1: Guard Your Water Pipes


To protect your outdoor water faucets from freezing, disconnect all garden hoses and store them as the weather shifts. Make sure to shut off the water to your outdoor faucets, drain the lines, and cover them with a faucet cover.

2: Keep Water Flowing


When the weather is below freezing it is a good idea to turn on your faucet to a slight drip with both cold and hot water used. When pipes are located near exterior walls they are not installed as well and have a higher chance of freezing. Another helpful tip is to leave your cabinet doors open to let warm air reach the pipes. If want to take an extra step you can wrap your pipes in a towel or blanket to add an extra level of protection.

3: Clean Gutters


Cleaning out debris in your gutters can help prevent ice damming and large icicles from forming. Clogged gutters can cause snow to become trapped on the roof and cause damage to your shingles or integrity of your roof.

4: Seal Cracks


Cracks can cause cold air to enter your home and warm air to escape. Closing these cracks can help prevent your pipes from freezing and making your heater work hard to keep you and your home warm.

5: Prepare For A Power Outage


Before the storm: check flashlights and portable radios, be sure to have extra batteries on hand, fully charge all electronics, prepare generators, make sure you have extra blankets, coats, hats and mittens.

During the storm: use 911 for true emergencies only, use flashlights, instead of candles as much as possible, don’t run your generator indoors, dress warmly, in layers, unplug electronics to protect from a power surge.



Thanks to an unusual convergence of market trends, ushered
in by the pandemic and followed by other disruptive events,
you may see a bigger change to the cost of your home and auto
insurance than usual when it comes time to renew your policies
this year.
Insurance rates are based on what an insurer thinks it will cost to
make you whole in the event of a loss – whether it’s roof damage
during a windstorm or a vehicle totaled during a traffic accident.
As you’ve likely noticed, pretty much everything costs more
than it did even a few years ago.
What’s driving higher home insurance costs
If you’ve shopped at Home Depot or Lowe’s lately, you’ve
certainly seen that the price tags on building materials have
gotten pretty expensive. Last year, the cost of building materials
rose 4.7%, reflecting a particularly strong uptick in prices on
things like asphalt shingles (16.2%), concrete blocks (18.5%) and
drywall (20.4%).
To make matters worse, the home-building industry is facing
a shortfall of more than 300,000 skilled laborers, which is
driving up construction-related labor costs. Combined with the
high cost of construction materials and historically low housing
inventory, this has been making home claims much more
expensive for insurance companies.

What’s driving higher auto insurance costs
Ongoing supply chain issues are driving a shortage of car parts
and equipment, which were 22.3% more expensive at the end
of 2022 than they were two years earlier. The overall cost of
maintaining and repairing vehicles increased 18.4 % over the
same timeframe – exacerbated by a growing shortage of car
repair technicians.
The same issues depleted the supply of new and used cars
during the COVID-19 pandemic, and inventories have not yet
recovered. As a result, the average price of new cars has risen
20% since 2020, while used car prices have skyrocketed 37%.
Rising medical costs are another key factor. While the number
of injuries and fatalities from car accidents has somewhat
declined from its peak in 2021, the rising cost of medical care
continues to drive higher claims costs. Between 2020 and
2022, the overall cost of medical care in the U.S. increased
Focus on value as you explore ways to save
Keep in mind that savings come in many forms. The value of
the coverage you choose today may save you more in the long
run than the lowest possible premium. Contact us to review
your current coverage.
 We’ll help you explore opportunities
for discounts that could offset higher rates when it comes
time to renew.

How to set up a Section 125 plan which will enable your business to deduct employee contributions on a pre-tax basis, We have found an online service that charges around $100 to set up this document at coredocuments.com. Also included in the attachments is a flyer that explains ERISA laws and how to be in compliance regarding the WRAP SPD document that requires distribution to all your employees on the group health plan. We recommend going to baseonline.com this online company will create the documents need for ERISA & ACA Compliance for a fee of $450 initial set up and a renewal fee of $300.




Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding this information. We greatly appreciate your business and look forward to servicing your health insurance needs.


