Bensman Risk Management, Inc.


Insurable Interests

Bensman Risk Management, Inc.
2333 Waukegan Road Suite 275
Bannockburn, IL 60015
847-572-0800 Phone
847-572-0502 Fax

Insurable Interests may offer general financial, insurance, tax and business ideas. However, due to the ever-changing tax laws as well as the complexity of the financial industry, you should seek professional advice before implementing any of the ideas contained in this newsletter. The Bensman Group, Bensman Associates Ltd., Bensman Risk Management, Inc. or Schemata, L.L.C. assumes no liability whatsoever in connection with the use of this newsletter.

Insurable Interests was created by The Bensman Group and Osmosis Digital Marketing. Neither The Bensman Group nor Kestra IS nor Kestra AS are affiliated with Osmosis Digital Marketing.

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Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS). Kestra IS and Kestra AS are not affiliated with The Bensman Group, Bensman Associates Ltd., Bensman Risk Management, Inc. or Schemata, L.L.C.

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Archive



VOL. 15, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2020
Insurance Issues for Students Heading Off to School
There are lots of things to think about as you send your child off to boarding school or college. We can help you with one: insurance.

If your child is going to school more than 100 miles away and not taking a car, you probably can get a credit on your car insurance premium. If your student is taking a car, let us know so we can update your coverage information.

If your child is in high school or an undergrad, his or her property probably is covered under your homeowner's policy. You also might be able to get an extension on your liability coverage for your student in the dorm. However, undergrad or graduate students who move off-campus should buy their own renter's insurance. And if you buy a condo or house for your student to live in while in college, and keep it in your name, you need homeowner's insurance for that.

In general, give us a call well before your child goes away to school. We can help you find the best way to keep your student protected -- and to ease your mind. We are always happy to help with this or any of your risk management and wealth management needs. Contact us at 847.572.0828 or rweinstein@bensman.com.
READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2020
Consider Insurance Issues When Buying or Remodeling a Home
If you are shopping for a new home or considering a remodeling project, we can help you ensure that you have the right coverage. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2020
Understanding Effective Sunscreen Use
Using the right sunscreen correctly is key to getting the protection you need. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2020
Gap Year During a Pandemic
The crisis caused by the coronavirus has complicated decisions about a gap year. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2020
When To File Your 2019 Income Taxes
You have until July 15 to file your federal taxes. Should you wait that long? READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2020
Spring Cleanup for Your Home
Taking care of your home can save you money as well as improve its appearance. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2020
Ways to Bolster Your Immune System
A strong immune system is important, especially now. Here is how you can make yours stronger. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2020
Call Us If You Have Damage to Your Roof
Don't file a claim for roof damage without talking to us first. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2020
You Might Get a Break on Your Car Insurance During Pandemic
Most people are not driving as much as usual, if at all, these days. And many insurance carriers have responded by providing rebates or credits to recognize that the miles people are driving are significantly reduced -- and as a result, auto claims are lower.

You might have received a communication from your carrier. But if you have not, or if you have any questions about what might be available from your carrier in your situation, feel free to give us a call. Options vary by carrier, and sometimes by state. But we are happy to help you determine what might be applicable to you.

Also, if you put your summer car in storage last fall and are taking it out now, be sure to give us a call first so that we can make sure your coverage is in place before you hit the road.

We are always happy to talk to you about any questions you might have regarding your wealth management or risk management needs during these extremely trying times. We are working remotely, but that does not keep us from being available to serve our customers. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or rweinstein@bensman.com .
READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2020
Options for an Island Retirement
Do you ever think of spending retirement on a beautiful island? Here are some possibilities. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2020
COVID-19 Calls Attention to Cyber Dangers
As health concerns force more people online, it's time to take a look at handling your cyber risk. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2020
Plumbing Inspection Checklist for Spring
Water damage is one of the common causes of property insurance claims, but taking the time to check out your plumbing might help you avoid disaster. Look for potential leaks throughout your system. For example:
  • Check your hot water heater to make sure that neither the tank nor the connections are leaking or showing signs of wear.

