Back To School Safety

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Make sure your child knows the bus route. If they are going to be riding the bus, drive them to school on the first day and follow the bus on its route. This makes sure that they know the route to make sure they are on the right bus and they know if anything is wrong.

Don’t let your kids walk to the bus stop by themselves. Even if the bus stop is right across from your house, wait until there are other parents or kids around. There is safety in numbers. Or wait with your child.

Make sure your child has all of the information they need in the event of an emergency. Make sure they know the signs of danger and there is a meeting place should you be separated. Make sure they know your address, names, cell phones numbers and all of the contact information for this situation.

Establish a code word for your child with family and guardians. They should never get in the car with a stranger but in this case they will know it is safe for other family friends you could arrange to pick up your child.

Make sure your children know who are trusted adults. Police officers, business owners, teachers are all options that children can typically run into in case of an emergency. So if they get into situations with other adults that they are uncomfortable they know to run and who to get help from.

When prepping your kids it is important not to scare them but to give them the information to deal with unsafe situations. These are not situations that are likely but equipping them with the information they need is very important. It is important that they know that most everyone is good but for the uncomfortable situations they need to have the above safety information.

Running/Walking Outside Safety Tips

 

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With the daylight extending later into the evening and the nice weather, exercising outside is a pretty popular option for fitness. While there are many benefits to outdoor exercise it also invites some risks that aren’t present in the gym. Here are a few things to keep in mind to stay safe while you run or walk outside.

1. Run In Well-Lit and populated areas- Make sure there that is lighting and there are people around as you run. If you are running through an isolated area, take off your ear buds as predators think people who are have ear buds are distracted and easier targets.

2. Be aware and trust your gut. If someone suspicious is approaching you try to cross over to the other side of the street or change directions and run that way quickly if it becomes a threatening situation.

3. Be Prepared- If someone approaches you be vocal in telling them “You are too close”, “Back Off” attackers are looking for people easy to overpower. Use self defense, Be aware of the top four vulnerable spots on a person’s body: eyes, nose, throat, and knees. If you’re close enough to fight back, do it. Stay confident and strong.

4. Always carry your smart phone. They can be the most important tool for self defense. Mace and pepper stray are often left a home but the cell phone should always be with you. There are also some apps that .ReactMobile,StaySafe,.MyPanic,.Guardly, and .bSafe. These apps help you report suspicious incidences with GPS coordinates, add path and time and input emergency contacts if not completed, trigger alarms and bright colors for other people nearby to be alerted and other great features to check out for your runs or walks while alone.

Are your appliances and electronics at home surge protected?

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If you buy a new T.V. generally you will plug it into a surge protector. What about the other important appliances in your home(ie: computers, refrigerators..)?

You could buy and plug these items individually into surge protectors or a get a whole house surge protector like the one above, this is a SurgePro Ac Power- GE plug in.

These plug into your circuit breaker and for installation is recommended that a professional electrician install this.

This whole house device offers protection to these items up to 27,000 amps of surge.

It has a three year warranty up to $25,000 on plugged in items which does not effect an insurance homeowners deductible.

A surge protector like the one above is affordable (around $50)

Click HERE for a link to more info.

 

Least and Most Expensive States for Insurance

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When accounting for health, home, life and car insurance it can account for a  significant portion of the budget. According to the NerdWallet Study it this category can account for around 12% of yearly income.

But depending on where you live insurance cost can vary and be less or more expensive for this category.

These are the most costly states for insurance costs:

10.Mississippi 9. Michigan 8. Massachusetts 7. Oklahoma 6.Vermont 5. New Jersey 4. Rhode Island 3. Florida 2. New York 1. Louisiana

These are the least expensive states for insurance costs:

15. Nevada 14, Illinois 13. Arizona 12. Idaho 11. Colorado 10. Pennsylvania 9.Oregon 8.Georgia 7. California 6. Washington 5. Ohio 4.Virginia 3. Washington D.C. 2. Utah 1.Maryland

Safety Tips for Women

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Women’s self defense is becoming a very important topic as well as avoiding any compromising situation.

Here are some safety tips for women while you are out and about.

1. Be Aware: Be aware if your surroundings and avoid areas where you could be a target. Criminals like to choose targets who appear unaware of what is going on around them.

2, Trust your gut: Avoid a person or situation that does not “feel” safe. Use your womanly intuition to its full advantage with this.

