Blog

Busy Week

Friday 8/11/17

It’s easy to appreciate people when they are gone. It was particularly busy this week at the office because three of my co-workers were out on Monday and Tuesday, one is still out on Wednesday, and I will be out on Thursday and Friday. It is a combination of further education classes and vacations for all of us.

Monday was especially busy in the afternoon because it was just me and the receptionist here to answer phones, and Mondays are usually the busiest of them all! Add to it all that this was “finals week” for my summer classes and my family is trying to prepare for a road trip vacation. 🙂

As a side note, we are starting a few smaller projects now including some fun marketing campaigns. Those are enjoyable to me. Since so much of my work this week was dealing with clients’ information over the phone (confidential) and preparing for a week away from work (relatively boring), I really didn’t do much that is great for writing blog posts about! Until next time, goodbye!

Star Contest

Friday 8/4/17

We are having a contest here at Hornafius! In an effort to get more reviews on Google, our Facebook account, and our website, we have a plan. You can read the more detailed explanation here, but here’s the basics. When someone leaves a review, their name goes into a raffle. At the end of the contest (September 30th), we will choose a winner at random from that bucket to win a $50 Visa gift card. Reviews can be left on Facebook, Google, or our website.

I’m looking forward to it. It is a little competition in the office too, because there is a separate competition among my co-workers to ask their clients for reviews. If those people actually leave the review, the Hornafius employee gets a star over their door. It’s fun to see the stars slowly accumulating as the days pass. I am the one to put the star over the door, so I enjoy encouraging my co-workers this way.

Anyway, go leave a review if you haven’t already. Visit this link for more information!

 

Common Challenges for Medicare Seniors – by Jon Ebersole

Friday 7/21/17

Over the past two decades, Medicare plan options have greatly increased and have become increasing difficult to manage. There are many challenges seniors have in choosing a Medicare health plan. While seniors appreciate having a range of options, most feel like they lacked the tools and knowledge to choose the plan that works best for them. Many seniors feel overwhelmed by the amount of information coming at them from multiple sources (i.e. mailings, radio, television, internet, etc.)

Here are a few important items to consider when selecting a Medicare plan. First, evaluate the potential out-of-pocket costs under the plan as well as the monthly premium. Think about any regular medical care that you require throughout the year. Are you dealing with multiple chronic conditions or do you typically only visit the doctor for your annual checkup? Then consider what the worst-case scenario might involve. What if you were diagnosed with a critical illness or had some type of accident? What would the costs be under these circumstances? Your worst-case scenario might only happen once every 5-10 years, but it’s important to factor this into your cost analysis. Second, evaluate the network of hospitals and physicians available under the plan. Is the network sufficient for your routine care as well as for potential critical illnesses?

It is critical to review your plan selection on an annual basis since plan premium, out-of-pocket costs, provider networks, and the prescription drug formulary can change from year to year. Because everyone’s circumstances are unique to them it is ill-advised to simply rely upon neighbors and friends for advice about selecting a specific plan. Seniors can benefit greatly from working collaboratively with a trusted advisor.

Jon Ebersole is owner of Medicare Madness, a Medicare consulting company, and is committed to teaching and empowering seniors in selecting the best plan option based on their needs. Jon provides education to seniors through classes, one of which he makes available through GEARS and is offered at the Etown Senior Center on a regular basis.  Through individual consultation, Jon meets with seniors to review plan options and empowers them to select the plan that they believe best fits their needs. Additionally, Jon contacts each client on an annual basis (at the minimum!) to review plan options, answer questions, and offer guidance so clients can confidently stay in the same plan or consider another plan that may be a better fit.  As a local and trusted advisor, Jon has served hundreds of seniors with their Medicare options and continually receives the most positive feedback regarding his helpfulness and knowledge.

Whether you are confused about Medicare, new to Medicare, or just want to make sure you are fully informed about your options, contact Jon today at 717-798-1603 or jon@medicaremadness.com to schedule an appointment! You may view his website at www.medicaremadness.com.

        

Changing the Hiring Process

Friday 7/14/17

Many small, growing businesses are almost always on the lookout for new potential employees. The president of Hornafius has some lofty goals for our office, as I would guess many of his peers do too.

I have been thinking about the hiring process again this week. In the search for a receptionist, very few potential team members met all of my requirements (in fact, only one person met every requirement and she is now sitting at that desk). I admit, my hiring process was purposefully a difficult one so that we would get only the best team members. Maybe this was a mistake on my part though, since I now have made the process easier for future employees to pass.

