Boat Safety Tips

July 21st, 2014

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Boating is a great way to unwind, whether you spend the day fishing, skiing or just riding the waves. With summer in full swing, many families will be heading out to the lake or the beach for a day of water fun. Before heading out, we want to make sure that you have all the items necessary to stay legal and comfortable.

Legally Required Items

There are some items that state and federal governments require you to have on board the boat. Failure to pack these items can mean a hefty fine and a possible court date.

Review our checklist below before heading out to ensure you haven’t missed one of these items.

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  • - A wearable life jacket for every person on the boat- Life jackets must be coast guard approved. Children under 13 must wear life jackets at all times, while others must simply be able to access them quickly.

  • - A throwable life-preserver device for each person on the boat- This law only applies to boats that are 16 feet or longer.

  • - A visual distress signal- Distress signals can be flares, a flag or a flashing light and are required when boating in coastal waters, the Great Lakes or at sea.

  • - A fire extinguisher- If the engine compartment of the boat is enclosed or below the hull, a functioning fire extinguisher is required.

Although not required by law, it’s also a good idea to have a whistle, which can help alert other boaters if help is needed. Check with state laws before heading out, as some of them have additional requirements. For example, if someone under the age of 18 will drive the boat, some states require that they have proof of completing a boating safety course.

Other Helpful Items

There are other items that while not required by law, are critical to staying safe on the water.

 

  • - Broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher- If you will be swimming while out on the water, opt for a waterproof sunscreen.

  • - Pre-filled water bottles- Take one to two bottles of water for each person on the boat to avoid dehydration. Avoid drinking soda or caffeinated beverages, which can speed dehydration. In addition, avoid drinking alcohol which can cause impairment and increase the risk of harm. It is unlawful for anyone consuming alcohol to operate a boat.

  • - First aid kit- In addition to containing supplies for standard scrapes and cuts, make sure the kit has anti-nausea medication to treat sea sickness.
  • - Appropriate clothing- Pack a long sleeve shirt and a broad-brimmed hat to put on for protection in case the sun gets to be too much.

 

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

How To Save Money This Summer

July 20th, 2014

Summer is all about getting out and enjoying the warm, sunny weather while it lasts, but before you kick off your shoes and hit the beaches it is important to make sure your home is safe and protected.

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Don’t let the excitement of the summer season prevent you from protecting one of the most valuable possessions you own – your home. Take a few moments to go over these summer home tips and you will have a safe, energy-efficient home to come back to after a long day out in the sun.

Making a Home More Energy Efficient for the Summer

It is always nice and refreshing to come home to a nice cool home after a day at the beach or out in the sun. Unfortunately, running an air conditioner during the summer season can really increase your energy bill.

Luckily, there are a few things homeowners can do to make their home more energy efficient during the summer season. The following are some easy energy efficient tips for a home that could potentially save you hundreds of dollars:

  • - Check for possible leaks around the windows and doors – this will help keep the air conditioner running smoothly

  • - Clean the filters of the AC unit regularly

  • - Turn off lights when not in use

  • - Purchase and use a programmable thermostat – this will keep the temperatures even throughout the day

  • - Install window shades to keep sunlight out of the rooms and prevent them from heating up

Preparing for Summer Emergencies

Summer is supposed to be filled with fun and excitement, but it can occasionally be filled with the occasional emergency situation. Emergency situations are impossible to predict, so it is best to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

The following are some tips on how homeowners can prepare for all types of summer emergencies:

save-money-summer-emergencies

  • - Keep a first aid kit in the home

  • - Create an evacuation route with your family for fires, floods, and earthquakes

  • - Review emergency procedures with the entire family to keep them prepared

  • - Keep records of important information, such as emergency numbers, insurance policies, and a list of personal belongings

  • - Review information on the proper emergency preparation procedures for lightning storms, floods, earthquakes, etc.

Stay Protected This Summer with the Proper Insurance Policy

Even with all the precautionary measures you take to stay safe this summer, it still might not be enough. Purchasing an insurance policy that provides protection against some of the most common summer emergencies can help you recover from some of the many types of situations you may encounter.

Some types of insurance policies to consider purchasing include:

  • - Renters insurance

  • - Homeowners insurance – typically includes fire and water damage coverage

  • - Flood coverage

  • - Earthquake coverage

  • - Umbrella insurance

Don’t be caught in a situation where you are uninsured or underinsured this summer. Speak to one of our Specialist today to explore various insurance policies that may be available to you. Our Specialist will shop multiple insurance providers to find which one offers the best rates for the coverage you need.

saving-money-during-summer

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

July 18th, 2014

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Safety Tips for Your Next Ride

There’s nothing like hopping on a motorcycle and cruising down the road with the wind in your hair on a gorgeous summer day. In fact, there are more bikes on the road during the warmer months than there are any other time of the year. That also means a greater risk for motorcycle-related accidents. Before you set out on your next road trip, heed the following tips for safety while riding.

