Posted by: Jason Shaffer | November 12, 2012

Happy Veterans Day

Dakota Meyer with Jason Shaffer from CS&A Aviation Insurance

This year was the first time I’ve attended the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual convention.   I thought I knew what to expect…. lots of people, lots of booths, lots of walking, but as I passed through the doors and stepped inside the convention hall, I felt like Ralphie standing outside Higbees Department store right before Christmas, drooling over a Red Ryder BB gun…..Yes mom, I know….. I’ll shoot my eye out!  Everywhere I turned, my senses were bombarded by the sights and sounds of various marketing departments vying for my attention.   …Wait a second; is that the Cirque Du Soleil girl doing acrobatics from a curtain?  Not sure what that has to do with aviation, but don’t you think we should go ask her?

Now before my wife gets the wrong impression and starts thinking that my “big important business trip” was actually just three days of shenanigans, let me say that it was actually a very productive trip.  I met some of the best and brightest professionals in the aviation industry, and I was able to view and sample the latest technology making its’ way into our cockpits.

The highlight of my trip actually had nothing to do with aviation though.  It occurred as I was walking past one of the booths and my eye caught a sign stating that Dakota Meyer would be there that day.  For those of you who do not know who Dakota Meyer is, he is the first United States Marine since Vietnam to receive the Medal of Honor and live to tell the tale.  He recently published a book which details the battle, “Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War.”  The most striking part of my conversation with Sergeant Meyer was just how incredibly humble he was.  Throughout a six hour battle, this Marine repeatedly fought his way through an ambush to save the lives of 36 men, and recovered the bodies of 4 fallen brothers.  To hear him talking about it, he doesn’t feel that he did anything special though; it was just the right thing to do.  It was special though, and Sergeant Meyer’s superhuman actions should be a source of pride for his fellow Marines and all others who have served in the United States military.  Happy Veterans Day.  Thank you for serving our country.

If you would like more information about Jason Shaffer with CS&A Aviation Insurance, please visit his bio page on AviationInsurance.com or call him at 800.999.1109.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | November 7, 2012

Obama Wins Re-election: Health Care Reform Law Here to Stay

Health Care Reform is a necessity now for every business. If you don’t know what is expected or needing to know what the next steps for you will be, here is a good piece that is brief and will help you carry on.

Obama Wins Re-election: Health Care Reform Law Here to Stay

If you would like more information on Obama Care/Health Care Reform please contact Gary Thompson at CS&A Insurance, at 1.800.999.1109. You may also visit our websites at www.ChappellSmith.com and www.AviationInsurance.com

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | November 5, 2012

Your VOTE affects Aviation Business

Aviation Business

Regardless of your political beliefs, it’s important for each of us to understand that the upcoming presidential election can and will have a direct impact on most aviation businesses.  Unfortunately, bashing aircraft owners and the aviation industry by the president and politicians is counterproductive and misguided.  Once you sort through the political rhetoric and look at the facts, it’s easy to see that the business aviation industry alone employs approximately 1.2 million Americans and contributes $150 million to our economy.  General aviation aircraft are used by individuals, businesses to transport their employees, for air ambulance operations, passenger charter, cargo transportation for many industries, firefighting, flight training, law enforcement, search and rescue, news and traffic reporting, pipeline and powerline patrol, charity work, crop dusting and for many other important missions.  This week charity flights and humanitarian relief efforts are playing an important role in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.  Punishing aircraft owners and aviation businesses with higher taxes, fees, and regulations will make it harder for companies to operate and gives them less incentive to buy or own an aircraft.  Many of us in the aviation industry have already felt the impact of the bad economy and higher aviation fuel prices over the last several years.  We don’t need the politicians and government punishing us and mischaracterizing the use of airplanes in our country.

Unfortunately, it goes beyond our aviation businesses. The politicians in Washington have increased our national debt to over $16 Trillion (and it’s still growing).  Some of these same politicians feel the answer to the debt crisis they created by not passing a budget in over three years or by their reckless and irresponsible spending, is to increase taxes on those who create jobs.  Companies cannot just magically absorb and pay more taxes without it affecting some other part of their business.  Unfortunately, we can’t just increase the price of our products and pass it on to our customers so we can pay more taxes.  Today, even small businesses like ours, have to pay a massive amount of taxes including: federal taxes, state taxes, sales and use taxes, F&E taxes, property taxes, unemployment taxes, and payroll taxes to name a few.  This doesn’t include the taxes we pay as individuals.  We cannot take on the burden of more taxes.

