Business Garage Insurance

Business Garage Insurance

How does insurance help my business garage?

Whether your garage is a small shop or a large specialty garage, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly insured. All the usual insurance policies like liability and building insurance are necessary, but a business garage may want to consider some additional policies to help them minimize their risk.

What policies should I consider?

General Liability

A general liability policy is sometimes called a “slip and fall” policy, because it can protect your business if an employee, vendor, or customer slips and falls on your premises. But a general liability policy provides protection against liability claims for any damages that you or your employees might cause.

Commercial Building Insurance

Much like homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for your residence, commercial building insurance covers your building or property and many of its contents. Fire, theft, vandalism, and other risks can damage your business, your equipment, or your customer’s property. Commercial building insurance protects against many of these common concerns.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation covers your employees if they’re injured on the job. It may cover replacing their wages and paying for medical or recovery-related bills. Having adequate workers’ compensation coverage helps to prevent your employees from suing your company in the event of an injury. In an industry like automotive repair, worker injuries are not rare, so it’s important to have a plan in place to help your employees if they are injured at work.

Commercial Auto

Your personal auto insurance usually won’t cover you if you’re using your car for business purposes, but a commercial auto insurance policy will cover you whether your vehicle is personally owned or owned by the company. Not all business garages will need this coverage, but many will. If you send your employees to the parts store, they’re using a vehicle for business purposes, and you should consider commercial auto coverage.

Business Interruption

Your general liability policy will usually cover the cost of repair or replacement for things like computers, equipment, and furniture that’s damaged due to certain accidents. However, what happens when the fire destroys the business’s ability to remain open? If your business must close for repairs due to a covered event, business interruption insurance will help you to cover the loss of income that a business interruption will bring.

Directors and Officers Insurance

This policy may not be necessary for all business garages, but some small businesses may want to consider this policy for additional protection, especially if they’re running under a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or an LLC. In some cases, a person suing the company may attempt to go after the personal assets of the directors or officers. This type of policy protects those assets.

Cyber Liability

You don’t have to be Amazon to need cyber liability or data breach insurance. Even small garages often use computerized systems that contain personal information about their customers, and if this information is attacked or stolen, the company may be liable for failing to adequately safeguard the information. Not all business garages will need this type of coverage, but some will benefit from it.

Equipment Breakdown

Many small garages use tools and equipment that is reliable, easy to fix, and not too expensive to replace. But some of the more modern garages are using equipment that is extremely expensive, temperamental, or hard to fix. If these costly machines break down, will your garage lose money? If the answer is yes, you might want to consider equipment breakdown coverage, which helps to repair or replace damaged equipment and compensate you for some business losses.

Health Insurance

Most garages are small outfits, and in many states they are not required to help their employees with health insurance. However, providing some health insurance coverage for your employees is not only good for morale and overall health; it can also save you money. If your employee can visit a doctor after tweaking his ankle on that weekend hiking trip, he’s less likely to fall and sprain his ankle while working in your garage. Health insurance can also help you to recruit and retain good employees.

Environmental Impairment

Most garages won’t need this type of coverage, but if your garage works frequently with the type of materials prone to cause environmental damage, this type of policy can help you if you’re ordered to perform environmental cleanup of any hazardous or toxic spills or leaks.

How can I make sense of this all?

There’s a lot of information about insurance policies, and CoverWallet can help you understand what will work best for you and your company. We can put together a Business Garage policy that incorporates several different types of coverage to help you get the insurance you need to keep your business safe and profitable.

Not every garage needs the same coverage. You have unique needs, because your business, your location, your employees, your customers, and your services are different from the other garages in your local area. A CoverWallet representative can help explain the different policies to you so that you can put together a plan that works for you, not something designed for your closest competitor.

What does Business Garage insurance cover?

The coverage of your policy will depend on which options you’ve selected. CoverWallet can get you quotes from many different insurance providers and put them all together in a single insurance package. This way, you have one bill and one point of contact, but you have the ability to check premiums and coverage levels from several different policies.

At a minimum, Business Garage packages will include general liability insurance, commercial building/property insurance, and workers’ compensation. Additional policies may be added to increase coverage and help you minimize losses from specific risks.

What are the limits of Business Garage insurance?

The limitations will vary depending on which policies and which options you select. If you have specific concerns like flooding, employee dishonesty, crime, or expensive equipment, make sure to speak with your CoverWallet representative to make sure that your concerns are covered.

How much does it cost?

The cost of your overall policy varies based on several factors:

  • The state your business garage operates in;
  • The number of policies you select (usually, more policies result in higher cost);
  • The type of policies you choose (some policies are less expensive than others);
  • The size of your business (number of employees and average annual revenue);
  • How long you’ve been in business; and
  • What types of products or services you offer.

As a general rule, the right amount of insurance falls into a “sweet spot” – it’s enough insurance to keep you covered but not so much that you’re overinsured. It can be challenging to strike the right balance between having enough insurance and having too much, but your CoverWallet representative can help you find the right ratio of cost to benefit.

