How To Get Flood Insurance

Did you know that floods are the most common form of a natural disaster? Floods cause over 4 billion dollars in damages every year. Here is another amazing fact; the average homeowner has a 1 in 4 chance of having flood damage during the timeframe of a 30-year mortgage.

If your home is in a flood zone, you must buy flood insurance if you want the government to help you after a flood. If you wait until after the flood, you won’t be able to obtain the insurance.

Many mortgage companies are now requiring flood insurance as part of their loan package. A standard homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policy does not cover flood damage. Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowner’s policies

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is one of the smartest decisions you can make for your home, family, and financial security. Even if you live outside a flood hazard area, your home, family, and belongings could still be at risk.

Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A few private insurers offer excess flood insurance. In general, a policy does not take effect until 30 days after you purchase flood insurance. So, if the weather forecast announces a flood alert for your area and you go to purchase coverage, it’s already too late. You will not be insured if you buy a policy a few days before a flood.

What Flood Insurance Does Not Cover

As with all insurance, there are certain things flood insurance does not cover. These include broken pipes, water damaged from sewer back-up, broken toilets, and landscaping runoff.

How To obtain Flood Insurance?

Call our office, and we can provide you with a free quote. Remember, your homeowner’s policy does not cover flood.

 

Safe Driving Tips for Your Teen Driver

Driving can be challenging—even for the most experienced drivers.  However, for young, inexperienced teenage drivers, the road can be especially dangerous.

We are available and happy to help find the right insurance for your teenage driver.  Clients choose our insurance agency to insure their cars and other vehicles because of our competitive prices and personal customer service, but we offer so much more.  We also provide:

  • Highest levels of customer service for auto policyholders
  • Over 30 extra car insurance policy features
  • Flexibility to customize your car insurance policy
  • Stability that ranks at the top of the auto insurance industry

The first years that teenagers spend driving are very risky.  Sadly, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds.  Research shows that more than half of teens who die in crashes are passengers, most of whom are not wearing a seatbelt.

Safe Teen Driver Checklist

  • Always have your license with you
  • Check all gauges
  • Limit engagement with passengers
  • Obey the speed limit
  • Pay attention to road signs
  • No cell phone use
  • Make sure mirrors are in the right position
  • Always wear your seat belt

 

 

Social Distancing and Summer Fun

Social Distancing and Summer Fun

We are living in a new world, and it requires a new way of thinking about summer activities.  Many large events have been cancelled, and vacation plans have changed, but you can still have a great time with your family and friends this summer.

Social Distancing Fun:

  • Camp in your own back yard
  • Travel to the beach if it is open
  • Take a hike
  • Take a picnic to a lake
  • Enjoy an outside movie night
  • Host a virtual game night
  • Go fishing
  • Update your backyard
  • Complete home improvement projects

Remember To:

  • Wear a mask if it required
  • Wash your hands
  • Maintain social distance. As you go about your life and errands, do your best to keep a distance of 6 feet

Who knows how long we will have to practice social distancing during the pandemic, but at least with these suggestions, you can still have fun while maintaining your six-foot bubble.

Now Is The Time To Think About Your Personal Insurance

Personal Insurance Planning

Finding the right liability insurance is not always an easy task. Don’t believe the TV ads; it does take longer than ten minutes to get insurance.  But finding the right insurance for you does not have to be overly difficult. Let us do all the heavy lifting.

There are a number of items you may want to consider when reviewing your auto insurance needs.

  1. Let Us Shop for the Lowest Price Available

You get what you pay for, and we compare not only price, but policy features as well.  Not all auto insurance companies offer enhanced benefits like superior claims handling, customer service guarantees, and roadside rental car delivery. We assess all of the benefits included in each policy to determine the true value that you will receive.

  1. Choose Adequate Liability Coverage

Liability insurance helps protect you and your assets if you cause an injury to others or damage the property of others with your vehicle. If you choose lower liability limits, an accident that causes serious injury can result in medical bills and lost wages that could far exceed your minimum coverage and leave you financially exposed. Make sure you’re fully protected.

  1. Don’t Miss Out On Potential Discounts

You could get discounts for low-mileage driving, having multiple policies through the same insurance carrier, using anti-theft devices, taking defensive driving courses, and more. Be sure to ask which discounts are available.

  1. Update Your Policy To Reflect Any Major Life Changes

Keep your policy current. For example, forgetting to add a new teen driver to your policy can cost you dearly in the case of an accident. You may need to alter your policy if you purchase a new home, car or other property, change your marital status, start a business, move, or retire.

  1. Always consider increasing your deductibles on older autos

Increasing auto deductibles can save hundreds over time. Older vehicles will have low valuation, and in the event of a total loss you may not receive much settlement.

The New Normal—Working From Home

 

Many employers are now having their employees work from their homes.  The good news is that it seems to be working.  Employers are finding that their employees can get to work and be effective working remotely.  We think that this trend will continue.  Employers are rethinking the “traditional office,” and how employees relate to their clients and co-workers.

