Spring Break Safety

Tips for a Secure and Enjoyable Vacation

Spring break is a time for relaxation, adventure, and fun. It’s a period when students and families take a break from the routine of work and school to enjoy some leisure time, often traveling to new places or engaging in outdoor activities. While it’s important to let loose and have fun, maintaining safety should be a top priority to ensure that your spring break is memorable for all the right reasons. Here are some essential tips to keep you safe and secure during your spring break adventures.

  1. Research Your Destination

Before you pack your bags, take some time to research your destination. Look into the local culture, laws, and any travel advisories. Understanding the area you’re visiting can help you avoid unsafe neighborhoods or activities. Also, check the weather forecast to prepare appropriate clothing and gear.

  1. Stay Together

Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, it’s important to stick together, especially in unfamiliar places. There’s safety in numbers, and having someone with you can help deter potential threats. Establish a buddy system, ensuring no one is left alone or isolated, particularly at night or in crowded places.

  1. Protect Your Valuables

Tourists are often targets for theft, so take steps to protect your valuables. Use hotel safes for important documents and expensive items, and carry only what you need for the day. Consider using anti-theft bags or waist packs that are more difficult for pickpockets to access. Be cautious with your phone and other electronics, as these are particularly attractive to thieves.

  1. Moderate Alcohol Consumption

While it’s tempting to indulge in the party scene, excessive alcohol consumption can impair your judgment and make you more vulnerable to accidents and crime. Drink responsibly, know your limits, and always keep an eye on your drink to avoid the risk of it being tampered with.

  1. Stay Hydrated and Use Sun Protection

Spending long hours in the sun, especially if you’re not used to it, can lead to dehydration and sunburn. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and use sunscreen with a high SPF. Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially if you’re swimming or sweating.

  1. Keep in Touch

Let someone know your plans, including where you’re staying and any activities or excursions you’re planning. Check in regularly with friends or family back home. In case of an emergency, it’s important that someone knows where to find you.

  1. Be Mindful of Local Customs and Laws

Respect the local culture and adhere to the laws of the country or city you’re visiting. Something that might be legal or socially acceptable in your home country could be forbidden elsewhere. Familiarize yourself with local customs to avoid offending anyone or getting into legal trouble.

  1. Prioritize Your Health

Don’t ignore your health while on vacation. Pack a first-aid kit, and know where the nearest hospital or clinic is located. If you’re taking medication, ensure you have enough for the duration of your trip, plus some extra in case of delays.

  1. Use Reputable Transportation Services

Always opt for reputable transportation services. This includes official taxis, recognized ride-sharing apps, or public transportation. Avoid unofficial taxis or offers of rides from strangers, as these can sometimes lead to unsafe situations.

  1. Trust Your Instincts

Finally, trust your instincts. If something feels off, it probably is. Don’t hesitate to remove yourself from situations that feel unsafe or uncomfortable. It’s better to be overly cautious than to find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.

Spring break should be a time of fun, exploration, and making lasting memories. By following these safety tips, you can minimize risks and focus on enjoying your well-deserved break. Stay safe, and have a fantastic spring break!

Navigating the Season: Winter Driving Safety Tips

As the seasons change and leaves turn vibrant hues of red and gold, it’s a reminder that fall and winter are just around the corner. While these seasons bring festive holidays and cozy nights by the fire, they also come with challenges for drivers. Rain, snow, ice, and reduced daylight can make the roads treacherous. To ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road, it’s essential to be prepared and knowledgeable about fall and winter driving safety.

Have us complete a review of your auto `insurance to make sure you have the right coverage for your individual situation.

Vehicle Maintenance

Before the cold weather sets in, make sure your vehicle is in top-notch condition. Consider the following maintenance tasks:

  • Tire Check: Ensure your tires have adequate tread depth for better traction on wet and slippery roads. Consider switching to winter tires if you live in an area with heavy snowfall.
  • Brakes and Lights: Check your brakes and lights to ensure they are working correctly. Visibility is crucial during the darker months.
  • Battery Health: Cold weather can be tough on car batteries. Make sure your battery is in good condition, and consider having it tested.
  • Fluids: Ensure that all fluids, including engine oil, antifreeze, and windshield washer fluid, are at the recommended levels.
  • Heating and Defrosting System: Ensure your heating and defrosting systems are functioning properly to keep your windows clear and passengers warm.

Plan Ahead

Before heading out, check the weather forecast and road conditions. If severe weather is expected, consider postponing your trip or finding an alternative route. Give yourself extra time to reach your destination, as driving in adverse conditions can significantly slow you down.

