Archive | March 2015

Are You Prepared For A Flood?

March is the time of year when we talk about severe weather.  That can mean hail, tornadoes, and even floods!

Flood safety is extremely important. That’s why it’s a good idea to review these basic flood safety tips, provided by http://www.ready.gov, with your children every year.

If a flood is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.

If you need to evacuate:

  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moving or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.  If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.

 

With a little bit of preparation, you can keep your family safe!  Review these tips for flood safety and contact us if you have questions about flood insurance coverage.

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Not only do we help with insurance, we help with bonds.

As your Farmers agent we have an agreement to write almost every type of bond that you can think of through CNA Surety.  They are an industry leader in writing State required License and Permit bonds.  With our extensive surety history and bond form library, we established a solid foundation for you to quickly obtain License and Permit bonds of all types (many with minimal underwriting information!).

Here are some of the types of bonds we can issue:

Employment Agency Bonds – Instant approval up to $10,000 with no credit check and instant approval up to $100,000 with acceptable credit history.

Auctioneer License Bonds – Instant approval up to $25,000 with no credit check and instant approval up to $100,00 with acceptable credit history.

License Agent Bonds for Hunting & Fishing Licenses –  Instant approval up to $25,000 with no credit check and instant approval up to $100,00 with acceptable credit history.

We also have bonds that we can instantly issue; here is a small sample:
Appraisal Management Companies
Highway Encroachments / Right of Way Permit
Oversize / Overweight Permit
Adjuster
Nursing Home Resident Funds
CNA

Need help with a bond? Contact us at 816-795-5977

Tips for getting the best rate on your life insurance policy

So you’ve decided that you need life insurance to protect your family; maybe the group life through your job wasn’t enough or you just decided that you wanted to be safe to have your own family protection plan vs. relying on someone else.

Most life insurance policies require some type of exam by a paramedical professional. This is a free physical and blood work that is paid for by the life insurance carrier at no cost the client.  They collect a small blood sample, urine sample and sometimes a short EKG.  They will check cholesterol levels, blood pressure, liver enzymes, among other things.

Here are a couple of tips to get the best rate for your policy. Depending on the policy you could be locking in this rate for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years or longer!

1. Fast
Don’t eat overnight or at least four hours before the exam. Your previous meal should be healthy and well-balanced.  Even if you’re a steak lover, consider a light meal and one high in fruits and veggies and low on saturated fats and fried foods. You may also be told not to drink anything up to four hours before the exam, but do drink plenty of water. It makes it easier for the examiner to find a good vein to get a sample.

2. Don’t Drink Alcohol

Avoid alcohol for at least 12 and preferably 48 hours before the exam, because it can elevate blood pressure and adversely affect elements of the blood work.  If you are in otherwise good health and have your exam scheduled the day after a “fun night out” you even run the risk of being turned down for coverage, if the liver enzyme levels are elevated.

3. Reduce Caffeine Intake

Limit caffeine consumption 48 hours before the exam, and definitely no caffeine the day of the exam. It increases blood pressure, pulse rate and can provoke an irregular heart rate. This means staying away from coffee, tea and some soft drinks, cold remedies and pain medications.

4. Limit Fat and Salt

Salt can raise blood pressure by allowing the body to retain fluids, so limit its use in the three to four days before an exam. Fried foods or ones high in fat can raise your cholesterol.

5. Don’t Exercise

At least don’t go to the gym the morning of the exam, and preferably 24 hours before. Cardiovascular workouts can cause inaccurate levels of cholesterol levels, which can be another factor that can push you into a higher rating classification.

6. Stay Calm

You’ve probably had this happen at the doctor’s office or at a hospital: You’re nervous about having your blood pressure taken, so your blood pressure reads high the first time you take it. Wait a few minutes and take it again, and it goes down.

Get a good night’s sleep, arrive early for the exam and take a few minutes to relax before your blood pressure is recorded.  If that doesn’t work, ask for it to be rechecked at the end of the exam.

Remember, life insurance underwriting also includes your medical history in addition to the lab work. Insurers are expecting average people to apply for coverage, not super-healthy people. Still, following these steps could help lower your rates a bit if any of your levels are borderline high or lows.

Also when you schedule your exam, try for a weekday and not a Monday. A weekend of indulging in fatty foods and alcohol can boost cholesterol or liver enzyme levels on a Monday. Also if your work is stressful on Mondays that is another good reason to choose another day.

To decide the amount of coverage and type of policy best for you, call 816-795-5977 or email jolson3@farmersagent.com to set an appointment.

Insurance Discounts for your 4 year college degree

At our agency—WE LOVE DISCOUNTS!!!