Please take the time to read, study and understand what’s happening including the long-term impact some of the irresponsible and self-serving politicians have on our country, our companies, and to us as individuals.

Please visit our web site at: www.ChappellSmith.com or www.AviationInsurance.com or call us TODAY at 1.800.999.1109.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | October 30, 2012

CS&A Insurance To Attend NBAA

CS&A Insurance Producers, Tom Chappell, Chris Turnbull, Jason Shaffer and Gary Thompson, will be attending this years 65th Annual National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention in Orlando Florida. This week the agents will be meeting with preferred clients as well as prospects at the NBAA. Tom Chappell and Chris Turnbull are no strangers to the event as they have been attending for many years. Jason Shaffer, our newest aviation agent will be attending his very first NBAA. It was decided to also bring along Gary Thompson who is the Life and Health/Employee Benefits Manager for CS&A.

As one of the largest Aviation Conventions in this country CS&A thinks it’s extremely important to attend these events as it lends itself well to being able to have face to face time with clients and prospects as well as keep well informed on trends and new products in Aviation. It is also a great opportunity to connect with vendors and carriers such as Global, Chartis, W. Brown, Starr and other aviation underwriters. CS&A also believes that bringing Gary along will help facilitate some cross selling efforts for our Life and Health/Employee Benefits Division and broaden the spectrum of what CS&A can bring to the table of any maintenance facility, flight school, FBO or corporate fleet operations.

If you would like more information on the NBAA or CS&A Insurance please visit their web sites: www.NBAA.org or www.AviationInsurance.com. Call Today at 1.800.999.1109

Posted by: Jason Shaffer | October 29, 2012

Training The Positive Attitude

OH-58D or Kiowa Warrior

OH-58D or Kiowa Warrior

As an Army pilot, I’m required to take a proficiency and readiness exam every year.  I’m evaluated on many of the same subjects that civilian pilots encounter during a Biannual Flight Review (BFR), and Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC).  And just like many of my civilian counterparts, I dread it!  That is, I used to dread it until I realized that I was approaching the subject with the wrong attitude.

I often talk to pilots who are purchasing a new aircraft and are unhappy about the training requirements stipulated by their insurance company. Some are required to log a certain number of hours of dual instruction in the make and model before being allowed to solo; others are required to attend an annual flight review or IPC at an approved school.  What all of us are failing to realize is that these training and evaluation requirements just make for better pilots.

Many of us build up our examiners and CFI’s to be terrible ogres before we even meet them.  We’re convinced that they’re going to dig, dig, dig, until they discover that one area we are a little weak in, and then rake us over the coals.  Instead, try approaching the situation with a positive attitude and as an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and experience in that area.  Now all of this is not to say that I wasn’t knee deep in operator’s manuals, FAR/AIM, Army regulations, sectionals, and approach plates the night before my review, just that I was dreading the next day a little less.

The next time you find yourself preparing for a training event, try approaching it with a positive attitude.  Take advantage of the opportunity and understand that it is a chance to learn something new and become a better aviator.  You’ll get more out of it, and maybe not lose so much sleep the night before!

OH-58D or Kiowa Warrior Formation

OH-58D or Kiowa Warrior Formation

OH-58D or Kiowa Warrior River Shot

OH-58D or Kiowa Warrior River Shot

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | October 22, 2012

CS&A Insurance to speak at TBMOPA Convention 2012

Tom Chappell, CEO and Chairman of CS&A Insurance will be attending and presenting a seminar at the 9th Annual TBMOPA Convention Oct 24th thru the 27th at the Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island, FL. Tom has presented numerous times at this and other conventions with topics ranging from Insurance Market Updates to Risk Management and Risk Reduction for TBM Owners and Operators.

