Insuring One of the Things We Love Most

With so much joy in the air this month, it’s easy to think happily on the things we love, like our kids. We can forget about the Legos (and the sore feet caused by stepping on one barefoot) and toys left underfoot over the years, the times we were forced to discipline them when we really just want to hug them, and now we just smile at the wonderful people our children are becoming.

I was a kid and a teenager once too, so I am thankful that mine didn’t turn out the way I did. I’m only kidding, but one thing I have done is continue to do my best to protect them, and that includes when they’re behind the wheel. To make sure your teen and vehicle are properly covered you need to make sure that your teens are added to your insurance policy.

Adding a teenage driver to your car insurance policy will raise your rates — and your stress will skyrocket. However, there are a few things you can do to lower your insurance rates such as putting them behind the wheel of a Camry rather than a Corvette, encourage them to bring home good report cards with straight A’s, and urging them to keep their driving records clean can all have a major impact on rates.

Below are a few things to keep in mind when insuring your teen driver:

  • There is a reason teenagers cost more to insure — New drivers are among the most dangerous on the road, racking up tickets and accidents at rates several times that of the average driver. Your teenager does not have to drive. Bicycles and bus passes are cheaper, if you live in a place where that’s feasible.
  • Our agency requires that all licensed family members in a household be included on your policy — whether they drive your cars or not. You should let our agency know when your child gets his or her learners permit, but typically the teen isn’t listed (or your policy charged) until he or she is licensed.
  • It is almost always cheaper to add teenagers to an existing policy than it is to buy an additional car and then insure it — If your household has several cars, it can help to have your new driver assigned to a specific one — the one that’s cheapest to insure. Those vehicles with lower auto insurance losses will typically have lower rates. For new drivers, the recommended cars are four-door sedans and crossover vehicles.
  • Pay attention to insurance discounts — If your teen can’t get by without wheels, check with us to see what types of discounts they may qualify for. We offer good-student discounts and a discount if your teen completes a driver’s education course. Bundling multiple insurance policies, like auto, homeowners and life insurance, will also cut costs.
  • Ready to insure your teen driver or have questions about how your teen will affect your Auto Insurance policy? Call our office TODAY!

     

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Driving in Snow and Ice

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it.
Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared, and that you know how to handle road conditions.
It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  9. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

If your rear wheels skid:

  1. Take your foot off the accelerator.
  2. Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
  3. If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
  4. If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  5. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse — this is normal.

If your front wheels skid:

  1. Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
  2. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

If you get stuck:

  1. Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
  2. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
  3. Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
  4. Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  5. Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
  6. Try rocking your vehicle. (Check your owner’s manual first — it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.

Please always drive safely and take the extra precautions above if you must drive in bad winter conditions. If an accident happens, call the agency right away to discuss if a claim needs to be filed.

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The BEST Valentine’s Gift of All

If you consider protecting your loved ones’ financial security, wouldn’t life insurance be the BEST Valentine’s gift? What better way to truly show you care about your loved ones than to offer them the gift of protection?

According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day shoppers in 2020 showed their love by spending approximately $196.31 on gifts for the special people in their lives. It seems to be a no-brainer that maybe we should be thinking about spending money in a more loving way through purchasing a life insurance policy rather than on gifts that may or may not last.

Losing a loved one is always hard. If they happen to be the primary wage earner, the financial loss can be devastating. Statistically, more than half of consumers responded that they would feel the financial impact of the loss of a primary wage earner within the first year, with the other 47 percent of them in only six months.

Life insurance is the one product that can help families:

  • Keep a roof over their heads
  • Provide for basic living expenses
  • Allow time to recover and heal from the loss of a loved one

Although it isn’t any fun to think about leaving those we deeply love and care about behind, one of the best ways to love responsibly is by protecting those we love by offering them the gift of financial security should the unexpected occur.

Call Our Office TODAY to find out how you can protect your loved ones.

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February is American Heart Month

Since 1963, February has been recognized as American Heart Month to urge Americans to join the battle against heart diseases and empower them to make healthy choices. The American Heart Association strives to increase awareness during February and raise funds for research and education.

Many of us know someone who has suffered from heart disease which is our nation’s #1 killer. Heart disease – also called cardiovascular disease – is a simple term used to describe several problems relating to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries and the narrowing of arteries that results. This buildup makes it more difficult for blood to flow and creates a risk for heart attack or stroke.

Heart disease affects all of our lives and we can all play a role in ending it. Prevention starts with you. Protect yourself and your loved ones from heart disease and stroke by understanding the risks and taking action to prevent heart disease.

With American Heart Month in mind, here are 4 tips to help keep your heart safe—

Get up and get active by being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day. Using this time to do something active that you enjoy will help you meet your minimum goal of 30 minutes per day.

Know your ABC’S: Ask your doctor if you should take an Aspirin every day. Find out if you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment.

Make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat.

Take control of your heart health by following your doctor’s prescription instructions.

For more information about cardiovascular diseases and what you can do to join the battle against heart disease, please visit https://www.heart.org/.

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Just Keep Talking About Our Agency!  

We are excited to enter into this New Year with you as a valued VIP Friend & Customer of our Agency!
 