Same Sex Marriage

 

Note: When I was asked to write this as a piece of content, it was with virtually no instruction. There was no research or guidance presented to me, and this was prior to the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States. It’s an excellent example of a heavily researched piece of legal content.

 

Same-Sex Marriage in Missouri

 

It is important to note that the legal climate surrounding same-sex marriage is unstable and rapidly changing. This information is believed to be accurate as of the time it was written, but given the rapid changes in same-sex marriage legislation, it cannot be guaranteed as accurate. If you have questions about same-sex marriage in Missouri, we advise you to contact a family law attorney for the most current information and advice.

Until very recently, same-sex marriage and civil union was legally prohibited in the state of Missouri. Due to a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling, same-sex marriage is now legal in certain counties and jurisdictions. However, Attorney General Chris Koster has appealed the decision. If the decision is overturned on appeal, same-sex marriage in Missouri will once again be prohibited.

Getting a Same-Sex Marriage Now

 

For the moment, same-sex marriage is legal in Missouri, but not all counties have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jackson County, and Kansas City have been reported to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In other counties and jurisdictions, it’s probably wise to call first to make sure they’re issuing licenses for same-sex marriage.

It remains to be seen whether same-sex marriage in Missouri is here to stay. At the moment, we’re waiting on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to answer the Attorney General’s request for an appeal. We never know exactly how an appeals court will rule until they hear the case, but we can look at previous precedent.

Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, 455 F.3d 859 (8th Cir. 2006)

 

In 2000, Nebraska passed a state Constitutional amendment prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions. The amendment was appealed as unconstitutional, and the U.S. District Court ruled that the amendment was indeed a violation of the U.S. Constitution. On appeal, the 8th Circuit Court reversed the decision, ruling that “laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples … do not violate the Constitution of the United States.” If the 8th Circuit rules the same way they ruled in their 2006 case, same-sex marriage will be illegal again in Missouri pretty soon.

Hope for Same-Sex Marriage

 

In 2006, only two states explicitly permitted same-sex marriage. Now, there are 37 states (not including Missouri) that allow same-sex couples to marry. Federal agencies like the IRS and the U.S. Military now recognize same-sex marriage. To put it bluntly, a lot has changed since 2006. Despite the previous ruling, they may make a different decision now than they did back then.

Same-Sex Marriage and Same-Sex Divorce (LINK TO SAME-SEX DIVORCE)

 

While much of the focus in the marriage equality debate has been about same-sex marriage, a lot of changes have recently occurred in Missouri regarding same-sex divorce. Until the Missouri Supreme Court ruling in November 2014, same-sex couples who were legally married in other states were not considered legally married in Missouri. Since they weren’t legally married, they couldn’t be legally divorced.

Judges in Greene County and Boone County have been reported to grand same-sex divorces, but some judges in St. Louis have been resistant. If the legal status of same-sex marriage is resolved to permit same-sex couples to marry, the legal landscape for same-sex divorce will get considerably less complicated.

When to Marry

 

If you’re a same-sex couple in Missouri who is ready to get married, you may want to consider doing it sooner rather than later. If the 8th Circuit rules against same-sex marriage, it will again be prohibited in Missouri. However, if you marry during this period and then same-sex marriage is again made illegal, you may find yourself in legal gray area if you decide to divorce later.

What About Civil Unions?

 

Officially, Missouri has never really recognized the concept of a civil union, either. But in practice, there have been ways for same-sex couples to protect themselves, even when the attitude toward gay marriage was more hostile than it is today.

The concept of a civil union is that many (but not all) of the rights and privileges afforded to married couples can be explicitly granted through contracts. For example, if a couple is legally married and the husband dies without a will, the wife will (usually) inherit the entire estate. So if a same-sex couple wanted to ensure that their partner inherited their estate, they could achieve similar results by creating a will.

In a legally recognized marriage, if the wife is unable to make medical decisions due to incapacity, the husband is usually given the right to make those choices on her behalf. But this same right can be granted through certain Powers of Attorney.

If you are a same-sex couple getting married in Missouri and you do NOT yet have a civil union, it might be a good idea to codify the rights and responsibilities of each partner despite the marriage. If Missouri law changes and same-sex marriage is again prohibited, the civil union should provide at least some protection of your relationship.

If you are a same-sex couple who previously had a civil union and you’re seeking a divorce, it’s wise to consider the documents related to your civil union as well. Some of those documents must be changed manually as they will not be automatically voided by a divorce.

Wedding Dentistry

Planes Dental Arts – Wedding Dentistry

Working with BK Dental, I wrote countless website pages on dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, and other dental issues. This copy was intended to be keyword optimized for SEO, but I’m particularly proud of this piece, as it’s an excellent example of persuasive copy in a heavily regulated industry.

Wedding Dentistry

You have set the date, booked the caterer, and picked out the flowers. As you stand in front of your friends and family, your hair and makeup is perfect, and your dress is beautiful. But brides will want to make sure that their teeth look as good as the rest of them, and Planes Dental Arts specializes in helping brides have a beautiful wedding smile.

