Quotes To Inspire Your Day!

Need a little inspiration?

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We all have those days when we feel stuck or just need a good dose of inspiration. Here are some quotes I find helpful for those kinds of days.

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is one of my favorite quotes. We all have the ability to spew out as many words as we want, however, we only have a certain amount of time to perform actions throughout the day. Actions tend to be more thought out, which means they are a more accurate measure of what we intend to do. That’s why it’s so important to choose your actions wisely: others will come to a conclusion based on what you do, not what you say.

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill

This quote reminds us that, while being knocked down by failures is not fun or easy, it is crucial to remain enthusiastic and positive for your next venture.  Without enthusiasm, we are more likely to experience another failure. Every venture is a new opportunity.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” -Lao Tzu

Small progress you make toward reaching a goal may not seem significant at the time, but every step counts. As long as you have a clear goal of where you are heading, those small steps will eventually lead you there. You have to remain confident and positive.

“Light tomorrow with today.” -Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Right now is your opportunity to make tomorrow better. What you do today determines whether you move forward or backward tomorrow. That is why you want to make the most of today. Once you start making the most of today’s, you’ll start seeing better tomorrow’s.

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Hope these added a little inspiration to your day! Remember to contact an agent at Cochrane & Porter for any of your insurance needs at 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com!

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, an incredibly important time to recognize – and spread the word about – this sight-stealing disease.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness and vision loss in the United States. Unfortunately, many people are not aware that the early stages of glaucoma often have no symptoms. The American Optometric Association explains, “Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It most often occurs in people over age 40, although an infant (congenital) form of glaucoma exists.” The biggest issue with this form of glaucoma is that damage which occurs is irreversible.

Roughly one percent of all Americans have primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form. This type presents no symptoms and occurs mainly in the over 50 age group, according to The Glaucoma Foundation. People with Glaucoma may lose nerve tissue, which results in vision loss.

Take a look at the information below from the World Health Organization and the World Glaucoma Association:


glaucomas-impact
Infographic provided by Cigna

In addition to these facts, 4.2 million people in the United States will have glaucoma by 2030, according to The National Eye Institute.


Tips:

Additional links
Facts about Glaucoma
Donate to Glaucoma Research Foundation

As always, do not hesitate to give us a call at Cochrane & Porter for any of your insurance needs! We can be reached at 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com!

New Year’s Resolution: Document Organization

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Do you have financial or legal documents stashed in various places of your home? If so, you aren’t alone! Whether in a safe, your closet, a desk drawer or a file cabinet, it might be time to organize them all and put them in a safe spot. Here is a checklist of important documents that you should consider when gathering these items to store. Keep in mind it’s a good idea to note where each of these are located (of course, it’s easiest if you store them all in the same safe location!)

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage license
  • Will
  • Pre/post nuptial agreement
  • Trust(s)
  • Mortgage papers
  • Passport
  • Insurance policies
  • Current bills
  • Automobile titles/papers
  • Employee benefit documents
  • Income tax returns
  • Medical records
  • Warranties

Can you think of other important documents that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Helpful links
The safest ways to store important papers
All you need to know about organizing important files
How to store legal documents and personal records

Is saving some cash one of your resolutions for 2017? Give us a ring so we can help you out! 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com

 

Social Media Resolutions for 2017

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Cyber security and identity theft issues are on the rise, and social media makes it more difficult for us to protect our personal information. The internet and social media have made bullying and stalking much easier as well. It is important to keep your own private information, as well as your family and friends, safe while on social media. Here are some tips that will ensure you have a secure online presence.

  1. Think twice about anything you post online. Of course, the whole point of having a social media account is to share information about yourself. Keep in mind anything you share online is difficult to un-share. Just because your account is private does not mean someone you’re friends with cannot share something you’ve posted, so be aware of that as well. A few things to think twice before posting are:
    – Your full birth date
    – Photos with geotag information
    – Rants about your job or sensitive information about your job
    – Travel plans

2. Avoid strangers or untrustworthy people as friends on social media. It may be tempting to accept a Facebook friend request from a pretty stranger. However, it just is not safe to add someone until you know them more and at least build a relationship with them. Think about all the information from the past, present and future they would have access to. It is better to be safe than sorry!

3. Review privacy and security settings on all your social media accounts. Take some time to review all the security settings for each of your social media accounts. In particular, Facebook has many different settings because there are so many ways for your personal information to be shared. Some of the options include choosing whether or not your profile is connected to search engines, who posts to your timeline, and who can contact you. Check out these tips for protecting yourself and your family on social network

Always remember the Internet is a huge place and although we may feel secure on our own social networks, that is not always the case. Connect with those you know, share wisely, and evaluate security settings on all social media accounts!

Contact an agent at Cochrane & Porter for any of your insurance needs! 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com

Frozen Pipes? Uh Oh!

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It’s a freezing cold winter morning and you wake up and head to the bathroom. When turning on the faucet, nothing comes out. Uh oh! You may have a frozen pipe – what should you do? Or, what can you do to prevent this expensive situation in the first place? According to The Boston Globe, “Every winter some 250,000 families in the United States see at least one room in their home damaged by water pipes freezing and breaking.”