3. Self-Defense Training: Martial Arts is not necessarily the way to go unless you want to train in traditional martial arts techniques. Choose a self defense program that that simulates assaults and trains accordingly.

4. Escape: If you can the best option when sure of eminent danger is to run and scream for help to attract attention. Get away from alleys, dark places and locations where crimes could more easily occur.

5. Fight Back: No matter if you do your best to follow all the above tips, if you find yourself in a physical confrontation. It is your legal right to defend yourself. Whether you have had self defense training or not, statistically your odds of survival are greater when you fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second. The element of surprise is your greatest advantage and chance to get away.

6. Other Tips: When avoiding possible home, car or travel situation that are unsafe, here are some things to keep in mind. For homes or hotels, do not open the door unless you know the person on the other side or can verify that the person on the other side has a legitimate reason for being there. Most car-jacking occurs at intersections when vehicles are stopped so keep doors locked and on the look out.

Make this a Part of your Trip Planning: What to do if you need your car towed out of State

If you are on your way out of town or on vacation, you may want to make a plan for if something happens to your car while you are out of town whether an accident or having car problems that make your vehicle not drivable. There are few questions your will want to make sure you can answer so as to not let an event like this ruin your trip.

Does my insurance company cover towing? What would you do if you were unable to drive your vehicle and were in another state? Would you rent a car? Would you have the vehicle repaired locally or towed home for repairs?

The above questions are answered two fold, you can consult your policy or agent to answer some of these questions and for some you will need a plan.
You can find out on your insurance policy if you have rental. One thing you may want to make sure if that you have rental limits that cover a rental comparable to what you are driving. For example, if you are driving a minivan, make sure your rental limits are not only adequate for a sedan.
Auto Policies do typically cover a tow if a vehicle is disabled due to an accident. However, it generally covers only a reasonable tow, which is considered by most insurance companies to be up to 50 miles. However, 200 miles is not customary or reasonable so you may be responsible for additional miles or fees associated with a long distance tow.

This is where your planning comes into play. You would want to weigh the cost and benefits of have it repaired locally or transporting the vehicle back home. If the repairs may take longer than the scheduled amount of time out of town you want to include such costs as (returning to the location, fuel, loss of income, lodging etc…) If you are considering having your vehicle transported home for repairs consider companies that specialize in this rather than a towing service. In most cases it is more economical having the vehicle transported home than returning to retrieve the vehicle from the out of town location and expenses associated.

They are called accidents for a reason, they happen and are not something we plan on. But they do not have ruin a trip or vacation if you have a plan to handle this situation should an incident occur.

Make this a Part of your Trip Planning: What to do if you need your vehicle towed and you are out of state

If you are on your way out of town or on vacation. You may want to make a plan for if something happens to your car while you are out of town whether an accident or having car problems that make your vehicle not drivable. There are few questions your will want to make sure you can answer so as to not let an event like this ruin your trip.

Does my insurance company cover towing? What would you do if you were unable to drive your vehicle and were in another state? Would you rent a car? Would you have the vehicle repaired locally or towed home for repairs?

The above questions are answered two fold, you can consult your policy or agent to answer some of these questions and for some you will need a plan.
You can find out on your insurance policy if you have rental. One thing you may want to make sure if that you have rental limits that cover a rental comparable to what you are driving. For example, if you are driving a minivan, make sure your rental limits are not only adequate for a sedan.
Auto Policies do typically cover a tow if a vehicle is disabled due to an accident. However, it generally covers only a reasonable tow, which is considered by most insurance companies to be up to 50 miles. However, 200 miles is not customary or reasonable so you may be responsible for additional miles or fees associated with a long distance tow.

This is where your planning comes into play. You would want to weigh the cost and benefits of have it repaired locally or transporting the vehicle back home. If the repairs may take longer than the scheduled amount of time out of town you want to include such costs as (returning to the location, fuel, loss of income, lodging etc…) If you are considering having your vehicle transported home for repairs consider companies that specialize in this rather than a towing service. In most cases it is more economical having the vehicle transported home than returning to retrieve the vehicle from the out of town location and expenses associated.

They are called accidents for a reason, they happen and are not something we plan on. But they do not have ruin a trip or vacation if you have a plan to handle this situation should an incident occur.

How to Offset some of the Insurance Costs of Adding a New Driver

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Parents of young drivers know all to well the costs around getting a new driver on the road. Due to inexperience and increased numebr of driving mistakes when starting, insuring these drivers with their new found driving freedom  are costly.

