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R&R Insurance Blog

Steph Schreiber

Recent Posts

Putting Out a Turkey Fryer Fire (And How to Prevent One From Happening)

Posted by Steph Schreiber

The whole family is over and Uncle Joe is so excited to try out his new turkey fryer!  He heeded advice of the experts for proper precautions:

  • Thaw turkey BEFORE putting into the fryer
  • Use turkey fryer outdoors, a safe distance from buildings
  • Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a wooden deck
  • Make sure fryer is on a flat surface to avoid spilling hot oil
  • Never leave fryer unattended
    • Most have a thermometer; oil will continue to heat until it starts on fire
  • Do not overfill the fryer

As conversations get distracting, Joe's attention is elsewhere and the next thing anyone knows is there a large grease fire!  What to do?

  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touch pot or lid handles
  • Wear safety goggles to protect eyes from oil splatter
  • Use fire extinguisher to put out fire
  • Do NOT use water to put out the fire (oil + water do not mix!)

Watch now:

Preventing a fire [0:18]

Putting out a fire [1:10]



Think the Chinese restaurant is still taking orders for dinner?

Topics: home insurance

March Madness at Work: Three Point Play or Foul?

Posted by Steph Schreiber

March Madness FunnyIt's Madness...we know. There's a lot of talk about whether employers should let employees check their brackets while at work. We did some hunting and found these great tips for business owners and HR managers to rally around the issue. It looks like the winning answer is YES!

Set a Game Plan
While an employer shouldn’t be expected to set up flat panel televisions and hand out remote controls, it can embrace the team spirit the tournament creates. Options can include letting workers:

  • Show their colors. Employees might rally around a casual day that allows them to wear the colors of their favorite team.
  • Flex some muscle. Workers may appreciate flexible hours that allow them to catch a big game.
  • Pool resources. A company-wide pool that allows employees to fill out the brackets for fun — and does not involve cash prizes or an entry fee — could be an ice-breaker, and chatter about last-second victories and upsets offers an opportunity for employee bonding.
  • Take a break. An organization that does not allow employees to bring their cell phones, iPads, or other portable electronics into the office may let workers check scores online while on break. Also, make sure the games are on in the lunchroom so workers can do some scoreboard watching during lunch or break time.


Here are some of the highlights of what we found and the links to the full articles:


March Madness at Work: Can it Be a Slam Dunk?

Morale vs. productivity Staffing company OfficeTeam recently surveyed more than 1,000 managers on the effects of the NCAA tournament in their workplaces. Twenty percent of the managers felt office activities related to the tournament improved employee morale at least somewhat. Just four percent viewed them negatively. The majority—75 percent—said March Madness events at work have no effect on morale or productivity.

This year’s survey differs from OfficeTeam’s 2010 survey, in which 41 percent of executives felt office tournament celebrations helped morale while 22 percent thought those activities hurt productivity.

Managers were asked, "Do you feel March Madness (NCAA basketball tournament) activities in the workplace, such as watching games or participating in pools that don't involve money, have a positive or negative impact on employee morale?"

Their responses:
Very positive 5%
Somewhat positive 15%
No impact 75%
Somewhat negative 3%
Very negative 1%
Don't know/no answer 1%

Managers also were asked, "Do you feel March Madness activities in the workplace have a positive or negative impact on employee productivity?"

Their responses:
Very positive 5%
Somewhat positive 11%
No impact 75%
Somewhat negative 8%
Very negative 1%

March Madness: Three Point Plays for HR Victories or Catastrophes at Work:

Wide-ranging research suggests that March Madness participation can actually improve productivity in three ways:

  1. Morale: As people come out of the dark corners of their cubes and begin interacting with each other, it creates a happy environment to share creative ideas. And, we all know, happier employees work more productively.
  2. Inclusiveness: When employees feel as if they are included in something, they unknowingly create an equalizer that has the power to transcend title and position. So, everyone feels like they belong and have something fun to which they can look forward.
  3. Engagement: Employees are not only engaged with each other, but they’re more engaged with their work. The fact is: March Madness brings out the best in most of us.

The most important thing to remember is that people will continue to play brackets ...and will do it at work. It is incumbent upon management and HR to find ways to keep employees engaged and to let them have some fun. But it’s also important to develop guidelines to avoid that possible HR catastrophe.

For more information on HR consulting, employee benefits, employee welfare and well-being, or any risk management concerns, contact a knowledgebroker today.

Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, HR Compliance, march madness in the workplace, march madness at work, WellCompForLife, HR and march madness

2014: The Year of Giving

Posted by Steph Schreiber

"Success is to be shared."

