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[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] One of the hottest selling Christmas presents in 2015 was the two-wheeled hoverboard. More accurately, they are a rechargeable self-balancing personal vehicle that can travel up to 12 hours and reach speeds of 12 mph. Besides being a form of leading edge fun...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), retail prices for gasoline in New England continue to decline. Compared with a high of $3.72 per gallon of regular gas in 2012, consumers now are paying $2.06 – a savings of $1.66 per gallon....

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Let me introduce you to little Zach who has asked his parents for a camera-equipped drone for Christmas. Radio controlled vehicles have been a family staple of the holidays ever since the first wireless remote controlled toys were first manufactured. By the way,...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] There’s an old adage, “It’s not what you know but who you know that counts.” There’s a lot of truth in that statement. Those who reach out, get engaged and connect with others tend to create opportunities for themselves. We’re all in the...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Last week we asked “What’s your idea to stop texting-while-driving?” Responses (thank you!) fell into two general categories: consequences and technology. Here are a couple of the comments. “Saw a sign in FLORIDA last month. ‘Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Seriously, besides being killed, we want to know how you would stop people from texting-while-driving. Why? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced U.S. traffic deaths rose by 8 percent in the first six months of 2015. Texting was prominently indicated as...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] I come from parents who were conservative Yankees. They lived through the Depression and World War II being cautious with their money – including how they died. Our dad’s ashes were buried in a Chock Full o’ Nuts coffee can and my mother’s...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] November is Long Term Care Awareness Month, so I suppose I should regurgitate a bunch of statistics about how many people will need long term care services, how much nursing homes cost, blah, blah, blah. But that’s not what this is about. You already...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] In the last couple of weeks, some aspect of your current lifestyle has gone through yet another round of new findings to spare you from disease. Don’t eat sugar. Processed meat causes cancer. Red meat could possibly cause cancer. Seriously?!? Well, yes. What...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] John Traynor, Chief Investment Officer at People’s United Bank Wealth Management, seems optimistic for the growth of the New England economy. In his outlook for 2016, he recently told members of Corporate Partners at the University of Southern Maine that key economic indicators...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Despite tepid growth in the region’s economy, many employers are finding it a challenge to recruit willing and qualified employees. Many applicants lack skills while others may be challenged by personal circumstances such as day care or transportation that make it hard to...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Many of the most frequent and costly insurance claims for businesses are winter-related accidents. With more frequent cold weather, property owners need to take steps now to avoid injuries as well as property and liability claims. Here are a number hazards to avoid...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] The deluge that visited parts of New England this past week left a lot of water-damaged buildings and cars in its wake. The first call many owners made was to their insurance agent to report a claim. Sadly, some of those conversations ended...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Here’s a big change that will require some work. If implemented as proposed, most employees earning between $23,600 ($455/week) and $50,440 ($970/week) will be eligible for overtime wages under new soon-to-be enacted regulations. This change in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Do you love traveling for your vacation? When going to a new place, you pull out maps, read the travel guides and you ask well-travelled friends for tips. For vacations, we tend to plan and save. Well, maybe it’s time to think of...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Not “knowing” is not only a risk but also is a huge and unproductive source of anxiety. Whether it’s personal or in business, not “knowing” impacts our emotions, performance and our behavior. On a personal level, lack of knowledge strikes fear into our...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] In 2008, the University of Southern Maine introduced a new program called Risk Management & Insurance (RMI), an industry-funded initiative spearheaded by Ken Ross, a USM graduate and now the chair of the board of directors of Clark Insurance . The new academic...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Oz was a fantastical place of Munchkins, Wizards and talking scarecrows. However, after a Kansas house dropped on the Wicked Witch of the East, her sister threatened “I’ll get you, my pretty,” and soon sent her monkeys aloft to retrieve Dorothy and her...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Maine is a day trip or less from cities and towns north of Philadelphia and east of Buffalo. For thousands and thousands of families who ski, sail, tour or simply dwell through the four seasons, buying or passing along a second home in...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Approximately 21 million young people are getting ready to go or return to American colleges and universities. With this annual migration of our best and brightest come risks that can be avoided and insured. What should you be doing now to ensure a...

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