People tend to not understand, or not think about Umbrella Insurance…until they need it…It’s worth a quick read of this post…

Umbrella insurance is one of the most-commonly misunderstood types of insurance. Because it’s a bit difficult to understand and surrounded by myths, too many businesses go without it and regret it later. Let’s take a closer look at what umbrella insurance is, and settle some common misconceptions about it.

MYTH #1: It’s Basically A Bunch of Insurances Combined.

This is the most common misunderstanding about umbrella insurance. It’s not just a mishmash of combined insurance types. It’s actually an extension – additional coverage purchased beyond your existing plans of any kind. All commercial general liability policies max out at a certain dollar value. If you hit that limit due to an expensive lawsuit, you’ll be on the hook for additional costs unless you have an umbrella policy with a higher coverage level. Say, for example, that a customer is severely injured on your property when she slips and falls through a glass display case. She sues for $2 million in medical costs, legal fees, and lost wages – and she wins. If your commerical general liability policy maxes out at $1 million and you don’t have an umbrella policy, you’re responsible for the remaining $1 million.

MYTH #2: Your Existing Policy is Plenty of Coverage.

As the example above shows, your existing policy might be enough, or it might not be. It completely depends on the situation.[…]

This line of thinking has been around since car insurance was invented…it’s time to shed light on this topic, and bust this myth for good… Conventional wisdom usually dictates that, all else being equal, women pay less for car insurance premiums than men because they’re inherently safer drivers. To be sure, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms that male drivers cause 6.1 million accidents annually, while women are at fault in 4.4 million crashes per year. Yet women are actually more likely to pay higher rates than their male counterparts, according to research just completed by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), an association of more than 250 non-profit consumer groups. […]

Not Texting is a Start, but There’s More to Safe Driving

Many people have a limited definition of “distracted driving”: They think it only means texting behind the wheel.

There’s good reason for that, because texting requires visual, manual and cognitive attention – the same attention required for safe driving. But although texting is perhaps the most dangerous distraction, there are many others that can impact how you drive, whether you realize it or not. And they can be just as deadly.

How deadly? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2014 more than 400,000 people were injured in crashes caused by distracted drivers – with more than 3,000 killed.

Here are just a few of the things that can distract drivers on the road:

  • Talking on the phone, even with a hands-free device.
  • Eating or drinking.
  • Talking to passengers.
  • Grooming (yes, there really are people who apply makeup or shave on their way to work).
  • Reading, including maps.
  • Adjusting the stereo.

Younger drivers are the most distracted of all – according to the government’s distraction.gov website, people in their 20s make up 38% of drivers who were using cell phones before a fatal crash, and 10% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted, too.

With distractions more prevalent than ever – more than 150 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. every month, for example – how can you, and those you love, be safer behind the wheel? Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t use the phone: This includes texting as well as talking, unless it’s an emergency. Even hands-free conversations can take your attention off the road.
  • Eat before you leave, or after you get there: Scarfing down that burger with one hand on the wheel means your focus is divided – and you probably don’t have as much control over your car as you should. Bonus benefit: Keeping your meals and your driving separate means you’re much less likely to get ketchup on your pants.
  • Know where you’re going: Nobody likes to be lost. But messing around with your car’s GPS (or the maps app on your smartphone) while you’re moving can lead to something you’ll hate even more – an accident.
  • Talk to your family about safe driving: Having a conversation with your spouse as they’re driving home? That’s a perfect opportunity to say, “I’ll let you focus on the road; we can talk when you get here.” And if you have young drivers in the household, be sure to have a conversation about their phones and other potential issues, such as their passengers – a key distraction for teens.
  • Watch for other distracted drivers: Just because you aren’t distracted doesn’t mean that other drivers are focused on safe driving. Stay in control and be vigilant – you’ll be ready to react when someone else makes the wrong move.

Distracted driving isn’t just “one of those things” that happens, like a tire blowout or mechanical failure that isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s 100% preventable – and by committing to avoiding distractions while you drive, you’ll help make the road safer for everyone.

As a busy homeowner, it is easy to fall into the trap of pushing off tasks that maintain the long-term value of your home in favor of more pressing problems. That’s OK, to a point, as certain house-cleaning projects should be in the “long-term maintenance” category. But putting them on hold for too long can have disastrous results. As with so many things in life, preventive maintenance can save a lot of future effort and cost in your home, too.

