On Being SOLD…

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Sneaky salesmanThousands of salespeople are pounding the pavements today, tired, discouraged and underpaid.

Why?

Because they are always thinking only of what they want. They don’t realize that neither you nor I want to buy anything. If we did, we would go out and buy it. But both of us are eternally interested in solving our problems. And if salespeople can show us how their services or merchandise will help us solve our problems, they won’t need to sell us.

We’ll buy.

And customers like to feel that they are buying – not being sold.

Dale Carnegie

 

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Some ID Theft Warning Signs

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Some ID Theft Warning Signs

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS and CREDIT REPORTS

  • You see withdrawals, purchases, or other types of errors on your bank account or credit card statement that you can’t explain.
  • Merchant(s) refuse your checks.
  • You receive a credit card or store charge card in the mail for which you did not apply
  • You catch errors  or you find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to credit reporting companies.How do I order my free report?
    • The three nationwide credit reporting companies have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.
    • To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228. Or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228 or mailing to Annual Credit Report Request Service.BEWARE OF IMPOSTER FREE CREDIT REPORT WEBSITES. They may even have FREE CREDIT REPORT in their name but may actually direct you to sites that will harvest and resell your personal information.

CRIMINAL

  • There is a warrant out for your arrest for something you did not do.

MAIL

  • You receive unexpected mail telling you your mail is being forwarded to another address.
  • You have missing mail such as from a bank or other financial institution.
  • Debt collectors contact you about debts that aren’t yours.

GOVERNMENT / TAXES

  • You find errors on your Social Security Statement. To set up an account with Social Security, go to: http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ to Create An Account
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.Contact the Internal Revenue Service. IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit 1-800-908-4490

MEDICAL

  • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
  • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
  • A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.

CHILD
Several signs can tip you off to the fact that someone is misusing your child’s personal information and committing fraud. For example, you or your child might:

  • be turned down for government benefits because the benefits are being paid to another account using your child’s Social Security number
  • get a notice from the IRS saying the child didn’t pay income taxes, or that the child’s Social Security number was used on another tax return
  • get collection calls or bills for products or services you didn’t receive

FINALLY
You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account. BUT REMEMBER:

  • Do NOT respond to emails pretending to represent the company in question. They will NOT email you and ask you for personal information.

For more information about Meramec Valley, visit https://mymutual.net/for-an-agent-near-you/

Kitchen Fires

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Kitchen Fires are a major source of property damage to homes and injuries to residents every year. Take a few steps to help you not be the next victim.

  • Get a fire extinguisher for use in the kitchen
  • Stay in kitchen while cooking
  • Roll up sleeves and/or use appropriate oven mitts
  • Keep flammable items away from burners
  • Keep lid or cookie sheet close
  • Get EVERYONE out -THEN call 911

For more information about Meramec Valley, visit https://mymutual.net/for-an-agent-near-you/

Missouri Fence Laws

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Missouri Fence Laws

Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 272 – Fences and Enclosures
272.010 Section 272.020.1 272.030

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Fencing requirements

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272.020.

1. Any fence consisting of posts and wire or boards at least four feet high which is mutually agreed upon by adjoining landowners or decided upon by the associate circuit court of the county is a lawful fence.

2. All posts shall be set firmly in the ground not more than twelve feet apart with wire or boards securely fastened to such posts and placed at proper distances apart to resist horses, cattle and other similar livestock.

Sourcehttp://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/27200000201.html

(RSMo 1939 § 14570, A.L. 2001 H.B. 219 merged with S.B. 462)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 12907; 1919 § 5512; 1909 § 6455

For more information about Fence Laws, please vist the Missouri Extension’s website at http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G811

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Meramec Valley publishes this as informational only and in no way guarantees or warranties the accuracy of the information about this particular law. For up-to-the-minute information about Fence Laws, please consult your attorney.

Take An Identity Theft Vulnerability Test

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Online Theft

Are you one of the 33.4 million American victims of identity theft since 1990? Consumer out-of-pocket expenses have totaled $1.5 billion annually since January 2001.