Tom’s involvement with the TBM Owner’s and Pilot’s Association (TBMOPA) goes far beyond presenting risk management and safety seminars at annual conventions.  He has played a pivotal role in the foundation and implementation of TBM’s Insurance and Safety Programs. He has worked with the TBMOPA and the various insurance underwriting facilities to develop an underwriter sponsored insurance discount program that rewards TBM owners for their participation in the foundation’s sponsored safety training.

The TBMOPA sponsors Safety Training Seminars at their annual conventions for the member pilot.  This training program goes beyond the usual required annual simulator based recurrent training that is mandated by the insurance underwriter.  Through these seminar sessions, the pilot will be briefed on various safety aspects of the aircraft operations.  These are everyday practical operational situations that most recurrent training programs neglect.

Tom Chappell’s presentation this year will be focused on three short topics specific to the TBM and its operator.  “Fleet Statistics”, “Aviation Insurance Market Trends”, and information on “What happens after a loss occurs” comprise this discussion.

For more information on Tom Chappell please contact CS&A Insurance or visit us at our website www.AviationInsurance.com. And don’t forget to check out our issue of Aviation Insurance & Risk Management TBMOPA Convention 2012 Issue here.

AIRM TBM Issue

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | October 12, 2012

CS&A Insurance Announces DVD Release

CS&A Insurance Speaker Series DVDs

CS&A Insurance Speaker Series DVDs

CS&A Insurance is proud to announce their latest release in the DVD Speaker Series. On August 28th, 2012 CS&A Insurance hosted a speaking event for clients and prospects on Health Care Reform. The presentation was given by David C. Smith with Eben Concepts, a company that specializes in consulting, brokering, simplified benefit administration and human resources compliance.

David touches on what has changed in Health Care Reform from 2010 to present and what possible changes are scheduled and rumored about for 2013 to 2016.

Every business with employees will be faced with compliance to health care reform mandates and regulations. This can often be a confusing and frustrating task. CS&A Insurance is one of the only independent insurance agencies in the country whose main focus is on educating our clients and potential clients as well as our competitors.

If you would like more in-depth information on Health Care Reform and compliance please contact: Gary Thompson, Life & Health/Employee Benefits Manager with CS&A Insurance.

CS&A Insurance
1006 Merylinger Court
Franklin, TN. 37067
615.435.8300
www.ChappellSmith.com

If you would like more information on our other Speaker Series with Tiya Lim from BAM Advisor Services on Optimizing for Social Security, Clifton Lambreth (author of Ford & The American Dream), and Robert Sutter with Keystone Insurers Group on Communication please contact Casey Harris with Next Dimension Publishing at Casey@NextDimensionLLC.com.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | August 6, 2012

Basics of Medicare by Don Meyer

The Basics of Medicare – what you need to know.

As an insurance advisor and agent, I have been fortunate to help my clients with a vast array of products and services over the years.  Sometimes, the solutions are simple.  At other times, a client’s situation may be complex and require meticulous planning and thoughtful consideration before a successful conclusion can be reached.  But of all the clients and cases I have seen, no other issue causes more confusion and questions than Medicare.  Here is a brief summary of how Medicare works and what you need to consider as you approach this important milestone:

What is Medicare?
Medicare is the government’s system of healthcare for people 65 or older and people younger than 65 with certain disabilities.

One important note: Medicare was never designed to pay for all of your healthcare needs.  There have always been co-insurance amounts and deductibles.  I will detail these as I describe the Four Basic Parts of Medicare:

Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Medicare Part A is coverage for care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice and home healthcare.  If you or your spouse has worked a total of 40 quarters and paid Medicare taxes, there is no premium for this coverage.  However, there is a deductible for this coverage.  In 2012, you are responsible for the first $1156 for each benefit period under Part A.  A benefit period lasts for 60 days so you could incur this charge several times during the year.

Part B (Doctors Insurance)
Part B of Medicare helps cover the costs for medically-necessary services, like doctors’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment and other medical services.  For Medicare approved expenses, Medicare is the primary insurance and covers 80% of the costs.  You, the Medicare beneficiary, are responsible for the remaining 20% as well as the yearly deductible.  Unlike Part A, there is a premium for Part B, which in 2012 is $99.90 per month for most people.  If you are already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will get Part B automatically.  However, for people that continue to work past 65 and stay on their employer’s group coverage, it is critical that you meet with a licensed insurance agent.  You might be paying too much and could be at risk for high out-of-pocket expenses that can be avoided with proper planning.  Timing is also a crucial issue with Part B.  Making a mistake could result in a life-time premium penalty from Medicare.