In case you haven’t heard, we want to let you know about our agency’s awesome Referral Rewards Program where we reward you for telling your friends and family about us. We reward you for each referral, plus have monthly drawings throughout the year and an annual grand prize!
 
You can start 2021 with a bang by simply telling your friends and family about the great service that you receive from our agency!
 
There are 3 easy ways for you to refer friends…
Call, Come By, or Email us and when your friends and family have conversations with us about their insurance, you win!

 

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January is National Blood Donor Month

This January, please honor National Blood Donor Month by donating and encouraging others to donate.  

Since 1970, January has been known as National Blood Donor Month. It’s a time when blood organizations like the American Red Cross pay tribute to the nearly 11 million people who give blood each year, and encourage others to start the New Year off right by coming to give the gift of life.  

January is a challenging time for blood donation because cold and snowy weather and busy post-holiday schedules can make it difficult for blood donors to keep appointments. Regardless of the time of year, hospital patients nationwide need about 44,000 blood donations daily for cancer care, surgeries, and the treatment of serious diseases and trauma.  

Donating blood is a great way to make a lifetime of difference in just a little more than an hour’s worth of your time. The Red Cross encourages donors to make and keep appointments. Community members can also contribute to the blood supply by organizing or volunteering at a blood drive, or by suggesting blood donation to their family and friends.  

For more information about donating blood or to find a donation center near you, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

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What You Should Know about Winter Weather Warnings

In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter, it is critical to be informed and aware of the potential risks and hazards associated with winter weather and how to avoid them. During winter snow and dropping temperatures are concerns, as well as ice that may form on roads or bridges.

It is important that we are informed about winter weather to protect ourselves from it. Here are a few common winter storm warning terms and what they mean:

  • Winter Weather Advisory: Expect winter weather conditions to cause inconvenience and hazards.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning: Expect below-freezing temperatures.
  • Winter Storm Watch: Be alert; a storm is likely.
  • Winter Storm Warning: Take action; the storm is in or entering the area.
  • Blizzard Warning: Seek refuge immediately! Snow and strong winds, near-zero visibility, deep snow drifts, and life-threatening wind chill.

In addition to being aware of winter storm terms; there are many preventative steps you can take to help prepare for winter weather. For more information, check out the Center for Disease Control’s winter information page at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/

We hope that you have a safe and enjoyable winter.
Happy New Year

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4 Tips For Making & Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

Are you tired of making the same New Year’s resolutions each year and never following through with them? Year after year we continually resolve to lose weight, get in shape, save more money, quit a bad habit, etc. Wouldn’t it be great to actually follow through and reach your goals in 2021?

Here are my 4 tips for making and keeping successful New Year’s resolutions:

  • Plan With Purpose – Vague goals are very difficult to achieve. Examples of vague fitness goals include “run more,” “lose weight,” or “get stronger.” Any of these goals could be made more specific by quantifying them: “Run 30 minutes each week,” or “lose one pound every week until I’ve lost 20 pounds”.
  • Set Benchmark Goals For Yourself – If there is no start date, end date, or end goal (benchmark) for your resolution, then it can be very hard to get started and very hard to complete. After all, how hard would it be to run a marathon if you had no idea where the starting line, ending line, or any of the checkpoints were and you just had to run until someone said stop? Pretty tough! So when you set a resolution, you must set a start date and an end date by which you would like to have completed your goal.
  • Track Your Progress – If you’re not tracking or logging your progress, you can easily lose motivation, or easily forget your goal entirely. Whether it’s stepping on the scale each day and writing down the number or checking how fast you can run a mile at the end of every week, you must have a way of checking in on your progress toward whatever your goal is.
  • Don’t Get Discouraged – No one is perfect and there is a good chance that along the way to completing your goal you will experience a few setbacks. There will be periods of time when you do not progress as quickly as you would like towards achieving your goals. It’s important to remember to stay positive and not get discouraged. Every bit of progress you make toward your goal counts, no matter how small. When the going gets tough, keep going!

For extra boost, have a close friend/relative hold you accountable! Adding accountability will dramatically increase your chances of seeing a resolution through to the finish!

May 2021 be a much better year!

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Tips to Navigate Flu Season and Coronavirus

Every year we see flu season peak in the winter months. This year we must take extra precautions to not only keep ourselves safe from the flu but also the coronavirus.

In the past flu seasons we have been told to use the following steps to stop the spread of germs:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid or minimize contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with tissues when you cough and sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
  • Stay away from others as much as possible when you are sick.
  • Get a flu shot

 

This year, we have extra precautions to take such as…

  • Social Distancing
  • Avoid gatherings indoors
  • Wear a mask when around anyone outside of your household

Stay healthy and help those around you stay healthy by taking all of the above steps!

Stay Healthy!
Stay Safe!
Stay Positive!

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Happy Holidays & Thanks for Your Support

Thank you for your continued support of our agency in 2020. As this year comes to a close, we are looking forward to 2021 and continuing to help you and your family stay informed and insured in the upcoming year and beyond.

We are here to answer any insurance questions you may have, handle any and all claims quickly and efficiently, and ensure your complete satisfaction. Please contact our office at any time with questions or even just to say “Hi”. We are here to help!

Again, thank you for your support of our agency in the past year and in the future.

From our family to yours, wishing you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

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