Message from the President
The summer heat is sizzling with lots of hot topics facing Maine and our nation amid this continuing coronavirus pandemic. And yes, a most important and popular subject facing us is our face itself! Or rather, seeing less of it by masking to better protect everyone. Masking is painfully simple, yet inconvenient. Logic speaks loudly that this simple step along with washing and distancing will keep us safe. As the COVID caseloads continue and society adjusts to this new reality, please keep in mind ‘business is NOT usual.’ Therefore, keep taking the three simple measures above to protect yourself and others.
Happenings at FAPCO this summer:
- The majority of our staff has returned full time in each of our branch offices with COVID rules in place.
- Employees and customers are asked to wear a mask when conducting face-to-face business in house. Thank you in advance for understanding the need for this requirement.
- FAPCO agents are using Zoom and other video conferencing activities to serve our customers without direct personal contact.
- Our Lincoln, Maine branch office had a major office expansion complete with improved reception and larger divided offices.
- Two great, long-time employees retired: Carol Curtis (Sherman office) and Donna Madsen (Calais office)!
- Havoc, Stryker, Gunner and Roxie are the winners of our 2020 Facebook Patriot Pet Photo Contest owned by Tera York of Island Falls, Maine. Shepherds Beyond Borders was their selected animal shelter charity.
The eyes are telling but one’s eyes only give me half the story. So, I look forward to the days I can see your smiling face from ear to ear to get the full picture!
Have a great summer!
Seven Important Identity Theft Coverages
Identity theft is basically when a criminal steals your name and personal information to attain money, a loan or some other financial advantage. So, you are left cleaning up the mess and, many times, suffering a financial setback when you discover what has happened. As a result, it can be very costly in both time and money to restore your credit and identity. Identity theft protection can help you get your financial life back in order and is very affordable.
Identity theft insurance can be added to your homeowners or renters policy or may be sold as a stand alone policy. As such, it’s important to know exactly what you are buying. Some policies will have deductibles and most identity theft policies have benefit limits. So, ask questions to determine exactly what your policy covers and all the policy limits.
Below is a list of some customary identity theft policy coverages.
- Notary Fees – notarizing affidavits and similar documents verifying fraud
- Mailing Documents – costs for certified mail
- Lost Income – taking time off work to meet with legal counsel, law enforcement etc. (limits apply)
- Loan Application Fees – when re-applying for a loan when the original loan is rejected due to fraud
- Legal Fees – reasonable attorney fees resulting from identity fraud
- Copies of Credit Reports – the expenses associated with attaining copies of your credit reports
- Child Care Costs – When child care assistance is required when dealing with identity theft issues
It’s important to proactively reduce your exposure to identity theft. There are several ways to reduce the chance of identity theft which include checking your credit report annually and closely reviewing your monthly credit card statements among other actions.
It is also important to understand that identity theft coverage does not include any direct monetary losses incurred due to identity theft. It serves to reimburse incurred expenses that take place after your identity has been stolen.
So, contact your FAPCO agent today to learn more about your options for identity theft coverage.
Protect Yourself From Tech Scammers!
Four Common Internet Scams
The daily functions of our lives are becoming increasingly connected to the Internet. As a result, scammers are becoming ever more sophisticated in their attempts to purloin your precious personal details.
After crunching the numbers, the Federal Trade Commission reports that imposter scams resulted in a loss of $667 million for US citizens in 2019, while Social Security thieves took a median individual loss of $1,500 from 166,190 people. So, be alert and protect yourself from scammers by following these tips.
Types of Scams
Scammers use a variety of techniques to trick you into giving them confidential information. Social Security number spoofing scams use the falsification of caller IDs that disguise the scammers’ identities. Social Security phishing scams allow scammers to impersonate government officials via e-mail. In both, fraudsters may threaten recipients with arrest or claim they are trying to resolve identity theft, ironically.
How to Detect Scams
Scammers do their homework before making contact and may cite unique details or use flattery or emotional manipulation to win over your confidence.
Listed below are 4 of the more current common scams:
- “You’ve Won The Sweepstakes” scam – always be suspicious of someone contacting you to verify your information
- The “Infection Detection” scam- you may see a pop up alerting you to contact someone to remove a virus etc.
- The “Bogus Charity” scam – the charity may be one unheard of by you and you are made to feel guilty or selfish
- The “Classic Phishing” scam – appears to be from a major bank, if you log in they have access to your bank account
Remember, the government or any official bank will never call or e-mail to ask for your personal details. If you do receive such an inquiry, hang up or don’t reply, then call back via an official number to authenticate the request. So, always use caution if you’re pressured for information or immediate payment.
Actions You Can Take
If you receive a suspicious call or e-mail or fall victim to a scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission or your state’s consumer protection office. Remember to file a police report, too!
Five Reasons Life Insurance Makes Sense At Any Age!
Many people believe there is no reason to continue carrying life insurance later in life. However, there are some reasons to keep a policy alive even in retirement.
You are still caring for a child.
Some children have greater needs than others, even in adulthood. Maybe the child is disabled or maybe he or she wants to return to school. If your child or grandchild needs support, you may want to consider coverage that is sufficient to pay for those expenses.
You are still working.
Many retirees continue to work part-time during retirement. Others stop working, then get bored, take a part-time job, and come to rely on that income. If you fall into one of these situations (or think you could), you may want to protect your loved ones from the loss of that part-time income if you die.
You are in debt.
If you are still paying off loans (from mortgages, credit cards, or failed business ventures, for example), you may want to consider a term life insurance policy that will cover the period until the loans are paid off. Be sure you have just enough coverage to eliminate your debt.
You are leaving a charitable legacy.
Some individuals purchase life insurance for the purpose of leaving a charitable legacy. For example, you may wish to leave money to a church, a school, or some other charitable institution. You might buy a life insurance policy and make the charity the beneficiary.
You are estate planning.
Proceeds from a life insurance policy can be an immediate source of cash for your heirs. That’s important because it allows them to settle your funeral expenses and pay any estate taxes due without having to sell assets, such as property.
We can help you determine if you need life insurance. Please reach out to us today to discuss your options.
Quotes for Life
“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” Eleanor Roosevelt
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Zig Ziglar
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Albert Einstein
“Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.” Walt Disney