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.

Are You Interested In Reducing Your Business Risks?

There is no question that operating a business comes with certain risks. But there are also many benefits. The range of business threats is evolving rapidly but your organization can thrive and gain a competitive advantage if you know how to manage your risk. Here are a few simple ways to manage risk:

Follow insurance company loss control recommendations. These are designed to reduce the probability of a loss and to reduce the severity if a loss occurs.

Develop an employee handbook. Having a set of procedures involving roles and responsibilities will help reduce employment issues in the long term.

Evaluate your facilities. Unused equipment, obsolete security systems and lack of attention to risks on the site present significant potential for loss.  Insurance companies encourage all business owners to maintain clean and safe premises for the health and safety of employees, vendors and customers.

Make safety a priority. Having a safety program can not only reduce your costs but will improve employee productivity.

Train your staff. Employees perform better if they have an understanding of what their roles and responsibilities are. Make safety part of every job description.

Keep employees healthy. A local company, for example, has instituted a comprehensive wellness program that includes disease management for afflictions such as asthma and diabetes, as well as offering flu shots, cancer screenings, smoking-cessation sessions and a round-the-clock phone line staffed by nurses. The company found that for every dollar it invested, it saved $4.23.

If your business changes, your insurance should too.  Meet annually with us to determine whether your business has changed in significant ways that require modifying or adding coverage.

Raise your deductible. Raising the deductible on your insurance usually lowers your premiums. Even if you end up having to pay the deductible, it’s likely to be less than the amount you save.

 

Personal Umbrella Insurance

Many people are unsure what an umbrella policy is or what it covers. 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.

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. Umbrella insurance is also competitively priced.

It is true that 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. Insurance offers Umbrella Insurance with very competitive rates. Having the added protection of an Umbrella Insurance policy is coverage no one should go without.

Umbrella insurance provides broad insurance beyond traditional home and auto. It provides additional liability coverage above the limits of homeowners, auto, and boat insurance policies. It can also provide coverage for claims that may be excluded by the primary policies.

When You May Need An Umbrella Policy

  • Having rental property
  • Owning a Boat, RV, or ATV
  • Have a high net worth
  • Owning a business
  • Having teen drivers
  • Own a swimming pool, trampoline, or swing-set

In addition, the umbrella may cover things like volunteer activities, statements made online, and certain business activities that a homeowner’s or auto policy might not cover.

Why Work With Our Insurance Agency?

  • We know and understand your risks
  • We are a full-service independent insurance agency
  • Our goal is to provide the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

 

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/

 

 

Don’t Get Wet… Boating Safety Tips

Don’t Get Wet… 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.

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 2014 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.
  • Never allow passengers to ride on gunwales, seatbacks, or outside of protective railings, including the front of a pontoon boat. A sudden turn, stop, or start could cause a fall overboard.
  • 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!

How Best To Insure Your Home

How Best To Insure Your Home

Many people look to save a few dollars on their home insurance premium by insuring their home for less than its replacement value. While this may save a few dollars now, it will cost you thousands later. Your homeowner’s insurance policy, if it is written correctly, can repair and or replace your current home with “new” like kind and quality materials. Amy Bach, executive director of the consumer advocacy group United Policyholders, says one 2019 study found that two-thirds of U.S. homes are underinsured. Why? For one thing, many homeowners buy only enough insurance to cover the amount of their mortgage. But the mortgage may be, at most, 80 or 90 percent of the value of the house, depending on the original down payment (less, if the home has appreciated in value).

Key Terms

Market Value is the amount you might sell your home for based on real-estate conditions in your area.

Appraised Value is the term that describes what the local government uses to determine your property taxes.

Replacement Value is the amount it would cost to rebuild your home with like kind and quality. The replacement cost, however, is based on the total cost of labor, activities, and materials to put the structure back to the way it was before the damage. This would include costs related to clearing and cleaning up the damage debris -activities that precede the actual build-out of the home.

Replacement Cost Considerations

There are a number of factors that go into determining your home’s replacement value, including:

Type of construction quality

Materials used in the construction

Size of your home

Location

Your lot configuration, (hillside or flat)

Are there any unique materials, like imported stone, marble, etc.?

The overall quality of construction—is your home average construction or high-end?

The average cost per square foot for new construction in your area.

We always recommend you insure your home to the full replacement values and have an inflation cost factor added annually.

