8 Tips To Save Money On Your Auto Insurance | Eustace L Greaves Jr., LUTCF

Many companies will charge more for an auto insurance policy if you cannot show evidence of being currently insured for at least one (1) to three (3) years prior to your application …

Ah, as the cool nights of autumn become the, well, the warm days of winter, and holiday joy becomes the pain of looming credit card payments, you, like many others, may begin an annual search of finding ways to save money on everything from the cellular phone bill to food. Let me help with these 8 ways to save money on your auto insurance.

1. Many companies will charge more for an automobile insurance policy if you cannot show evidence of being currently insured for at least one (1) to three (3) years prior to your application. So, even if you don’t own an automobile, consider the purchase of a Non-Owned Automobile Insurance Policy. You can also join an organization like ZipCar for about $19.00 each month, which includes liability coverage limits of $300,000. Either way, you can save thousands of premium dollars.

2. Take a Point and Insurance Reduction Class. You’ll automatically
qualify for a 10% discount on your personal liability, no-fault and collision
coverages. And make sure your children, and anyone else who regularly drives your car (and is hopefully listed on your automobile insurance policy as a driver),
takes the class.

3. If you have children in high school, and they are trying to choose between a college  88 miles away, and another one at least 100 miles away, choose the school at least 100 miles away. As long as both schools offer similar need-based tuition plans, you will save money by sending your offspring just another 20 or so miles away. Why? Many companies offer a “Student Away At School” discount and depending on the company, your premium will either not increase, or only suffer a small increase.

Your child must simply go to school at least 100 miles away from home.

4. If you have high-schoolers on your current family policy, encourage them to maintain at least a “B” average, so you will qualify for the Good Student discount. And they still get to live indoors.

5. Purchase your automobile and home, renter, condo or coop policies
from the same company. You’ll qualify for multi-policy discounts, which can
save you at least 10% on each policy.

6. Before you actually purchase a car, call your agent and ask them to give you the symbol for the vehicles you are considering. One young lady was going to purchase a car with the letters “XL” in the model name. I told her the model with only an “L” was two symbols lower, which would result in much lower comprehensive and collision insurance premiums. The major difference between the two models of the same car? One had sun visors with extensions, and the other did not. So, she purchased the “L” model, ordered the fancier sun visors from the dealership, and installed them herself, saving a ton of money on her auto insurance.

7. Improve your insurance credit score. The higher your insurance
credit score, the lower your premium will be. And do everything you can to
avoid having any of the “Five Deadly Insurance Credit Score Sins” on your credit report in the last five years.

The “Five Deadly Insurance Credit Score Sins” are:

a. Foreclosures

b. Judgments

c. Repossession

d. Bankruptcy, or filed for bankruptcy

e. Liens

Always remember, ‘the higher your insurance credit score, the lower your premium’ and the reverse, ‘ the lower your insurance credit score, the higher your premium.’ Any of the “Five Deadly Insurance Credit Score Sins” can hurt your chances of qualifying for a lower automobile insurance rate.

8. Lastly, whatever you do, never, never, never let your automobile
insurance, or any insurance policy for that matter, lapse due to the
non-payment of premium. This alone will disqualify you for coverage with
many preferred companies for several years.

Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., LUTCF is an independent insurance agent and broker based in Brooklyn, NY. Call him today at 718-783-2722 to make an appointment to check your home, auto, flood, renters, coop, condo, life, and disability insurance policies.

You can also reach Eustace by sending an email to Eustace@insuremeeg.com.


3 Reasons To Dislike Quoting Auto Insurance

What is the company’s name? (Word to the wise, many auto insurance companies will not write a policy for someone coming out of an indemnity company. Think New York Automobile Insurance Plan with a fancy name attached. Another reason to always ask which company you’re being written in and whether or not this is an indemnity company. Better to pay an exorbitant premium for a year or two, and then, all things considered, move into a less expensive company within that company’s family of companies.)

The New Realities of Quoting Auto Insurance

Now, don’t get me wrong, my profession is providing and servicing personal lines insurance, including auto insurance, and I love my profession. Over three decades as an insurance agent and broker, I’ve come to realize, however,  there are three main reasons I dislike quoting auto insurance for strangers calling on the phone who are just shopping around for the cheapest automobile insurance quote they can get.

