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Physical fitness
By: Pauline Handy - Marketing Director


You may remember from one of my last articles, Standing Desks, that I talked about my personal experience with using a standing desk. Today, I’m going to dive into other ways you can increase your activity and simply get up from your chair during a long day at the office. 

If you’re like most working adults, you probably spend eight to ten hours of your day, not including travel, at your place of employment. These long work days can create a major struggle when it comes to fitting everything else into your very minimal amount of free time.  I think it’s safe to assume that regular exercise could be one of those things you often compromise. Am I right?

Since exercise is a very important component to staying healthy and shouldn’t be compromised, I want to give you some ideas that will help you keep your body moving. Some of our team members at V.F. McNeil Insurance are finding these workplace workouts to be a good supplement to their weekly exercise. 

Also, a few of our staff members have reported that some of these exercises have helped to fend off the mid-to-late day fatigue that can often occur after long periods of sitting.  Read on to learn our tips.  

Home Maintenance

Ah, those first warm breezes of spring! Soon even the most devout winter couch potato’s dreams turn from football on television to those long-harbored visions of a major landscaping project, exterior and interior home refreshing, and maybe even a spring purge of those overcluttered areas of the house or garage.    

A word of caution before you jump right in!  Weekend Warrior Syndrome is real and can be painful.  Sudden activity shifts after a long winter of hibernation need to be approached with care.

And who knew that weekend warrior syndrome can also be seasonal? Thousands of injuries, severe sunburns, and other afflictions are suffered every spring when formerly sedentary folks get outside and begin gardening, climbing ladders, using lawn equipment such as mowers, and, in the process, breathing fumes from chemicals.

At V.F. McNeil Insurance, we understand the emerging warriors of spring, and we would like to offer some simple advice that may help prevent your spring dreams from turning into spring pains. Review our list of tips before you get started: 

Coffee Home Book
Your Home is Your Happy Place.  Be Sure It’s Protected Properly 

A Checklist for Homeowners 

Did you know that one in 15 insured homes has a claim each year? 
Yes, according to the Insurance Information Institute, it’s only a matter of time before it’s your turn to file a home insurance claim. Wind, hail, water damage, freezing, theft, fire and lightning are just a few of the common culprits. Now tack on the probability of a liability claim or lawsuit being filed against you or a family member, and the likelihood of your home insurance staying on the bench forever is slim. 
Following is our handy checklist to be sure your homeowner’s insurance policy adequately protects you. Review these with your family and your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent before you are the one with a claim. 


  • Know the difference between reconstruction cost and replacement cost. Your home’s reconstruction cost and its market value can vary significantly, especially if your home is older. Reconstruction cost is what it would cost to replace your house by rebuilding it completely at current prices. Market value is what someone is willing to pay for your home including the lot. The limit of insurance carried on your home should be based on its reconstruction cost. 
  • Check your limits at least annually. It’s estimated that 60% of homes are underinsured, most by at least 20%. Underinsured means exactly what you think it means: You will not be a happy camper if your home suffers major damage and must be reconstructed. 
  • Don’t forget about your possessions. Ensure that your personal property is covered on a replacement instead of actual cash value basis. Don’t underestimate how much you’ll miss that brand-spanking new couch, closet full of clothing or bicycle after they’re reduced to a charred mess by a fire! 

Homeowner's Insurance

By: Pauline Handy – V.F. McNeil Insurance

A good number of us go through life thinking, “I’m careful, I’ve got my bases covered, that will never happen to me.”  Well folks, speaking from experience, I can honestly say that even the most conscientious people should be prepared for the unexpected.  I’ll get to my story of why in just a moment.    

First, I certainly want everyone to know that I truly wish you all a safe, healthy, and prosperous life.  However, my wishes are not enough to have your back.  Life can sometimes throw you a curveball and you must be ready for it.  Now I‘ll share my curveball, one that I couldn’t have seen coming.  Thankfully the ending was good, but there are a few takeaways here.

I Love My Home

I must say, I love my home’s location.  It sits up on a ridge with a lovely view of a popular hiking mountain in town.  The first thing I see when I go to the kitchen for coffee is the sunrise over the horizon that beams in through my huge picture window in the dining area.  It looks like something heavenly and makes me smile every morning.  Evenings are beautiful too.  The moon, especially when it’s full, is gorgeous over that same horizon as it lights up the sky and shows off the silhouette of the mountain top.  I would be devastated if anything ever happened to this place I call home.

A Close Call

When we first moved in to our home seventeen years ago, we had a close call with a dining room fire that could have burned our entire house down.  As novice homeowners, we discovered after the fact that two of our fire alarms were not even working.  Thankfully for us and our home, my mommy-senses were working at 4 am the morning I heard a loud crackling noise that didn’t sound right.  I got up to check it out and discovered that the old, dingy, air conditioning unit in the wall had caught fire.  We got the kids out in time, called the fire department, and the fire was extinguished.  We were lucky.  
It was a scary experience.  We replaced every fire alarm and reviewed every other fire safety tip we could get our hands on; and thankfully the cavalry (our homeowner’s insurance) came to the rescue for the damages.  Since then, we’ve not had another fire-related scare.  Well, until recently that is.  

Where Is That Smoke Smell Coming From?