The first speaker this week was Susan O’Kelley from Avanti Insurance Services in Golden, Colorado. Since many of us where hit in the recent hail storm Susan took her time to speak about the issues surrounding filing a claim. Got Hail? What can you do when a storm sweeps through your neighborhood leaving behind shattered windows, damaged gutters, shredded siding, dented cars and cracked windshields?

Before calling your carrier – gather the following information:
1. Know you policy numbers
• If you can’t find your policy – call your agent for assistance
• Although your agent CAN’T process claims, they can help you get the ball rolling
and may even do a “warm transfer” to your claims department.
2. Know your coverages and deductibles
• Again your agent can help you with this
3. For an auto claim – identify which vehicle(s) suffered damage
4. Be prepared to list/quantify the damage
5. Take pictures
6. Cover any damage as appropriate to mitigate any additional damage (i.e. plastic or plywood over any broken windows

Damage to your Auto, Trailer, RV etc.:
1. If you have Comprehensive Coverage, you will likely have coverage for hail damage
• If the damage is minor, you may consider that before filing a claim (i.e. if you have a $500.00 deductible and $700.00 worth of damage).
• If you decide to file a claim, the carrier will require an estimate and the total settled value will be the cost of the repair less your deductible.
• In most cases, the carrier will either schedule an adjuster to your home or office or suggest you take your vehicle to one of their claim centers.
• Many policies also allow you to take your vehicle to the body shop of your choice. Just be sure that your preferred body shop get the claim information given to you by your carrier.
• Most of the time, hail claims will not affect your policy premiums.
• Some policies include windshield repair – NOTE – “repair” is not the same as “replacement”.

Damage to your Home:
1. If you a home, you likely have a Homeowner Policy with coverage for hail damage.
• If the damage is minimal, you may want to consider that before filing a claim.
• If you decide to file a claim, the carrier will require an estimate and the total settled value will be the cost of the repair less your deductible.
• The carrier will schedule an adjuster to go to your home. NOTE: homeowner policies generally only cover structural damage, NOT cosmetic damage.
• Your hail deductible may be different than your property deductible. For example, some policies cover hail damage but the deductible is based on 1% or 2% of the home’s dwelling coverage. As an illustration – consider a dwelling amount of $350,000.00 with a 1% wind/hail deductible will be $3500.00.
• Some policies will also cover tree and/or debris removal is a cause of the loss to hail.

When in doubt call you agent to help you through the process. While your agent cannot process the claim, they should be able to get things moving and ease your mind. If you are looking for agent that will help in a time of need give Susan O’Kelley and Avanti Insurance Services a call!
Susan O’Kelley * Avanti Insurance Services * 303.278.2278 * info@myavantiservices.com * www.MyAvantiServices.com

The second speaker this week was Dottie Johnson our massage specialist in Golden, Colorado. Dottie spoke to us today about how massage can help with pain. Massage is a combination of anatomy and physiology – muscles move the bones and support the organs. In the United States 65 million people suffer from back pain caused by injury or posture. Such injuries can come from a variety of sources from carrying a back pack for extended periods of time to an accident or disease. But even just standing can create a problem – standing upright and supporting the weight of the upper body while still being flexible enough to bend in many directions puts a lot of stress on the back’s complex structure of bone, muscle and ligaments. Having daily pain in such an important part of your body’s structure can really interfere in your life, making even the simplest task seem like a monumental feat. There are many treatments for back pain, you should find the best combination for you. Many people find the combination of chiropractic adjustments along with massage to be very effective. You can also use acupuncture, tai chi even yoga has been known to help those that are suffering from pain. Back surgery comes with many risks such as infection, blood clots or spinal damage, and should be the last resort. Surgery is not needed in most cases even including things like herniated disks or spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spinal column – can be resolved with simpler and less aggressive therapies. Staying active is one of the keys to success, the less active you are the more the muscles weaken and ligaments and tendons stiffen, delaying your recovery process. A good practitioner will teach their patient some exercises that one can do on their own as well as working out how the daily activities are affecting the injury or strain.

Dottie then spoke about a client that she had been working with for heel pain that no one could diagnose. The client was a computer programmer who spent most of his time at a desk, after working with him for a while she too was trying to figure out what was causing the pain. She finally asked him how he sat at his desk – and he said with his ankles crossed and underneath the chair. This position was what was causing his pain – it was shortening the tendons in the back of his lower legs thus causing stress on the muscles in his heels, so by simply changing his seated position and massage therapy he is no longer in pain. This example shows us that it is not just injury that can create pain. It is also something that you do not have to live with, finding the appropriate therapy for your body is important because what works for one person will not work for you.

The last part of her talk Dottie spoke about a book that she is reading and absolutely loves called “The Book of Joy” written by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu – it is a book about care of self and care of others and how to stay calm in tough situations and using compassion, kindness and acceptance in our daily lives.

If you are looking for a massage therapist that will work with you to find the right needs for your body give Dottie Johnson a call!

Dottie Johnson * Massage Therapist * 303.229.7220