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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Insurable Interests

Archive



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...


VOL. 14, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2018
Getting Your Home Ready for Winter
Cold and snow are just around the corner, and now is the time to make sure your house is ready. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2108
Take Care When Exercising in Extreme Heat
Moving your workout outdoors during summer heat requires special precautions. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2108
New Medicare Cards Are On The Way
From now through April 2019, the government is mailing out new Medicare cards to Medicare enrollees. As long as your address on file with Medicare is correct, you don't need to do anything to receive the card. If you are not sure if your address is correct, you can check at ssa.gov/myaccount. If you want to be notified when your card is sent, you can sign up for a notification at www.Medicare.gov.

Your old card used your Social Security number, but your new card has a random number as a way of enhancing your security. When you receive your new card, shred your old one and start using the new one. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, that card is the primary card you use when receiving care. However, a provider might also need to see your Medicare card, so you should carry the new card with you too.

Officials warn that scammers might use the release of the new cards to get information from you. Medicare will never contact you and ask for personal information -- such as your Social Security number -- as a condition of sending your card. If someone calls and demands money or threatens to cancel your Medicare coverage unless you provide personal information, hang up and call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE.
READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2108
Hidden Fees Can Wreck Travel Budget
You have planned your trip carefully and budgeted for everything. Or have you? READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2108
Treasure Hunting at Garage and Estate Sales
Sometimes you can find a hidden gem at a sale, if you know where to look. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2108
Study Up On Insurance For Your Student
Before your child leaves for college or boarding school, give us a call so we can make sure your insurance is in order. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2108
New Medicare Cards Are On The Way
From now through April 2019, the government is mailing out new Medicare cards to Medicare enrollees. As long as your address on file with Medicare is correct, you don't need to do anything to receive the card. If you are not sure if your address is correct, you can check at ssa.gov/myaccount. If you want to be notified when your card is sent, you can sign up for a notification at www.Medicare.gov.

Your old card used your Social Security number, but your new card has a random number as a way of enhancing your security. When you receive your new card, shred your old one and start using the new one. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, that card is the primary card you use when receiving care. However, a provider might also need to see your Medicare card, so you should carry the new card with you too.

Officials warn that scammers might use the release of the new cards to get information from you. Medicare will never contact you and ask for personal information -- such as your Social Security number -- as a condition of sending your card. If someone calls and demands money or threatens to cancel your Medicare coverage unless you provide personal information, hang up and call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE.
READ MORE...


VOL. 1, ISSUE 1   •   JULY, 2008
Year-End Financial Chores
Late December is about more than holiday parties -- it is the time to make sure you have tied up all your financial loose ends before the calendar turns to a new year. READ MORE...


VOL. 1, ISSUE 1   •   JULY, 2008
Holiday Tips and Gifts
Holiday tipping and gifting can be confusing in the best of times. In economic times like these, it really can make you feel like Scrooge. Here's some guidance for spreading the cheer. READ MORE...


VOL. 1, ISSUE 1   •   JULY, 2008
The Value of Meditation
Meditation can help reduce stress and fight a range of conditions, from allergies to sleep problems to cancer. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2018
Weekend Getaways that Won't Wreck the Budget
Sometimes you need to get away, but you don't want to spend a fortune doing it. Here are some ideas for inexpensive weekend getaways. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2018
Get the Most From Your Air Conditioning
By now your air conditioning probably has been working hard for a long time -- and the summer is far from over. Here are some things you can do to reduce your electric bill. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2018
Call Before You Buy a Summer Home, Boat
If you had a great summer vacation, you might be thinking about how you can re-create that fun in future summers. Perhaps you are looking at buying a vacation home on a lake or in the mountains. Maybe you want a new boat. If so, congratulations!

Before you take the plunge, though, give us a call so that we can make sure you have the insurance coverage you need. Finding coverage for a vacation home, a boat or other recreational vehicle can be more complicated and might take more time than placing coverage for a primary residence or the family car. We want to make sure you know what coverage will cost and have it in place before you close the deal on your summer dreams.

