December 5, 2022 - What is Not Covered by An Umbrella Policy?
Generally, damage to your own personal property is not covered under a personal umbrella policy.
Other examples of coverage not included in a typical umbrella policy are:
• Business losses. Damage to your business property or losses related to the running of your business generally would not be covered by a personal umbrella policy. This exclusion applies even if your business is operated out of your home. Consider purchasing business insurance if you need this type of coverage.
• Intentional acts. A personal umbrella policy isn’t designed to protect you from liability connected with your own intentionally harmful behavior; for example, if you intentionally harm a visitor to your home.
Umbrella policies are typically very affordable and can be a great way to help protect yourself against the potentially devastating costs of major claims that exceed the limits of your primary home and auto policies.
November 22, 2022 - Is an Umbrella Policy Right For You? Part 1.
Whether it’s a serious car accident involving extensive medical bills or an incident on your property, you may quickly find yourself responsible for damages that exceed the limits of your auto, homeowners or boat policies. That’s when having an umbrella insurance policy can provide coverage that goes beyond the limits of your primary coverage.
Travelers umbrella insurance can help provide coverage for:
• $1 million to $10 million of liability, which can help protect assets such as your home, car and boat.
• Claims like libel, slander, defamation of character and invasion of privacy.
• Legal defense costs like attorney fees and other charges associated with lawsuits.
• Liabilities that happen outside the United States.
A Travelers umbrella insurance policy is a valuable addition to any auto, homeowners or other policy for extended personal liability protection.
In today’s world, anyone can face a lawsuit, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. That’s why it’s more important than ever to consider adding an umbrella policy as an extra layer of protection for your assets – and your peace of mind.
November 7, 2022 - 5 Tips for Buying a New Car - Part 3
5. Negotiate the Best Price
A good negotiator usually can get a better deal than someone who simply agrees to pay what the dealer is asking. Dealers may price their cars higher than the amount they actually expect to receive in preparation for negotiations.
If you take time to research prices online before you visit a dealership, you'll have a better idea of what a competitively priced car should cost. Often, the best time to buy is during end-of-the-year sales, when dealers need to make room for newer models, notes the Las Vegas Review-Journal.3
Negotiate the actual price of the car rather than the monthly payment. Focusing on payments makes it easy to lose sight of the full amount you'll be paying over time, says Autotrader.
If you can't get the price you want, don't be afraid to walk away. Remember there's always another car.
October 7, 2022 - 5 Tips for Buying A New Car - Part 2
3. Consider Vehicle Design and Size
Design characteristics are important when choosing a new car. Larger and heavier vehicles typically sustain less damage in auto crashes than small cars. Some small utility vehicles and pickups are prone to rollover accidents.
In addition to considering size, look for cars that have “crashworthy" designs. These cars have strong “safety cages," the section of the vehicle that protects the occupants. Make sure that the front and rear ends are “crush zones" that can absorb the impact of crashes.
You can look up car safety rankings by using the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's online safety rankings tool.
4. Get Pre-Approved for a Car Loan
Edmunds.com recommends that you get pre-approved for a car loan before you begin shopping for a new car.2 Check with several lenders to get the lowest interest rate. Once you have loan approval, you'll know how much you can afford to spend. You'll also have an interest rate you can use to compare with those offered by the new car dealer's financing. In some cases, the dealer may offer the best financing deal.
Before you begin shopping for a loan, gather documents to verify your income and the balances of any debts you may have.
Buying a new car is an exciting time! These steps can help you make sure that your new car will be safe to drive and affordable to ensure.
1. Find Out the Cost of Insurance
Your insurance rates typically change when you acquire a new vehicle. Before you choose a model, the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute recommends that you ask your insurance rep how much it will cost to insure.1
If you choose a sporty model that attracts buyers who enjoy driving fast, it will likely cost more to insure. If the car you pick is very expensive, it will be costly to repair or replace, and that will drive up insurance costs. A model that's often targeted by car thieves may also cost more to insure.
2. Look for Safety Technology
One of the best things about buying a new car is all the new devices that have been developed in recent years to help drivers avoid accidents. Advanced safety features can include:
• Adaptive cruise control. It detects vehicles ahead and adjusts speed to maintain a safe following distance.
• Adaptive headlights. As you turn, these headlights adjust to light the road ahead.
• Automatic parking. Sensors detect obstacles and adjust steering to guide vehicles safely into parking spaces.
• Backup cameras. They help you see behind your car to avoid collisions.
• Forward collision warning. Radar, lasers or camera sensors detect when a crash is about to occur, alerting the driver. Some systems automatically apply the brakes.
September 6, 2022 - Preventing Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
Whether you are working or playing in the sun, the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke increases with the temperature.
The following tips can help you stay safe:
- Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, caffeine, soda or fruit juice.
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
- Try to limit exercise and other forms of exertion to cooler periods of the day.
