Since candles and lighting equipment are very common for Halloween decorations, be sure to follow the below safety tips if you decide to use them this year:
School is in full swing, the leaves are changing color, and that pumpkin spice latte just isn’t enough to stave off the morning chill. It’s time to switch your HVAC system over to Heat. Check the following list to be sure your furnace is ready for the coming winter.
1. Turn on the thermostat.
Switch from cooling to heating and set the temperature a couple of degrees higher than the current room temperature. If you don’t hear the heat kick on within a minute, pull off the cover and make sure the wire connections are secure (if you feel comfortable doing so). If the connections are snug, make sure the power source to the HVAC system is turned on. If it’s still not working, you could check the furnace fan, blower or heat pump — but it likely makes better sense to call in a professional.
2. Change the air filters.
You probably have air filters behind a vent grill in the wall or ceiling, or a single filter in the HVAC system itself. Change these filters every few months. Or, if you have a permanent electrostatic filter, you can wash and reuse it. Cleaning or replacing your filters regularly keeps particles out of your HVAC system and can prolong its life. While you’re at it, change your humidifier filter and set the humidistat, if your HVAC includes a humidifier.
3. Cover the AC condenser.
Unless your HVAC is a heat pump (in which case, don’t cover it at all because it runs all year), cover the condenser to protect it from falling icicles. A large trash can lid secured with bungee cords works quite well for this function. You can also use a board to cover the fan — but don’t wrap it in a moisture-trapping plastic tarp.
4. Clean the heat exchanger.
The heat exchanger should be brushed and vacuumed out annually by a trained professional while the unit is disabled. While it’s being cleaned, your technician should look for cracks, which could lead to a dangerous carbon monoxide leak into your home.
5. Lubricate and clean the blower motor.
First check the owner’s manual to see if your motor is the kind that needs lubricating. If it does, turn off the power, open the cover and clean the caps covering the bearings. Then remove the caps and lubricate the bearings.
6. Test the igniter switch.
On an old system, you might have to relight the pilot. Newer systems have electronic ignitors. If the ignitor isn’t working, push the reset button. If that doesn’t do the trick, check your breaker. Still not working? Call in a professional.
7. Inspect the chimney and carbon monoxide detectors.
Chimneys can house carbon buildup or even small animals. A professional should inspect them periodically. Routinely test or replace carbon monoxide detectors as well, as they help protect you from the “silent killer.”
8. Your insurance policy also needs a check-up.
We can do it over the phone if you wish. Get a hot cup of cocoa, pull out your policy and call our agency. It’s that simple!
We have great rates for all types of insurance.
So you’ve got a classic rod. Sweet! An extraordinary ride like yours needs extraordinary love and care. So, naturally, ordinary, everyday auto insurance won’t cut it, either.
Unlike an everyday vehicle, which depreciates over time and with use, classic cars gain value over the years—so you’ll need to adjust insurance coverage to match your special vehicle’s appreciating value. Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s sometimes difficult to pin down an official definition of a classic vehicle. But insurers that sell specialized classic car insurance may accept any of the following: vehicles whose value exceeds the original selling price; antique and classic cars, usually at least 25 to 30 years old; hotrods and modified vehicles; exotics; muscle cars; and some vintage military vehicles, motorcycles, and antique tractors.
So, if you’re looking to insure a collectible or classic vehicle, the best bet is to talk to one of our insurance agents. And while you’re talking about how much insurance you’ll need, be prepared to discuss other options too, including:
*Specialized repair or restoration: Gives you the flexibility to bring your vintage Mercedes, Ferrari or Corvette to a specialist—even if the rates are higher than what a traditional auto body repair shop would charge.
*Towing: Due to their age, collector vehicles are prone to breakdowns, so towing coverage—especially for flat-bed hauling—is essential for collector vehicles.
*Parts: Hard-to-find parts cost more. Look for coverage that takes into account scarcity or need for one-off parts.
*And of course you’ll want to discuss provisions found in standard auto insurance policies, like property damage and bodily injury liability coverage.
