Written by 6:15 am Blog

The Loop — Spring 2021 by Howard Hanna Insurance

From the President’s Desk
Community Involvement: Ronald McDonald House Hot Meal Sponsorship & Welcome Bags
Spotlight Employee: Haley – A Refreshing Addition
Our Favorite Vacation Spots
What’s for Lunch?
Advice From Amber
Testimonials From Our Clients
Francis’ Corner: Field Trip to See Punxsy Phil – The Most Famous Groundhog Seer
Customer Care Centers & Extended Service Hours
What is the Client Portal?

From the President’s Desk
Annie Hanna Engel

Did that delicious gathering board get your attention? It gets mine – many times a day – I even have it as a screen saver on my phone.

Why? Yes, who doesn’t love a table filled with a sumptuous spread – and I never turn down cheese! But that isn’t it – that image is from the last time, in early 2020, when my family and friends really gathered and shared a moment and a meal.

We’ve all found new ways to go about our daily lives and our interactions with those around us, and there are some great silver linings that we all have, too. In fact, when I turned 50 a few days after Christmas, my family planned a Zoom celebration. My silver lining to that was – with holiday travel and prior engagements – 100 family and friends were able to celebrate with me! From Switzerland to California to Brazil, those friends never would have been able to join – and yet we gathered in a new way and celebrated.

I hope you have found your silver lining, that you found new ways to be together, and that you’re looking forward to a bright, abundant gathering board in your future.

Annie Engel

Community Involvement: Ronald McDonald House Hot Meal Sponsorship & Welcome Bags
by Howard Hanna Insurance Services

In February, Howard Hanna Insurance Services provided a donation of $300 to the Ronald McDonald House of Pittsburgh for hot meals to be provided to the families currently staying in the home.

Morgan Knox, the charity’s volunteer and outreach coordinator, said in response to our donation, “Wow! Thank you, Danielle and crew! That will provide so many servings for our guests. We truly appreciate it so much! The funds will go a long way. We are really in need of meals so that will be an amazing donation. The funds will come to me and I can use them when we have a day without a meal.”

In March, Howard Hanna Insurance Services ran a community service project for the benefit of the Ronald McDonald House of Pittsburgh. We were able to donate close to 200 welcome bags, which included anything from toiletry items, to food, to crafts and games!

For more pictures of our community involvement, click here!

And to end our month on a great note, we took the additional money that came in from Insurance team members and donated it online to the Ronald McDonald House. That donation totaled $100 and we asked that it be put towards their greatest need.

Spotlight Employee: Haley – A Refreshing Addition
by Ruth Driskell

Positive, light, and non-confrontational, Haley brings a refreshing aura to the agency every day! We liken her to a glass of ice-cold lemonade on a hot summer day. I admire her for her travels and her drive to be the best person for her son and her community. Although she was surprised by this interview, I enjoyed getting to know my co-worker a little bit more.
Haley is currently the newest member on our Account Management Team. She has worked to expand her insurance knowledge, obtained her property and casualty insurance license, and is currently attending a professional development course. We couldn’t be more proud to have her on the team!

Q: What do you feel most proud of?
A: Probably my independence, if that makes sense. Just knowing that I came from being a young teenage mom who lived with my mom and now I’m off on my own. I have my own place by myself, a car, a job and before with my past relationships I had everything handed to me. I had that all swept out from under me, so I’m just happy for my independence.

Q: What is your favorite music?
A: Country!

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
A: Aruba!!! Blue skies, blue seas, palm trees! My best friend went in 6th grade and I’ve just always wanted to go there ever since.

Q: If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
A: 1) My Child. 2) My Car – so I could travel. 3) My Phone. 4) Some Cash. 5) and My Mom.

Q: What teacher in school made the most impact on you and why?
A: Mr. Hadbavni my history teacher. He was good looking and he made it easier to pay attention. I never liked history before that and now I love history.

Q: What was one of your most defining moments in life?
A: Probably getting this job to be honest. I think it was something I never expected to see myself doing before, but now that I’m here, I’m happy to be here.

Q: Why did you choose that profession?
A: The income was steady and the job was steady.

Q: How do you spend your free time?
A: Pre-COVID I would travel a lot and go fishing. Post-COVID I clean my house a lot.

