Written by 8:30 am Blog

The Loop — Fall 2020 by Howard Hanna Insurance

From the President’s Desk
Community Involvement: Donegal Insurance Donates to Free Care Fund
Ray of Sunshine
Francis’ Corner: Essential Lessons from the Playing Field
Ocean Treasures
Fresh Start for Fall
Keep Us in the Loop Too
Customer Care Centers & Extended Service Hours
What is the Client Portal?

From the President’s Desk: Bring the WOW
Annie Hanna Engel

Recently, Howard Hanna held our virtual Fall Summit. Over 8,000 real estate agents, Howard Hanna insurance agents, loan officers, and closing officers joined together for a day of education, engagement, and WOW. We are all looking toward the end of 2020 – but encouraged to looking to 2021 and beyond. While we know this is the MOST unique time for any of us, I hope that we all want to look for the WOW – for the refresh – for the inspiration, relevance, and absolute energy for the seasons ahead.

You might know that I write about my garden, my appreciation of schedules, my shared stress of COVID, and (despite best plans) my lack of studying a new language… but in this Loop, we want to share the energy of Howard Hanna and the WOW of what we all do and CAN do for ourselves and to those around us!

Let’s have an exceptional Fall and truly give thanks.




Annie Engel



Community Involvement: Donegal Insurance Donates to Free Care Fund
by Howard Hanna Insurance Services

Pictured above are Danielle Shearer, Vice President & General Manager of Howard Hanna Insurance Services, and Jared Gorentz, Business Relationship Manager of Donegal Insurance Group. In August, on behalf of Howard Hanna Insurance, Donegal Insurance Group donated $2,000 to the Howard Hanna Children’s Free Care Fund for COVID-19 relief.


Ray of Sunshine
by Jessica Entwistle

Vibrant, confident, and always smiling, Amber is the type of person who literally warms your heart. Hearing her answers only deepens my belief in her positive spirit and ability to brighten the world.

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
A: If I could travel anywhere in the world, it would be Geiranger, a village located in western Norway. Geiranger is one of the most beautiful places to visit. My most favorite is Geirangerfjord. It’s a narrow inlet with steep cliffs and mountains. Fun Fact: I love Mother Nature as well as natural disasters. I know it sounds weird, but I always had a secret goal to be a geologist! Norway is filled with so much history, it’s amazing! Did you know that Norway has about 230-300 unstable mountains that are registered?

Q: If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
A: Ballet Shoes – I danced ballet for seven years and it really helped build the confidence I have today. Dance is very important to me; after ballet, I continued into hip-hop and even choreographed hip-hop in college.

High school yearbook – My senior yearbook to be exact! Everyone has a lifetime of stories from high school and my senior yearbook captured it all; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Outside of dance, I played both volleyball and soccer. I also cheered all four years of high school. I studied difficult subjects like Japanese language class or theory of knowledge. And to top it all off, I was a part of the first graduating class of Obama Academy.

Purse – There is something about the women in my family and our collection of purses. I currently have an extensive purse collection and each one describes a different facet of my personality. No matter where I travel, I have to bring a purse back home.

Howard Hanna Graduation Cap – I still have this! My journey as an agent has been amazing and filled with growth. Being an insurance agent has taught me more about my strengths, and my ability to persevere. I’ve learned to be an educator instead of an agent. Working in the field of insurance, you never stop learning and I now know the sky’s the limit!

Grandparents’ Jewelry – Anything my grandparents give me I cherish so much! My grandparents of course are very special and sacred to me. I have a ring that my grandmother gave me that I have kept hidden away. A funny fact: I never wore the ring or put it on since my grandmother passed it down to me.

Q: What does a perfect day look like to you?
A: A perfect day to me is literally sitting on the beach after the sun sets with my eyes closed, listening to the sound of the ocean. I love the ocean and being able to watch the waves come in. There’s something about water that’s so calming.

2020 could use a bit more Amber.


Francis’ Corner: Essential Lessons from the Playing Field
by Danielle Shearer

Give yourself permission to lose. “Failure is impossible!” proclaimed Susan B. Anthony when lobbying for the vote. It was a nice rallying cry, but she forgot to add that failure is also inevitable. It’s an integral part of any success. So, if you want to succeed, you’ve got to give yourself – and your organization – permission to fail. Failure will still be disappointing, sad, embarrassing, and sometimes devastating. But getting comfortable with failure – even accepting it – is essential if you want to succeed. Compliments of AIMS Society.

By Mariah Burton Nelson – Excerpted from Executive Update.

This past June and July, Francis spent a lot of time on the baseball field.

He had taken a break from baseball in years past but decided to get back in there and try his luck at Little League. The season was an interesting one this year, complete with facemasks and social distancing in the dugout. That did not keep the kids from learning and growing.

