News You Can Use – December 2019

Sant hat and tree

News You Can Use – December 2019



Why does Santa Wear Red?

The legend goes that Santa’s suit is red because of a successful advertising campaign for Coca-Cola that featured Father Christmas wearing red robes with a white trim, the soft drink’s colors.

But the red and white actually derive from the colors of Saint Nicholas. Over time, the bishops’ red and white robes were replaced by a fur-trimmed suit. Historians argue that bishops’ robes appeared in many different colors but the red one came to be linked to Father Christmas during the 19th century.

Saint Nicholas was drawn throughout history in various forms: thin, intellectual and even frightening. It was Coca-Cola’s advertisements that created the image of the rotund, jolly, white-haired man we’re all familiar with today.

Newest grandson, Deangelo, sending Christmas joy your way!

As Christmas approaches, we all want to find wonderful gifts for the people we love. Some of us have limited funds, time, and energy. This can make Christmas dreadful rather than magical. Headaches over gift swaps, office gifts, secret Santa gifts, and family are not allowed! These suggestions may put a smile on your face and the recipient’s face also.

Give the gift of food
Our daughter thought of this for family gifts. She will make the in-law’s favorite meal and have them for dinner during the Holidays and they will do the same. No need for shopping, wrapping or returns. Best of all, you are socializing in person. That always makes me happy. I give favorite cookies, fudge and desserts for gifts. We have received and given local maple syrup, wine, and apples. Food is used and enjoyed.

Frame something sweet
A poem you wrote or a photo you took with a note is a one of a kind personalized gift. As a parent and grandparent, nothing makes me happier than framed family photos. You are giving a still moment that gives joy every time the photo is viewed.

Spend a day trip together
Offer to take someone to a place they would enjoy. This
could be shopping and lunch at the outlet mall or a day trip to
Niagara on the Lake or following a wine trail. This intangible gift of time is adding to the memory bank. Shared experiences are worth so much more than a sweater or a necktie.

Mock Cabbage Roll Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 lg. onion, chopped
3/4 c. plain raw rice
1 sm. head green cabbage, chopped coarsely
1 can tomato soup plus 1/2 can water
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

Sauté ground beef and onion until meat is done.
Mix remaining ingredients together.
Combine with cooked meat and onions.
Pour into oven-safe casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes or until rice is tender.

This is my easy version of Gulumpki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) that tastes great and is so easy!

Keep Greenery Fresh

Everybody loves the look and fragrance of live seasonal greenery during the Christmas holidays. I try to use live evergreens as often as possible, but keeping it fresh for the four-week season can require some additional preparation.

Here is what I have learned about keeping holiday greenery as fresh as possible through the season:

  • Purchase your greenery or wreaths as close to the time you will be using them as possible.
  • Keep your branches and wreaths outside until needed.
  • When using branches, make a fresh stem cut. Then, place the stems (or even better) the whole branch in a bucket of water overnight. You should soak your wreath in water also.
  • Treat with an Anti-Desiccant Spray. It adds a protective waxy coating to the needles or leaves of evergreens to slow the process of water loss. It can be purchased at a garden center, nursery, or florist.
  • Mist your evergreen branches or wreaths with water as often as possible.
  • Keep away from heat and sunlight. If using lighting with your evergreens, use LED lights which are cooler. And, never place lit candles close by.
  • Consider using non-traditional substitutes. Topiary rosemary or boxwood plants, potted ferns or magnolia leaves add greens to your home and will (with proper care) be around longer than traditional greenery.

Is your Vacant Home

or Seasonal Migrant Camp Covered?

There are two terms to be aware of, unoccupied and vacant.

An unoccupied home, dwelling or building means that no one was there when the burglary, theft or freezing plumbing occurred. There is coverage when a home, dwelling or building is unoccupied.

Vacant means no one has been present in the home, dwelling or building in the last 30 days prior to the burglary, theft or freezing of plumbing.

We had a farm insured who owned several dwellings used for their seasonal labor needs. In the middle of January, someone broke into the dwelling and stripped all of the copper plumbing that they could get their hands on.