  • 34% say someone obtained their credit card information, forged a credit card in their name, and used it to make purchases.
  • 12% say someone stole or obtained improperly a paper or computer record with their personal information on it and used that to forge their identity.
  • 11% say someone stole their wallet or purse and used their identity.
  • 10% say someone opened charge accounts in stores in their name and made purchases as them.
  • 7% say someone opened a bank account in their name or forged checks and obtained money from their account.
  • 7% say someone got to their mail or mailbox and used information there to steal their identity.
  • 5% say they lost their wallet or purse and someone used their identity.
    4% say someone went to a public record and used information there to steal their identity.
  • 3% say someone created false IDs and posed as them to get government benefits or payments.
  • 16% say it was a friend, relative or co-worker who stole their identity.

Are You at Risk for Identity Theft? Test Your “Identity Quotient”

  • I receive several offers of pre-approved credit every week. (5 Points)
  • Add 5 points if you do not shred them before putting them in the trash.
  • I carry my Social Security card in my wallet. (10 points)
  • My slate driver’s license has my Social Security Number (SSN) printed on it, and I have not contacted the Department of Motor Vehicles to request a different number. (10 points)
  • I do not have a PO Box or a locked, secured mailbox. (5 points)
  • I use an unlocked, open box at work or at my home to drop off my outgoing mail. (10 points)
  • I carry my military ID in my wallet at all times. (10 points)
  • I do not shred or tear banking or credit information when I throw it in the trash. (10 points)
  • I provide my Social Security Number whenever asked, without asking questions as to how that information will be safeguarded. (10 points)
  • Add 5 points if you provide it orally without checking to see who might be listening.
  • I am required to use my SSN at work as an employee ID or at college as a student ID number. (5 points)
  • My SSN is printed on my employee badge that I wear at work or in public. Or it is posted on my time card in full view if others, or is on other documents frequently seen by many others in my workplace. (10 points)
  • I have my SSN and/or driver’s license number printed on my personal checks. (10 points)
  • I am listed in a “Who’s Who” guide. (5 points)
  • I carry my insurance card in my wallet and either my SSN or that of my spouse is the ID number. (10 points)
  • I have not ordered a copy of my credit reports for at least 2 years. (20 points)
  • I do not believe that people would root around in my trash looking for credit or financial information or looking for documents containing my SSN. (10 points)

Each one of these questions represents a possible avenue for an identity theft.

Understanding Your Score:

  • 100+ points – Recent surveys* indicate that 7-10 million people were victims of ID theft last year. You are at high risk. We recommend you purchase a paper shredder, become more security-aware in document handling, and start to question why people need your personal data.
  • 50-100 points – Your odds of being victimized are about average. Higher if you have good credit.
  • 0-50 points – Congratulations. You have a high “IQ.” Keep up the good work and don’t let your guard down now.

“For information on recent identity theft survey findings, visit the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse web site at https://www.privacyrights.org/ar/idtheftsurveys.htm

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Meramec Valley Mutual Insurance is a Missouri-only (policy-owner-owned) insurance company established in 1887 and located in Hillsboro, Missouri.

Meramec Valley offers Identity Recovery protection as an optional and valuable addition to their line of insurance products. For more information about becoming a part of this 128 year old company, please contact one of our professional agents nearest you. https://mymutual.net/for-an-agent-near-you/

 

 

Take An Identity Theft Vulnerability Test

8 Essential Tips for Accidental Landlords

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It seems like a great idea at first.

Your home value has tanked and since selling isn’t an option in this anemic housing market, you slather a new coat of paint in the basement and stick a Room For Rent sign in the front window.

With so many cash-strapped consumers scrambling to scoop up rentals these days, why wouldn’t taking on a tenant or two be an easy way to bring in extra income?  If only it were that….

Keep reading here

Meramec Valley Mutual Insurance is a Missouri-only (policy-owner-owned) insurance company established in 1887 and located in Hillsboro, Missouri. For more information about becoming a part of this 128 year old company, please contact one of our professional agents nearest you.https://mymutual.net/for-an-agent-near-you/

Cheap Flood Insurance

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toteBox

Here’s the cheapest insurance you can find.

All basements leak sooner or later and leaky basements along with the damage caused by all those flood waters aren’t covered by your homeowners insurance. But, storing your more valuable possessions in plastic totes can be some of the cheapest insurance you’ll ever buy. It’s definitely cheaper than your $1,000 deductible!

Copperhead – Agkistrodon contortrix

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According to LiveScience.com, Copperheads are medium-size snakes, averaging between 2 and 3 feet in length. Young copperheads are more grayish in color than adults and possess “bright yellow or greenish yellow tail tips.” According to Beane, “this color fades in about a year.”
They are happy in “an extremely wide range of habitats,” though usually “at least some semblance of woods or forest habitat is present.” They are “particularly fond of ecotones,” which are transition areas between two ecological communities.


