Friday, June 26, 2015

Tornadoes: Watch vs. Warning

If you live in an area where tornadoes are common, it’s extremely important to understand the difference between a mere tornado watch and a more serious tornado warning, as well as what to do in either circumstance. In fact, even if you don’t live in a “tornado zone,” knowing how to distinguish between the two is necessary since tornadoes can strike anytime, anywhere. Knowing what to do for the situation at hand could just save your life!

A tornado watch, as mentioned, isn’t quite as serious as a warning. A watch is issued when there are favorable conditions for a tornado to form. Under a watch, you can go on about your normal day, but you should have a plan in place in case the watch turns into a warning, and you should continue to check the weather reports.   

More serious than a watch is a tornado warning. Warnings are only issued when one or more tornadoes has formed and has been seen in or close to your area. When a warning is issued, the following are things you must be sure to do:

l  Take shelter in a strong, sturdy building or home
l  Get low to the ground, and cover your head
l  Go to the lowest floor of the home
l  Try to be as close to the center of the room as possible.
l  Stay tuned to the radio for updates and information
l  Have backup power or flashlights and candles
l  Have adequate non-perishable food and water available

No one wants to go through a tornado, but tornadoes can and do happen. When they do, knowing the difference between a watch and a warning and acting appropriately can make all the difference.

Monday, June 22, 2015

About Hail Damage

Hail damage can be brutal to a car. Sometimes, you get caught out on the road when hail starts falling, and if you can’t find shelter quick, there’s nothing you can do but watch as it gets pelted with hail. That’s a horrible feeling, but if you go through this, just be glad for your safety and look into repair options as soon as possible.   

One of the best options out there is known as Paintless Dent Repair (PDR). With this technique, small dents can be removed via special hand tools. Since the tools, quite literally, pop the dents out from underneath, the process can be a little time-consuming. However, the wait time is well worth it for the money you’ll save on avoiding a new paint job or more invasive forms of hail damage repair.

While only a qualified PDR technician can determine whether or not your vehicle is a good choice for PDR, most cars/situations are eligible if the following conditions are met:

l  Vehicle was made in 1990 or later
l  No previous panel body repair has been done
l  The paint is not broken or cracked
l  Dents are not at the panel edge

If PDR works out in your case, you’ll save a lot of money and be back to driving your car before you know it, so it’s definitely worth a try any time that hail damage has occurred.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Best Car Insurance Discounts

Insuring a car isn’t cheap. Fortunately, however, a lot of providers offer different discounts that can help you save money on insurance costs. In addition to shopping around to find an affordably priced provider, you should also look for a provider that offers many discounts for which you are eligible. The best strategy is to ask each prospective provider for a full list of available discounts and then do a little comparing and figuring to find the best deal. These discounts do vary from provider to provider and from state to state but some of the best and most common include:  

Good Student Discount

Students who are enrolled full-time in college or high school and who maintain a good grade point average (most providers specify a B or higher) can be eligible for a good student discount. The reasoning behind this discount is that students who are responsible at school will also be responsible behind the wheel.

Multiple-Policy Discount

As a way of saying thank you to loyal customers, most insurance providers give discounts to policyholders with other policies through the same provider. So if, for example, you insure your car and also your home through the same provider, you could get a discount.

Alternative Fuel Discount

Are you committed to making the planet a better place? If so, your insurance provider may just be committed to saving you money. A lot of modern providers offer discounts to anyone who drives an alternative fuel vehicle, such as a hybrid car or an electric car.

Driver Education Discount

No driver is perfect, and every driver could stand to learn a thing or two. Drivers who actually do take control of their learning and who enroll in an approved driver training and/or safety course are often eligible for discounts. The key is just to check the approved class list first- before signing up.

Protective Device Discount

The lower the risk to your vehicle, the lower the risk to your insurer. That just makes sense, right? Most providers will thank you, via a discount, for installing approved safety devices, such as anti-lock brakes or a car alarm, on your vehicle. With the vast majority of providers, if the device makes your car safer to drive or harder to steal, it’s discount-eligible.

Automatic Payment Discount

Automatic payments make life easier on everyone involved. When you choose to enroll in auto-pay, many providers will give you a discount for the convenience. Alternatively, you could choose to pay your entire policy in full, upfront; most providers offer an even bigger discount for that!

