search of the vehicle.

• Look under the hood for signs of oxidation. Pull back rubber boots around electrical and mechanical connections for these indicators: Ferrous materials will show signs of rust Copper will show a green patina.

• Aluminum and alloys will have a white powder and pitting.

Source: PCI