Slow Down and Increase Following Distance

One of the most crucial safety tips for fall and winter driving is to reduce your speed and increase your following distance. Slower speeds provide more time to react to unexpected hazards and reduce the risk of skidding on slippery roads. A good rule of thumb is to double your following distance in wet conditions and increase it even more in icy or snowy conditions.

Use Proper Lighting

With reduced daylight during fall and winter, it’s crucial to use your vehicle’s lighting system effectively. Ensure all your lights, including headlights, taillights, and turn signals, are functioning correctly. Use your headlights even during daylight hours, as this increases your visibility to other drivers. Don’t forget to clear snow and ice from your vehicle’s lights and windows to maintain maximum visibility.

Avoid Cruise Control

Cruise control can be a great feature on dry roads, but it can be dangerous in slippery conditions. Avoid using cruise control when driving on wet, icy, or snowy roads, as it can hinder your ability to react quickly to changing road conditions.

Know How to Handle Skids

Skidding can happen even to the most experienced drivers. If your vehicle starts to skid, remain calm and follow these steps:

For a front-wheel skid: Ease off the gas pedal and steer in the direction you want to go. Avoid sudden jerking movements.

For a rear-wheel skid: Turn your steering wheel toward the skid until you regain control. Avoid oversteering.

Carry an Emergency Kit

Prepare for the unexpected by carrying an emergency kit in your vehicle. This kit should include items like a flashlight, extra warm clothing, blankets, non-perishable snacks, a first-aid kit, and basic tools. Having these items on hand can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency or if you become stranded.

Fall and winter driving can be challenging, but with the right preparations and knowledge, you can navigate these seasons safely. Vehicle maintenance, careful planning, reduced speeds, proper lighting, and knowing how to handle adverse conditions are all key elements in ensuring your safety on the road. By following these tips and being vigilant, you can enjoy the beauty of the season without compromising your safety or that of others.

Navigating Insurance Issues in the Sharing Economy


The sharing economy has transformed industries and consumer behaviors, creating new opportunities and challenges. As individuals increasingly participate in platforms like Airbnb, Uber, and TaskRabbit, the landscape of traditional insurance has had to adapt to accommodate this evolving economic model. The integration of sharing economy services into daily life has given rise to a myriad of insurance concerns, prompting a reevaluation of existing policies and the development of innovative solutions.

The Rise of the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy, characterized by peer-to-peer exchanges of goods and services, has gained widespread popularity due to its cost-effectiveness, convenience, and flexibility. Platforms like Airbnb and Uber have revolutionized accommodation and transportation respectively, allowing individuals to leverage their underutilized resources to generate income. However, this new economic paradigm has brought forth several insurance-related challenges that need to be addressed.

Insurance Gaps and Coverage Limitations

One of the primary issues in the sharing economy is the potential gap in insurance coverage. Traditional insurance policies, designed for personal use, may not adequately protect individuals engaging in commercial activities within the sharing economy. For instance, a homeowner’s insurance policy might not cover damages caused by a guest staying through Airbnb. Similarly, personal auto insurance policies might not provide coverage during ride-sharing activities.

These gaps in coverage have prompted sharing economy platforms to develop their own insurance policies. For instance, ride-sharing platforms often provide liability coverage for drivers during active rides. However, these policies are typically contingent on certain conditions being met, such as the ride being booked through the app and the driver not deviating from the designated route. These limitations can still leave participants vulnerable in certain scenarios.

Regulatory Challenges

The sharing economy operates across national and local boundaries, making it difficult to establish consistent regulations and insurance standards. Insurance regulations can vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another, creating a complex landscape for sharing economy platforms to navigate. This lack of uniformity can result in confusion for both providers and consumers, and it can also hinder the development of comprehensive insurance solutions.

Innovations in Insurance Solutions

Recognizing the need to address these insurance gaps, companies and policymakers have started exploring innovative solutions. Some sharing economy platforms have partnered with insurance providers to offer hybrid policies that cover both personal and commercial activities. These policies aim to bridge the gap between traditional insurance and the unique risks associated with the sharing economy.

The sharing economy has undoubtedly brought about transformative changes to how we access goods and services. However, it has also exposed gaps and limitations in traditional insurance models. To fully realize the potential of the sharing economy while safeguarding the interests of all participants, a collaborative effort involving sharing economy platforms, insurance providers, regulators, and consumers is necessary. By addressing insurance issues head-on, we can create a safer and more inclusive environment for this new economic paradigm to thrive.


Home Safety While Traveling This Summer

Home Safety While Traveling This Summer

Protecting your home while traveling during the summer is crucial to ensure its security. Here are some essential tips to help you keep your home safe:

Secure all doors and windows: Before leaving, double-check that all doors and windows are properly locked. Install sturdy deadbolt locks on exterior doors, reinforce windows with security film or bars, and consider using a doorbell camera or a smart lock for added security.