We’ve put together the following checklist of cleaning projects that can save you headaches – and money – down the line. If it seems like more than you want to handle on your own, though, consider booking a professional cleaner with All Set, where finding a trusted provider is easy.* You can make the most of your free time, while they work through these tasks:

  1. Keep up with general cleaning: Giving the entire house a light cleaning every couple of weeks goes a long way toward preventing unwanted build-up. Dust and grime accumulate gradually and can permanently impact the sheen of hardwood and the sparkle of bathroom fixtures. Clutter and smaller messes also often disguise spills, leaks, and stains. Over time, these can set and become more difficult to remove.
  2. Replace air filters: If your heating or air-conditioning system relies on vents or an intake with an air filter, make sure you know the proper replacement schedule. Extending an air filter past its useful life not only lowers your air quality, it also can force your air conditioner or furnace to work harder, leading to more frequent breakdowns.
  3. Clean the dishwasher: The appliance we rely on so heavily to clean up after us needs to be cleaned itself every now and then! Its ability to operate effectively decreases between cleanings, and the longer you wait, the more likely it is to malfunction. A number of moving parts in dishwashers can easily get stuck when they are covered in food or soap residue, which can result in a less-than-appetizing smell that might even transfer to your dishes. For optimal results, periodically remove the filter system from the floor of your dishwasher and clean it off. Then run the dishwasher with white vinegar to remove build-up, stains, and odors.
  4. Make sure drains are clear: A visit from the plumber is guaranteed to be expensive, so we recommend doing everything you can to limit build-up in your drains and toilets. Avoid putting coffee grounds or grease down your sink drains, purchase a drain cover to catch hair in the shower and use a slightly less-luxurious toilet paper to avoid clogs. At the first sign of a clog, use baking soda, dish soap, or store-bought drain cleaner on trouble spots.
  5. Have your carpets cleaned: Heavily-trafficked areas should be professionally cleaned at least once or twice per year, depending on where you live and how conscientious you are about removing your shoes at the door. This will revitalize your carpets, and can prolong their lifespan, too. And whenever a spill occurs, react quickly! Just one noticeable stain can ruin a beautiful carpet. If you’re stumped, search online for a solution – there are an endless number of step-by-step guides to address every conceivable spill.
  6. Check for leaks: Water damage can be one of the most significant (and expensive) repairs a homeowner can face – and it’s tough to spot before it’s too late. Proactively checking areas around bathtubs and sinks will help along with keeping an eye on walls and ceilings for discolorations as well. If a ceiling becomes discolored, investigate what could be causing the stain before giving it a fresh coat of paint.

Think back to when you purchased your home. You probably visited an open house where the fixtures sparkled, the floors gleamed, and the paint looked fresh. Following the checklist above can help you get that new-home feel again, while maintaining your home’s value as well.

The insurance industry has seen dramatic changes in the past few decades. Choosing insurance has become a complex task, especially when it comes to ever-evolving issues like employment law, cyber liability, and professional liability.

The right insurance advisor makes all the difference. An experienced advisor can explain complicated subjects and provide first-hand examples of situations they’ve seen. Instead of just shrugging your shoulders and taking a shot in the dark, you can pinpoint a perfect policy that fits your company’s needs.

SEE ALSO: 5 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent About Umbrella Coverage

Licensed and Educated

A good insurance advisor is fully licensed in their state and has an educational background in insurance. Reputable insurance companies check their employees’ credentials as part of the hiring process. If you’re concerned about an advisor’s qualifications, you can always search them at finra.org, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority that regulates advisors, brokers, and agents.

Stays on the Cutting Edge

Good advisors also stay up to date on the industry’s latest laws and trends. When health care regulations change, they know the latest information. When a major court case sets a new precedent in employment law, the advisor is on top of it. They should alert you to new issues that might affect your coverage selections.

Goes Beyond Cost

Any advisor can give you a menu of insurance costs. A great advisor goes beyond premiums alone, explaining the details of coverage. They make apples-to-apples comparisons, which is essential. They explain why the cheapest option isn’t the best option in most situations: it leaves you exposed to risk.

Your advisor is your risk manager. If they’re willing to let you be exposed to lots of risk for the sake of saving a little money, you have to wonder whether you can truly trust them.

Looks to the Long Term

If an advisor seems too pushy, as if they can’t wait to get your signature on the documents, they might not have your best interests at heart. A good advisor allows you to take time to review your options.

They also keep an eye on the long-term picture for your business. If you’re a new startup, they should be asking about your goals for the future. If you’re nearing retirement, they should know how your plans will impact your business. And the advisor should stay in contact with you, encouraging policy reviews along the way.