- Take frequent breaks and rest if you feel tired or weak.
- Be aware that some medications may make you more vulnerable to sun and heat exposure.
- If the air temperature is more than 95 degrees Fahrenheit, fans may be ineffective at cooling. Use air conditioning instead.
- Apply wet towels to your neck or wear a wet headband to help beat the heat.
- Help replace lost fluids from your body by drinking water or sports drinks.
Warm weather is a time for fun in the sun. But be sure to practice safety to ensure the heat does not take the fun out of your summer.
August 25, 2022 - Reducing the Chance of Heat Stroke
Heat exhaustion can be life-threatening if not treated right away, as it can quickly lead to heat stroke. If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion, here are a few tips to reduce the chance of heat stroke:
• Go to a shady location or a room with air conditioning.
• Lie down and stay calm.
• Take frequent small sips of cool water or a sports drink.
• Call the doctor if symptoms of heat exhaustion persist.
August 8, 2022 - Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Extreme heat has killed more people in recent years than all other natural disasters combined. Knowing the warning signs of heat exhaustion is important.
• Blurred vision;
• Profuse sweating;
• Weak pulse;
• Faint breathing.
July 27, 2022 - Watercraft, Prepare for the Unexpected Part 2
Carry helpful items in case of an emergency. A cell phone, first aid kit and sunscreem are a good start.
Use (if equipped) the safety lanyard that attaches to your wrist of life jacket.
Inform others of your plans. Be sure to let other knows where you are going and how long you plan to be out.
Always be alert. Be aware of yur surrounding, weather conditions and other water craft.
July 13, 2022 - Watercraft, Prepare for the Unexpected Part I
Thinking ahead, before even going into the water is paramount to safety. For example...always wear a life jacket. According to the US Coast Guard, 84% of boaters that drowned were not wearing life jackets.
Next time, we'll give you 4 helpful items to carry in case of emergency.
June 22, 2022 - Bundle For Savings!
Bundling your homeowners and auto policies can help you save on your insurance cost. Who doesn't like saving?!
While each insurance company offers slightly difference incentives for bundling all of your policies with them, it can be real saving while keeping the coverage you need.
As an independent agency, we welcome your call to explore your insurance options.
June 6, 2022 - Fall Hazards at Home
Are you a weekend warrior or do-it-yourselfer? If you take on home improvement or other weekend projects, it's important to prepare yourself for physical exertion, especially if you've been sedentary through the winter months, and take extra precautions to prevent falls.
Risky projects, like installing siding, gutters or roofs, are best left to professionals. Saving money isn't worth risking a debilitating or fatal fall.
At home or at work, many of the same rules apply. When taking on a project:
• Practice all of the ladder safety tips mentioned above
• Keep the work area clear of hazards and immediately clean up spills
• Read all instructions and safety precautions on your equipment
• Don't wear loose clothing that can get caught in equipment
May 24, 2022 - Hurricane Prepared Checklist, Part 2
Prepare your home. Can your home withstand hurricane-force winds? There are plenty of ways to help protect the exterior of your home during severe weather. Before a hurricane makes landfall, remove any outdoor patio furniture, clear debris from your drains and gutters, reinforce your garage doors and consider installing hurricane shutters.
Create a personal property inventory. Having a record of all your valuable belongings will help you out significantly if you have to file an insurance claim. Find out what you should include in your inventory and the best way to record it here.
Check your homeowners insurance policy. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover the damages sustained in a hurricane, but not the floods that can follow. Review your insurance policy and speak with your independent insurance agent about what limitations your policy may have in place and make adjustments accordingly. Contact your agent early as some coverage may have a waiting period, also known as a qualifying period, before it can start..
May 10, 2022 - Hurricane Prepared Checklist, Part 1
Hurricane season is around the corner and we'd like to give you some tips to pepare your home for potential severe weather.
1. Create an emergency preparedness kit. Non-perishable foods, personal and finacial records, a frst aid kit and battery powered electronics. A USB powerbank is another helpful item should the power be out for an extended time.
2. Make a plan. Designate a room that offers the best protection from high winds. If you live in a mobile home, keep a list of nearby shelters in the event that you need to evacuate.
April 11, 2022 - Spring is Here! Helpful Boat Trailering Tips Part 2
1. Keep it roomy with stopping distance.
Extra distance between your vehicle and those ahead of you is crucial. You don't want to slam on the breaks with a boat in tow—that could cause jackknifing. So slow down and be alert… patience you must have, my young Padawan.
2. Be conscience of large vehicles.
If semi-trucks and other big vehicles pass you, briefly lift your foot off the accelerator. This little trick will help reduce buffeting by the truck's wind and keep your rig from swaying. If you notice swaying, take your foot off the gas to minimize it.
3. If swaying—stop, inspect and adjust.
Taking your foot off the gas will minimize swaying, but if it seems to be a constant problem, get out and examine your rig. Try adjusting the trailer's tongue weight—it should be between 10 and 15 percent of the rig's overall weight.
