Betters Insurancehttps://bettersinsurance.com Reliable, Affordable InsuranceThu, 26 Nov 2020 19:44:06 +0000en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3https://bettersinsurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/better-insurance-favicon-80x80.pngBetters Insurancehttps://bettersinsurance.com 3232How to Understand Cyber Liability Termshttps://bettersinsurance.com/how-to-understand-cyber-liability-terms/ https://bettersinsurance.com/how-to-understand-cyber-liability-terms/#respondMon, 16 Nov 2020 21:31:20 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13109Cyber Liability Terms Decoded For You How to Understand Cyber Liability Terms: The cyber-world is a complicated place to navigate today. You can remove some uncertainty by getting Cyber Liability Insurance. To get the most beneficial cover for you or your business, you must first understand why you need it and what you are purchasing.

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Cyber Liability Terms Decoded For You

How to Understand Cyber Liability Terms: The cyber-world is a complicated place to navigate today. You can remove some uncertainty by getting Cyber Liability Insurance. To get the most beneficial cover for you or your business, you must first understand why you need it and what you are purchasing. To help you do so, we have put together some of the common terms associated with cyber liability.

Liability:

Liability means that you are legally responsible for something. In the case of insurance, that ‘something’ is financial responsibility.

Cyber liability:

Cyber liability refers to the responsibility you or your business has in the cyber world. This responsibility can extend to cyber property, data breach fall-out, technology E&O, copyright infringement, and abuse of online privilege. Cyber liability insurance covers damage received by an organization as a result of a cyber-attack or certain risks associated with the storage and use of your cyber property.

Cyber property:

Cyber property is a term given to the things you or your business own in the cyber world. These things could be email addresses, websites, stored data, and/or your network. Just like your physical property can be damaged by water, fire, and unforeseen accidents; your cyber property can be damaged too. This damage can occur in the form of a cyber-attack or technology E&O. You carry car and home insurance, why shouldn’t you carry cyber liability insurance too? To find out how Betters Agency can help you cover all of your property, contact us here.

Data breach:

A data breach occurs when someone has illegally gained access to and stolen data from your business. This type of data is usually gained for reprehensible purposes and can include things like theft of social security numbers, medical records, passwords, bank account information, and home addresses. As a business or individual, you are responsible (liable) for the safety of your client’s or third-party’s data.

Data breach notification laws:

Data breach notification laws are exactly that. When your company has a data breach, you are bound by law to notify your clients or third-party entities whose information has been stolen. Each state has its own period for the notification from the time of breach detection. Read up on your state’s breach notification legislature to find out the information that pertains to your business.

Technology E&O:

Technology Errors and Omissions are situations where a client or third-party entity suffers a loss because of a technical error or software oversight made by your business. For example, a client stores their organization’s data on your data storage service, your storage service malfunctions, and their data is lost. Therefore, you are now liable due to technical E&O.

Intellectual property:

Intellectual property refers to both the written word and media. Everything on the internet is in the public domain and people across the world have access to it. Whether written word or media, the intellectual property belongs to the person or organization who created it unless otherwise stated. To use someone else’s intellectual property without crediting them with recognition, in the case of research, or paying copyright fees, in the case of illegal music downloads, is unlawful and can open you up to being sued for copyright infringement. Certain companies let you pay a fee for use of their property such as PowToon, whereas others provide free use of their property such as Wikimedia. Make sure you stay on the right side of the law when using material on the internet.

Now that you understand the core principles of what Cyber Liability is, go to our article on Cyber Liability Insurance, and see how we can make your cyber experience BETTER.

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What is water backup coverage and why is it important?https://bettersinsurance.com/what-is-water-backup-coverage-and-why-is-it-important/ https://bettersinsurance.com/what-is-water-backup-coverage-and-why-is-it-important/#respondWed, 21 Oct 2020 19:05:04 +0000https://bettersagency.com/insurance/?p=12816Water damage can be disastrous to your home. Imagine discovering that your entire basement is filled with brown water and sewage from a backed-up water main or other pipe. It’s not only disgusting and potentially dangerous, it’s also expensive. On average, most water backup claims cost $5,000-$10,000 to repair. Water backup coverage is optional coverage

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Water damage can be disastrous to your home. Imagine discovering that your entire basement is filled with brown water and sewage from a backed-up water main or other pipe. It’s not only disgusting and potentially dangerous, it’s also expensive. On average, most water backup claims cost $5,000-$10,000 to repair.

