Posted by: Gary Thompson | June 5, 2013

Have you got it figured out yet?

During the course of a week, I will speak to several different people. The number probably averages 100. The common question I get is “Have you got it figured out yet?” I guess it comes with the territory.

As a licensed agent specializing in life and health insurance, I spend four to five hours per week attending health reform webinars and another three to four hours reading literature to better understand the changes. Back to the question, “Have you got it figured out yet?” The appropriate answer is no, but I am making progress. I can honestly say that I probably know the law much better than those that signed it into law.

If you would like to know more about health reform and how it will impact your business please email or call. I would be happy to provide some reliable sources for information.  On July 10th, Chappell, Smith & Associates will be hosting a seminar titled ‘What you need to know to protect your business.’ To RSVP please email or call Amy Trigg at or 615-435-8312.

Posted by: Mary Lewis | March 20, 2013

What To Do In A Car Accident


Mary Lewis of CS&A Insurance discusses what to do if you are in a car accident. It may surprise you to know that some police officers will urge you not to exchange insurance information with the other persons involved in the accident. This can be a bad idea as it can take up to 2 – 3 weeks to get a police report so you can find out what carrier they may have. Always exchange insurance info at the scene and never admit to being at fault.


Please call Mary Lewis at CS&A Insurance if you have questions about homeowner’s coverage and insurance. She can be reached at (615) 435-8300. If you would like more information on CS&A Insurance please visit our website or call 800.999.1109. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Mary Lewis | March 11, 2013

Mary Lewis Explains How To Report Property Damage Claims

Mary Lewis of CS&A Insurance explains the proper way to report property damage claims. So often people think that all claims during the year are accumulative and can be reported at the end of the year. This is a common misconception. Also be aware that insurance companies not only look to see how frequent your claims are they also gauge your premiums by frequency of claims.


Please call Mary Lewis at CS&A Insurance if you have questions about homeowner’s coverage and insurance. She can be reached at (615) 435-8300. If you would like more information on CS&A Insurance please visit our website or call 800.999.1109. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Steve Elliott | March 4, 2013

How to Build a Book of Business

Steve Elliott with CS&A Insurance gives the inside scoop on How to Build a Solid Book of Business. Although Steve is specific about the commercial insurance industry, his advice can be utilized with all general types of sales oriented businesses. In 3 short years Steve Elliott has excelled in becoming one of the top insurance producers at Chappell, Smith & Associates, Inc. dba. CS&A Insurance.

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If you would like more information on Steve Elliott or CS&A Insurance visit our website or call 800.999.1109. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Travis Wright | February 25, 2013

Social Media is Becoming a Staple for Many Businesses

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | February 20, 2013

Communicating Wellness through Social Media


Workplace wellness remains a vital initiative for companies striving toward a healthier employee population and reduced health care costs. A significant part of any workplace wellness program is employee communication and education, and social media can be a beneficial way to expand those efforts.

Why social media?

In order for your health and wellness communications to be effective, they must be reaching your employees. Odds are, many employees and their families are already on social media, so taking your message there is a strategic way to expand the reach of your wellness communications. Here are some additional benefits:

  • Employees on social media are more likely to pay attention to communications there than ones you email or post on a bulletin board.
  • Research shows that social networks often influence people’s behavior. Furthermore, many consumers already search online for health and wellness information—you have an opportunity to deliver the information employees are looking for in the place they’re already spending time.
  • It’s an effective way to keep a pulse on your employees, to see what they are saying about your wellness program and where they have questions—so you can look for opportunities to improve. Social media offers an opportunity for conversation and interaction, which your other wellness communications are likely lacking.

Get started

The best places to start communicating are Facebook and Twitter, as they are likely the most popular among your employee population. Create Facebook and Twitter accounts separate from your company accounts—these new accounts will be employee-focused and can include internal communications, wellness and benefits communications.

