5 Most Stolen Vehicles

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While new technologies have made car thefts decline some in recent years it is still a crime that is prevalent. Nation Insurance Crime Bureau(NICB) warns that car thieves have updated their methods with new technologies.  Smart keys, stolen identities for car loans and switching id numbers on vehicles are a few of these ways. Here is the list the NICB put on of most frequently stolen vehicles of 2014.

5. Toyota Camry, Number stolen in 2014: 14,605.

4. Chevrolet Pickup (full size),Number stolen in 2014: 23,196.

3. Ford Pickup (full size), Number stolen in 2014: 28,680 thefts.

2. Honda Civic, Number stolen in 2014: 43,936.

1. Honda Accord, Number stolen in 2014: 51,290 thefts

Do you need to purchase a damage waiver for a rental car?

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Rented a car lately? Did they push you to purchase the damage waiver(in house insurance) on your rental? What exactly are they offering? Provides coverage if the rental car is damaged or stolen.

But do you need this waiver that costs additionally per day?

Possibly not…. if you have full coverage on your personal auto policy. If you have full coverage on any of your vehicles(meaning there is collision and comprehensive available) that coverage can apply to the rental car. If this coverage does not apply to any vehicles on your personal policy the waiver may be something to consider.

As always, if you have any questions about this be sure to give your agent a call and they can answer any questions regarding getting a rental and applicable coverages on your personal policy.

8 Ways to Avoid Backover Accidents

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With the warm weather more people are out and about which means more children are playing in driveways and streets. Back over accidents typically occur  when a vehicle is backing out of a driveway or parking spaces and backs into a child without seeing him or her.

  1. Be sure children are properly supervised when in areas where vehicles could be moving.
  2. Be aware of small children -the smaller the child the less likely you are to see him or her.
  3. Teach kids not to play around vehicles. Ever.
  4. Walk around vehicles to make sure a child or any of his or her toys are around before backing.
  5. Lock vehicles so kids cannot get into vehicles and put the vehicle into gear.
  6. Check surroundings and assume children are around
  7. When backing do so very SLOWLY with windows down so you can hear sounds and if any kids could potentially be around. Check and double check as kids can dart behind vehicle and there are also in blind spots while backing.
  8. Do not rely solely on back up detection and camera devices in vehicles as they do not take the place of personal observation and walk-arounds to make sure there are no kids around before backing.

10 Most Expensive Cars to Insure in 2016

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We get it, owning a sports car is fun…who hasn’t dreamed of driving a car with lots of horsepower? It all sounds good but the insurance premium on that dream could hold a pretty steep price tag.

Many factors go into premiums including price of the vehicle and price of repairs, both of which are high on these models. Insure.com and Quadrant Information Services have calculated average premiums with six large carriers and in 10 zip codes in all states. These factors are estimated and could differ within your state and with your personal information.

Here it the list of most expensive cars to insured in 2016:

10. Porsche 911 Careera GT3 RS, Average annual premium: $3,212
9. Audi RS7 Quattro Prestige, Average annual premium: $3,229
8. LandRover Range Rover SV Autobiography Black LWP, Average annual premium: $3,245
7. BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Average annual premium: $3,309
6. Nissan GT-R Nismo, Average annual premium: $3,476
5. Porsche Panamera S Executive, Average annual premium: $3,484
4. Mercedes S63 AMG 4Matic, Average annual premium: $3,513
3. Mercedes S600 BI-T, Average annual premium: $3,539
2. Mercedes SL65 AMG, Average annual premium: $3,797
1. Dodge GT Viper, Average annual premium: $4,048

 

10 Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure in 2016

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It’s that time of year again…time to find out from the Insurance Information Institute what the top ten least expensive cars to insure in 2016 are. This is based on such factors as car value, close of repairs and safety ratings of the cars.

Insure.com with Quadrant Information Services calculated the average 2016 auto premiums for these vehicles across the states factoring the the top 10 zip codes per state.