Water backup coverage is optional coverage that can be added to your existing homeowners policy for this type of situation. But since many homeowners policies either don’t cover water backups, or only offer limited protection, it’s worth learning more about this valuable and affordable option. Because you don’t want to find out you’re underinsured after you experience a water backup issue.

The amount of coverage you’ll need depends on several factors including:

  • Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement.
  • The size of your basement.
  • The type of flooring in your basement (carpet, vinyl, hardwood, etc.).
  • The type of wall material in your basement (drywall, paneling, etc.).
  • Whether your basement has a bathroom.
  • Whether you have a washer, dryer, or heating and cooling system in your basement.

Once we have this information, we can offer a quote for either adding the option or increasing your amount of water backup coverage. And the good news is this coverage is inexpensive. You can get quality coverage for less than $25 per month. To discuss your current homeowners policy with an expert, contact us today.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.

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How to Update your Home — Without Spending Thousandshttps://bettersinsurance.com/how-to-update-your-home-without-spending-thousands/ https://bettersinsurance.com/how-to-update-your-home-without-spending-thousands/#respondMon, 21 Sep 2020 19:20:38 +0000https://bettersagency.com/insurance/?p=12818It doesn’t take a massive remodel, or a big budget, to make your house feel a little more like home to you. Inside or out, small improvements can make a significant difference — and whether you’re handy or not, you can handle most of them yourself. Don’t believe it? Just check out our list of

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It doesn’t take a massive remodel, or a big budget, to make your house feel a little more like home to you. Inside or out, small improvements can make a significant difference — and whether you’re handy or not, you can handle most of them yourself.

Don’t believe it? Just check out our list of ideas below, from various home-improvement sites and authorities such as “This Old House.” And some of them won’t even cost you a thing, aside from time and effort.

Inside Improvements

  • Paint something, anything: Whether you want a new color, or just a fresh coat, new paint can work wonders inside your home — and don’t think you have to limit yourself to the walls! You can paint your kitchen’s backsplash for a new look, or even old vinyl flooring to make it look like stone tile.
  • Dress up your old furniture: That couch has seen better days, but instead of taking it to the dump, give it new life with a slipcover — or have the whole thing reupholstered. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.
  • Change up your rugs: Area rugs are a great way to add color throughout your home. Replace old ones with new colors and patterns, or put a few down in new places. You could even buy extras in different styles and swap them out regularly for a fresh look.
  • Light things up: Installing LED lighting strips under your cabinets isn’t expensive, and they provide more than light — they can give your kitchen a polished, upscale feel. Another option: Replace lamps (or even just lamp shades) or overhead lighting to change the look of a room dramatically.
  • Switch out those switch covers: Have basic or cheap-looking covers surrounding light switches and power outlets? This is one of the easiest updates you can make — new covers will give you a real bang for your buck in terms of visual impact.
  • Don’t spend a thing: For a truly different feel, rearrange the furniture in a room; it’s free and effective. And if you’ve got clutter around the house (and who doesn’t?), simply putting things away can make a big difference.

Outside Improvements

  • More paint, please: No, you don’t have to paint your entire exterior to have an impact. You can touch up trim, paint or stain fences and decks, and for maximum impact, repaint your doors! A bright new look for your front door can really make things pop.
  • Add plants: No room for a garden? Don’t want to dig up the yard? No problem! Adding container plants on your porch or deck is a great way to enhance your home’s appearance. They don’t cost much and can be swapped out easily, too.
  • Go by the numbers: When’s the last time you looked at your house numbers? If they’re worn or dated, this is an easy and inexpensive fix.
  • Knock knock: A fancy (or even not-so-fancy) door-knocker can really dress up your front door. An updated doorbell can be a nice touch, too.

Tackling just one or two of these easy updates likely will leave you wondering why you waited so long! And most of them can be done for well under $100 — but we won’t tell your guests if you don’t.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.

