Monday, December 3, 2012

Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips

1.     Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use.
        Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections
         may cause a serious shock or start a fire.

2.     Do not overload electrical outlets.
       Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday
       fires. Avoid overloading outlets and plug only one high-wattage appliance
       into each outlet at a time.

3. Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights.
More than three strands may not only blow a fuse, but can also cause a fire.

4. Keep tree fresh by watering daily.
Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.

5. Use battery-operated candles.
Candles start almost half of home decoration fires.

 6. Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources.
A heat source that was too close to the decoration was a factor in half
of home fires that began with decorations. 

7. Protect cords from damage.
To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture,
forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs,
located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.

8. Check decorations for certification label.
Decorations not bearing a label from an Independent testing laboratory
such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association
(CSA) or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.

9. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking.
Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home
cooking fires 

Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of
home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Life Insurance Awareness Month - September 2012

Life insurance won’t ease the pain. Life insurance won’t bring a father back to walk his daughter down the aisle. Life insurance can’t replace a mother’s love. 

Life insurance allows your family time to grieve, without wondering how to 
make the mortgage payment. Life insurance allows a family the dignity to continue living a life that you created for them.

September is Life Insurance Awareness month. It’s time to have an honest discussion about the future.  330-339-3431.....

Joel McKinnon - McKinnon Insurance - Farmers Insurance Agent
875 Blake Ave SW
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is your Agent going to Make a Difference or a Donation?

          DIFFERENCE                                             OR                                      DONATION

Today we have a simple blog post for you, with 1 simple question - If you passed away today, as your agent would we be attending your calling hours and handing your family a donation? OR would we get the HONOR of handing them a life insurance check?  NO amount of money will bring you back, BUT having the proper life insurance coverage can ease the burden on your family - think about that - then when your ready give us a call - it would be our honor to help protect you and your family - 

875 Blake Ave, SW
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

Monday, August 27, 2012

Social Media......A Powerful tool for you & your agency -

Social media is a powerful tool and it is changing the way in which we (McKinnon Insurance) do business.  Social is giving us the opportunity to connect with our clients (both new and future) in ways which we have never been able to do.

One of the goals of our agency is to be available when YOU need US most.  We are taking it upon our self to open our agency up to you on virtually all available channels.  All of these new "channels" can be directed to our smart phones so if we are open or closed you are able to reach us.

Aside from the traditional "phone" call (330-339-3431) you can also reach us via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, e-mail (, fax (866-625-4762), and you will also have the direct cell phone number for your agent which you can call or text.

Tragedy does not always strike between the hours of 9 & 5 when we are in the office, and if something happens to you or your family we want you to feel confident that you can reach us.  Our goal is to help you restore your life as quick as possible, and being available 24/7 is our commitment to you.

To hear more about how we are "changing the game" give us a call, and let the staff at McKinnon Insurance show you "the difference."

875 Blake Ave SW
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What Happens if I Leave My Minor Child as Beneficiary?

What Happens if I Leave My Minor Child as Beneficiary?

Life insurance is bought with the best intentions of the family as its primary objective.
Most people don’t really give a thought about the beneficiary’s portion of their policy.

In most instances, we name the spouse as the main beneficiary on our life insurance policy.
The majority of insurance companies would also ask that you name a secondary or contingent beneficiary. Most of us think we want to keep it in our immediate family so we name the eldest child or all of the children as contingent beneficiaries. Sound pretty reasonable and straightforward doesn’t it?
What could go wrong? I hate to tell you this, but things could go wrong once you make a wrong move.

Life Insurance Dilemma: Two Scenarios
There are two types of scenarios to consider. This includes homes with two parents and homes with a single parent. With two-parent families, we tend to consider it unlikely that both parents will die simultaneously or within very short periods of each other, but it does happen.
On the other hand, there are many single parents out there and they might be disinclined to name the other spouse as beneficiary. In both instances, the insured parent will likely mark down their child or children as either a contingent or as primary beneficiaries.
Both scenarios can be problematic. First off, did you know that in the majority of states, under aged children cannot be recipients of life insurance benefits until they reach the age of majority, which is normally either 18 or 21 years of age, in most states?
If the children are minors, they will not receive the money until they reach the age of majority. The reason behind this is simple, what would a 14-year old do if they suddenly receive a windfall of a $250,000? Let your own imagination wonder what they would do.
Life insurance is intended to help the surviving children financially, but the law realizes that young people may not be that fiscally responsible.