For an internal social media initiative to succeed, it is vital that you promote it to employees! In one sense, it’s easier than promoting a social media presence externally, because you have a captive audience, but you do need to think carefully about your message. Don’t simply announce that your company has created internal accounts; rather, share the benefits for employees, such as:

  • Access to regular health and wellness tips for living a healthier lifestyle
  • Education to help them become smarter health care consumers and save money on health care
  • An opportunity to connect with other employees and discuss wellness trends or issues
  • Easy-to-access information, available anytime
  • Ability to ask questions or share feedback about the wellness program
  • Updates on wellness events, incentives or contests, so employees are always in the loop

As you’re getting the message out, promote it in several areas. Add a tagline in email signatures, post links on your intranet, post announcements around the office, etc.

Gain momentum

Have a wellness communication plan before you get started, so employees don’t follow you and then get disappointed by a lack of consistent posts. Begin by building up friends or followers. Search for and follow/friend all your employees, and also any industry experts on health and wellness.

It may make sense to post similar content to both Twitter and Facebook, as you might have different employee audiences on each. Do remember, though, that Facebook offers the opportunity to post more in-depth updates. Here are some ideas of what to post:

  • Wellness tips, both self-generated or retweeted from others
  • Information about wellness activities, incentives, events, classes, etc.
  • General information about aspects of the program
  • Success stories within your program (with an employee’s permission)
  • Frequently asked questions

Make sure to interact! This should not be a one-way communication channel. A major benefit of social media is the ability to converse and elicit feedback. If employees comment or ask a question, be sure to reply so they know you are listening and want to hear from them. And go further by asking for input—ask employees to share creative wellness tips or what their favorite exercise trend is, for example, to get them talking.

If you would like more information on Wellness Programs and Incentives for your employees, please feel free to contact Gary Thompson with CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109. If you would like more information on CS&A Insurance visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Todd Lee | February 18, 2013

Keep the Drive to Reach Your Goals


There is an opportunity that comes with the start of a new year. That was evident when I walked in the gym shortly after the start of the year and it was twice as full as usual.  However, just barely over two weeks later and I can already see the crowd thinning out, not losing weight, I mean they are not there.  What is the difference between people that have the ability to stick with a goal and see it through and those that find it a challenge to do so?  I have found three habits that work well and help me reach what I have set out to do.  I have not accomplished everything I set out to do, but I try to give myself every opportunity to succeed.  Implementing these three practices gives me that opportunity and I feel it will do the same for you.

  1. Write your goals down and keep them in a place you will see them on a consistent basis.  Old habits die hard and it takes a few weeks for new habits to develop, if your goals are out of sight they will be out of mind.
  2. Tell somebody your goal and ask them to keep you accountable.  This person should share your passion to see you succeed.   Maybe they have already accomplished what you are setting out to do or they share the same goal as you do.  That is why success coaches exist, gyms have trainers, and teams have captains.  They help you do the little things and keep you accountable.  It is tough to feel we have disappointed another person and when we have an accountability partner we are much more likely to follow through on a commitment rather than fall back on old habits.
  3. If you are going to climb a mountain at some point you reach the halfway point.  What I mean is have some incremental points in your quest to reach your goal where it is evident you are making progress.  If your goal is to run a marathon, then celebrate mileage points of 13.1, 16, and 20 miles.  If your goal is to lose 20 pounds then celebrate losing 10 and 15 pounds when that happens.  If you goal is business oriented then celebrate incremental success in sales, revenue, controlling expenses, or whatever it might be.  Reaching your goal is the ultimate success, don’t let that be your only success.  Celebrating incremental success helps build momentum and breaks your goal down into more manageable pieces.

Reaching a goal is a great thing as it is the realization of a dream, so surround yourself with individuals who will encourage you and not be threatened by your ambitions.    It is never too late to start or restart your drive to reach your goals.  Best of luck to you and I’ll see you at the top.

If you would like more information on Todd Lee or CS&A Insurance visit our website or call 800.999.1109. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | February 13, 2013

Pet Safety: Poisons


Protect your buddies from household hazards

If you are a typical pet owner, your pet is a part of your family. However, just as you would with a baby, you must be vigilant in protecting your pet from poisonous items that can be found around the house.