Reason number 1:

Too many people are under the impression that just because they can fog up a mirror, they are entitled to buy good, cheap auto insurance whenever they want, no matter  their driving history.

So what if they have moving violations, haven’t ever been insured to drive a car, have a suspended or revoked license, or just had same reinstated?

So what if their father once put several cars under their child’s name, and on their child’s auto insurance policy, cars driven by other people who collected accidents like leaches suck blood?

So what if there are three tombstones in the local cemetery directly attributable to their inability to control a vehicle?

So what if they have a DUI, DWI, or DWAI in the last ten (10) years?

You see, their cousin has insurance with your company, and they pay a low premium so you should give me a better rate.

They don’t realize their cousin has done all the right things throughout their driving career to earn that premium.

Reason number 2:

Now, providing anyone with a quote will, in the best of circumstances, take at least 20 to 30 minutes. So now I open with a series of qualifying questions, the same questions I will need answered to develop an automobile insurance quote. Some of them are;

What is your date of birth? Your Social Security number?

What kind of work do you do? How long have you done this type of work?

What is the name of your employer? How long have you worked there? What’s the address of the firm?

Have you ever had your driver’s license suspended or revoked? If so, which one, for how long, and when did you regain the privilege to drive? (Word to the wise, many companies will automatically disqualify you for these transgressions. Come on, be honest, would you loan your car to a friend with a lousy driving record? Yet you want insurance companies to insure you?)

How long have you been continuously licensed in the United States?

How long have you had auto insurance in your name, or been insured under someone else’s policy? (If you’ve neither owned a policy nor been insured under someone else for as little as one week you will pay a higher premium.)

How long have you been insured with the other auto insurance company? (If you’ve had a license for 15 years, but never owned a car, only rented when you had to, you will pay a higher premium.)

What is the company’s name? (Word to the wise, many auto insurance companies will not write a policy for someone coming out of an indemnity company. Think New York Automobile Insurance Plan, (NYAIP), with a fancy name attached. Another reason to always ask which company you’re being written in and whether or not this is an indemnity company. Better to pay an exorbitant premium for a year or two, and then, all things considered, move into a less expensive company within that company’s family of companies.)

How many and what kinds of accidents were you involved in during the last five (5) years? (Word to the wise, having two or more “incidents” involving either accidents or moving violations during the last two (2) to three (3) years will make you ineligible for insurance with many companies, forcing you to go into the NYAIP for what I call rehabilitation.)

While we’re on the topic, how many moving violations, and how many points have you accumulated during the last five (5) years?

Recently a young man from Baldwin, NY called my office for a quote.First, he called and didn’t leave a number, so I used my caller ID to call him back. He asked me if I was Travelers, and I informed him my agency is an independent insurance agency associated with Travelers. Then, came the dreaded request of “I want a quote.”

So I began to ask him my qualifying questions, and  he hesitated (always a bad sign) when I asked him if his license had ever been suspended and/or revoked (it had been). To top it off, he hadn’t been insured for over 5 months, was under the age of 25, and unmarried.

So, informing him my main companies wouldn’t insure him, I prepared a New York Automobile Insurance Plan quote for him. He only asked for liability on a relatively new automobile, and simply hung up when I gave him the premium.

Not even so much as a goodbye.

He could afford to buy the car. Can’t afford to insure it.

You can click here to see a copy of my Auto Insurance Quote Worksheet.

Reason number 3:

You see, just because you can buy a car doesn’t mean you can afford to insure it.

You can buy a car with no money down, but  you can’t buy auto insurance without making at least a minimum downpayment. Owning a car means you must maintain it, keep it insured, and avoid parking it on the wrong side of the street on alternate days. My clients usually call me before they buy a new car based on the year, make and model, so they will have a good idea of what their new budget will look like. That’s when I love to quote auto insurance, when it’s a client or a client referral on the phone. Those referred to me are usually fully compliant with all the questions, and it’s just a matter of getting the information into the computer.

So, you shouldn’t get mad at me because you now own, or are trying to pick up some beauty from the lot, and the insurance is too high for you.