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What to Consider When Choosing Auto Insurancehttps://bettersinsurance.com/what-to-consider-when-choosing-auto-insurance/ https://bettersinsurance.com/what-to-consider-when-choosing-auto-insurance/#respondFri, 21 Aug 2020 19:22:08 +0000https://bettersagency.com/insurance/?p=12820Carrying a minimum amount of auto insurance is required by state laws, so you can’t legally drive without it. Yet while the minimum amount keeps your premiums lower, it can also put you at great risk if you have an accident. And after an accident is not the time to find out you’re underinsured. When

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Carrying a minimum amount of auto insurance is required by state laws, so you can’t legally drive without it. Yet while the minimum amount keeps your premiums lower, it can also put you at great risk if you have an accident. And after an accident is not the time to find out you’re underinsured.

When considering the amount and type of coverage you need, remember that numbers can be deceiving. For instance, carrying $100,000 of liability coverage may sound like a lot, and it is. But even that much likely won’t cover medical costs if you’re involved in an accident that causes serious injury, especially if multiple people are involved. When you consider medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional distress, and residual pain and scarring, $100,000 doesn’t go very far. And without enough insurance, you would be required to pay the difference between your liability limits and actual costs of an accident.

The following are some important things to consider when shopping for auto insurance.

  • Cost isn’t everything. Don’t approach auto coverage like a commodity in which cost is the only factor. The amount you carry should be based on your lifestyle, earnings, how much and where you drive, your overall risk exposure, and other factors.
  • Personalize your search. We strongly suggest talking with an independent insurance agent about your personal risk exposure. This helps ensure you get the most appropriate coverage for your life and your budget, and it gives you a chance to ask an agent specific questions.
  • Physical damage vs. liability. Physical damage coverage helps pay for repairs to your car following an accident or loss. Comprehensive physical damage coverage goes even further by covering damage to your vehicle that does not result from a car accident, such as if a tree falls on it. Liability coverage pays medical bills and property damage you may be held responsible for if you cause an accident that injures another person or damages their property.When deciding which option is best for you, consider your budget, financial assets, and risk exposure and select the highest limits you can afford. This helps reduce your risk of having to pay for any costs above your limits in case of accident or liability.
  • Uninsured and underinsured coverage. Some states require drivers to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to pay damages you are entitled to if damages exceed the at-fault driver’s limits. Even if it is not required where you live, adding it to your policy can maximize your protection for a relatively low cost.

Coverage Options

Understanding different policy options can help you get the best combination of coverage, value, and cost. The following are a few common, and valuable, options to consider.

  • Loan/lease gap coverage. With this optional coverage, if the unpaid loan or lease amount exceeds the value of your car after an accident, your insurance policy will help cover the unpaid amount on the loan or lease minus what your car is actually worth today. If you were in an accident without this coverage, you would be responsible for the difference between the actual cash value and the unpaid loan balance.
  • New car replacement. If you have a new car, you may not have enough coverage to get an equivalent vehicle if your new car is totaled. New car replacement coverage will pay either the purchase price to replace the vehicle, the cost of a similar new vehicle, or the market value of the vehicle.
  • Roadside assistance and emergency expenses. Having roadside assistance and emergency expense coverages ensures you can get a tow truck, battery jump-start, tire changes, or even labor should your car break down. Emergency assistance can cover transportation, lodging, and personal property coverage. Much better than being stuck on the side of the road!
  • Pet coverage. We understand that pets are family, too. Pet coverage will help pay for the veterinary expenses if your dog or cat is injured or killed in a collision.

Ask About Discounts

When talking with an independent agent or comparing insurance companies, be sure to ask about discounts. Some ways to save on your premiums include:

  • Maintain a safe driving record. Installing a device or app that tracks your miles, driving behavior, and the time of day you drive can all demonstrate that you are a safe driver and could result in a noticeable discount.
  • Own a home. You’ll save on premiums if you own your house.
  • Package your policies. You can get a discount when you bundle your home, auto, boat, motorcycle, or other policies with a single insurance company. Having just one bill is more convenient too.
  • Paid in full billing. By paying your bill at the start or renewal of the policy rather than monthly, you can reduce your premiums.

To learn more about getting the right coverage for your needs, give us a call today!

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.

