Every year, what should be a fun outdoor occasion for family and friends instead turns into tragedy at nearly 9,000 homes, causing deaths, injuries and tens of millions in property damage. Your Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agents can remind you that fire damage and potential liability for injury to friends will be covered by your homeowners policy, but we'd much rather you sidle up to the picnic table than hunker down in the emergency room.
Gas grills represent the greatest risk by far, and are involved in more than 80% of all grilling fires. But all types of grills represent a danger if used incorrectly or carelessly. A few simple precautions, courtesy of the experts at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), may make the difference:
Like many entrepreneurs, you may have begun your catering business as the sole cook and bottle washer. But at some point, you will discover that going it alone not only impedes growth, but is a recipe for burnout and collapse. And you'll face the question of every successful catering business: How do I find and retain effective staff?
Location is one of the first decisions any caterer must face. Where will the prep work be done? Where will the cooking take place? Where will the food be served? All important questions when it comes to your risk.
Congratulations! Your name is the first that springs to mind when your family and friends think "great food." Your snacks are supreme, your deserts to die for and your specialities truly spectacular. In fact, you think it may be time to go all-out with your culinary creativity.
3 Things to Remember When Hosting a Kid's Birthday Party
Celebrating a child's birthday is a joyous occasion for family and friends. Parents strive to fulfill their children's wishes on their special day, but often, those wishes come with a hefty price tag.
Years ago, simple house parties with a cake and pińata were the norm. But today, many families take child parties to a whole new level, selecting elaborate venues and doling out expensive goodie bags. According to TodaysParent.com, hosting kids' parties at a venue or with entertainers tends to cost a few hundred dollars minimum. In addition to this financial investment, parents should understand their responsibilities and liabilities when hosting a birthday party for their child.
Typically, a homeowner does not pay a higher insurance premium if a gun is present in the home. But gun owners should take heed regarding extenuating factors. For example, if you own expensive or antique firearms, your policy may not cover their full value in the event that your home is destroyed or burglarized.
If an accidental gun discharge in your home injures or kills someone, you could find yourself facing a wrongful death lawsuit or something similar. If you lose the case, you could be responsible for paying monetary damages like attorney's fees, medical costs, and even loss of expected income. A minimum $100,000 policy is unlikely to cover all of these expenses, so it is important to speak to a Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agent as soon as you make the decision to purchase a gun to initiate any necessary changes to your policy.
Congratulations Class of 2015: Now It's Time to Graduate to Your Own Insurance!
It's a rite of passage for college students to don cap and gown and march across the stage for graduation ceremonies- in fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) almost 1.85 million students will graduate with a bachelor's degree in 2015. As those 1.85 million make the transition from undergraduates to careers, pursuit of advanced degrees or back into mom and dad's basement, it's critical that they understand how walking across the stage may have changed their insurance needs.
CONTEST DESCRIPTION: Twitter users who have purchased a new home between September 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015 can "Tweet" a photo of themselves, or family and friends, to the official Trusted Choice Twitter Account (@Trusted_Choice) to be eligible to win a $500 Visa gift card. Trusted Choice will notify the winner via Private Message on Twitter for confirmation and mailing information.
Did Your Grad Receive a BB Degree: 'Bachelor of Boomerang'?
College graduation! The pictures, the gown, the caps in the air, the world awaits!
Yet many recent graduates will find themselves awaiting that world after returning to live in their parents' home. Whether due to lifestyle changes, generational preferences or simply the economy, today's graduates often find themselves wondering how their parents' generation ever survived striking out on their own during and after college.
Those nostalgic times of "gone to look for America" via small apartments, shared houses, trailers or tents seem more fairy tale than reality to today's often student-loan laden graduates and young adults. And it is not just recent graduates that return. Often adult children who have previously established separate residences find themselves returning to the nest following economic trial, divorce or illness, sometimes with their children in tow. This phenomenon of adult children returning home to live has become so common it has garnered its own name: the boomerang generation.
Potholes got you down? We understand. After this past winter's severe weather, many motorists are experiencing costly vehicle damage from potholes. A survey conducted by Trusted ChoiceŽ and IIABA found that from 2009 to 2014 half of car owners experienced damage to their vehicles as a result of potholes. The survey also found that 31% of car owners who reported pothole damage to their vehicles filed a claim with their insurance company, but a surprising 65% of respondents who needed repairs said they (or a third party) paid out of pocket for the vehicle to be fixed.
You've seen the television shows and the excessive social media posts--some people are really racking up savings by using coupons when shopping. But while manufacturers and stores create coupons to provide discounts to consumers, some consumers are finding that the "savings" aren't adding up.
Own a Home-Based Business? Think 'Presidentially' When Considering Risks
No, we are not implying you fancy yourself the next Washington or Lincoln. But are you the proud owner or founder of one of the estimated 59% of established businesses in the United States that operate from a home? Then, even if your face doesn't appear on Mount Rushmore, for your business you are still the top dog, head cheese, or grand high poobah. So welcome to your month, Ms. or Mr. President!
But just as you realize that there are similarities to all businesses, wherever located, you also know there are often concerns, considerations and risks unique to a home-based environment. And your Trusted ChoiceŽ agent wants to remind you that designing proper protection encompassing both those common and unique risks requires ongoing communication and review of your current insurance and risk management programs.
Who says you need to be married to purchase a home? According to Bloomberg.com, single Americans make up more than half of the adult population--and many of them want to create their own version of the American Dream. Contacting a Trusted ChoiceŽ agent can be the key to success for single folks who are in the market to purchase a home, but here are some things to consider in the meantime.
2015 is just days away, and that means it's time to get your finances in order. Many people find it easy to begin the journey during the first week of January, but by March, bad habits begin to resurface.
Whether your personal kickoff celebration involves college or NFL football or a traditional launch into the upcoming year-end holidays, it's party time! And while for some folks the planning of the ultimate bacchanalian revel is the best part of "party," your Trusted ChoiceŽ agent reminds you to be sure safety is on the menu.
When the chill starts creeping in through the windows and doors, it's time to get ready for the big freeze. We've put together a quick and easy checklist, so you can prepare your home for the cold with confidence. Some of these items are regional. For instance, you probably won't need to insulate your pipes if you live in Southern California. But many of these apply to just about everyone. Act on the ones that are right for your home, and skip the ones that don't apply.
Are your kids this Halloween dreaming of Spiderman or Elsa, the Snow Queen of "Frozen"? Whether they want to be costumed princesses or saviors of the city, your kids are focused on the fun. But your Trusted ChoiceŽ agent knows that parents may be feeling the fear. From dangerous streets and potentially tampered candy to some crazy adult indulging an inner costumed fantasy, the sources of scary things aren't just goblins and ghouls.
Amusement Park Thrill Rides: How Safe Are They Really?
For many American children, summer vacation isn't complete without a visit to an amusement park or a stop at a local carnival. Some parents may worry, however, about just how safe their children are when they get on these rides. While carnivals tend to have the same standard rides each year, the established theme parks are working hard to outdo their competition by continually bringing in new and more daring rides. So, is your worry about your family's safety justified?
Just like every other bride or groom, you have a laundry list of things to do before the big day. Steak or chicken, seating charts and color choices are taking over your life! And while other couples are fighting for every weekend in May or June, you're relaxed and waiting for your fall wedding date to arrive.
Watering the lawn is something home owners do every day. It seems harmless enough. In fact, many people do it on autopilot, setting up sprinkler systems and timers to water automatically. But in rare cases, watering your lawn can cause major financial headaches.
Renting a Car or Bike? Be Sure Safety Goes Along for the Ride!
It's an absolutely beautiful summer day, and the forecast for the next few days is even better. Suddenly, renting a convertible for a leisurely drive down the coast or a trail bike for a ride in the countryside seems like the perfect answer for a short, but much needed getaway from everyday stress and strains.