4. Conduct a post-arrival check-up.
When you reach your destination, feel your trailer's wheel hubs. They should be cool or slightly warm. If they're hot, there may be problems with your bearings; get them serviced as soon as possible!
April 1, 2022 - Spring is Here! Helpful Boat Trailering Tips Part 1
For some, there's no better way to enjoy a beautiful day that on the water. But...you have to get there, right? Here are some helpful tips to make trailering your boat better and safer.
1. Experience leads to confidence.
Practice so you can get comfortable with trailering. Find a large, open space—like an empty parking lot—and put down some orange cones or life jackets. Then spend time learning to back up, make turns and avoid obstacles.
2. Backing up takes extra practice.
Most people find driving in reverse while towing a boat to be the toughest, so work on honing this skill. Remember that backing up in a straight line is almost impossible. Instead, focus on moving in the right direction with slow, slight turns.
3. Level-up your mirrors.
Big, extended side-view mirrors are definitely a great idea for trailering, especially when you tow on busy roads. Attachable side-view mirrors are available for purchase when you need to increase visibility.
4. Swing wide when tackling turns.
To ensure you don’t hit curbs or other vehicles with your boat, take turns extra-wide. If you can, try to prepare for turns by staying in the outside lane to give yourself more room.
March 20, 2022 - Loss of Use Coverage
If your home is damaged by a covered loss, loss of use coverage can help pay you for additional housing and living expenses until your home is repaired or rebuilt.
Want more information? We're here to help. We look forward to your call.
March 1, 2022 - Reasons for Choosing an Independent Agent...Like National Insurance Agency.
Reason #1. You Could Save Money. We can help you research what you really need, and help you save while getting the coverage you need.
Reason #2. Independent Agents aren't Tied to One Carrier. We have your best interest in mind and can cross-shop many different insurance companies to help you get the best insurance value.
Reason #3. Insurance Can Be Complex. Your independent agent can help you understand your insurance options and needs.
February 17, 2022 - Avoid Water Damage In Your Home, Part 2.
• Label any items repaired or replaced. Written records of home repairs are great...but often hard to find later. That's why we suggest directly labeling the item with the date or repair or replacement. Many items have a set lifespan and this can help you keep track easily.
• Have your water tested. Mineral content, pH and chlorides are examples of water characteristics that should be monitered to help avoid issues with your plumbing...especially if you have a well.
• Inspect toilet supply lines and valves often. Besides a faulty flapper vavle that can waste water...the supply lines also can age and cause a leak.
February 7, 2022 - Avoiding Water Damage In Your Home. Part 1.
You may be surprised to know that most water damage to a home isn't form natural disasters or floods. It's due plumbing concerns that go unnoticed. Here are a few steps.
1. Know where your main water shutoff valve is and how to use it. In the event of an emergency, being able to shut down the water source can help limit your damage.
2. Have a professional look over your plumbing.
3. Inspect the pipes. Look for discoloration, cracking, deposts or rust looking stains.
4. Check appliances like the washing machine and dishwasher for slow leaks.
January 25, 2022 - Winterizing Your Car, Pt 2
What should be in your car, just in case?
A emergency blanket, first aid kit, flashlight, water and non-perishable snacks are a great start. But...you may want these in your car year 'round.
We also suggest sand or salt, jumper cables and an ice scraper or snow broom. Just a little bit of planning...and some of these items in your trunk...could make a huge difference when it comes to dealing with what winter can dish out.
January 10, 2022 - Winterizing Your Car, Pt 1
Cold weather, and icy conditions bring a whole new level of car maintenance or prepation.
If your scheduled maintenance isn't up to date...now is a good time to take care of that. Ensure your tires are in good condition and have plenty of tread. If snow is a regular occurence where you live...snow tires can be a good investment.
Have your battery tested. Cold weather is tough on batteries
Finally, make sure your washer fluid tank is full.
December 27, 2021 - Winter Home Maintenance
We're into winter full swing...so this tips are important.
Have your furnace checked and serviced once a year. Clean or replace the furnace filter. Ensure your fuel tanks are filled.
Set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees if water piping is inside your outside walls.
Open doors to unoccupied rooms to help keep an even temperature inside your house.
December 20, 2021 - Christmas Tree Safety
Tis the season for Christmas trees…so it’s also time for a reminder on tree safety.
When you set-up your tree, make sure it isn’t blocking doorways or exits. Also ensure that it’s at least 36” from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators or heat vents.
When decorating, carefully look at the condition of your tree lights. Discard and replace and light set that have worn or broken cords. Make sure all bulbs are installed tightly. Be sure to turn off the lights before leaving your house or going to bed.
After the holidays…or if your tree gets dry…it’s time for it to go. A dried out tree is a fire hazard and should not be left inside your home or garage. For that matter, don’t leave it outside against the house, either.