Copperheads love to eat mice and other small rodents, and enjoy eating “birds, lizards, small snakes, frogs, salamanders and certain large insects (especially cicadas and large caterpillars).


According to North Carolina State University, Copperheads bite more people in most years than any other U.S. species of snake. But , fortunately, their venom is not very potent.


Unlike most venomous snakes, copperheads give no warning signs and strike almost immediately if they feel threatened. Copperheads have hemotoxic venom, said Beane, which means that a copperhead bite “often results in temporary tissue damage in the immediate area of bite.” Their bite may be painful but is “very rarely (almost never) fatal to humans.” Children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems may have strong reactions to the venom, however, and anyone who is bitten by a copperhead should seek medical attention.

  1. According to the National Library of Medicine, you should consider the following steps in first aid: Keep the person calm. Reassure them that bites can be effectively treated in an emergency room. Restrict movement, and keep the affected area below heart level to reduce the flow of venom. 
  2. If you have a pump suction device (such as that made by Sawyer), follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  3. Remove any rings or constricting items, because the affected area may swell. Create a loose splint to help restrict movement of the area.
  4. If the area of the bite begins to swell and change color, the snake was probably venomous.
  5. Monitor the person’s vital signs — temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure — if possible. If there are signs of shock (such as paleness), lay the person flat, raise the feet about a foot, and cover the person with a blanket.
  6. Get medical help right away. 
  7. Bring in the dead snake only if this can be done safely. Do not waste time hunting for the snake, and do not risk another bite if it is not easy to kill the snake. Be careful of the head when transporting it — a snake can actually bite for several hours after it’s dead (from a reflex).

For more information about Meramec Valley, please contact one of our professional agents nearest you. https://mymutual.net/for-an-agent-near-you/

MISSOURI’S STATE BIRD

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On March 30, 1927, the native Eastern Bluebird became the official state bird of Missouri. (RSMo 10.010) The bluebird, considered a symbol of happiness, is usually 6 1/2 to 7 inches long. While its upper parts are covered with light blue plumage, its breast is cinnamon red, turning rust-colored in the fall. The bluebird is common in Missouri from early spring until late November.

WHAT THEY EAT
Their feeder favorites are mealworms and small pieces of fruit or berries, including raisins. When insects and other natural food supplies are scarce, they will also eat small peanut and sunflower kernels, as well as suet. Bluebird feeder types range from dish-style to the predator-resistant, house-style.

NESTING HABITS
The breeding season for these birds begins in April and will go through July, although a couple of weeks on either side is possible. The fact that these birds are cavity nesters makes them ideal candidates for a (clean) birdhouse.

WATER
Bluebirds require fresh, clean water for drinking and bathing, and a low basin with 1-2 inches of water is ideal for these thrushes.

MORE TIPS TO ATTRACT BLUEBIRDS
Keeping grassy areas of the lawn trim to allow bluebirds to access insects and feed more easily.
Discourage feral cats and keeping pet cats indoors to eliminate that threat to bluebirds and other wild birds.
Provide low (3-4 feet) perches such as old fence posts or wire fences for bluebirds to forage from

Meramec Valley Mutual Insurance is a Missouri-only insurance company, owned BY our policyholders for the benefit of only OUR policyholders… and not some far-off speculating stockholders. For more information about becoming a part of this 128 year old company, please contact one of our professional agents nearest you. https://mymutual.net/for-an-agent-near-you/

10 Spring Safety Tips

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It’s Spring Cleaning Time!
(We hope)

1. Wear protective clothing when you handle pesticides and fertilizers
2. More than 60,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year for lawn-mower injuries
3. Use proper eye protection
4. Inspect the ladder before using it to make sure there are no loose or broken rungs.
5. When pruning trees, be careful not to let metal ladders or trimmers contact overhead wires
6. Unplug all tools when not in use
7. Before you do any “hands on” weed removal, be sure you know how to identify poison ivy, sumac, oak and similar toxic plants
8. Store gasoline-powered equipment away from anything that uses a pilot light
9. Rake before you mow to prevent any stones and loose debris from launching into the air
10. Clean up work areas. Put dangerous tools, adhesives, matches or other work items away from children’s reach

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