Taking a Cruise? Insurance Can Be Your Life Preserver
Do your vacation plans this summer include sailing the sunny seas to remote climes? Onshore adventures featuring jeeps and zip lines? Driving golf balls into the ocean? Will your daily wardrobe range from a bathing suit at the pool to evening wear at a luxury night club? And all while never leaving your "hotel"?
You've picked out the table linen, found your dream venue, and figured out a way to seat all of your family members in one room without them strangling one another--it must be time for your wedding! Family conflicts included, as much as you plan, you can never predict everything that may or may not happen on the "big day".
If you're preparing to host your first pool party for little ones, you have a lot to think about. Before themes, decorations, food, and games, the first priority of every pool party host is the safety of the guests, especially the kids. Here you'll find tips and tricks compiled from The Red Cross, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and swim instruction experts, to keep little swimmers happy and safe in the water.
Even if you're housebound and only know about the outside world via TV (a frightening thought!), you know families have come a long way from "Ozzie and Harriet" to "Modern Family." Yet even the modern sitcom doesn't fully reflect today's society; remember, the couples in all three households are married, with children!
The sun is shining, the flowers are beginning to bloom, and the mop is waiting! Organizing closets, shampooing carpets, and cleaning out the garage are all important, but we have a few key items you should add--they will make your Trusted ChoiceŽ Independent Insurance agent proud!
It's almost spring, and for classic car enthusiasts across the U.S., that means car show season is upon us. Read on to find some tips and tricks for collector car maintenance, to get you to the show in style.
As the weather heats up, motorcycle enthusiasts across the U.S. prepare their bikes for the first ride of spring. Make sure your bike and your riding partner are ready to get back on the road again with the following motorcycle passenger tips and checklists.
You've heard about "green." You know it has to do with eco-friendly buildings, vehicles and systems. Now you're hearing more and more insurance companies touting "green" offerings. What does this mean to you?
How to Get the Biggest Tax Refund for Your Car Donation
There aren't many options available when it's time to part with a beloved (or hated) vehicle. You can trade it in, sell it to a dealer or private party, give it to a friend, or consider a car donation in exchange for a tax deduction.
Weekend Warrior: In like a Lion, Out on a Stretcher?
Ah, those first warm breezes of spring! Soon even the most devout winter couch potato's dreams turn from football on television to those long-harbored visions of a major landscaping project or exterior home refresh. It's not just baseball where spring hopes spring eternal!
Is it necessary to warm up your car? Conventional wisdom says that warming up your car is a must, especially on frigid days. Unfortunately for many American cars, this is one instance when conventional wisdom is just plain wrong.
No, we're not suggesting that Punxsutawney Phil has swapped his expertise in meteorology for a new career in loss prevention. As far as we know, Phil remains happily devoted to his annual February 2 prediction ritual, where, even after 121 years, his view (or not) of his shadow amazingly continues to predict the remaining days of winter.
It's snowing in much of the U.S., and that means snowmobile adventures for millions of enthusiasts. It can be dangerous to hit the trails and slopes in frigid weather, but with the right preparation and equipment, you can keep sledding risks to a minimum.
Unswerving Advice for Drivers: Steer Clear of Deer
Soaring deer populations and weather conditions during travel this season can be a dangerous combination for motorists -- especially uninsured ones. Animals, particularly deer, are a factor in many traffic accidents. Although most deer and other animal-related accidents do not involve human fatalities, they do contribute to insurance claims and auto damages each year.
It's that time of year when thousands do the math: New Year's resolution plus overeating holiday food equals gym membership. No doubt the annual membership offers have already begun arriving in your mailbox.
"Am I overpaying?" That's a question that every consumer asks from time to time. Everyone is curious and concerned as to whether he or she is getting a good value for the money, whether it's for a candy bar, a car or an airline ticket.
It's summer, and thoughts of Americans everywhere turn to water. Whether it's in the pool, on the lake, at the ocean or in the river, water draws people almost magnetically as the weather turns hot. In fact, swimming pool trade groups teamed up to make May "National Water Safety Month" in the United States to make consumers "water aware."
About one of four Americans buys jewelry, spending $2,000 per year on average, and industry experts expect jewelry sales to grow by at least 5% annually through 2025. Those who don't buy shiny things for Valentine's Day may prefer other types of valuables, such as electronics, artwork, antiques, wine and furs. All totaled, Valentine's Day gifts will tally approximately $17 billion of retail sales in 2008.
From playing ultimate Frisbee in the rain to pulling all-nighters hopped up on nothing but a 12-pack of energy drinks, college students don't always make the right decisions when it comes to their health. And breaking an arm during a mud-wrestling match can wipe out a student's entire savings if he doesn't have health insurance.
Oh how the times have changed. In 1950, eight in 10 households were occupied by married couples. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, that number declined to 51.7%; the balance being singles and couples living together who are not married. The former includes individuals who either live alone or with roommates; the latter encompasses both opposite and same-sex couples who consider themselves partners. It is the latter segment which now makes up approximately 10% of American households.
The biggest fire in the U.S. took place Oct. 8, 1872 in Peshtigo, Wis. The blaze burned 16 towns, killed 1,152 people, and burned 1.2 million acres, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Historical accounts of the fire say that it began when railroad workers unintentionally started a brush fire and within an hour there was nothing left of the town but ashes.
The most frequently asked question about life insurance is: Do I need it? The answer depends greatly on your situation. So, let's determine if you need it. Review these statements and check all that apply:
In the thick of an economic slump, many consumers aren't likely to have "buy life insurance" at the top of their to-do lists. Yet life insurance is indispensable. Parents and business owners--indeed, anyone who has people dependent on them financially either at home or at work--can benefit from the unique advantages of life insurance.
If you're like most Americans, your home is your largest investment, so you know how important it is to protect it. You probably take safety precautions and have insurance that will cover you in case of a loss.
If you're giving and getting gifts this holiday season, think about protecting the gifts. Americans spend handsomely during the holidays. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimated that U.S. retail sales for the fourth quarter of 2007 were more than $1 trillion.
In December 2010, Honda joined the list frequented by major financial institutions and retailers, suffering a breach of customer data thought to affect over 2 million Honda owners. Stories such as these send shockwaves through industry, and while they often don't result in damages, the fear is justified.
The cellular phone -- society's quintessential example of luxury turned necessity. There are more than 250 million of them in America alone, and if history repeats itself, more than 600,000 phones will sit comfortably against the ear of cell phone thieves next year.
The pace of existing-home sales dropped more than 8 percent from January 2008 to January 2009, reported the National Association of Realtors. Home values declined for 76 percent of all U.S. homes during 2008, estimated Zillow.com. And housing prices have fallen in 70 percent of all metro areas over the past several years, according to Moody's Economy.com. What's more, the rate of new-home construction during the same time was at its lowest in 50 years, noted the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Could your car's worst enemy be...a shopping cart? How could a motor-less, four-wheeled wannabe pose such a threat to a proper automobile? Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of body damage to a car is the dings and dents received by not-so-innocent buggies in the parking lots of your neighborhood grocery store. The question is: If your car is the next victim, how will your car insurance respond?
The environment in which women now live, work and care for their families is much different from previous eras. Women juggle many roles: career, marriage, motherhood, caregiver to aging parents. And, even in dual income families, women still handle major responsibility for household management.
In the throes of an economic recession, millions of consumers today are cutting back on discretionary spending--and are even tightening up on the necessities. Now is an excellent time to review your insurance coverages with your Trusted ChoiceŽ insurance professional to find ways to cut costs while still protecting your family or business.