Set up a home security system: Install a reliable home security system that includes motion sensors, door/window sensors, and surveillance cameras. Many systems can be monitored remotely via smartphone apps, enabling you to keep an eye on your property from anywhere.

Use timers for lights and electronics: Set up timers for lights, TVs, and radios to create the illusion of an occupied home. Program them to turn on and off at different times throughout the day to deter potential burglars.

Arrange for mail and package delivery: An overflowing mailbox or packages left on the doorstep can indicate that nobody is home. Temporarily suspend mail and newspaper delivery or ask a trusted neighbor to collect them for you. If you’re expecting packages, arrange for them to be held or delivered to a secure location.

Inform a trusted neighbor or friend: Let a neighbor or friend you trust know about your travel plans. Provide them with contact information and ask if they can keep an eye on your property, report any suspicious activity, or park their car in your driveway occasionally.

Don’t advertise your absence on social media: Avoid posting about your travel plans on social media platforms until after you return home. Broadcasting your absence can attract unwanted attention from potential burglars.

Consider light and sound deterrents: Install motion-activated exterior lights to illuminate your property if anyone approaches. You can also use sound deterrents like a radio or dog barking sound device to create the impression of someone being home.

Secure valuable items: Keep valuable items, such as jewelry, important documents, and portable electronics, in a secure safe. This provides an extra layer of protection against theft.

Disconnect unnecessary electronics: Unplug non-essential electronics and appliances to prevent power surges and reduce the risk of electrical fires while you’re away.

Hire a house sitter or home security service: If you’re comfortable with it, consider hiring a house sitter who can stay in your home while you’re away. Alternatively, some home security companies offer services where professionals periodically check on your property.

Remember, each home and neighborhood may have specific security needs, so assess your situation and take appropriate measures accordingly.

Stop Porch Pirates This Holiday Season

The holiday season is filled with fun, parties, food, gifts, overeating and unfortunately some risk. One of the fasted growing risks for many people are stolen packages by porch pirates.  According to proopertycasualtiy360, over 26 million packages are stolen during the holiday season.  Need more bad news?

Your homeowners or renter’s insurance generally may not cover this loss as it tends to be under your deductible.  There could be coverage if you have personal property off premises insurance.  Also for theft coverage to apply generally, you need proof of loss by a broker indoor, etc.

Call our office for a review of your homeowner’s insurance, as each policy is unique to your circumstances.

Things To Do

  • Delivery confirmation is a good way to prove the package was delivered.
  • Thieves will follow delivery trucks, waiting for the perfect target.
  • These thieves commonly strike during working hours as many homes are empty at that time.
  • You can insure your packages.
  • Consider having a person there when the delivery is scheduled.
  • Install a security camera.

What To Do If A Package Is Stolen

  • Track your package. Check the delivery confirmation and tracking number.
  • Make sure a neighbor did not pick it up for you.
  • Contact the seller. Different retailers have different policies and processes for handling stolen items, but usually, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement item.
  • File a claim with the shipping company.
  • Check your Credit Cards for Purchase Protection.

The Nuts and Bolts of Contractor’s Insurance

A Contractors Insurance Update

The success of your business depends on the quality of your business insurance.  Business insurance is designed to protect your business in the event of an unexpected claim.  We can create a contractor’s insurance program that is designed for your unique operation.  Here are a few of the kinds of contractor insurance you need.

  • The basic contractor insurance program should include property, commercial liability, auto, equipment coverage, and excess liability.
  • Contractor’s bonds. A contractor’s license bond is a license and permits bond that is designed to assist all types of contractors.  In many states, contractor bonds are required and help ensure that the contractor will operate in compliance with the local statutes as well as laws.
  • As an independent contractor, you may need to have worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s comp regulations are mandated state by state.  If you are in business for yourself and you do not have employees, you are most likely not required to buy worker’s compensation insurance.
  • Contractor tool/equipment coverage. Your tools are part of your business; make sure they are insured to full replacement cost.
  • Contractors Errors and Omissions coverage. Every contractor has this exposure.  If you provide any advice on your job, you have professional liability risk.
  • Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) coverage. An EPLI policy covers claims made against directors, officers, employees, the company, and its subsidiaries.  The policy can cover a long list of claims, including wrongful dismissal/termination, sexual/racial/disability harassment, sexual/racial/disability/religious discrimination, employment-related libel, slander, defamation, invasion of privacy, wrongful failure to employ or promote, and retaliation.
  • Workers’ Compensation. Workers’ compensation insurance is insurance that provides lost income, medical benefits, disability benefits, and rehabilitative services for workers injured on the job or while performing work-related duties.

