A Daily Blog on Creating Success

Why Does September 11th have such an Impact on Us?


What is it about September 11th that makes us feel the way we do. This day has a Christmas feel to it.  You start to think about it in the days leading up to it. On September 10th you realize exactly what is coming up the next day.  And if you are awake at midnight you start to feel it. In your stomach and through the chills that run throughout your body.


Never Forget.  How could we?  Ask any person old enough to remember and they can tell you exactly where they were, who they were with and how they felt that day and the few days that followed.


10 Years Later Josh Liba via Compfight


As I was driving my 10 year old stepson to school this morning I noticed a boy about the same age waiting at his bus stop.  He had his hand over his heart as if he were saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  Then I noticed the time, 8:46.  Thirteen years to the exact moment that the North Tower was struck.  Thirteen years after the exact moment our lives changed.


I couldn’t hold back tears as I drove into work thinking about the next few hours of that gorgeous Tuesday morning in New York.  What would soon turn into a smoke and dust filled war zone right in the middle of the greatest city in the world.  So I started thinking, what is it about this day that gets us all emotional?  Why does this day have such an effect on us compared to some of the other memorable days in our history?


Is it because it happened on our soil?

We had not had an attack on American soil of this magnitude in close to 60 years.  It was our generation’s Pearl Harbor.  And this time it happened in New York.  Our best city.  And in Washington D.C.  Our capital!  We have seen video of soldiers in Vietnam and clips of D Day.  All war is horrific.  But to witness, firsthand in real time, an attack on American soil really makes you feel like you are part of it.


Is it because it involved innocent civilians?

People doing what they did every day of their lives were involved.  Businessmen and women flying to meetings.  Families going on vacations.  Workers of all types walking into the Towers, taking the elevator up to their floors.  In the same way they have done for years.


Is it because we could watch and listen to the events unfold?

Crystal clear video captured two separate planes flying into first the North Tower and then, second, the South Tower.  And then crystal clear video captured the collapse of first the South Tower and then, second, the North Tower.

That morning, I had to leave for work around 9:45 so I found National coverage on the radio as I drove in.  There were reports of people on top of the South Tower with a helicopter circling above trying to land on the roof.  The smoke was so intense that it made it impossible.  I was thinking how on Earth are they going to get these people off the roof?

And then just a few minutes before 10:00 the South Tower collapsed.  Even now as I type the words I feel pain and sorrow.  That is the most memorable moment of the day for me.  And I will never forget.


Is it because our lives changed forever?

They were.  Our lives would never be the same.  We lost certain rights and privileges that we once had.  But we also gained something.  An extreme reminder of what it is to be a American.  To be blessed to live in the greatest country in the world.  More flags have flown since that dreadful day than ever before.  For the first time in a long time, we were all proud to be Americans.


Is it because of the stories of heroes?

First responders rushing up the stairs through the chaos with no concern over the ridiculous danger that waited ahead.  Firefighters and police officers helping as many people as possible.  Who knows how many lives were saved by New York’s finest.  Digging through shards of glass and rubble searching for any survivors the night of 11th and in the days that followed. These people redefined the word hero.

And then there was the passengers on Flight 93.  The heroes on this plane learned about the crashes at the Twin Towers and The Pentagon and decided to take matters into their own hands.  Rushing the cockpit and deliberately crashing the plane causing no harm to anyone on the ground.

These people are angels that somehow got their wings while they were still on Earth.  And we all owe a world of gratitude to them for saving countless lives on this very day thirteen years ago.  They were just like you, normal everyday people who took their own lives in order to save so many more.  (NOTE: I write that paragraph at exactly 10:03-thirteen years to the exact moment that Flight 93 crashed to the ground)


Never Forget

It doesn’t matter what your reason is for being so deeply impacted by the events of September 11th, 2001.  What does matter is that we Never Forget.  Our government isn’t perfect, our law enforcers aren’t perfect, even the firefighters aren’t perfect.  But when we these men and women were faced with terror they acted!