This Summer, Get In the Water--and Get Out, Safely
Pools present dangers, particularly for young kids. Each year, some 3,500 deaths--about 10 per day--are cause by drowning, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And another 4,000 people are treated at hospital emergency visits total for injuries and trauma related to pool accidents.
Independent insurance agents not only advise clients about insurance, but they're disaster readiness consultants. It is imperative to know what your risks are and what to do in the event of a hurricane.
Today more than 43 million Americans are operating full- or part-time businesses from the comfort of their homes, and these numbers continue to grow every year. One of the secrets to running a successful home-based business is being able to separate your business activity from your home activity.
In recent years, more and more building owners are becoming fascinated with the concept of the "triple net lease." A primary reason for the interest is that the terms of such a lease require the tenant of the building purchase and maintain adequate insurance on the building itself.
The end of summer seems to be peak time for natural disasters. Often, Labor Day weekend newscasts include stories about a hurricane, flood, tornado or wildfire happening somewhere in the United States.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (referred to as UM or UIM, respectively), is a unique form of auto insurance in that it gives drivers an added opportunity to protect themselves from "out there"--specifically, all those people driving with little or no auto liability insurance.
Severe weather from Tropical Storm Isaac continues to impact the Gulf Coast region. As Mississippi and Louisiana residents recover from Isaac's wrath, Trusted ChoiceŽ advises consumers to be cautious when returning to devastated property to recover losses. Flooding remains a major problem and risk in many areas.
Ever drive down the street and see a front yard with a trench that looks like someone is dredging a channel from the front door to the street? While a select few may be installing an expensive irrigation system, most are having the sewer line replaced.
Independent insurance agents not only advise clients about insurance, but they're disaster readiness consultants. We recommend meeting with a Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agent who can consult with you in assessing your risks and ensuring that you, your family and your home are prepared in the event of a disaster. Trusted ChoiceŽ offers many disaster-specific readiness and recovery tips for consumers.
National Survey Finds Many Consumers Missing Out on Insurance Discounts
As millions of Americans look for ways to stretch their budgets to survive these tough economic times, too many are not utilizing all of the discounts that may be available to them in their homeowner and auto insurance, according to a new national survey conducted for Trusted ChoiceŽ.
Most people know that a homeowners or renter's insurance policy is crucial when it comes to protecting your home from a fire or other disaster. However, if you want to safeguard your valuables from the unexpected, there's another important document you may be overlooking: a home inventory.
What An Umbrella Policy Is, and Why You Might Need It
Most Americans view auto insurance as necessary to protect against the costs of a car accident. Likewise, it's common knowledge that homeowners insurance helps families rebuild their lives and homes. An "umbrella" policy is not as well known, but anyone who owns a home or any assets should consider buying it.
Talk to your insurance agent about the need for flood insurance. Nearly all communities in the United States have access to flood insurance. In addition, even if your lender/mortgagee doesn't require flood insurance, this doesn't mean your property isn't in a "flood zone." Under federal guidelines, lenders are required to show evidence that a property backed by a federal loan guarantee has flood insurance, if the property is located in certain high-risk flood zones. However, more than 25% of flood damage occurs in areas that are in lower-risk flood zones.
As early as they start school, children become involved in extra-curricular activities. Adults charged with getting groups of kids from home or school to the ball field and back home again are usually more concerned with maintaining their sanity than auto insurance. However, hauling kids around could have a serious affect on your coverage.
You have a computer. So who doesn't? According to the latest reports, the vast majority of Americans have at lest one personal computer at home. And many count themselves among the "multi-wired" households, with one or more PCs, handhelds (such as Palms or pocket PCs), set-top boxes, Internet access, and a fast-growing minority have enough equipment to have installed home networks to tie everything together. Add in a few beepers and cell phones and we are talking significant value!
Homeowner's Policy Not Likely to Cover Home Business Liability
According to surveys, nearly one in four Americans are operating some form of home-based business. These businesses range from relatively small, often part-time pursuits such as tax preparation or small appliance repair, to larger, full-time enterprises such as construction companies and real estate offices.
The damage caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan caught the world by surprise. The devastation was indescribable at the local level. Also shocking were the resulting losses by businesses thousands of miles from the wreckage--losses suffered due to an interrupted supply chain.
With more than 2,000 companies offering life insurance, there is stiff competition for your business and a wide array of policy choices, too. So how do you navigate all these choices? You'll want to read on to learn how to select the right life insurance policy:
Haul out the holly, string up the lights, and hang the stockings by the chimney (with care)! The holiday season is finally here, which means it's time to deck the halls with all kinds of festive decorations.
As the holiday season approaches, millions of Americans will take to the roads to visit family and friends. Since many will make the trip in a rented car, it's an appropriate time to discuss one of the most frequently asked questions of agents and brokers all over the country: "Should I buy the insurance from the rental car company?"
This weekend, millions of people will ring in the New Year with friends, family, and loved ones. However, amidst all the festivities, toasts, and celebrating, safety can quickly take a backseat to a good time - especially when alcohol is added to the mix.
Each year, almost 16 million people in the United States, most of them between the ages of 18 and 22, leave the comfort of their homes to attend college. They will dive into textbooks, exams and other activities designed to prepare them for the "real" world. Or at least that's what their parents hope they're doing....
In the midst of the festive and hectic holiday atmosphere, it is easy to forget the serious responsibility involved with hosting a party at your home or business. In many states, individuals and employers hosting holiday parties can be held liable in cases where a guest or third party is injured in an accident related to alcohol consumption at your event. Hosts have been held responsible for medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost time from work, and even wrongful death.
Tis the Season for Holiday Parties... and Food Poisoning
The holidays are almost here, which means hauling out the holly, stringing up the lights, and dashing through the snow. The holidays also mean lots of fun, festive parties to celebrate the season. These celebrations usually feature an array of delectable foods and tasty drinks that are dangerous to your waistline, but if you're hosting a party, you have more to worry about than added pounds or lumpy gravy.
As a homebuilder, you spent your life making sure the work you did was safe and sufficient. Every year you purchased a commercial general liability (CGL) policy just in case. You made it many years with no claims and want to reward your good work with a much deserved and overdue retirement in where else? Florida.
As the owner of a small business, you understand better than anyone the meaning of "risk." The key is to know understand how much risk you can afford, and when or where is the right place to take risk.
If someone asks you if your firm has a catastrophe plan, how would you respond? Would your answer sound something like this: "There's nothing in writing, however, if something happened that compromised our ability to earn we have a good idea what we would do."
No family wants to celebrate their Christmas in a hospital emergency room. Unfortunately, some entertaining holiday toys can cause injury when used improperly. Parents need to take special care in reading labels on toys and choose toys that suit the age, abilities and interest of their children. Sometimes reading the packaging is not enough. Even today, misused or poorly designed toys can cause injury or suffocation.
Winter brings the threat of freezing temperatures and harsh conditions to much of the U.S. Some places are well beyond the threat; it's going to freeze--there's no way around it. Such conditions pose unique hazards to commercial building owners. Following is some information on common winter threats and how they are addressed by commercial property insurance.
Packing up the car and heading off to college is a rite of passage for a lot of students, but there are some auto insurance questions to consider before your kid drives off to higher education. You wouldn't let them leave home without the right school supplies; make sure they're fully equipped behind the wheel, too.
Off you go! What you need to know about insurance before moving.
So you've decided to abandon the old homestead for greener pastures. Or possibly a job is transferring you around the state or across the country. Or the kids have outgrown the apartment so it is on to a house.
Employers are told by the states in which they do business how to provide adequate workers compensation insurance for employees. As in other forms of insurance, fair pricing is determined using historical loss data.
When You Can't Come Home: What Does "Loss of Use" Coverage Actually Cover?
