Observe American Heart Month

Try out these suggestions to celebrate American Heart Month.Observe American Heart Month

February marks the start of American Heart Month, a campaign that asks Americans to take a more vested interest in their heart health.  As cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States, it’s more important than ever to make healthy changes for the benefit of your heart.  This February, take better care of your health by trying out these suggestions.

See Your Doctor

This February, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.  Ask them to run all the necessary tests to help them get a clear understanding of your overall health.  After the examination, work together to create a long-term health plan.  Make sure you ask any questions that you might have; you should understand all the reasoning behind your doctor’s recommendations.

Break Bad Habits

If you are a smoker, you are putting your heart in danger every time you light up a cigarette.  Additionally, if you drink regularly, you should be aware that excessive consumption of alcohol can also cause your heart health to deteriorate.  This month, make an effort to break these bad habits for the sake of your heart.

Maintain a Healthy Diet and Exercise Regimen

Finally, you should also do your best to make healthy lifestyle changes this month.  To start, you should avoid consuming fatty, cholesterol-heavy foods.  Instead, try to incorporate heart healthy foods such as fish, nuts, oats, and fresh produce into your diet.  You should also be making an effort to exercise regularly.  Getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day should be enough to keep your heart healthy and strong.

Try out these suggestions to take better care of your heart this February.  Want another way to make your health a priority?  Make sure you have the right health insurance coverage to meet all your needs.  To find the right policies for you, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, our dedicated team is ready to get you covered today.

Tips for Choosing the Best Employees

Learn how you can assemble a dream team for your business.Tips for Choosing the Best Employees

A good team of staff members could make or break your business.   That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you are hiring the right employees for your business.  Not sure how you can assemble the perfect team?  Here are some tips for hiring the best.

Focus on the Candidate, Not the Resume

When hiring, many employees get too caught up a candidate’s accomplishments and skill set.  However, the type of person you are hiring is often more important than their credentials.  Even if a candidate doesn’t have a lot of experience, if they seem like a good fit for your team and profess a willingness to learn, then you should give them a shot.  In most cases, choosing an employee based on their attitude and personality works out better than simply choosing the candidate with the most impressive resume.

Conduct an Investigation

Employee fraud can be absolutely devastating for your business.  That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you do a thorough background check on any of the candidates you are considering.  Check for any criminal records or undisclosed issues, and make sure you follow up with an employee’s previous employers to ensure that they don’t have any history of fraudulent behaviors.  Taking this extra precaution will protect you against hiring an employee who might hurt your business.

Offer a Trial Run

One of the best ways to ensure that you are hiring the perfect employee is by letting them work for a trial period.  During this time, observe how the employee interacts with other staff members, how they deal with client relations, and how strong their work ethic is.  Seeing an employee in action is often the best way to make sure you are hiring the best staff member for your team.

Try out these suggestions to help you assemble a dream team for your business.  Want another way to make your business thrive?   Make sure you have the right insurance coverage to protect you against any risk your business might face.  To get the policies you need, contact the experts at Miller Insurance in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  Our dedicated team is ready to get you covered today.

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Take these steps to reduce your chances of frozen pipes this winter.Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Unfortunately, your chance of frozen pipes increases as temperatures drop.  In many cases, frozen pipes can burst, causing extensive and costly damage to your home.  If you are worried about your pipes freezing over this winter, try out these tips to help prevent this issue.

Leave Your Heat On

One of the best ways to ensure that your pipes don’t freeze over is by leaving the heat on in your home, even when no one is home.  Setting your thermostat at about 55° F, should be enough to ensure that the water in your pipes stays liquid.  While the idea of leaving your heat on might seem like a waste, the money you spend on heating will be far less than the amount of money you would have to spend on repairs if your pipes froze and burst.

Open Up Cabinet Doors

In most homes, piping is hidden behind the cabinetry.  By opening up your cabinet doors, you can ensure that the heat is reaching your pipes and keeping them warm enough to prevent freezing.  Additionally, by opening up the doors inside your home, you can also encourage the flow of heat throughout your home.  This will also help protect against frozen pipes.

