Halloween is a scary holiday, but even the goriest costumes or darkest haunted houses aren’t as scary as the risks insureds need to protect themselves against, such as fire, distracted driving, vandalism and theft.
According to claims data from New York City-based Travelers Insurance, on average there are 24 percent more crime-related claims on Halloween than any other day of the year. Of those claims, 19 percent are related to vandalism and “malicious mischief,” 21 percent are off-premises theft (personal items such as a GPS or laptop left in a vehicle) and 60 percent are on-premises thefts.
Below are a few precautions homeowners can take to prevent having a claim this Halloween.
1. Watch out for trick-or-treaters: Be cautious while driving, as trick-or-treaters populate the streets at night. It’s important to avoid distractions and drive at a safe pace, especially while in populated neighborhoods with people out and about.
2. Stay alert when trick-or-treating: Like drivers, it’s important to stay alert when walking from house to house with trick-or-treaters. Encourage customers to talk to children about the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street. Trick-or-treaters should also carry a flashlight, wear reflective clothing if possible and avoid approaching homes that are dark.
3. Don’t make your home welcoming to thieves: To help prevent theft, homeowners shouldn’t let homes appear unoccupied. Homeowners should leave the lights and/or TV on in the home to give the impression that someone is there. Another tip is to let neighbors who may be home know the homeowners will be away, asking them to key an eye on the place. Homeowners should also avoid leaving spare keys anywhere outside the home.
4. Check your coverage and be prepared: In the even that there is a theft, encourage homeowners to be prepared. Homeowners should make sure they have the right type and amount of insurance coverage. Creating a home inventory can speed up the claim process.
5. Avoid fire hazards: Pumpkin carving might be a tradition, but using candles can be a major fire hazard. When it comes to decorating, use lights and other electrical decorations that have been tested for safety. Look for a certification mark from UL, CSA, ETL or another nationally recognized laboratory. Never staple, nail through or fasten electrical wires or extension cords and plug all outdoor lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters to help reduce the risk of electric shock.
6. Consider property risks: Homeowners should check the outside of their home to identify and minimize potential dangers, especially those difficult to see after dark. For example, check to make sure temporary extension cords are secured to avoid becoming a tripping hazard and walking surfaces are even, clear of debris and well lit.
7. Don’t let your haunted house come back to haunt you: Charging for admission for a haunted house can be considered a business activity. Let insureds know they should consult with their agent or insurance company representative to ensure they have the proper insurance coverage.
Why Discount Car Insurance May Cost a Lot More Than You Think
We all have a lot of demands on our wallets: Mortgages or rents, car payments, lessons for the kids, phone bills – and on and on. So, when it comes time to buy car insurance, it’s little wonder why so many people want to keep their costs down.
However, buying cheap car insurance – or minimal car insurance – today can set you up for a big financial hit tomorrow. Here are three hidden costs of cheap car insurance you’ll want to avoid:
- Paying out of pocket to cover your own injuries and vehicle repairs. Most states require you to carry liability insurance for property damage and bodily injury you may cause to others. And, that’s just it: The coverage is for other people’s repair bills and medical expenses, not your own. If you’re at fault for an accident, and you have chosen a liability-only policy, none of your own expenses related to the accident will be covered. You’ll have to cover them on your own. So, think twice before buying only enough car insurance to meet your state’s requirements. Yes, it will be cheaper than buying a more robust policy, but you’ll lack any coverage for yourself.
- Having your wages garnished to make up for inadequate liability coverage. Imagine you hit another car and the driver sustains a pretty bad head injury from the crash. She has to stay in the hospital for a week, and it looks like she is going to have some long term medical needs. A judge awards her a settlement of $150,000 for medical bills, mental and emotional anguish and loss of quality of life. Your auto liability limits, however, are exhausted at $50,000, so the judge garnishes your wages. You’ll have to hand over 40 percent of your income until the remaining $100,000 is paid. All of a sudden you don’t have enough money to meet your regular expenses, and you still have to address the damage to her vehicle and yours, too.