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Summer Driving Tipshttps://bettersinsurance.com/summer-driving-tips/ https://bettersinsurance.com/summer-driving-tips/#respondTue, 21 Jul 2020 19:22:48 +0000https://bettersagency.com/insurance/?p=12823Summer’s here. The sun has come out of hiding, and people have, too. As crowds swell at the beaches, in parks, and even on roadways, it all makes for some challenging driving conditions. More people are out and about, whether on foot, bike, or skateboard, or by car, motorcycle, or RV, increasing the risk of

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Summer’s here. The sun has come out of hiding, and people have, too.

As crowds swell at the beaches, in parks, and even on roadways, it all makes for some challenging driving conditions. More people are out and about, whether on foot, bike, or skateboard, or by car, motorcycle, or RV, increasing the risk of an accident. And, the summer heat isn’t exactly kind to your vehicle.

Still, there’s no stopping the allure of a summer drive. To help keep yours safe, keep your attention on the road and on your surroundings, as well as on these safety tips.

Summertime Safety Behind the Wheel

Just like winter, summer has its own set of seasonal hazards that require your complete attention as a driver. Here are some to be particularly mindful of:

  • People: In your neighborhood, on city streets, in parking lots, and especially around parks, beaches, or any popular summer attraction, people are outdoors and often more focused on their enjoyment than on personal safety. Children are out of school and they might be playing in the street in a quiet neighborhood or chasing a basketball bouncing away from a driveway hoop. In summer, there is simply more human activity everywhere, and it’s up to you to slow down and stay alert.
  • Bikes and motorcycles: Bicyclists and motorcyclists are also more active in good weather. Pay attention and take extra care in areas that attract cyclists.
  • Glare: The sun’s glare is bright in summer, and even harsher when the sun is low and in your face. Have your sunglasses handy if you’re not already wearing them, and be ready to flip down the visor so you don’t spend even a second driving while blinded by the glare.
  • Roadway obstacles: A busy roadway is no place for a sofa. But, with scores of people completing summer moves, you might just encounter one. Keep an eye out for roadway obstacles and plan as far ahead as possible on how to safely maneuver around them. Thunderstorms and tropical storms can further clutter the roads with debris, tree limbs, or even downed power lines.
  • Heatstroke: Finally, don’t forget the dangers of summer parking. Children and pets left in parked cars are vulnerable to injury or even death from heatstroke. At an outside air temperature of 60 degrees, a car’s interior temperature can reach 110 degrees, which is a lethal level for children, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Rolling down car windows does not provide sufficient cooling, so don’t be tempted to leave children or pets for even a minute. It can be lethal—and in many states illegal—to leave children and pets alone. To help keep your car cool for when you return, park in the shade or place a removable sunshade in the windshield.

Road Trip Safety

A road trip with family and friends can make a memorable summer for both the right and the wrong reasons. Make it the right reasons with some careful planning and driving. There will be plenty of time for fun once you reach the campground, resort, or cabin.

  • Inspect your ride: Have a mechanic give your car, bike, or RV a full inspection before you go. Be especially mindful of coolant and oil levels to help protect your engine, and remember that tires often deflate with significant temperature changes, such as during the transition from spring to summer. If you have a bike carrier, car carrier, or trailer attached to your vehicle, be sure everything’s secure before taking off.
  • Pack your emergency supplies: We know space is at a premium when packing for a summer road trip, but don’t neglect to include some important necessities in case of emergency. This includes water, food, maps, first aid supplies, a tire pressure gauge and tire change kit, a flashlight, towels, and jumper cables. Be sure to keep your phone charged and gas tank full in case of trouble. And, don’t forget plenty of games, books, snacks, and activities to keep the passengers distracted—and to keep them from distracting you.
  • Plan your route: Map out how to reach your destination and how much time it will take to get there, and be sure to leave plenty of room for unexpected delays. Minimize those unexpected delays by checking the Department of Transportation websites of the states where you’ll be traveling for planned road work before you go.
  • Check your insurance coverage: Is your insurance ready to help out if you injure a pedestrian on your summer drive? What if you crash into a tree or run out of gas? If you’re not sure for what types of scenarios you’re covered, check in with us before heading out on your trip.
  • Take your time: Don’t get frustrated when unexpected delays—or fascinating roadside attractions—put you behind schedule. Keep to the speed limit, and don’t risk shortcuts that aren’t clearly marked. Take plenty of breaks to stretch your legs and rest your eyes while kids run off excess energy, and switch drivers when you’re drowsy.