Let Your Faucets Drip

When pipes freeze, it’s actually the pressure that builds up behind the blockage that causes your pipes to burst.  If you are worried that your pipes will freeze despite your best efforts, letting the faucets in your home drip will help to relieve the pressure on your plumbing system.  This way, even if your pipes do freeze, you will reduce your chances of them actually bursting.

Try out these tips to protect against frozen pipes this winter.  Remember, another way to protect against serious damages to your home is by having the right home insurance.  To get the coverage you need this winter, contact the experts at Miller Insurance in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  We are ready to assist you with all your insurance needs.

New Homeowners: Take These Steps to Secure Your Home

Try out these safety tips for new homeowners.New Homeowners: Take These Steps to Secure Your Home

If you are moving into a new home, the security of your belongings and your loved ones is probably a major concern.  However, with all the stress and excitement of moving, it can be difficult to protect the things you love.  Here are some easy but effective ways to safeguard your new home.

  • Change Your Locks

You never know who might have a spare key to your home.  That’s why changing all the locks on your home is one of the first things you should do after purchasing a new home.  As an additional safety measure, you should also consider installing deadbolts and security doors on your home as well.

  • Hide Your Valuables

When you’re moving in, it can be difficult to keep track of where you put everything.  However, you should always know where your most valuable possessions are.  Take care to hide your valuables throughout your home.  This way they will be more difficult to find if a burglar breaks in.  Once you are more settled, make sure you find a more secure place to keep your valuables.

  • Install a Security System

Finally, one of the best ways to secure your home is by installing a home security system.  Not only will a security system protect against the risk of thieves and vandals, but it will also allow you to keep an eye on your home even when you’re away.  Additionally, if you upgrade to a system that offers 24-hour watch, you can also protect your home against the risk of fire.

These are some of the precautions you can take to protect your new home.  Remember, another way to stay safe is by having the right home insurance protections in place.  To find the right policies to fit your needs, contact the team at Miller Insurance in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  Our professionals are ready to assist you with all your insurance needs.

Avoid These Driving Habits This Winter

Stay safe this winter by avoiding these dangerous driving habits.Avoid These Driving Habits This Winter

While driving always carries some risk, driving during the winter months is especially dangerous.  While you can normally get away with certain driving habits, these same habits become much more risky under winter weather conditions.  If you want to stay safe on the road, make sure you avoid these driving behaviors this winter.

Speeding

While you should always try to honor the posted speed limit, it is particularly important to avoid speeding in the winter.  During the winter months, wet and icy road conditions can increase your chances of skidding.  When you speed, your tires get less traction on the road, increasing your chances of skidding even further.  To avoid sliding off the road, getting into an accident, or losing control of your vehicle, make sure you reduce your speed this winter.

Tailgating

Like speeding, tailgating is another driving habit that you should probably break, regardless of the weather conditions.  However, in the winter, tailgating carries additional risks.  When you follow a car too closely, you might not have enough time to react to sudden traffic hazards.  For instance, if the car in front of you suddenly spins out after hitting a patch of black ice, chances are you won’t have time to react before hitting the same patch of ice.  Increasing your following distance is one of the best ways to protect against such dangers.

Slamming on Your Brakes

As previously mentioned, during the winter, the roadways can become wet and icy.  This in turn reduces the amount of traction your tires have on the road.  When you suddenly hit your brakes, your tires lock up and often have nothing to grip.  This increases your chances of skidding and loosing control of your vehicle.  When you want to use your brakes, apply them slowly to gradually bring your car to a gentle stop.

These are some of the driving habits you should avoid to drive more safely this winter.  Want another way to stay safe while on the road this winter?  Make sure you have the right auto insurance protections in place.  To find the right policies to fit your needs, contact the professionals at Miller Insurance in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  Our dedicated team is ready to get you covered today.