 

The Best Ways To Insure Your Recreational Toys

Do you need insurance for your boat, RV, motorcycle, or ATV?

Regardless of whether you are relaxing on your boat at the lake, traveling through the Rocky Mountains, camping with friends and family, or enjoying the open road on the bike of your dreams; you need to take the proper steps to protect what you have worked so hard to enjoy.

All these activities need personal insurance to protect you against damage and other claims. Generally, we have found that we can get better coverage and pricing when we use our specialty carriers.  For example, watercraft insurance has pollution coverage for fuel spills, coverage for injured water-skiers, and on-water towing coverage that homeowner’s insurance won’t provide.

RV Insurance

RV insurance rates differ from company to company, so it really pays to have us shop your insurance. Some markets offer better rates for trucks, RV’s, and campers, while others can offer better rates for motorcycles. To properly insure your RV, you may need liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, medical payment, and towing coverage.

Motorcycle Insurance

All motorcycles on the road are required by law to have motorcycle insurance. Motorcycle insurance protects a motorcycle and its owner in the event of a loss. You may need to consider special coverage.  Custom parts and equipment (ACPE)/Accessory coverage can be purchased for motorcycles less than 25 years old. You may spend thousands of dollars customizing your bike and that is why you need custom motorcycle insurance.

Boat/Watercraft Insurance

Your boat will need boat insurance for liability and damage to the hull and personal property. Boat insurance can include physical damage coverage, medical payments, liability, and trailer coverage.

ATV Insurance

ATV insurance is similar to motorcycle insurance. We can combine motorcycle coverage and ATV insurance into one policy for multi-vehicle discounts. We offer additional ATV coverage for damage to custom equipment that you’ve added to your ATV.

Why Work With Our Insurance Agency?

We know and understand your risks

We are a full service independent insurance agency

Our goal is to provide the best possible combination, of coverage, price and service

Tips for Working at Home

Does COVID-19 Have You Working From Home?

Due to the stay at home mandate, there are many people who are working remotely these days.  It appears this mandate will last at least another month.  Many people have thought that working remotely would be great, but working remotely is a double-edge sword.  Sure, you get to stay home, but studies show that it can be harder to focus on work.

Benefits of Working Remotely:

Remote employees tend to be more productive

Remote workers cost employers less

Remote employees tend to be happier and more satisfied

Remote workers have a better work/life balance

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 boss 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.

 

Is Your Personal Insurance Impacted by COVID-19?

We hope you are safe and healthy. We are living in different times and having the right kind of insurance is more important than ever.

As our country continues to manage through the COVID-19 crises, we thought it might be useful to take some time to remind you of the importance of your personal insurance during this time.  The coronavirus pandemic won’t affect your auto or homeowner’s insurance too much, but there are a few coverages that could be impacted because of the temporary lifestyle change.

Do not cancel your auto insurance just because you are temporarily not driving.  Auto insurance is required by law.  If you are looking for ways to save money on your auto insurance, give us a call.

If you are working remotely via computer, there should be no issues with your homeowners or renter’s insurance.  However, this is true as long as there are no customers coming to your home.  If you are running a business from your home, you will need business insurance.  We are happy to help you with this.

If you have a claim, we are open, as are the insurers.  Give us a call, and we will be ready to help you. Your policy has toll-free claim numbers to help you get the process going.

Many insurance companies are offering relaxed payment terms.  We suggest you contact them directly if you feel you may miss a payment. Of course, you can always contact our office to assist you.

Be aware of credit card and cyber scams. Unfortunately, criminals have ramped up their efforts during this crisis.  The fraud ranges from false claims of cures and treatments for the coronavirus to fake charities attempting to soliciting money to help those suffering.

As we all have so much time at home, now is a good time to complete a home inventory of your personal property.  Creating and updating an inventory of your personal possessions is one of the best ways to make the most of your homeowners or renters insurance, and it makes filing a claim easier and more efficient.  If your home is damaged or totally lost due to a fire or other event, having a home inventory will help you recover all your personal property with the least amount of time and stress.

COVID-19 Statement

The global coronavirus outbreak is slowing commerce, and we are still assessing the full business impact on our agency. We are open for business and are here to help you should you require it. We are not taking in office visits but you can connect with your account manager via email or phone.

We continue to monitor the situation and are taking appropriate steps to safeguard our employees and visitors to our office.

We stand together with you through this tough time.