I see now that the job market has changed even more than I thought. It is clear that the business now has to sell themselves to the potential employee, not the other way around. It used to be, and maybe it sometimes still is, that potential employees would have to sell themselves to the employer with an outstanding resume, perfectly written cover letter, all the right key words, and a crazy amount of experience in order to even be considered for a very high-pressure interview. Today, the times have changed. Now there are enough businesses in the area that are hiring, so the business must convince the most qualified potential employee that they want to work for the business.

Don’t misunderstand me. I will not overlook a spelling issue in a resume or ignore a clear lack of experience, for this is still quite important to me. We want the new employees to represent the company well. I just need to attract the best and most qualified individuals so that the pool of resumes does not include many with errors.

As Hornafius continues to advertise for two new positions (read about them here), we have to keep all of this in mind. We can’t keep up the same strategies that have worked for so many years. If we want to meet the lofty goals, we need to take a different approach. We might need to sell more than insurance.

This Awesome Ministry: Hope Within

Friday 7/7/17

Maybe you are tired of me writing about Hope Within, but I genuinely believe in what they are doing. I fully support their cause, so I don’t mind writing about them! This week we published the last of a three-part video series starring Hope Within and the people who work there. Donita Sturgis, President of the ministry (I feel like I am talking about Rowling’s Ministry of Magic when I say it that way!), is a key part of each video. Jacob Hopkins worked with both Hornafius and Hope Within to create these videos, and I am very glad that he did! He has done a great job!

I would highly encourage you to view these videos here if you haven’t already. We will continue to work with Hope Within throughout the rest of 2017 through our Referral Program, which is described in more detail here.

Anyway, just as a heads-up this blog page will be redesigned in the near future, but the content will stay available. Hopefully you as the readers will have the ability to comment soon!

As a closing thought, I hope you all had an amazing fourth-of-July week! It was a long one, despite the Tuesday break! Have an AMAZING WEEKEND!

Hope Within Ministries

National Insurance Day = Celebrate with Ice Cream!

Friday 6/30/17

  Wednesday of this week was National Insurance Day! I know most people probably don’t bother celebrating this one, but it seemed like a great reason for the marketing girl at the local insurance agency to have some ice cream… and give other people ice cream! 

When we celebrated National Chocolate Ice Cream Day a few weeks ago, my family commented to me that it seemed unfair to clients that we got ice cream in the office and we posted about our #insurancesmiles only to realize that they didn’t get ice cream. I took that comment into consideration when I began to plan the National Insurance Day celebrations. Now ice cream was offered to everyone!

I think my silly celebrations make most people appear to be both amused and confused. They aren’t sure quite why I enjoy celebrating so much. I could try to explain, but it wouldn’t be sufficient. I just like to celebrate the life that I have been given, and I never want to lose the smile on my face. I have so many reasons to smile. I also like sharing my reasons to smile with others in hopes that they too will smile.

I will be sure to find another reason to celebrate with ice cream again soon. It went pretty well, I think. The mail man, Brandon, was the first to get ice cream (see image below). My siblings, Dennis’ granddaughters, Val’s daughter, and a few clients came too. It was fun!

You can TEXT us now!

Friday 6/23/17

  Texting seems to be the new best way to communicate. I am not only saying this from a millennial’s perspective. Many credible research projects have shown that 99% of texts are opened, and 97% of them receive a reply within three minutes. I think this sounds a lot better than playing phone-tag with the agent who is always busy on another line, or waiting hours for the email reply when they may have not yet opened the message. 

So that was my mission here at Hornafius Insurance Agency. I needed to make a way for our team to have texting conversations with our clients and community. It is for the convenience of the community, so that they can text us!

I did lots of research to pick the service that works best for our needs, and I presented my top four choices to my boss. He clarified some of the features he would most like to use, then I made a short presentation to my teammates about my final decision. I set it up on their computers, and taught them how to use it. We will continue to work together to set up the automated responses as needed.

I am excited to begin using this new idea, and I am hoping that it works! Check out our contact page for more information!

RYLA 2017: Service is the Highest Form of Leadership

Friday 6/16/17

  They put 137 high school seniors labeled “leaders” in one camp for five days. I thought it was going to be a social disaster.