Suggestion number 1:

If you don’t own a vehicle, buy a Non-Owned Automobile Insurance policy from say, me. Then when you do purchase a car, you will be able to answer “how long have you been continuously insured” question satisfactorily. Purchase your renters, condo, coop, or homeowners insurance from say, me, and you’ll not only realize discounts on both policies, you stand a better chance of a great rate when you are ready to own a car.

Suggestion number 2:

You can join a car-share program like Zipcar, and take advantage of being insured under their policy until you buy your own Non-Owned policy, or buy your own car.

Suggestion number 3:

Lastly, you can speak to a family member about being placed on their policy. WARNING! WARNING! Don’t take offense if they are hesitant to do this. Remember, should you cause or be involved in an accident, (see Reason number 1), this will affect their premium, and perhaps their own insurability for up to five (5) years. Get moving violations and this will affect their premium. And God forbid you get arrested for a DUI after causing an accident which leads to the death of the other driver or their passenger or the passenger in your car. Your family member could stand to lose everything they’ve worked for, just to help you out.

For my money, I’d use suggestions numbers one and two. Just safer that way.

So, in closing, be ready to establish a relationship with an independent agent, and do what you need to do today to guarantee a great automobile insurance rate tomorrow.

For 33 years, the last 20 of those operating his own financial services agency, Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., LUTCF has enjoyed providing his clients with the personal lines insurance coverages, income tax services, and defensive driving workshops they need to better their financial lives. 

Call him at 718-783-2722, or send him an email to Eustace@insuremeeg.com for a competitive quote for all of your insurance needs.

And please, don’t make fun of him if he groans when you say, “I’d like a quote.”

New York City’s Three Rivers

This, unfortuately is when any business and property owners and renters learn they have absolutely no coverage for the foot or two of water which found it’s way into their living spaces.

What, you think Pittsburgh is the only town with three rivers? Trust me, New York City’s three rivers can beat that!

I couldn’t think of a better way to introduce my BrooklynCovered.com series on Flood Insurance, than using the actual example of what happened during and after a water main break on the night of July 31, 2015.

It proved what Rich Slevin of H2O partners, America’s  leading Flood Insurance education providers loves to say:

“If it can rain there, it can flood there.”

The series will answer questions about, but not limited to:

  • What is a flood?
  • What is a FIRM (and no, it’s not a new fitness gym)?
  • What does a flood insurance policy cover?
  • Why doesn’t my homeowners insurance policy cover flood?
  • What’s an Elevation Certificate?
  • What does Remapping have to do with me?
  • What’s this mandate I keep hearing about?
  • What are the requirements I must meet to buy a Preferred Risk Policy?

and other aspects of this little-understood, but oh so necessary coverage.

Our story begins on the evening of July 31, 2015. It was a peaceful, warm and pleasant summer’s night, when suddenly, all hell broke loose.  A twelve-inch (12″) water main burst at the intersection of Flatbush and St. Marks Place at or around 8 pm, shutting down train, bus and car traffic beneath, on, and through the Flatbush Avenue corridor from Grand Army Plaza, all the way down to just before the Barclay’s Center complex.

While the MTA, National Grid, and Consolidated Edison worried how this would affect their subways, gas and electrical services, businesses along Flatbush Avenue, and homeowners and renters on Saint Marks, Prospect Place, and even Bergen and Dean Streets  were even more concerned about how much, if any, water would wind up in their basements and garden level apartment spaces.

This,  unfortunately is when any business and property owners and renters learn they have absolutely no coverage for the foot or two of water which found its way into their living spaces.

So before we begin the Flood Insurance series in earnest, take a minute to watch a brief video of what lies beneath a typical new york city street.

What lies beneath. Sounds like a monster movie.

While I will do my best to work through the intricacies of flood insurance first, I will be touching on other subjects in the coming months. I plan to have Tax Tuesdays, Flood Insurance Fridays, and other insurance and defensive driving posts the rest of the week.

Stay dry,


Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., is a New York State licensed insurance broker, qualifying income tax preparer, and defensive driving instructor. He is based in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, with most of his clients residing in the Downstate New York Region. You can reach him at his office by telephone, 718-78–2722, or by email, Eustace@insuremeeg.com .