10. Nissan Frontier S King Cab Pickup, Average annual premium: $1,204

9. Jeep Cherokee Sport Utility 2WD, Average annual premium: $1,203

8. Buick Encore Sport Tour 2WD, Average annual premium: $1,200

7. Ford Escape S 2WD, Average annual premium: $1,194

6. Jeep Compass Sport 2WD, Average annual premium: $1,190

5. Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD, Average annual premium: $1,181

4. Jeep Patriot Sport 2WD, Average annual premium: $1,180

3. Dodge Grand Caravan AVP 2WD, Average annual premium: $1,174

2. Honda CR-V LX, Average annual premium: $1,170

1. Honda Odyssey LX, Average annual premium: $1,113

Risk Management- Best Practices Insurance Companies Look for that Lead to Fewer Claims and Lower Premiums

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There is more to an agent to client relationship that just offering and providing coverage. Insurance companies look for certain processes, plans and measures in place to prevent claims. An agent partners with you on this process of risk management, if proper process are in place to mitigate risks, less claims happen and lower premiums occur. By learning what insurance companies look for and areas that can be properly managed for potential risks you can benefit your business as well as provide safety and enjoyment to all involved.

Here are a few areas and tips to get a head started on the process of Risk Management:

Physical Surroundings

  • A few housekeeping items: Good indicators in your office are cleanliness, storage and well maintained office equipment. A neat and orderly premises implies pride of ownership and that the location is being managed properly.This also cuts down on workplace accidents due to untidy work conditions. Surveillance cameras outdoors at large offices can also be a good safety measure to review if any incidents do occur.

Office Indicators

  • Employee Selection: Completing background checks,new hire orientation, and proper screening are assessed to insure that employees receive ongoing training for job specific skills and safety measures. This is specifically true of drivers that could be added to the company policy, often MVRs will be run and insurance eligibility will be completed regardless. Proper hiring, recruitment and training processes are important to the risk management process.
  • Accounting:Make sure everything is up to date. Reviewing financial statements,keeping detailed and accurate records, tax forms and control systems are important. Make sure all data is fact checked and matched on all records..also make sure the company is candid on finances and easy to track for audit purposes.
  • Building Security: Is there a burglar alarm, is the building sprinklered, is all equipment properly maintained?…These are some questions you can ask about your building safety. Security protocols may be necessary if there is child care in the facility such as check in procedures for the entrance. Also, are there emergency protocols for fire, weather or medical emergencies and are these practiced with employees? Some things to think about in terms of building security.
  • Incident reporting: Make sure there is a plan in place for this. Additionally, make sure management and staff know how to initiate and report accordingly.

These are just a few ways to get a head start on the process of risk management and the benefits in work environment and insurance credits to lower premiums. For more information and consultation on this, please contact your agent.

ATM Safety

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ATMs are a great convenience. But they can compromise safety and require some awareness and planning. Most ATM robberies occur at night between 8pm and midnight.

Tips to make this process a little safer:

  • Try to limit your use to daylight hours especially if it is walk-up ATM.
  • Try not to go alone and scan the area to make sure there are no suspicious persons standing nearby or sitting in a car. (Robbers often approach from the rear of the driver’s side)
  • If the lights around the machine are not working, do not use the ATM.
  • Remove your card and cash quickly. Memorize your PIN number so that you cannot lose  or have the sheet taken from you.
  • Do not wear expensive jewelry or bring valuables so as to make you a target.
  • Do not count the cash at the machine or in public, wait until you are in the car.
  • Avoid ATM’s on corners that create blind spots or have a lot of shrubbery.
  • If you are approached by an assailant who demand the money, comply.

 

Photo Credit: TaxCredits.net

Internet Safety for Kids and Teens

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Parents, we know that it can be nerve wracking letting your kids and teens on the internet. By letting your kids in on some basic safety tips it can go a long way in giving you peace of mind as your kids navigate the internet. With the  internet being a great resource for finding information, doing school work and general use it is important that your kids and teens have this available, however, it’s important to be aware of potential dangers. Kids should definitely go over these and/or parents should be passing this along….