I’ve decided to gather some helpful information that will help  to keep the water flowing inside when the temperatures drop outside!

Which pipes are at high risk of freezing?

  • Pipes located in exterior walls.
  • All plumbing on the exterior of your home.
  • Exposed pipes in areas that are unheated in your home.

How can I prepare before it gets cold?

  • Insulate water pipes with heat cable, heat tape or pipe sleeves, especially pipes that run through unheated areas of your home like the basement, attic, garage, etc.
  • Drain water from your swimming pool and water sprinkler lines. Refrain from putting antifreeze in these lines – it’s harmful to the environment as well as humans, pets and landscaping.
  • Leave faucets just slightly dripping so the water is still moving and doesn’t freeze

What should I do when my pipes leak?

You may want to turn the water off to your house, and call a plumber! Especially if it is a slow leak, consider buying disposable diapers and wrap one around the leak. While this is completely temporary, it should prevent any water damage from occurring.

Helpful articles
How pipes freeze and burst, and what to do to prevent damage
How to protect your home from water damage
Preventing frozen & thawing pipes – American Red Cross

As always do not hesitate to contact us for any of your insurance needs! 781.943.1555 or cochraneandporter@renaissanceins.com

 

Preparing Your Vehicle For Freezing Cold Temperatures

Be prepared for freezing temperatures!

 

Freezing Cold Windshield
While it’s technically been winter for several weeks, we’re just now experiencing freezing cold temperatures and the dread of having to clean ice off our windshields before we can drive. Weather changes affect both you and your vehicle. In freezing temperatures, you can’t expect your car to function properly immediately without making some minor changes. Here are some suggestions on ways to ensure that your vehicle is properly ready for the winter season:

Emergency kit – It’s a good idea to put together some things useful tools to store in your trunk so you have them in case you get stuck in a snow bank or on the side of the road during a snowstorm.

Windshield safety – Many people don’t take the time to clear their windshield. Make sure your windshield is completely clear before you drive, especially when there are adverse weather conditions. Eliminate the chances of an accident by only driving if there’s no ice or snow blocking your view.

Tire pressure
– Tire pressure is really important in the winter, which is why many people purchase snow tires. Properly inflated tires will ensure good traction in slippery conditions.

Battery – Battery issues remain one of the most common ways for a car to break down, particularly during winter. The scary thing about car batteries is extremely cold temperatures can decrease the battery’s life by up to 50 percent.

Some important kit items include:

  • Blankets
  • Snow boots
  • Engine oil
  • Washer fluid
  • Coolant
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper Cables
  • Flares
  • Small snow shovelTake a look at a full list of car kit emergency tools that will come in handy.

Additional car safety tips for freezing weather:

  • Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to avoid potential freezing issues due to excess moisture.
  • Make sure your brakes are in good working order.
  • Keep a cell phone charger or extra battery pack in case you need to call for help.

While making sure your vehicle is prepared for freezing cold temperatures, your home also requires its own cold weather participation. Contact us for any questions or concerns at 781-943-1555!

How to Create the Perfect Password

Especially being this time of year, identity theft is an ongoing and growing concern that practically everyone has to face. According to cyber security experts at Generali Global Assistance, these are some of the best practices for creating passwords that help safeguard your identity online.

Don’t Be Obvious

Information such as birthdays and pets’ names makes it especially easy for hackers. Also, using “password” as your password is not strong enough as it is one of the most commonly used. Think of something unique that would not be guessed, even by someone who knows you personally.

Make It Long

According to The Guardian, security experts agree that a password should have a minimum of 12-14 characters. Richard Cassidy, technical director of cyber security company Alert Logic, explains that a 14-character password could take roughly 811 trillion guesses to figure it out! He states, “Length is the thing that gives you protection, not complexity.” Passwords with eight-digits can be cracked within hours, he explains.

Write Them Down On Paper

If one of your passwords is especially long and you feel you may not remember it, write it down on paper and put it somewhere safe in your home – storing on your computer makes it easier for someone to hack.

Use a Passphrase, not Password

Instead of just using one word, use a short sentence. For example, “Newspaper” could be cracked quickly, while “IReadTheNewspaper” would take significantly longer – up to two years to be exact!

Be Clever About Using ‘Special’ Characters

It is normal to exchange an “a” for an “@” or an “i” for a “1”, but hackers are absolutely aware that people do this, so it is important to refrain from using these common replacements, especially if you are using a one-word password.

The Worst Passwords

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345
  6. 123456789
  7. football
  8. 1234
  9. 1234567
  10. baseball

Contact an agent at Cochrane & Porter for any questions regarding your insurance – we would love to help! 781.943.1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com

5 Apps Recommended For All Drivers

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Technology has become a huge part of almost everyone’s lives and with that, it’s many processes easier.  One of those is driving; whether it is a long road trip or running to the grocery store, there are several apps that can make your trip quicker, less stressful by avoiding traffic, and overall more fun. Here are a few of my favorites that help me out on a regular basis:

Waze

Waze is my favorite driving app, no doubt. While it has similar capabilities as other navigation and traffic apps, it differs because it works to outsmart traffic! Other drivers share real-time traffic and road information, which results in saving time and money for everyone.  You can map a drive ahead of time and let Waze know when you want to reach a specific destination, or let friends know your ETA. I highly recommend downloading this free app! According to an article by Techlicious, here are the 5 best navigation apps.