What do I need?

We recommend that you visit our Vero Beach or Port St Lucie dental office about a year before your wedding date for an initial consultation and routine examination. This allows you plenty of time to schedule follow-up appointments and procedures before your wedding and engagement photos, because we know that you’re going to be busier than ever as your special day approaches.

Some of our brides are unhappy with their smiles, and they might consider having their teeth whitened before the ceremony. This procedure is pretty fast and doesn’t usually require many appointments, but serious whitening might require multiple appointments, so it’s best to plan that early.

Some brides want to hide teeth that are chipped, cracked, grooved, or gapped. We can discuss your options with you and decide whether you want to consider bonding or veneers. If you need your teeth straightened, Invisalign can help straighten your teeth invisibly.

What else should I do?

As always, we recommend that you brush and floss regularly, and that you schedule an appointment with our Vero Beach or Port St Lucie dental office twice a year for a routine examination and cleaning.

If you have any problems with snoring or grinding your teeth, you should mention your concerns to your Vero Beach or Port St Lucie dentist at your appointment or when making the appointment. We can assist with treating bruxism, sleep disorders, or TMJ if you would like to sort that out before your honeymoon.

Your wedding is going to be the best day of your life, and your wedding pictures will preserve that cherished memory forever. Make sure that your smile is as radiant as the rest of you, and contact Planes Dental Arts for your wedding dentistry.

 

Qualified Longevity Annuities

Crown Atlantic – Email Article on Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts

Crown Atlantic Insurance, a national insurance and annuities company, needed some articles to be sent to their email subscribers. Their focus was on marketing to Baby Boomers who were approaching retirement age or thinking about life insurance, and their primary concern was that the copy we produced be entirely compliant with regulatory rules. On this piece, we needed to meet the requirements of insurance marketing and annuities marketing (which is governed by the SEC).

Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts

An American man who makes it to the age of 65 today can expect to live until the age of 84 or later, and women can expect to live until almost 87. About one of every four of those 65-year-olds will live beyond the age of 90, and one in ten will survive past the age of 95.i Today’s 65-year-olds are also more likely to remain active and working. In 1995, the average age of retirement in the United States was 60; in 2015, it was 66.ii These trends aren’t new, and they’re not expected to go away any time soon.

Advances in medical technology, changes in the way we do our work, and fluctuations in the economy mean that people are living longer and retiring later as time marches on. If you’re planning to finance your retirement with an IRA, a 401k, or a 403b, you can start taking your distributions at any time, but you must start taking your required minimum distributions (RMDs) when you turn 70 ½. If you wait until the age of 70 to take distributions and you’re one of the lucky ten percent who lives to be 95 of older, your retirement must last you at least 25 years.

If you know in advance that you’re going to live to be 90, you can build your income strategy with that in mind. But what happens to people who plan their retirement to last 20 years and then live to be 100? Fortunately, there is a way to help make sure that your retirement income lasts as long as you do.

Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract

A qualified longevity annuity contract (QLAC) is an annuity product that helps ensure that retirement income lasts as long as retirement. With a traditional retirement account (like an IRA, 401k, or 403b), you cannot avoid taking your required minimum distributions once you hit 70 ½, regardless of whether you feel that you need it or not. When you convert part of your traditional retirement account into a QLAC, you are purchasing an annuity which kicks in when you reach a specified age. With a QLAC, your annuity payments could continue for the rest of your life, regardless of how long that is. A longevity annuity could theoretically be purchased with after-tax dollars, but for many people who are approaching retirement, their retirement savings are largely held in retirement accounts that provide beneficial taxation. Until 2014, longevity annuities could only be purchased with after-tax dollars, but the Treasury Department made some adjustments that allow people to purchase a QLAC with their qualified retirement dollars.

What makes it qualified?

In order to qualify as a QLAC, an annuity must meet certain requirements.

  • You can’t put in more than 25% of an employment retirement plan (401k or 403b), or more than 25% of all pre-tax IRAs, into a QLAC.
  • You can’t put in more than $125,000 OR 25% (whichever is less). The $125,000 may change with inflation, so check with your financial advisor for the most current restrictions.
  • Each spouse who has their own retirement accounts may devote up to the limitations; these are individual limitations and not joint.
  • Payouts must begin by the age of 85 or earlier.
  • QLACs must have fixed payouts; they can’t use variable or equity-indexed annuities. However, the QLAC may have a provision for a cost-of-living adjustment.
  • The QLAC must be irrevocable, which means that you can’t surrender it for cash after it’s purchased. Some QLACs have a return-of-premium death benefit that’s paid to your heirs.

Advantages of a QLAC

When your required minimum distributions (RMDs) are distributed, the value of the QLAC is excluded from that calculation. This can help a retiree to hang on to a larger portion of the retirement account, as it reduces the amount of RMDs required. When a retiree reaches the age at which the QLAC begins making payments, the QLAC payments will not count for a retiree’s RMDs. As long as their retirement account is still funded, they will be receiving their RMDs and their QLAC payment for the same time period. A QLAC can supplement your current retirement strategy to help ensure that you don’t outlive your retirement dollars.