Q: If you won the lottery, what would you do?
A: Buy a Jet Ski and take that Jet Ski to Aruba.

Q: Whom do you most admire in life?
A: My mother. She is one of those people that has just a happy personality. She makes the best out of every situation.

Q: What are your top three favorite books and why?
A: 1) Old Yeller – cause it was my first book I remember reading. A 1956 children’s novel written by Fred Gipson and illustrated by Carl Burger. The title is taken from the name of the yellow dog who is the center of the book’s story. 2) 19 Minutes – A novel by the American author, Jodi Picoult. This novel follows the unfolding of a school shooting, including the events leading up to the incident and the aftermath of the incident. 3) Kira-Kira – a young adult novel by Cynthia Kadohata. The book’s plot is about a Japanese-American family living in Georgia.

Q: What is your strongest personal quality?
A: An ability to let things go and forgive quickly.

Q: What age do you feel right now and why?
A: I feel 23. I don’t feel 26 (actual age) because 26 is close to 27 which is close to 30.

Q: What is a skill you would like to learn and why?
A: Learn to play an acoustic guitar.

Q: What does a perfect day look like to you?
A: A day of day drinking on a boat – IN ARUBA!

Q: What is the one thing that should be taught in school that is not already?
A: Stock market, your credit score, and financing in general.

Our Favorite Vacation Spots
by Katie Zurawka

Whether it’s catching some fresh mountain air at Yellowstone, listening to the waves at the beach, or traveling abroad to take in the sights and experience the culture, one thing is for sure: our team certainly has their favorites when it comes to vacation destinations. Relax and enjoy as we share our favorite escapes.

Let us know what your favorite vacation spot is here!

What’s for Lunch?
by Katharine Marrs

Are you a weekend meal prepper? Maybe you’re looking to spice up your work-lunch routine. Here’s a quick roundup of five ideas to take your meals to the next level! These recipes have an added advantage – you can whip them up ahead of time for a tasty grab-and-go option that will save you time during the week.

Sweet Potato and Cabbage Hash
Click here to check out this recipe by Whole Heartedly Laura, featuring coconut oil, onion, sweet potato, cabbage leaves, an egg, and a dash of tamari or soy sauce!

Quinoa with Peas
For a delicious side dish that goes with just about anything, check out this All Recipes by XtinaU.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
If you’re looking for a nice chickpea salad, look no further! This recipe on Delish is a quick 25-minute creation that can serve up to six people.

One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies
Efficient, healthy, and easy to make, this recipe by Chelsea’s Messy Apron is a must-try for a hearty lunch!

Crunchy Cold Thai Noodle Salad with The Best Peanut Sauce
What better way to end the week than with a crunchy Thai noodle salad? But be warned, this recipe by The Kitchen Whisperer features a peanut-based sauce.

Advice From Amber
by Amber Patterson

Q: How do I turn a bad day around and get it back on track?
Remember, a bad day is temporary and does not last forever! Take a step back and breathe. Find something positive within the day that can boost your mood. You never know how your attitude can affect others. Happiness is by choice, so wake up fresh and try again!

Q: I feel drowned by social media. How do I find a balance?
Since social media is the new norm, it’s become more tempting and more challenging to keep up with. Sometimes a break can be necessary! Here are a few things we can do to help find a balance:
• Revisit or start a new hobby – You can always pick up where you left off, but learning something new about ourselves that we may be passionate about is a game changer.
• Read a book – What’s your favorite genre or who is your favorite author?
• Start a challenge – See how far you can go without social media. This is something that can also be done with friends and family. Start with three hours a day. Keep track of your screen time to compare. Reward yourself or those with the lowest time.

Q: Why do I get so tongue-tied when talking about my work?
When we’re working, we do not realize how many hats we wear in one day. Work can require us to multitask, forcing our brains into autopilot. Therefore, when it comes to talking about our work, we can get a little tongue-tied. When talking about work, try finding one thing that drives your passion. Focus on the general idea of your work and what you may love about it.

Q: How do I cope with a conflict at work?
We may experience conflict in every stage of life, but the ability to resolve conflict with one another is key. Here are some steps that can help:
• Communicate – Open communication is very important. Expressing how you feel and sticking to the facts can help avoid unnecessary conflict. Be an active listener and focus on the problem at hand!
• Review Options – Review available options and ideas that can benefit everyone.
• Game Plan – Come up with a game plan that can result in a win-win solution.

