Having a safe and happy summer!

Many people find summer fun right in their own backyard, but some of this fun can also be an insurance nightmare. To make sure you get the most out of your home and yard always make sure you are following your insurance providers guidelines to ensure a safe and happy summer.
Before building a new structure in your yard, or adding a fun new toy, you should always consult your insurance provider to make sure they cover your new addition. If they do not, you could find your policy being cancelled, so know their guidelines before you spend the money on an expensive addition and don’t get your heart set on it until you know the facts.
Trampolines, pools, and tree houses are a lot of fun in the summer, but they are not always covered in homeowner’s policies. Check with your providers guidelines for safely adding one of these structure to your yard. By following their guidelines you ensure that your home is fully insured and that your new backyard toy is deemed safe by your provider.
The most important thing is to be aware of what is happening in your yard at all times. Watch the children playing and make sure they are being safe. Take precautions to keep unwanted visitors away. Add privacy through fences and plants so that neighbors can’t see your tempting toy in your yard that they might want to play on when you are not looking. You’ll be much happier with your yard if you know what is going on in it. Have a safe and happy summer and enjoy your home as much as you can!

Is a Treehouse covered in your Home Owners’ policy?

Do you have a treehouse in your yard, or are you planning to build one? Treehouses are a fun addition to any home, but not all companies will insure them. They can be seen as an “attractive nuisance” which many insurance companies will not insure. How can you make sure your treehouse is covered?
If you haven’t built your treehouse yet, contract a professional treehouse builder to do the work. They will know for sure that your treehouse is up to code, and that it will be a lasting structure when you build it. Having a professional involved may help your insurance provider feel more at ease.
Keep it in a fenced in area to keep away curious neighborhood children. That is, after all, what makes it a nuisance. Make sure unwanted visitors can’t get in to ensure that your insurance agent may consider insuring your treehouse.
The closer to the ground your treehouse is, the safer it is. The higher you build, the more of a nuisance you create. Consider a lower lying tree house for the same effect that is much safer for play.
Before building a treehouse consult your insurance provider for details about their policy. If your treehouse can be covered, it may not add any cost to your homeowner’s policy. Check with your insurance agent and follow their guidelines.

Should you have a fence?

Your home is your sanctuary, and you want to create not only the indoor living space of your dreams, but the outdoor living space of your dreams as well. That being said, some of those outdoor living additions can be major issues for home owners insurance if not installed properly. Sometimes all it takes is a fence. When should you think about adding a fence to your yard to ensure that your home is insurable?
Pools require a fence to be insured properly. If you have a pool, you should have a fence around the perimeter to keep unwanted guests out. Just because your family knows proper pool safety doesn’t mean all of the children of the neighborhood know how to handle a pool. Keeping a fence around your pool will keep unexpected guests out, and will help you avoid unwanted pool injuries.
Trampolines are a whole lot of fun, but they are potential insurance nightmares. If your insurance agent is willing to insure a trampoline help keep it safe by surrounding your yard or trampoline with a fence. Just like you don’t want unexpected guests hurting themselves in your pool, you don’t want them hurting themselves on your trampoline either. Having a fence will help your family play safe in the backyard.
Treehouses are all sorts of fun, but due to their height above ground, they can pose dangerous. If you have a tree house in your yard, you may want to consider a fence around your yard as well. This will again keep unwanted visitors out, and will help keep your guests safe.
Fido also may need a fence. Nobody thinks that their precious pooch is capable of hurting another human being or animal, but the possibility exists if they feel threatened in any way. Also, another animal can feel threatened by the presence of your pet in the open, and can try to cause an altercation with them. Protect neighbors from Fido, and protect Fido from the neighbors with a fence. This will give your dog plenty of space to play safely without worrying that he or she may end up in trouble while they enjoy the fresh air.
Your yard will seem much more fun if you know that it is as safe as can be. Your insurance agent will also thank you for it. If you have a pool, trampoline, treehouse, or outdoor pet, a fence may be necessary for the safety of your family and your neighbors around you. Have a safe and fun summer enjoying your outdoor entertainment!

Tips to help your teen be a safe driver.