Your homeowner's insurance policy will pay to repair damage to your home caused by a fire, windstorm or other covered cause of loss. But when you and your family incur expenses for moving out while repairs are made, who picks up the tab?
Those that design personal auto insurance policies learned years ago that folks living in the same house will take turns driving the family cars. That's why auto insurance policies are designed to provide coverage not just for the person specifically named on the policy (you) but also your spouse and family members.
Your family is forced to stay home due to the big storm hovering over the house. The comforting sounds and bright screen of your 52" LCD television eclipses the noise from outside. Then it happens: Just as you're about to discover who gets voted off the island, your family is startled by sudden darkness.
Earthquakes: Consumers Need Special Insurance for Coverage
5,000. That's the number of earthquakes felt in the United States each year. Popular belief may consider California to be the state at most risk of an earthquake, but since 1900, earthquakes have caused damage in all 50 states, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Everyone knows "that guy" whom you wouldn't trust behind the wheel of your car, even in a matter of life and death. For the truly unfortunate, "that guy" is a member of your household--and looks not only to your vehicles as a source of transportation but also to your auto insurance as a source for coverage.
It's a nightmare that has befallen many small businesses. One of your best clients has just made a significant purchase, and it seems the world couldn't be a better place. Then, on their way to their car, disaster strikes. A sudden trip, a slip and fall, and your happy client is now hurt, angry and a potential plaintiff in a lawsuit against your business, all in the space of a few disastrous seconds.
Would you believe that there is an insurance product specifically designed to help insure a solid, sustainable profit? In fact, without this coverage, hitting your profit targets may become impossible.
As a small business owner, you know the importance of preserving your assets. For many business owners, the largest single asset they possess is their building. Whether you occupy the building or operate as a landlord (or both), consider key exposures in your risk-management and insurance planning.
As a small business owner, you know the importance of preserving your assets. For many business owners, the largest single asset they possess is their building. Whether you occupy the building or operate as a landlord (or both), consider key exposures in your risk-management and insurance planning.
According to FEMA, peak tornado season begins in March and runs through the summer (though tornadoes can strike at any time). While the damage from a tornado may not be as widespread as damage from a hurricane or other tropical storms, tornadoes can be some of the most deadly and devastating weather events when they strike.
Back-to-School Driving Tips for Student and Parents
School is back in session and many high school and college students will be driving more as they commute to and from school, which makes now a good time to remind your student driver about safe driving practices.
"Burning Down the House" Should Be Party Soundtrack, Not Your Result
Quick question: What national event will be celebrated by millions of Americans on Memorial Day weekend? Hint: It involves major partying, extreme danger, risk of major injuries, and bone-crushing crashes. Another hint: "Gentlemen, start your..."
Getting married and embarking on a new life together is one of the most exciting experiences in two people's lives. It's a time of hope, promise, romance and ... reality. Whether a couple is planning their wedding or deciding where to live, there are a lot of decisions to make before saying "I do," especially when it comes to insurance.
Get Deals, Not Steals: Tips for Shopping Safely Online
Thanksgiving is over, and the holidays are in full swing, which means stores and malls are bustling with holiday shoppers looking for presents to put under the tree. While some people enjoy the adventure of going from store to store in search of that perfect gift, others seek refuge from the holiday crowds by buying their gifts online.
'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving: If You Go Out, Stay Safe
The Los Angeles Times calls it "Black Wednesday" and Miller Lite refers to it as "Beersgiving." Both are referring to the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, which has become for many people 21 and older one of the most popular nights of the year to go out and reconnect with friends from high school as they travel back to their hometowns.
Protection from Luggage Looters and Baggage Bullies
The holidays are a popular time of year to travel - whether it's to visit family and friends, relax on the beach, or hit the slopes - but taking a vacation during this time of year often means hauling a lot of extra luggage, such as skis, golf clubs, and holiday gifts. The chance of your luggage getting lost or stolen isn't high - less than one percent of travelers reported mishandled luggage, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's 2009 Air Travel Consumer Report. Yet baggage-handling accidents and thefts do happen, which is why it's important to have the proper insurance in place before your depart for your destination.
We're Moving In Together, But Are We Covered? Insurance Answers for Unmarried Couples
According to statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth, over the past 30 years more and more people live with someone with whom they have a relationship with prior to or instead of getting married- including about half of all men and women under 44 in the most recently available data. No matter the reason, living with your partner when you aren't married can present some unique (but not impossible!) challenges to making sure you both have the right insurance coverage to protect your belongings and your liability.
Is your home ready for winter weather? Many consumers don't realize that lack of preparation could mean unwelcome home damage and unexpected repair expenses. To help families and businesses protect themselves against winter risks and enjoy the season, Trusted ChoiceŽ offers tips that can help families prepare for risks and hazards that may come during the winter months.
Malls and shopping centers will be jammed this holiday season. Unpredictable traffic patterns and preoccupied drivers cause thousands of parking lot mishaps that cost consumers millions of dollars each year. Parking lot safety is especially important during the holidays. Consumers should be particularly cautious about where they park because parking lots are also prime territory for thieves, pickpockets, carjackers and vandals.
Fight the Flames: Seven Tips for Protecting Your Home from Fire
In 2011, fire departments in the US responded to over 1.3 million fires that resulted in 3,005 civillian deaths and over $11.6 billion in direct property loss, according to the National Fire Protection Association. As part of National Fire Prevention Week, Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agents offer the following fire prevention and preparedness information:
Spending President's Day Weekend Car Shopping? Don't Forget Your Insurance Coverage!
Hail to the chief! If you're in the market for a new car, depending on what type of vehicle you're looking for, President's Day Weekend may be the time to find it. In addition to certain discounts from the automakers, dealerships also may be offering deals or incentives to buy.
Hosting a Super Bowl Party? There Could Be More than Team Pride on the Line
Hosting a Super Bowl party is a great way to cheer on your team if you can't make it to the stadium in Indianapolis this Sunday, but make sure you know and manage the risks of hosting the big game day party. In many states, individuals hosting parties can be held liable in cases where a guest or third party is injured in an accident related to alcohol consumption at your event.
D and O Insurance: Protection from Boardroom Liability
Many people will celebrate the holiday by giving back to their community. Volunteering time or services to a company or non-profit organization may be a selfless act of generosity, but these acts of goodwill can also expose volunteers to possible lawsuits if they are making decisions on behalf of the organizations or company.
If you were like many Americans over this past weekend you may have noticed an uptick in car dealership commercials featuring men in stovepipe hats and powdered wigs. That's right, Monday was President's Day, which began as a celebration of George Washington's birthday (February 22) and was later expanded to include celebrations of Abraham Lincoln's birthday.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Trusted ChoiceŽ aligned with the Foundation in July, donating $10 for every new 'like' to our Facebook page. The result - the Trusted ChoiceŽ Facebook page grew by 17,159 new "likes" during the month-long campaign, and we made a $171,590 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
It's another day at the hospital, another day of treatments. But William's routine is no longer the same -today, he knows that his wish to go to Greece will come true. The anticipation is a deep well of focus, inspiration, perseverance. At last, he can think of what comes next, what he'll experience after he recuperates.
Because of her medical condition, Shawnee endures night sweats, shortness of breath and severe headaches. She's determined to prevent her condition from defining who she is. Shawnee wants to be just like any of her friends. The Make-A-Wish Foundation offered to make her fondest wish come true, and Shawnee immediately wished for a shopping spree.
Two year-old Kiwi is a sweet little girl with a warm smile and twinkle in her eye. She lives at home with her mom, dad, and younger brother, Faun in Washington. She was born in Hawaii on the beautiful island of Kauai. When Kiwi learned she had the opportunity to have a wish come true, she knew that a trip to Hawaii would give her the calm and relaxing time she and her family needed.
