Have You Checked Your Car for These Problems Lately?

Simple ways to keep your car running

If a car is taken care of properly, it can easily last you for many years. Routine maintenance is a key factor in ensuring that your vehicle is in great shape, and there are a few things that you can do to make sure that your vehicle stays as healthy as possible:

  • If a dashboard light illuminates, have the issue checked by a professional right away.
  • Have someone help you check all of your car’s lights occasionally – headlights, turn signals, tail lights, and brake lights should all be operational.
  • Use an air pressure gauge to ensure that your tire’s PSI is within the manufacturer’s suggested range.
  • Check the amount of wear and tear on your tires, and replace your tires if it is significant.
  • Evaluate your fluid levels and top off fluid levels if needed, including engine oil, windshield wiper fluid, power steering fluid, and more.
  • Assess the state of your car’s windshield. If there are cracks or chips, have it repaired or replaced by a professional.
  • Make sure that windshield wipers are replaced at least once a year, or when they begin to leave streaks when in use.
  • Don’t be surprised by a dead battery – test your battery and cables and replace as needed.

Performing these rather simple checks occasionally will help you to ensure that your car runs smoothly for many years to come. Also remember to occasionally check on your auto insurance policy! You never know when you will need to use your coverage, so having an up-to-date policy is essential for all cars and their drivers.

Winter Weather Part 1: Before the Storm

Winter Storm #1
Winter Storm #1

It’s that time of year again – winter weather will be here before we know it. Are you prepared? As an insurance expert, I have seen firsthand what happens when people aren’t prepared, and I don’t want that to happen to you! So make sure that you add these three simple but critical tasks to your ‘to-do’ list so that you and your family are prepared for the upcoming winter:

  • Build your emergency kits: You need two types of emergency kits. One will help you stay safe at home when you’re weathering out a storm, and one will keep you safe on the road if you need to evacuate. Ensure that both are stocked with all of the recommended necessities.
  • Have a communication plan: Sometimes bad weather can strike without warning. For these times, it is crucial to have a family communication plan, and to review it often. If you need to build a new communication plan, you can use this template from FEMA to get started.
  • Prepare your smartphone: You should always make sure that your cell phone is fully charged before a storm (have an external battery on hand just to be safe). Make sure that up-to-date weather information is just a tap away with apps from The Weather Channel and The Red Cross.

There are two more things that you can do to prepare. First, share this post with your friends and family so that they can prepare. Then, make sure that your home insurance is ready in case of a disaster with a free home insurance review. And make sure to stay tuned to parts two and three of this series, that will detail what to do during and after a winter storm!

Avoid Kitchen Fires this Holiday Season

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Did you know that the peak season for kitchen fires is during the fall and winter? It’s not surprising, especially when you consider that this is the time of year that families get together over a holiday meal. When you and your relatives gather during the holidays this year, make sure that you follow these kitchen tips so that everyone stays happy and healthy:

  • Wear the right clothing. Loose clothing (especially long, open sleeves) can be a fire hazard while cooking. Roll up sleeves when in the kitchen, and tie long hair back so that it doesn’t get in the way.
  • If you’re going to fry a turkey for one of your holiday meals, be very cautious, and make sure to read the instructions that came with your fryer thoroughly before you even begin to prepare your bird.
  • Make sure you always have the right tools on hand in case of a fire. For oven fires, turn off the oven’s heat and keep the door closed until the fire is out and cooled. Pots and pans are the same – carefully put a lid on the pan, then turn off the heat (if you can do so safely). And remember never to douse a grease fire with water!

Here’s one last tip to help you feel at ease when you’re hosting a crowd: Make sure that your home insurance is up to date! If it’s been a while since you last talked to your local insurance agent, touch base for a few minutes to make sure that you’re fully covered for any potential bumps in the road during the upcoming year. Updating your home insurance policy is a quick and easy process, but it could save you a lot of headaches in the future.