Do you have a teenage driver in the house? If so, you know how scary it can be to send them out on the roads. No matter how many times we ask them to be safe and to obey driving rules, it seems many teens still manage to break the rules because they don’t see how the danger of poor or distracted driving may affect them. What can we do to help the teen drivers in our lives make better decisions, and ultimately make them safer drivers?
Level with them. There is nothing wrong with talking to them about their safety while driving, but you don’t need to pander or scold them before they have made a mistake. Many drivers’ education programs already take the time to let them know the dangers of poor driving decisions. Make sure your teen driver knows that you care about their safety, and what they should do in tough situations. Also, it is important to teach them about what to do if they are a passenger in a car with a distracted driver. Just because your child is a safe driver, doesn’t mean their friends are. Make sure they know their options if they are put in a tough situation.
Buy your teen driver a safe car. Your teen may be hoping to have a cool ride for school when they get their license, but it is more important to put them behind the wheel of a safe car. There are plenty of cool cars that have good safety ratings as well. Whether your give your child a car as a gift, or they buy it on their own accord, make sure the car they are driving will keep them safe if they should ever wind up in an accident.
Install a distracted driving app on their phone. Apps now exist that keep you from messing with your phone while driving, and that can automatically send a message back to any callers or texters letting them know that you are driving and will get back to them shortly. This helps alleviate the stress of wondering who is calling while driving, and let’s their friends know not to bother them for a while.
Know when your child is on the road so you don’t call them while they are driving. Encourage them to be safe drivers by not distracting them while they are out. Know when your child is on the road, and refrain from calling them while they are driving. Be one less distraction to the teen driver that you care about.
You can’t be there to watch over them every time they get behind the wheel, but you can set the young drivers in your life up with the best education possible and the best tools possible to ensure that they make good driving decisions. Help create a new generation of safe drivers by guiding them to make good decisions behind the wheel.

Do you live in a flood prone area? You may need extra insurance.

Think your home owners insurance covers floods? Think again. Most homeowners insurance does not cover issues due to flooding. If you live in a coastal town or near a large body of water, flood insurance may be mandatory for you to own a home in that area. This is a safety precaution since the flood risk is much higher. If you live in an area where flood insurance is not mandatory, but flooding is still an issue, you need to consider whether or not your home may need flood insurance, because without it you are not covered for flood damage.
Is your home prone to leakage in the basement after a decent rain storm? You may have issues with flooding and might want to consider flood insurance. Is your home situated in a low lying area, at the bottom of a hill, or on or below sea level? You may be prone to flooding and should consider flood insurance. Do you live on or near a small lake or creek? Even small bodies of water can flood with enough rain, so you should be prepared with the proper flood insurance. Also, if you live in an area prone to being hit with hurricanes, flood insurance is probably a good option for you.
Not every home needs flood insurance because not every home is prone to flooding. If your home is prone to flooding, though, call your insurance agent today to find out what you need to do to protect your home from flood damage.

Want to save money on car insurance? It’s simple. Be a good driver.

Saving money on car insurance isn’t rocket science. It is all about being a safe driver. If you have a clean driving record and a safe car, your insurance will be lower than the guy with a flashy sports car and poor driving record. Your insurance company wants you to be safe, and they reward you for it.
Being a safe driver is very simple. Buying a safe car is a good start. Cars with good safety ratings mean you should be protected even in the event of an accident. Obeying speed laws and road signs is another important step to being a safe driver. Finally, don’t be a distracted driver. Put down your phone, your food, your paper, and any distractions that may keep you from driving safely. Even the best driver will struggle when being distracted.
Everyone appreciates a safe and conscientious driver. They benefit all of the people around them. Drive safe and save some money. Everybody will benefit from your good decision making, especially you.

Safer cars mean lower rates

Trying to save money on your car insurance? One of the simplest ways to do so is to buy a car that your insurance company deems safe.
Insurance companies research a lot of factors when it comes to giving you a price for your policy. Not only do they consider your driving record, but they also consider the type of car you drive. Your insurance company is considering if you got in an accident what the most likely outcomes are. A safe car is always going to fair better.
What kind of cars have higher insurance rates due to being less safe? Sports cars and convertibles tend to have lower safety ratings. Small cars can also rank low as well. If you aren’t sure how your car fairs in a safety test, check it’s rankings online or at the dealership. This information should be readily available, and the makers of safe cars usually like to brag about it.
Your insurance company wants to make sure you and the other drivers around you on the road are as safe as possible. They will reward you for driving a safe car.

Don’t want your car insurance rates to go up? Put the phone down while you drive.