These are the words of R&R Insurance Owner Ken Riesch.  Each and every year R&R Insurance and it's employees dedicate their time and resources to helping the local community.  2014 was no different - below is a sampling of charitable events throughout the year:

coat drive resized 600

Coat drive
Working with One Warm Coat to benefit the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, nearly 2,000lbs of coats were collected from employees, family, & friends



ice bucket challenge2 resized 600

Owner Jack Riesch celebrates over 30 employees stepping up to the challenge by getting drenched in ice cold water! R&R Insurance donated $500 to the Wisconsin chapter



united way balloons 2014 resized 600

United Way
Record setting year with employees raising over $44,000!  Each year the total is then matched dollar-for-dollar by R&R Insurance!



...and the list goes on!   Follow us on Facebook to see what happens in 2015!


Topics: Wisconsin, United Way, Ken Reisch, Kori Cumley, Jack Riesch, Volunteer, Dan Wolfgram

True Blue Challenge Stocks Shelves for the Oconomowoc Food Pantry

Posted by Steph Schreiber

Oconomowoc Food PantryOconomowoc, WI – Snyder Insurance Agency, a division of R&R Insurance Services, Inc. has once again hosted the annual “True Blue Challenge” to area businesses this year.  The “True Blue Challenge” invitation is sent out each year in early November and challenges local employers and businesses to allow their employees to wear blue jeans to work in exchange for a monetary or food donation to benefit the Oconomowoc Food Pantry.

This “True Blue Challenge” is timed to boost the Food Pantry’s shelves before the big rush for the holidays, which the Food Pantry experiences each year at this time.  Local businesses arose to the occasion again, donating non-perishable food items and monetary donations.  Each business makes this event their own, coming up with their own competitions and ideas on how to engage their employees and clients to join in on the spirit of giving.

Pictured above is Bill Jackson of the Oconomowoc Food Pantry, with just some of the donations collected from the 2014 event. 

A great big THANK YOU goes out to this year’s participants who made the 2014 “True Blue Challenge” a success:

  • City of Oconomowoc
  • MSI General
  • First Bank Financial Centre
  • Ixonia Bank
  • Shorehaven/Lutheran Homes
  • Lake Area Free Clinic
  • Silgan Containers (2 locations)
  • Sweet P’s Pantry
  • Roehl Corporation
  • Oliver Construction
  • Dousman Family Dentistry
  • Snyder Insurance, a division of R&R Insurance Services

R&R Insurance Services, Inc. has served the insurance needs of southeastern Wisconsin since 1975. Today, R&R is Wisconsin’s largest singly owned independent insurance agency offering businesses and individuals a full range of insurance products including property casualty, employee benefits, workers compensation, liability, life, dental and home/auto. R&R is also a shareholder with Assurex Global, a worldwide network of leading independent insurance agencies.

Topics: Snyder Insurance, Oconomowoc Food Pantry, True Blue Challenge

Coat Drive Helps Local People in Need Stay Warm

Posted by Steph Schreiber

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R&R Insurance and One Warm Coat®,
warming communities…one coat at a time

Waukesha, WI – While the need for warm coats has never been greater, it has also never been easier to meet this vital need in our community. R&R Insurance invites you to join them in an effort to ensure that no one goes without a warm coat this winter.

R&R Insurance will be collecting clean, gently used warm coats at each of their five office locations. One Warm Coat is dedicated to collecting and distributing gently used warm coats--free of charge and without discrimination--directly to local children and adults in the local area. The coat drive program provides an easy way for individuals and families to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors by simply passing along coats and jackets that are no longer needed.

R&R Insurance invites you to bring your clean, gently used coats and jackets to an R&R office.  The process is simple: you drop off your extra coat and R&R takes care of the rest!  All donated coats will be given to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission for distribution to local people in need.  If you do not have a coat to donate, you can help provide a warmer winter by texting “WARM” to 80100 to donate $10 to One Warm Coat.

Drop off locations through November 21, 2014:

Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm

BEAVER DAM: 130 Park Avenue

MENOMONEE FALLS: N80 W14824 Appleton Avenue

OCONOMOWOC: 100 South Main Street

WAUKESHA: 1581 E. Racine Avenue

WEST BEND: 2021 S. 18th Avenue

“So many of our neighbors need help these days.  We are proud to work with and support each one of our coat drive organizers and donors.  The time, resources and energy they give to help their neighbors proves that we can warm communities one coat at a time,” commented Jennifer Stockard, President and Chief Executive Officer of One Warm Coat.

One Warm Coat is national non-profit organization that supports and encourages coat drives. It helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute the coats free to people in need. More than four million coats have been provided to those in need at no cost since its inception in 1992.  For more information about One Warm Coat, visit www.onewarmcoat.org.       

