Halloween is approaching.  Kids and adults are looking forward to dressing up and going out to trick or treat in the neighborhood.  With a little bit of planning you can ensure your ghouls and goblins have a frightfully fun time this year.

More than twice as many children are killed in pedestrian-car accidents on Halloween between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., compared with the same hours on other days throughout the year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Police will be increasing traffic patrols on Halloween in order to keep our kids safe, and to catch drunk drivers.

Protect The Trick Or Treaters

Instruct your kids to never go into a stranger’s home.

When shopping for costumes, wigs, and accessories, look for, and purchase, items with a label clearly indicating that they are flame resistant.

Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.

Make sure that any props your kids carry, such as wands or swords, are short and flexible.

Only go to homes with a porch light on, and never enter a home or car for a treat.

Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision.

Don’t eat homemade candy unless you know the family.

Carry a flash light.

Inspect all wrapped candy.  If it has been opened toss it out.

Set a curfew.

 

Home Safety

Clean up your yard.

Make a clear, well illuminated path to your door.

Remember that a lot of Halloween decorations, like dried flowers, straw, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Make sure to keep your decorations away from all open flames.

If you have a large display, make sure all electric cords are taped or secure to prevent tripping.

Practice indoor fire safety by checking all smoke detectors. Make sure candles are placed in a secure area.

 

Why Your Insurance Agent Is Your Best Friend

bigstock-Expert-Business-Background--51876310Are you frustrated with the lack of good customer service? Are you tired of calling a company and getting someone in a foreign county? When you go to the store and ask for help, do you get a teenager who knows less than you do about your questions?

If you are looking for insurance, it can be much easier than you think. Working with an agent will save you time and money on your insurance.

Why You Should Be Your Agents Best Friend

Agents care about helping you find the best combination of price, coverage, and service.

When you call our agency you get a licensed professional who can actually answer your questions.

We take time to find the best option for you.

You will get more choices of insurance products and companies.

Our employees live and work in your community.

If you have a claim, you have an advocate to help you.

We can make insurance easier to understand.

We offer many online services you may desire, always backed up by a real person.

We know which companies have the best track record when it comes to pleasing their policy holders. We can narrow your options down and help you choose between the best insurance companies in the market. Not all insurance agents are the same! Choosing the right one can make a big difference – in price, service, and value. Our agency has a proven track record, we live here and we understand the needs of our neighbors.

 

 

Football Season Means Tailgate Parties

MF partyCollege and pro football season is about to kick off, and that means this Saturday or Sunday many of us will also be enjoying the traditional tailgate parties. But don’t let a great day be spoiled by lack of personal insurance. Did you know that in many cases, your homeowner’s insurance can cover your liability if you injure someone during a tailgate party? It is important to have us review your homeowner’s insurance to make sure that you have the proper coverage. A homeowner’s insurance review can take less time than a scoring drive by the Oregon Ducks high flying offense!

Here Are Some Simple Safety Tips For Your Tailgate Party

Keep food at a safe temperature while transporting from home to the game.

Keep foods separated in plastic bags.

Preparing and cooking meat requires using proper sanitation.

Always cook meat completely. Hot foods must be kept at 140°F or higher. If you’ve prepared all your food at home, make sure it’s quickly cooled. Then, keep it below 40°F.

When packing the cooler, be sure raw meat and poultry are wrapped securely and separately.

Don’t let food sit out for hours.

If you serve any fish/shellfish make sure your party guests don’t have allergies. Don’t use the same cooking surface for fish/shellfish and other foods.

Even on cloudy days, you may have a need for sunscreen.

Drink lots of water.

Pack lots of ice to keep foods fresh.

Try to monitor drinking; there is nothing worse than a drunken football fan.

If you use a grill, make sure you follow all manufactures safety instructions.

Don’t use a grill close to any vehicles.

Keep lighter fluid away from grill or heat.

Always have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit on hand.

Proven Ways to Reduce Your Business Insurance Cost

Saving money on business insurance is not always an easy thing many companies to do. You have many options regarding insurance agents and insurance companies that at times can be confusing. We specialized in business insurance. We have a proven track record of providing the right combination of pricing and coverage, along with experience and responsive service.

There are a number of ways to reduce your business insurance cost without jeopardizing coverage. Here are a few:

Use a broker who knows and understands your industry. Having an understanding of the risks, and what markets best are suited for your risks, can result in lower costs. Have us shop your insurance. We have access to many insurers, this allow us to offer many options.

Provide driver’s training- having educated and trained drivers can reduce your business auto insurance cost up to 5%.

Have proper safety equipment. Do you have sprinklers and central station smoke detectors? These can help reduce insurance costs.