Poisonous Plants

Those sweet-smelling flowers or green plants may brighten up your home, but unfortunately dogs and cats are attracted to them too. Popular flora that is  dangerous to your pet includes:

  • Lilies
  • Tulips/Narcissus bulbs
  • Azaleas/Rhododendrons
  • Oleander
  • Amaryllis
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Daisies
  • Baby’s breath
  • Pothos – Of the Araceae family; is an extremely popular houseplant

All of the above can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination and in some cases even coma or death. This list is not exhaustive; for a more comprehensive record, visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) at

People Food

As much as your pet begs for a taste of what’s on your plate, it is generally not wise to feed it food or drinks meant for humans. Foods especially harmful to pets include:

  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Onions, garlic and chives
  • Coffee
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Undercooked meat
  • Raw bones (they can splinter)
  • Products sweetened with xylitol (like sugar-free gum)


Everyone has dropped a pill on the floor from time to time. However, if you have pets, you need to pick it up immediately; if you cannot find it, get out the vacuum. Never leave opened medication out on the counter. Also, if you are dispensing medication to your animal, make sure to read the instructions carefully. The ASPCA has received calls regarding poisonings by well-meaning pet owners.


Even though we can try to be as cautious as possible in our own homes, we also need to protect our loving little pals from outside dangers as well. Before you board your pet it is extremely important that it’s vaccinations are up-to-date and current with the facilities guidelines. A reputable boarding facility will need to have a letter from your veterinarian that your pet is healthy and is current on vaccinations.

If Your Pet is Poisoned…

Call the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Be ready with a description of your animal, symptoms, information about the poisoning and, if applicable, have the product’s label or container handy. The ASPCA also recommends having a pet first aid kit, containing hydrogen peroxide (3 percent, to induce vomiting), a bulb syringe or turkey baster (to administer the hydrogen peroxide), saline eye solution, artificial tear gel, forceps, a muzzle (to prevent getting bitten if your animal is in shock), a mild dishwashing liquid (to bathe your pet after skin contamination) and a can of your pet’s favorite food. You can purchase such kits in pet stores or online.

Did you know…?

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center handles more than 165,000 cases of animal poisonings every year; many of these calls involve human medications or the incorrect administration of veterinary medicines by pet owners.

Posted by: Steve Lee | February 11, 2013

Driving Personal Cars for Business Use – A Good Idea?

Businessman and Businesswoman in a Car

There are many situations in which an employee drives his or her personal auto to perform a business-related task or activity: travel between worksites, client visits, transportation of clients, travel home from work-related events and even quick stops to pick up food for a meeting. It is important to consider the risk that  assumes in these everyday occurrences.

Driving a personal auto in lieu of a company-owned vehicle may seem to minimize an employer’s liability, but companies can be held partially liable for damages in the event of an accident, and if an insurer discovers the individual was driving for business it may take action against the employer for subrogation purposes.

If the employee is making a work-related phone call or taking part in any business-related activity, the employer will be held accountable. When employees will be driving their own cars for work, there are several actions you can take as an employer to mitigate risk.

Purchase Hired and Non-owned Coverage

Any company that allows or requires employees to use their personal vehicles for business should either purchase hired and non-owned coverage or add it to an existing automobile policy. Hired coverage is for situations in which autos are not owned by the company or the driver, and non-owned coverage protects the company against liability when vehicles that are owned by employees are used on behalf of the company. In the event of an accident, these policies supplement the driver’s personal auto policy, which is typically activated first. For minimal yearly premiums, these policies generally protect the company only, not the car or the driver