R&R Insurance Services, Inc. has served the insurance needs of southeastern Wisconsin since 1975. Today, R&R is Wisconsin’s largest singly owned independent insurance agency offering businesses and individuals a full range of insurance products including property casualty, employee benefits, workers compensation, liability, life, dental and home/auto. R&R is also a shareholder with Assurex Global, a worldwide network of leading independent insurance agencies. For information about R&R Insurance Services, visit R&R online at www.myknowledgebroker.com/

2014 Accomplishments

Posted by Steph Schreiber

Annual revenue record set by October P&C and Benefits

Top 100 P&C agency

Website award

WELCOA award

Snyder acquistion

And it's only October!

Topics: Business Insurance

R&R Insurance Services Merges with Snyder Insurance Agency

Posted by Steph Schreiber

Snyder R&R Logo resized 600

Waukesha, WI – R&R Insurance Services announced the merger of Snyder Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency based in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  The blending of these two well-established agencies in Waukesha County allows for a greater breadth of resources to clients.

“We anticipate a seamless transition and are excited to work with a great partner like R&R Insurance.  Their reputable business practices and vast resources assure us that our clients are in good hands”, comments John Snyder III, Owner of Snyder Insurance Agency.  Snyder’s customers will gain access to R&R services such as seminars, claims management, safety consulting, and risk management expertise.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for all involved and we at R&R are lucky to be in this great position.  It reinforces our commitment to do business in southeastern Wisconsin”, said Ken Riesch, President and Owner of R&R Insurance.  

R&R Insurance will be celebrating 40 years of service in southeastern Wisconsin next year and has been named one of the top 100 Property & Casualty agencies nationally by Insurance Journal.  Locally owned and operated, R&R is committed to personal service, quick claim response, and the highest level of knowledge and expertise.

R&R Insurance Services, Inc. has served the insurance needs of southeastern Wisconsin since 1975. Today, R&R is Wisconsin’s largest singly owned independent insurance agency offering businesses and individuals a full range of insurance products including property casualty, employee benefits, workers compensation, liability, life, dental and home/auto. R&R is also a shareholder with Assurex Global, a worldwide network of leading independent insurance agencies.

Related news:

Topics: Mergers and Acquisitions, John Snyder, R&R Insurance, R&R Insurance Services, Ken Reisch, Snyder Insurance

R&R Recognized as United Way Pacesetter in Washington County

Posted by Steph Schreiber

R&R Insurance has proudly suO  All Marketing Blog Content images UW   W.B. Daily News resized 600pported the United Way for many years.  Our West Bend office is one of seven Washington County organizations recognized as pacesetters.  Collectively those seven organizations have raised over $201,000 in 2013!  The ad on the right was in the West Bend Daily News.

R&R West Bend has raised money through various activities such as a candy fundraiser, Ugly Christmas Sweater contest, hosting 3 office lunches, and basket raffles to name a few.  One of this year's highlights was participating in the United Way's Kickoff Campaign where 61,048 macaroni meals were packaged by 528 volunteers ... in 1.5 hours!  This was enough to help 6 food pantries in Washington County!

R&R Insurance Representatives:

  • Jerry Aman & Kori Cumley are Co-Executive leaders for Washington County
  • Cindy Pitz - R&R West Bend office representative

The Washington County United Way County campaign runs until December 31, 2013.  Click here to make a donationto help support 33 local programs improving lives and changing community conditions.

Topics: United Way, West Bend, Jerry Aman, Cindy Pitz, Kori Cumley, Washington County

How to Raise Your Credit Score By 100 Points in 45 Days

Posted by Steph Schreiber

credit_ScoreInsurance carriers use credit scores as part of their calculations to determine the level of risk you would pose to them as an insured. They have found a direct correlation between credit scores and claim activity. Knowing that, it's important to keep your credit scores in good shape so that your insurance premiums stay in line.

Here are 10 ways to increase your credit score by 100 points - most often this can be done within 45 days.

