Even in warner states, you need to be prepared for winter driving. Many people hit the mountains to ski or hike. Winter is fast approaching and that should remind you to think about two things. First, now is a good time to review your auto insurance program and second, it is time to start thinking about how driving conditions may change in the next number of months. It might be heavy rain, snow and or even fog, being prepared can help get you safely to your destination.
Winter weather changes almost daily and road conditions can create serious concerns and worries. There are some things you can do to prepare yourself for winter driving:
1. Know the road conditions before you travel.
2. Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
3. Use all-weather or studded tires.
4. Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
5. Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
6. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
7. Keep an emergency kit in your trunk.
8. Drive below the speed limit in hazardous conditions.
9. Winterize your car with fresh antifreeze, a good battery, operating exhaust system and oil that will withstand the rigors of cold weather.
10. If possible, avoid driving until the roads are safe and passable. You don't want to slide off the road, and road crews don't want to plow around disabled vehicles.
11. Do a thorough pre-trip inspection of your vehicle paying special attention to your tires, brakes, windshield wipers, and windshield wiper fluid.
12. Allow extra room between vehicles.
13. Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes.
14. Let someone know where you'll be going and when you expect to arrive or return. Tell them to call authorities for help if you don't get back or check in within an hour of your estimate.
Keeping up with car maintenance year-round is important, but it carries added significance in the winter to prevent becoming stranded. As always, try to time your routine maintenance ahead of long-distance travel. Putting off service today can turn into an expensive problem down the road.
Its college football season, time to shop for new winter cloths, time to consider how to protect your home from the winter conditions that are fast approaching. We offer these ideas for your review. With temperatures falling and meteorologists predicting a colder than normal winter, the easiest and most cost efficient way to keep your home’s heat inside, while keeping your heating bill respectable, is to add fresh insulation to your attic, ceilings, basement, and walls.
Good Time For An Insurance Check Up
Let our agency provide you with a home, auto and life insurance check-up to make sure you have the best possible coverage. We have access to a number of different markets and can save you even more if you combine your home and auto together.
Prepare For Winter
Have an emergency kit ready; an emergency kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Include the following: water, flash lights and batteries, first aid kit, whistles to signal for help, basic tools, manual can opener, small supply of food, radio, candles, lighter, blankets and rope.
The following is a checklist for what homeowners ought to be doing when prepping for the cold season. Stick to it, and you're sure to have a warmer and more relaxed winter experience (scraping and digging out your car notwithstanding).
· Reverse ceiling fan rotation
· Inspect your furnace and replace filters
· Insulate water pipes
· Turn off all outside water and sprinklers
· Clean wood stoves and chimney’s
· Install window insulators
· Store summer tools and prep winter ones · Get a programmable thermostat
· Make sure you caulk or repair and replace any siding that is failing
· Stock up on emergency supplies
· It's always wise to provide an outside air supply for combustion appliances like gas stoves and furnaces. You may need a professional to check this for you
· Make sure your recreation vehicles get the same care as your home
· Seal cracks in windows, doors, foundations, and ducts
· Replace batteries in smoke detectors
· Clean gutters · Add insulation where needed
· Check for leaks in gutters, windows and roofs
· Cut shrubs away from your home
We will make sure you are protected against winter claims, with the right combination of insurance coverage and pricing. We offer competitive premiums and broad coverage for your home, auto and business. Contact us today for a quote.
Many people are unsure what a personal umbrella policy is or what it covers. We will explain the basics of a personal umbrella Insurance policy and the benefits to you. When you are outside and there is a light rain or breeze you generally don’t need or want an umbrella. However, if it is pouring down rain with high winds, you take your umbrella. An umbrella insurance policy works much the same way.
Personal umbrella insurance provides extra protection or limits above the liability insurance you currently have. Just as an umbrella protects you from heavy rain, an umbrella insurance policy protects you from losing the entirety of your wealth and assets in the event of a claim. Umbrella insurance can provide limits above your personal auto and home policies.
Here is an example: John Doe falls asleep while driving and hits a van with a family inside. The accident results in $600,000 of medical bills, but John Doe's auto policy has a $500,000 limit. Fortunately, John Doe also has a $500,000 umbrella policy, and the additional $100,000 would be covered under the umbrella policy
It is true that personal umbrella insurance may not be for everyone, but if you are building financial resources for your future, are a professional, own your home, boat or recreation vehicle, you should consider an umbrella insurance policy. Having the added protection of an umbrella insurance policy is coverage no one should go without.