Just One Last Chance

Then, once they discover the joy of sitting, reading, and pondering life, you suffer through the dreaded, ” I’ve got to go and she’s not giving up the seat!” times. And the lady at the supermarket laughs and says, “How many rolls of toilet paper this week, sweetie?”

Okay, am I nuts or what? You go through all of this for just one last chance?

They emerge from their mother, a bundle of joy who will have you lugging home bundles of Pampers, wipes, and cases of formula, and waking up at 3 am (or faking you’re asleep), for a few years. Not to mention keeping the national economy going by keeping your wallet empty.

And you tell yourself, one day, oh one day, I won’t have to do this anymore.

Then comes the dreaded toilet training, with the cries of “No, no! You just want to drown me! Mommy! Mommy, You’d better get in here quick because Daddy’s wants me to drown me in the toilet bowl!!” Then, once they discover the joy of sitting, reading, and pondering life, you suffer through the dreaded, ” I’ve got to go and she’s not giving up the seat!” times. And the lady at the supermarket laughs and says, “How many rolls of toilet paper this week, sweetie?”

And you tell yourself, “One day I shall regain the throne!”

Then you learn you have to lock the bathroom door when taking a shower when she comes in and rips the curtain back while you’re showering, just to see what you’re doing in there.

My downstairs neighbor still laughs about how I ” … screamed like a girl,” that night.

I mean, I thought she was asleep. She was supposed to be asleep.

That’s okay, you think, for one day I won’t have to lock the bathroom door, or wear a suit of armor while I’m relaxing at home.

Then comes the first day of “Big School”, a.k.a. kindergarten, and then Middle School. Before you know it, it’s on to high school, and the AP’s, PSAT’s and SAT’s and ACT’s and college applications. Then, one day in late March, they find out who accepted them (thankfully, the one she wanted the most said yes). And on a glorious day in June, you sit back at a long-anticipated high school commencement, hearing her name and watching her cross the dais as she collects her diploma.

And you say to yourself, “In just three months I will be dropping her off to college, and I get the apartment, the throne, the TV, everything, back! Ha ha! Mine, mine, mine!”

The day arrives when you take her to college. You tote luggage up three (3) flights of stairs (no elevator). You meet the roommates she’ll be seeing more than you for the next four (4) years, and attend meeting after meeting until, some Dean says, “Okay parents, you have 15 minutes to say goodbye to your kids. The rest of this meeting is just for them. Go home now.”

And one guy in the audience says, “I’m not going anywhere without my child,” and you realize everyone is looking at you.

I guess I did say it.

Dean was lucky I believe in a God that forgives.

So, you leave the campus (accompanied by the campus police, just because you tried to kidnap your own child and bring her back home with you), doing 90 on I-95, hoping you’ll be pulled over, so you can tell the State Trooper we have to go back to the college, because they kidnapped my child.

Yes, itt actually happened. I will never the forget the look on the campus police officer as he said, “Release the Yalie, sir. Time for you to go home.”

He’d better be glad I believe in a forgiving God.

But it didn’t work. You make great time getting home though. Back to having the throne room to yourself. Not having to lock the bathroom door. Watching whatever you want to watch. Walk around the apartment any way you want to.

You shed a tear, wishing you had just one last chance to change a diaper, or stumble out of bed for the 3 am feeding and review of world events.

Just one.

And you count the days until she comes home for Thanksgiving Break, because it’s no fun having it all to yourself.

“Daddy, God Is Crying”

We drove home, and the next morning when I went to call the client to tell him I would be late, I discovered I’d failed, in my rush to pack up the office and go home, to put the file in my bag.


Thirteen years ago today, I had an appointment to write a new client a Renters Insurance policy. His office was located in one of the Towers. The appointment was for 8:30 am.


I never made it to the appointment, because the night before, Ashley and Debbie (may she forever rest in peace), were involved in a collision at the Empire Boulevard McDonald’s at the drive through. The car in front of them, having left the drive-though window, suddenly reversed and ran into them. Why? Because the unlicensed driver, driving her aunt’s uninsured car without the aunt’s permission, was angry that her order was wrong.

They were both okay, but later that evening as I stood in front of the Met Supermarket taking pictures with a camera, a hot rain began to fall. It was as though a monsoon swept through the area.