- Being denied coverage when you lend your car to a friend. Most carriers provide coverage for you, any listed household members who have access to your vehicle and any relatives or friends you allow to borrow your vehicle(s) occasionally. But, your discount auto policy may not. Such a policy may limit coverage only to you, the person named on the policy. If someone else is driving your car and causes an accident, you won’t receive any coverage for the incident. No coverage to help repair your vehicle, and no coverage to help pay for any damage or injuries that others involved in the accident sustain. You’ll have to pay it all out-of-pocket.
I know it’s tempting to determine what you can afford to pay for car insurance and then find a policy to match. But, as these examples illustrate, saving in the short term may actually cost you more in the long run. So, talk to your independent insurance agent before you settle for an auto policy that leaves you open to risk. Your independent agent can help you balance coverage and price to a point that feels comfortable to you.
About Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871. Since 1922, Fire Prevention week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9th falls.
This year's Fire Prevention Week Campaign, "Don't Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years," represents the final of a three-year effort to educate the public about basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety.
The NFPA's (National Fire Protection Association) data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced.
As a result of these findings, NFPA is addressing smoke alarm replacement this year with a focus on these key messages:
- Smoke alarms should be REPLACED every 10 years
- Make sure you know how old ALL the smoke alarms are in your home
- To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.
Click here for more answers to some frequently asked questions about replacing your smoke alarms.
Paschall Insurance Group, LLC
Licensed Sales Producer - Listing September 2016
Paschall Insurance Group, LLC is a fast growing, multi-line, independent insurance agency that serves both, commercial and personal lines clients in the State of Texas. Due to the continued growth of our client portfolio, we are in search of a high quality individual to join our current, top-notch team.
Solicit, interview and consult with potential clients.
Explain the features of various policies.
Provide customer service to new and existing clients.
Understand and utilize a paperless working environment.
Follow directives and implement new initiatives independently.
Hold an active license with the Texas Department of Insurance.
Prospecting, Service and Sales skills are mandatory.
Multi-tasking is required and professional behavior is a must.
Dependability, Integrity and a stable work history are required.
Will align with experience, prior work history and information obtained during the interview process.
Email current resume directly to:
Paul Paschall - firstname.lastname@example.org
1. You can only shop for car insurance when your current policy expires.
Many consumers don’t realize that they aren’t bound to their insurance coverage for the full term (ie – 6/12 months). The insured can cancel at anytime, for any reason.
2. Working with a direct company (i.e. the little green lizard) is always cheaper than going through a local agent.
While it’s true that direct companies save money on costs by not incurring agent commission fees, this does not necessarily mean the savings will be passed on to you. Many direct insurance carriers will use those savings to spend more on marketing their brand and product. Without the benefit of local agents marketing for them, direct carriers may need to spend a bit extra to create awareness for their brand. In addition, pricing algorithms of car insurance policies are extremely dynamic and, as a result, there will be a large range in price for any single individual.
3. If your friend borrows your car, then your vehicle is not covered against damages.
In most cases, this is simply not true. Comprehensive and collision coverage will provide protection against any damages to your vehicle, regardless of the driver. However, if you explicitly excluded this friend from your auto insurance policy, then damages would not be covered.
4. Auto insurance rates automatically go down when you turn 25.
Age is an important variable in pricing models. Like any other variable in the pricing model, age is used to predict the likelihood that the insured will make a claim. While people under 25 are statistically more likely to get into an accident, each company handles the impact of age on the price of the policy differently. There is no hard and fast rule that once you turn 25, the price of your car insurance will decrease. Some carriers may offer a pricing break at 21, 23, or 30. There are a variety of other ways to receive discounts on your policy such as bundling a Homeowners or Renters policy with your auto coverage, paying your premium in full, or even choosing to receive paperless billing. It is important to check with each insurer on discounts you can qualify for when shopping for a new policy.
5. Comprehensive coverage covers theft of your vehicle and all items contained within.
Comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy only covers items physically attached to your vehicle. This may include your car stereo or GPS device if it is factory installed. For coverage on items contained in your car such as iPods, clothing, and compact discs you will need Homeowners or Renters coverage.