Disadvantages of a QLAC

***REDACTED***

Is a QLAC right for me?

If you’re considering a QLAC, your best option is to consult with your local annuities agent, or your personal financial advisor. These professionals can look at your retirement strategy and give you individual, tailored advice for your specific needs and objectives.

However, you might consider getting a QLAC if:

  • You have a family history of living past the age of 85
  • You have reason to believe that your medical or living costs may increase after the age of 85
  • Your retirement account may not have the money available to pay for your living expenses for more than 10-15 years
  • You have a strong desire to remain in your own home for the rest of your life and do not want to be forced into a nursing home or living with family because your retirement account runs out
  • You intend to remain active and retain a similar lifestyle as you age and want to ensure that your retirement account can support that
  • You do not have children who are financially capable of supporting you if you outlive your retirement income, or you do not want to ask your children for financial support if that happens

Learn More

To find out more about a QLAC, you can contact your Crown Atlantic agent for a free, no-obligation consultation.

i Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html

ii Gallup, http://www.gallup.com/poll/168707/average-retirement-age-rises.aspx

 

Meals for Seniors

Senior Nutrition – Blog Post

Martha’s Senior Gourmet, a home meal delivery service that was then based in southern California (but has since expanded), needed some blog posts to boost engagement and improve SEO. This is one of the blog posts that we used to help them increase readership. Since these posts were unveiled, Martha’s has expanded from the San Diego area into three states and 18 markets.

Meals for Alzheimer’s Patients

We write a lot about preparing meals for seniors that have multiple dietary restrictions, and one of the ways we can do this is by being creative with our ingredients, cooking methods, and recipes. But if someone you love is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, their mental status can create additional difficulties in getting them properly nourished.

Getting Them to Eat

Medications (either for Alzheimer’s or for other conditions) can dramatically impact a senior’s appetite, causing them to refuse food when it is served. Additionally, dental problems or digestive problems can cause eating to be painful, reducing their willingness to eat at mealtime. In advanced cases, the senior may not be able to tell you what’s wrong, leaving you to play a guessing game to solve the problem.

A craving or preference for “comfort foods” is not unusual, and some recent studies have found that Alzheimer’s patients develop cravings for sugary foods and simple starches. If the same patient is diabetic or on a specialized diet, getting them to eat lima beans instead of ice cream may not be easy.

First, be patient. If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, seek support, because it’s not easy on the caregivers. Second, remind yourself that when you were a child, your parent or grandparent probably had the exact same battle with you!

Alzheimer’s and Dietary Restrictions

Alzheimer’s itself seldom comes with serious dietary restrictions, although some doctors and nutritionists do recommend a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables for Alzheimer’s patients. The more pressing concern is that people with Alzheimer’s and age-related dementia often have other medical issues that require a specialized diet plan.

When your loved one insists on having ice cream for dinner, it can be difficult to explain that they’re on a diabetic and heart-healthy diet and cannot have sugar or dairy products.

The Problem of Traditional Restricted Diets

Alzheimer’s patients and dementia patients frequently experience weight loss. Many patients will refuse to eat if they don’t recognize the food that you’re serving them. A normal adult will often be willing to try a stir-fry with rice noodles, but to an Alzheimer’s patient, that stuff on the plate doesn’t even look like it’s real food. It would be like filling your plate with dog food and expecting you to chow down.

In many cases, seniors may be seeing doctors who have little or no experience with Alzheimer’s or dementia patients. While a gerontologist probably knows how to work with Alzheimer’s patients, a cardiologist may not understand the challenges associated with imposing a restrictive diet on a patient who doesn’t have the same mental and emotional capacity as a normal and healthy adult. Dieticians and nutritionists who don’t have a lot of experience designing meal plans for seniors may fall into the same trap.

Challenge #1: Sight

The first challenge in serving a patient with Alzheimer’s or dementia is the sight. If the food presented looks unfamiliar, the patient may simply decide that it’s not real food and never move further. Even when the ingredients themselves are familiar to the patient, the presentation may be unusual and new. It’s probably safe to say that a lot of severe Alzheimer’s and dementia patients wouldn’t recognize the expert plating done at a five-star restaurant as being a food dish. Plating and presentation that seems too “fancy” can be just as distracting and troublesome as a presentation that looks unappetizing.

Challenge #2: Smell

Once an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient has decided to look more closely at the dish being offered, they will often try to smell the dish before tasting. The problem is that in many of these patients, age or condition may have dulled or changed the sense of smell. With heavily spiced dishes, they can probably still be smelled, but any strong smells may discourage the patient from taking a bite. More mild aromas like those associated with “comfort foods” or “kid foods” will often be more familiar.