Remove irrelevant coverage. Before agreeing to a business insurance policy, ask the insurance agent which items are optional endorsements. Some endorsements can be removed if you don’t require the coverage. Removing irrelevant coverage can reduce your insurance premium.

Combine all your commercial insurance into one package. Insurers often give credits for more than one line of insurance (Property, Auto, Liability, Excess, Professionals).

Use special markets. There are insurers that specialize in your industry. .

Increase deductibles. Insurers often will provide good credits if you increase your deductibles on property or auto physical damage.

Reduce your risk, Talk with your insurance agent about how you can help prevent insurance losses. You may be able to reduce your exposure to fires, work-related accidents, disasters or lawsuits. Reducing these risks may lead to fewer claims, which may lower your insurance premium.

Use insurers that specialize in your industry, this can save you up to 15%.

Keep up to date with current liability trends; liability claims tend to be the most significant claim with most aspects of insurance.

Having insurance premiums reduced by cutting corners is not the ideal way to deal with high insurance premiums. That’s a case of addressing the symptom – not the problem. Lowering premiums by reducing the risks posed and faced by your business is a far healthier solution

Motorcycle Safety Tips

MF motorcycle 2People who ride motorcycles are far more likely to get into accidents and far more likely to get hurt than those who drive cars. According to The US Highway Safety Authority, in 2009, 20.2 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes; the rate for motorcycles is 66.7 per 100,000.

Motorcycle Insurance

Having motorcycle insurance should be one of the most important parts of your insurance plan. Motorcycle insurance can cover your liability, injury to other and damage to your motorcycle.

Don’t sell your motorcycle, just keep safety in mind. Here are a few ideas to make your riding safe and enjoyable. Before you hit the road complete a safety check:

-Check lights and brakes

-Check fuel levels

-Make sure mirrors are adjusted to your level

-Follow speed limits

-Don’t drive impaired

-Don’t weave through traffic

-Brake smart

Did you know that 47% of all motorcycle crashes occur at intersections? Or, that on average, three motorcyclists are killed every day in the U.S. as a result of multi-vehicle crashes at intersections? So, be very alert when approaching and driving through intersections.

A motorcycle rider not wearing a helmet is 40% more likely to sustain a fatal head injury in a crash than a rider with a helmet. When cars and motorcycles collide, it is usually because the driver of the car never saw the motorcyclist. With more and bigger cars on the road, you need to take extra steps to become more visible.

 

These Issues Are Reshaping Your Business & Insurance Program

Last month a driverless car drove from San Francisco to New York. See Article. The future is now, and if you want your business to compete over the next few years you may want to pay attention to the following topics. There are a number of factors that will affect the business of insurance in the near future.

Technology

Our world has gone digital. Technology has changed the way you relate with your customers. Have you invested in the right technology, and do you have it insured?

Cyber Liability

With the growth of technology, we can now access and store data from our cars, homes and while on the go. This creates a real need to have effective data security, the most up to date protection, and policies and procedures for use and storage. Part of cyber management includes having a cyber-liability policy for your business.

The Next Generation of Leaders

Millennials will lead the next generation in the workforce. Is your business prepared?  Millennials like to live and work in the same community, use public transportation and work from home.

Energy Prices

As the price of oil drops it has become more economical to deliver goods and services.  However, there are more auto accidents as a result.

Employment Liability

If you have employees, you are exposed to potential employment liability claims. Employees know their rights, and it is time for all employers to become more informed about how to protect their companies. An EPLI policy covers claims made against directors, officers, employees, the company and its subsidiaries.

How To Reduce Workers’ Compensation Costs

Workers’ Compensation Defined

Workers’ Compensation is coverage purchased by the employer that provides insurance if employees are injured while on the job. Most states require that employers purchase the insurance on behalf of their employees.

Workers’ compensation costs can make up a large portion of business operating costs. It is beneficial for employers to find methods of reducing both the direct and indirect costs associated with workers’ compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Cost Reduction Methods

Using an independent agent who can help you market your workers’ compensation program is a good way to keep premiums competitive.

Selecting the right carrier. Not all insurance companies are created equal. Does the carrier have experienced loss control and claims professionals? Low rates can mean the insurer does not have quality support; and if the claim goes bad due to lack of supervision, you will end up paying more in the long run.

Does your company have an up to date safety and return to work program? This is critical in the management of the injury and post-accident process. Getting injured workers back to work as soon as medically possible is very important and can reduce indemnity costs.

Provide ongoing staff training. Keeping all employees informed and part of the process will make them feel invested in the long term benefits of your safety program.