Section 125 Cafeteria Plans Overview 7.24.19

3567 Summary Plan Descriptions 07 23 19


ERISA Fact Sheet


The beginning of 2020 has been quite a ride so far. I wanted to let you know that I’m still here for you during this difficult time. Our office is open for normal business hours but we would prefer that you stay home and call us with any questions or concerns you might have.
Part of why I’m here is to help you navigate through uncertain periods, even during “social distancing.” While many of us are collectively pausing face-to-face contact, there are plenty of other ways of staying connected. I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to reach out to me via email or phone anytime, for any reason.
For our Department of Licensing in Cle Elum:
Please try to renew your tabs online and we will mail your tabs out to you, if you need to come in call first and we can bring your tabs out to you.
We’re in this together, and we’ll come out of it together.
Meanwhile, I’m wishing you peace and good health.

Well it is that time of year again when we stuff our face with turkey, stuffing, rolls, pie and many other fixings. But most of the time we over look what Thanksgiving is really about, being thankful. This year we asked everyone in our office to tell us what they are thankful for and to provide some yummy recipes to share.


Diana is thankful for her faith, family and Mitchell, Reed & Schmitten Insurance/ Elliott.

Mandi is thankful for her friends, family, health and her network of amazing people that truly do so much to support one another. She is also thankful for the many opportunities that have allowed her to be in the place she is today.

Larissa is in the Thanksgiving spirit and is thankful for FOOD, family and friends.

Penny is thankful for a loving family and a great work family!

Debbie is thankful for her family! Her mom is spending her first Thanksgiving with Jesus.

 “Time together is precious. So, this Thanksgiving love one another” –Debbie

Samantha is thankful for her wonderful boyfriend, her family and the Yakima community.

“Without the opportunities my company and the community has provided me I wouldn’t be where I am in my career today”.

– Samantha

Jamie is thankful for her wonderful family.

Ashlee is thankful for her amazing family.

Jeannie is thankful for her large family.



Recipes from us to you!

Jamie’s favorite Thanksgiving Recipe

Classic Green Bean Casserole


1 can of (10 ½ ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ cup of milk

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 dash black pepper

4 cups cooked cut green beans

1 1/3 cups French’s French Fried Onions


How to make it:

Step 1: Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onion in a 1 ½ quart casserole

Step 2: Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle the remaining onions.

Step 3: Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.



Debbie’s favorite Thanksgiving recipe

Cheesy Potatoes


2 pounds frozen hash browns, thawed (southern style)

½ cup melted better

2T dried onion flakes

1t. salt

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 pint sour cream

2 cups grated cheese (cheddar)


¼ cup melted butter

Mixed with 2 cups crushed corn flakes

How to make it:

Step 1: Combine all ingredients except topping. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Step 2: Spread mixture evenly into a 13” by 9” baking dish. Sprinkle topping

Step 3: Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to an hour (until bubbly and lightly browned).



Samantha’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe

Grandma’s Apple Pie


1 Betty Crocker Pie Crust

8 Granny Smith Apples

1 Cup of Sugar

2-3 Tablespoons of Flour

1-2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon

How  to make it:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. Using the Betty Crocker pie crust mix, make crust and roll out one crust and place on the bottom of the pie pan. Setting the other layer to the side.

Step 2: Peel the granny smith apples and slice them thinly. In a small bowl mix together sugar, flour and cinnamon, toss apples in this mixture.

Step 3: Place apples into the pie pan over the bottom crust, then place the second crust on top of the apples.

Step 4: Make thin slices on the top crust. Crimp the bottom and the top crust together. Bake on the lower self of the oven at 400°F for an hour.


Mandi’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe

Ham Glaze


1 Jar of Maraschino Cherries

1 tsp of Maraschino Juice

1 Can of Pineapple Rings

1/2 Cup of juice apricot preserves

3 Apricot halves

1/4 cup Karo Syrup or 1/4 cup of honey

1 Cup of brown sugar

1 can mandarin oranges juice

1 tsp powdered mustard

1/2 Cup pineapple juice (mix with 1 tsp corn starch)

Box of toothpicks

How to make it:

Step 1: Mix all but pineapples, apricots and cherries in a pan, stir constant, bring to a boil, let it cook down to half. Add half of the pineapples and cherries and all 3 apricot halves.