Seventeen-year-old Jesús had never left Texas. He often dreamed of crashing waves and warm sand - peaceful and serene. But he had yet to see the ocean for himself. He had a clear vision of his wish: "I always pictured myself one day in the ocean with my family." He wished to go to Hawaii.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Jeremiah suffers from spinal muscular atrophy. When his mother heard about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, she knew...this is what her son needs. She recognized the emotional healing power of making his wish come true. She understood how it could bring him comfort, despite living with around-the-clock nursing care. Jeremiah's wish for a bedroom makeover continues to change his life today.
Jacob is speechless, in awe of the majestic creatures breaking the ocean's surface. Watching whales in the wild is the highlight of Jacob's wish to go on a cruise to Alaska. This wish is meaningful to his entire family of eight.
It's Daynin's seventh birthday party. She peers into a corral her father built. But it's empty ... she thought there might be a pony waiting inside to complete the farm at her Texas home. But it looks like her dog, duck and chickens will have to wait until another day for a pony to join them.
The stories of breached data security have become almost too familiar: An employee takes home a laptop against regulations. A hard drive is sent out for repair, but disappears. A disc with sensitive data is stolen from an office. For business owners and managers, the threat is real, and there is a need to protect against such violations of data security.
Trusted ChoiceŽ agencies are insurance and financial services firms whose access to multiple companies and commitment to quality service enable us to offer our clients competitive pricing, a broad choice of products and unparalleled advocacy.
Tyler's adventurous spirit led him to Hawaii. He wanted to experience as many "firsts" as possible. By the time he left Hawaii, Tyler had a long list of new experiences: first plane ride, first swim with dolphins, first zip line tour and more. The trip gave him a glimpse of what might be possible in his life - and a reason to seek out even more new thrills.
Labor Day weekend signifies the unofficial end of summer, the closing of swimming pools, and the start of the NFL and college football seasons. For a lot of people this weekend also means partaking in an outdoor culinary ritual known as grilling.
Tiffany wished for her own escape from the challenges of her world. Today, she has an arts and crafts space where she can transform her imagination into reality. Tiffany exercises her creativity and turns this part of the world into her vision of perfection.
From a chauffeured limousine ride to a relaxing facial treatment, it's been Laura's best-ever day of shopping. By the time she returns home, she has everything she needs. A new tablet computer will always keep Laura connected to her friends; her new clothes and jewelry make her look and feel her best ... a great way to make a new start after her ordeal with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
There's no roller coaster too big or fast. Leslie is ready to ride them all. Today, the theme park is all hers. It's the day her wish comes true. Every exhilarating thrill ride takes her further from her worries - and lets Leslie feel like a regular kid.
Balloons, gift cards, cake ... today, "yes" is the word of the day for Benjamin. He tours the town in a limo, stopping at any store he wants. It's the shopping spree of his dreams. He even gets his own battery-operated tractor so he can be "just like Papa."
Counting Down to College? Be Sure Insurance Still Adds Up
As sure as the swallows return to Capistrano, all over America the latest migration of students prepares to descend on college campuses. Depending on whether your student is facing year one or is farther along the higher education highway, their individual stress levels may range from sheer terror to borderline boredom. For you, concerns may be running the gamut from empty nest issues to "How are we going to pay for this?"
A limo pulls up outside of the birthday girl's house. Halayna's eyes light up ... she's going shopping ALL day! A ballerina welcomes her at the mall to spoil her with gifts - stickers, a book, a tutu and top. Halayna's wish day includes stops at all her favorite stores.
Before his wish, Matthew could only watch when his friends and family had fun playing video games - being quadriplegic, he couldn't take control of a game console. Today, his new adaptive video game gear changes everything. Basketball, a few laps around the track, an arcade classic? Matthew can do it all - a great feeling that makes his life better every day.
Cole and his family used to go camping every summer, but since he got sick it became more and more difficult. At his surprise party reveal, Cole and his family arrived to see their new camper set up and ready to go complete with camping accessories, a cake, and balloons.
Today is a 30-story "yes!" for Alan. Because of his fight against cancer, he constantly hears the word "no;" everyday is full of restrictions to protect his health and they keep him from living a regular kid's life. His wish frees him from every boundary.
Orange County Choppers' "Paul Sr." Unveils Trusted ChoiceŽ "Chopper for Charity"
Earlier today, a Trusted ChoiceŽ-themed custom motorcycle designed by the renowned Orange County Choppers to raise money for Make-A-Wish was unveiled by Paul "Paul Sr." Teutul, Sr., Orange County Choppers owner and "American Chopper" star.
Driving can open up new opportunities for teens but with those opportunities comes responsibility. It's important for teens to understand those responsibilities and for parents to set appropriate expectations.
Collectors Paradise: How Do You Protect Your Unique Treasures?
In 2007, the most expensive and rare baseball card in the world, a 1909 Honus Wagner tobacco card sold at auction for $2.35 million dollars. While most collectibles don't come close to that kind of value, collections- whether it's baseball cards, coins, stamps or art, tend to not only have sentimental value to their owner, but often financial value as well. If you own a collection, you'll want to protect it. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to your collections:
Fall is officially here, and with it comes the National Fire Protection Agency's National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9 -15. This year's theme is "Protect Your Family from Fire," which makes now a good time to come up with a fire evacuation plan or review the one your family already has in place.
When students go off to college they usually take their computers, TVs, stereo equipment, most of their wardrobe, and anything else that they can cram into the car. Whether they're taking all their worldly possessions or just enough to get by, they'll need insurance to cover the things in their dorm room or apartment.
Be Ready When the Wind Starts Blowing: Hurricane Preparedness
Who knew that when he wasn't searching for his lost shaker of salt, singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett was singing about hurricane preparedness? While hurricanes and tropical storms are often associated with the southeastern coastal United States, in 2011 Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene caused significant damage in Vermont and upstate New York and, while they're more rare, Pacific tropical storms have impacted California as recently as 2009. As we enter the peak of hurricane season, here are tips for before, during and after a storm to help you prepare your home and family.
Safety Makes Your Summer Party Memorable--In the Right Way The entertainment value in a summertime get-together can be in the camaraderie and storytelling. But don't let your next backyard barbecue turn into a tale of woe, to be retold years from now.
Don't Let Your Summer Boat Fun Be Pirated: Boat and PWC Safety
Several years ago growing up in the picturesque Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, my father and I got into the family car and drove out to the storage facility where we kept our boat over the winter. Picking up that old blue and white motorboat and getting it ready to go into the water was always the first real sign that summer was approaching and the long New York winters were finally over. Except when we got there, the boat was missing. Gone.
What Everyone Should Know About Insuring Property in Storage
The other day while flipping through the channels I stumbled upon a reality show about people who bid on items in abandoned storage units- sometimes finding items valued in the tens of thousands of dollars. I thought of my family and friends who had storage units and the kinds of items they kept in there- and it ran the gamut from golf clubs to furniture to ski equipment. According to the Self Storage Association, 10.8 million people in the US rent a self-storage unit. If you're one of those 10.8 million people you should ask yourself, do I have insurance coverage for my property in storage?
Having a baby can be a very exciting, emotional, and exhausting experience for a family, and while most parents remember a lot of the preparation details -- such as assembling the crib and installing child-safety locks -- updating their insurance may not be the first thing that comes to mind.
Congratulations Class of 2012: Now It's Time to Graduate to Your Own Insurance!
It's a rite of passage for college students to don cap and gown and march for graduation ceremonies- in fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly 1.8 million students will graduate with a bachelor's degree in 2012. As those 1.8 million make the transition from undergraduates to careers, pursuit of advanced degrees or back into mom and dad's basement, it's critical that they understand how walking across that stage may have changed their insurance needs.