There’s no better time to be on the road than when the sky’s clear and the sun’s shining. We wish you safe travels and a wonderful summer!

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.

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Why Today’s Homes Burn Fasterhttps://bettersinsurance.com/why-todays-homes-burn-faster/ https://bettersinsurance.com/why-todays-homes-burn-faster/#respondSun, 21 Jun 2020 19:23:53 +0000https://bettersagency.com/insurance/?p=12825From building materials to furnishings, many of the things in your home likely aren’t as flame-resistant as those from yesteryear. A fire in a modern home is a “perfect storm,” according to safety consulting and certification company UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Larger homes, more open layouts, new construction materials and other factors mean fires burn more

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From building materials to furnishings, many of the things in your home likely aren’t as flame-resistant as those from yesteryear.

A fire in a modern home is a “perfect storm,” according to safety consulting and certification company UL (Underwriters Laboratories).

Larger homes, more open layouts, new construction materials and other factors mean fires burn more quickly, leaving less time for occupants to escape — and for firefighters to stop the flames. How much less time? About 30 years ago, you had about 17 minutes to get out of the house once it caught fire. Today? Just three or four minutes.

A lot goes into creating that “perfect storm,” experts say. Here are some key factors:

  • Building materials. Particle board and other man-made materials, which are lighter and cheaper than natural wood, often are used to construct homes today. This leads to larger homes at a lower cost, but they also burn more quickly than homes built with solid wood, concrete or masonry.
  • More space — and more stuff. Fires can spread quickly in homes that are largely open, with high ceilings, etc. And homes that are bigger typically have more things in them — which means there’s more fuel for the fire.
  • Newer stuff. The old days of couches, carpets, etc., made from all-natural materials are long gone. That’s great news for durability and price, but it’s not great for limiting fires. Though many modern furnishings are excellent at resisting smoldering (such as if a cigarette is dropped), once they actually catch fire, they burn very quickly.

What can you do? Well, unless you’re having a house built or doing an extensive remodel, you can’t really change the materials used to construct your home. However, there are a few things you should do immediately to help keep you and your family safe, no matter where you live:

  • Make sure your smoke detectors are in working order.
  • Create an escape plan for you and your family.
  • Place fire extinguishers on each level of your home, as well as in the garage.

To learn more about fire safety, check out these tips from the American Red Cross. Because the best fire protection of all is preventing one from starting in the first place!

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.

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7 Driving Habits That Are Bad for Your Carhttps://bettersinsurance.com/7-driving-habits-that-are-bad-for-your-car/ https://bettersinsurance.com/7-driving-habits-that-are-bad-for-your-car/#respondThu, 21 May 2020 19:24:53 +0000https://bettersagency.com/insurance/?p=12827No matter how safe you are behind the wheel, you’ve probably done things like: Shift into drive while the car is still rolling backward. Ride the brakes on steep hills. Roll into the gas station on empty. Guilty? If so, you may not have even realized you were doing anything wrong. After all, most everybody

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No matter how safe you are behind the wheel, you’ve probably done things like:
  • Shift into drive while the car is still rolling backward.
  • Ride the brakes on steep hills.
  • Roll into the gas station on empty.

Guilty? If so, you may not have even realized you were doing anything wrong. After all, most everybody has a bad driving habit or two. But, most everybody doesn’t have to pay for your auto repairs. You do.

So, take a look at these seven driving habits that are bad for your car, and learn why you should avoid them. It may be time to change the way you drive!