At The Bensman Group, we are always happy to talk to you about this or any other insurance or wealth management issue. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2018
Hints for Happiness
Do you wish that you were happier? Well, there are things you can do about that. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2018
Keep Your Home Safe While You Are Away
Use common sense to protect your home when you are gone. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2018
Character Traits of Successful People
There are some outlooks that most very successful people share. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2018
Best American Roller Coasters
If you like your amusement park rides full of thrills and chills, these are the ones for you. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2018
Look At Safety Systems When You Open Your Summer Home
As you open your summer home, consider some systems that could protect you better and maybe save you some money too. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2018
Boomers: Your Children Don't Want Your Stuff
Downsizing boomers are finding they can't give much to their kids. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2018
Time to Get Your Air Conditioning Serviced
This is the time of year to get your air conditioning system professionally inspected, if you have not done so already. An HVAC professional can let you know if your system is operating at peak performance and make any adjustments needed. This might help you trim your electric bill, and it also should help you avoid losing your A/C when it is really steamy outside.

At The Bensman Group, we are happy to help you with any of your insurance and wealth management needs. Contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2018
Coolest World Cities in 2018
Some cities are just cooler than others. According to Forbes, these cities are the coolest in the world in 2018. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2018
Give Us a Call Before You Buy, Build or Remodel
Make sure your insurance is appropriate if you are in the market for a new home or planning to build or remodel. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2018
Spring Cleaning for Your Finances
You probably know about spring cleaning your house. But what about spring cleaning your finances? READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2018
Money Lessons for Teens
Take the time to teach your teenage kids or grandkids financial lessons they will need as adults. READ MORE...


VOL. 13, ISSUE 9   •   MAY, 2018
Social Security Site Lets You Do More Online
The Social Security Administration website now makes it easier to do more things online. For example, you can:
  • Retire online
  • Apply for disability benefits and Medicare benefits
  • Download proof of benefits
  • Change your address
  • Estimate your future benefits
  • Replace your Social Security card
  • Appeal a decision.

    You can check out these and other options at www.ssa.gov. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 13, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2018
    Insurance Can Help Protect Against Losses From Cyber Crime
    The cost of losses from cyber crime can be staggering to a business. But there are ways to protect yourself. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2018
    Save When Traveling with Kids
    There are ways to cut the cost and hassle of traveling with children. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2018
    Be Ready for Spring Storms
    In many parts of the country, spring brings an increased chance of violent weather. To help protect your loved ones and your home, start by keeping an eye on the forecast. If storms are expected, move outdoor items that could blow around into a garage or shed. Put your car in the garage.

    Know how the severe weather alert works in your area, and consider setting an alert on your cell phone. Know where to go in case of severe weather. Usually you want to be in an interior room on the lower level. Stay away from windows. Make sure your cell phone is charged and you have flashlights or battery-powered lanterns available.

    Don't drive in severe weather unless it is absolutely essential. Never drive through flooded streets unless you are certain that the water is no more than a few inches deep.

    You should have a plan in place for contacting family and friends after a storm to make sure everyone is OK. Once the danger is passed, you can go out and assess the damage, if any. If your property has sustained damage, give us a call. We are always happy to discuss your insurance coverage -- before or after you need it. You can contact us about this or any other insurance need at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2018
    How to Handle Allergies
    Are spring allergies driving you nuts? There are some things you can do. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 8   •   APRIL, 2018
    Garage Sale Tips
    A garage sale is a time-honored way to get rid of things you don't need or want while making a little money. Here are some tips for making your garage sale go smoothly -- and profitably. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2018
    Treating the Flu
    Although it is winding down, flu season is not over. How do you treat flu or other viral infections that leave you miserable? READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2018
    Talking to Aging Parents About Their Finances
    When it's time to talk finances with your parents, these suggestions can help. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2018
    Call Before You Take Your Car Out of Storage
    After a long, long winter, you probably are more than ready to take a spin in your convertible or sportscar. But if you asked us to notify your insurer before you put the car in storage last fall, there is one last step before you can feel the wind in your hair on the open road.