In the movies, the hero never dies.  But in real life, on this day, many of them did.  That’s what we should never forget.  Think about the first responders when you are faced with with a situation that needs a hero.  Think about the civilians on Flight 93.  Never forgetting is the same as always remembering.  Always remember to be a hero to someone who needs one.  Maybe that is the lesson we can take from the heroes of September 11th.


We are the heroes.  Never forget.


Keith Laskey

What to Do if You’re Rear-Ended


A Rear End Collision is one of the most common types of auto accidents.  Whether the reason is because they are fiddling with the satellite radio or texting, people are very distracted these days.  So, when it happens to you, how should you handle it?


rear ended

Decide if You Should Call the Police

Depending on the situation, you may wish to call the police first.  This is never a bad idea.  Trust your instincts.  If you have an uncomfortable feeling about the driver or situation, call the police.  Find a safe area to wait until they arrive.  Are there witnesses?  Ask them to wait with you.

The police will gather all the information about both drivers and will give you an incident report.  That report will have all the information you need to give to your insurance carrier as well as their carrier.


What you should do if you don’t call the Police

If you decide not to call the police then you will need to gather some information that will help with the claim handling process.  Here is what you need.

  • Their Insurance Information.  Their Insurance carrier and policy number.  The ID card will have all of this information.
  • Their Personal Information.  Name, address, and phone number.
  • Their Vehicle Information.  Year, make and model.  Bonus points if you can get the VIN on the car!

Take photos of everything.  The cars, the scene of the accident, their ID card (if possible).


Contact your agent before calling a claim in.

We always recommend calling our agency before calling a claim in to the carrier.  We can help you decide if it’s best to go through their carrier or your carrier.  Sometimes it is actually best to go through your carrier even though you were rear-ended.  The reason for this is that generally speaking you insurance carrier will provide better and quicker service to you.  You would need to pay your deductible if you choose to do this.

If you go through your carrier, they will then go after the other driver’s insurance carrier and will work to get them to accept liability and have your deductible returned to you.  Regardless of which insurance carrier you report the claim to, you must be prepared to to talk about the accident.  You will need to give your report on what happened to both your insurance company as well as their insurance company.


How a Not-At-Fault accident affects your Rates

You should not see a rate increase on your renewal due to a not-at-fault accident.  If you shop your policy with another carrier, however, you may see that the rate is higher due to the accident.  It will not be much higher but a not-at-fault accident could affect future quotes.


Do you need to go through Insurance?

No, not at all.  The other driver could pay out of pocket to cover the damages.  Make sure you get all of their information mentioned above just in case you change your mind later.  Take your car to YOUR mechanic and have them give you an estimate.  Call the other driver to discuss the cost of repairs.  Make sure the other driver knows that additional damage could be discovered while the car is in the shop.

One thing to consider!  Do you need a rental vehicle while your car is in the shop?  Without insurance, most likely you won’t have access to one.  Check your policy today to make sure that you have Extended Transportation coverage in the event of a claim.


Have you ever been rear-ended?


My name is Keith Laskey.  I write about insurance, youth development and adult success.  Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830,  for any insurance related questions or concerns.  

3 Ways Parents Ruin Youth Baseball


Ten year old baseball.  Thoughts of the “Sandlot” run through your head.  Just a bunch of kids playing ball in an empty lot.  No parents around.

This is 2015.  The Sandlot is long gone, it’s a Walgreens now.  Kids rarely play by themselves anymore and certainly not unless they all have their iDevices in hand.




Reece made the local Little League B- All Star team for the second year in a row.  Double headers on Independence Day, practice six days a week, dinner every night at a different snack bar.  The thought of a hot dog completely disgusts me right now.  But alas, it is what my entire family will consume for dinner tonight.  At least it’s cheap.


One thing I have noticed the last few years is the behavior of the parents.  Our kids are sponges.  They are heavily  influenced by us.  When talking with our children about the game or team, we have to pretend that we are on the team.  Whatever we say to them outside of the dugout will find it’s way into the dugout.


Here are the three most common types of negative parents on a boy’s baseball team.