  • Do a visual inspection of the water lines in your home and look for evidence of leaks.

  • Check any outside spigots for leaks or drips.

  • Consider putting moisture alarms in your basement, near floor drains and the hot water heater, to alert you early if there is water coming in.

  • If you have a sump pump, make sure it works and that you have a backup in place.
At The Bensman Group, we are always available to talk to you about any of your risk management and wealth management needs. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or rweinstein@bensman.com .
READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2020
Help With Handling Stress
This is a good time to think of ways to reduce stress. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2020
Advice About Working From Home
Many people are working from home for the first time because of COVID-19. Here are some helpful tips. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2020
Redecorating On A Budget
You are spending more time in your house, so why not consider how you might like to change it -- without spending a fortune. READ MORE...


VOL. 2, ISSUE 2   •   MARCH, 2020
Bensman Offices Closed, But Services Still Available
Although our offices are closed, we remain ready to serve you. READ MORE...


VOL. 1, ISSUE 1   •   MARCH, 2020
Bensman's Response to the Coronavirus
An update on how The Bensman Group will continue to serve our clients during the coronavirus. READ MORE...


VOL. 15, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2020
Watch Out for Tax-Season Scams
Tax season means a new crop of tax scams that try to get consumers to give up personal information or send money to the scammers. According to the IRS, these are some of the more common scams:
  • You get an email claiming to be from the IRS giving information on your tax filing, refund or other tax issue. It provides a "temporary password" you can use to access the information. But if you try, it downloads malware onto your computer.

  • You get a call that has an IRS number in your caller ID. The caller says that you owe money and that if you don't pay it, you will face huge penalties or jail. But you can pay it right then, using a credit or debit card.

  • You get a letter that seems to be from the IRS saying you owe taxes and threatening a lien or other penalty unless you pay immediately.

    In order to avoid being the victim of these or other scams, it is important to remember that the IRS very rarely contacts a taxpayer by phone or email. Virtually all first contacts by the IRS are made through the mail. Ignore phone calls or emails that claim to be from the IRS. Hang up the phone or delete the email without opening.

    The IRS does send letters, but legitimate IRS letters come in an envelope with the IRS seal. They also always include information about your rights as a taxpayer. Finally, the IRS never demands payment without giving you a chance to respond to the claim that you owe money. If you think you have received a scam communication, go to www.irs.gov for information on how to report it. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 15, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2020
    Best Cities to Visit in 2020
    This year is a great time to visit these 10 cities around the world. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2020
    Protect Yourself Against Loss in Spring Storms
    Spring storms will be here soon, and this is what you need to know to mitigate any losses. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2020
    Getting the Most From Your Warehouse Club Membership
    Shopping at a warehouse club can be intimidating. But it can save you money, if you do it right. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2020
    Top 10 Places to Retire in the U.S.
    These cities offer a lot of attractions as places to spend your golden years. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2020
    Protect Yourself From Coronavirus
    The coronavirus has been spreading from China to other countries. There have been at least a dozen confirmed cases in the U.S., including at least two in the Chicago area. Although less serious strains of the virus can be present in people with mild respiratory illnesses, this recent strain can be deadly, especially to people with weak immune systems.