  1. Check your credit report. Get a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year at annualcreditreport.com. Look for errors that lower your credit score and take action to correct them. Review the negative factors in the report and work on improving them, such as paying bills on time or reducing debt.
  2. Pay your bills on time. Set up automatic payments using your bank's bill pay service or sign up for e-mail alerts from your credit card company if you sometimes have trouble paying bills before the due date.
  3. Pay off any collections. Paying off a collection will increase your score, but be aware that the record of a debt having gone into collection will stay on your credit report for seven years.
  4. Get caught up on past-due bills. If you missed a payment, get current as soon as you can. A missing payment can lower your score by as much as 100 points. It may take a some time for this black mark to fade from your credit report, but take heart: your credit score usually depends more on your most recent activity than on past credit problems.
  5. Keep balances low on your credit cards. A common rule of thumb is to keep the balance at or below 10 percent on each line of credit to improve your credit score. A balance close to or over the limit will significantly reduce your credit score.
  6. Pay off debt rather than continually transferring it. While a balance transfer to pay zero interest or a lower interest rate on your debt can be worthwhile, make sure you pay down the balance before increasing your debt load. FICO says paying down your overall debt is one of the most effective ways to boost your score.
  7. Don't close paid-off accounts. Closing unused credit card accounts reduces your available credit and can lower your credit score. Keeping them open and unused shows you can manage credit wisely. And think twice before closing older credit card accounts, because a long credit history improves your score.
  8. Shop for new credit over a short time period. If you are shopping for a mortgage, a car loan or a credit card, lenders typically pull your credit report to see if you qualify and to determine the rate they will charge. Too many inquiries over time can negatively impact your score, but if you cluster these applications within a few days or a week, the FICO scoring system will recognize that you are comparing rates for a single new loan or credit card rather than attempting to open multiple new lines of credit.
  9. Have a mix of credit types. FICO prefers to see consumers with both installment loans and credit cards . If you are repaying student loans or have a car loan or a mortgage, then having one or two credit cards is also a good idea. While having too many credit cards can be a negative factor, you should have at least one to prove you can handle credit appropriately.
  10. Apply for new credit sparingly. Only apply for new credit when you actually need it and not simply to boost your available credit. Opening several new credit accounts in a short time frame can lower your score.


Topics: Personal Insurance, credit score, 45 days, 100 points, lower by 100 points

Fleet Safety Program Considerations

Posted by Steph Schreiber

The use of vehicles in a company or organization is an activity which can generate losses in all four categories: property, human resources, liability, and net income. Risk managers have long recognized the importance of well-designed and properly implemented fleet safety programs.

In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 37,261 motor vehicle fatalities and almost 2.5 million injuries in the United States, generation a combined economic toll of more than $231 billion dollars. According to the US Department of Labor, occupational fatalities associated with highway incidents in 2008 totaled 1,149 – about one in four of all occupational fatalities.

Most fleet safety programs include:

  • Driver qualification training
  • Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) review
  • Vehicle inspection and maintenance
  • Accident reporting and investigation

While most driver qualification criteria can depend on types of vehicles, passengers, cargo, distances travelled, and federal regulations, it is common for organizations to go beyond the basic state licensing. For example, organizations may elect to impose minimum requirements for age and experience of drivers.

Training drivers in defensive driving techniques and other fleet safety topics is accomplished through classroom instruction, online programming, behind-the-wheel coaching, or any combination.

MVR review is critical in the instance that a plaintiff’s attorney could try to make a case that the employer was negligent by not checking the MVR thus not taking public safety in to consideration. Regular evaluation of MVRs is a standard component of fleet safety programs. For MVR review to be successful, employers must consider exactly what records will be evaluated, and how they will guide employment and driving assignment decisions. The entire process can be outsourced to companies that provide background screening services for new and existing employees. The approach can be useful for organizations with employees from different stats since the MVR must be separately obtained from each. A pull-notice system allows employers to provide a list of their drivers to the stat for placement in to a computerized monitoring system that automatically notifies the employer by email when one of their drivers receives a citation or suspension – whether on the job or not.

Vehicle inspections and maintenance is another key component to the safety program. If it can be proven that a fleet owner delayed important safety issues such as tire replacement or brake repair, the argument can again be made of negligence on behalf of the employer. Keep accurate records to prove work has been done – particularly important for fleets spread across many departments.

Global positioning systems (GPS) installed in vehicles now provide fleet owners with many useful tools to not only manage vehicle utilization, but also operational safety. These systems can measure and communicate the exact location and vehicle speed on a real-time basis. For organizations that must maximize efficiencies to survive, and control speeding and other misuse of their vehicles, the use of GPS technology to monitor the actions of employees behind the wheel becomes an important tool to complement the fleet safety program. Additional technology is the use of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for use of drivers convicted of a DUI.

One the most significant new challenges for fleet safety programs is managing the use of mobile devices on the road: the use of cell phone and other portable devices for talking, texting, email, social networking, and navigation. This is most commonplace among young drivers and increases the risk of an accident by 23 times. It is easy to prove that a driver was texting at the time of an accident due to the precise time stamp assigned to every message. These distractions must be considered and addressed in every company’s’ fleet safety policy. Employee productivity (and perhaps compensation) is directly connected to them being connected while on the road. Every fleet owner must evaluate the communication needs of their drivers, and devise policies that manage the risk appropriately within the context of conducting business.

Every fleet owner must evaluate the communication needs of their drivers and devise policies that manage the risk appropriately within the context of conducting business. Fleet owners have the task of developing and implementing fleet safety programs that comply with applicable laws and recognize the changes brought about by new technology. Successful risk managers will tailor programs to meet the specific needs of their industry.

Topics: Fleet Safety