The small amount of money you spend on these items will have a positive impact on your overall costs.

 

 

Why Auto Insurance May Be The Most Important Financial Decision You Make

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Auto Insurance Facts

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are five leading factors involved in auto accidents.

Drunk Driving: Crashes caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol (DUI) accounted for 18 percent of the total economic loss due to motor vehicle crashes. DUI crashes also cost the nation $49 billion dollars, an average cost of $158 dollars for every person in the U.S.  Including lost quality of life, these crashes were responsible for $199 billion dollars, or 23 percent of the overall societal harm caused by motor vehicle crashes.

Speeding: Crashes involving a speeding vehicle traveling over the posted speed limit, or too fast for conditions, accounted for 21 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $59 billion dollars in 2013.  This is an average cost of $191 dollars for every person in the U.S.

Distraction: Crashes involving a distracted driver accounted for 17 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $46 billion dollars in 2013.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists: Crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for 7 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $19 billion dollars in 2013.

Seatbelts: Seatbelt use prevented $69 billion dollars in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury related costs. Conversely, preventable fatalities and injuries to unbelted occupants accounted for 5 percent of the total economic loss and cost the nation $14 billion dollars in 2013.

Auto Insurance Coverage

Having the right kind of auto insurance can protect you from serious financial loss.

Auto liability

Auto physical damage & collision

Uninsured motorist

Personal injury protection

Auto medical payments

 

Personal Insurance Has Changed Over The Years

Has your perspective on personal insurance changed to fit the times?

The personal insurance needs of our society have evolved over the years. It is interesting to look back to see what has changed in the world of safety and insurance. As you think about these personal insurance issues, also think about how your insurance may respond today.

Here are a few examples of how safety, liability and personal insurance have changed in our society through the years.

20 years ago, it seemed normal for dogs to have total freedom in the neighborhood. Now leash laws prohibit that. This has reduced the number of dog bite claims.

Many people can remember when we used to hold babies in our laps in the front seat of the car while we were driving!  Fortunately, we now have car seats to protect our little ones.

Do you remember how every office used to be filled with second hand smoke? Now we have workplace regulations that protect employees from smoke-polluted air.

Do you remember “party lines”? We shared home phone lines with our neighbors. We often would pick up the phone and hear Mr. Smith talking to his daughter. Privacy laws would not allow that now!

Smoking in public was common 20 years ago. Now, through education and medical research we all understand the effects of second hand smoke.

Drinking and driving – Believe it or not, there was a time when a person could leave a party buzzed or drunk and no one would think twice. Thankfully, laws and education have helped us understand the personal liability issues around driving while impaired.

Cell phones – When mobile phones first came out, everyone was driving and talking on their phones. It seemed normal until we learned how distracted driving is like driving drunk.

Auto insurance – The number of uninsured drivers has been reduced since most states now require proof of auto insurance. However, in some state there are still 30% of drivers without auto insurance.

Smoke detectors – In the 70’s, the way we knew our home was on fire was to see the flames. With the introduction of smoke and fire prevention, we have reduced deaths form home fires.

Personal insurance needs change with the times, and the insurance we offer changes to meet your individual needs.

 

The Shocking News….Most People Do Not Have Enough Life Insurance

Why Consider Georgetown, TX  Life Insurance

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According to the latest information, most people in  Georgetown, TX  do not have enough life insurance. Only 6 out of 10 people have even considered life insurance, and many who do have life insurance don’t think they have enough. 70% of households with children say they are just barley meeting needs. But what would happen to those families if income was lost due to the death of a spouse?

Over 80% of people over-estimate the cost of life insurance. In reality, life insurance is very affordable and provides your family with financial peace of mind upon your passing.

Benefits of Georgetown, TX Life Insurance

Payment on Debt – If you have any outstanding debt (like a mortgage) at the time of your death, it does not go away. Your estate will still be responsible to settle all accounts.

Continuation of Income – Life insurance can provide the funds to replace your income upon your passing. Family income will certainly diminish, and there’s a very good chance that your family will experience a lower standard of living.

Unpaid Medical Expenses – It is highly likely that you will have medical expenses prior to your death; some of which may not be covered by health insurance. Adequate life insurance proceeds ensure that these final expenses are well taken care of.

Funeral Expenses – Most people don’t plan, or fund, their funeral expenses; again life insurance is there to help.

If a business owner has family members who depend on the income from a business, which might not continue if he or she were suddenly gone, the proceeds from company-owned life insurance could help replace the lost income and help protect the family’s quality of life while they adjust and move on.

Source: LIMRA’s Life Insurance Barometer Study 2013