Wear the Right Gear

motorcycle-safety-gearIn 2012 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 40 percent of riders did not wear helmets. The only thing protecting you from the pavement is the clothes on your back. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the majority of non-fatal motorcycle accident-related injuries treated by emergency rooms in the U.S. affect the legs, feet, head and neck. These areas are all vulnerable during an accident and should be protected with a quality DOT-approved helmet and boots that cover your ankles.

Prepare Your Bike

Before you pull your bike out of the garage for the first time, look it over to ensure everything is working properly. Check the oil, lights, signals and brakes, as well as the cables and lube chain. Ensure the tires have plenty of tread and are properly inflated, as under-inflated tires can diminish steering ability.

Practice Defensive Driving

Motorcycles are small and agile, making them less obvious to other drivers than cars. In collisions that involve both a motorcycle and a car, it is the driver of the car who is at-fault 3 out of 5 times. Keep this in mind as you drive, watching for cars entering the roadway and being cautious before pulling into an intersection. Remember, more people than ever are practicing distracted driving – eating, texting, or talking on the phone behind the wheel. Be judicious around other vehicles, and always use signals when riding.

Avoid Riding in Poor Weather Conditions

motorcycle-safety-weatherRain and fog are common during summer, making for riskier riding conditions. Precipitation of any kind dampens the roadways, making them slippery and more difficult to navigate. Not to mention, both rain and fog reduce driver visibility, which means other motorists are less likely to see you when driving. If you must ride in the rain or fog, do so wearing bright clothing, being cautious of your speed, and avoiding any sudden maneuvers.

Bring Your Insurance Up-to-Date

Vehicle insurance is necessary for all motorists – including motorcycle riders. Make sure that your bike is properly insured with adequate liability protections, collision coverage and personal injury protection. Despite your best efforts to avoid an accident, nothing can prepare you more for the unexpected than a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy. Whether you already have insurance coverage or are in the market for a new policy, contact our agency for your free quote today. We’ll evaluate your insurance needs and find coverage that protects your financial interests out on the open road.
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You can now carry your insurance with you on your phone!

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Things You Should Know Before Taking Your Next Road Trip

July 16th, 2014

It is the call of the open road and the idea of experiencing unexpected, exciting events that makes road trips so much fun. Unfortunately, without the proper planning what could be a fun adventure could quickly turn into a nightmare.

If you are planning on hitting the open road and taking a road trip, here are some tips and tricks that will help you prepare for such an adventure.

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What to Pack in the Car?

Anything can happen when on a road trip. A tire could go flat, oil could start to leak, or the car could overheat. While there is no way to tell exactly what could happen while on a road trip, there are things you can pack so you are prepared for the unexpected. Some of the essential auto supplies that should be packed in a car include:
● An empty gas can                                              ● Spare tire

● Extra motor oil                                                  ● Carjack

● Basic tools                                                        ● Flares

● Extra set of car keys                                          ● Copies of essential insurance information

In addition to these items, it is also a good idea to pack the following supplies. These supplies could help you in the event that you are stuck for prolonged periods in the car.

road-trip-kit

Other essential items to pack while on a road trip include:

Non-perishable snacks                                       ● Bottled water

First aid kit                                                       ● Map

Basic toiletries – tissues, hand sanitizer, roll of toilet paper, etc.

● Blankets, pillows                                                ● Electricity power inverter

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Preparing for the Unexpected Emergency

There is no way to fully prepare for an emergency situation while on a road trip, but there are a few things that you can do to make it easier should you experience such a situation. While driving and enjoying your road trip, keep the following things in mind:

● Always know your location – road markers, mile markers – it’ll make it easier for emergency crews to help in the event of an accident

● Brush up on basic car repairs

● Send a general itinerary to friends/family and keep them updated about progress through the trip

● Join a roadside assistance club that can help with basic emergency situations

Keeping Important Insurance Information on Hand When preparing for a road trip, it can be easy to forget one of the most essential items to have – insurance information. No one going on a road trip wants to have cause to use their auto insurance, but it is best to be prepared for anything.

Some essential insurance information to keep on hand – usually stored in the glove compartment – include:

● Copies of the insurance policy that is on the car

● Outline of important insurance information – including phone number to call for an agent

A road trip is about exploring the great, wide open road and creating memories that last a lifetime, but that can only be done if the trip is a safe one. Using these tips and tricks for a road trip can help you stay safe by preparing for the unexpected.