Transfer Discount

Finally, know that shopping around for the best possible policy can often pay off in more ways than one. Not only do you stand a good chance of saving money on your policy in the first place, but a lot of providers will give you a sizable discount when you make the switch.

As you can see, discounts and ways to save abound; you just have to find the ones that work for you and the provider that offers them.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Safety

If you’re like most people, then you look forward to the summer months all year long. There is no better time to get out and about in the great outdoors with your family and friends. However, many accidents happen during summer, and they are often the result of hidden dangers, many of which could be lurking in your own backyard. To keep those you care about safe and to reduce the risk of an accident happening on your property, brush up on a few summer safety tips.  

Be Wary Around Water
Having a pool is a wonderful, but it does open you up to many risks and dangers. To increase safety in and around the water, remember these rules:

l  Never allow children to swim or play in or around bodies of water without adequate adult supervision
l  Have a high fence (check local regulations) placed around your pool
l  Keep lifesaving devices within close reach
l  Cover pools when they’re not being used
l  Use properly fitted drain covers
l  Install vacuum suction releases on all drains
General Safety
Drowning and other water-related accidents are major causes of death and serious injury. However, water isn’t the only outdoor hazard that poses a risk. As such, use good common sense and judgment at all times, and keep these general tips in mind:
l  Never allow children or pets to play around in-use grilling areas or fire pits
l  Never use flammable liquids, other than starter fluid, to help ignite a grill or fire
l  Keep yards well-mowed and free of debris
l  Keep stairs, walkways, and other pieces of personal property in good, safe working order
l  Properly maintain swings, slides, and other playground-type equipment
l  Get express permission from parents before allowing other children to use trampolines, pools, and other “summer fun” equipment

As you can see, there’s a world of risk out there, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy life. Enjoy it; in fact, enjoy it to the fullest, but just do so with caution.

Monday, June 8, 2015

About Life Insurance

There are all kinds of insurance that a person absolutely has to have, plain and simple. Everyone who drives or owns a car needs car insurance, and everyone needs and is now required to have health insurance. Surprisingly, though, life insurance is not one of those types of insurance that every person needs. If you’re still trying to determine whether or not life insurance is for you, consider a few questions.

Would Your Death Affect Someone Financially?

No one likes to think about dying, but sadly, it’s a fact of life. Death will happen to everyone; it’s just a question of when. While your death will likely affect a great many people, life insurance is about whether or not it would affect them financially. If your death would cause a great hardship to
someone else, such as when you’re the sole breadwinner in your household, then you absolutely do need life insurance. If everyone, at least as far as money is concerned, would go on as usual, then life insurance may not be a necessary expense for you.

Do You Want to Give Something Away When You Die?

Even if you don’t have people who are financially dependent on you, you may just have a desire to leave something behind when you go. If you want to have a stockpile of money to give to someone you care about or even to a charity or organization you care about, then life insurance may be a wise choice for you.

Only you can decide if you need life insurance, and these are just a couple of scenarios where you might determine that you do. If you do decide on life insurance, you will need to pick the right policy to meet your needs, which is best done with careful consideration and the help of a professional

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What You Need to Know about Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is a lot more complex than most people bargain for. There are all kinds of terms and conditions involved in each individual policy, and it’s important to make sure that you understand them and that you know what’s covered and what’s not. While it can be a little complicated, you can usually fare okay if you understand a few basic principles of homeowner’s insurance.

Property Protection

Most homeowner’s insurance policies are split into two parts, with the first part being property protection. This part of the policy generally protects:

l  Your home and all attached structures and parts
l  Detached structures, like garages and sheds
l  Your personal property, i.e. the contents of your home
l  Costs involved in finding a dwelling in the event that you suffer “loss of use,” meaning you cannot live in your home

You can also choose from optional types of property protection, such as:

l  Replacement costs coverage if your home needs to be rebuilt
l  Inflation protection
l  Theft/Burglary protection
l  Fraud protection

Needs vary on an individual basis, so really take the time to think about what kind of protection you will need.

Liability Protection

Liability protection is a whole different ballgame, and, like property protection, the exact policies and protections you will need will vary based on a wide range of factors.

However, this protection isn’t about protecting the things you own but about protecting you from losing them. If someone is injured on your property and sues, for example, your liability policy would keep you from losing everything to legal fees and judgments

As you can see, there really is a lot to a homeowner’s insurance policy, even a basic one, so it’s always smart to sit down with a knowledgeable insurance agent and talk about your needs before picking a policy.