“Daddy, God is crying”

Soaked to the skin, and angry about the accident, I got in the car and prepared to drive, when from her car seat, seven-year-old Ashley said, “Daddy, God is crying.”

My immediate response, “Yeah well right now, I’m crying too. I’m going to be late for the appointment, I have to take the car to the shop … wait, what did you say?”

“Daddy, God is crying.”

I looked at her mother, whose eyes were just as wide as mine.

“Why baby?”

“I don’t know why. I just know God is crying. I guess he’s really sad.”

We drove home, and the next morning when I went to call the client to tell him I would be late, I discovered I’d failed, in my rush to pack up the office and go home, to put the file in my bag.

By the time, I dropped them off at work and school, and left the car with Ernie, our mechanic, it was already 8:00 am, so I knew I was probably going to lose the case. I decided to go to the monthly PA President’s meeting at the District 22 office.

When I arrived at the District Office, I understood why God cried.

And the client I was supposed to meet? He woke up late, and came out of the train station, only to join thousands running from the site. As he ran, looking back to the floors where his company and friends were burning, he said to himself, “I hope that insurance guy made it out okay.”

My assignment wasn’t up.


I couldn’t understand why until one year and one month later, when Debbie died, leaving me a single parent to care for our child. Ashley and I cried.

So I still thank God for sending us the accident the night Ashley said, “Daddy, God is crying.”

Take a moment today and tell someone you love them, you cherish them, you value them, and they bring joy to your life.

You may never get another chance for a last kiss and hug.


Baseball’s Hold Harmless

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and Hold Harmless Agreements

There is a story coming out of Lakewood, NJ, about 10-year-old Alexis Pavlinec who, while attending a BlueClaws minor league baseball game with her parents on Sunday, was struck in the face by a foul ball. The young lady suffered a fractured skull, and may lose her sense of smell.

She wasn’t even the stands at the time. She’d just finished eating a slice of pizza in the food court.

Did Someone Say Lawsuit?

Now, I know many of you are thinking she and her family are going to win a huge lawsuit from the team. Sorry to say it, but a winning lawsuit probably won’t  happen in your lifetime.

Or your grandchildren’s.

I want to you look at the back of your ticket the next time you attend a baseball game, go to a movie, or attend the opera.  See those tiny squiggles on the back of your ticket, so tiny even people blessed with 20/20 vision have to squint. Well, that is the proverbial fine print. And if you look really hard, you will usually see a section named “Warning.”

A Day At MCU Park

I and several other business associates had the pleasure of attending the short-season minor baseball game between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Tri-City Valley Cats at Brooklyn’s MCU Park, located in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

We were guests of Anne Marie Stanislaus, Broker and Owner of Reserved Realty, L.L.C., on the Party Deck at a BNI Networking Party. Those of you who are regular readers of BrooklynCovered.com know Anne Marie is always good for a tough insurance question, and a pizza on me at Cataldo’s Restaurant. This time, however, the food was on her and her fellow BNI members.

While we were talking, (and eating), the Cyclone batter at the plate cracked a foul ball all the way to the suite level, where we were eating and cheering.

Sensing the opportunity for another insurance lesson, I said, “Anne Marie, you’d better watch out for those foul balls.”

“Why?” she asked. “You know I want to catch one.”

“Well, don’t miss the catch. If you do, and a ball smacks you upside the head, you can’t sue the Cyclones, the Mets, the City of New York, nobody.”

“You’re lying to my face, Greaves.”

Let’s Go To The Video … I Mean Ticket

So I took out my ticket, and squinting like Mr. Magoo, began to read;

“WARNING – The ticketholder assumes all risk, danger and injury incidental to the game of baseball or other event and all warm-ups, practices, competitions, entertainment and promotions associated therewith  at all locations in and around the ballpark and surrounding areas and parking lots, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequent to the playing of the game or other event, including (but not limited to ) the danger of thrown bats, fragments thereof, and thrown , propelled or batted balls and other objects, and agrees that no persons or entities (including but not limited to Sterling Mets, L. P. , Sterling Mets Front Office, L.L.C., Sterling Mets Operations, L.L.C., Queens Ballpark Company, L.L.C., Sterling Facility Services, L.L.C., CF Hospitality, L.L.C., Brooklyn Baseball Company, L.L.C., the City of New York,, NYCIDA, St. Lucie County, and their respective agents, owners, officers, employees, affiliates and contractor(s) are liable for any injuries, death, or loss of property resulting from such causes, and releases and hold harmless all such persons and entities. “

“And you’re saying all that to say, what?”