If you have a Bachelor of Science Degree, Bachelor of Arts Degree, Master of Science Degree, or PhD in any of the areas below, you could qualify for up to 15% off your home and auto insurance!!! This is regardless of your current occupation, based only on your college diploma!

Actuarial Science
Agriculture
AeronauticsDiscounts
Anthropology
Astronomy
Astro-Physics
Astronautics
Atmospheric Science
Bacteriology
Biochemistr
Biology (Biological Science)
Bio-Medical
Bio-TechnologyDiscounts2Botany
Business Information Technology
Chemistry
Computer Applications
Computer Graphics
Computer Information Systems
Computer Science
Computer Programming
Computer Technology
Cybernetics
Ecology
Eco-Systems
Entomology
Environmental Science
Genetics
Geology
Geophysics
Information Technology
Kinesiology
Ocean (Marine) Science
Mathematics
Meteorology
Neuroscience
Physics
Physiology
Oceanography
Planetary Systems
Statistics
Systems Science
Technology
Zoology

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Protect Your Family During Severe Weather

Did you know that March is Severe Weather Preparation Month?

While it may still feel like winter outside, it won’t be long until spring arrives.  And with it comes spring storms!  Is your family prepared?

First things first, make sure you have designated a safe place to go to if the weather gets bad.  It could be a basement, closet, or room with no windows or outside walls.  Make sure this space is cleared out enough that you could easily get your family inside if needed.  (You don’t want to be clearing out the closet if there is a tornado!)

Next, put together a small emergency kit.  What would you need if the power was out?  Consider putting in flashlights, extra batteries, canned food, and plenty of water.  (Don’t forget supplies for your pets too!)

Keep emergency phone numbers in your cell phone contacts, including the phone number for your insurance company!  You could even save a note in your phone with your policy numbers too. We advise every client to do this, so if you haven’t already, do it now!

While we can’t prevent bad weather, it’s always great to be as prepared as possible.  Take care of your family first and know that we’ll be there to protect your belongings.

Do you have any additional tips?  Leave a comment below.

March Home Maintenance Tips

What do you need to do this month to keep your home running smoothly and your family protected?  Read below to find out! 

Change Batteries In Smoke Detectors – When the time changes, it’s a great idea to change the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  This way you always know that they are working and in good order!

Make A Severe Weather Plan – Designate a safe place in your home in case of bad weather.  Stock it with basic emergency supplies and throw in an extra flashlight and batteries too!

Check Your Credit Report – March is Credit Education Month.  When was the last time you checked to see that your credit reports were accurate?  If it’s been over a year, stop by www.annualcreditreport.com and order a free copy today.

Review Your Insurance Discounts – Are you getting all the discounts you qualify for?  Call us to review your policy and see if there are any changes that need to be made.

 

And as always, give us a call if you have any questions or need assistance with auto, home, business, or life insurance. 

Scheduling Jewelry On Your Insurance Policy

Last month was Valentine’s Day and proposals happened everywhere!  This means that you might find yourself with a new diamond ring or expensive piece of jewelry in your home.

Many people spend thousands of dollars on beautiful jewelry but don’t take the time to find out how to insure it.  And this can be a big mistake!
Have you seen the Farmers Insurance TV commercial regarding jewelry?

If you have homeowners or renters insurance, then your jewelry is covered as part of the contents of your home.  But there can be problems…

1. We don’t know what it is worth.  It’s hard to get the full value of your jewelry back if you don’t know all of the specifics!  Weight, color, cut, size, and so forth are all factors in the value.  Ten years from now you might not even remember how much you paid.
2. You probably have a large deductible on your homeowners insurance, this deductible applies to the house itself as well as contents coverage. Many insurance policies have limits for theft of specific highly targeted items including jewelry.

But there is a simple solution to avoid all of these problems.  Our homeowners and renters policies allow you to “schedule” jewelry for a small additional cost.

You bring in the receipt and appraisal of the item and we add all of that information to your policy.  (Sometimes we don’t need all of this, just call us first and we can let you know.)

You will be charged based on the value of the item, but typically it’s less than $50 per year! (Sometimes much less, sometimes a little more.  It all depends on how much insurance is required.)

Plus, scheduled items don’t require a deductible.  So if your ring is lost or stolen, you pay nothing out of pocket but get to replace your precious jewelry.

So next time you open a jewelry box and put a sparkling diamond on your finger, make sure that you are insuring your investment.

Have questions about scheduling items on your homeowners insurance?  Call us today at 816-795-5977 or email jolson3@farmersagent.com for assistance!