Most of us are hardworking honest people, who are building strong families and are productive members of our community. Unfortunately, there are a few people who try to take advantage of us and we need to be educated on what to watch for. Fraud, including insurance scams, is the second-most burdensome financial crime in the United States. Tax evasion is number one.
Here are a few of the most common scams:
1. Forced Rear-ending – Typically, the scammer will slow down or come to a stop in busy traffic, or swoop in front of the victim at an intersection or an on-ramp, causing the driver to crash into them from behind. In most states, the person who rear-ended the other driver is the liable party, thus the scam begins. At this point, the scammer will claim high medical bills and unusual property damage, (loss of IPhone, damage to other personal property, etc).
2. Counterfeit Air Bags - Each year, about 1.6 million air bags inflate during crashes, saving thousands of lives. But, during the repair process, at least a small percentage of those deployed air bags will be replaced with counterfeits, which can be life-threatening. Make sure you use a reputable repair shop and ask to have factory airbags installed.
3. Windshield Replacement Rip-Offs - Don’t fall for the person in a van who stops you to say he can offer to fix your windshield. The scammer takes your insurance information and files a false claim. Only use well known repair shops.
4. Phantom Victims - Often after an accident, you are not fully aware of everyone and everything around you. The scam is the injured party will say there was another passenger in the vehicle and make a false claim. When gathering information after an accident, such as the other driver's license number and contact information, also count the number of passengers in the other car (if any) and take photos of the other car, its passengers, and the general scene.
We hope none of these happen to you. However, if you do have an accident, we are here to help you through your claim.
Are looking for a great rate on auto insurance? The best way to save money is to call us today!
Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple-pie, but did you know that two out of five fires reported on that day are started by fireworks, more than for any other cause? So you think it cannot happen to you? Here are a few facts:
In 2013 over 9,000 people went to the emergency room as a result of fireworks related injuries. There was an estimated 15,500 reported fires started by fireworks. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, and $36 million in direct property damage. This is why it is a good idea to have a free home insurance review and quote, call us today!
Injuries by Fireworks Type (US department of Health & Safety)
· Buy fireworks only from licensed vendors
· Never combine fireworks
· Obey all local laws
· Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting
· Follow directions
· Never relight a firework
· Don’t smoke or drink while lighting fireworks
· Soak used fireworks in water before placing in trash
· Make sure there is parental supervision
· Never experiment with homemade fireworks
· Use fireworks outdoors, in a safe area away from dry grass and buildings
· Keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of water, wet towels and a garden hose nearby
· Light one firework at a time - then move back quickly!
· Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers
· Never carry fireworks in your pocket
· Never point or throw fireworks at people or animals
· Clean up all used fireworks including debris
“Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July and year end celebrations. Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths” Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Enjoy the holiday; we live in a great country. Happy Birthday America!
We know all boaters are busy preparing their boats for spring and summer use. Remember, having the proper boat insurance will help safeguard your activities are covered. We can offer you competitive rates on your boat, RV and motorcycle insurance.
Here are a few thoughts to help you as you prepare your boat for spring and summer use.
· Have us review your boat insurance to make sure you are covered properly.
· Make sure your boat trailer is insured.
· Inspect your boat before heading out. Check for hull damage and loose fittings. If the boat has a plug, make sure it fits.
· Check the battery. If it has been a few years since the battery was replaced, it may be time.
· Check all lights and the horn. You may have wiring that needs to be repaired for proper night use. Electrical fittings can be protected with a water-repellant, non-conductive grease or corrosion inhibitor.
· Test all life jackets to make sure they are in good working order.
· Take care of the engine. Flush your engine after every outing, and check everything from your fuel tanks to the clamps on your fuel line for rust, damage or corrosion. Also, check your oil for correct levels, proper filtration, and cleanliness.
· Check the tires on your trailer.
· Make sure the bilge pump is properly working. Check all fittings and test the pump before use.
Do some research about boating laws and regulations. You might even consider taking a boating safety course. And never drink and drive a boat.
Remember, we provide insurance solutions for all your boating, RV, motorcycle and ATV needs.
It is the time of year when we start planning for the next great family adventure. Our area is filled with many great camping sites; some by lakes, rivers and even in the wilderness. Preparing for a camping trip should include checking out the equipment, scheduling the camp site, gathering safety equipment and more.
There are many different hazards you must think about before you head out. These include weather conditions, wild animals, illness, accidents, and yes lack of sleep.
Camping Safety Tips
Here are a few safety tips to keep you and your family safe:
· Pack extra water.
· Always prepare for the unexpected. Before you leave, check the weather report, learn about security at your camp location and tell your family or friends what your plans are and where you will be camping.
· Confirm that your first aid kit is well stocked.
· Pack foods in tight, waterproof bags or containers and keep them in an insulated cooler.
· Cook foods to proper temperatures (for instance, ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees).
· Familiarize yourself with area where you are going, and make sure you have at least two maps.
· Verify that your camp site allows fires.
· Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
· Keep lanterns and open flames outside of the tent.
· Determine a central location where everyone will meet in case you get separated.
· Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and can cause illness or death in people and pets. Never use fuel-burning equipment such as gas stoves, heaters, lanterns, and charcoal grills inside a tent, camper, or other enclosed shelter.
· To help fight insect bites, apply insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET can protect up to several hours.
While we can’t help you build your fire, we can help you see to it that your camper, ATV, Boat, motorcycle are insured to fit your budget and need.
Every year, wildfires threaten people and homes throughout the US, especially those located in or near wilderness areas. The tips below can help you assess your risk and identify ways to protect your home and family from a wildfire. In 2013 there were over 67,000 wild fires causing damage to over 9,000,000 acres. Wildfires kill almost 57 people annually, and cause economic damage totally over 2 Billion annually.
As more and more people move into rural areas, more people and property are at risk from the dangers of wildfires. Once a wildfire starts in your area, you can't control it or prevent it from approaching your property. But you can plan in advance to minimize potential damage and injury. Review these wildfire safety tips.
Remember to have your home insurance policy reviewed annually, call us today. Plan Ahead
· Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly mark all driveway entrances and display your name and address.
· Know your risk. Do some research and learn how often wildfires occur in your area. Find out when there is the greatest risk and take wildfire safety precautions.
· Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions.
· Develop an evacuation plan for your employee and family that includes a pack with extra supplies.
· Develop green spaces around your home.
· Don’t store wood next to any buildings.
· Plan escape routes away from your home - by car and by foot.
· Keep roofs and gutters clean and free from debris.
· Install non-combustible roofing and siding materials, such as metal, slate, or concrete.
· Have a ladder that reaches your roof.
· Make sure your street address is visible from the street.
· Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and the barbecue.
· Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation.
· Back as many vehicles as possible into the garage. Then close the door. In the event that you evacuate remember to close the garage door behind you as you leave. If you do not have a garage or if yours is full, park your vehicles heading in the direction of the evacuation route. Evacuation
· If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
· Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near aboveground fuel tanks. Wetting the roof may help if it is shake-shingled.
· Shut off natural gas, propane, or fuel oil supplies.
· Take your Disaster Supplies Kit. Have backpacks for each family member.
· Close all windows, vents, and doors to prevent a draft.
· Wear protective clothing and footwear to protect yourself from flying sparks and ashes
Here is a good resource to learn more. http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/