Challenge #3: Taste

Unfortunately, there’s no vegan cheese substitute that tastes exactly like dairy cheese (although many come close). And even the best tasting food may be rejected by an Alzheimer’s patient if it tastes unfamiliar. If the patient remembers macaroni and cheese made with cheddar cheese, they aren’t likely to feel comfortable eating macaroni and cheese made with vegan cheese.

On a restrictive diet, the key is to find foods that can retain a fairly familiar taste despite being made more nutritiously. Italian foods, for example, can often be familiar and healthy, and rich tomato-based sauces make a good place for hiding additional nutrition. Just like a parent may finely chop broccoli to add to spaghetti sauce, the same principles can often be applied to feeding patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Challenge #4: Texture

If the taste fits, the texture may not. Once the ingredients are altered, the texture may be different from what the patient remembers or associates with the food. Perhaps the biggest challenge with delivered meals is that they can easily be overcooked, especially with vegetables. A meal that is perfectly cooked in the kitchen may, during delivery, retain enough heat to continue cooking; this makes the pastas soggy and the vegetables limp.

Challenge #5: Nutrition

While feeding your loved one the macaroni and cheese they crave might make them happy, a restrictive diet of comfort foods doesn’t have the nutrition necessary to fuel them on a long-term basis. Because Alzheimer’s patients and dementia patients are often more likely to be injured than other mentally sound patients in the same age range, it’s important that they have adequate nutrition to help them heal from their injuries or illnesses.

Severe Alzheimer’s and Dementia

In severe cases, Alzheimer’s or dementia patients may face challenges eating. In later stages of the illness, they may lose the muscle coordination necessary to chew and swallow food, so it may be necessary to use smoothies or blended foods to help them stay nourished. In very severe cases, a feeding tube may be necessary. If your loved one has progressed to the point that they can no longer chew or swallow effectively, you should talk with their doctor about alternative ways to keep them properly nourished.

Mortgage House Sales Page

Mortgage House, Advantage Fixed Rate Home Loans Landing Page (Body Copy)

This second piece for Mortgage House is the copy of a landing page. My goal was to increase conversions (requests for information) on this page, which we did. The new landing page (which included my copy and a new design) increased conversions for this page by about 80%.

At Mortgage House, we know that everybody needs a little cash once in awhile.

If you’re looking for cash for your next holiday, home improvements, or just to help you pay for something important, you may qualify for a one-year fixed-rate Advantage home loan.

But what’s this home loan all about?

Convenience and Quality

With most traditional lenders, you have to choose between convenience and quality. Great convenience comes with higher interest rates and fees.

Mortgage House is different. Our Advantage home loans offer you some of your favorite home loan features at rates that are usually significantly lower than our competition.

Make this next little section a checkbox list

  • 100% Offset Account
  • Redraws available from more than 2,000 ATMS and online
  • BPay(c) service and direct salary crediting
  • Unlimited free repayments
  • No monthly or annual fees
  • Outstanding customer service and personalized attention

(( TELL ME MORE ))

What’s the Catch?

There is none. Why?

Mortgage House is different from your local bank. We’re a non-bank lender and brokerage.

We believe that our customers are more than just a credit score, so we’ll work with you personally to help you get the loan you need.

We want to help you get the right home loan for your unique situation. You’re more than a credit score to us; you’re a friend, a neighbor, and a client.

(( TELL ME MORE ))

Advantage 1-year Fixed-Rate Home Loan

The Advantage 1-year Fixed-rate home loan has interest rates as low as 4.54% (4.69% Comparison Rate).

Because the rate is fixed, you know that your interest rates and payments aren’t going to change throughout the life of your loan.

Why Mortgage House?

For short-term loans, it’s important that you have great service and all the features you need.

Advantage home loans offer better features and convenience than anyone else!

Mortgage House CBA NAB Westpac ANZ St George Rams
Cash redraws from over 2000 ATMs Yes No No No No No No
Progressive 100% offset Yes No No No Yes No No
Internet redraws & deposits Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
Toggle Offset Facility Yes No No No No No No
EFTs (electronic funds transfers) Yes No No No Yes No No
Free Fixed rate lock Yes No No No No No No
Phone redraws Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
BPay(c) in Yes No No No Yes No No
BPay(c) out Yes No No No Yes No No
Direct salary crediting Yes No No No Yes No No
Scheduled payment service Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Unlimited free repayments Yes No No No No No No
Fixed rate construction loan Yes No No Yes No No Yes
No Monthly/Annual Fees Yes No No No No No No
Direct debit accounts Yes No No No No No No
No penalty for unlimited substantial repayments Yes No No No No No No

(( TELL ME MORE ))

Mortgage House Email

Mortgage House, Email to Commonwealth Bank Customers

 

Mortgage House is an Australian mortgage lender. The work that I did for Mortgage House was challenging on two levels. First, as a mortgage lender, it’s a heavily regulated industry that requires careful attention to detail in order to ensure regulatory compliance. Second, it was an Australian company, which required extensive research to ensure compliance with Australian laws (which differ slightly from US requirements).

