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.

 

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

MF 3045443

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