    What should you do to stay safe? Experts say you should avoid travel to China, especially the city of Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the disease. Other than that, though, the precautions are very similar to precautions to avoid catching most communicable diseases, from flu to the common cold:

    • Avoid contact with people showing signs of respiratory illness, such as fever, coughing, trouble breathing, etc.
    • Wash your hands often with hot water and antibacterial soap. You should scrub your hands for as long as it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.
    • Don't touch your nose or eyes, because germs can enter through those openings.
    • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
    • Drink plenty of water.
    • If you feel sick, see a doctor right away.
    At The Bensman Group, we are always happy to help you protect the people and things that are most important to you. Contact us at 847-572-0828 or at rweinstein@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2020
    Tired of Winter? Check Out These Sunny Destinations
    Longing for a warm-weather vacation? Here are some places to consider. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2020
    When to Buy Expensive Items
    In shopping, as in life, timing is everything. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2020
    New Law Could Affect Retirement and Estate Plans
    A law that took effect Jan. 1 could have an impact on retirement saving and estate planning. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2020
    If You Get Engaged on Valentine's Day, Here's How to Save on the Wedding
    Experts offer suggestions for a more affordable wedding. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2020
    Someone You Should Know: Rosemarie Weinstein
    Rosemarie Weinstein is The Bensman Group's new Managing Director/Individual Property and Casualty. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2020
    Tips for Organizing Papers
    Organizing your personal papers is a good task for the new year. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2020
    Joint vs. Separate Accounts
    Both joint and separate accounts have pros and cons. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2020
    Be Prepared -- There is Still Plenty of Winter Ahead
    The start of the winter was relatively mild. But that is changing. It's time to remember your winter preparedness plan -- or to make one. It should include:

    Your furnace and fireplace should be inspected by a professional. Change your furnace filters regularly, so that your furnace runs more efficiently.

    If you take medication regularly, make sure you always have enough for at least three or four days.

    Keep your car's gas tank filled. Also have fuel for your snowblower, generator, etc.

    Keep your cell phone charged. And in case you lose power, have flashlights and a battery-operated radio on hand -- with extra batteries.

    Check on elderly relatives, friends and neighbors if the weather gets bad.

    Don't take chances driving. If at all possible, wait until the roads are cleared.

    Being prepared can keep you safe and comfortable when the weather turns nasty. It might even save your life. At The Bensman Group, we can help you prepare for whatever happens in your life. We are happy to talk to you about your insurance and risk management needs. Contact us at 847-572-0828 or at rweinstein@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2020
    Beating the Post-Holiday Blues
    The holidays are over. Now, here is how to avoid the letdown. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2019
    Protect Your Car From Winter
    Don't let ice and snow destroy your car this winter. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2019
    Avoid Holiday Scammers
    Scammers can put a damper on your holidays. Here are some scams to watch out for this time of year. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2019
    Staying Well in Winter
    Take these steps to stay healthy during cold and flu season. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2019
    Brightening the Season for Those in Need
    The holidays are a joyous time of year, filled with family and friends. But they are also a time for reaching out to those who might be struggling, now or at any time throughout the year. That's why at The Bensman Group, we volunteer as a company at the holidays to serve those in need.

    For the last several years, we have visited the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) in Park City, Ill., where we have helped to inspect, sort and pack food for the hungry. NIFB feeds more than half a million people -- including children, families and seniors -- in 13 counties in northern Illinois.

    This year, the Bensman team packed 1,080 pounds of food, helping to provide 900 meals to our hungry neighbors. It is our way of honoring the real meaning of this very special season.

    We also take this opportunity to wish all of you a joyful time with those you love, and happiness and health in the coming new year.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2019
    Year-End Tax Move Decisions
    It's time to think about investment moves you might want to make before the end of the tax year. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2019
    Use Caution to Avoid Holiday Fires
    The holidays are a time for feasting, fellowship, celebration -- and house fires. According to the American Red Cross, there are nearly 47,000 fires during the winter holidays, resulting in more than 500 deaths, 2,200 injuries and $554 million in property damage. To keep your family safe this season:

    • Check all holiday lights before you plug them in; if you aren't sure about a string of lights, don't use it. And always unplug indoor and outdoor lights when you are gone or in bed.

    • If you have a real tree, make sure it is fresh and keep it watered. Don't place it close to a heat vent or fireplace, and unplug the lights when you leave the house or go to bed.

