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All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

To be organized and productive in the new year, hand write a to-do list

Even with all his super powers, Santa needs help keeping track of who’s naughty or nice. That’s why he makes his list (and checks it twice). Billionaire businessman Richard Branson, whose Virgin Group owns more than...

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

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...

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

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...

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

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...

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

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....

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Making a case for stockpiling drinking water

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...

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Saying ‘I do’ to wedding insurance

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...

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After flood waters recede, dangerous mold often is left behind

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...

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Can you dig it? Call 811 before any digging project

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...

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Disability insurance can replace income, cover overhead expenses

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...

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College's major problem: excessive drinking and its aftermath

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...

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Don’t get distracted by the drive toward autonomous vehicles

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,...

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

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...

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

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...

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Beware the lint trap: clean regularly to avoid dryer fires

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...

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Soaking up our Guide to Summer Safety

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...

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Best used cars for teen drivers: IIHS survey

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,...

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What you need to know to manage workers' compensation costs

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...

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Apply these tips when spreading organic mulch

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...

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

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
/...

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

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...

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Taking a shine to solar power for your home

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...

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

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:...

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Give your heart some love, for health's sake

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...

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

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...

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Kicking off the new year with a song to Route 66

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...

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