There are lots of other things to consider, including how, where, and when you’ll be using your vehicle—and what effect that will have on your insurance. For a full rundown on these and other topics, contact our agency and cruise on over to Insuring Your Classic Car: Special Auto Insurance Protection.
It is not a hard task to determine whether you require comprehensive coverage for your car. However, before you make the decision to buy comprehensive coverage, you need to have a good understanding of how it works. Comprehensive coverage is intended to cover a variety of physical damage claims, such as windshield and body damage, vandalism, and contact with an animal. Here is some information about why you need comprehensive car insurance.
Do You Have a Loan on the Car?
Lenders usually require physical damage coverage on the cars they have financed to drivers. Comprehensive is usually a portion of such mandatory coverage.
When you sign the contract for a loan, you agree to protect the car against physical damage by buying both collision and comprehensive coverage. You can end up having to deal with expensive penalties if you fail to notify your lender about your insurance coverage. You should ask your auto insurance agent to add your lender as a loss payee for the car. Doing this will ensure your lender is immediately notified of the coverage in case an accident occurs.
What Is Your Level of Risk for Having a Comprehensive Claim?
If you have a high level of risk for having a comprehensive claim, you should get comprehensive auto insurance. Some factors that will put you at high risk of having a comprehensive claim include living in a tornado alley or packing your car under a half-dead tall tree every night. Indeed, any driver can benefit from this coverage. However, for some people it’s worth more than others.
You should take the time to evaluate your risks before deciding whether to get comprehensive car insurance. In general, one would file a comprehensive auto insurance claim for damage to your car caused by the following:
What Is the Value of the Vehicle?
If the value of your vehicle is high, this will help you decide whether it is worthwhile to pay for comprehensive auto insurance. If the vehicle isn’t worth much anymore, then coverage might not be worth the investment.
How Much Does Comprehensive Coverage Cost?
You will be happy to know that comprehensive coverage tends to be reasonably priced. As long as you are not considered a high-risk driver, comprehensive coverage is typically worth the price. Even an older car with minimal value is likely worth the replacement of a windshield from damage.
For more information about comprehensive coverage, don't hesitate to contact us.
Autumn is a great time of year to enjoy a ride on your motorcycle.
It’s also a great time to check out your insurance needs
Choosing the right insurance policy is much like choosing the right motorcycle. You want it to fit your needs and lifestyle, but at the same time be within your budget. Although most states require you to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, other types of coverage are usually optional. Our insurance agents can tell you which laws apply in your state.
In order to find out what coverage is best for you; it is important to understand all the options available.
Call or stop by our office today for a no-obligation review of your motorcycle insurance needs.
Since a BOP is prepackaged, there is only one policy to review and it can be more cost effective than purchasing separate policies. Additional coverage can be added in the form of endorsements or riders.
Since a BOP insurance policy is specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses, the type of business can influence eligibility. Normally, companies with 100 employees or fewer and revenues of up to about $5 million or less are candidates for a BOP. Some types of businesses, such as restaurants, may be ineligible for a BOP because of the specific risks inherent in the business and may need to consider buying the individual coverages separately.
Combining three insurance policies into one package
In a single, convenient package, a BOP provides the core insurance that most small businesses need, including:
Property insurance—Protection for your building or office space, as well as property owned by your business, such as equipment and inventory.
Liability insurance—Coverage for costs that arise if someone is injured at your business or by using your products or services.
Business interruption insurance—Also known as Business Income insurance, this coverage replaces lost revenues in the event that your business has to shut down due to fire, wind damage or other covered losses.
You can tailor a BOP to meet your needs
It’s important to understand that a BOP doesn’t cover all risks associated with running a small business and the coverage limits are usually lower. If you have employees, you may be required to carry workers compensation insurance, depending on your state. If you have a business-owned vehicle, you’ll need coverage beyond your personal car insurance. You might also consider insurance for relatively new risks such as computer system break-in or business identity theft.
