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Mixed signals: Do RFID chips pose a big risk for identity theft?

Dec 11 2017 Credit cards embedded with RFID chips bear four curved lines that look like wifi symbols. Thumbing through a holiday catalog chock full of modern gadgets, we were struck by the presence of no fewer than three wallets purporting to block RFID signals. First,... more

It’s child’s play, but adults have primary role when it comes to toy safety

Nov 28 2017 In the holiday movie classic “A Christmas Story,” 9-year-old Ralphie Parker has one thing on his wish list: A Red Ryder BB gun. But his mother, his teacher and even Santa reject the notion, telling Ralphie, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The movie, which... more

Get to know: Chris Painter, AIS co-owner and commercial lines team leader

Nov 16 2017 The Painter family Your wife, Courtney, and her brother, Doug Erwin, started AIS in 2000. You joined AIS in 2007 after majoring in civil engineering at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown and then working for a decade in the engineering and construction... more

Running out of gas could be bad for your car, safety and pocketbook

Oct 30 2017 It's a humbling, maybe even humiliating experience when your car runs out of gas. Having to walk to a gas station, trusting there's a gas can that you can borrow, ought to be lesson enough not to let it happen again. Yet you do, or come darn close, more than... more

Making a case for stockpiling drinking water

Oct 16 2017 Water, water, every where,/Nor any drop of drink That's a line from a 220-year-old poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge called "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." In it, a sailor is surrounded by salt water that he can't drink safely. But those same words ring... more

Saying ‘I do’ to wedding insurance

Oct 2 2017 Wedding plans can make life plenty stressful under the best of circumstances, whether they involve choosing the bride's gown, winnowing an invite list, or deciding on a menu. But at least the planner has lots of say in those decisions. At other times,... more

After flood waters recede, dangerous mold often is left behind

Sep 18 2017 Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 established itself as the worst rainfall disaster in American history. It dumped some 33 trillion gallons of water along the Gulf of Mexico. The Washington Post illustrated the enormity of the situation, plopping a giant cube... more

Can you dig it? Call 811 before any digging project

Sep 5 2017 It might be as simple as planting a tree or something a little more involved, such as building a deck. Whether you're a homeowner or professional contractor, if you're digging with powered equipment, you first must call 811. It's also not a bad idea (though... more

Disability insurance can replace income, cover overhead expenses

Aug 21 2017 Benjamin Franklin famously said, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." While we can't always agree on taxes, there's no denying that each of us will die eventually. Because this is accepted fact, people tend to be receptive to having a conversation... more

College's major problem: excessive drinking and its aftermath

Aug 7 2017 It turns out that the famed "Freshman 15" is fiction, for the most part. Contrary to the notion that the average first-year college student gains 15 pounds, an Ohio State University study found that 2.4 (women) and 3.4 (men) pounds were more typical. Heavy... more

Don’t get distracted by the drive toward autonomous vehicles

Jul 24 2017 In the movie "Anchorman 2," four members of the KVWN-TV Channel 4 news team are riding in the back of an RV, reminiscing about times spent together. "Hey, Ron, who's driving?" asks reporter Brian Fantana. "Oh, it's OK, it's on cruise control," says anchor... more

Here's how to get a healthier lawn with less effort

Jul 10 2017 Like the chirping of birds and the spinning of fan blades, the humming of lawnmower engines is part of the soundtrack of summer. We're a little obsessed with our lawns, yet sometimes to the detriment of their health and our leisure time. Here's a thought:... more

Get to know: Doug Erwin, AIS president and personal lines team leader

Jun 26 2017 When you and your sister, Courtney, started AIS in 2000, what opportunity did you see? We saw the chance to be different. Our dad was also an insurance agent, but he was an agent with a specific company and tied to their products. We knew that by being... more

Beware the lint trap: clean regularly to avoid dryer fires

Jun 12 2017 A Google search of "dryer fire" readily yielded three incidents that occurred within one month of each other: In Lock Haven, Pa., a dryer fire destroyed the home of a 34-year-old man who had lived there most of his life; In Newport News, Va., a dryer left... more

Soaking up our Guide to Summer Safety

May 30 2017 Summer means fun and sun, but that doesn't mean that we can throw caution to the warm breeze. Some of our favorite summer activities also come with significant safety or health risks, especially to children. We can teach them to be careful, but ultimately it'... more

Best used cars for teen drivers: IIHS survey

May 15 2017 Among "4 ways to save money when insuring young drivers" we identified in a previous blog post, at No. 3 we said don't buy them a new car. In fact, according to a survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 83 percent of parents of teen drivers... more

What you need to know to manage workers' compensation costs

May 2 2017 Workers' compensation was the first form of social insurance in the United States: The first law was enacted in 1908 to cover federal civilian employees. Today, all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have their... more

Apply these tips when spreading organic mulch

Apr 19 2017 For home improvement return on investment, it's hard to beat the value that mulch delivers. For a little bit of labor and not a lot of money, you can revive your yard and beautify your home for months to come. Not only can mulch be attractive and sweet-... more

Top of mind: When do you need to replace your roof?

Apr 3 2017 In early 1963, The Drifters had a big hit with the song, "Up On The Roof," which began: When this old world starts getting me down
/And people are just too much for me to face/
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
/And all my cares just drift right into... more

One in 15 homes in U.S. has a radon problem: does yours?

Mar 20 2017 In 2014, a home in Lehigh County, Pa., was found to have the highest radon level ever recorded in the United States. The concentration was more than 900 times greater than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's action level of four picocuries per liter.... more

Taking a shine to solar power for your home

Mar 6 2017 The solar power industry announced its presence with blinding authority in 2016. For the first time in history, solar topped gas and wind as the top source of new electricity-generating capacity, which nearly doubled from 2015. The solar industry accounted... more

CFL vs. LED: an illuminating look at energy-efficient light bulbs

Feb 20 2017 We're engulfed in choices today, from clothing to food to TV subscriptions. The light bulb aisle is no less daunting, especially when it comes to the alphabet soup of CFLs and LEDs. Which begs the burning question: What's the best lighting option for you and... more

Give your heart some love, for health's sake

Feb 6 2017 Neil Young sang that only love can break your heart. Well, we hope Neil Young will remember that a poor diet and a lack of exercise can do a number on your heart, too. But he wouldn't be alone if he didn't. An American Heart Association survey of U.S. adults... more

It's snow lie: Here's the scoop on your responsibility for sidewalk shoveling

Jan 23 2017 When it comes to snowfall and your driveway, how quickly you tend to shoveling is up to you. Maybe you're an early riser and get right at it. Perhaps you're a procrastinator, and you'll get around to it when the inspiration hits. [For tips on how to shovel... more

Kicking off the new year with a song to Route 66

Jan 11 2017 There's just something about Pennsylvania, the open road and music. Perry Como, the pride of Canonsburg, Washington County, had a hit with "Home for the Holidays," which he recorded in 1954. "From Pennsylvania, folks are travellin' down to Dixie's sunny... more



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