In this piece, I was asked to create an email sales letter that would be sent to the customers of their competitors in an attempt to encourage refinancing.

Subject:

    • Is Commonwealth Bank frustrating you?
    • Is your mortgage making you unhappy?
    • Are you unhappy with Commonwealth Bank? Read on.
  • Unhappy with your Commonwealth Bank mortgage?

Dear <Name>

Frustrated with trying to look up your mortgage online?

Frustrated with computer outages?

Frustrated with poor customer service when talking to a banker?

It’s not you

On ProductReview.com.au, Commonwealth Bank has an average rating of 2.5 out of 5. 

<h2> Perhaps, it’s time you found a better mortgage lender?</h2>

Mortgage House has a customer rating on ProductReview.com.au of 4.5 out of 5 and we’re one of Australia’s leading non-bank lenders. We’ve been around for 30 years and, in this time, we’ve helped thousands of Aussies switch over from one of the big banks.

We can help reduce your interest rate, cut your monthly repayment, AND eliminate your annual and package fees all at the same time. And we’ll do so with a smile.

<h2>How We Can Save You at Least $25,000!</h2>

Depending on the loan package you select, you could save more than $25,000 with us. Commonwealth Bank currently has their interest rates for variable rate home loans set at around 4.75%, while ours is 3.95%.  

To put that into dollars and cents, a $150,000 home loan with Commonwealth Bank will cost you about $1,018 a month for the next 20 years.<sup>1</sup> A similar loan with Mortgage House can cut your monthly repayments by more than $100 – a difference of $25,000 over the life of your loan!

Want to save even more? We usually won’t charge you a $600 package fee or a $395 annual fee. Yet you will still get the same convenient ATM and online access.

<h2>What Mortgage House Can Do For You</h2>

Mortgage House is not a jack-of-all-trades bank. We ONLY do mortgages, and we do them well. We’re not going to try to sell you on a bunch of other banking products that you don’t need. We’re only going to help you find the right home loan for your needs.

<h2>What would it take?</h2>

We know that the idea of refinancing your mortgage may seem like a hassle. We will work with you in person to make the process as easy and painless as possible. If you could save $25,000, wouldn’t that be worth a look?

(( Help Me Save On My CommBank Home Loan ))

<footnote>

1. Based on a 20-year loan at interest rates current as of September 15, 2015 where the customer pays principal and interest rates. Commonwealth Bank’s rates are taken from their Standard Variable Rate mortgage and Mortgage House’s rates are taken from our Advantage Variable Rate mortgage; both assume an owner-occupied home.

Planes Dental Welcome Letter

Planes Dental Arts, Welcome Letter/Front Page

BK Dental, an agency that specializes in digital marketing for dental websites, brought me on for more than a year to do their copywriting. The majority of their clients were cosmetic dentists and prosthodontists (who install dental implants), but I also did some work for a dental laboratory and for a few miscellaneous (non-dental) projects as well. The front page/home page on their websites was referred to as the Welcome Letter, and this is one of my favorite examples of a Welcome Letter.

What’s interesting about all of these BK Dental pieces is that they were all required to be keyword-optimized for local SEO. Being in a heavily regulated industry, additional attention was required to ensure the copy was compliant, but the copy also needed to be extremely persuasive.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Vero Beach

Dr. Alex A. Planes is your number one choice for cosmetic dentistry and wedding dentistry in Vero Beach. Planes Dental Arts can help you look and feel your best.

A Smile You Can Be Proud Of

Dr. Planes works with each patient, and can offer general dentistry or family dentistry in addition to cosmetic dentistry or wedding dentistry. This means that you can get your digital x-rays, cleanings, and fillings with the same dentist who does your Invisalign, whitening, dental implants, or veneers.

Whether your goal is overall dental health or wanting to look great for an upcoming wedding or special event, Planes Dental Arts can help you achieve a smile that you can be proud of.

Dental Implants in Vero Beach

Sometimes we find that patients are hesitant to see us, especially if they haven’t had good dental care for some time. But the longer you go without dental care, the more important it is. Even if it’s been years since your last exam, we can help you create the perfect smile. We can use dental implants to restore your smile, even if you need more intensive care.

Dental Care for the Whole Family

Planes Dental Arts does more than just cosmetic dentistry. We offer cleanings, exams, and dental care for the entire family. Whether you need a pediatric dentist or a dentist to help you with dentures or denture alternatives, Planes Dental Arts is the place to go for a beautiful, healthy smile.

Routine and Ongoing Dental Care

Many of our patients approach us for cosmetic dentistry in Vero Beach, but they stay with us for general dentistry for years. In order to prevent future problems, it’s important that you have regular dental examinations.

Certain procedures like Invisalign, dental implants, or bridges may require future maintenance or adjustment, but Dr. Planes can help you set up a schedule to ensure ongoing care.

Seeing Planes Dental Arts regularly for family dentistry or general dentistry can help you keep your new smile looking great for years to come.