  1. Running on empty. You might enjoy living on the edge, but driving around without much gas can put your car’s fuel pump on edge, too. That won’t necessarily ruin your car, but having to replace your fuel pump probably will hurt your checkbook. Keep your tank at least a quarter full.
  2. Shifting too soon. If you have an automatic transmission, it’s easy to pop the car into drive while it’s still rolling in reverse. Don’t! Unless you want to put additional stress on your transmission, that is. Come to a stop, then shift.
  3. Braking too much. Following other cars too closely can wear your brakes and rotors out more quickly, because you’ll probably have to use them more than other drivers. (Of course, you should maintain an adequate following distance for safety reasons, too.) But, even in situations where braking seems unavoidable, such as going down a steep hill, you have another option: Shifting into a lower gear will slow you down without riding the brakes.
  4. Gunning it. Maybe you drive a fast car. Or, maybe you want to feel like you drive a fast car. Whatever kind of car you have, punching the gas from a stop can be hard on it, and even more so if the car is cold and the oil hasn’t fully dispersed throughout the engine. Those fast starts mean faster wear on your tires, too.
  5. Forgetting the parking brake. Do you know what holds your car in park? One small piece of metal in the transmission. Not using the parking brake puts more stress on that bit of metal. So, use it.
  6. Packing on the pounds. Just like with your body, extra weight puts stress on several different areas of your car. So, clean out that trunk and remove unnecessary items from the interior. Your suspension, brakes and transmission will thank you. Thanks to better gas mileage, your bank account will, too.
  7. Holding down the clutch. Have a manual transmission? Keep the car in neutral at intersections so you don’t need to press the clutch until you’re ready to roll. Riding the clutch is a great way to burn it out eventually.

Even if you don’t do anything on this list, you’re still not out of the woods. (But you’re probably closer than most of us.) Keep your ears and eyes open for strange noises, warning lights or anything out of the ordinary — and don’t ignore them. Inspect the issue, or get your car to a mechanic, before it becomes a bigger problem.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.

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Heavy Rain? Be on the Lookout for Heavy Damagehttps://bettersinsurance.com/heavy-rain-be-on-the-lookout-for-heavy-damage/ https://bettersinsurance.com/heavy-rain-be-on-the-lookout-for-heavy-damage/#respondTue, 21 Apr 2020 19:25:50 +0000https://bettersagency.com/insurance/?p=12829Your home protects you from the elements, but heavy rains can weaken that protection. With a little maintenance and a lot of vigilance, it’s not hard to stay safe and dry. Spring rainstorms are a fact of life in many areas of the country, and they help keep things green, even if they keep you

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Your home protects you from the elements, but heavy rains can weaken that protection. With a little maintenance and a lot of vigilance, it’s not hard to stay safe and dry.

Spring rainstorms are a fact of life in many areas of the country, and they help keep things green, even if they keep you inside. But when they get heavy, it’s time to start thinking about the potential impact all that water has on your home. The first step is finding and fixing any immediate problems as soon as it’s safe to do so. Then, you’ll want to take measures to prevent those problems from happening during the next downpour!

Where is all that rain going?
Your roof and gutters form a key line of defense for your home – and in a storm, they’re vulnerable, because so many things can damage them. Trees, hail, and other objects can create weaknesses that might lead to leaks in your roof, so check for missing shingles and other issues. And keep your gutters clear so all that water drains properly.

Are you checking everywhere?
Water dripping from the ceiling is hard to miss. Water in your crawl space, however, can easily go undetected because hardly anyone ever checks there. Don’t forget to look down there after a storm (or have a professional do it) to make sure everything is nice and dry. If you do see moisture, you’ll want to get it out with a sump pump as soon as possible.

And don’t just look up – another place to check is your home’s exterior, whether it’s siding, brick, or another material. Weak spots can be hard to see, so look at various times of the day in different lighting conditions.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed to keep the elements out, too.

What about around your property?
Storm water has to go somewhere, and if your property doesn’t drain well, or if runoff goes toward your foundation, you could have problems. So watch for patterns, and grade property so it drains away from your home if possible. Always be wary of hillsides and tilting trees after heavy storms, because the land might not be stable.

And don’t forget to keep storm drains clear of leaves and other debris. This can prevent flooding both on the streets and your own property.

What should you do during the storm?
During powerful storms, stay inside. This is not the time to check your roof, your exterior, or your property unless there’s an emergency and you know it’s safe to go out. Monitor your interior, making sure no water is getting in. If it is, do what you can to alleviate the situation in the moment, even if it means just placing something under a leak to collect the water. For more serious problems, though, remember that safety is the most important thing. If your basement is flooding, for example, don’t go down there – you could be trapped and even drown.

Thankfully, powerful storms only hit once in a while. Preparing for them, however, should be on your mind a lot more frequently, because the next one could be tomorrow.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.