    • Never leave candles -- from scented candles to tapers on your table -- unattended, and don't put them near curtains or other flammable materials.

    • Keep anything flammable -- like towels, oven mitts, clothing, etc. -- away from the stove. Be very careful taking anything hot off the stove or out of the oven. Avoid splashing hot liquids.

    • Make sure your fireplace and chimney are cleaned and ready before you start a fire. Don't leave or go to bed until you are sure the fire is out. And don't burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.

    • If you want to deep fry your turkey, set up the fryer far away from your house or garage, keep kids and pets away, and never leave it unattended.

    At The Bensman Group, we are always happy to discuss ways you can manage your risk. Contact us at 847-572-0808 or jfeiger@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2019
    Save Your Money -- and Your Sanity -- On Air Travel
    It is possible to save money -- and reduce stress -- when you fly. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2019
    Spending Less at the Grocery Store
    If you are like most people, you spend a lot of money on groceries. Here are some ways to spend less. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2019
    Tips for Sleeping Well
    Everyone has trouble falling asleep from time to time. These ideas can help you ease your way into slumber. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2019
    Long-Term Care Insurance Protects You and Your Loved Ones
    November is Long-Term Care Insurance Month, so let's look at this important coverage option. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2019
    Ways to Get Kids Up and Moving
    How can you get your kids or grandkids away from their screens and moving? READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2019
    Tips for Being a Smarter Shopper
    Shopping can be fun, but overspending can be hard on the budget. These suggestions can help you shop smarter. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2019
    Prepare for Winter Before It Arrives
    Remember last year's polar vortex? Well the Farmers' Almanac is predicting Round Two this winter. And the time to get ready for potential frigid temperatures and heavy snow is now. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2019
    Avoid Holiday Overspending
    Have a plan to limit spending -- and stress -- at the holidays READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2019
    Avoid Liability Risk at Halloween
    In most places, homeowners who leave their porch light on are considered to be welcoming trick-or-treaters -- and opening themselves to liability risk. To protect yourself, take these steps:
    • Keep your steps and walkways clear of tripping hazards.

    • Don't light jack-o-lanterns with candles.

    • If you have a dog, keep the dog confined until trick-or-treating is over. Even the friendliest dog can freak out at the sight of a tiny goblin.

    • If you are hosting a party at which alcohol is served, provide plenty of food and keep an eye on your guests. Arrange for a ride for anyone who appears to have been overserved. You should never let anyone drive away from any gathering at your home if the person is impaired.

    • If your older children are hosting a party, keep an eye on what is going on. If someone at the party is drinking and causes damage or injury after leaving, you could be liable, even if you did not give permission for or know about the drinking.

      Finally, it might be a good idea to review your liability coverages as we head into the holiday season. We would be happy to talk with you about this or any other insurance or risk management need. Contact us at 847-572-0808 or jfeiger@bensman.com. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2019
    Life Insurance Settlement Can Offer Options If You No Longer Need or Want Your Life Policy
    You might be able to sell a life insurance policy you no longer need. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2019
    What Does Medicine Expiration Date Really Mean?
    When your medication is expired, can you still take it? READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2019
    What You Should -- and Should Not -- Buy Used
    Everyone loves a bargain, and buying things second-hand can save you a lot of money. But there are some things you should never buy used. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2019
    Fall Destinations at Bargain Prices
    Fall is a great season for travel bargains. Here are eight international destinations to consider. READ MORE...


    VOL. 15, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2019
    Beware of Genetic Testing Medicare Scam
    Medicare has issued a warning about a scam involving genetic testing. Scammers tell you that Medicare will pay for genetic testing, and ask for your Medicare number and other information in order to conduct or order the tests for you. They are contacting people through telemarketing, wellness fairs and door-to-door solicitations.