Life Insurance Beneficiaries: The Court Intervenes
So, what happens? If you haven’t taken the time to name a specific guardian or someone to act as a trustee, the court will do so of their own volition. If you haven’t designated a guardian or trustee, the courts will decide. The person they name to act as guardian could end up being the last person you want to be responsible for the money. Also, the courts could also seriously impose restrictions on how the insurance proceeds will be spent or distributed.
These types of scenarios have led to many severe family financial difficulties and interminable legal squabbles.
How can you avoid this from becoming a problem and ensure that your children are best protected?

Worst Case Scenario: How to Deal with It
The answer is not all that complicated. To guarantee that your children get the best protection in a worst case scenario is to designate someone to act as a both a guardian and trustee of the estate, or to designate someone to act as a guardian and any other person or entity (such as the family lawyer) to act as a trustee.
By setting up a trust for the distribution of the insurance proceeds you can stipulate quite clearly how and for what reasons that money can be accessed for your children until they reach the age of maturity. The provisions and requirements for this may vary somewhat from state to state so you should do some research before you proceed in setting up a trust or designate someone to act as guardian.
A guardian alone may not necessarily be sufficient depending on the laws of the state in which you reside. A guardian may have limited or even no access to funds if a trust or trustee has not been set-up or appointed. To set up a living trust, you might be best advised to talk to a lawyer who specializes in estate law.

Life Insurance Beneficiaries: Just a Minor Problem?
Generally speaking, although your intentions might seem that you have the best interests of the children in mind; it is not advisable to name your children as beneficiaries when you buy a life insurance policy.

If you need more information on this, you can also feel free to ask questions by calling our agency,
McKinnon Insurance, to fully understand the ramifications and problems which might occur when naming your children as either primary or contingent beneficiaries.
Please call us so we can help.

Monday, August 6, 2012

"He's Just a Little Boy" - #EveryField

"He's Just a Little Boy" a poem by the late Chaplain Bob Fox is a simple message that many of us tend to forget - and its a great reminder that we are all just kids "playing a game" - That in life we can not always be winners, but sometimes we fail, sometimes we are not the winner, and the story book finish does not always take place.  What matters in life is how we handle these situations, and more importantly how we teach our children to handle them - I have always been a believer in positive reinforcement and trying to find the good in every situation - We may not believe it now, and it may seem easier to point the finger, but a pat on the back and a few "atta boy's" can make a huge difference in a child's life.

A few months ago I noticed this poem "floating" around Facebook - I believed in the message so much that I took the time to post it to our Facebook account (McKinnon Insurance) - Within moments there were hundreds of likes, comments, and shares of this simple, but meaningful poem - I took it upon my self to reach out to Ryon Harms, Director of Social Media for Farmers Insurance - I asked him to look at the activity that this post was getting - after a few attempts Ryon pulled it up - After seeing the viral affect this had he asked if he could post this on the Farmers Insurance corporate Facebook page - "sure I said" - within seconds there were thousands of likes, comments, & shares and a trend that had started on our page carried over - There was also a common comment on both of our pages, one that was overwhelmingly asking for these signs to be posted across American on all Little League Baseball Fields -

After some discussion Ryon presented me with the idea of having 500 of these signs made and distributed to local communities all over the US - I thought this was an AWESOME idea - to think something that started on Facebook, could really start to make a difference in the life's of kids -

So Ryon and I talked and he did his homework on the back end and he along with Farmers Insurance were ready to move forward with this plan - So when Ryon and I talked next I said "we are trying to get these signs, into the local communities, through our local agents, why not keep this a local project and let a small town Farmers Client make these for us" - Ryon was on board, asked who I had in mind and if I could connect them - Sure - Jim Dawson with Synergy Signs and Graphics LLC, in Strasburg Ohio - he's our man - Loyal Farmers client, as skilled as they come, and loves being part of the local community and giving back - Ryon again went to work with Jim and Farmers Home Office and the deal was struck - 500 signs to be made -

Our next move was to make people aware of the signs being made and to see who wanted them - Farmers posted an application on their corporate page for "fans" to request a sign - More or less instantly the signs were "sold out" and we actually had received nearly 1,500 requests - Next thing you know our 500 sign project turned into 1,500 -