“A typical employer can save about $11,000 a year for every person who works remotely half of the time.”  — Kate Lister, president of global workplace analytics

New Risks Ahead

With Remote Workers, There Is an Increase in Risk For:

  • Storing client information
  • Selling and documentation
  • Using unsecured networks
  • Lack of cyber security

Employers will need to evaluate these risks and develop procedures to help employees mitigate risks in the long term.  There are ways to reduce these risks through developing policies and procedures.  Cyber insurance can also offer risk transfer that will provide added protection for employers.

Helping Employees Manage Their Remote Work Experience

As the new normal continues, it will be important for employees to self-manage their work experience.  Here are a few tips.

Remote Workers Need to Be Aware of These Challenges:

  • Lack of a work routine
  • Tendency to over-work
  • Lack of human interaction
  • Prioritizing a work project
  • Interruptions from family, pets, phone calls, and the doorbell

How to Make Working Remotely Work for You:

  • Confine your workspace to a specific area in your home.
  • Set up your workspace like your office.
  • Set a schedule and create a routine.
  • When in doubt, go with over-communication; update your supervisor frequently on everything you are doing, and whether your schedule and deliverables are changing in any way.
  • After work, stay off electronic devices for some time to transition to “home time.”
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Get dressed every day. Taking the time to get dressed and perform your usual self-care routine can prove a big psychological booster.

Enjoy The 4th Of July And Be Safe

We are approaching our nation’s birthday, July 4th, and we hope everyone has a great day of celebration with friends and family. In 2019 over 7,800 people went to the emergency room as a result of fireworks-related injuries. There were an estimated 15,770 reported fires started by fireworks. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, and $38 million in direct property damage. This is why it is a good idea to have a free home insurance review and quote, call us today!

Homeowner’s Insurance

If you over-celebrate and do have a loss or damage, please call our office. It is very likely that the claim would be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.

General 4th of July safety

Be a safe swimmer. Water sports and fireworks are two of the biggest pastimes for the Fourth of July celebrations, and these are both linked to numerous deaths and injuries each year. Never swim alone, and make sure that kids’ water play is adequately supervised at all times.

Be a safe boater. Never consume alcohol while driving a boat. Set water safety rules for your family and passengers.

Use alcohol responsibly. Alcohol and fireworks can be a hazardous and dangerous combination.

Use sunscreen. At the start of summer, skin is especially tender, so use a high SPF.

Keep alert for local weather conditions. Check to see if any warning signs or flags are posted.

Remember your pet. They are not used to all the fireworks, so keep them inside.

Grill safely. Before you use your grill, make sure all hoses are secure and leak-free. Never grill inside. Keep grill away for al structures.

Fireworks Safety

  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
  • Only use legal store-bought fireworks.
  • Don’t point sparklers or fireworks at yourself or others.
  • Make sure spectators are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid far away from fireworks.
  • Read labels and carefully follow directions.
  • Only light fireworks on the ground and in areas that are dry and fire-resistant.
  • Don’t attempt to light multiple devices at the same time.
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparklers.
  • Teach children to “stop, drop, and roll” if their clothes catch fire.
  • Always keep a portable fire extinguisher close by. Also, keep a water hose or buckets of water nearby to put out fires.

Thanks to our sources

http://www.medicinenet.com

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.protection1.com/

 

 

Fire Up the Grill

A Personal Insurance and Safety Update

There are many good reasons to have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, and here are a few more.

In 2019, 18,500 people went to emergency rooms because of barbeque related accidents.  Sixteen percent of home structure fires involving a grill were caused during ignition because something flammable was too close to the grill.  Twenty percent of all reported grill fires were a result of leaks or breaks.  Gas grills account for more home fires overall than do charcoal grills.  Emergency rooms see the use of gasoline on a charcoal grill as the most common error associated with burn cases.

You might think you know all you need to know about barbeque safety and grilling, but here are some reminders.  We want your grilling experience to be fun and safe for the entire family.

 

General Grilling Safety

 

  • Never barbeque inside, in a garage, on the roof, or on a second story deck.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • If you are using a charcoal grill, let the lighter fluid soak into the coals a few minutes before lighting them so that any vapors have time to evaporate. When you do light the coals, stand back.
  • Do not use lighter fluid on hot coals.
  • Open the grill lid before you light it
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing.
  • Keep an extinguisher outside or close by.
  • Make sure you use the grill 10 feet away from your house.
  • Use the grill close to a water source.
  • Do not let raw meat sit out too long without being chilled or cooked.
  • Always wash your hands before and after handling food.
  • Do not over-indulge in alcohol while barbecuing.

We are committed to providing clients with the highest quality insurance plans available combined with some of the lowest possible rates. Whether you are shopping for auto insurance, home insurance, life or business insurance, we can help you obtain the best coverage available with the lowest rate possible.

Summer Boating Safety Tips

Summer is here and that means it is time to get out on the water.  We hope that you and your family have a great time.  But remember, your watercraft needs to be insured, and we can provide a full range of watercraft insurance products for you. Your boat will need insurance for watercraft liability, damage to the hull, and personal property.