    Give us a call before you take the car out of storage, so that we can let your insurer know that you are driving it again. Once we have made that call, you can go wherever the spirit moves you. You can contact us about this or any other insurance need at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2018
    Be Ready for Spring Floods and Storms
    Here are some ways to prepare for unpredictable spring weather. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 7   •   MARCH, 2018
    Tips for Being a Landlord
    Becoming a landlord is not as simple as it might look. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2018
    Beware of IRS Scams
    It's tax season, which means the IRS is reporting an upswing in tax-related scams. One of the most popular involves a phone call from someone who purports to be a representative of the IRS. Callers often alter the caller ID so that it looks as if the call is coming from the IRS, they have fake badge numbers, and often they know quite a bit about the person they are calling.

    The scammer tells the person who answers the phone that they owe money to the IRS and that if they do not pay it immediately, by wire transfer or gift card, they face serious consequences, including jail. The scammers also target recent immigrants, often speaking in their native language, and threaten deportation unless they pay. If no one answers, the caller leaves an "urgent" message. In another version of the scam, the caller says the person has a refund coming and asks for bank account numbers and other personal information to send the refund.

    The IRS reminds consumers that its agents never call and require immediate payment. Usually they send a letter to inform taxpayers about a tax dispute, and the taxpayer always has the chance to reply. If you receive such a phone call, hang up and report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2018
    Destinations That Won't Break the Bank
    Travel does not have to be expensive. Here are some destinations that won't drain your wallet in 2018. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2018
    Check for Extra Airline Fees
    The cost of your next flight might be more than the cost of the ticket. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2018
    Cold Weather Workouts
    Just because it is cold outside, that doesn't mean you need to take your workout indoors. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 6   •   FEBRUARY, 2018
    Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
    There are a number of things you can do to keep your identity safe online. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2018
    Handling Extreme Winter Weather
    What should you do if the forecast calls for extreme winter weather? READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2018
    Finding a Place on Airbnb
    Here are some tips for doing your research on airbnb. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2018
    The Right Time to Buy
    When it comes to shopping for certain items, timing can be everything. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2018
    Someone You Should Know: Jill Larsen
    Jill Larsen uses her growing underwriting knowledge to benefit Bensman clients. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 5   •   JANUARY, 2018
    Take Time to Review Your Insurance Coverages
    Now that the holiday rush is over, this could be a good time to take a look at whether your insurance has kept up with your life. Think about ways in which your situation might have changed since the last time you reviewed your coverages.

    For example, have you had a major life event such as a marriage, divorce, new child or grandchild? You might want to review not only the amount and type of your life insurance coverage, but also the beneficiary or beneficiaries named on your policies.

    Have you recently received a big promotion or taken a new job? Have you moved or made significant improvements to your home? It might be a good idea to revisit your property, liability and life coverages.

    At The Bensman Group, we understand that sometimes our clients are so busy that reviewing insurance falls through the cracks. We encourage you to give us a call and schedule a conversation in order to bring us up to date on what's going on in your life. We can help make sure that the people and things you value are protected. Contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2017
    Protect Yourself From Utility Scams
    Winter brings a rise in utility scams. Here's how you can avoid being a victim. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2017
    Year-End Investment Tax Decisions
    It might pay to take a look at your investments in case there are tax-related moves you might need to make by year-end. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2017
    Ways to Cut Your Medical Bills
    There are things you can do to cut your medical bills. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2017
    Vegetarian Diet Can Present Nutritional Challenges
    A vegetarian diet can be healthier than a meat-based diet, but only if you take care to meet all your nutritional needs. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 4   •   DECEMBER, 2017
    Best Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season
    It is, as the song says, the most wonderful time of the year. And in the midst of all the holiday happenings, don't forget to reflect on the love of friends and family, and the wonderful things you hold dear.