The other good news about this project is that I am friends with Denny Trimmer from Solid Rock Photos here in Dover Ohio - Denny was willing to help us photograph the process - From the signs being made, to the first one being hung in Strasburg, Ohio Denny helped us to capture it all - at one point he even helped us produce a video where we were talking about the project and where the signs could be found -

All in all this has been an awesome experience thus far - a simple Facebook post that went viral is giving us a voice to make a difference - Thanks to John Delcoma & Strasburg for allowing us to hang the first sign on Strasburg Franklin Park's field #3 - hopefully this changes the opinion of parents, and little league ball players all over the country -

As I said in my original posts - "A pat on the back can go a long way." Thank you to everyone for your support - here is a look at the original poem -

He Is Just a Little Boy
By Chaplain Bob Fox

He stands at the plate
with his heart pounding fast.
The bases are loaded,
the die has been cast.
Mom and Dad cannot help him,
he stands all alone.
A hit at this moment
would send his team home.
The ball meets the plate,
he swings and he misses.
There's a groan from the crowd,
with some boos and some hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries,
"Strike out the bum."
Tears fill his eyes,
the game's no longer fun.
So open up your heart
and give him a break,
for it's moments like this,
a man you can make.
Please keep this in mind
when you hear someone forget,
He is just a little boy,
and not a man yet.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Who Pays???

If your neighbors tree, which is alive and healthy falls on your house
 who's insurance is responsible to pay - 

It depends on the condition of the tree - 
if the tree is dead / has dead limbs and the owner of the tree is aware, 
and or you had made the homeowner aware of the issue and it falls on your 
house then it would go off of the neighbor if they ...
neglected the tree - however if it is a perfectly healthy tree and its falls
on your house, then it is on you as the neighbor was not negligent in
any way and it is considered an act of God -
agree or disagree this is way the way it always plays out - 
we have 3-4 clients going through this right now -
Neighbor had healthy tree, storms blew it onto their house -
we pay out not the neighbor.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Do you have nomophobia?

As many of us rely on our phones for work, and as our only for of communication with our family when away from home, the tendency to suffer from nomophobia is ever climbing - is this something you suffer from?  Read on as the folks from Mashable share some interesting stats -

Fears and superstitions creep up each Friday the 13th, but there’s a new phobia developing worldwide that has caused anxiety and stress for many: mobile phone separation.
In fact, the fear of being without your mobile phone — also called nomophobia — affects a large portion of the population, according to new data highlighted by T-Mobile in the below infographic.
A recent survey commissioned by T-Mobile and conducted by Kelton Research found that 25% of respondents would rather leave the house without a credit card than a mobile phone and 29% would prefer to be without cash. Nearly half of Americans said they miss their phones within an hour of being without it.
SEE ALSO: Afraid of Losing Your Phone? You May Have Nomophobia Like Half the Population
Some are so addicted to smartphones that 11% would rather leave home without wearing pants, and 63% would climb through the trash to find a lost mobile device. About 25% said they would physically fight a thief to get their phone back.
However, men believe they can last longer without their mobile device than women, saying they can go two hours longer than females before they really start to miss it.
Do you have nomophobia? How long do you think you could go without a mobile device? Let us know in the comments.
Smartphone Infographic

To Check in, or not to check in - that is the question

"To Check in, Or not to Check in?"

As most of us head out on our summer vacations we highlight those trips by flashing pics across Facebook, and other social sites like Twitter & tumblr - but the question we have to ask our self  "is this a good idea?"  We all love to show off our "toe's in the sand," or a cute family pic with the ocean in the background, but are we opening our self's up to much by doing so?  Are we alerting criminals of where we are, and when we are NOT home?  Are we asking for someone to rob us??  As cool as it is to check in, or to up-load a pic the instant it is taken - remember EVERYONE is watching - Check out this article from Mashable as they continue to talk about the changing trends of travelers -

0s smartphone adoption rises, savvy mobile users are increasingly using their mobile phones to document their travels while they’re on the road.
Only a decade ago, a family trip wasn’t complete without a camera and video recorder, and if you were an ├╝ber nerd, you might have even brought a laptop. Oh, and you couldn’t forget the extra SD cards and perhaps a card reader, just in case you decided to take a few thousands photos and ran low on storage. And, shucks, individual chargers for each device were a must. Honey, we’re gonna need a bigger bag!
In 2012, though, travelers are increasingly choosing to cut the cutter while they’re on-the-go by simply bringing their smartphones to snap and share photos. They’re doing double-duty by documenting check-ins on apps likeFoursquare and Facebook.
New York-based social travel startup Tripl is in on the trend and put together an infographic showcasing how users are accessing mobile while traveling. The company illustrated data gathered within the first week following its launch last week. Tripl is an application that delivers daily stories of your friends’ travels through the geo-tagged content they share on Facebook and Foursquare.