 



The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

 

The Future of Auto Insurance and Driverless Cars

July 14th, 2014

Google is famous as the world’s most used search engine, for its Google Earth mapping system, Gmail, and many other things that you can bring up on your computer or portable device. Google has recently been investing in a multitude of companies to increase their umbrella. One of its most talked about projects at the moment is its driver-less car.

Once your destination has been set in the car you can read a book, watch a tv show, or even sleep while the car delivers you to the destination. There is an option to override the Google car system but when you do that, watch out; the only times these cars have ever been in an accident were when a human was driving it. Every mile driven without a driver has been a safe one. Google is not alone in the quest to build a driverless car. BMW, Toyota, Nissan, and General Motors are also developing self-driving cars, though Google appears far ahead of others.

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How Will Driver-less Cars Affect the Future?

More than 90 percent of all auto accidents result from driver error. It might be due to drowsiness, distracted driving, or other reasons, and inventors are hard at work trying to end needless fatalities with smart cars. Right now, in 2014, cars come with possible life-saving technology that detects problems and avoids accidents. It is only a matter of time before the driver is gone from the equation.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Cheapest (and Most Expensive) Cities for Missouri Auto Insurance

July 1st, 2014

Why do they call Missouri the Show Me State? Maybe it is because there are so many things to show people. A driver in Missouri might say, “Show me a resort getaway like Branson, a college town like Columbia, or a government hub like Jefferson City. Show me northern towns like St. Joseph or Hannibal. Show me southern cities like Springfield or Cape Girardeau. Show me BIG metropolises like Kansas City to the west or St. Louis to the east. Then show me all types of land from rich, agricultural farms to the Mark Twain National Forest to the mighty Mississippi River.”

And the driver would be able to see all of those places without leaving Missouri. Assuming that he or she had the proper auto insurance, of course.

Is Missouri Auto Insurance Expensive or Inexpensive?

State law requires all drivers in Missouri to have two types of auto insurance. The first kind is liability insurance with minimum limits of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 property damage. The second is uninsured motorist insurance with minimum limits of $25,000 bodily injury per person and $50,000 bodily injury per accident.

Missouri auto insurance Read the rest of this entry »

What Do People Really Think About Usage-Based Auto Insurance?

June 25th, 2014

Usage-based insurance is one of the biggest innovations the auto insurance industry has seen in quite some time. The question is – will it catch on with Americans?

Here’s the idea: you place a little device (which usually plugs into a fuse port under your dashboard) in your car that reads data from your vehicle’s on-board computer. It collects information on your driving time, mileage, speed, acceleration, braking, and similar categories. This data is transmitted to the insurer, who sets your insurance rate based on your actual driving behaviors, rather than estimating it based on what your peers do. As a result, many people can potentially save a great deal of money on their auto insurance policies.

Do American Drivers Like Usage-Based Auto Insurance?

On paper, it sounds like a great idea. What do regular Americans think? Read the rest of this entry »

The Inside Scoop on the 2014 New York Auto Show

June 19th, 2014

You can’t jump into a time-traveling machine and jump ahead to the future. You can’t even catch a glimpse of the future by gazing into a crystal ball. But in the automotive world, you can see what lies ahead in the future by attending the New York Auto Show.

Every year just before Easter, the New York Auto Show kicks off at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in the Big Apple. This year marked the 114th staging of the show, and as always, automakers were on hand to showcase some of the new 2015 model-year vehicles as well as some concept cars and other exhibits. Here are some of the vehicles that received the most buzz at the 2014 New York Auto Show:

New York Auto ShowA great auto show in a great state! Read the rest of this entry »

Got a Car Backup Camera? Unfortunately, No Insurance Discount!

June 16th, 2014

Modern passenger vehicles are well-designed to help drivers avoid collisions. Sightlines are maximized, side and rear view mirrors are provided, and even blind spot sensors are installed in these vehicles.

Although these features help motorists while the vehicle is in drive, there are still problems when the vehicle is in the reverse gear. Even if drivers use their mirrors and/or turn around to look behind them, they are still at risk of causing a collision.

Insurance discountUnfortunately, she can’t see everything that’s behind her. Read the rest of this entry »

Move It, Slowpoke – Or Get A Ticket!

June 13th, 2014

It’s pretty well-known that excessive speed is one of the most common factors found to cause motor vehicle collisions. That’s why states, counties, and cities tend to crack down on people who are driving too fast by issuing speeding tickets.

But what about the other end of the spectrum? Is it possible to drive too slow on a roadway?

Absolutely. And many states are now starting to target slower drivers, too.

SlowpokesThese are the new criminals in the left lanes of U.S. roadways. Read the rest of this entry »