The Whisperer


This is the parent that whispers in his son’s ear about how great he is.  He is the best player on the team.  In fact, he is so good he should be playing on the “A” team in the older age group.  He should be batting 1, 2 or 3 in the lineup and should never leave the infield.  Except maybe to play Center because no one is as fast as him.


How do you think this will affect your son?  Do you think this will make him a better teammate? He’s a nine or ten year old.  He’s not going to Cooperstown. He’ll be lucky to play JV ball in High School!  Boosting a kids confidence is something we should all be working on with every one of the kids.  Boosting their ego is something that will only bring the team down.  If he IS the best player on the team, maybe you should focus on teaching him to be a leader.  Because if there is one thing that a ten year old baseball team needs, it’s a leader.


The Critic


Picture this….a ground ball to the middle infield bounces off the glove of the short stop, your son.  All of a sudden you hear a parent in the bleachers shout, “Oh come on!!!  You gotta get that!!”


Really?  A ten year old.  You’re going to shout something like that to a ten year old?  The poor kid can barely hold back tears and now he has to deal with a parent shouting things from the peanut gallery.  You may think this would never happen but it does.  And it’s despicable.  If you are in the bleachers, please only shout words of encouragement.


The Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQ)


First off let me say that I’m guilty of this.  I am generally a positive person but I have had my moments where I second guessed coaches.  It’s very easy to do, especially during a losing streak.  The MMQ says things like; “this kid should be batting first, he should be pitching, he shouldn’t even be on this team!!”  And the ever popular, “last year’s coach was so much better.”


Coaches want two things.  They want to win and they want the kids to have fun.  While we are gabbing away with the other parents during practice they are studying the kids and trying to figure out the best spot to put them in. If you have a problem with the the coach  then your best bet is to communicate with him.  Maybe you have a suggestion that could actually help!  Quit spreading your negative energy to the other parents.


We need to be encouraging of each other and especially each other’s kids.  Baseball is the ultimate team sport.  And you as a parent are on the team.  We are looking for you to be the best cheerleader this town has ever seen.  If you can’t be encouraging and positive then it would be best for everyone if you just stayed at home.


Go team!


What issues have you seen from parents at sporting events?  Please leave a comment or share on your favorite Social Media site.


My name is Keith Laskey.  I actually believe children are our future.  I write articles about how we can empower our youth so that the world will be a better place for all of us. 

What you need to know about Insurance and Bicycles


We have a sign out front of our office where we put up little messages.  For the longest time the sign read “NEED HELP WITH MEDICARE  CALL US

We had so many people call and stop in that my dad, our Healthcare guru, finally told us to change the damn thing!  Healthcare can definitely be a challenge to work with in today’s world.

So when the weather got warm in the Spring we changed it to, “WE INSURE BIKES AND BOATS TOO!  STOP IN FOR A QUOTE.”  We got crickets.  No one called.  No one stopped in.  No one cared.


pee wee herman bike


Until just the other day.  A man saw the sign few months back.  He is considering buying a bike that will cost $8,100!  That’s Eight Thousand One Hundred Dollars.  He said he got a quote to insure the bicycle from his Homeowners agent at Erie Insurance Group for around $600 for the year.  Seems like a lot.  In fact most if not all of our Motorcycle policies are less!

I did some research and found that most Homeowners policies would cover the bike without any extra premium.  I even reached out to our Travelers Insurance Underwriter and discussed it with him.  Here’s what I found out.


Under a Travelers Insurance Homeowners policy, the bike would be covered up to the full replacement cost.  There is NO limit!  In the event of a claim, the Insured would need to pay their deductible.  Also, the claim handler would take depreciation off of the total amount of the initial claim check.  That depreciation would be returned but only after the bike is replaced.


The bike could also be covered under it’s own Personal Articles Floater (PAF, sometimes called an Inland Marine Policy).  Here are some benefits of a PAF;

  • There is a low and often times a zero dollar deductible.
  • A claim on a PAF will not affect the Homeowners Policy whatsoever.
  • A PAF is an agreed value policy.  The bike would not be subject to depreciation.


A PAF is a great idea if you have expensive jewelry, music instruments, or other valuable items.


