What to Do When There Is a Deer in Your Headlights

As the outdoor temperature gradually drops, animal activity and deer-vehicle accidents increase. Every year across the country, deer and other animals cause millions of dollars in vehicle damage as well as thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities. Whether you are taking your family on a trip through the woods or just traveling on business, the following safety tips are intended to save your life and prevent accidents.

Drivers should review their auto insurance policies since not all policies cover damage caused by deer strikes. Comprehensive coverage is optional insurance but it does cover deer strikes. If you only have collision coverage or liability coverage, your insurance carrier will not cover damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with an animal.

Actions to Consider

Heed the warning signs.  Posted warnings of deer and animal crossing are there for a reason.

Always drive at a safe speed.

Many animals move around at dusk and early morning.

Observe your surroundings. Actively scan the sides of the roads as you drive for any signs of wildlife.

September through January is a time when deer and elk are particularly active.

Deer and elk are herd animals, so if you see one, there may be more.

Don’t rely on vehicle-mounted whistles or reflectors to keep deer away from your vehicle. Studies show they are not effective.

Notify the local law enforcement agency if you have an accident with an animal.

Contact the local emergency services if anyone is injured.

If you have comprehensive coverage, deer accidents are covered.  However, if you swerve to avoid hitting the deer and hit another vehicle, that would be considered collision coverage, and is many times more expensive for your insurer and you.

We hope you never have to worry about hitting a deer or other animal.  Please slow down and be safe. Taking simple precautions can be the difference between having an accident with a deer, and almost having an accident with a deer.

 

Workers’ Compensation Risks For Growing Companies

In today’s ever changing business world, every business needs quality employees to help the business meet client demand, grow revenue, and manage risk. Today’s growing businesses need to understand the importance of an effective business insurance program. Workers’ Compensation insurance is a central part of that program.

There are at least five kinds of employees that define today’s workers.

Temporary worker–Businesses are using temporary workers at an increased rate. Employers must comply with updated labor and OSHA regulations. Temporary workers face a much higher injury rate than do regular employees.

Contractors–Some businesses use contractors to try to get around labor laws, workers’ compensation, and unemployment statutes. Both the State and Federal Governments are cracking down on these practices, and have established new definitions and guidelines as to how employees are defined.

Fist job employees–Lack of experience and training can lead to increased injury rates among new employees.

Seasonal employees–Long work hours and little to no training increases risk of injury and loss to employers.

Shift workers–If your business operates three shifts you may not have the same attention to safety during the 2nd or 3rd shift. Make sure all staff receives the same training.

Don’t Burn That Tree Down!

christmas-bauble-1016680_1280According to the US Fire Administration over 400 homes are destroyed annually by causes related to Christmas tree fires. offers competitive rates on homeowner’s insurance that would cover accidental damage due to Christmas tree fires. Here are a few good reminders to help you enjoy the holiday:

Keep your Christmas tree well watered. Refilling the water every day will help it last about two to three weeks.

Check the tree for freshness before buying. A freshly cut tree will have a sticky trunk and the needles will not fall off if touched.

Set your tree away from heat vents and the fireplace. Heated air just dries out a tree, and one shooting spark can cause a disaster.

Inspect the lights. Check for exposed or worn wires, as well as broken sockets.

Turn off the lights at night; use a timer if needed.

Do not burn the tree in your fireplace.

Do not overload the electrical circuits.

Take your tree down the first of January.

 

 

pfree vgggHomeowner’s Insurance 

We always ask about smoke detectors and security systems in your home. Many insurance companies offer discounts for those homeowners who have security systems. Here are few of the different kinds of security systems that can help reduce your home insurance costs.

Outside lights- Set these up on timers so they come on even when you are gone. Also, motion detecting lights are an excellent deterrent and can be installed at a low cost.Cameras are also a good deterrent.  Place cameras around outside doors and your yard. Many home improvement stores offer cost-effective products.

Alarms are always a good idea. Alarm systems that are connected to a central station will yield the best discount.

Other Home Insurance Credits

Most insurance companies offer many types of discounts for homeowners. We are committed to keeping up on all these discounts to make sure you are getting the best coverage and price. Some of these discounts can include:

Gated communities

Community security

Updates in wiring and/or plumbing

New roof

No claims

Non smokers – The No. 1 cause of home fire fatalities in the United States is smoking.   Smoking caused 16,000 residential fires in 2012, killing over 500 people and causing $376 million in residential property loss. Source- U.S. Fire Administration

Sprinklers- Many new home building codes require sprinklers. These can be expensive but will provide home insurance discounts.

 

pixa free 5666We are getting closer to the peak holiday shopping season. We would like to provide all our clients with a few reminders about how to be safe and to prevent your gifts and other purchases from being stolen. Shopping during the holiday season can present unique dangers, but following a few prevention measures can help keep your holiday season joyous.

Please keep these safety tips in mind, so that you can enjoy the season without incident:

Shopping Safety Tips

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Don’t leave purchased merchandise in your parked car where it can be seen. If you take purchases to your car and then continue shopping, always put your purchases in the trunk.

Police advise you to remove the GPS unit and if necessary, take it with you. That includes even the suction cup, if that can be removed.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with checks, credit or debit cards. Carry your cash and wallet in a front pocket to reduce your chances of having your pocket picked.

NEVER leave car doors unlocked or windows open.

Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

ALWAYS park in lighted areas. Do NOT park in remote areas.

Shop with a friend.

Keep receipts in your wallet or purse.

As you return to your car, be sure to keep your car keys in your hand.

If you make expensive purchases like jewelry or guns, call our office as we may need to add these to your policy.

Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

We hope you never have a loss or claim, but if you do, call our office as soon as possible. Remember your deductible will apply to all losses.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.