About Dr. Alex A. Planes

Dr. Planes is a native of south Florida, and he’s been doing hundreds of hours of work with implants, cosmetic dentistry, and family dentistry. He’s been awarded Master status with the International College of Oral Implantologists, and he’s a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.

Dr. Planes believes that maintaining a healthy mouth is the first step in achieving optimal health. Your smile is what people remember about you, so it makes sense to have a smile that’s as beautiful and healthy as possible.

What to Expect from Planes Dental Arts

With Planes Dental Arts, you can expect personalized service and expert care with a friendly and professional staff. Whether you need cosmetic dentistry or general dentistry in Vero Beach, we invite you to contact us for an initial consultation.

 

Oberon Biofeedback & Migraines

Oberon Biofeedback – Biofeedback and Migraines

Oberon Biofeedback contracted me for a website rewrite, social media management, and blog posts. They had already been cited by the FDA for making unwarranted medical claims about their device. It was absolutely critical that their re-write be compliant, as the FDA was watching them and would fine them if there were further violations.

How do you talk about a health product when you can’t make health claims? This blog post on Biofeedback and Migraines is a good example of leading the reader to make unstated conclusions.

Biofeedback and Migraines

For people who’ve never had a migraine before, it’s easy to dismiss migraines as “just a really strong headache”. But for those who’ve had a migraine, it’s easy to see that a migraine is different. But despite the misunderstandings surrounding migraines, they’re not uncommon; The American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study revealed that 12% of adults in the United States have suffered from a migraine.1

Who Gets Migraines?

The majority of migraine sufferers are female (Stewart, 66), and migraines appear to be the most common in the lower economic classes (Stewart, 68). In the AMPP, Stewart theorizes that migraine sufferers in a higher socioeconomic group are more likely to receive adequate treatment from their physician. Stewart’s alternate theory is that in some individuals, headache-related disability may disrupt the ability to move to a higher socioeconomic class.

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is not just a headache. For many migraine sufferers, the headache is only a small part of the problem. Migraines often progress through four stages.2

The earliest phase of a migraine (usually 1 to 2 days before the attack), the prodrome phase, is sometimes serious enough to be disabling, and sometimes it’s so mild that it’s not even noticed. According to the Mayo Clinic, the prodrome phase may include:

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Food Cravings
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Neck Stiffness
  • Uncontrollable Yawning

Some migraines (called “classic” migraines) present with an aura. It can occur during the prodrome phase or the attack, and it may include visual disturbances (seeing shapes or flashes of light), vision loss, “pins and needles” in the arms or legs, and speech problems. Common migraines do not present with an aura.

The migraine attack can last anywhere from four hours to several days (Mayo Clinic). While most people associate migraines with the headache, a migraine attack frequently presents with additional symptoms. Sensitivity to light and sound is common, as is nausea (and sometimes vomiting). Blurred vision is a frequent symptom, and lightheadedness can be problematic and can sometimes lead to fainting (Mayo Clinic).

After the migraine, most people feel fatigued and exhausted. Some people feel happy and even euphoric, but the majority of migraine sufferers feel weak, shaky, or extremely fatigued after an attack. This phase is called the postdrome. Additionally, if the migraine is severe or isn’t properly treated, some of the symptoms of the attack (like the nausea or lightheadedness) may continue in a milder form into the postdrome.

When to Call the Doctor

If you’ve never had a migraine before, you need to seek immediate medical attention. In rare cases, a migraine can be a sign of a neurological problem.3 Even if you’ve had a migraine before, go to the emergency room or seek immediate care if:

  • Your headache is associated with paralysis, speech difficulties, mental confusion, seizures, personality changes, or other neurological symptoms
  • Your headache presents with a fever, difficulty breathing, stiff neck, or a rash
  • The headache is severe enough to wake you in the middle of sleep
  • The headache causes severe nausea or vomiting
  • A headache occurs after an injury or accident (even an accident that didn’t directly impact the head)
  • You have a new type of headache and you’re over the age of 55

If your headaches aren’t urgent, you may still need to contact a doctor if you:

  • Have more than two headaches a week
  • Have headaches that continue to get worse and won’t go away
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever for your headaches every day (or every other day)
  • Take more than two or three doses of over-the-counter headache medicine each week
  • Have headaches that are triggered by exertion, like coughing, exercise, or strenuous activity
  • Notice anything different or new about your headaches

Treating a Migraine

There are three types of migraine treatment: Preventative treatment, acute treatment, and rescue treatment.4

Preventative Treatment

Preventative treatment is intended to help prevent migraines from happening. If you have a single migraine every few months, your doctor may not prescribe you a preventative treatment. If you’re having several migraines a month, preventative treatment can be effective in helping to reduce that number.

Acute Treatment

Acute treatment is designed to give you relief and possibly stop a migraine attack. Many migraine sufferers are treated with a class of drugs called triptans (Migraine Trust), but in order for these to be effective, they must usually be taken at the earliest onset of the migraine. You can discuss your acute treatment options with your doctor.

