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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Safety tips as we take to the roadways in record numbers (post pandemic).

As Americans take to the roadways in record numbers (post pandemic), here are some safety pointers that may be useful to you and your loved ones.

In your vehicle, it’s easy to feel like you’re secluded from everyone else on the road. Your vehicle is one of many on the road, though. Above all else, you must always prioritize safety and use these etiquette tips.

Obey the Rules of the Road

Every rule of the road applies to you, so obey the speed limit and stop, yield and merge signs. Your agenda is never more important than safety.

Be Considerate

You share the road with other drivers, bikers and walkers, so be considerate. Give other drivers the right of way, let other drivers pass if they’re in a hurry and yield to pedestrians. Don’t demand your own way or give into road rage. Show consideration and make the commute safer for everyone.

Take Turns

When the road narrows from two lanes to one or traffic slows for an accident, take turns merging. It’s better to let someone go in front of you than to cause a pileup.

Turn on Your Headlights

Your vehicle’s headlights allow you to see clearly as you drive at night or in certain types of weather. Remember to turn off your high beams when another car approaches. Also, don’t use your headlights as aggression toward another driver.

Use Your Horn Sparingly

The horn in your vehicle is designed to alert other drivers of dangers. In certain occasions, it’s appropriate to honk your horn, but use it sparingly and remember that laying on the horn is poor manners and a sign of aggression.

It’s appropriate to lightly beep your horn when:

  • The light turns green and the driver in front of you is distracted
  • It’s the other driver’s turn at the intersection
  • Another driver is ready to cut you off because you’re in their blind spot

Do not use your horn to:

  • Scold drivers who are speeding or being unsafe in other ways
  • Vent your frustrations

Respect Emergency Vehicles

Ambulances, fire trucks and police cars also use the roadways. When you see flashing lights, slow down and pull off to the right side of the road. Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and then merge back into traffic.

Pull Off the Road if You’re in a Fender Bender

Minor fender benders do occasionally happen. Instead of stopping your vehicle in the middle of the road, pull off the road safely to assess damage and discuss the next step, which may include exchanging insurance information, with the other driver.

Report Emergencies

When you pass a vehicle with its emergency lights on, stop and offer assistance. You can also call 911.

Etiquette goes a long way toward maintaining roadway safety for everyone. Share the road, remain calm and use your manners as you drive safely.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Is Your Vehicle Ready for Spring Break Travel?

Now that winters’ over (and Pandemic restrictions are easing), you’re probably ready to take a break and hit the open road.

Is your vehicle ready for spring break travel? It will be when you follow this checklist of six helpful tips.

1. Fill the Fluids

Windshield wiper fluid, coolant, oil and transmission fluid deplete quickly over winter. Fill them to the recommended level for your vehicle as you prepare the engine to operate properly in warmer weather.

2. Check the Tires

After carrying your vehicle over rough winter roads, your tires need some tender loving care. Check the tread and make sure it’s sufficient to handle the wet roads you’ll encounter this spring. Then inflate the tires to the proper pressure as recommended for your specific vehicle. Consider a wheel alignment,
too, as you ensure your tires are ready to work hard all season.

3. Replace the Wiper Blades

The wiper blades work extra hard all winter as they remove ice and snow from your windshield. Protect your view and safety when you replace the wiper
blades.

4. Wash the Exterior

Salt and grime build up on your vehicle’s exterior and can cause corrosion, rust and damage. Wash off winter dirt with a high-powered hose at home or at
the car wash. Reach the underbody, lower doors, roof and all exterior surfaces.

5. Clean Out the Interior

Food wrappers, mud and a dirty windshield create an untidy interior. Plus, salt residue can destroy the fabric on your vehicle’s floors and seats. Grab a trash
can, steam cleaner and wash cloth as you clean out the inside of your vehicle
this season.

6. Update Your Auto Insurance

Insurance requirements don’t change with the seasons, but double check your coverage as part of your prep for spring break travel. Make sure your coverage
meets your needs and renew your policy if necessary. With the right insurance coverage, you have peace of mind wherever the road takes you.

Where are you traveling this spring? Make sure your vehicle is ready when you follow these six tips.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

2020 Unemployment Benefits Tax Exclusion

If you received Unemployment in 2020, then this will be good news. President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on Thursday March 11th 2021.

The COVID relief bill provides a tax break on unemployment benefits received in 2020, up to $10,200.

If you have filed 2020 taxes already,  you are instructed to wait for further instructions before filing an amended return.

Read more at the IRS website.

 

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Property Owners Definitely Do, But Do Renters Really Need An Umbrella Policy?

Umbrella insurance protects insureds from financial devastation. It’s a common policy homeowners purchase because it protects their home and other assets when an insurance claim exceeds existing homeowners or auto insurance policy limits. However, it could be a smart investment for renters, too. 

It Supplements Existing Liability Protection

Typically, basic liability protection only includes $100,000 in coverage. An umbrella policy can offer $1 million or more in additional coverage. Both types of coverage offer financial protection and peace of mind.