Use a Company Policy to Reduce Risk

According to the National Safety Council, 1.3 million car crashes in 2011 were attributable to cell phone use while driving. Since distracted driving accidents can have serious implications for companies, a company policy that emphasizes the importance of driving attentively and restricts the use of mobile phones is essential to preventing employee accidents in all vehicles, both personal and company-owned. In addition, the policy should clearly state when the use of a personal vehicle will be expected or allowed, and all employee job descriptions should specify when driving a personal vehicle will be a job function. As a condition to employment and thereafter at least on a yearly basis, those employees driving personal vehicles should be required to provide:

  • Proof of a driver’s license
  • Motor vehicle safety inspection certificates
  • Copy of insurance certificates proving liability coverage at or above an established company limit including personal injury and medical limits
  • Proof that the employee has declared the use of the auto for business to his or her insurer
  • Exhaustive lists of all prescribed controlled medications

Further, you should reserve the right to check motor vehicle records annually or more frequently.

Enforce the Policy

After the driving policy has been instated, it should be actively communicated and enforced. Managers of employees utilizing personal vehicles should be directed to monitor the safety and maintenance of those vehicles. Employees found out of compliance with the company policy should be subject to reassignment or termination. It is every employer’s responsibility to ensure its employees’ safety on the job, and those that use personal vehicles on business are no exception.

Contact Steve Lee at CS&A Insurance for more help assessing your company’s risk regarding the use of personal vehicles, or to learn more about hired and non-owned coverage.

If you would like more information on CS&A Insurance visit our website or call 800.999.1109. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Gary Thompson | February 6, 2013

Your Health Plan: Understanding Your Explanation of Benefits (EOB)

Man Looking Over Bills

An Explanation of Benefits is a form that insurance companies send to their members to explain what part of a claim was paid by insurance, what part was not paid, and why. It is important to clearly understand what this statement means.

Many people find EOBs difficult to understand since they differ from one insurance company to another. Some insurance companies combine several dates of service or several providers on a single EOB form. Others prepare separate forms for each date of service and provider you see.

Typically, most EOBs include the following information:

  • Name and address of the policyholder
  • Name of the patient
  • The group number
  • The member ID number
  • Claim number
  • Date the claim was processed
  • Date of service
  • Name of the health care facility and the provider name
  • Name of the procedure or service and the billing code
  • Amount that was billed to the insurer by the provider
  • The portion of the bill that is eligible for insurance coverage
  • The reason why the non-covered portion was not covered
  • The amount of the charges that are subject to the patient’s deductible
  • The amount paid by insurance

The main purpose of your EOB is to help you determine if your claim has been paid, how much has been paid by your insurance company, and how much is your responsibility. Then, you will know which invoices to pay and how much.

To figure out who has been paid, match the treatment dates and providers from the invoices to the dates of service and providers listed on your EOB. Make sure your provider gives you an itemized invoice so you can effectively match your EOB to your invoices.

Keep in mind that insurance companies rarely pay 100 percent of a claim. You need to pay your part in applicable deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

Below are some common reasons for partial payment of a claim by your insurance company:

  • Part or all of the claim was charged to you to satisfy your deductible
  • Part of the claim was charged to you in the form of a copayment
  • Part or all of the claim was charged to you to satisfy your coinsurance requirement
  • The charges for the services exceeded the maximum benefit available for the service
  • Your insurance policy was not in force on the date of service
  • The claim was a duplicate and had been previously paid
  • The charges exceeded the insurance company’s reasonable and customary limitation (this happens more frequently when using out-of-network providers)
  • The charges are for a non-covered service (e.g., cosmetic surgery)
  • The charge was for a pre-existing medical condition that is excluded from coverage

If you receive an EOB showing that your insurance company did not pay for your entire claim, first determine the reason why, and then determine if the reason is valid. If you believe there has been an error, contact your health plan’s member services department to ask them to review the claim.

Did You Know…?

A “usual and customary” fee is defined as the charge for a medical service or procedure that is in line with the average rate or charge for similar services or procedures in a specific geographical area.

If you would like more information on how to read and understand your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) please feel free to contact Gary Thompson with CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109. Also if you would like more information on CS&A Insurance visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

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