There are unique risks associated with your small business; an insurance professional can help you find the coverages that are right for you. Here are some other types of insurance to explore and ask about:
You can increase the protection provided by your BOP and other business insurance policies by adding an excess liability or umbrella insurance policy. This type of supplemental policy boosts your coverage beyond the limits of your primary insurance policies. Depending on the policy, your umbrella coverage is designed to broaden and increase coverage, “filling in the gaps” left by other types of liability insurance by covering additional areas of risk and even reimbursing you for deductibles. Your insurance professional can advise you about combining an umbrella policy with a BOP or other business insurance.
It may sound like a dance craze from the 1950s, but a BOP—a Business Owners Policy—can protect your small business against today’s most common risks. Fire, burglary, liability and business interruption losses are all covered under a BOP. We invite you to “Bop” on over to our agency for a no-obligation review of your business insurance needs.
Great Insurance Rates for Everyone!
We Love to help Uninsured Drivers!
No Insurance? Insurance Canceled? Too Many Tickets? They don't want you? We Do! We love helping Uninsured Drivers get legal.
We have Great Rates for Boat Insurance!
Let us help you provide coverage for Small Boats, House Boats, Yachts, Mega Yachts, and More.
We Can Insure Where You Live!
House, Mobile Home, Renters … we can insure wherever you live. Has it been over three years since you compared your coverages and rates? Let us close coverage gaps and find more discounts.
Insurance for All Your Toys!
If you need a policy for a motorcycle, ATV, watercraft, RV or Camper Trailer, our agency has a policy to fit your budget.
Our agency uses the most state-of-the-art software to make sure you get all the discounts you deserve while comparing with all the many companies we have available for you.
Let us do the searching for you for free! Call our office for a Quick Quote and visit our website.
The purpose of life insurance is to provide a source of income, in case of death, for your children, dependents, or other beneficiaries. Life insurance can also serve certain estate planning purposes, which we won't go into here.
Buying life insurance is contingent upon whether anyone is depending on your income after your death. If you have a spouse, child, parent, or some other individual who depends on your income, then you probably need life insurance.
Because life insurance protects your family in the event of a death, it is important to determine the correct amount. Most people do not have the right amount of insurance.
There are two basic types of life insurance: term and permanent. Term insurance is insurance that covers a specified period. If you die within this time frame, your beneficiary receives the insurance benefit. Term policy premiums usually increase with age.
Permanent insurance such as universal life, variable life, and whole life, contains a cash value account or an investment element to the insurance.
Rules of Thumb:
The younger your children, the more insurance you need. If both spouses earn income, then both spouses should be insured, with insurance amounts proportionate to salary amounts.
If your spouse would undergo financial hardship without your income, or if you do not have adequate savings, you may need to purchase more insurance. The amount of insurance you need depends on your salary level and that of your spouse, the amount of savings you have, and the amount of debt you both have.
If you need help figuring out the correct amount of life insurance you need, then give us a call. We're happy to help.
Baby boomers are feeling the pressure of empty-nest reversal from boomerangs – adult children returning home to live and live-in elders – seniors trading their current home for a loved one’s spare bedroom. According to Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting an adult child. About one in seven of these middle-aged adults are providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child.
Having an aging parent or other family member move in can be stressful for both parties. Before you unpack that first box, take the time to have “the talk” about finances, including insurance.
Don’t shy away from tough questions such as “are you current on health, auto, home and life insurance premiums,” “are you covered by Medicare,” “is long-term care insurance something we should look into,” and “what are your end-of-life wishes?” This level of detail will help you decide what changes, if any, need to be made to existing coverage.
To minimize stress, seek to make your loved one feel cared about, not cared for.
Welcoming an adult child home can be just as daunting as a live-in senior. Plus, it’s expensive. In fact, experts estimate hosting an adult child in your home costs between $8,000 and $18,000 per year. To minimize the burden and avoid surprises, set clear expectations.
To avoid misunderstandings, the NAIC developed a Welcome Home Contract for host parents of adult children. In addition to outlining basic rules of co-habitation, the contract places under signature key insurance-related agreements.
Let our agency know any time someone moves into or out of your home. Those small changes can have a very big impact on your premiums and coverages in the event of a claim.