After losing the first two games, Francis’ team went on to win all but one of their remaining games, which put them in the playoffs. Francis was thrilled, although very anxious about the possibility of losing.

In fact, the night of the final play-off game, he turned to me and said, “I wish we would just lose so I don’t have to go through this again tomorrow for the championship game.”

I told him that was a terrible thing to say and followed it by, “What would your teammates think if they heard you say that?” I also reminded him all he can do is get out there and try his best.

I wish I could have thought of something more profound in that moment but nothing was coming to me. Well, as luck would have it, his team won that night and made it to the championship game. I prayed for a winning outcome for Francis’ sake but what I should have prayed for was wisdom and grace to understand that sometimes you learn a lot more from losing.

The championship game was upon us. We made it, nerves and all, to the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs for Francis’ team. Little did I know that Francis was about to repeat history—and not in a good way.

About 30 years earlier, Francis’ father had struck out in a championship Little League game to lose the game for his team, and he never forgot that moment.

My husband looked at me and said, “OH NO.”

I said, “Oh no, what?!”

He said, “Francis may make the last out for his team to lose the game, just like I did all those years ago.”

I thought to myself, ‘Why? Why did it have to be Francis?’

I should have been thinking more positively but for some reason I had a gut feeling that this was going to end the same way it did for my husband all those years ago. I was right. A couple foul tips and three strikes later, he was out and the game was over.

Francis, typically shy around his teammates and coaches, was not shy about showing his emotions when he made the last out. Francis threw off his helmet, kicked some dirt, and came close to ripping off his shirt until my husband intervened. I know, it’s not a great attitude to have but quite frankly, with the competitive attitude floating around in Francis’ gene pool, I’m not surprised by his reaction. I also think, if it were me up there, I would feel the same way he did, just awful!

I wanted to trade places with him so badly so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the feeling of disappointment and loss but it was inevitable, he had to accept it and deal with it.

When we got home, the couch cushions took a bit of a beating. I was so upset that I didn’t have any great advice for Francis in the moment, I felt just as disappointed and mad as he did. That is, until we received a video message from one of his teammates later that evening. The message was from 8-year old Carter: Click here to watch the video Carter shared with Francis.

I had Francis watch the video and that was the first time I saw him smile all night. I was so impressed by his teammate’s willingness and thoughtfulness to “pull Francis up” when he was feeling down. It showed a lot of character on his part and really such an incredible spirit for a child who was likely upset himself from losing the game. Carter had accepted failure that night and for that acceptance, he truly succeeded and will go on to do great things in life.

As for Francis, he slowly worked on the acceptance of failure, which in the end taught him so much more than winning. As for my acceptance of Francis’ disappointment, it came to me when my husband said, “You know, losing all those years ago myself was extremely difficult to swallow in the moment, especially knowing I had made the last out, but now I wear it as a badge of honor. Francis will too someday.”


Ocean Treasures
by Katie Zurawka

I’d like to say this year was just like any other, but of course we are talking about the year 2020. Given all of the unknowns and uncertainties this year, I was looking forward to vacation more than usual. Not only did I need a break to reset but like most, I needed something normal. I was so grateful when it finally came time to load up the car and make the 10-hour drive to the place I consider my second home: Sunset Beach, NC.

My family and a large number of close friends claimed this island as our designated vacation spot over 30 years ago. We all gather at the same time each year in our happy place to enjoy the beach and time with one another. Each year holds its own treasures and memories.

We had to make adjustments this year and there were certainly no large gatherings but we made the best of it – and it didn’t disappoint. We were lucky to have a week of beautiful weather, until Friday when our last day at the beach was completely rained out. I decided that wasn’t going to stop me from soaking up every last minute of my last day of vacation. I grabbed my phone hoping to get some last-minute pictures and headed up to walk the beach in the early evening.

I did end up with some awesome photos and was walking back to the beach access when a rush of excitement came over me. The island is a sea turtle sanctuary for loggerhead turtles and the nests are protected by volunteers of the Sunset Beach Sea Turtle Watch. Of all the years we have been vacationing here, I only ever witnessed one nest hatch and that was well over 20 years ago. Much to my surprise, the turtle nest that was right next to the beach access was hatching just as I was heading to exit the beach! Click here to watch the turtles in action!

There are typically so many people around when this happens that you can’t really get the full experience – though it’s an amazing experience even from a distance. Out of the 103 eggs that were in the nest, only about 18 had hatched at that time. The volunteers were so nice and brought around a baby turtle to see up close and personal. The 18 turtles were collected into a bucket and then released down by the water so we could watch them scramble into the ocean. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to a rainy day at the beach and have yet another treasure to add to my Sunset Beach memories.