Tips to Help You Eat Better in 2018

Learn how you can improve your diet for the New Year.Tips to Help You Eat Better in 2018

If one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2018 is eating better, then this is the post for you!  Learn how you can make little changes to help you improve your diet this coming year.

Eat More “Whole” Foods

Whole foods are foods that aren’t processed and are free of preservatives and additives.  Think of it as the difference between drinking apple juice and eating a fresh apple.  Including more natural, plant-based foods into your diet can help your body fight off chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.  Additionally, because they have not been affected by damaging processing methods, whole foods are the best sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Plan Ahead

If you want to maintain a healthier diet, you should consider planning your meals a week in advance.  By planning your menus, you can shop and even do meal prep ahead of time.  This will make it much easier to stay motivated.  Not having a plan makes you more susceptible to giving into unhealthy eating habits, and makes it easier to make excuses.  Don’t let lack of planning derail your diet in 2018.

Keep Things Interesting

One of the reasons why people struggle to maintain a healthier diet is because they keep cooking the same foods.  Try including a variety of different fruits and vegetables into your diet to keep things interesting.  Trying new healthy recipes and venturing out to try new types of foods will make it much easier to stay dedicated to your diet.

Try out these tips to eat healthier in 2018.  We at Miller Insurance Associates Inc. would like to wish everyone a very happy new year.  If you are looking for insurance coverage for this coming year, then contact us.  Located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, our dedicated team is always ready to assist you with your insurance needs.

Winter Fireplace and Chimney Care

Learn more about caring for your fireplace and chimney this winter.Winter Fireplace and Chimney Care

When temperatures drop, there’s nothing better than cuddling up before a roaring fire.  However, before lighting up your first fire of the year, there are certain steps you must take to ensure your fireplace and chimney are safe to use.  Here are some of the precautions you should take.

1) Clean Your Chimney

Before you use your fireplace or chimney this winter, it’s important that you call a chimney sweep.  A professional chimney sweep will conduct a visual inspection of your fireplace and chimney, and will clean away build-up of a substance called creosote.  Creosote is a highly flammable substance that could lead to a house fire if not properly cleared out of your chimney.  You should have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a chimney sweep every year before using your fireplace.

2) Clear the Area

Before lighting a fire, make sure that the area around your fireplace is clear on any flammable materials.  Furniture should be at least 36 inches away from the fireplace to avoid contact with a rogue spark.  Even with a fireplace screen to catch sparks, you should keep paper products, cloth items, and wooden things away from the opening of your fireplace.

3) Close the Damper

A damper is a hinged flap in your chimney that controls the amount of air that passes through your chimney.  Opening up the damper before lighting a fire prevents smoke from accumulating inside your home.  Once your fire has burned out, make sure you close up your damper.  Leaving your damper open could result in heat loss.

4) Leave Some Ash

While it’s important to clean your fireplace, you should leave an inch-thick layer of ash behind.  Leaving a little ash in your fireplace will help your coals better retain heat.  Additionally, you can use residual ash to ensure that your fire is put out completely.  When you wish to put out your fire, simply scoop some of the ash over the logs to kill the flames.  When handling ash, be careful; they can remain very hot long after the fire has gone out.

Use these tips to help you safely use your chimney and fireplace this winter.  For another way to stay safe, make sure your home has the insurance coverage it needs.  To find the best policies to fit your needs, contact the experts at Miller Insurance Associates Inc. in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  We are eager to assist you with all your insurance needs.

How to Winterize Your Home to Prepare for Your Vacation

Headed on a vacation this winter?  Make sure you prepare your home before you set off. How to Winterize Your Home to Prepare for Your Vacation

If you are planning on taking a vacation this winter, then it’s important that you prepare your home for your absence.  Take these steps to protect your home while you’re away.

Set Your Thermostat

While you should definitely turn down your heat while you’re away, make sure that you don’t completely shut it off. Leaving your home without heat could result in your pipes freezing over and bursting.  Before you leave, set your temperature to around 55°F to avoid damage to your pipes.

