Could You Still Pass Driver's Ed Today?

Posted by Alex Boyer on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

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If you had to take a driving test again today, would you pass? Our friends at Travelers Insurance have set up a fun quiz for you to take to see if you would still pass a driver's ed course today. Head on over to travelers.com to check it out! (And good luck!)

And don't forget to contact your E & K Insurance agent with any questions about your auto insurance coverage!

Tags: auto insurance, Teen Driving, driving, Car insurance

How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Posted by Alex Boyer on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

It's hurricane season, so we have some tips and information to get you prepared, courtesy of our friends at Travelers Insurance.

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Your level of preparation before a hurricane can determine how well you weather the storm and how quickly you recover from it. You should start preparing your home, inside and out, long before a storm is in the forecast. In the end, you can never be too prepared when it comes to protecting your loved ones and your property from extreme weather events such as hurricanes.

Know the Forecast

You may hear the terms "hurricane watch" and "hurricane warning" in your local forecast. Understanding the difference between them is essential to helping you prepare for a hurricane. As soon as a hurricane watch or warning is forecast for your area, it is important, depending on the type of alert, to immediately begin or complete your preparations.

A watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours. You should begin to stock up on emergency supplies in the event a warning is issued. If you live in a coastal area, you also should be prepared to evacuate.

A warning is more serious. Hurricane-force winds (74 mph or higher) are expected to hit your area within 36 hours. You should seek shelter or evacuate, if notified to do so.

General Hurricane Preparation Tips

  • Prepare a survival kit that includes items such as water and non-perishable food for everyone, including your pets; medications; a portable radio; flashlights; batteries; and battery chargers for your cell phones and other portable electronic devices, which can be powered by your car.
  • Plan your evacuation route and leave as soon as an evacuation order is issued. Also, fuel up your car before you leave.
  • Build a content inventory of the items in your home or at your business.
  • Secure all outdoor objects or move them inside. Close your home’s storm shutters and board up windows and glass doors as appropriate.
  • If possible, bring in gas or charcoal grills, but do not use them indoors. Also, do not store propane tanks inside the house or garage. Chain propane tanks in an upright position to a secure object away from your home.
  • Secure your boat or move it to a safer place.
  • Fill your emergency generator fuel tank, if you have one, and have spare fuel on hand. Store generator fuel in an approved container in a garage or shed, away from open flames, heat sources and appliances such as natural gas appliances.

Five Tips to Help Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

1. Help Avoid Water Damage

Heavy rains have the potential to cause significant water damage. These tips can help you prepare your home.

  • Closing and locking all windows and doors and removing any window air conditioners.
  • Removing valuable items from your basement or elevating them off of the floor.
  • Clearing debris from exterior drains and gutters.
  • Repairing damaged gutters and downspouts to make sure water can drain away from your foundation.
  • Checking your sump pump and the battery backup to confirm they are working properly.

2. Monitor Your Trees

In a powerful windstorm, trees can be a hazard. Broken limbs or fallen trees – even uprooted shrubbery – could damage your home and fences, or your neighbor's property.

Routinely maintain the trees around your home:

  • Prune tree limbs within 10 feet of your home.
  • Check for cracking or splitting in trees.
  • Remove dead limbs and weakened trees.

3. Roofs, Doors, Windows and Skylights

It is important to keep wall openings, such as doors, windows and skylights protected. The roof, doors and windows of your house are especially vulnerable to wind damage. When houses are exposed to hurricane force winds, roofs are most susceptible to damage, followed by walls and openings such as skylights.

Strengthen doors and windows by:

4. Secure Outdoor Items

If you live in an area that experiences high winds, outdoor items around your property that are not properly anchored can become airborne and cause damage.

  • If high winds are expected in your area, move as many outdoor items indoors well before the high winds arrive. As mentioned earlier, do not store propane tanks in your home or garage.
  • Adequately secure any remaining outdoor items that cannot be safely moved to protected areas.

5. Strengthen Your Exterior Structure

During a windstorm, wind forces are carried from the roof down to the exterior walls and then to the foundation. Homes can be damaged when wind and wind-driven water gets under the building’s exterior walls if proper controls are not in place.

Strengthen exteriors by employing a contractor to:

 

To read more about prevention tips and storm preparedness, visit travelers.com.

Tags: Hurricane preparation, Homeowner Insurance, E&K Insurance, Safe, Insurance, safety, Homeowners insurance, prepare, storm damage

Some Insurance Issues Concerning Your Children

Posted by Alex Boyer on Tue, Aug 04, 2015

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Driving Your Teenager's Car

"Our child has no assets, why worry about liability limits?”

Auto insurance is expensive and many parents are looking for ways to save money. While putting your teenager on a separate policy with lower liability limits may seem to be a good answer, it can create several problems.

  1. If you occasionally drive your teenager’s car, in the event of an accident you would be covered with their lower liability limit, not the higher limit that you have chosen to protect your assets. Your child’s car would be considered “available for your regular use” and, therefore, excluded from your policy.
  2. If your teenager maintains the proper liability limits on their policy, your personal umbrella (excess liability) policy can be written to protect your child above their own policy liability limits. Please call E & K to make sure coverage is properly coordinated among your household members’ policies.

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Income Continuation & Expense Coverages

“Are they ever going to leave the nest! ???”

Your personal auto policy provides Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”). In addition to the basic medical portion of this coverage, additional PIP is available to cover Income Continuation, Essential Services, Death and Funeral Expense Benefits. Typically, an auto policy provides these coverages for the named insured and spouse. What about the kids? Income continuation may not seem a big deal while they are students, but many are not leaving the nest when the college years are over. Often, adult children are living in your household, on your auto policy, and working full time. They can be included for additional PIP (for a premium charge), and be afforded the same financial protection you have purchased for yourself. Also, this may be a good time to discuss life insurance with your adult children.

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Your Child’s Belongings at School

“Is my child insured while away at school?”

Your child’s temporary residence while at school is covered, regardless of it being a dorm room or an apartment. The key word is temporary. Your student must maintain permanent residence in your home to be considered an insured. The policy provides 10% of your contents limit for personal property at another residence.

Tags: E&K Insurance, Insurance, auto insurance, Teen Driving, driving, umbrella policy, umbrella liability coverage, Car insurance, injury, coverage, personal insurance