So there are a few things you can do to set up your insurance rates to be as low as possible for this scenario.

Good Student- Most insurance companies offer a discount to students with a cetain grad point average or ranked in a certain percentage of their class. To get this discount most will require school transcripts or report card.

Choose the right car– If the young driver is going to have his/her own vehicle. Choose a car with high safety ratings, not a flashy sports car. This will keep the teen driver safe as well as save on premium.

Driver Training Courses- Many insurance carriers offer discounts for drivers both teen as well as adults who take defensive driving and other driver safety courses.

Low Mileage Options- This one is not just specifically for new drivers, but can help with this as well. Most young drivers do not put mileage of a commute on the vehicle the driver. Track or limit mileage usage to find out if low mileage can be assigned to their vehicle to trim down rates.

Add to Your Policy- Young drivers, both teens and college age, generally receive better rates if added to their parents policy and not separate.

Stress Being a good driver- Lead by example and stress the importance of distraction-free driving. Set ground rules of behaviors that are and are not allowed in their vehicle. Good driving not only ensures their safety but also keeps premiums from sky rocketing due to driving mistakes.

Although these discounts may not completely offset the costs, they can help take the sting out of adding the new driver your policy. Keep these things in mind if you have or will soon have a new driver on your policy.

 

Buckle Up!

Buckling up on every ride is one of the most important things you can do for family safety and in the car, the most important thing you can do.

Also as important as buckling up is making sure everyone in the car is buckled up properly.

Children: 

  • Babies, Infants and toddlers should stay in rear facing and forward facing car seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight limits. For rear facing this is normally under 2 years of age. Forward facing car seats are generally for children age 2-4, but this all depends on recommended height and weight. Check into this, do not simply move your child to a booster because the child turned 4. Sometimes they can still be too small. Also check directions on each car seat for proper installation into the vehicle.
  • When transitioning from the booster to the seat belt, make sure to complete the SAFETY BELT FIT TEST. Be sure your child is ready by using this test. Your child’s kneews should bend at the edge of the seat with backs and bottoms against the vehicle seat back. The vehicle strap should fit across upper thighs and the shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest.
  • Kids using seatbelts begins normally between 8-12. Again this depends on height and weight.
  • Kids are considered VIP-so kids should keep the back seat until they are 13.

Parent/Adults: 

  • When adults wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts. So set am example to buckle up on every ride.
  • Make sure everyone is buckled up and the kids have on bother the shoulder and lap belts.
  • Make sure children are sitting upright as is makes a huge difference for safety.
  • Seat belts can the difference between life and death for everyone in the car, so buckle up!

 

10 Costliest States for Auto and Homeowner’s Insurance

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Ever wondered the most expensive places to live and insure your home and autos? The National Association of Insurance Commissioners(NAIC) have conduced studies in both these categories and come up with a list of the top 10 costliest places to insure your home or auto which will be listed below.

AUTO- NAIC calculated average premiums from actuarial data  and several categories for claims with associated payout. The national average was $927.58 and all 10 of these states come in above that number.

HOME- NAIC also looked at this from homeowners insurance. There are a few components that go into this one. Some are real estate values, construction costs and the state of the economy. Of course, exposure to catastrophic losses are a big factor on this one. The average premium for homeowners is $ 1,034.

Now for the list, Autos will be list first, followed by homeowners states with the highest premiums.

10 Costliest States for Auto Insurance Premiums: 

10. Maryland, Average premium: $1,056.71

9. Connecticut, Average premium: $1,082.05

8. Delaware, Average premium: $1,153.59

7. Michigan, Average premium: $1,171.94

6. Rhode Island, Average premium: $1,176.01

5. Florida, Average premium: $1,196.02

4. New York, Average premium: $1,273.27

3. Louisiana, Average premium: $1,275.10

2. Washington D.C., Average premium: $1,289.49

1. New Jersey, Average premium: $1,334.54

10 Costliest States for Homeowners Insurance Premiums:

10. New York, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,158

9. Connecticut, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,160

8. Kansas, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,213

7. Rhode Island, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,233

6. Alabama, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,248

5. Mississippi, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,314

4. Oklahoma, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,501

3. Texas, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,551

2. Louisiana, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,742

1. Florida, Average homeowners annual premium: $2,084