Part C (Medicare Advantage)
A Medicare Advantage Plan is another health plan choice you may have.  Medicare Advantage Plans are still a part of Medicare but are offered by private insurance companies.  They are required to provide all the coverage under Medicare Parts A and B and usually include Part D prescription drug coverage, as well.  Depending on what type of Medicare Advantage Plans that are offered in your area, these plans can be a cost effective alternative to traditional Medicare.

Part D (Prescription Drug Plans)
Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drug cost and is offered through private insurance companies.  Each year Medicare establishes a standard plan and insurance companies must offer benefits at least equal to the standard plan. These plans have different premiums, cover different medications, and have different co-insurance and co-pays.  The donut-hole or coverage gap is a part of all plans, however.  Individuals need to consult an expert for more details.

Confused yet?
There is really only one thing that is certain:  Medicare was never intended or designed to cover everything.  Between the Part A deductible and Part B’s 20% co-insurance amount, having only Medicare Parts A and B can leave you at risk for thousands of dollars each year.  Medicare alone is not enough to adequately protect your and your life’s savings.  So, what are your options?

Medicare Supplements can help pay for what Medicare doesn’t pay.  Medicare Advantage Plans pay instead of Medicare.  Either option can help reduce your financial risk.  But here’s where it gets tricky:  One size does not fit all.

So when considering your options, there are several factors to consider: your health, your finances, your eligibility- even your personal philosophy on insurance.  And you need an expert to help you wade through the rules and regulations of Medicare to find a plan that fits your individual needs.

A note about the author, Don Meyer works with Cornerstone Senior Services. He has been helping seniors for over 15 years with their Medicare and Long Term Care needs

Chappell, Smith and Associates help both businesses and individuals navigate their options when it comes to life and health coverage.  When our clients become Medicare eligible, we work with trusted advisors such as Don to transition their coverage.  For more information you can contact Gary Thompson at 615-435-8299 or gthompson@chappellsmith.com .

Posted by: Chris Davis | March 5, 2012

More sessions of Hangar Flying with Chris Davis are up.

More in this series from Chris Davis from CS&A Insurance. If you haven’t vistied our website or YouTube channel recently you may have missed the latest series of videos entitled Hangar Flying with Chris.  In this series we will be answering some of our more frequently asked questions as well as addressing some of the common misconceptions that we see on a regular basis.

Drop in and find some answers to questions that you have often wondered, but never asked.  If you have a question that we have not yet answered, post it in the comments section and we will try to answer it in a future video.

Posted by: Christopher Turnbull | March 1, 2012

There is no I in TEAM

What makes a team successful or great? What do successful teams do to be the best that others don’t?  There are many cliché answers to these types of questions. However, I believe we would all agree on a couple of things: 1) everyone on the team understands what the ultimate goal or mission is (e.g. to win the Super Bowl), 2) everyone on the team plays a critical role and executes their assigned tasks when called upon (e.g. they don’t drop the ball when they have a chance to score a touchdown), 3) everyone on the team, including the owners, managers, coaches, and players work together (e.g. no one has a separate or self-serving agenda), and 4) the team plans, practices, prepares, and executes their plan each and every day; not just on game day.

These same questions and answers can apply to running a successful business. If one of these items is missing, it will be difficult for a company to be truly successful.

If you agree with my answers above, then consider the following questions: Do you procrastinate and fail to complete projects in a timely manner (or at all)? Do you have to be asked where you are on projects? Can others criticize your lack of responsiveness and accountability?

The hardest working and most focused people periodically lose steam or get stuck in a rut. Unfortunately, your procrastination negatively affects other people or organizations that are counting on you. If you procrastinate too long, the pile of uncompleted projects gets bigger and bigger which results in stress for everyone.

How can you break the habit of procrastinating or avoid the stress of letting your team down?  The following are some suggestions:

1)      Define what the “completed” project looks like. Ask your supervisor or team leader specific questions so you know what the ultimate goal is and what should be accomplished.