“Foul ball screaming into the stands at 200 mph connects with your head and you die, they have no liability. Player loses control of their bat and it flies into the stands and breaks your face, they have no liability. A ball leaves the ballpark and puts a dent in or shatters the windshield of your new car in the parking lot, they have no liability. You get mugged in the parking lot, or your car is broken into or stolen from the parking lot, well, you have no coverage. Since you activated this ticket by presenting it for admission to today’s game, you’ve agreed to hold all of those organizations harmless for just about anything that could happen to you while you’re enjoying a day at the ballpark. And you weren’t even read your rights.”

What Are The Odds?

“So a little girl  could suffer the loss of her sense of smell and possible disfiguration for the rest of her life? And the family has no legal leg to stand on?”

“Yep. Let’s just be thankful she didn’t die from the impact. According to Major League Baseball, there are 35 people are injured by foul balls for every one million visitors who attend the games. Not bad odds, but if it’s you or someone you love who’s hit, the results could be devastating.”

“That’s not right, Greaves.”

“Yes, and I’m 5′ 10″ instead of 6′ 2. Life is just unfair that way.”

So, the next time you attend an event, take a moment to take a hard look at the back of your ticket, and see the rights you’ve given up just to be there. And watch out for those foul balls.

I Am Eustace L. Greaves, Jr.

Please indulge me this opportunity to publish some of the poetry / music created in my soul. I will revisit this space / place / womb often, making a slight change here, adding a sentence there. The SEO results will be lousy, but I’m just happy to possess the canvas upon which to place my creation.

I promise you insurance, insurance, and more insurance, in the blog posts to come.

Thank you,

Eustace L. Greaves Jr.
August 28, 2014
2:33 pm

I Am Eustace L. Greaves Jr.

I am not the man a woman settles for.

I am the man a woman who, knowing herself, prays will
provide for,
worship with his whole heart,
pray for and with,
grow strong in the Lord with,
and give God thanks for,

I have not  seen my best days I haven’t created them yet.

My greatest accomplishments are waitin, needing me to realize, and fully understand, God is in me, and because this is truth, nothing is impossible for me.

I am responsible for everything in my life, the good, the bad, the exuberant, the sad. Every thought, every deed is my responsibility.

I no longer give credence to the old excuse, “Be patient, God’s not finished with me yet.”

It is nothing more than a lie created by those who accept failure in their life by failing to even try. They’ve made it their home address.

I will waste no time visiting them where they live.

I know God equipped me, from the moment  I was born , with everything I’d ever need in life to become who I am meant to be, to achieve the goals I pray for, and leaving my knees, work for.

I am the man a woman will regret letting go, wishes she hadn’t let out of the door, despite whatever fears she may have.

I am not the man a woman settles for.

I am the man with whom she prays she’ll settle down. Sleep besides, go the the movies, the plays, midnight cruises with, or just sitting at home next to each on the couch with.

I am the man she prays she can love, and will love her the rest of her days.

Income Tax Returns Aren’t Toilet Paper

“When did the preparation of income taxes become a commodity item carrying the same importance as a roll of toilet paper? What’s next, buy computer time and prepare your return yourself? The business of preparing income taxes is an important calling, and your choice of an income tax preparer should neither be based solely on how big a refund they promise to get you, (which is illegal, by the way), nor by how little they charge. Instead, ask your preparer the following questions:”

Income tax returns are not toilet paper.

Today, while driving through my home city of Brooklyn, NY, I passed the office of a national income tax preparation franchise. They had a sign outside their office that read, “$50.00 off your income tax return today!!”

Get Your Toilet Paper Here!