Changing Your Address Means Changing Your Insurance
May is National Moving Month and every year more than 40 million Americans will move, according to the American Moving and Storage Association. As you pack up your belongings and move across town or across the country, make sure you don't forget to "pack" your insurance coverage.
Daylight Savings Time Sets Off Spring Cleaning--and a Safety Check
The catchy phrase "spring ahead" signals change for Americans. It's a reminder to move clocks ahead one hour for daylight savings time. And it's an optimistic forecast that warmer and sunnier weeks are ahead. With these seasonal changes, millions take on "spring cleaning" of homes, garages, and yards.
Care to Share? How Joining a Car or Bike Share Program Could Impact Your Insurance
Across the country car and bike share programs are gaining in popularity as a way to ease congested traffic patterns in urban areas while at the same time providing more flexible transportation alternatives to public transit. These programs are a great alternative for urban dwellers and college students who may not own a car or bike but occasionally need one to run errands, or to use as an alternate means of commuting. Members who join one of these programs pay a membership fee for a period ranging from a few days to annual memberships.
March 12-16th is Flood Safety Awareness Week, and as we move from winter into spring the risks of flooding can go up, and it's not just those in high risk flood zones who are vulnerable. Here's some information on evaluating your flood risk and how you can protect your home with flood insurance.
Business Use of My Personal Vehicle: Will My Insurance Work?
There are over 240 million registered motor vehicles in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau. At a given time, as many as a third of those clutter American roadways, and it is estimated that one-fourth of those are being used in the course of work.
Renting Happiness: Vacation Rentals and Your Insurance
An increasingly popular vacation idea is to rent a house or an apartment to stay in when you're away from home instead of a hotel room. The advantages of rentals are that they can provide more space (which can be important when travelling with a family), they can offer amenities such as kitchens so that you don't have to go out for every meal and some vacation rentals can deliver more value for the price than traditional hotels and resorts. However, if you're planning on renting a beach house for the family reunion or a cabin in the mountains to get away for a weekend, there are a few things to consider.
Whether it's a backyard barbecue or a nationally televised hotdog eating contest (really quite something to see), Americans love to celebrate the Fourth of July with food- and not just staples like hotdogs, hamburgers, and potato salad. The Food Network has some unique Independence Day recipes on their website for those who want some "Independence" from the traditional 4th of July fare. If you're eating outdoors this Independence Day make sure you follow these tips to make sure your al fresco dining experience is enjoyable.
June 24-30 is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. According to the National Weather Service, lightning strikes account for an average of 54 deaths per year in the United States, so when thunderstorms are in the forecast, it's usually a sign to head indoors and if you have to put away the golf clubs for a few hours or head in off of the lake to wait out the storm, it's worth it. Here are some tips on what to do before, during and after a thunderstorm.
Does Volunteering Your Time Mean Volunteering Your Insurance?
Millions of Americans donate time--their most valuable asset--to serve as a volunteer board member on non-profits, booster clubs, churches, PTAs and civic organizations, just to name a few. The decisions these folks make can have a dramatic impact on their respective organization--and not always for the better. If a volunteer endeavor goes bad, would a volunteer board member have coverage against a lawsuit under his or her homeowner's policy?
Spring Forward: Spring Cleaning and Safety Updates
Temperatures are getting warmer and now that it's spring, it's time for spring cleaning and making spring time repairs around the house. Taking care of our homes is important, so take a moment to understand how taking care of things around the house can impact your insurance with these spring time tips:
Notable Omissions/Limitations in Your Home Insurance Policy
Do you know what types of losses your home insurance policy will cover? Perhaps more important, do you know what types of commonly occurring losses it will not cover? Knowing the limitations in your policy is the first step to finding the fix. Following is a list of commonly occurring events or exposures that can cause significant financial damage to you and your family. What do they all have in common? Coverage for them is either limited or excluded under a typical home insurance policy.
A Little Less than Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Insurance and Tax Issues with Nannies and Housekeepers
With more and more families every year having both parents work full time, there has been an increasing need for help around the house with childcare and chores like cleaning, laundry and running errands. If you're hiring household help it's important to understand how having domestic workers (including nannies, housekeepers, caretakers, etc.) around your home can impact not only your insurance coverage- both your auto and your homeowners- but also how it could have tax implications for you. If you don't understand these issues, the result could be something quite atrocious.
Earth Day and Going "Green" with Your Homeowners Insurance
"I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us." - Theodore Roosevelt. With Earth Day on April 22nd, Roosevelt's call for responsible use of resources remains as relevant today as when he wrote it over a century ago, and many Americans are taking up the call as part of the "green" movement, particularly in the areas of construction and building. Whether you're building a new home or are interested in retrofitting your home to be a "green" home, it's important to recognize how taking these steps to make your home more environmentally friendly may require some special "green" insurance to protect them.
Ever watched a celebrity gossip news show? Come on, be honest! Ever read a celebrity gossip magazine? Still lying to yourself? Okay, how about you've stood in a checkout line at the grocery store and seen the cover of a gossip magazine? Gotcha!
Avoid a Bracket Busting Claim: Insuring Special Events
It's time for March Madness! Are you planning a blowout that will make render an entirely new meaning to "bracket busting?" Has your neighborhood community center asked for a either a hold-harmless agreement or a damage deposit exceeding your current mortgage payment?
Travel- whether you're hitting the road, hopping a plane or taking a cruise, you're spending some time away from home and usually are spending some money to do it. But what happens if your trip is interrupted by inclement weather, or an unexpected illness? Travel insurance and specialty medical coverage can give you peace of mind from the moment you book the flights or start the car.
As the first leaves hit the ground and those fall breezes turn from cool to cold, it's time to prepare for winter. Whether that means snowstorms and ice or just the heavy chills many experienced in last year's milder season, experts advise preparing your home for whatever Old Man Winter has in store.
Old Man Winter will soon be unleashing his full fury. Is your home ready for the onslaught of snow, ice and cold winds? If not, the time to prepare is now, before the first storm strikes and your home suffers significant damage from the freezing temps and winter conditions.
Downloading that Music or Video? Avast, Me Hearty!
No doubt that music video just begs to be shared with your friends. That latest song will be perfect as the soundtrack for your slide show. And look here--a link to that blockbuster that's still in theaters! Best yet, all yours for the downloading and all free! You gotta love this Internet!
As the fall approaches across the United States, millions of young people will embark on that great journey we call life on a college campus. Others entering their golden years and their families will consider the benefit of moving into an assisted living facility. Still others, uninterested in or unable to secure a home loan, will choose to move into an apartment or rental home.
Mobile information devices like PDAs and MP3 players occupy the bags and pockets of tens of millions of Americans. These devices can be pricey, often costing hundreds of dollars. The cost to obtain the information programmed on these gizmos can be exponentially more. If your portable device is damaged or stolen, will these costs be covered by your insurance?
Some may view them as science fiction gone wild. Others see them as indispensable, possibly life-saving tools. Regardless of your feelings about Global Positioning Systems (GPS), they continue to occupy the dashboards of millions of U.S. vehicles each year. The pervasiveness and expense of the technology has drivers asking if their GPS systems are covered by auto insurance.
Halloween is just around the corner and many consumers may not realize how scary this ghoulish night might really be for their personal safety, their property...or their pocketbooks. Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agents can help families better prepare for Halloween hazards that may come in disguise or under the cloak of dark.
Whether by a diligent insurance agent, concerned spouse or family member, chances are you have been asked this question: "Do you have life insurance?" For some, life insurance is easily obtained on a group plan as a workplace benefit. Those without this option must purchase life insurance individually on an open market. The life insurance marketplace is highly competitive and there are many products available for purchase. While the vast selection is a good thing for buyers, it can contribute to anxiety for those not sure which type of life insurance is best for them.