Umbrella insurance is really not expensive. Please give us a call and allow us to give you a quote!
Halloween is fast approaching. All kids love to dress up, get together with friends, and go door-to-door hoping to find the full size candy bar.
A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic for kids and trying for you. Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.
Pets first. Dogs, cats, and other furry family companions get scared when oddly dressed strangers approach their door in droves. Make sure your pet is in a safe and comfortable space or take them to a secure, relaxing offsite location for the evening.
Clean up your yard. If your yard gathers stuff - like toys, rakes and other yard tools, hoses, tree branches, you name it - take the time to clean it up. Make sure your yard is free of potential hazards and create a clutter-free walking path well before dusk falls this Halloween.
Are all your lights working? Make sure you offer a well-lit path.
Candles. Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table.
Turn it off. When you’re done for the night, make it obvious by turning any and all inviting lights off.
Decorations. Don’t go overboard with decorations, they can cause fires and injuries.
Safety tips for kids
· Never, ever go into a house
· Go with friends
· Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling
· Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child
· Only go to homes with a porch light on
· Plan costumes that are bright and reflective
· Don’t eat homemade food
· Look at all wrapped candy, if it has been opened toss it out
· Use a flashlight
There are many insurance myths floating around, and most of them have been around for years. We want to respond to these myths with clear information, so that you can make educated decisions about your insurance purchases. Myth 1 Having two agents is better because they keep each other competitive.
Having two agents duplicates effort and can create coverage gaps and/or duplications. For example, there is certain coverage that can be included under a liability policy as well as under an auto policy. If you have two agents, who coordinates coverage? One agent is better able to manage your entire insurance program. Myth 2 The lowest premium is the best option.
Premiums are determined by a combination of exposures and coverage. If you select the lowest premium you may be missing needed coverage. For example, the lower premium may not include replacement cost coverage on buildings and equipment. Myth 3 The internet is a great place to get insurance deals.
Low cost internet insurance may allow you to select the coverage and limits you think you need, but in most cases you end up with a limited and inadequate program. Typically, you may only realize these limitations after you have an uninsured claim. Myth 4 Umbrella insurance is only for high net worth companies or individuals.
A small electrical contractor was at fault for the total loss of a historic property; a loss that exceeded his general liability policy. The contractor’s umbrella policy paid the loss in excess of $7,000,000. Umbrella or excess coverage is some of the least costly insurance you can buy. Don’t risk a big loss for a small expense.
Myth 5 The Medical Payment portion of my homeowners insurance will cover injuries to me and my family.
Medical Payments is a feature of most standard home insurance policies. It is there to protect you in the event that someone other than you or your family (a neighbor, friend, etc) gets hurt on your property. Myth 6 All my guns and jewelry are automatically covered in my homeowner’s policy.
There are limits on the amount of coverage you can receive for valuables such as jewelry, guns, furs, etc. For example, most companies put a cap of $1,500 on total jewelry lost during a burglary of your home. If you find that your jewelry is valued over $1,500, you will have to schedule it separately. In addition to providing adequate coverage on your jewelry and/or guns, scheduling the items will offer a lower deductible and broadened coverage. Myth 7 Flood insurance is only for people who live in a high risk area.
Flood insurance is defined as any ground water coming into your home from the outside. Flooding can happen to just about anyone (unless you live on top of a mountain). Myth 8 I don't need disability insurance because I can get Social Security.
Don't count on Social Security to take care of all your needs if you become disabled. If you are able to get Social Security benefits for your disability (not all get approved to receive disability benefits so don't assume you will) then you will still have to wait months before you receive benefits. Also, your disability needs to be long-term to qualify for these benefits. Myth 9 There isn’t anything I can do to manage my insurance costs except shop price.
There are many things you can do to reduce your premiums; here are a few:
· Consider increasing your deductibles
· Maintain good credit
· Develop a safety program at your work site
· Consider the vehicle when make a purchase, some are more expensive to insure
· Add monitored smoke and security alarms to your home or office
· Ask us about the many different discounts offered by our insurers Myth 10 There is no reason to insure a stay- at home- spouse.
Your stay-at-home spouse may not earn an income, but think of all he or she does to keep the household running: child care, meal preparation, transportation, housekeeping and more. With that spouse gone, life suddenly gets a lot more challenging — and expensive. Life insurance can defray the cost of hiring help or changing jobs or work habits to accommodate a new lifestyle in your partner's absence.