Your business needs protection provided by a company and insurance advisor that you can trust.

Personal service combined with depth of knowledge in the insurance marketplace, and access to a wide range of carriers is the combination of factors that sets Oakwood Insurance apart from its competitors. We not only work in the north metro, but it’s also our home. We strive to support the vibrancy and growth of this community. We want it to thrive, and we want you to thrive. We will review your insurance coverage and help you understand what you have and ensure that it’s the best fit for your goals.

Heat Safety Tips For Your Pet

Summertime means sun, sand, and lots of outside playtime with your dog or cat. Summer is a wonderful time to spend with your pet. However, rising temperatures pose a greater risk to our pets, including more injuries, skin and ear infections, and the risk of heat stroke.

  • Consult your veterinarian about the dangers of warm weather for pets (and travel safety if you plan to travel with a pet).
  • Look for signs of shock. Collapse, 104°F+ body temperature, bloody diarrhea or vomit, depressed stupor, seizures or coma, heavy panting or trouble breathing, elevated heart rate, and salivation are some of the symptoms.
  • When your pets are outside, make sure they have limitless access to fresh water and shade.
  • Never leave your pet in the car.
  • Place water-soaked towels on the dog’s head, neck, feet, chest, and abdomen, turn on a fan and direct it toward your dog, and rub 70% Isopropyl alcohol on the dog’s foot pads to help cool him down, but don’t use too much.
  • Inquire with your veterinarian about how to spot signs of heat exhaustion.
  • Keep your pet free of parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworm, which are more common in the summer.
  • Summer is the ideal season for barbeques, picnics, and other outdoor celebrations, the most famous of which is the Fourth of July, which has the most anticipated fireworks display. While we all like a huge brilliant boom, our pets are usually startled and flee. Furthermore, pyrotechnics contain chemicals such as potassium nitrate, which can poison your curious pet if consumed.

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

Flood Insurance

Flooding, which occurs in all 50 states, causes more property damage than any other weather-related catastrophe. You should be aware of any flood vulnerabilities you may have in your home. If you’re unsure, the Red Cross local government or your regional planning and zoning department can assist you.

If it is pouring heavily or has been raining for an extended period of time, listen to the radio or watch weather updates on television for increasing flood risks.

Floods come in a variety of forms. Coastal and river floods are more predictable, occurring over a period of hours or days. A flash flood might appear out of nowhere. Local governments may issue Flash Flood Watches or Flash Flood Warnings, as well as ordinary Flood Watches or Flood Warnings; click on any of the words for more information.

Before a Flood

If you live or have a home in a flood-prone area, flood insurance is a good idea. Flood insurance is not generally included in homeowner’s insurance. That coverage must be purchased as a stand-alone insurance.

Prepare a Flood Disaster Supply Kit and a Personal Evacuation Plan, or update them if necessary.

When there is a Flood Watch in effect,

Move your valuables and stuff to the upper floors of your home. Place these items on top of countertops and tables if you live in a one-story home.

Make sure your car’s fuel tanks are full and that you’re ready to go if an evacuation order is issued.

When A Flood Warning is Issued

Listen to the radio, internet, or watch the news to stay up to date. Prepare to flee if necessary.

If the Flood Warning is for a Flash Flood, get to higher ground right away. Flash floods can quickly turn into raging torrents, leaving you with little time to react. Rivers, creeks, streams, and drainage areas should be avoided.

When There Is A Flood

Do not drive on or across flooded roads or bridges. In a flood, 80 percent of those who die trying to drive where they shouldn’t. A car can be moved, or a person can be knocked down by six inches of fast-moving water.

Be extremely cautious if flooding happens at night. In the lack of light, warning indicators are more difficult to spot; light reflected off a smoother water surface can appear to be wet pavement.

Get to the highest place possible without wading into floodwaters.  If you’re riding a watercraft, go slowly, so you don’t get upset if you hit something; likewise, wakes from fast-moving watercraft might cause property damage.

Following a Flood

Before re-entering your home, inspect it for structural damage. If the damage appears to be severe, stay away from the house until you can take actions to prevent it from collapsing.

Examine your water lines and other plumbing fixtures. Avoid using bathrooms if you suspect there has been any damage.

Wait until local authorities declare it’s safe to consume or wash with tap water. Meanwhile, bring all of the water to a boil.

If water has infiltrated your home or basement, stay away from electric appliances and lines.

Continue to listen to the radio and television for updates on water safety, transportation, and other critical news.