When did the preparation of income taxes become a commodity item carrying the same importance as a roll of toilet paper? What’s next, buy computer time and prepare your return yourself? The business of preparing income taxes is an important calling, and your choice of an income tax preparer should neither be based solely on how big a refund they promise to get you, (which is illegal, by the way), nor by how little they charge. Instead, ask your preparer the following questions:
  • How many CPE classes did you attend last year?
  • Which, if any, professional organizations do they belong to?
  • What percentage of the returns you prepare are audited each year?
  • Do they have a Federal PTIN?
  • Do they have a New York State Tax Preparer Certificate of Registration?
  • If they must relocate their office, how will they inform you of their new address?
  • For how many years have they prepared income taxes?
  • Are they aware of the EITC Due Diligence rules?
  • Will you sign my income tax return?
  • What is their Privacy Policy regarding the protection of your personal information?
  • Do they make up their own itemized deductions so you will receive a larger refund?
  • How many times have they been cited for filing fraudulent income tax returns?

Bottom line, stop worrying about today’s sale on income tax preparation. I’d be more concerned about the skills and professional manner of who is preparing my return.

In addition to providing his clients and seminar attendees (many of whom become his clients), with insurance and income tax strategies and solutions, Eustace L. Greaves Jr.,  also prepares income tax returns for over 150 of his clients annually. To contact Eustace L. Greaves Jr., about his insurance and income tax services, feel free to call him at 718-783-2722, or by email to Eustace@insuremeeg.com.

Farewell, Sweet Cuddle Time, Farewell

(Editor’s Note: You may be wondering why a blog dedicated to providing information about insurance,  personal income tax planning and preparation, and NYS Vehicle and Traffic Laws deals with “Cuddle Time. ” Trust me, you’ll get the ‘coverage’ connection. Well, I hope you do.  Besides, who can’t use a good laugh now and then? Enjoy! – Eustace)

Guys, It’s Time To Be Honest About Cuddle Time

Men. Suddenly we’re turning 40, 50, or even 60 years of age, and we, well at least some of us, must make peace with a sad reality: What we once did three, four, maybe even five times a night with gusto, flair, and concerns only about our own satisfaction, we now happily enjoy with true shared intimacy maybe three really good times each month.

With ample time in between for rest, recovery, reflection, relief,  and many prayers of  thanks to whichever Creator we worship that our efforts didn’t leave us in need of skilled nursing care.

But with this new reality, we also come to realize we always seem a step behind, a step too slow, just missing the boat, singing off-key, or didn’t set the hook fast enough. And now, we’ve gone and lost the big one – cuddle time.

Why is it when men of a certain age finally discover the power of the cuddle, (and yes, there is power in “The Cuddle”), their wives no longer need them for body heat?

And what vile, heinous, and foul construct stole our spouses and lovers affections, well, in some cases tolerance, you ask?

None other than the electric blanket.

That’s right. The electric blanket.

America is not the Great Satan, and sorry Theo Epstein and Boston Red Sox nation, the New York Yankees are not the true Evil Empire. No my friends, it’s the electric blanket manufacturers of the world who are creating all the problems for us men. That’s right  electric blanket manufacturers, I’m talking to you, I’m calling you out, you and your evil intimacy-destroying creations.

Oh, The Humanity!

Just imagine the workers who assemble these cuddle time-destroying creations. I’ve heard tales of women line workers raucously laughing, knowing yet another member of their sisterhood will sleep in vengeful comfort, while their male counterparts weep bitter tears at their plight, forced to assisting in the birthing of these heat-destroying engines of destruction of the last bastions of male joy and happiness.

All the Viagra and Cialis in the world cannot convince a woman enjoying the sweet, moist warmth of a Turbo 2000 Sweet Heat model to turn it off and let her husband turn her on. No, after years of neglecting her needs for truly emotional attention and connection, and too many half-hearted or failed attempts at, umm, humor, she’s gone and found a new electric lover which gives her the full cuddly body warmth she used to beg for. Now she plugs it in the wall, spins the dial to the desired level of warmth and voilà!, she doesn’t need her man anymore. And her comfort cover doesn’t complain about the texture of her dragon feet or her talon-like toenails.

And what’s really terrible is we are paying the electric utility bill for her guilty, guilty, sweet heat pleasure.