Rescue Treatment

Rescue treatment is what you use if your acute treatment doesn’t work, or doesn’t give you enough relief from an attack. In some cases, if you don’t catch the migraine early enough, your acute medication may not work and you’ll need a rescue medication. The goal with acute treatment is to stop the migraine, whereas the goal of rescue treatment is simply to mediate the symptoms.

Medications

Over-the-Counter Medication

For some mild migraines, over-the-counter pain relievers can help mitigate the symptoms. The most common of these are NSAIDs, like ibuprofen (Advil). NSAIDs taken at doses higher than the over-the-counter dose should be approved by your doctor. If you’re taking these drugs regularly (more than two or three doses a week), check with your doctor, as these medications can cause serious cardiovascular risk (including heart attack and stroke) or serious gastrointestinal problems (including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines).

In some cases, acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be prescribed for mild migraines. However, an overdose of acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage, and it may react with some prescription medications.

Prescription Medication

Two of the most common medications used to prevent migraines are topiramate (Topamax) and divalproex sodium (Depakote). Topamax can cause drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, diarrhea, weight loss, and mental problems (confusion, trouble concentrating, etc.). Depakote can have side effects such as dizziness, diarrhea, drowsiness, hair loss, changes in vision, shakiness (tremor), and weight changes. In some people who take it, either medication can cause depression or other mood problems.

Triptans or ergots are sometimes prescribed as an abortive medication for migraines. Triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, etc.) can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and muscle weakness, and they’re not recommended for people at risk of a stroke or heart attack. Ergots aren’t as effective as triptans, and they can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as causing more frequent headaches.

In rare cases, a doctor may prescribe opioids for migraine, but this is unusual. Most doctors are extremely hesitant to prescribe opioids (like codeine, Hydrocodone, or Oxycodone) because of the high risk of addiction, as well as the high rate of side effects.

Natural Treatments

Acupuncture

A study conducted in 2002 and 2003 compared migraine patients who received acupuncture with patients who received no acupuncture, as well as with patients who received “sham” acupuncture. While acupuncture was effective in reducing migraines, it was no more effective than sham (placebo) acupuncture in helping to prevent migraine.5 Additionally, acupuncture can have complications. Improper sterilization of acupuncture needles has transmitted HIV and hepatitis. Acupuncture needles applied improperly can traumatize tissues and organs, or can become broken and fragments dislodged into organs.6

Massage

Several studies have indicated that regular massage may help to prevent migraines.7 Regular massage may help to decrease anxiety, heart rate, and cortisone production.8 However, many of these studies do not provide continuing benefits; that is, the migraine prevention seems to continue only as long as the regular massage therapy continues.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback has been extensively studied as a preventive measure for migraine headaches. In addition to the immediate reduction in migraine frequency, biofeedback often provides improvement that remains stable even after treatment is discontinued.9

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References

  1. Stewart, W. F., Lipton, R. B., Celentano, D. D., & Reed, M. L. (1992). Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. Jama, 267(1), 64-69.
  2. Migraine. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/basics/symptoms/con-20026358
  3. When to Call the Doctor About Your Migraines or Headaches. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/when-call-doctor-migraines-headaches
  4. Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.migrainetrust.org/treatment
  5. Linde K, Streng A, Jürgens S, et al. Acupuncture for Patients With Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2005;293(17):2118-2125. doi:10.1001/jama.293.17.2118.
  6. Ernst, E. (1995). The risks of acupuncture. The International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 6(3), 179-186.
  7. Lawler, S. P., & Cameron, L. D. (2006). A randomized, controlled trial of massage therapy as a treatment for migraine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32(1), 50-59.
  8. Hernandez-Reif, M., Dieter, J., Field, T., Swerdlow, B., & Diego, M. (1998). Migraine headaches are reduced by massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96(1-2), 1-11.
  9. Nestoriuc, Y., & Martin, A. (2007). Efficacy of biofeedback for migraine: a meta-analysis. Pain, 128(1), 111-127.

 

Probiotic

ItWorks Probiotic

I created this for a local ItWorks distributor who wanted to highlight the probiotics in the Greens product. Because this is a nutriceutical and must not make “medical claims” (per the FDA), it can be a challenge to convey the benefit to the consumer without violating compliance.

Preliminary research reveals that certain strains of probiotic may help to boost the immune system. A particular strain of probiotic called Bacillus coagulans can help to make you less vulnerable to the cold and flu. Further studies are necessary to determine how the probiotic acts..

Natural sources of probiotics include yogurt, fermented dairy products, and some cheeses. These natural sources seldom have high levels of Bacillus coagulans, but they may contain high levels of other probiotics. Due to the high heat of dairy pasteurization in the United States, fermented dairy products may have low levels of probiotics unless those bacteria are added after processing. Bacillus coagulans is patented in the US by Sabinsa Corporation under the trade name LactoSpore, so its use in probiotic supplements is uncommon, but ItWorks has LactoSpore in our Greens formula. Greens come in a convenient powder form in orange or mixed berry flavors, and ItWorks now produces a chewable Greens in blueberry flavor.