Why life Insurance???

Why do I need Life Insurance? How can it protect ME and my FAMILY? 

One of the questions we are most frequently asked is "why do I need life insurance, and how can it benefit me and my family should the unexpected happen?"

In today's society most families have built a life style off of two incomes (husband & wife) - From the mortgage payment, to car loans, credit cards, and vacations - most of what we do in life not only takes our pay check but also that of our spouse.

Those are the monetary things, that can come and go - BUT, let us also not forget what is most important our family, and making sure they are taken care of should we no longer be around -

We are often told "why would I want to make my wife rich by passing away" or "I have coverage through work, they will be OK." , or "we just can't afford it right now"-

What most people fail to realize is that most if not all families ARE NOT OK when something happens.  Most have zero or very little life insurance, and the policies most have through work are hardily enough to even cover the funeral cost - Think about this - Say the average cost of a funeral is around $7,000 - $10,000 - does your family have that amount of cash just lying around?  If you had to take that out of  your savings, would you still have enough to make your next house payment? Could you afford food?  If you have small children and pass away which of your other family members is going to go into debt to help raise them? There is clothing, food, shoes, school supplies, college and the list goes on and on - If you live pay check to pay check and struggle to make payments on your house, cars, credit cards etc. on two incomes how is your spouse who you leave behind going to afford it on one income?  Do you really want to leave your spouse in a financial hole for the rest of their life?

I could go through example, after example of why life insurance is important for you and your family, but today I want to not just tell you about life insurance but also show you how life insurance can benefit your family - below is a message from Tara Newby - a women who lost her husband in a tragic accident - Tara and her husband made a decision together that they needed and wanted life insurance to protect them and their family - Tara talks about the benefits of having it, and how her life is different because of it - No amount of life insurance can bring our loved ones back, but what it can do is help to ease the burden during one of the most difficult times in our lives - Take a moment to listen to her story -  After hearing her story if you would like more information feel free to visit our web-page or give us a call -

- Thoughts on Life Insurance, from Farmers Insurance agent Joel McKinnon

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

iFarmers App


Farmers iClaimWith Farmers iClaim, you can:
The Farmers iClaim application has something for everybody, whether or not you're a current Farmers customer.
With Farmers iClaim, you're never far from your agent information. You can find a local agent in your area or store your agent's contact information for fast, convenient access.
Get connected to HelpPoint® Claim Services with a simple shake of your phone and instantly report your claim electronically. A HelpPoint® Claim Services claims professional will contact you to complete the process.
Collect and store accident photos, driver information and vehicle information, and then e-mail them to your agent or a claims representative.
Homeowners can photograph property damage, and then e-mail the photos to their agent or claim representative. There's even a home inventory function that allows you to document your home and valuables.
If you need to file a claim with Farmers, the Farmers iClaim application has important contact information, and it keeps you connected with status updates.
Stay up-to-date on the latest information for your area. Subscribe to weather alerts and major catastrophe information (including pandemic alerts) Alerts are based on the ZIP code you enter and made available in real time.
With Farmers iClaim, you can also find Farmers preferred vendors and services, including auto repair facilities, and car rental services.

Also available for the Blackberry Platform, click here for more info

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Distracted Driving Not To Be Taken Lightly

Recently, the U.S. Transportation Secretary applauded West Virginia for enacting a new law that prohibits text messaging and hand-held cell phone usage while driving. West Virginia becomes the 36th state to prohibit texting behind the wheel and the 10th state to outlaw hand-held cell phone use by all drivers. The new law takes effect on July 1st and violators will be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and $300 for the third offense. Three points will also be assessed against driver’s licenses on third and subsequent violations.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving and all distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. The NHTSA lists the following as types of distractions:
And, according to the NHTSA, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
In November 2010, the Department of Transportation launched “Faces of Distracted Driving,” a video series featuring people from across the country that have been injured or lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes. To watch videos from the “Faces of Distracted Driving” series, and to learn more about the Department’s campaign against distracted driving, visit the Distraction site.
So, make sure you are not distracted while driving; it could save your life and others.