Yeah, I know. We have all heard it a million times before. “Don’t text and drive,” “Don’t talk on the phone and drive,” “Don’t play with your phone and drive,” and yet so many people believe that this rule doesn’t apply to them.
Maybe you are an excellent driver, so that means you should be able to handle a small distraction for a few seconds and still be better than most drivers, right? Wrong. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are. You cease to be one when you are distracted while driving.
The “everybody else does it” excuse won’t save you if you get caught texting or talking on the phone while driving. Many states and countries have cracked down and are heavily enforcing their “No Texting While Driving” policies. The consequences may be much more severe than you might think.
If you get caught driving while distracted by your phone, you can be pulled over by a cop. It doesn’t matter if you were driving the speed limit and in the lines while you were distracted. You can be ticketed and fined for doing so, in some states up to $300 per incident. Once you have a distracted driving charge on your driving record, your insurance company can access this information, and you better believe they take it seriously. It can add up to 5 points to your insurance, which means you can count on your insurance rate going up due to this infraction.
With multiple infractions for distracted driving you can eventually have your license taken away. That may seem a little bit harsh to you, but this is because there are many documented cases of vehicular manslaughter due to distracted driving. This is ultimately the best reason not to play with your phone while driving. Nobody wants a needless tragedy on their hands because of a stupid distraction.
The bottom line is this, save yourself a lot of money and potentially a lot of heartache. Put the phone down while you drive. Nothing that phone can offer you is more important than you and the other drivers around you reaching your destinations safely. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Do you need extra insurance to own a trampoline?

Trampolines are all sorts of fun for kids and adults alike in the summer time, but are they covered by your home owners insurance? The best way to know for sure is to talk to your insurance agent. Different insurance companies react to trampolines with very different policies, and there are different rules for insuring one in depending on the state you live in.
There is a slim possibility that you have an insurance that covers a trampoline with your home owner’s policy. This means that you are free to own one without extra coverage. This scenario is fairly rare. As fun as trampolines are, they are also dangerous and can often cause injury. Insurance companies know this, and take that into account when it comes to owning one.
Many insurance companies will let you own a trampoline, but they will ask you to add safety features to it to make sure it is less likely to cause a problem or injury. Your insurance company may ask you to have a fence with a working latch to ensure that strangers cannot enter your yard and injure themselves on your trampoline. Padding can and should be added to cover the springs to further avoid injury. Many trampolines come with nets to help confine the users so they do not fall from the trampoline. It is also important that trampolines be placed on flat and solid ground, and away from buildings or objects that kids might consider jumping from onto the trampoline as this is very dangerous. One final option is to dig your trampoline into the ground. This means that there is less height to the object for kids to fall from and injure themselves. Even with all of these safety precautions taken, your insurance company may ask for you to get additional coverage to cover the trampoline.
Of course, with trampolines you can never avoid injury completely. Because of that many insurance companies will not cover homes with trampolines at all. Owning one can mean not having your policy renewed by your agency. Because of this it is always important to talk to your insurance agent before buying an expensive trampoline. They can help walk you through the process and let you know exactly what you need to do in order to add one to your home.
The bottom line is, make sure your insurance policy covers your trampoline before installing one, and if you do install one make it as safe as possible. A safe trampoline is a much more fun trampoline.

Summer time means time to open up the backyard pool, but is your pool covered by your Home Owners Insurance?

Most people look forward to opening up the backyard pool when the weather gets warm enough, but before you do, do you know what your home owners insurance covers with your pool?
The truth is, there are many factors that go into insuring a pool, and your coverage may not cover as much as you think. It is important to check with your insurance agent to know kind of coverage you have, and if you need more.
First we have to look at the safety of your pool. Most insurance companies won’t cover a pool unless it is surrounded by a self-latching fence. This is to keep neighborhood children and animals safe. Just because your children know not to go near the pool without supervision doesn’t mean the neighbor’s kids have been taught the same lesson. To ensure the safety of your pool, and to get coverage from your agent, make sure you have a fence surrounding the perimeter. Ask your agent about the specifics if you do not have one already.
Another safety hazard some older pools can have is whether or not they have slides or diving boards. Many insurance companies will refuse to insure you if your pool has one of these options, so it might benefit you to have them removed. If you insist on having one, you may have to sign a clause on your insurance policy that states that the insurance company is not responsible for any injuries that may occur on the slide or diving board. You own them at your own risk.
If your pool is safely guarded and doesn’t have a diving board or slide, your home owners will probably cover your pool. Always check with your agent if you are not sure. Though your pool may be covered for injuries involved with the pool, it may not cover damage to the pool. This is less of an issue for in ground pools as rain, hail, wind, and sleet pose little threat to them, but they can crack if the earth around them shifts. Above ground pools are susceptible to all of the damages listed above. Check with your agent to see if damage is covered on your pool. If not, see if additional coverage is available.
Have a safe and happy summer knowing your swimming pool has the coverage you want and the safety you need. Call your agent to find out where you stand today!