    However, Medicare does not pay for genetic testing that has not been ordered by your doctor as medically necessary. If you accept this "free" offer, you could end up paying thousands of dollars because Medicare rejects the claim. In addition, the scammers will have your personal information, which they can use for a variety of fraudulent purposes. So if you are offered a "free" test, refuse. If a test kit you did not request is delivered to you, don't accept delivery or return it to sender.

    In general, it is important to be alert to the possibility of fraud. Things that seem too good to be true often are. And never give out personal information, including your Medicare number, unless you are certain the person to whom you are giving it is legitimate. For more information or to report suspected fraud, call 1-800-MEDICARE.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2019
    Fastest-Growing Jobs That Pay More Than $100,000
    These high-paying jobs also are in high demand. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2019
    New Coverages Protect Individuals Against Loss from Data Breaches
    Carriers are introducing policies that can help you recover if your computer or online information is compromised. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2019
    Is an All-Inclusive Resort Right for You?
    All-inclusive resorts have many detractors. But depending on where you are going and what you want to do, they can be a good choice. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2019
    How to Help If Your Child Doesn't Make the Team
    What can you do if your child does not make a sports team or is cut? READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2019
    Call Before You Buy a Boat or Summer Home
    As summer draws to a close, we hope yours has been wonderful. Maybe it has been so great that you are considering buying a boat or other watercraft, or even a lake house or a cabin in the woods so that you can experience that kind of enjoyment and excitement every summer.

    If so, that's wonderful! But before you take the plunge, give us a call so that we can talk about your insurance options for covering your summertime fun, and how best to protect your investment going forward. That way, you will not be in for any unpleasant surprises. And you will be all set when the season rolls around again!

    We are always happy to talk to you about any of your insurance or wealth management needs. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2019
    How to Make and Stick to a Wedding Budget
    These steps can help you make a wedding budget you can follow. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2019
    Kids and Water Safety
    Warm weather is often synonymous with water play. But be sure to keep kids safe when they are on or near the water. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2019
    Insurance Answers for Your Child Going Away to School
    If your child is going to college or boarding school next month, give us a call now to discuss your student's insurance coverage options.

    First, if your student's school is more than 100 miles away and the student does not take a car, you probably can get a credit on your car insurance premium. If your student does take a car, let us know so that we can update your records.

    You probably don't need to buy dorm insurance to cover your student's personal property; most homeowner's policies cover a student in a dorm. But you might want to consider extending first-dollar coverage, especially for items such as tablets and laptops. You also might want to get a liability extension on your homeowner's and personal umbrella policy.

    If your student lives in a rental property, it is possible that your coverage can be extended to the unit, although we need to let your insurer know the property address. It also is possible you might need a separate policy for a rental unit. And if you decide to buy a condo or house for your student to live in, you need separate property and liability coverage for that location.

    Finally, once your student graduates and is self-supporting, he or she is no longer covered under your homeowner's policy. If your student is not self-supporting -- for example, is going on to medical or law school and you are paying for it -- different carriers have different rules for extending coverage to adult children.

    We are happy to work with you to make sure there are no insurance surprises when your student goes to college or boarding school. Just contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2019
    The Changing Face of Retirement
    These days, retirement looks a lot different than it used to. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2019
    Call Us Before You File an Insurance Claim
    If you are thinking about filing a claim on your property or liability insurance policy, give us a call first. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2019
    Staying Safe During Stormy Weather
    It's storm season in much of the country. Here is how to keep you and your family safe. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2019
    Fast Facts About Sunscreen
    Summer means more people head outside -- and need protection from the sun. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2019
    Saving Money at Disney World
    You don't have to break the bank to go to Disney World. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2019
    Affordable Retirement Options Abroad
    If you have thought about retiring overseas, here are some places to consider. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2019
    Insure Jewelry As Soon As You Buy It
    June is the traditional month for weddings, which makes it a good time to remind anyone who is buying an engagement or wedding ring -- or any other kind of expensive jewelry -- to make sure the jewelry is insured before you leave the store.