    At The Bensman Group, we would like to wish you and yours happiness throughout the season, and a healthy and prosperous new year.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2017
    Service Day Reminds Us of the Meaning of Holidays
    At The Bensman Group, our employees have made it a holiday tradition to volunteer at the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) distribution center in Park City, Ill., to help sort food headed to food pantries across northern Illinois. On Nov. 3, we sorted and packed 875 pounds of potatoes, providing 729 meals to people throughout northern Illinois.

    About 600,000 people in Northern Illinois rely on food pantries and meal programs to help feed their families. Working with a network of food pantries and donor partners, the Northern Illinois Food Bank provides food for more than 71,500 people in a 13-county area each week.

    Helping those who need it can be a good way of reminding us all of the true spirit of the holidays, whether you volunteer in a structured fashion or just make a point to reach out to the people around you with kindness. And, as always, we at The Bensman Group wish you and all of yours a happy and healthy holiday season!
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2017
    Keeping Kids Safe at the Holidays
    Children can be especially vulnerable to injury during the holidays. Here is what you can do to help keep them safe. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2017
    Best Places to Retire Abroad
    Your money might take you further if you look outside the U.S. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2017
    Pricing a Neighborhood
    How can you know if the house you want is priced correctly for the neighborhood? READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 3   •   NOVEMBER, 2017
    Long-Term Care Insurance Can Help Protect Your Assets, Independence
    November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month, which makes it a good time to consider whether you and your loved ones need this kind of protection. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2017
    The Gentle Martial Art
    Studies suggest that tai chi can benefit people at any age. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2017
    Let Us Know If You Put Your Summer Car In Storage
    The summer is finally over, and you might be thinking about putting your convertible or sportscar into storage for the winter. Before you do, though, give us a call so that we can adjust your insurance coverage -- which probably will save you some money. Just remember to call us again in the spring before you take your vehicle out of storage.

    At The Bensman Group, we are happy to help you with all your insurance and wealth management needs. You can contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2017
    Hurricanes Teach Important Lesson About Flood Coverage
    Recent hurricanes are a reminder that homeowner's insurance usually does not cover losses from flooding. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2017
    Things That Turn Off Homebuyers
    If you are selling your house, get rid of these things. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 2   •   OCTOBER, 2017
    Tips for Starting a Business
    There are some things you should know before you start your own business. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2017
    Best Places to See Fall Colors
    Changing leaves are a hallmark of autumn. Fodor's has some suggestions for the best places to see the colors. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2017
    Beware of Hurricane Harvey Scams
    Scenes like those from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey touch our hearts and often prompt us to open our wallets. Unfortunately, scam artists realize this and prey on the best intentions of people during this and other disasters.

    MSN Money suggests that before you donate to an organization claiming to help victims of the hurricane you:
  • Check the Better Business Bureau or sites such as Charity Navigator to find out if a charity is legitimate and how much of the money donated goes to victims rather than to administrative costs.

  • Make sure the website is legitimate. Scam artists often create a site that looks very much like the site of a respected charity, but the URL is just a little different. For example, the real site for the Red Cross is www.redcross.org; www.redcross.com is fake.

  • Specify that your donation is for the disaster relief. If you donate without saying how you want the money used, the charity can use your donation as it sees fit.

  • Never send cash or checks. If you are donating online, make sure you are at a secure site that starts https://

  • Check your credit card statement for your donation, and make sure it is for the amount you intended.

    Finally, most relief experts urge you to donate money rather than goods, unless you live in the area and can distribute goods yourself. Donating money lets the people in the area fill specific needs quickly.

    At The Bensman Group, we believe strongly in helping each other. And we are ready to help you with any questions you have about insurance or wealth management. Contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 13, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2017
    Finding the Credit Card for You
    There are many options in credit cards. Know what to ask to find the one that is best for you. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2017
    The Types and Uses of Life Insurance
    Here's a rundown of the basics for National Life Insurance Month. READ MORE...


