Backyard Chickens can lay an insurance egg!

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 Backyard Chickens can lay an insurance egg!
 
Being raised on a dairy farm one of my first 4H projects was having a flock of laying hens.  I loved taking care of those hens and it taught me responsibility as a 10 year old.  My dad even helped me build a new chicken house with an attached fenced yard for the hens to get outside and exercise.  Fast forward forty years to when my college graduate daughter came back home to live with us, she and I decided to get a flock of chickens and build us a nice modern chicken house.  She ordered the plans and one cold February the project took over the inside of our garage and we built the large chicken coop pictured above.  I cherished that time with Brooklyn just as I had as a boy helping my dad build a chicken house.
 
Today, chicken coops and houses can be very complex and elaborate.
chicken coop2
And they can cost upwards to $2000-$4000 to build.  Brooklyn’s chicken house cost us $1500 not including our labor and it was a small project.
chicken coop
 
More and more folks are getting backyard chickens because you just can’t beat the taste of fresh eggs.  But as we build these mini chicken castles in our backyard there is a problem that could surface unknowingly to us.  Do you know if your chicken house was damaged by a storm or fire that it would be covered by your homeowners insurance policy?  Many insurance companies (if not all) define poultry as an “agricultural exposure” and therefore any structure associated with poultry would not be covered.  Claims on backyard chicken coops have been denied because of this reason.
So think about it.  It may be that you could take the loss and not worry about it.  Then again you might want to look at the option of adding a farm policy to specifically cover the structure.  After all, if a fire destroyed it, I would hate for you to lose all that you had put into building that elaborate hen house!
And I didn’t even talk about the liability risk if your hens damaged your neighbors’ property…
…remember Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”?
Be safe and add a farm policy or an endorsement.

Why I do what I do

 

Why I do what I do2027-01-24 13.18.12

Every Monday morning at 9:30 I have a reminder that pops up on my computer, tablet, and phone.  You may think this is crazy or a little overkill but I, as an insurance producer who is compusated according to 1) how hard he works and 2)how much business he has and keeps on the books 3)and how well he services and cares for that business, enjoy being motivated and encouraged each Monday morning by this pop up.  Not that it is a “super pill”,  but that I need a little kick.  Most of my life I have been self employed, and I know that hard work is rewarded…that’s what’s so great about living in the USA!  What a blessing to be paid to help people and enjoy what you do!   Here’s exactly what “pops up” every Monday morning:

 

Remind myself the “Why” I do what I do:

  1.  To give God the gloryWhether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31
    1. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;  Col 3:23
    2. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.  Ecc 9:10
    3. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks…For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.  Rom 14:6,8
  2. To help people with their insurance needs
  3. For Robin’s sake
  4. To leave something to my children’s children

Some of you may think of my scripture references here as “out there”, but to me these words bring me strength.  We all have priorities and because we are all different our priorities are different.  They change throughout life also!  So for right now, where I am in life, these are my “whys” I work daily.

As a Christian number one should be number one always, regardless of what stage of life I am walking.  I find the verses above motivating, for God is the source of all my strength and knowledge

  • I have to do what I do as an insurance producer.  When I realize that the very Creator of the universe sustains me day by day, I strive to do my best for Him and His glory.  “Nough said!”
  • Insurance producers often experience rejection, angry policy holders, explaining higher insurance premiums to clients, or cancellations because policy holders found a “cheaper” price.  I have been cussed, discussed, and chewed up and spit out at times and have wondered why I became an insurance agent after leaving the dairy farm.  But then…I meet with a widow of a farmer who was just killed in a farming accident and hand her a check for $250,000.  I can’t tell you the peace that comes to me when I have done this!  To be able to encourage that same farmer two years earlier to increase his life insurance policy because of the debt load reminds me of the “why” I do this.  To stop by a house that is still smoking and walk up to the family just to give a hug and word of encouragement and help in their difficult time of need reminds me of the “why” I do this.  To sit down with a couple and review their coverage and then to see the peace of mind they have when they walk out of my office because now they know they have the best protection they need at the best price reminds me of the “why” I do this.
  • When I was a high school agriculture science teacher and afterwards a dairy farmer, Robin and I were raising and homeschooling three children.  To provide for our kids’ needs then and for their future was our “why” then.  Now, being empty-nested, Robin is a big reason I do what I do.  My love for her has never been stronger, and I want to do my best for her.  And now with grandchildren in our family, I desire to leave something for them when I leave this world.

You know, I find it frustrating to hear people talk about how they never saw their last insurance agent or never heard from him or her or never discussed their policies.  I don’t know how those agents sleep at night.  I love helping people and seeing smiles when they feel good about their policies and protection.  I don’t sell insurance policies…I help provide “peace of mind” and that makes all the difference to my clients and me!

That’s why I do what I do.


My hope is this…

IMG_20160113_054352176The hope of “making a difference.”

My first grandson was just born in January.  As I looked at my son, Daniel, looking into Ryan Paul’s newborn eyes, I couldn’t help but pray that both Daniel and I could have the wisdom to make the right difference and influence in this little boy’s life.  What a blessing!

“Making a difference” are words used much today.  Everyone should make a difference in those lives they come into contact with everyday.  I would like to use this blog as just one tool to accomplish that in you who come here from time to time.

As an insurance producer (agent) I not only work to provide my clients the best savings but I also work to provide value.   I hope I can do this through the best availability, better communication and understanding of what they want and need in an insurance policy, and finally being at their side when they need that special help (friend) the most.

As an insurance agent I do not want to be like the bank teller at your bank or the associate who helps you at Wal-Mart or Lowes.  I want to go the extra mile in order to make a difference for you because that’s what friends do!  Friends can contact friends via phone, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instant Messaging, and texting.  I refuse to be an agent hundreds of miles away in a cubicle wearing khakis when you may have to call at 3 a.m. in the morning.

There’s a lot of noise out there folks…can your agent help you decipher it all?  Ask and then listen…do you still hear noise?

My desire is not to deliver the same ole service that creates all the noise but to be different in going the extra mile…and “my hope” is that this would be music to your ears!