DriveSafe.ly

This is an app specifically for BlackBerry and Android – it reads your emails and texts out loud, and auto responds without users having to touch their phone at all. This app drastically decreases texting while driving and allows users to keep their hands on the wheel, and eyes on the road! Highly recommended.

Car Locator

Do you ever park your car, then spend 15 minutes trying to find it? This happens to just about everyone, especially when we are in a rush! As 1st place winner in Verizon’s Power App Content, this app allows you to save your location once you are parked, then when you are ready to go back to your car, Car Locator tells you where it is. Although it costs 3.99, it is definitely worth it especially if you are frequently losing your car!

GasBuddy

Who doesn’t want the cheapest gas? This incredibly helpful app shows you the 10 closest fuel stations along with their prices. Over time, using this can save you a significant amount of money. GasBuddy incorporates 110,000 fuel stations in its database – that is almost every single station in the United States! Highly recommend.

My Max Speed 2.0

Curious just how fast your kid is driving the car? Well, My Max Speed 2.0 logs speed and location every five minutes, monitoring your teen’s driving speed and habits. As a parent, you are able to preset a location perimiter – you can choose to be notified if the phone travels outside of it.

These are just some of the great apps you can use to make your traveling experience easier and quicker. View a full list of them.

For any of your insurance-related questions, contact an agent at Cochrane & Porter; we’d love to help. 781-943-1555 or send us an email at info@cochraneandporter.com. Safe travels!

4 Holiday Shopping Tips for Last Minute Shoppers

holiday-shopping
Can you believe yet another Christmas is practically here?! It is likely you still have presents to buy for friends and family, whether you are a procrastinator or someone who shops ahead of time. We all know that the closer we get to Christmas Eve, the more crowded malls are, and the emptier shelves become.  Here are a few recommendations for you last minute shoppers!

Create a gift list

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While this may seem obvious, making a list will help you brainstorm, prioritize your items, and help you plan your budget. Last minute shopping will often make you run around quicker than normal and create unnecessary stress. It will also help you from over spending or making unwise decisions.

Refrain from overbuying & overspending

 

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According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend roughly $655 this holiday season. If you are emotional shopping, chances are you’ll end up spending much more than you wanted to in the first place. It may be a good idea to use an app such as RetailMeNot or Giftagram, which alert you of discounts, coupons and other ways to save money. Be proactive about comparing deals, and wait for those bargains as well!

If you’re going to the mall, shop early in the day

 

mall

Many stores are open early and late during the weeks leading up to Christmas. If possible, try and go in the early hours because store staff will have had the opportunity to restock and organize shelves, which will make it much easier to find what you’re looking for. By late at night, many items have been picked over and shelves tend to be a mess. This will make it difficult for you to find the right gift in the proper amount of time.

Don’t downplay the value of gift cards

 

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According to the Retail Gift Card Association, 71% of people feel “very satisfied” when they receive a gift card at Christmas, and out of those people, 69 percent say that will buy “something needed” and 30 percent will use the card to buy something they would not typically purchase.  We should not underestimate the value of a gift card!

Don’t let last minute shopping get in the way of your spirit this holiday season! You can prevent unwanted stress by planning ahead, organizing your finances and finding ways to save money. Remember to stay focused!

As always, do not hesitate to contact an agent at Cochrane & Porter for any of your insurance needs! 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Together, we can help keep people safe on the road – every day.

 

december-is-national-impaired-driving-prevention-monthDecember is one of the busiest driving months, which naturally means it’s one of the most dangerous times to drive. Many of us are attending social events and parties that involve alcohol. Data from the National Highway Traffic Administration shows there is a significant increase in DUIs and fatal drunk-driving crashes around this time of year. That is why December has been named National Impaired Driving Prevention Month – to increase awareness about the dangers and consequences associated with driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.

There are three forms of impaired driving: distracted driving, drugged driving, and drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes each day. This is equivalent to one death every 53 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes is more than $44 billion!

The National Association of Drug Court Professionals explains, “Since 1981, every President of the United States has demonstrated the commitment to preventing impaired driving by proclaiming December as national Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month or more recently, National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.”

President Obama states, “This month, let us continue empowering drivers to make responsible decisions and educating the American people on ways they can help keep our roads safe and our futures bright.” Read the full 2016 proclamation here

At Cochrane & Porter, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season, and urge all to remain sober while driving! As always, do not hesitate to contact us for any of your insurance needs.

Cochrane & Porter Insurance Agency
981 Worcester Street
Wellesley, MA 0482
781-943-1555
info@cochraneandporter.com