So, do we pin our hopes  on these soft and fuzzy destroyers of our remaining years of true intimacy constantly tripping the circuit breakers? Do we bring offerings to Al Gore begging him to declare them creatures of evil, possessing incontrovertible carbon footprints? Will this make wives and girlfriends repentant for their love of deviant coverage, even as they shed tears of sadness while packing their electric blankets away for the purpose of creating a more sustainable planet?

Oh yeah, that would work for me. And let’s tell the truth, it would work for a bunch of you guys too.

What About The Dragon Feet?

Is there a downside to our prayers? Yes, for once we win the recall of the accursed cuddle time-destroying covers, or our darlings sadly pack them away forever, our “on” switch must always be primed for dial-up.

Always on. Dialed up to whatever setting she wants. Be it cuddle, muddle, or just befuddled. #Cuddle Time Joy!

Even if she’s got dragon feet with talons for toenails.

Eustace L. Greaves Jr.,  is a Brooklyn-based business owner who provides his clients with integrated insurance, and income tax solutions and strategies. He is the author of BrooklynCovered.com and would really appreciate your subscribing to this blog, and sharing it with your social media families.

Illegal Apartments in NYC: How Many More Must Die?

“What’s even worse is that this building was had complaints about illegally converted apartments way back in 2006. Unfortunately, according to records, the New York City Department of Buildings representatives couldn’t gain access to the building to verify the illegal renovations, and properly cite the owner (s).”

Illegal Apartments In NYC

On page 28 of  today’s New York Daily News, the article, “Blaze In Illegal Apartment Kills Woman, 82.” The article details how the body of Ho Yukkuen was found inside a bedroom, in an illegal apartment in a Sunset Park residence.
What’s tragic is firemen couldn’t reach her in time because of window bars.

What’s even worse is that this building had complaints about illegally converted apartments way back in 2006. Unfortunately, according to records, the New York City Department of Buildings representatives couldn’t gain access to the building to verify the illegal renovations, and properly cite the owner (s).

So an 82-year-old woman loses her life, maybe screaming for help in vain while trying to escape her prison.

Why Was An 82-Year-Old Woman Living In An Illegal Basement Apartment?

Let’s talk truth. The lack of truly affordable housing is literally killing members of our citizenry. I find it hard to believe an 82-year-old woman couldn’t be placed in some form of affordable senior housing facility. At worse, why couldn’t she find placement in a regular, legal apartment?

Greed. That’s right. Greed.

We are erecting condominiums which many hard-working New Yorkers cannot afford to buy, and not requiring at least 40% of the apartments be affordable for people with annual incomes between $35,000 to $60,000.

Homeowners in communities like Bedford-Stuyvesant, who purchased their homes for $10,000, $50,000, and $300,000, who fought for years for better schools, libraries, and sanitation and police services, only to cut and run when investors, both foreign and domestic, show up at their door, promising them one million dollars and up for their now-beautifully restored brownstones. And many of these former owners rue the day they sold.

But what happens to the elderly tenants in these buildings, many of whom lived with the former owners like family for decades, and don’t have leases, or protections through rent control and rent stabilization laws? Where do they wind up? Do they sleep outdoors in the winter when the bitter cold is a constant danger? Or, are they fortunate enough to have family who’ll take them in, or blessed to be accepted into a senior living facility?

I only know this: The overwhelming majority of those elected to the New York City Council, and other government positions ran on platforms promoting the creation of affordable housing. Let’s hope they remember their promises to the people of this city, and not any corporate masters who helped them get elected. I know that I and others won’t forget the promises they made to address the real housing needs of all New Yorkers.

Finally, I hope this new crop of politicians/public servants finally pass legislative giving the Department of Buildings the real power it needs to gain access to any building in New York City to discover and address illegal apartment conversions and other matters of safety for its tenants and the surrounding community.

With this type of power, perhaps Ho Yukkuen would be alive today.

Eustace L. Greaves Jr., LUTCF is a business owner who since 1995 has provided his clients with integrated insurance and income tax strategies and solutions. He is also a firm believer in a New York City building inspection program which will root out the bad players, thus keeping all of us safe. You can reach him by telephone at 718-783-2722 and by email at Eustace@insuremeeg.com .