Drain Your Pipes

Another way to avoid your pipes from bursting and causing expensive damage is by draining your pipes before leaving for your vacation.  Shut off your water at the main supply and then turn on all of your faucets to drain the water out of your pipes.

Fend Off Pests

During the winter, rodents like to sneak into homes to stay warm and have access to food.  To prevent rodents from taking over your home while you’re away, keep all non-perishable food items stored in airtight containers with lids.  Additionally, throw away any trash or recyclables inside your home.  Finally, vacuum your floors and clean your kitchen thoroughly to remove any traces of food that might attract rats or mice.

Invest in a Security System

Finally, investing in a home security system is a great way to protect your home while you’re away.  A good security system will reduce the risks associated with burglars, vandals, and squatters.  Additionally, many security systems are now equipped with 24-hour fire watch.  So, investing in a system can also reduce your home’s risk for fire.

These are some of the steps you should take to prepare your home for your winter vacation.  Want another way to protect your home even while you’re away?  Make sure you have the proper insurance protections in place.  To find the right policies to fit your needs, contact the experts at Miller Insurance Associates Inc.  Located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, our dedicated team is ready to assist you with all your insurance needs.

Miller Insurance Associates Inc. Announces Merger

We are excited to announce that Miller Insurance Associates Inc. and Carlisle Insurance Services LLC will be joining forces!Miller Insurance Associates Inc. Announces Merger

Recently, Miller Insurance Associates Inc. and Carlisle Insurance Services LLC have decided to merge to create Miller Carlisle Insurance Services LLC.  While the physical merging of the new company has yet to take place, we are happy to report that it will take place sometime in the near future.

What does this mean for you?

Our clients do not need to worry; this merger only means good things for you!  The merger does not require any effort on your part.  Your current insurance program will not change and we will still have the same carriers.  Additionally, we will maintain our current office (on 19 Brookwood Ave.) and you can still contact us using our main phone numbers.  While you might see some new faces around the office, rest assured that you will still work with and speak to your usual agent.

Our merger also means that we can now offer you expanded services.  Miller Carlisle Insurance Services LLC can now represent more insurance companies, can offer more products and coverage options to our clients, and will have more leverage with our carriers.

Please look forward to more information regarding our merger.  A new and improved company website, updated email addresses, and a redesigned company logo are all coming your way!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the merger, do not hesitate to contact us.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful and loyal clients.  As always, we are excited to offer and expand our services to you.

Update Your Auto Insurance this Winter

Protect your car from these winter hazards. Update Your Auto Insurance this Winter

Winter brings its own set of weather and traffic dangers that could put your vehicle at risk.  If you are a car owner, it’s important to make sure your car has the updated protection it needs this winter.   Speak to your insurance provider to make sure that you have coverage to protect against these seasonal risks.

Increased Chances of Collision

Driving during the winter months can be extremely hazardous.  For instance, wet weather and colder temperatures can leave roadways slick with ice, and heavy rain or snowfall can reduce visibility.  These are just a few of the conditions that increase your chances of getting into an accident this winter.  Unfortunately, even with defensive driving strategies, it’s not always possible to avoid a traffic collision.  That’s why it’s so important that you speak to your insurance agent and get the updated coverage you need this winter.

Increased Chances of Weather Damage

Your car doesn’t just face hazards on the road; simply leaving your car outside can increase your chances of sustaining damage.  For instance, during the winter months, heavy snowfall can cause tree limbs to fall on to your vehicle, sudden hail storms could smash your windows, and falling icicles could dent your car’s exterior.  Additionally, if you live in an area prone to winter storms, then your car could be at risk for flood or blizzard damage.  With all these weather hazards your car faces this winter, it’s best to make sure that you have the right insurance protection in place.  Speak to your agent to discuss your individual risk and update your auto insurance accordingly.

These are just a few of the many dangers that your car faces this winter.  That’s why it’s so important that you be proactive and make sure you update your coverage in preparation for these seasonal risks.  To update your auto coverage, contact the expert team at Miller Insurance in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  We are ready to get you the coverage you need today.