Category Archives: Life

Heading off to College

College PackingSchool will be starting soon, and we will be saying our goodbyes to our college bound teens. This is an exciting time in their lives, and for many, the first real life lesson of living away from home. Parents may question, Do they have everything they need? How are they going to get all that stuff to college? and What if something happens to it while it is away? Well to ease your mind a bit, if you have homeowners insurance, Most policies provide coverage for property away from premises at a limit of 10% of the Dwelling Limit. (For example – If your Home is insured for Replacement Cost of $100,000 then your Property Away from premises is covered up to $10,000 for the same perils offered by your Home Policy). Check with your Agent to verify your current coverage. As for getting all that stuff to college, don’t worry – remember college packing is an art.

Congratulations to our 2013 Grads…Now what?

Grad 2012Congratulation Class of 2013  With great accomplishments, often new responsibilities are realized.    From an insurance perspective, I have provided a few topics to consider that may have an effect on your need for protection.

Auto Insurance – Rewarding yourself with a new car, moving out of the house, or relocating for a new job?  Make sure you talk with your insurance agent – you coverages may be affected, or require changes to continue protection.

Renters Insurance – Protecting the stuff you value most, most college grads do not take advantage of the low-cost of obtaining renters insurance.  As low as $15/month,  This coverage can provide replacement of your personal belongings if loss occurs from fire or theft.  Most renters policies provide coverage for personal liability for added protection.

Life Insurance – OK you’ve landed the “Big Job”.  Your employer may offer Group Term Life insurance as a benefit of employment. However, this is seldom enough coverage needed to cover those school loans, car loans, mortgage on a new home.   Talk with your insurance agent about the benefits of your own personal life insurance policy.

10 Ways To Prevent Vehicle Theft

Three cars are stolen every minute in the United States, while millions more are broken into, resulting in damage and the theft of valuable or precious items like cellphones, radios and just about anything the thief can sell.  In Florida, over 41,000 vehicles were reported stolen in 2010.   The result: loss, inconvenience and, sometimes, heartbreak.

While it’s virtually impossible to make a car impenetrable, you can substantially cut the risk of becoming a theft victim. Here are our Top 10 tips to deter thieves.

1. Always lock doors and close windows (other than leaving an air gap for pets) no matter how short a time you’re away from the vehicle. Even lock it on your driveway and in your garage.

2. Never leave keys in the ignition or the engine running once you get out – even if you’re parked right by and using an ATM.

3. Never leave anything, including low-value items and especially cash (even just a few coins) visible. Take them with you or lock them in the glove box or trunk, but be cautious – a thief might be watching. Better yet – don’t put valuables in your car unless you need them.

4. When parking, especially at night, select a spot that is busy, in clear view and, at night, well lit. Look for nearby security cameras.

5. Don’t have anything on your key ring that identifies your vehicle or your home address. Use a cellphone number or email address if you want a finder to contact you if the keys are lost.

6. Your car should be alarmed, and the alarm should always be armed when you’re not in it. Most modern car alarms have multiple settings for different purposes – so read the instruction book!

7. If you have a conventional radio (that is, one that is store-bought rather than built-in by the auto manufacturer), remove the knobs and even put some black insulating tape over parts of it. It won’t look nice – but that’s the whole idea!

8. Don’t use hidden key boxes under the vehicle or in the wheel arches. Thieves know where to look.

9. Consider having your Vehicle Identification Number etched on your windows and other car parts. That makes them hard to sell and the vehicle more difficult to disguise – thus less attractive to a thief.

10. In high risk areas, consider additional security, like steering wheel clamps or vehicle tracking equipment (though this can be expensive). One day, in the not-too-distance future, we’ll probably have wireless webcams on our dashboards – roll on that day!

There’s an App for That…

Now that you have that hot new smartphone or tablet that Santa brought (or maybe you’ve had one for a while), you are going to do something more than play games and make calls, aren’t you? They’re not called smartphones for nothing. In fact there are literally hundreds of programs or applications – apps for short – that can support and strengthen your knowledge, including lots that deal with health and safety. Where you find them depends on the type of device you have – iTunes exclusively for iPhones, and the Android Market  

( or the Amazon Apps Store for most others. Here’s a sampling:

Nutrition: The best apps enable you not only to check the calorie and nutrient content of thousands of products but also to track your diet and weight-loss progress. Try the free MyFitnessPal, available for all devices.

Workout Programs: They can provide daily routines, measure progress, provide streaming video classes and even act as a pedometer using GPS to track your location. Try the free, Wall Street Journal recommended Cardio Trainer. (Always consult a doctor before starting an exercise regime.)

First Aid Guides: For a good, all-round guide that includes advice on giving CPR, try Pocket First Aid and CPR from the American Heart Association. It’s available on most platforms and costs $3 or $4.
For a free alternative, consider WebMD or the well-rated Everyday First Aid.

Other Useful Apps: Whatever your safety need, there’s almost certainly an app for it. For example:
 Safety Button (iPhone) or Emergency + (Android) sends a text message when you’re in trouble or in danger
Medscape (both platforms) – check interactions from a database of 8,000 drugs
Recalls (iTunes) or (Android) lists consumer products and drugs that have been recalled.

Don’t forget too that most mobile devices also have reader apps that enable you to download and store digital books. They can hold thousands, so you can build up your own first aid or fitness library – and always have it with you!

Time to Check Your Coverage

New Year is the time we take a cool, hard look at our lives, usually with a view to making improvements. So, you don’t need a better excuse to also review your insurance coverage to make sure it meets your needs going forward through 2012. The most common issue we encounter are changing values and changing circumstances. So, with that in mind, here are four aspects you should be thinking about:

Homeowners/Renters Insurance: The value of your property most likely has gone down, but rebuilding costs have gone up in some cases. What about contents? As the years go by, so the amount and value of our possessions increase. And isn’t this a good time to take an inventory of those possessions, in case you ever need to make a claim?
Life Insurance:
If you’ve taken on new financial commitments or your family has grown, so has your need for adequate life insurance coverage. Don’t forget, you can get policies that cover you for just a specific period and don’t cost a fortune.

Long Term Care: The cost of specialist care, at home or in Residential facilities, if you become incapacitated, has skyrocketed during the past few years. Might now be a prudent time to consider long term care insurance?

Special Needs:  Without getting embroiled in the debate about climate change, there’s no doubt that the risk of natural disaster –  be it floods, storms, tsunamis or earthquakes – threaten all of us at some time. These risks are not normally covered in your homeowners or renters insurance.  Just Give us Call 904-824-9877 or Stop By 2575 US Hwy 1 South St Augustine 32084

Insurance is all about protection for yourself, your property and your family. None of us can predict the future but insurance can make it easier to deal with. We’d be happy to help you do just that.