  • One student who wants to lead, so many other students who are used to leading must be followers.
  • Leaders who are not sure how to communicate with others when no “ranks” are set
  • People arguing with others who are very similar to themselves

  But instead, it was a mind-blowing success!! We were amazingly effective at communication. Whenever someone spoke a new idea, it was quickly repeated and often another idea was added to it. We very effectively set goals and met them.

  The adults regularly put us into new groups of 10-20 students so that every few hours we met new people. We were given many great teambuilding challenges which were a lot of fun! By the end of the week, I probably had worked with almost everyone there!

   I enjoyed the social events, including pizza parties, an ice cream sundae social, and an evening dance party. We played many card games, made lots of friendship bracelets, ate lots of food, walked around Messiah College’s campus many times, and made some unforgettable friendships!

  There were lots of great speakers who taught us about the qualities of leadership and the best ways to truly empower people. We learned to listen, take responsibility, and value the one small change we can make (like one little starfish thrown back into the sea!). We learned to commit, act, respect, excel, and care. Oh, there is so much more that we learned, and I would love to write about it all, but of course I cannot quite fit five amazing days of learning into a small post like this!

Looking Forward to RYLA

Friday 6/9/17

Our culture values leadership very much. I am not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing yet. Next week, the local Rotary clubs are sending a bunch students who display leadership skills to a camp together. We are headed to Messiah college June 11th-15th for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA).

I am going with six other 11th grade students in the Etown area, along with many more from the Lancaster/Lebanon/York area. Four students were nominated from Etown High School and two are from Mount Calvary.

I am not quite sure what to expect, but maybe that lack of knowledge will breed additional anticipation. I know that there will be plenty of team-building competitions, music groups, lots of food, and many seminars with knowledgeable speakers. They will probably have us play capture-the-flag, make cheesy crafts, and argue over the best spirited cheers for our teams. Maybe it will be fun spending time with so many other leaders… or maybe it will be a nightmare as we figure out which of us are most capable of being effective followers!

I also know that they are splitting up the seven of us from Etown, which doesn’t exactly make semi-anti-social me so excited. I am close friends with some of them, so I was looking forward to a week with these friends. I’m sure we will begin some great short-term friendships with the people on our teams!

Anyway, that’s where I will be next week. I scheduled out several social media posts and worked quite efficiently this week in order to be prepared for this week away from my normal work/school life! For those of you paying attention to the schedule, yes, you will still see the Fun Friday video and more! “Ciao” for now!

 

Kids vs Parents

Friday 6/2/17

Today we filmed the first of the video footage for the #FunFriday campaign! Dennis’ granddaughters came to the office and answered some fun questions. I will be editing the video this week (in whatever free time I can find!) so that we can post it next Friday.

The girls seemed to have a lot of fun. They were a little shy at first, since my questions were not exactly themed. They did not understand my thought process as I chose questions from my list that might get an interesting or funny answer. Some questions got them more excited than others. The older of the two seemed to enjoy the spotlight, making silly faces at me and answering with smiles.

We presented the project to the girls as a “kids vs parents” game. They liked that idea. With the opportunity to “beat” grandpa in something, they were more enthusiastic than ever to take part.

Keep an eye out for these videos this summer! I can’t wait to share them with you all!

 

Sharing the Road

Friday 5/26/17

I once showed interest in a boy who had a motorcycle. He was one of the most respectful guys I knew, and he was always very careful to wear lots of protective gear when he rode. As soon as my dad found out that he had this bike, his first words were, “You are never riding the motorcycle with that boy”. Yes, Dad, I understand. He had good reasons for being concerned for his little girl.

According to a recent article written by the Philadelphia Insurance Companies group, motorcycles make up 14% of all traffic fatalities even though they only account for 0.7% of vehicle miles in the United States. So often, these accidents occur when a driver cannot see the motorcyclist or they misjudge the speed of the motorcyclist, especially at intersections.

As the outside temperature increases, it will be more common for bikers to ride. Those of us sharing the road with them must be especially careful to watch out for motorcycles. It is worth my while to share a few tips for drivers of cars and trucks:

  • Give them plenty of room, since their small bikes can stop faster than you can.
  • Please do not use your phone while driving. Stay completely focused so that you can see the motorcyclist. Be on the lookout for bikers!
  • Be especially cautious at intersections and make your intentions very clear with turn signals.

For motorcyclists:

  • Helmets and other protective gear have saved thousands of lives every year. It is worth it.
  • Use headlights, turn signals, and bright clothing to make yourself seen.
  • Provide plenty of space for other drivers.