Food in cans or another packaging that has come into touch with floodwater should be thrown away.

For heat or light, avoid utilizing candles, kerosene lamps, or other open flame sources. After a crisis, candles ignite more flames than any other source. If you must use a candle or an open flame lamp, make sure pets, children, and combustibles are kept well away from the flame.

Leave the house if you smell or hear the hiss of leaking gas. Turn off the gas line at the cutoff valve outside your home if possible. From your cell phone or another place, call the utility company.

Take pictures of any goods that have been damaged. If they can’t be saved, put them outdoors, but don’t throw them away until you’ve had an insurance adjuster look at them.

For your protection and well-being, Oakwood Insurance Agency offers nearly every sort of personal insurance policy you may require. Please find a short but not exhaustive selection of our most frequent personal property, health, and life policies below. An Oakwood Insurance agent will explain our full range of insurance products and services during a personal consultation and create a tailored insurance plan with the right policies for your lifestyle, personal circumstances, and comfort level.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance can cover various vehicle types (trucks, cars), drivers, and motorized equipment. It covers bodily injury liability and property damage when driving a work car, as well as medical payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for the policyholder’s driver and passengers.

Auto Liability (hired/non-owned)

Do your staff drive their own automobiles, or do you rent them? This coverage protects your business against certain liabilities stemming from the usage of a rented or leased vehicle (hired) or a non-owned vehicle (employee using their own vehicle on company business). This coverage is frequently affordable when added to a company auto policy or, in certain situations, a general liability policy.

When Your Business Vehicle Is Also Your Personal Vehicle

Sometimes employees or executives of a company or other persons who are supplied with a vehicle owned by the company have only that vehicle. They do not own a personal vehicle nor do they obtain personal automobile coverage. The BACF does not cover personal use of the vehicle in this situation. To close this coverage gap, you need to add the Drive Other Car Coverage Endorsement to your BACF. This provides insurance while the named individual or a member of his or her family is driving a car borrowed from a third party.

Keeping Premiums Down

The best way to keep your business auto premiums down is to avoid accidents. Driving safety should be emphasized. Drivers should not be so pressured to produce that they feel compelled to drive unsafely. All vehicles should be well maintained.

Ask your agent whether your insurance company has business auto safety resources that you can use to help your organization be accident-free. For more information on reducing the risk of auto accidents.

When you own or run a business, you have a lot at at-risk and much to protect, and having the right business insurance coverage can be crucial to your long-term success. When it comes to protecting your business, fortunately, there are a variety of coverages to choose from. We represent a variety of carriers and are dedicated to assisting you in protecting your company from damage and liability. When you work with the team at the Oakwood Insurance Agency, you will receive personalized advice from an experienced agent who will assist you in developing a plan that includes all of the coverage you may require.

How To Get The Most Out of Your Business Insurance

There are just so many alternatives when it comes to choosing the correct insurance for your company. When it comes to commercial company insurance, one of the most important things to think about is how to get the most out of your policy. Start making the most of your commercial business insurance, consider the following suggestions:

Keep your policy current, review and update it on a regular basis with your agent.

Examine your policy every few months to see whether your business requirements have changed. Talk to your agent about the policy at least once or twice a year. This can assist you in safeguarding your interests.

Take Precautions to Safeguard Your Business

It is critical to ensure that your company is a safe and healthy place to work. Keeping things orderly, wiping up spills, and repairing any damage may go a long way – and could even help you save money on your insurance.

Reduce the chances of a customer being injured in order to cut down on claims.

The less likely consumers are to get injured and file a lawsuit, the safer your store is. Maintain a clean environment for consumers by keeping aisles clear, walkways clean, and spills cleaned up.

Do you want to work from home? Your homeowner’s insurance may not protect you

You probably still need commercial business insurance if you’re one of the millions of Americans who run a          home-based business. Exclusions for home-based companies are common in homeowners insurance plans. Make sure to double-check your coverages and exclusions with your insurance broker.

Work with your agent to find the best commercial insurance for your company.

Your agent is an excellent first line of defense against purchasing incorrect insurance. You’ll want to pay close attention to what they recommend so that you can receive the greatest commercial insurance policy for your company’s needs.

Ensure that the most crucial areas are covered.

Clients may rest assured that all of their major insurance needs will be covered when they choose our agency. Contact one of our representatives today to determine the appropriate level and type of insurance coverage for your company. This would include property, cyber liability, EPLI, liability, and excess liability coverage.

Oakwood Insurance operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide our access to a wide range of carriers and our extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace.   This information in to be considered general in nature. All claims will be settled based on your actual policy terms and conditions.