Q: How can I get motivated to start spring-cleaning?
Spring-cleaning can be overwhelming, but it can also be a fun way of getting ready for new memories. For some of us, spring-cleaning is a breeze; while for others, it can be a ticking time bomb to a disaster! This is where a little self-discipline may come into play. Let’s go over a few tricks that may help motivate you:
• Do one small task a day
• Play your favorite music
• Create a family/friend project
• Commit to one spot for three days
• Reward yourself

Testimonials From Our Clients
by Howard Hanna Insurance Services

Excellent, I would use them again!
Awesome place to do business with and would recommend them to all my friends and family.
—Don, Ann Arbor, MI

Top-notch customer experience!
I can’t say enough about the excellent service we’ve received! Everyone has been super responsive to questions we’ve had over that past year. Recently, after a bad car wreck, Ruth, especially, has done a great job helping us navigate through the steps needed to complete the paper work, and make sure everything is taken care of.
—Stan M., Cleveland, OH

This process went very smoothly! Thank you!
—OnOstrand, Ithaca, NY

Howard Hanna responds promptly, day or night.
Truly ‘one team, one dream’ when you can refer an exceptionally knowledgeable insurance pro to your client. Howard Hanna Insurance is my go-to for all insurance referrals and questions!
—Lauren, Norfolk, VA

Great customer service!
I have been using the Howard Hanna Insurance agents for 5 years now, they are always easy to get ahold of and great to work with. Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend to a friend
—Luke, New Castle, PA

Francis’ Corner: Field Trip to See Punxsy Phil – The Most Famous Groundhog Seer
by Danielle Shearer

Groundhog Day, where does it derive from? Well, if you ask Google, it says:

It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks; but if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.

If I ask Francis what he thinks of traveling to see the famous groundhog, he says, “Ok, do I get to bring an iPad in the car? And how long is the ride?”

It just so happens that after living in Pittsburgh for 40 years, my husband has never ventured to Punxsutawney, PA, which happens to be only about one and a half hours from Pittsburgh. We decided we didn’t want that same fate for our children – knowing how close they were to visiting the first famous groundhog – so we decided to pick a random Saturday and take them to see Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, PA.

We were a bit nervous wondering if visiting would ruin our visions and dreams of what it’s like to be there. We wondered, ‘What if Phil’s stage and home don’t live up to the expectations we had all these years?’ Well, we were in for a treat.

The setting and stage were exactly what we envisioned, randomly set in a nook in the woods. It’s hardly understandable how over 40,000 people fit in this nook back in 1997. We walked a narrow gravel path with fencing on each side to find, settled amongst a forest of trees, Phil’s stage and home—well, at least his home on Groundhog Day.

The kids loved it. They pretended to be the inner circle folk who pull Phil from the tree stump and lift him up for all to see. We had not gotten our Phil souvenirs just yet, so we pretended by using “Bluey,” Iggy’s stuffed animal friend. Meanwhile, my husband relished in my question as to why the sign stated “Weather Capital of the World.” He asked if I was serious. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if I was.

After getting our kicks at Gobbler’s Knob, it was time to head into town, where we were thrilled to go on a scavenger hunt to find thirty or more “Phils” dressed up in different outfits that ranged from Fireman Phil to Postman Phil and even to Phyllis the wife of Phil. It was a ton of fun and great to do with a group of people if you are looking for a little healthy competition. We ended at Phil’s burrow where we saw (from outside a glass window) the actual Phil! He was sleeping, which was what I was ready to do after a long afternoon. Lastly, it was time for souvenirs—who doesn’t love getting souvenirs?! Three stuffed animal Phils (for each kid) and three chocolate Phils later, we were on our way home.

Our lessons for the day:
• Never underestimate the excitement of searching for a groundhog; we met fellow seekers that had come from afar to scavenger hunt for Phil.
• It’s never too late to visit Phil; after all, he’s been around since the 1800s predicting weather.
• Bring snacks for the car ride home! Hunger strikes after running around Punxsutawney all morning and the chocolate Phils disappeared like a shadow thrown by a passing cloud!

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 you have any policy related questions. Here is a list of 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

Donegal Service Center: 800-504-6635
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8am-6pm EST

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: April 20, 2021