SEE ALSO: You’re An Expert In Your Business, You Need Experts For Your Professional Services…

Personality Fit

Your advisor should also be a good personality fit for you. If you don’t enjoy interacting with them, you might inadvertently neglect your insurance coverage just to avoid them. Finding the right advisor personality is a combination of individual tastes and finding the right kind of professional.

For example, if you are price-sensitive and want to see lots of choices, you might mesh well with an independent advisor. These agents aren’t tied down to a certain insurance provider and can offer plans from many different sources. They’re predisposed to gathering lots of competitive bids and giving you the power of choice.

If you’re ready to choose a new advisor, click here to get a free quote from Cherokee Insurance Center, LLC and an agent will reach out to you soon.

Reprinted with permission from Links Insurance.

We’ve all been driving along, minding our own business when a rock the size of a melon comes flying like a targeted asteroid and smacks right into your windshield, leaving a chip or crack in your car’s visor and ruining your day.

In reality, that rock probably wasn’t all that big, but driving at speed certainly makes the scene more dramatic. What’s not to be taken lightly is that mark on your windshield. Cracks and chips in your window may not seem like a big deal, but they impact your visibility and are a safety hazard.

If you’re left with a serious imperfection on your windshield, it may be tempting to just ignore it or look around it to save time and money, but leaving the crack or chip and driving around with it is not an option.

“Cracks and chips often grow longer or wider if not repaired or replaced,” explains Debra Levy, president of the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC). Not only that, but it’s also unsafe.

“The [cracked] glass may be compromised and the windshield is part of the safety system of the vehicle,” she explains.

Can it be fixed?

windshield-crack-tips

There are two main solutions to dealing with a broken windshield. You can either fill a crack if it’s small enough, or you can replace the whole windshield. The latter is the more expensive option, while the former is for smaller imperfections. It’s like dealing with serious body damage or chipped paint, but your windshield is much more important in terms of your safety than your car’s paint is.

“Whether or not a break can be repaired, rather than replacing the glass, depends on a number of factors including type of break, location of break and amount of time the glass has been broken,” Levy says. But what’s important is that it gets fixed soon, as Levy explained that cracks and chips can grow longer or wider if not repaired or replaced.

The decision to repair a crack or chip can be easy to make depending on the size of it.

“The Repair of Laminated Auto Glass Standard allows repair of cracks 14 inches or less,” she explains, so cracks that are larger than that will need a complete replacement of glass. Obviously, the ability to repair such big cracks or chips is dependent on the skills of the auto glass technician you’re using. Most one or two inch chips are commonly dealt with, but again, it depends on what your tech says is possible.

“Certain insurers also limit the length of damage they will pay for.” That should help the decision.

Some quick research shows that certain types of cracks and chips just can’t be repaired. For example, if the damage extends from the exterior pane of glass and penetrates the interior, it’s too deep to be repaired. Chips on corners or tight spots are often too difficult to repair too, so count those out. If a chip or crack has spread after the initial damage, that’s a clear sign the glass needs to be replaced. Also take into consideration things like temperature sensors, radio antennaes and other high-tech goodies that can be embedded into your windshield that can affect whether the glass can be repaired and increase the cost of a replacement.

What’s involved with fixing or replacing a windshield?

A crack or chip repair takes about 30 to 40 minutes and is performed by injecting a clear resin into it. When it hardens, the resin helps restore the integrity and smooth look of the glass. The resin is then polished and cured by UV light. If done properly, the chip or crack won’t be able to spread any further.

Replacing a glass is a bit more of an involved process. After prepping the body of the car to prevent any damage, technicians will remove the windshield from the car. The seals and adhesives are also removed, and a primer is used on the bare frame, so a new glue and sealant can applied for the replacement glass. The new windshield is then fitted and bonded to the car. After the glass is fitted, most auto shops encourage a 60-minute wait time so that the windshield is properly attached to the car.

Trust

Like dealing with an independent mechanic, one of the biggest worries with autoglass repair is having a trustworthy technician. Fortunately, the ASGC has a website where you can find certified and qualified technicians in your area. “[To] choose a company that does the work properly, just go to the AGSC site safewindshields.org and put in your ZIP code.” says Levy. A handy search tool, these companies should be able to help you feel satisfied with your decision to fix or replace your windshield, and understand the importance of doing so.

Reprinted with permission from AutoGuide.com