Step 2: Follow instructions on how to cook the ham and about 1 hour before the end of baking attach remainder of pineapple rings and cherries to the ham with toothpicks, pour half the glaze evenly over the ham, cover with foil.

Step 3: About 30 minutes before the end of baking make slices in the ham and pour the rest of the glaze over the ham.


Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value | Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency | Not a Bank Deposit

Whipsaw Brewing

Ellensburg, WA

Whipsaw Brewing was established in 2015 by Charlie and Debbie Tierney. Charlie and Debbie are originally from Aberdeen, WA and dreamed of owning a brewery one day. The couple has roots in Ellensburg, WA and wanted to move back to Central Washington to be closer to family and make their dream a reality.


(Owners Debbie and Charlie at the Taproom with Liquor License)

First beer: While touring a brewery one day, Debbie turned to Charlie and said, “If you can make me a beer that I’ll love, then let’s do this thing”. Charlie came up with the Buzz On Blackberry Wheat Ale and that sold Debbie. Their idea was starting to become a reality.


(Construction of the Tap Room)

Charlie and Debbie found 704 N Wenas St and started construction to build the perfect tap room. Charlie spent 20 dedicated years as a logger and they used his former career as the theme of their brewery.

When you walk into Whipsaw you immediately notice the logger theme with vintage saws, handmade wood tables and custom tap handles.  You can feel the warmth and creativity that the owners put into this brewery the moment you sit down.

Keeping with the Logger theme, Charlie and Debbie named some of their beers after logging terms. You’ll find beers like the Widowmaker IPA and the Hoot Owl Stout.


Personal Note: My name is Samantha and I am a marketer and agent at Elliott Insurance/ Mitchell, Reed and Schmitten. I went to college in Ellensburg and Whipsaw was the first brewery I had ever been too. I wasn’t really into beer yet and didn’t know what to start with. I asked the gentleman behind the counter what he would recommend and he gave me the Buzz On Blackberry Wheat Ale. This was completely different than the basic beers I had drank before. Now that I am an Alumni of CWU I make it a priority to stop into Whipsaw and have a beer every time I go through Ellensburg. Thank you Charlie and Debbie for the warmth and sense of community you have established with Whipsaw. Can’t wait to go back again.



“With dedication to the quality of our craft and commitment to our community, we strive to produce extraordinary beer with an old-school mentality”

-Charlie Tierney



Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value | Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency | Not a Bank Deposit

Today we say thank you to all the men and women who have served our country with Bravery, honor and commitment. Your altruistic service is a blessing to everyone, you allow us to sleep easy at night and go through our day in peace. These brave men and women and their families have made the ultimate sacrifice and for that we thank you.


Paul Cook -(Samantha’s Dad)

Branch: Air Force

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

20 years of Service

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices”

   -President Harry Truman

Ed Field- (Craig’s Dad)

Branch: Army National Guard

Rank: Sergeant 1st Class E-7


“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world. A veteran doesn’t have that problem”

-President Ronald Reagan


Jack Adamson- (Jackie V. Son)

Branch: Marine Corps

Rank: Lance Corporal

2008-2012 (1 tour in Afghanistan)


“We don’t know them all but we owe them all”


Mark Stevenson- (Jessica Husband)

Branch: Marine Corps

Rank: Sergeant

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom”

  -Bob Dylan

James Emmett Clifford- (Jamie’s Grandpa)

Branch: Army

Rank: First sergeant of Black Horse Infantry

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me”

      -Lee Greenwood


John Holzheimer-  (Cathy’s Dad)

Branch: Army

Rank: Sergeant


“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost , but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

-Arthur Ash


Henry Zamudio- (Works at MR&S)

Branch: Marine Corps

Rank: Corporal

Service: 2008-2014

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave”

-Elmer Davis


Alan Klise- (Mandi’s Husband)

Branch: Marine Corps

Served in: Desert Storm

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words but to live by them.”

