11 Things You Need To Pack for Your Holiday Roadtrip

screen-shot-2017-11-10-at-9-13-35-amAre you and your family hitting the road for the holidays this year? The holiday season brings joy but also involves a lot of preparation, especially with upcoming travel plans. Ease the stress and keep your family safe with our list of a few holiday travel essentials:

 

  • Identification. Always make sure to have a form of identification on hand. This can be your ID or passport. You want to make sure to have the proper form of identification so you can prove your identity, age and, if necessary, that you can legally operate a vehicle.  You should also make copies of your cards and leave a copy at home, and keep a copy in a place other than your wallet.   
  • Credit card. You may have already budgeted out your expenses for the trip, but unexpected purchases almost always pop up, so it is recommended to bring a credit card in case of an emergency.
  • Cash. Keep your cash in a place other than where you credit card is located, just in case of loss or theft.
  • Insurance documents. Keep your car and other personal insurance documents with you. Review your policies to make sure you know what is or isn’t covered, so you’re fully protected throughout your trip, for all activities.  Of course, if you will be driving, you should always be able to provide the necessary documentation.
  • First aid kit. If someone gets a small cut, has an ache or pain or needs some form of medicine and antibiotic, it is best if you can treat it right away rather than having to find a drugstore or make a (potentially expensive) trip to urgent care. Always keep a kit in your car so that you can alleviate a situation quickly and prevent making extra stops.
  • Cell phone and charger. Bring more than one charger, including a car charger and a spare battery pack (remember to charge it before you leave!)  to make sure your phone is never on the brink of dying. If you are staying at a hotel, let a select group of people you are close to know your accommodation details (address, on-site number, dates of your stay) just to be safe. If you tend to keep all of your contacts stored in your phone, make sure to write down the most important numbers and keep them somewhere easily accessible.
  • Hand sanitizer and paper towels. In case things get dirty or sticky, it is always a good idea to bring paper towels to clean up any spills, and hand sanitizer to keep everything clean and minimize germs.
  • Playlist of tunes and audio books.  Depending on where you and your family are traveling, the hours on the road can be long. See what CDs you can bring with you in the car or create a playlist on your phone with all of your favorite songs you can listen to to help the time go by faster. Books, journals or portable games will also help keep you busy!
  • GPS. Bring a GPS with you or use the GPS on your phone so you don’t get lost. To be even safer, look up directions to your destination the day before and print them off so that you have something to refer to in case your GPS malfunctions.
  • Snacks. You never know when you’ll be in a food “dead-zone.”  Bring some of your favorite, non-perishable snacks to munch on. This will help you not to make as many stops on the road. You and your family can also bring a cooler with drinks and pre-made sandwiches!

 

Before you hit the road, make sure to get your car tuned with an oil change, fresh fluids, full tires, and fix any maintenance concerns. We hope you have a safe trip wherever the holidays take you. We’re here if you need us! Just call 937-848-6181 to speak to your agent.

6 Scary Insurance Myths You Need To Know

It’s hard to know if a piece of information we hear is factual or not. When it comes to insurance, many people have fallen under the trap of believing a widely held but false idea, leaving them ill-prepared when something happens and they aren’t protected like they thought they would be. What are some of these myths? Here are six scary insurance myths you need to know:

insurance mythsMyth 1: Your home insurance policy automatically includes flood and earthquake insurance. Flood and earthquake coverage are not included with your standard insurance policy. For floods especially, a separate policy needs to be purchased. In most cases, homes in flood-prone areas are often required to have separate flood insurance because these types of natural disasters are generally too devastating/damaging to be covered by your homeowners policy.

Myth 2: Your homeowners or car insurance policy will cover your small business. Business liability and business equipment is not covered by homeowners insurance. If you are running (or considering running a home-based business), you must purchase a separate insurance policy for your business. Discuss this with your agent to ensure proper coverage.

Myth 3: You may be responsible if someone other than yourself, a friend or family member, wrecks your car.  When you let someone borrow or drive your car, you are also letting them borrow your insurance. If your car is involved in an accident, you may be responsible, even if someone else was driving. This means your insurance would cover the damage and it would go on your record. Before lending your car to anyone, check three things: check your policy or contact your agent to understand conditions and terms, make sure your friend or whoever drives your car has a valid driver’s license, and always make sure that your registration and insurance information are in your glove box.

Myth 4: You only need life insurance if you have children. Everyone needs life insurance. It helps cover the costs of funerals, bills, etc after death. It can also be used to leave money to a relative or your favorite charity. As you grow older, the cost of life insurance increases significantly and if you have a certain health issue(s), it will be difficult to be able to qualify for life insurance later in life. Make sure you have life insurance coverage, whether you have children or not.

Myth 5: Your insurance will cover you if your car is stolen, vandalized or damaged by falling tree limbs, hail, fire or flood. Standard liability protection will not cover these types of damage. You would need to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage, which are optional and will increase your premium, but having both coverages will help in fully protecting your vehicle from all types of damages.

Myth 6: You only need the minimum amount of auto liability insurance required by law. State laws require a minimum liability amount to be a legal driver; however, this will likely not be enough coverage in the event of an accident. In Ohio, the required minimum for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage is currently $25,000 per person injured in any one accident and $50,000 for all persons injured in any one accident. This can vary from state to state as well. In comparison to Ohio, the required minimum for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage in California is currently $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Accidents will often cost more than the minimum limits, so you will have to spend more money out-of-pocket for whatever has been lost or damaged.

Understanding these myths will help you become aware of some of the changes you may need to make in your insurance policies. Contact your agent at (937) 848-6181 to make sure you are covered and getting the most out of your coverage.

Behind the Wheel: Your New Teen Driver

TEEN DRIVERIt seems just like yesterday your child was pedaling around in a plastic two-seater “car”. Now they are begging you to get their learner’s permit!  When your teen is ready to get their license and start driving, there are many precautions you can take as a parent to ensure your teen’s safety. By properly insuring all drivers in your family, you can ensure their safety behind the wheel.  

While they are learning the rules of the road, you can educate yourself and start planning out the details of what it will be like to have a new driver on your insurance. Although proper coverage for a teen driver generally means higher rates, there are many ways to save money:

  • Insuring multiple vehicles: Having a multi-car discount is very common, especially for families who have more than one child of driving-age. If there are multiple vehicles on a single policy, a multi-car discount will generally be automatically applied.
  • Increasing deductible rates: The higher the deductible, the less risk the insurer will take, thus lowering the premium. Consumers can save close to 9% in premium costs if the deductible is raised from $500 to $1,000. Talk to your agent to learn about local-specific rates and discounts.
  • Teen discounts: Get your child involved! For many companies, if your teen driver gets good grades, they will provide a discount that can lower your insurance premiums. Also look into enrolling your teen in a safe-driving course, which insurance companies also reward with discounts.
  • Clean driving record: The fewer accidents or tickets you have, the more steady your insurance rates. Encourage your children to practice safe driving by not using their cellphones while driving or anything on that will distract them from being alert while driving.

Talk to your local agent to find out which discounts you qualify for when adding a new driver to your policy. Who doesn’t love safety while saving money? Start today!