First Car, First Insurance Question: Does My Teen Driver Need Their Own Policy?
How to insure a teenager's car has got to be one of the most common questions Trusted Choice Ž independent insurance agents get asked year after year. Should parents title and insure a teen driver's car separately from other cars in the household? This is normally done with an eye to save some premium dollars and to reduce potential liability for the parents- at least on the surface. The reality is that insuring a teen driver's car separately can actually open some pretty big gaps in coverage that a parent may still find they're liable for. So here are a few things to consider when deciding whether your teen should have their own policy:
There are times when man's best friend becomes his worst nightmare. While many dog owners cite "security" as the reason they keep canines, less than 1% of those bitten by dogs are unlawful intruders. A majority of victims--more than 70 %--are children.
What You Need to Know About Shady Home Contractors, Remodeling and Hiring Day Laborers
Ah, summertime, and the living is easy. Perfect for sitting in the shade out back with a cold drink. You may even decide this is the perfect time to finally add that deck, enlarge the patio for cookouts, or put in that new landscaping with a couple of strategically placed trees perfect for a comfortable hammock.
Do you own a condominium? To you, condo ownership may represent a feasible way to home ownership. Or maybe it represents a second residence in some exotic location you like to visit. Or maybe it's an investment to generate rental income. Regardless of why you own, understand that insuring a condo is much different than insuring a traditional home.
Back to School, Back to Practice: What You Need to Know About Your Insurance as a Volunteer Coach
As children return to school across the country, families know that can also mean a return to the practice field, whether through school sports teams or community sports programs and often parents may find themselves on the sidelines as a volunteer coach. It can be especially rewarding to teach children the skill sets of a sport or to impart important life lessons about winning, losing and sportsmanship, but volunteers should also know that being a volunteer coach may impact their personal insurance coverage.
Sixty years ago, when the 1950 census data was released, it showed that eight in 10 households were occupied by married couples. Fifty years later, the 2000 census data showed that number had declined to just over 50%, signifying a sea change in the typical American household. Almost half of households were occupied by a single individual, roommates or unmarried couples (the 2010 census data is still in the process of being made public).
Cyber Attacks: Protecting Your Small Business from Data Theft
Recently cyber-attacks were back in the news, and the latest attempted victim was the White House. According to an October 1st report from the Washington Post the White House acknowledged that hackers attempted to remove data from a White House computer. While the attempt wasn't successful thanks to mitigation efforts, the attack should serve as a reminder to all small businesses that they face risks of similar attacks from data thieves, and they may not have the same level of mitigation systems in place.
6 Things to Know About Protecting Personal Information When Shopping Online This Holiday Season
It's the season of giving, but don't give away personal information to identity thieves! Between crowded big box stores, packed mall parking lots and long lines, more and more Americans are doing their holiday shopping online. While this has become a tremendous convenience for many people, it comes with a few risks. Here are six ways to make sure your online shopping experience is a jolly one:
Who is liable if a holiday guest gets food poisoning or drives home drunk? As millions of Americans host and attend holiday parties across the street and across the country, many may be unaware of the risks they may be taking. Party hosts need to understand their responsibilities when inviting people into their homes and serving food and drinks.
Approximately 30 million people will celebrate the holiday tradition of buying and decorating a real Christmas tree this year, and thousands more will adorn artificial trees. With such high-value items present, a house fire originating from a Christmas tree can often result in thousands of dollars in losses, even if the fire is localized.
Well, At Least We're Not Dueling Anymore: Are You Covered If You Damage Someone's Reputation?
America has just come through a hard-fought election, with negative attacks and mudslinging on both sides. But compared to some of the political disagreements of the past, one might say today's elections are relatively tame affairs.
You're hosting the party for the big game. The invitations are out, responses are in and it's going to be a big one. Your shopping is done and the refrigerator and freezer are stocked with the finest party fare money can buy.
You pay for home insurance to avoid incurring large out-of-pocket expenses after a something damages your house and personal property. The last thing you need is an insurance company explaining "adequate limits of insurance" after the fact; especially if that explanation means more cost to you.
As millions of Americans prepare to host and attend Super Bowl parties, many may be unaware of the risks they may be taking. Party hosts need to understand their responsibilities when inviting people into their homes and serving food and drinks. Before hosting a party for the big game homeowners may want to consult with their Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agent and ask questions. They need to be aware that if someone drives drunk or becomes sick after consuming food at their party, the host could actually be liable.
If you were the victim of a disaster and suddenly found yourself with nothing left, would you remember everything you lost? When is the last time you counted the number of CDs you own or took stock of the current value of your TV and video equipment, not to mention your clothing, jewelry and other personal belongings?
Your health is way too important to leave to chance. That's why it's critical that you have health insurance and that it is the right fit for you and your family. Unfortunately, millions of Americans do not know if their health insurance plan will cover their needs--or how to secure better coverage.
The diversification of the U.S. economy over the past generation has meant that millions of Americans have started their own businesses. Americans still chase the dream of being their own boss by starting their own business--and the trend may pick up during the economic slump of 2009 because of hiring slowdowns and spikes in corporate layoffs.
Chances are you started your small business with long days and longer nights. You are fully aware of the truth of the old saying: "When you are self-employed you work for the toughest boss in the world!"
On Monday night, millions of people will ring in the New Year with friends, family, and loved ones. However, amidst all the festivities, toasts, and celebrating, safety can quickly take a backseat to a good time - especially when alcohol is added to the mix. Impaired driving be deadly but alcohol related crashes cost more than $37 billion annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Getting out of debt is a resolution that many Americans attempt to tackle. In fact, 34% of Americans make getting out of debt a New Year's resolution. With over 80% of the nation struggling to get out of debt, it's easy to see why this resolution tops the list.
Could You Be Serving Up a Lawsuit at Your Holiday Party?
As millions of Americans host and attend holiday parties across the street or across the country, many may be unaware of the risks. According to Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agents, party hosts need to understand their responsibilities when inviting others into their homes and serving food and drinks.
Make Room for the New, and Take a Home Inventory During the Holidays
The holidays are a time for celebration and family. Most people have a few extra days of vacation to relax, and some use this time to play catch-up or finish projects that have been looming for the past year.
Cyber bullying, a recent phenomenon that has coincided with the growing use of Internet and mobile devices, has tragic consequences for children, their families and communities across the world. As cyber bullying has become more common, it is important for parents to understand both its nature and how to be more hands-on when it comes to prevention.
Make Fire Emergency Readiness an October Tradition
Add a new custom to the October traditions of Halloween candy, costumes and setting back your clocks: The end of Daylight Savings Time is the perfect time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and to check the readiness of your fire extinguishers.
As hunting season comes to a head, many professionals are gearing up to find game for the holidays. Whether a professional or amateur hunter, you can never be too safe. Here are a few tips on doing that!
The concept of sightseeing no doubt predates the invention of the wheel. The cave man equivalent of "Kilroy was here!" has been discovered from the highest mountaintops to the deepest caves. When the weather is right and the mood strikes, there is clearly something in humans that cries, "Road trip!"
It is that time of year again! Uniforms are laid out, lunches are packed, and school buses are on the road everywhere. As the school year begins, you may think, you have everything in order, but here are a few things to consider adding to your Back-to-school list of things to do for children at every age:
MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE: Only two wheels, same great coverage
The open road should be the only thing on your mind when you're on your bike this summer. Trusted ChoiceŽ Independent Insurance Agents understand that anything can happen, and can answer questions you may have about protecting your bike, yourself, and anyone else.
DOGS and INSURANCE: The bite is worse than the bark
You don't have to search far to find a story about the numerous dog bite incidents that happen in the country each year. While our cuddly companions are often considered a member of the family, they may not be as friendly to strangers. That said, our furry friends should be insured for the same reasons a young driver is insured- just in case there's an accident!