The issue as to whether or not the insurance coverage would respond came down to the issue… was this house unoccupied or vacant at the time of loss?

Our farm client was able to prove that the last employee tenant was living in the dwelling in the last 30 days. They did this by showing the exact date they requested utility services to be turned off and that the last phone bill issued to the employee tenant showed that this employee tenant occupied this dwelling in the last 30 days.

However, if the last employee tenant had left, say in late November or early December, and this dwelling was actually vacant for the previous 30 days before the theft this claim would have been denied by the exclusion.

Winter Car Kits

Emergencies can happen to anyone. Whether you run out of fuel, puncture a tire, or slip off a snowy road, keep a car emergency kit to help you get back on the road safely and quickly. In addition to the items listed below, a cell phone is highly advised. Make sure your cell phone is charged every time you get in the car and keep a cell phone charger in your car.

Minimum list:

  • Flashlight, plus extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • First Aid Kit (bandages, adhesive tape, antiseptic)
  • Bottled water
  • Multi-tool (such as a Leatherman Tool or a Swiss Army Knife)

Does This Holiday Season Include Travel and Car Rental?

Having good coverage on your personal auto can also save you money when renting a vehicle.

When you rent a car, you will be asked if you want to buy “coverage” from the rental car company. You do not have to buy their insurance to legally drive the car. It is best to be prepared and know that in New York state, your coverage follows you when renting a car. This means you will have Comprehensive and Collision coverage on the rental if you currently have it on your personal auto policy. Likewise, if you do not have the coverage on your current policy, you will not have it on the rental vehicle.

If you only have liability coverage and do not have comprehensive and collision coverage, you MAY NEED to buy the rental car company’s insurance coverage, because liability on your auto plan will not cover anything that happens to the rental car.

If your personal auto policy includes liability insurance and most do, your policy will pay for any damage or injuries you cause to other cars or property up to the payout limits.

To find more information on rental car coverage, call our office to find more information about your personal coverage.



Starting January 1st, 2018, New York State mandated that employers must provide Paid Family Leave along with their New York State Disability coverage.

Traditionally farms were exempt from New York State Disability requirements unless for office or administration personnel, employees working in farm market or retail establishments or if you have agribusiness packed farm products or produce for others.

Starting January 1, 2020, all farms must provide New York State disability benefits to all farm employees and all farm employees must contribute through payroll deduction to paid family leave.

You as the employer pay the premium for N.Y.S. Disability Benefits based on a separate monthly rate for male versus female. Example: $1.75 per male per month versus $3.80 per female per month.

Employee contribution is 0.27% of pay to a maximum of $196.72/yr. for Paid Family Leave Coverage.

For more information call the office at 585-589-6236.


Chance #1
Tell a friend, a colleague, a relative, an acquaintance…whoever…about us. When they contact us we’ll send you a $20.00 Gift Card and…

Chance #2
Every month we’ll randomly draw from the month’s Chance #1 qualifiers. The winner will receive a $50.00 Gift Card

Grand Prize
In December, we’ll conduct a random drawing from all the current year’s entries and the winner will receive a new iPad!

3 Chances, 3 Prizes for YOU to WIN!

The Southcott Agency Inc. “Just Keep Talking!”
Program Rules: Available upon request

Important Crop Insurance Dates and Deadlines

December 10, 2019
End of insurance period for corn and soybeans. You have 15 days from the end of the insurance period to file a claim due to low production. You have 25 days from the end of the insurance period to file a claim due to loss of income if you have revenue protection coverage. Call the office if you need to know your trigger yield to qualify for a claim.

January 15, 2020
Production report for 2019 apple, peach, cherry, and grape production and acreage report for 2020 pears, apple, peach, cherry, and grape production. Make updates to acreage and any acreage cut down and any newly planted acreage.

We can take this report before year-end when you have your information ready or if you are vacationing in January.
Please call for an appointment at 585 589-6236.

13630 Ridge Road
Albion, NY 14411
Phone 585 589-6236
Hours 8:00am – 4:00pm