It’s Inexpensive

For $1 million in liability protection, renters could pay as little as $300 a year. Claude Lilly, Clemson University College of Business and Behavioral Science dean, also reminds renters that an addition million may only cost $100 more. This inexpensive investment protects a renter’s possessions, auto and other assets as it gives the insured peace of mind.

It Complements Exposures

The hobbies a renter enjoys can make an umbrella policy a necessity. For instance, the renter’s dog bites a contractor or guest, resulting in thousands of dollars in medical expenses and an expensive lawsuit. The umbrella coverage kicks in after the basic renter’s insurance policy funds are exhausted, and it provides the financial protection the renter needs.

Likewise, owning a swimming pool, hunting as a hobby or playing golf can each be fun activities, but they also have the potential to turn into expensive lawsuits. Renters should invest in an umbrella policy that covers expenses associated with a claim or liability related to the exposures they enjoy.

Consider Net Worth

Each renter can decide how much umbrella insurance to purchase. Overall, the renter’s current assets and net worth determine the basic coverage amount.

Buy Based on Future Earnings

A renter who’s found liable for an auto accident could face wage garnishment. Purchasing an umbrella policy that takes future earnings into account ensures the renter is adequately covered and can pay the judgment without losing his or her home and other assets.

Remember Slander, Libel and Invasion of Privacy Protection

Umbrella coverage does more than protect financial assets after an accident or lawsuit. It also protects renters who are victims of slander, libel or privacy invasion. The protection an umbrella policy offers against these challenges makes it a wise investment.

Overall, umbrella insurance provides beneficial coverage for every consumer, including renters. An insurance agent can offer additional counsel and advice regarding how much umbrella insurance to purchase.

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5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Even If It’s Not Raining You Need an Umbrella

You own your home, have your own business, and drive a new car. Though you are not rich, you are comfortable. It will be a shame to lose it all if someone sustains injuries by your car or at your home or place of business.

You have insurance you say; you have standard auto liability insurance. The limits are $100,000 for a single person and a total of $300,000 for multiple people. Suppose you are responsible for any accident involving a shuttle taking ten people to the airport. Three hundred thousand dollars allows on average $10,000 per person. That is hardly enough to cover the emergency room fees let alone any surgery, rehabilitation, lost wages and other medical expenses. If there is a fatality, you may consider bankruptcy.

Your business has a small storefront on a busy street. A middle-aged executive comes into your place of business following a rainstorm. Your floor is wet and slippery, and the executive slips and falls. He strikes his head, loses consciousness, and goes into a coma. Your general business liability insurance has the same limit as your auto insurance – $100,000. It may cover part of the hospital bill, but the official says he is permanently disabled and sues you for future wages for $1 million. Since your business is a sole proprietorship, bankruptcy beckons.

Your son invites a friend over for a swim in your pool. He dives into the shallow end strikes his head and suffers traumatic brain injury. Sadly, the damage is permanent — with standard liability limits of $100,000 — well, you know, bankruptcy stares you in the face.

The inexpensive, elegant solution to the problem is umbrella insurance. When a claim exceeds your standard liability insurance limits, your umbrella insurance policy takes over and pays up to your umbrella liability limits. Most people who buy umbrella insurance extend their liability limits to $5 million.

Though you hope never to use it, for a few hundred dollars per year, you can protect your assets, and avoid financial disaster. Umbrella insurance pays when you are responsible for an injury that exceeds your standard liability limits.

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6 months ago · by · 0 comments

Safety Tips for Your Indoor and Outdoor Holiday Lights

Christmas isn’t the same without lights. Strands of sparkling lights can be hazardous, though, if you forget to follow safety tips as you hang, plug in, store and enjoy these holiday essentials.

Buy lights that are safety tested. Lights without an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) tag may be unsafe to plug in and use.

Inspect lights and plug them in before hanging them. This visual assessment exposes fire hazards like cracked, loose or broken bulbs and frayed, chewed or broken cords. It also lets you replace burnt out bulbs and ensure all the bulbs are the same wattage. After repairing any problems, plug in the lights to ensure the bulbs work and the strands work properly.

Separate indoor and outdoor lights. Strands designed for indoor use should not be hung outdoors because their thin insulation is easily damaged when exposed to cold, wet outdoor conditions.

Hang lights with insulated hooks. Staples, tacks or nails can pierce the strands and cause dangerous electrical shorts and increase the fire risk.

Use extension cords properly. Plug no more than three strands of lights into each extension cord, lay rather than coil extension
cords and use only outdoor certified extension cords for your outdoor lights. If the cords feel hot, unplug the lights for a while to reduce fire risk.

Turn off lights before you go to bed or leave the house. Otherwise, the hot lights could start a fire, and you will be asleep or away
from home and unable to intervene.

Water the tree regularly. A dry tree and hot lights are an unsafe combination.

Store lights properly to prevent damage and simplify decorating next year. Instead of stuffing them in a box, carefully wind the
light strands, secure them with twist ties and store them in plastic bags. Alternatively, wrap the strands around a paper towel tube and thread the ends through the tube’s hollow center.

Hanging lights is a fun and festive holiday tradition. With these safety tips, you have peace of mind as you enjoy your sparkling home all season.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

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Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

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Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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