    VOL. 13, ISSUE 1   •   SEPTEMBER, 2017
    Seasonal Chores That Save You Money
    As the calendar turns to fall, taking care of these home maintenance chores will save you money. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2017
    Hot U.S. Cities to Visit
    Perhaps you already have visited the great American cities. But here are some cities that are coming into their own. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2017
    Saving Tips That Might Not Work
    Sometimes the conventional wisdom about saving may not be so wise. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2017
    Answers to Your Questions About Insurance and Students
    If you have a child headed for college or boarding school soon, you probably have a list of things to take care of before they go. We can help make sure the insurance is in order.

    If your student is going to school more than 100 miles from home and does not take a car, you probably can receive a credit on your car insurance premium. If the student takes a car, call us so we can update your records.

    In general, student property is covered under your homeowner's insurance if they live in a dorm or a rental unit. If you are concerned about the deductible, ask us about extending first-dollar coverage, especially for items like laptops and tablets. You also can get a liability extension on your homeowner's and personal umbrella policy. 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.

    Give us a call, and we can help with your student's insurance needs. To discuss these or any other insurance questions, contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2017
    Getting the Right Retirement Plan Helps Employers and Employees
    A well-designed retirement plan can be a win-win. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 12   •   AUGUST, 2017
    Overcoming Anxiety in Networking
    Networking is essential to developing in your career. But what if it does not come naturally to you? READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2017
    Founding Principles Guide Individual Property and Casualty Business
    In helping clients with their personal insurance needs, we follow the same ideals that have guided The Bensman Group since the beginning. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2017
    Sunscreen Protects Against Cancer, Sunburn and Wrinkles
    It is great to be outside in the summer time. Just be sure not to forget the sunscreen. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2017
    Tips for Business Travelers
    Do you fly for business? Here are some ways to make the trip go more smoothly. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2017
    If You Have a Golf Cart, Give Us a Call
    Golf carts can make it easier to get around on the course and on the byways of some communities, but they also sometimes can pose an insurance problem. Some insurance carriers provide coverage under a homeowner's policy for golf carts both on the course and within a gated community, but other carriers do not. If you have a golf cart, please give us a call so we can check with your carrier and see if you need to make any changes. When you call, you should have available the year, make, model, serial number and value of your cart.

    At The Bensman Group, we are happy to help you with any of your insurance and wealth management needs. Contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 11   •   JULY, 2017
    College Money Topics
    There are lots of things to remember as a child prepares to go off to college. Here are some money matters to add to the list. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2017
    Beware of Drive-By Roofers
    Winds and hail that can accompany spring storms often are followed by roofers who drive through affected neighborhoods offering to fix or replace roofs and get the homeowner's insurance company to pay. Before you sign on the dotted line, though, do these things:
  • Make sure the company is reputable. In general, it is best to deal with a local company, because it is easier to check references. Also, if a problem arises later, the company and its workers should still be around.

  • Never let them contact your insurance company on your behalf. As the policyholder, any contact with the insurer should come from you, or from your Personal Lines manager at The Bensman Group.

  • Don't take any action until you have talked with us and we have talked with your insurer. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it might not be the right course of action to open a claim. But once you file a claim, your insurer is obligated to take action. Before we contact the insurer on your behalf, we investigate to determine if filing a claim will have an adverse impact on your coverage.

    If you have questions about your homeowner's or any other insurance needs, contact us at 847-572-0828 or ksavage@bensman.com. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 12, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2017
    Cost of Raising a Child Might Surprise You
    As any parent knows, raising a child is expensive. Very, very expensive. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2017
    What Home Inspectors Check
    Both buyers and sellers can benefit from a home inspection. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2017
    Wedding Guest Etiquette
    Weddings are lots of fun, but there are some rules for being a good guest. READ MORE...


    VOL. 12, ISSUE 10   •   JUNE, 2017
    Someone You Should Know: Rob Terranova
    If you are considering filing a claim, Personal Lines Claims Manager Rob Terranova will help you every step of the way. READ MORE...