    Insurance protects your investment if you lose the jewelry or it is stolen, even before you give it to the recipient. You might recall a story last year about a man who was proposing to his girlfriend in New York City and dropped the ring down a sewer grate. The story had a happy ending: The police found the ring and returned it. But if the ring had been uninsured and lost, the ending would have been much less happy.

    Give us a call when you are planning to buy an expensive piece of jewelry, and we can let you know what your coverage options are. Let us know when you go to the jeweler to pick up the piece, and we can get the coverage in place while you are still inside the store. Then all you have to worry about is how to present it. At The Bensman Group, we are always happy to talk to you about your risk management or wealth management needs. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.

    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2019
    Things That Hurt Your Home Value
    These common mistakes can result in problems when you sell your home. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2019
    Be Prepared with List of Cleanup Services
    What do you do if you open your basement door during a heavy rain and find a foot of water in your basement? If you are like most people, you probably aren't sure what to do. We can help.

    When you experience flooding or other weather-related disasters, quicker cleanup means less damage. And if you have a lot of damage, you probably don't have the equipment or expertise to handle the cleanup yourself. Also, if you have a flooded basement, the chances are that your neighbors do, too -- which means cleanup services are going to be in high demand, so you want to get your name at the top of the list.

    At The Bensman Group, we maintain a list of reliable cleanup services, and we are happy to share that list with our clients. We suggest that you contact us before disaster strikes, and that you put the information into your phone or somewhere else you can find easily so that you can call as soon as you discover the damage.

    Please let us know if you would like a copy of our list of service providers. We also are always happy to talk to you about any risk management or wealth management question. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2019
    Driving for a Rideshare
    Know what you are getting into before you sign up as a rideshare driver. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2019
    May is the Month to Consider Your Disability Insurance Needs
    Take time to think about what would happen if you could not work. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2019
    Protect Yourself from Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac
    When you are outside, be on the lookout for these plants. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2019
    Coping With Spring Allergies
    Most people are glad to see winter go, but people with spring allergies might have mixed feelings. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2019
    Start Your Own Vegetable Garden
    A vegetable garden can be cost-effective, fun and delicious. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2019
    Hotel or Vacation Rental?
    If you are planning a trip, you have many options for lodging. Which should you choose? READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2019
    Someone You Should Know: Kelly Wagner
    Kelly Wagner helps clients make life insurance work for them. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2019
    Call Before You Take Summer Car Out of Storage
    There was a time when it seemed that spring would never get here, but it came. And that might mean that it is time to get your convertible or sportscar out of winter storage and hit the road.

    Before you do, though, remember to give us a call so that we can let your insurer know that your car is back is use. That way you can be confident that your coverage is in effect while you enjoy some warm-weather motoring.

    We are happy to talk to you about this or any of your risk management or wealth management needs. Contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2019
    It's Time to Prepare for Spring Storms
    Now is the time to make sure you are ready for spring weather. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2019
    Tips for Air Travelers
    Frequent fliers know how to make airplane travel easier and more pleasant. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2019
    Don't Advertise Spring Break Trip on Social Media
    Getting out of the cold and onto a beach or somewhere else warm is a great way to spend spring break. But if you go, make sure you or other family members don't talk about it on social media until you get back.

    Some people looking for houses to rob start by scouring posts on Facebook or other social media about upcoming trips. A post that says "Only three days until we are off for a week in the Caymans!" can be seen by some people as an invitation to an open house. Similarly, don't post photos or messages while you are gone. Remind your family -- and yourself -- to avoid sharing about your great trip until you have returned.

    You also should stop your mail and newspaper or have a trusted friend or neighbor pick them up. Make sure your sidewalks and driveways are shoveled if it snows. Close your blinds and set your lights to come on at night and go off in the morning. Then, relax and enjoy your trip.