2)      Develop a Plan. Clearly defined steps will always beat random actions.  My kids have heard me say this for years.  When my son was younger, I could see him roll his eyes whenever I asked him “What’s your plan?  Today, as a successful college student, he’s the first to say that learning to plan has helped him avoid problems, reduce stress, and helps him to overcome life’s challenges and difficulties.  What are the important parts of any plan? You have to determine where you are today, what you want to accomplish, and then describe how you’re going to get there.  I would encourage you to write your plan down and update it as needed … again, clearly defined steps will always beat random actions.

3)      Take one bite of the elephant at a time. A project is made up of many tasks. You cannot accomplish all of them at one time. Therefore prioritize your tasks. Put them in order of importance or in the order in which they need to be accomplished. For example, don’t build the roof of a house before you dig the footings and lay the foundation. 

4)      Set realistic and specific deadlines for yourself.  For example, before the end of the day, you are going to complete 3 specific tasks.  No excuses. Do not put it off until “later”. If needed, set aside specific times of the day for completing certain tasks. For example, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, I’m going to work on my … (project).  Every afternoon between 3:00 and 4:00 I’m going to answer my emails and return any unanswered phone calls. It will be almost impossible for you to stay focused and complete projects unless you dedicate specific and uninterrupted time to the task. 

5)      One and done! Don’t let work pile up.  Although I consider myself a great multitasker, I recognize that the best way to complete tasks is to focus on them one at a time.  Complete the task and get it off your desk.  Then move on to the next one and complete it. Don’t start a new task until you’ve completed the one that is already on your desk. Of course, things come along that are an immediate priority. But, don’t let everything turn into a priority or crisis that keeps you simply putting out fires all day.

6)      Learn to delegate or ask for help.  I can tell you from experience that this is one of the biggest downfalls of most up and coming leaders. In fact, many never learn the importance of delegation.  A good leader knows how to make sure things get done. However, that doesn’t mean that they should or can do all the work themselves. That’s why they have a team.  The quarterback is responsible for leading the team on the field, coordinating the plays, and throwing the ball.  Other team members are responsible for blocking, running and catching the ball. The quarterback can not play every position.  If you’re the leader, you must take responsibility and ownership of the team, projects and tasks. That means you must ensure that tasks get completed on-time, on budget, etc.  If you’re not the team leader, you have a responsibility to ensure you do your job, let the quarterback know what the problems are, and to execute your tasks without dropping the ball.  The rest of the team is counting on you.

7)      Communicate effectively and often.  Most leaders are tasked with a lot of duties and responsibilities.  As a leader, you must keep your team informed and up to date in order for them to do their job effectively.  Conversely, as a team member, you also have a responsibility to keep your team leader informed.  If your team leader has to ask you repeatedly where you are on a project or task, you are not doing a good job communicating.

8)      Work with a fire in your belly and a sense of urgency.  Get motivated.  Although it would be nice to never have deadlines or limitations, that is not a realistic expectation in the business world.  Your supervisors, co-workers, customers and family members are counting on you.  I don’t believe the old adage that says “slow and steady wins the race.”  Slow never wins a race.  Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not suggesting you rush hastily or carelessly. When it comes to projects, it’s critical that you drive the project to completion on-time, on budget and with the resources that you have available. During the process, you need to keep your supervisor and team members up-to-date by scheduling regular meetings, sending e-mails and by whatever means are necessary.

9)      Don’t be a quitter!  It’s not uncommon to see people come to a screeching halt on a project the first time (every time) they run into a problem. Take ownership and responsibility!  Learn to work through problems. That doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t ask for help, but first, think!  Develop solutions, weigh out the alternatives and make a decision.  If your supervisor has to think and do your work for you, he doesn’t need you.  Passing the project back to your supervisor is not an option.

Projects, problems, deadlines, and obstacles are the norm in the business world.  But each of these things also comes with an opportunity to succeed, grow, innovate and profit.  Take ownership of the opportunities presented to you.  Tackle every assignment with a sense of urgency and ownership.  Your effort may occasionally go un-noticed or be under-appreciated.  But the successful completion of assigned duties ultimately makes you an invaluable asset to your company.

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