Fresh Start for Fall
by Katharine Marrs

I think it’s safe to say 2020 has not been what we expected so far. But that doesn’t mean the entire year has to be a missed opportunity. The leaves are starting to change outside, and pumpkin spice is in the air. This could be a chance to reexamine your routine to make sure you’re getting the most out of your day! Here are five things you can do to set yourself up for success.

Skip the snooze. Daylight Saving Time ends November 1st when we “fall back” an hour. If you can fool yourself into getting up at the same time as before the clocks changed, you’ll have a little extra time in the morning. Just be sure you’re still going to bed on time as well to balance your sleep schedule.

Prepare for the day ahead. Each evening, take a few minutes to gather up the things you’ll need for the next day. Heading to the gym? Set out a snazzy exercise outfit and your water bottle so it’s nearby in the morning. Bonus points if you also pre-set your coffee so you just have to press a button for those magic beans.

Break it down into steps. Write a list of things you want to get done for your day, week, or month. Then, figure out what steps are involved in accomplishing those things. Maybe you need to make an appointment. First, grab your calendar so you have it ready. Then, find the number to call. With a definite plan in mind, it’ll be easier to tackle your to-dos.

Clear up the clutter. A messy space can be distracting and overwhelming. Make it a subconscious habit to pick up things that are out of place as you go about your day. Dirty socks from the living room can go with you to the bedroom and into the laundry. Then take a quick look around, any dirty dishes in the bedroom to go back to the kitchen? Or see how fast you can unload the dishwasher while the microwave is heating up your lunch.

Make space for yourself. Do something just for you each day to help you achieve emotional and mental clarity. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to start a gratitude journal or try meditation. Try setting aside 3-5 minutes at the start or end of your day to commit to that practice and make it a habit.


Keep Us in the Loop Too!
by Howard Hanna Insurance Services

We want to know what you’re up to as well! Kids, pets, summer vacations, we love it all!

Drop your photos in a comment on our Facebook post by clicking the image above, and keep an eye out for your content in an upcoming newsletter!


Customer Care Centers & Extended Service Hours
by Howard Hanna Insurance Services

At Howard Hanna Insurance Services, we’re committed to delivering the very best customer experience.

That’s why we are pleased to announce an enhancement to the insurance services provided exclusively for our customers. We’ve teamed up with several of our insurance carriers to provide our clients with extended hours of operation and service when it’s convenient for you. As always, our office remains available should have you have any policy related questions. Here are the following carriers for which we are proud to offer extended hours for your service needs:

Chubb Insurance: 800-777-2131
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8am-8pm EST, Saturday 10am-6pm

Encompass Insurance: 866-882-9513
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8am-11pm EST, Saturday 9am-5pm

Grange Insurance: 855-293-3828
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8am-7pm EST, Saturday 9am-12pm

Hanover Insurance: OH/MI clients: 800-782-8385, all other states: 855-255-4264
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 7am-9:30pm EST, Saturday 9am-5pm

Nationwide Insurance: 800-282-1446
Hours of operation: Monday-Friday 8am-9pm EST, emergency services available on the weekend

Progressive: Auto: 877-776-2436
Hours of operation: 24/7/365

Safeco: 866-472-3326
Hours of operation: 24/7/365

Travelers: 877-872-8737
Hours of operation: 24/7/365

Westfield: personal lines: 844-948-1893, commercial business: 800-236-3884
Hours of operation: Monday-Friday 8am-6pm EST, Saturday 10am-3pm (no Saturdays for commercial). Westfield billing open 8am-8pm Monday-Friday.


What is the Client Portal?

Howard Hanna Insurance Services is pleased to offer our clients exclusive access to our Client Portal. The Client Portal is a personalized web account that provides 24/7 access to your individual policy information. You can access it at home or on the go from your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You can even access it via a special app, InsurLink!

InsurLink gives you full access to your insurance agency with the intuitive user interface and flexibility of a mobile app. Now you can connect to your insurance agency on your terms and your schedule. Visit the app store and download it from there.

What can I use it for?

  • View a summary of your policy information.
  • Request policy changes by sending a direct message to our team.
  • View, download and print current auto ID cards for all vehicles on your policy.
  • Manage users to allow other members of your household access to your Client Portal.
  • Obtain certificates of insurance for commercial policies.
  • Upload documents securely.
  • Contact your Howard Hanna Insurance team!

How can I sign up?
It’s easy! Email us at insurance@howardhanna.com or call us at 412-696-0310 to request an invitation. We’ll send you an email with a link to activate your account.



At Howard Hanna Insurance, we’re committed to protecting what matters most to you. Learn more today: HowardHanna.com/Insurance



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Tags: , Last modified: October 23, 2020