A home away from home is what most renters look for during summer vacation. The perks of more space and privacy in a vacation home are invaluable, but if a disaster like theft or fire strikes, replacement damages can be very costly.
Fourth of July Fireworks: Beautiful, Patriotic... and Dangerous
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 60% of all fireworks injuries occur around July 4th. While these loud bursts of light and color add flair to celebrations, it should be remembered that fireworks are explosive devices and must be handled with care.
Moving generally indicates an exciting time of transition and life change- whether it's moving from the parents' basement to a first apartment or parents downsizing because the kids have all moved out. Whether you're handling the move yourself with the help of friends and family or whether you hire professional movers, moving can be as stressful as it is exciting, and one way to relieve some of that stress is knowing that your possessions are protected during the transition.
In Sickness and In Health: Health Insurance for Newlyweds
Getting married and embarking on a new life together is one of the most exciting experiences in two people's lives. It's a time of hope, promise, romance and ... reality. Whether a couple is planning their wedding or deciding where to live, there are a lot of decisions to make before saying "I do," especially when it comes to insurance.
Here comes summer, and that means swimming pool season. Kids are breaking out the water noodles and beach balls. Adults dream of sunning on the poolside lounge or getting in a few laps. Your Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agent may like an afternoon at the pool, too, but also wants you to enjoy lounging in the water, not waiting in the emergency room. Pool-related injuries send unfortunate thousands to the emergency room every year.
When staying home is not an option and you must brave winter roads, your Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agent advises you to remember the ageless moral of the tortoise and hare: Slow and easy wins the race.
Do you have the winter time blues? Cabin fever? Looking for a way to pass the time? Why not take a few minutes if you're stuck inside this winter to make a home inventory? If disaster strikes or your home is burglarized and your belongings are destroyed or stolen, a home inventory makes the insurance claims process a lot simpler.
This April, Trusted Choice, will collect frequent flier miles to help Make-A-Wish get wish kids and their families where they need to go. Many major airlines - including Delta, United and US Airways - enable their frequent flier members to donate to Make-A-Wish. And donated air miles never expire!
At the mention of umbrellas, you likely think of protection from falling water drops. Your Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agent would like to remind you the proper "insurance umbrella" could also protect you from a "rain" of lawsuits. Personal liability claims against homeowners and drivers are increasing in frequency and severity. The question is simple: Are your current limits of liability on your homeowners, boat, and personal auto policies adequate?
You Posted What!? Teens, Social Media and a Parent's Liability
Jealousy. Passion. Betrayal. No, not the hottest television drama, but high school. For many the high school experience comes with social pressures and obligations to fit in and belong, and sadly this can lead to exclusion and isolation of some students. At some point everyone probably said something in their teen years in the heat of the moment that they now wish could be taken back, but today's teens face the added burden that if they convey those statements on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, their words could be around for a lot longer than just the heat of the moment.
Technology is tearing down the walls between our working and personal lives. Nearly one in four employed Americans reports working from home for some portion of the work week, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To that telecommuting population, add the self-employed with home offices, the regular working denizens of internet-enabled food establishments, and those citizens who can't resist checking work messages via tablet or phone even while at social occasions and the number of employees who work away from the traditional office may approach 100 percent.
March 3-9 is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and as we move from winter into spring, spring rains coupled with melting snow and ice can increase the risks of flooding, and it's not just those in high risk flood zones who are vulnerable. Here's some information on evaluating your flood risk and how you can protect your home with flood insurance.
How Can I Save Money on My Insurance? Asked and Answered
Earlier this month Trusted ChoiceŽ asked fans on Facebook what questions they had about insurance and what they would like to know more about when it comes to coverage and price. Responses ranged from "what to do after an accident" to "Am I covered if...," but far and away the question on most people's minds was "How can I save money on my insurance?"
Snow Good: Don't Allow Snow to Accumulate Into a Problem
In December of 2010 the roof of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN, a nationally recognized sports venue, collapsed due to heavy snow accumulation and severe winter weather. Snow and ice accumulation can cause several potential problems for you, so here are some things you should know about snow.
Don't Unwrap a Coverage Problem: Insuring Your Gifts
Are you one of the people from the car commercials who will find a surprise in the driveway with a big bow on it Christmas morning? For most of us, the answer is probably not, but just like you'd insure a new car, you may want to look into insuring some other gifts this holiday season. Certain gifts, such as cars, obviously require their own insurance policy, but sometimes it's not always as clear.
Some people vow to exercise more, or to quit smoking or to read more books, and these are all admirable New Year's resolutions. But what about resolutions that help provide you with peace of mind, more protection and a little more money in your wallet? Trusted Choice Ž Independent Insurance Agents encourage you to review these three straightforward "insurance resolutions" that can help you start 2013 on the right foot:
A cute puppy or cuddly kitten may seem like a good idea when you're at the pet shop, but Trusted ChoiceŽ independent insurance agents recommend considering the risks and liabilities you may also be bringing home.
Congratulations! You've got your degree and you are ready to take advantage of the exciting new opportunities life has to offer. However, with new opportunities come new risks--particularly financial risks. Insurance is your major protection against financial risks, and knowledge about basic insurance facts can make you a better consumer.
Congratulations Class of 2013: Now It's Time to Graduate to Your Own Insurance!
It's a rite of passage for college students to don cap and gown and march across the stage for graduation ceremonies- in fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) almost 1.8 million students will graduate with a bachelor's degree in 2013. As those 1.8 million make the transition from undergraduates to careers, pursuit of advanced degrees or back into mom and dad's basement, it's critical that they understand how walking across the stage may have changed their insurance needs.
Ahhh... Summer vacation, long holiday weekends...Travel- whether you're hitting the road, hopping a plane or taking a cruise, you're (hopefully) out relaxing and having fun! But what happens if your trip is interrupted by inclement weather, or an unexpected illness? Travel insurance and specialty medical coverage can give you peace of mind from the moment you book the flights.
If you're a parent with teenagers you know that the prom is a special night for your teen, and while you want them to have a fun and memorable night with their friends, you also want to make sure they stay safe. If your teen is driving on prom night or riding with a friend who is driving, here are three things to discuss with your teen before the big night:
The answer may be "Blowing in the Wind," but the question is, "Are You Ready?" No, this is not a game show category about the songs of rock bands Dylan and Grand Funk, but a serious question: If a hurricane strikes, is your disaster plan in place?
Floods are often associated with rivers and streams overrunning their banks, or with heavy rains from hurricanes and other major storms, and while those are very real hazards, the reality is that flooding can be caused by a number of factors that you may not have considered. One factor to consider when evaluating your risk of flooding is development and new construction in your area.
Death and Taxes: The Uncertainty of What Happens With An Insurance Policy When A Loved One Dies
As Benjamin Franklin said, "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." While we all know that April 15th is the day our taxes are due, death has a way of sneaking up and surprising us. When a loved one dies there are many issues that their family and friends are left to deal with, but as family and friends settle their affairs, one important question should be asked: What happens to the insurance policy on the house when the owner dies?
Don't Be Fooled: The Auto Insurance Minimums in Your State Probably Aren't Enough
There are a wide variety of April Fool's Day jokes out there- from telling people that dihydrogen monoxide is coming out of the sink (dihydrogen monoxide is the chemical name for water) to aluminum foiling your bosses office (not that Trusted Choice endorses such pranks, mind you). But one thing you should avoid falling for is being told that carrying only the state mandated minimum coverage is adequate auto insurance protection.
Insurance comes in a wide array of choices for a variety of consumer and business needs. Even the best-educated consumer who spends time researching insurance issues will come across a topic he or she doesn't understand.