    At The Bensman Group, we are always available to talk with you about any of your risk or wealth management needs. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2019
    Good Deals That Really Aren't
    A good deal may not be as good as it looks. These things that start out cheap can end up expensive. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2019
    Understanding Medicare Supplement Insurance
    What is Medicare supplement insurance, and do you need it? READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2019
    Save More for Retirement with the Right Company Programs and Savings Individuals Can Control
    There are ways you can maximize your retirement savings while possibly reducing your tax payment. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2019
    How to Stay Healthy on a Cruise
    Getting sick can spoil your cruise -- or worse. Take steps to stay healthy aboard ship. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2019
    Be Aware of Tax Scams
    It's tax season, and that brings scammers who pretend to be from the IRS and who try to get financial information or money from taxpayers. The scam can take several shapes. For example, some scammers call and say that you owe the IRS back taxes and you could go to jail if you don't give them your bank account information or some other payment. Or they might email and say that if you want your refund immediately, all you have to do is open up an attachment and provide your banking information. The attachment often is malware, and the information could give the scammers access to your bank accounts.

    The IRS does not contact taxpayers initially by phone, email or text message, so if you receive an initial contact in any of these ways, you know it is a fraud. Most first contacts from the IRS are in the form of a letter delivered to your mailbox. If the concern is that you have underpaid your taxes, the letter will explain the IRS position and give you the opportunity to respond.

    At The Bensman Group, we want to help you avoid scams like these. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about this or about any wealth management or risk management need. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2019
    Expenses That Are Worth It
    Saving money is good. But experts say that there are some things worth spending money on. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2019
    Online-Only Banks
    What are the pros and cons of online-only banking? READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 1   •   JANUARY, 2019
    Precautions for the Cold Snap
    The weather forecast for the next few days calls for potentially record-shattering cold. We at the Bensman Group are concerned about your well-being, so we have compiled a list of things to be aware of during the winter blast. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2019
    Taking a Winter Vacation? Take Care
    Are you heading for the beach or the slopes? Before you go, take these steps to keep your home safe while you are away.
    • Stop your mail and newspaper or ask a trusted neighbor to pick them up while you are gone. If there is a chance you might get a package delivered, ask someone to watch for that and hold it for you until you return.
    • Arrange to keep your walk and driveway shoveled. If you have curbside garbage pickup, ask someone to take your can to the curb on garbage day and then put it back.
    • Keep your ground-floor, street-facing curtains closed, and make sure your outside lights come on at dusk and go off at dawn. Put inside lights on timers. You can set the timers so that different lights turn on and off at different times.
    • Lock the door leading from your garage to your house so that if someone steals your car with a garage door opener in it, the thief can't get in the house. Also, lock all outside doors and windows, even on upper floors.
    • Make sure a friend or relative knows where you are and how to reach you.
    • Depending on where you live, you can alert the police and fire department of your absence so they can keep a special eye on your house.
    • Stay off social media at least until you return. You don't want to spread the word that you are not home.

    At The Bensman Group, we work hard to help keep you protected. To talk about any risk management need, contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2019
    How to Fight Jet Lag
    Jet lag is inevitable with a long flight. But there are things you can do to ease the effect. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2019
    Get Your Financial House in Order in the New Year
    Remember your financial fitness as you start the new year. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2019
    Most Budget-Friendly Destinations
    Here are 14 places you can go without breaking the bank. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2019
    How to Sell Your Home in Winter
    Yes you can sell your house in winter -- and sometimes for a higher price. Here are some ways to attract cold-weather home shoppers. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2018
    Not Shoveling Snow Can Land You in Trouble
    Removing snow from your driveway and sidewalk can be a pain in the neck-- and the back. Of course, it is the neighborly thing to do. And if you don't do it, you could be setting yourself up for a liability issue.

    Many jurisdictions have ordinances that require property owners to clear public walkways of snow and ice within a proscribed period of time. If you don't, you can be ticketed and fined. And you also can be sued if someone slips and is injured on your unshoveled sidewalk.