I understand that riding can be quite the exhilarating ride, full of freedom. My friend once posted on his Instagram page describing a recent motorcycle excursion, “I don’t go riding to escape my life, I go riding to live it”. It’s a great activity, but it must be taken seriously and everyone must be very careful.

We all probably know someone closely who rides a motorcycle. Maybe it is a friend or family member, or a coworker or neighbor. If nothing else, you probably share the road with bikers regularly. Please be careful. According to the National Safety Council, motorcycle riders or passengers are injured or killed every six minutes in the United States every day. Please consider this when driving and help be sure that the motorcyclists around us are not part of that statistic.

 

PS the article described is from www.phly.com

 

Bicycles, Alcohol, and Law Suits

Friday 5/19/17

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, and that means a classic American summer is just around the corner. I’m thinking the opening of the swimming pool, bringing the kid’s bicycles out of the shed, roasting marshmallows over the campfire, spotting the first firefly, and planning the details of the family vacation. But best of all, the beginning of summer means having way too much food left over from the family cookout of hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, corn, fresh fruit, the abandoned vegetable tray, cheese and crackers, and of course, beer and wine for the adults. All of these things are amazing, and they are what make summer so great, but I must caution you.

I recently read an article called “Is it against the law to ride a bicycle drunk?”. The answer may surprise you. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of fatalities from intoxicated cyclists has not declined as much as those of drunk drivers over recent years.

There was a great real-world example of this issue:

Derek rode his bike to work every day, mainly for the exercise. One Friday afternoon after a difficult project was completed, he and his coworkers decided a happy hour was in order.

After a few drinks, he decided he better ride home before he lost the daylight. As he was cycling out of town, he ran a red light in front of Heather.

Swerving to avoid him, she collided with another car and sustained a variety of complex injuries, which resulted in decreased mobility and motor function. She was unable to return to work as a university mathematics professor for several months.

Heather’s medical bills quickly exhausted the minimum coverage offered by Derek’s renters insurance, so she had no choice but to sue him for reimbursement, incurring legal fees paid in advance, out of her own pocket.

Because Derek didn’t have significant assets, he declared bankruptcy, putting Heather back to square one. Burdened by debt, unable to work and without compensation for lost wages, she too was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Rewriting the story
If Heather had a personal umbrella with $1MM excess UM/UIM, it would have covered the gap left by the underlying policies to take care of her legal fees, lost wages and medical bills.

This is important to remember as the bicycles and alcohol are both coming out for enjoyment next weekend. Now is a great time to contact us about an umbrella policy so that you are covered for the gap in your policies!

Have you ever operated a boat, four-wheeler, golf cart, or other motorized vehicle that you did not own? If so, you may have done so without any liability protection at all. In many cases like these, a personal umbrella policy would provide you with liability protection even though you did not have your own policy for that specific exposure.

A $1 million umbrella policy could cost as little as $20 per month! Request a quote for an umbrella policy today!

PS The article described was found on PersonalUmbrella.com

Summertime Begins

Friday 5/12/17

We loved spending the afternoon with some local baseball families last weekend at the Londonderry Athletic Association opening day ceremonies! Hornafius had a table there with a free raffle, a “guess how many sunflower seeds are in the jar” game, and a clown board for fun pictures.

We saw lots of smiles from kids who put their face in the clown board, pretending to be the silly clowns with their friends. It was interesting to see the strategies (or lack thereof) people used to guess the number of sunflower seeds. One cute kid didn’t know that numbers beyond 100 existed, so his parents would encourage her to put another number, any number, after the 100 (making it 1000 instead of 100). Another girl tried to count the number of seed on the bottom then count up the side, then multiply them. Others would count the surface area of a group of 20 and guess how many groups of 20 were there. It was fun! There were 2002 sunflower seeds in the jar, and a girl named Olivia won with a guess of 1500 seeds.

The festivities included each of the teams being introduced as the kids ran onto the field, each with huge smiles. The coaches seemed so proud of them before the season even started! The kids had a hitting contest afterwards, and they had time to take part in some of the raffles and silent auction activities too. There was even a competitive game of tag going on at the playground!

It was a busy, warm, fun day. Hornafius Insurance Agency loves to take part in community events like this. We look forward to more baseball games and community festivities as summertime gets closer!

 These two clowns are ready for baseball season!

 What would be your guessing strategy?

 Val and her daughter are silly clowns too!

 Dennis and Julia pose by the Hornafius sign in the outfield.