-John F. Kennedy


Matthew Wilber- (Stephanie’s brother in law)

Branch: Army

Rank: E5-2nd Class Petty Officier

Aviation Electronics Technician


“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example”

-Benjamin Disraeli


Ernst Reich- (Debbie’s Dad)

Branch- Army

Rank: Specialist 4th Class E4


The photos and names above are of family members and colleagues who have served in our armed forces. We are all so proud and honored to know them and share our thanks to you all. We salute all our past and present Veterans.


Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value | Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency | Not a Bank Deposit

This is a series Elliott Insurance Service is starting for our clients called “Biz Blast”. We want to spotlight them and their amazing business to give them the recognition they deserve. Both the Yellow Church Cafe and Roslyn Mexican Grill are our clients and have allowed us to share their story and delicious cuisine with you. Enjoy!

The Yellow Church Café was built in 1923 as a church for German Lutherans. Since then, the building has served many purposes and is now a restaurant. Owners Shonda and Oscar believe that food, friends and fellowship go hand in hand.



The Yellow Church Café focuses their food around pacific seasonal ingredients. They are privileged to have some of the best farmers on the east side of Washington State, including the best wines and micro-brews. Their number one focus is to insure quality and freshness, they work with local seasonal ingredients, focus on baking all their bread daily, cutting their own meats and using only the freshest ingredients.



The Roslyn Mexican Grill

Roslyn Mexican Grill shares the same owners as The Yellow Church Café. There has been a renewed interest from the owners to get back to their culinary roots, Roslyn Mexican Grill has taken this idea by the reigns and is offering many different dishes cooked in the traditional style from several different states in Mexico.




Corn, squash, beans and chili’s made up a majority of the dishes used before the Spanish conquest, as well as a wide variety of spices, chocolate and tomatoes (which were thought poisonous by Europeans). All of these different foods work together to create some incredible flavors unique to each specific locale in which they are prepared.

Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value | Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency | Not a Bank Deposit

I’m pretty confident that if you asked anyone who has ever owned a rental property you would get an overwhelming response that it’s not as lucrative or easy as they thought it would be. In fact, owning a rental property can be a major pain, and end up costing you a ton of money!

I certainly don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer”, and I know that if it’s done right it can be lucrative, but from an insurance agent’s perspective, I don’t see a lot of people doing it right.

So you’re probably thinking, “Well Chris, you are an insurance agent. What do you know about real estate or rental properties? Why should I take advice from you?”

I’m not a real estate agent, and I don’t own a rental property. However, several of my friends/family/clients/co-workers own rentals, and because I insure a bunch of their properties, I’ve had a first hand account of the process, and I’ve learned what to do, and what not to do.

Continue reading →

I was recently asked this question by one of our Elliott Insurance clients, and thought I would share the answer here for our readers.

There are a lot of things that go into homeowners and auto insurance rates, one of them being credit. I’ve heard a lot of complaints from people who don’t like the fact that insurance companies use credit in their underwriting.

Some people have absolutely no idea that it’s used in the rate at all.

At the end of the day, there’s not much we can do about it though. Insurance companies have been using credit in their rates for decades, and that’s not likely to change.

By the way, insurance companies don’t pull your credit like a mortgage company or credit card company does. There is no negative impact on your credit as a result of an insurance company looking at it.

When I say “pull” what I mean is that the insurance company is doing what’s called a soft inquiry, which is not the same thing as having your credit pulled (hard inquiry).

When does credit play a role in insurance rates?
It’s important to understand that insurance companies don’t continuously check or monitor your credit. Usually, they only check it when you first get a quote and/or sign up with them in the very beginning.

This means that if your credit score increases (or decreases) your insurance company does not automatically know about it.

So, to my customers question of whether or not his increased credit score will lower his rates, the answer is not automatically.

What has to be done on our side as the agent is contact the carrier the insurance and ask them to do what’s commonly referred to as a “re-score”. This is when the insurance company can re-run the person’s credit (soft inquiry) to see if there is any positive bearing on the rate.

This isn’t something that the insurance company is going to let the agency do every single year, so it’s not worth even asking unless there has been a significant change in your credit score, and only you as the customer would know if that was the case.

If you’d like to get a better handle on your credit rating, it could be helpful to setup credit monitoring. We hope this was helpful! As always, leave us comment below if you have any questions.