    Being out of town usually is no excuse for not removing snow and ice. Plus, it is an announcement to would-be burglars that there is no one home, making your house an attractive target for a break-in. If you are going to be gone during snow season, you should arrange with a neighbor or a snow removal company to keep your sidewalks and driveway clear.

    If you remove the snow yourself, be careful. Don't overdo. Take it slow, and take plenty of breaks.

    At The Bensman Group, we want to help keep you protected. If you would like to talk about an insurance, wealth management or risk management issue, contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2018
    Winter Driving Tips
    Snow and ice can make driving hazardous. Here are some ways to play it safe. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2018
    Saving Money With Leftovers
    Using leftovers can help your budget, if you do it properly. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2018
    Tips on Tipping
    Confused about when and how much to tip? You are not alone. Here are some guidelines. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2018
    Volunteering Can Help Make the Season Bright
    Don't forget about the gift of time this season -- and year-round. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2018
    Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season
    Thanksgiving is the official start to the holidays, and we at The Bensman Group would like to extend our wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy season. We hope you spend it enjoying time with the people you love and the traditions you cherish.

    We also encourage you to take care of yourself. The holidays are usually extremely busy, but try to take the time to slow down and appreciate what is really important. Happy Holidays!
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2018
    Budgeting for the Holidays
    The holidays can bust your budget, unless you take steps to stay on track. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2018
    Avoiding Identity Theft
    These steps can help protect you against identity theft. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2018
    Recent Market Volatility Prompts a Look at the Bigger Picture
    Market movement in October left some investors unsettled. It is important to look at some of the fundamentals. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2018
    Be Ready for Flu Season
    Flu season is here, so know how to protect yourself and your family. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2018
    Avoid Liability for Halloween Accidents
    Ghouls and goblins aren't the only scary things about Halloween. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2018
    Call When You Put Your Summer Car in Storage
    The days are getting shorter and colder, which means it is time to take one last spin in your convertible or sports car before you put it in storage for the winter. When you do put it in storage, be sure to give us a call so that we can contact your insurer and adjust your auto policy to reflect the fact that you are not driving the car until spring. (Also remember to call us in the spring so that we can let your carrier know you are back on the road.)

    At The Bensman Group, we encourage you to keep us updated about any changes such as this that could affect your insurance coverage. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2018
    How to Get More From a Tank of Gas
    Using less gas will save you money. And as a bonus, it is good for the environment. Here are some ways you can be more fuel-efficient. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2018
    What Makes You Likeable?
    Everyone recognizes that some people are just more likeable than others. But why? READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2018
    12 Places to Visit This Fall
    Fall can be a wonderful time to travel. Costs are lower, the weather is cooler, and the crowds are smaller. Here are 12 destinations to visit this fall. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2018
    Time to Schedule Furnace, Fireplace Check
    It's fall, and that means that winter is not far off. Before the cold arrives for good, it is time to schedule an annual inspection of your furnace and fireplace.

    Having your furnace and fireplace checked annually not only helps ensure that you will have heat when you need it. A check also can help your furnace run as efficiently as possible, and it can help you find and fix problems with both your furnace and fireplace that could cause issues down the road, ranging from breakdown to the release of dangerous gases into your home.

    See the story above for other things you should do to help get your home ready for winter. These actions are a way of helping you prepare for the future. At The Bensman Group, we are happy to help you prepare for your financial future by talking about your insurance and risk management needs. Contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2018
    When Should You Call 911?
    Not every scary situation is an actual emergency. There are some times you should call 911 -- and some times you should not. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2018
    Life Insurance in the Spotlight in September
    Life insurance is critical to safeguarding the security of the people you love. READ MORE...


    VOL. 14, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2018
    Study Shows Where Americans Moving
    People move for any number of reasons, of course. But when you look at states to which and from which people are moving, some trends seem to appear. READ MORE...