Here are some tips specifically for kids and teens to remember when surfing the net…

  • Do not give out personal information without your parent’s permission(address, phone number,etc..)
  • Have a conversation with your parents before you post pictures of yourself or others online
  • Do not share your passwords with anyone(even your best friend) other than your parents
  • Make sure to not go onto any chat rooms
  • Let your parents know if you receive any messages or come across any content you are not comfortable with. Don’t talk to strangers
  • Don’t agree to meet anyone in person that you have met online
  • Do not download or install anything without your parents’ permission
  • Use privacy settings on any social media sites

 

6 Term Life Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

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There are several types of life insurance to choose from. Life insurance is a very important coverage to have for you and your family. This particular blog will discuss Term Life insurance and more specifically some things to think of and avoid when you are purchasing this coverage. Also remember that you can call WTM and talk to someone at any time about life insurance if you have any question.

Here are some things to avoid when looking at and for your  Term Life Insurance Policy.

  1. Not the right limit to income ratio-When you are looking at the limit you need to think big… Ten to twelve times your income especially on the primary source of income to the family. this coveraged needs to take care spouse kids, and household for a long time if something happens to you. They need plenty of coverage to allow time and life style maintenance until they can figure hot the next step. But don’t forget to get coverage for both souses even if one is a stay at home parent.
  2. You ain’t getting any younger-  The longer you wait , you leave your family vulnerable to if something happens to you. Also, insurance premiums for the same coverage go up as you age. So buying sooner rather than later is a money saver. Even if you are young unmarried and no kids…it is not too soon to think about life insurance. In fact, that is when you can lock in a cheap rate for 30 years and make sure everything is taken care of for the future.
  3. Not enough time on your policy- Make sure you select a length of time that gets your kids moved out. What if you try and save a few bucks, get a 10 year policy, develop some medical issues that increase your premium later. it would be worth to pay a little extra premium than face a large increase later, Not to mention the amount it will naturally go up with age. That scenario would cost you even more in the long run.
  4. Health Concerns-  Tobacco use will on average double the cost of your policy. The rate will be better if you do not. However, if you do then it will be even more important that you comparison shop as some companies rate it differently than others.
  5. Policy Cancellation before you obtain a new one-Term Life insurance rates have come down making it worthwhile in some cases to switch. Just make sure that you do not cancel your existing one before the new one is in force.
  6. Not reviewing your Life policy occasionally- It is always a good idea to review this coverage and make sure you have exactly what you need for your current situation. What was good 10 years ago might not work for you now. Maybe you had a baby, bought a house, quit smoking, got a raise at work or other health improvements. These life changing events could lower your rates or require more coverage. Talk to your agent about this.

Photo Credit: www.SeniorLiving.Org,Ken Teegardin

Tips to Avoid Senior Scams

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Here are some types of scams that are specifically targeted to the senior population and can be common. But if you are aware you can be forewarned about some of the scams out there to avoid.

Mail- This can be a common method and can be solved with “if it sounds to good to be true, it is” These direct mailers often say that something is free or almost free(i.e. cruises, lottery etc..) The best policy is to ignore these or read the fine print. If you are not sure, consulting a trusted second opinion would be wise.

Medicare Cards- Callers claiming represent various government agencies tell seniors that their Medicare or Medicaid cars must be replaced. This is to target their personal information for identity theft. Y0u can check with Medicare online or at 1-800-MEDICARE to check the source.

Telemarketing- Telemarketing scams on land lines are numerous. And for seniors can range anywhere from medicare cards, charities(that aren’t) contests and others like this. Other telemarketers can also call acting like they know you and ask for financial help. To cut back on this problems you can reduce these calls bay registering with the federal government’s “Do Not Call Registry” online or by calling 1-88-382-1222.

Information- avoid disclosing personal or financial information to avoid scams. As discussed above this can be in forms or phone, mail or email. For example, calls saying there is a problem with your bank or credit card info. Fake governmental calls, the actual IRS does not need proof of income because they can access your records. So avoid giving bank or personal info such as social security numbers.

Direct Deposit- If you receive checks on a regular basis (social security,disability,stock dividends etc…) set up to have these checks automatically deposited directly into your bank account. This will help mail  and identity theft,