Types of Watercraft We Can Insure

  • Sailboats
  • Houseboats
  • Fishing boats
  • Motor boats
  • Personal watercraft
  • Jet boats
  • Jet ski’s
  • Yachts

Watercraft insurance policies can cover damage to your boat, motor, trailer, and personal effects in the boat.  Available coverage includes liability, medical payments, coverage for injury to a water skier, and damage to the boat itself, sometimes called hull coverage.  Availability varies by state and by insurance company.  Even though boat insurance premiums are low, shopping your rate can sometimes save a substantial amount.

Here are some things to think about before you take your watercraft out:

Watercraft Safety

  • Follow all safety rules. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 75% of reported water fatalities in 2019 happened on boats where the driver had not received boating safety training.
  • Be aware of weather conditions.
  • Have operable boat lights. Always test boat lights before the boat leaves the dock and carry extra batteries.
  • Follow speed laws around houseboats and docks.
  • Know your boat’s capacity and how to properly load it. An overloaded or improperly loaded boat can cause safety problems.
  • Have a working marine radio on board at all times and know how to use it.
  • Ventilate after fueling. Open the hatches, run the blower, and check for fuel fumes before starting the engine.
  • Infants and young children are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm.

Boat or Marine insurance is available for small boats, yachts, high performance powerboats, live-aboard houseboats, catamarans, and pontoons. Marine insurance will cover intended use including personal recreation, commercial, or charter vessels.

Call us today, and have a great time on the water!

Motorcycle Insurance

Choosing the right insurance policy is much like choosing the right motorcycle. You want it to fit your needs and lifestyle, but at the same time be within your budget. Although most states require you to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, other types of coverage are usually optional. Always ask your insurance agent or company representative which laws apply in your state.

Liability coverage

Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to other people involved in an accident. It doesn’t cover you or your motorcycle. Find out if your coverage includes Guest Passenger Liability, which provides protection in the event that a passenger is injured on the motorcycle. Whether or not this is included depends on the laws of your state and the company issuing the policy.

Collision coverage

Collision insurance covers damage to your motorcycle if you are involved in an accident. Your insurance company pays for damages, minus your deductible, caused when you collide with another vehicle or object. Collision insurance usually covers the book value of the motorcycle before the loss occurred.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by an event other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism. However, just like collision coverage, your insurance company will pay for damages, minus your deductible, and will cover only the book value of the motorcycle.

Keep in mind most comprehensive and collision coverages will only cover the factory standard parts on your motorcycle. If you decide to add on any optional accessories such as chrome parts, a custom paint job, trailers or sidecars, you should look into obtaining additional or optional equipment coverage.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

Uninsured/underinsured Motorist Coverage covers damages to you and your property caused by another driver who either doesn’t have insurance (uninsured) or doesn’t have adequate insurance (underinsured) to cover your damages.

This coverage typically pays for medical treatment, lost wages and other damages. If your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage includes property damage, then your motorcycle would also be covered under the same circumstances. Check with your insurance professional to see if property damage is included or needs to be purchased separately.

 

Tips for the cost-conscious rider

Many factors can play a role in determining what your insurance costs will be such as your age, your driving record, where you live and the type of motorcycle you own, or being a graduate of a rider-training course.

Many companies offer discounts from 10 to 15 percent on motorcycle insurance for graduates of training courses, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course. Riders under the age of 25, usually considered a higher risk, may see some savings by taking this course. It’s also a good idea for cyclists who have already had accidents.

Maintaining a good driving record with no violations will also help reduce your premiums.

In many states, riders may save money by buying a “lay-up” policy. With a lay-up policy, all coverage except comprehensive is suspended during winter months.

Find out what discounts your insurance representative offers. Multibike discounts for those insuring more than one bike, organization discounts, if you’re a member of a motorcycle association, and mature rider discounts for experienced riders, are just a few possibilities. Discounts can range anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent, depending on the company and your state. Availability and qualifications for discounts vary from company to company and state to state.

Keep in mind that the type, style (such as a sports bike vs. a cruiser) and age of the motorcycle, as well as the number of miles you drive a year and where you store your bike may also affect how much you pay for your premium.

Make Your Workplace Safe After COVID-19

As many people are getting back to work, many employers wonder how they can have their employees return safely. Employers are confronted with the complexities of returning employees to work in a manner that is safe and ensures operational continuity.

Now is the time administrators should be building policies and procedures so that when employees and the public return, you will have a plan in place.

  • Conduct a Hazard Assessment for new protocols/equipment put in place consistent with OSHA rules.
  • As with all policies and procedures, employers should ensure that any return-to-work protocols are implemented in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.
  • Develop communication systems for returning workers, ensuring that they are aware of the safety measures in place and how to comply with them.
  • Make sure that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and general cleaning materials such as soap and hand sanitizer are available.
  • OSHA recommends providing tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces.
  • Consider appointing a chief COVID officer responsible for ensuring that all public safety and health guidelines are implemented and that employees follow them.
  • Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation.
  • Stager breaks and recreation times.
  • Close off common spaces where employees or others are likely to congregate.
  • Consider what screening procedures are needed for visitors to the school.

OSHA requires employers to provide employees with a safe place to work. Employers may be responsible for workplace safety violations related to the coronavirus outbreak under OSHA’s “general duty” clause, which requires that each employer furnish to each of its employees a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.