The cost of a PAF for a bike is $9.35 per $100 through Travelers.  So for a bike valued at $8,100 the cost of the PAF  would be $757.35.  This is not cheap but you need to consider a few things.


  1. A claim filed through your Homeowners policy could result in a loss of your “Loss Free Discount”.  This discount could be as high as $300-$400 and you would lose it for at least 3 years.
  2. You would have to pay your deductible.  Any new Homeowners policy written with Travelers has a minimum deductible of $1,000.
  3. A claim on your Homeowners Policy will make it difficult to find a lower rate if you start shopping your insurance.


It’s a risk you take, pay the high premium for the PAF and possibly not have a claim or just chance it and go through your Homeowners policy if you do.  In 9 years of being in the industry I have never seen a claim for a bicycle.  But I have also never seen an $8,100 bike!

In this case I advised my new biker friend to contact his agent at Erie and discuss the coverage available through his Homeowners Policy.


What would you do? 
My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

The Father/Stepfather Relationship


Oh this is an interesting relationship.  On one side you have a man who has a son that now lives under another man’s roof.  This man’s son will be raised, in large part, by another man.  Will be heavily influenced by this other man.  Not to mention the fact this other man now has a relationship with his son’s mother.  A woman that he may or may not wish to still have a relationship with.


Not exactly the foundation for a healthy relationship.


The “other man” doesn’t have it very easy either.  How many men do you know that are forced to have a relationship with a man that was at one time in a serious relationship with his wife?  Also, how much should he parent his stepson?  Is he stepping out of line when he adds his input?  Is he being too easy?  Too hard?





This isn’t Rocket Science!

I found myself in this very situation 8 and a half years ago the day that I was introduced to my stepson.  I met his mother, Clarissa, four months earlier and had been dating her for a few weeks when we decided it was time for me to meet her son, Reece.  It was December 26th, 2005.  He was eighteen months old.

At first things were a little difficult with Reece’s father.  A lot of arguments between Reece’s mother and father.  Things moved pretty quickly between her and I.  We were engaged within eleven months of dating and married one year to the day later. We also moved Reece to the suburbs, a little further away than his father would have liked.  Things were uneasy at best.

But there was one thought we all had in common, “It’s all about Reece.”

Everything we did was in his best interest. We never discussed it or came to any kind of agreement.  We all just had the same mindset.  The same philosophy.  Everything needed to be done with the best interest of Reece in mind.


The Melting Pot

It was Thanksgiving, 2008.  Clarissa, myself, Reece and his father just sat down for our feast.  Reece’s father was talking about some money issues.  I had very similar issues earlier in the year but had landed a second job at The Melting Pot as a server.  I told him I could try to help him get a job there if he wanted.  This conversation would change our relationship forever.

Within a few weeks we were working side by side helping each other out during our shifts and drinking beers together after work.  We bonded.  We formed our own relationship and now we didn’t just care only about Reece, we actually cared about each other.


The Present

We no longer work together but the relationship between Reece’s father and myself is still in a very good place.  Tatum, my daugher, who is now 3 absolutely loves him!  He treats her like a Princess just as I treat his son like a Prince.  We are an extended family and he is one of my closest friends.


Things to Consider if You are a Stepfather

  • Form a relationship with your stepchild’s father.  Some children do not have any male figures in their lives.  How lucky is your stepchild to have two!  This must be your philosophy.
  • Your wife and her ex WILL fight.  NEVER speak negatively of his/her father in front of your stepchild.  Defend him and say only positive things about him when they are present.
  • Treat your stepchild the same way you treat your “own” children.  Love them, teach them, discipline them.
  • Your opinion on raising your stepchild matters.  Allow the parents to make decisions but be comfortable with discussing thoughts and ideas with them.
  • NEVER BE JEALOUS.  Jealousy will kill you and your relationship.  You must have faith in your relationship with your wife.  You must allow her and her ex to have a relationship together.  This will benefit you and everyone involved more than you can imagine.



Good luck to you.  Remember, it’s all about the child.  Everything we do must be done in their best interest.


-Keith Laskey


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