Me, my dad and John Lennon

He would be 72 years old today. How wonderful it would have been to have him over the course of the last 30 years to share his thoughts, his art (although I don’t love his art) and music. Could you imagine how many followers this guy would have had on twitter!! Their is NO ONE like him in today’s world. I’m not sure there were many people like him back in the 60’s and 70’s!

But this post is not so much about John Lennon.

It’s about me and my father forming a bond that I never imagined would be there just by listening to music. When I was growing up, there was no Kidz Bop. The only thing to be heard in my father’s car was Oldies 98 and Sports Radio. Of course if you ask Reece, he’ll tell you the only thing you hear in my car is much of the same. Like father like son I guess.

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Like many other Philly Western suburban families we took a vacation each year to the Jersey shore. We would leave at 5 in the morning to beat the Saturday shore traffic. We also took 2 or 3 trips to Florida, always drove. My two brothers usually fell asleep, Kevin would be asleep before we would be off our street! Chris would stay awake more often but he had a walkman and was able to tune us out. My mom was never one to stay awake.

Me on the other hand would be wide awake, excited with anticipation for the events of the coming week. My dad would often put on a Beatles tape. We would listen to each song together and he would ask, everytime, “Who is singing?” He would explain Paul has the pretty voice and John has the raspy voice. If it wasn’t pretty or raspy than it was either George or Ringo. RIngo’s voice is just odd and very easy to detect. If it didn’t meet any of those characteristics than it was George. John was by far our favorite. Paul was and still is my dad’s least favorite. I have come around on Paul but by no means do I enjoy his voice anywhere near as much as I do John’s.

I recall so many trips on the AC Expressway listening to Sgt. Peppers, Abbey Road, The White Album, all of them over and over again. I remember heading South on 95 for hours, but what seemed like just a few minutes, listening to Rubber Soul, The Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be. Over the course of a few years I eventually could detect who was singing after just a few words. Each year I would look forward to spending those few hours with my dad and the music.

Those family trips have been over for years but the memories will never be forgotten. Now; Clarissa, Reece, Tatum and I have our own family trips. Things are a little different, it’s rare to hear The Beatles and more common to hear Kidz Bop and things of that nature. But that doesn’t mean the opportunity isn’t there for us to bond. Within the last hour we booked “another” trip to the Orlando area. This is Tatum’s 4th time…she’s 2 years old. I’m already looking forward to spending time alone with my family listening to music as we travel up and down the East coast.

This Saturday Clarissa and I will celebrate our 5th Anniversary. We made it 5 years depsite her being a Paul fan! Six years ago this coming Thanksgiving, I wept my way through asking my father to be my Best Man. It was the second easiest decision I ever had to make, second only to asking Clarissa to be my wife. It’s not always smooth, he’s my father as well as my boss, we have our disagreements from time to time. But overall my father and I are very respectful, caring and interested in and towards one another. And there is no question in my mind that the time we spent together listening and talking about the music of The Beatles shaped one of the most important relationships of my life. Happy Birthday John Lennon and thank you.

Keith Laskey

“Before you go to sleep, Say a little prayer. Every day in every way, It’s getting better and better.”

-John Lennon- Beautiful Boy

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How much does Auto Insurance Cost?

I can’t tell you that.

No one can.

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I’m not looking forward to when she starts driving!

The truth is it is impossible to tell you how much auto insurance cost without knowing at least the following pieces of information.

1. How many accidents/violations have you had in the last 5 years? Some people do and some do not know this answer.

2. What is your credit score? Most do not know the answer to this.

3. What vehicle(s) are you driving? Comp/Collision? Tort option?

4. What is your date of birth?

5. Are you married, do you own a home? Do you have any policies with one of the carriers that we represent?

These are just a few things that are needed just to give you a ballpark figure. So, as you can see, it is impossible for an agent to give you a quote without knowing everything mentioned above. The best agents will ask for much more information than this.

You should always get more than 1 quote when shopping for an auto or homeowners insurance policy. The reason for this is because all carriers have a different business model. Sure, some are very similar, but all are different. Some carriers want to write business in the inner cities, some want to write in the burbs and some in the boonies. This is the beauty of the independent agent, we can look at many different carriers. However, even if you get a great rate from an Independent agent, you may still want to get a quote from another carrier like State Farm or Allstate.

It’s free!!!! Why not.

Remember…the best price does not always mean the best policy or carrier.

So before you buy, consider claim service, customer service and above all, make sure you have enough coverage.

But that is a different post for a different day.

Have you ever shopped around for auto insurance?

Keith Laskey

RBA/The Laskey Group

484-524-5931 (C)

@keith_LaskeyGrp

How to Purchase a Homeowners Insurance Policy

So you’re buying a new house!  Congratulations!!

There are very few things as exciting as purchasing a new home.  I remember when I bought my first home.  Settlement was at 9 AM.  The housing market crumbled by noon.  I think if I would have purchased the same home 2 days later I would have saved about $20 grand!!  But that wont happen to you because things are back on the rise and you are buying at a GREAT time.

First thing you want to do once your offer has been accepted by the seller is call your insurance agent.  Do not attempt to purchase a homeowners policy without an insurance agent.  You will pay more and you may not have all of the coverages you need.  I recommend an independent insurance agent simply because they have more carriers to look at.

Make sure you have as much information as possible on the house.  Year built, style of home, square footage, is the basement finished, fireplace, how many bathrooms, decks, porches, garage, etc.  You should have a seller’s sheet with all the necessary information needed to give to your agent.  Your agent will then plug that info into a computer program called a cost estimator.  This is used to come up with the replacement cost of the house.  The replacement cost of the house may or may not be the same as the sell price.  The replacement cost of the home is the amount needed to rebuild the house in the event of a total loss.  Your agent will most likely need to do an exterior inspection of the house to make sure all of the information is accurate.  At this inspection, the agent is also looking to make sure there are no issues that underwriting would have if the insurance company were to inspect the property.  Common issues that underwriters have with new homeowners policies include missing handrails on steps, trees leaning on a house, poor upkeep of the house, as well as missing shigles and prior damage.  I would even recommend that you ask the agent to do an inspection as this could save major headaches down the road.

Your agent should make sure you have the correct coverages.  However, you should make sure you have a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy and NOT an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy.  Make sure your liability limits are at least $300K for personal liability and $1,000 for medical payments to others.  I highly recommend an endorsment for Water Backup and Sump Discharge or Overflow.  This is an endorsement that must be added onto the policy.   If you have a finished basement, get at least $10K worth of coverage.  The first $5,000 will be spent just drying out the basement.  If you have expensive jewelry or computers or any other expensive items that you would replace if lost stolen or broken, I would advise putting them on a Personal Articles Floater.  This will provide coverage for the items with a much lower deductible or no deductible at all.  Otherwise you will be subject to the much higher deductible that is on your homeowners policy.  I would also consider adding an endorsement for additional replacement cost coverage on the dwelling.  25% is adequate.  This will protect you in the event that the cost of building materials skyrocket.

If you are a first time home owner, I would recommend a deductible of $500 or $1,000.

Your agent will look at all of the available carriers that they represent to determine what is the best fit for you.  The company they recommend may or may not be the same company that has your auto insurance.  In fact, you may find it is best to re-write the auto insurance depending on the new discounts that are available to you.  Put your agent to work for you, that’s why we are here.  If your agent does not make your account a priority then you should find a new agent.

Good luck with your new home!!

Keith Laskey

Ron Black Agency/The Laskey Group

KRLASKEY@RONBLACKAGENCY.COM