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How to Avoid Animal-Vehicle Collisionshttps://bettersinsurance.com/how-to-avoid-animal-vehicle-collisions/ https://bettersinsurance.com/how-to-avoid-animal-vehicle-collisions/#respondTue, 31 Mar 2020 19:26:53 +0000https://bettersagency.com/insurance/?p=12831About 2 million times every year, animals and cars collide on U.S. roadways — often causing serious and even fatal injuries to drivers and passengers, along with about $1 billion in damage, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And, these collisions spike in the fall and winter, thanks to migration and mating patterns, as

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About 2 million times every year, animals and cars collide on U.S. roadways — often causing serious and even fatal injuries to drivers and passengers, along with about $1 billion in damage, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And, these collisions spike in the fall and winter, thanks to migration and mating patterns, as well as reduced visibility caused by shorter days and weather conditions.

As random as these collisions might seem, there are things you can do to improve your chances of avoiding one.

Tips to Help You Avoid Wildlife on the Road

Keep these tips in mind when you’re behind the wheel:

  • Be especially careful at dusk and dawn: Not only are these active times for large animals to be out and about, but visibility is decreased as well. And, remember, animal vision is very different from ours. While deer see well in low-light situations, headlights can completely blind them.
  • Watch for signs, too: Areas with a lot of wildlife, or where frequent incidents have occurred, often have posted warning signs. Don’t disregard them. Watch your speed and be hyper-alert.
  • Expect more than one: Did you just see a deer? Don’t relax quite yet, even though you didn’t hit it — there likely are more in the area.
  • Stay calm: If an animal is in the roadway, try not to swerve wildly. You could hit something else, such as another car, or end up in a more dangerous situation than you were before. Hit the brakes and the horn, and make safe maneuvers whenever possible.

What to Do After an Animal-Vehicle Collision

Even if you drive with the utmost caution and follow the tips above, an animal-vehicle collision may still happen. Follow these guidelines if you ever do hit an animal:

  • Call 911 immediately: If there are any injuries to you or your passengers, call for aid as soon as possible. But, even if everyone is OK, police can help deal with traffic issues and removing the animal.
  • Do not touch the animal: Even a harmless-looking deer can cause significant injury, especially if it is frightened. And, if you hit something even more dangerous, such as a bear (it happens!), stay in the car. Often, they can withstand being hit by a vehicle.
  • Document the damage: Once any injuries are treated, take photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage, if it’s safe to do so, and write down details. Get information from witnesses and file a police report, if necessary. This will help when it comes time to file an insurance claim.
  • Talk to your insurance company: Animal-related claims are typically covered under comprehensive coverage. Your insurance agent or carrier can help you determine your options after an accident, but it’s a great idea to learn more about your coverage before you need to use it.

Remember, stay alert, avoid distractions, wear your seatbelt and watch your speed. If you’re already a safe driver, you’re probably already doing these things. And, if you’re not, well, there’s no better time to start! Your fellow drivers (and your local animals) will thank you.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.

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COVID-19 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWhttps://bettersinsurance.com/covid-19-what-you-need-to-know/ https://bettersinsurance.com/covid-19-what-you-need-to-know/#respondSat, 21 Mar 2020 19:27:51 +0000https://bettersagency.com/insurance/?p=12833This is an unprecedented and challenging time for not just Americans but all people around the globe, there are virtually no unaffected areas. We wanted to take a moment to recognize how challenging this situation is for our clients, friends, family and the business owners we work with. Our mos important asset is our relationships

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This is an unprecedented and challenging time for not just Americans but all people around the globe, there are virtually no unaffected areas.

We wanted to take a moment to recognize how challenging this situation is for our clients, friends, family and the business owners we work with. Our mos important asset is our relationships built with these folks, we want to do everything in our power to help you be safe in these trying times.

Please take a moment to review them and above all if there is ANYTHING we can do to help please call us!

We prepared these 5 facts around COVID-19 (CDC.GOV).

  1. Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.
    Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can cause people to avoid or reject others even though they are not at risk for spreading the virus.
  2. For most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.
    Older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  3. Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
    For up-to-date information, visit CDC’s coronavirus disease situation summary page
  4. There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  5. You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath

    Seek medical advice if you

    • Develop symptoms

    AND

    • Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

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