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Sharing the Road

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 Road Rules 101: Turning right across a bike lane

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September is National Preparedness Month

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Experts suggest these steps as a good place to begin:

  • Create a family communication emergency plan
  • Have a survival kit for three days in your car, home and office
  • Know where your gas, electric and water shut-offs are and how to use them
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Equifax Breach and Identity Protection

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Here’s a link you might find helpful in understanding the recent Equifax breach and some action items for you to consider.

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Safeguard Your Identity

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With summer just around the corner many people are planning vacations and preparing to travel. Traveling can be a time when risk of identity theft increases since we use credit cards frequently. Identity theft is a serious crime that is increasing at an alarming rate. About 1 in 7 U.S. residents over age 16 was a victim in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Misusing someone's credit card account is the most common kind of identity theft. According to a recent survey compiled by the US Federal Trade Commission, more than 3 m...
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Have a Teen Ready to Drive? Consider This Contract

Have a Teen Ready to Drive? Consider This Contract
Parents often have a lot of questions about when their teens are ready to drive. This is a personal situation that every family needs to consider for each of their children. Some may be ready at an older or younger age than others, depending on their level of maturity and responsibility. Before your teen takes the wheel, it is important to discuss not just the mechanics of how to drive, but also all of the responsibilities, consequences and costs associated with driving. Establishing clear agreements about the rules and responsibilities will he...
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Who Will You Dedicate Your Pledge To?

Who Will You Dedicate Your Pledge To?
Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act Nationwide, 43 states have passed laws to prohibit drivers from texting. In Washington State, lawmakers recently approved Senate Bill 5289 , Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act . This new legislation which will go into effect in 2019 forbids the use of a handheld device and all video watching while a car is moving or briefly stopped. The fine will increase to $245 on the second offense, and distracted driving will be reportable to insurance companies on the first offense, like any other ...
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Distracted Driver Awareness Month

Distracted Driver Awareness Month
​ APRIL is Distracted Driver Awareness Month , a good time to consider facts about distracted driving . Here are a few collected from recent studies: Drivers are four times more likely to crash if using a cell phone, whether or not it is hands-free. Drivers talking on cell phones can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environments, including pedestrians and red lights. A National Safety Council review of the science  concludes that "hands-free devices offer no safety benefit when driving." New studies show that using voice-to-text is m...
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Is Your Teen Really Ready?

Is Your Teen Really Ready?

Most teenagers can’t wait to get behind the wheel, but just because your child has reached the legal driving age and wants to drive, that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is ready. Driving is serious business, especially on today’s crowded roads with cell phones and other distractions adding higher risk.

Since your child’s life and the lives of everyone else on the road are at stake every time they get behind the wheel, it is essential that parents evaluate their teen’s maturity and responsibility before handing over the keys. Gauging a teen’s readiness to drive requires honestly assessing his or her individual temperament and behavior, which will be different for every child. Don’t feel obligated to let your kids drive just because they have reached the age or their friends are driving. We encourage parents to use your own judgment and trust yourselves; you are the best judge of your kids’ maturity. Listen to your gut, not to their pleading! If you're feeling uneasy about handing over the keys, even just a few months of waiting could make a big difference.

If your 16 year old is irresponsible when it comes to things like doing her chores and getting her school work done, she may not be ready for the responsibility of driving. Or if your teen shows reckless behavior or high susceptibility to peer pressure, he may not be ready to take the wheel responsibly. You might have one child who is mature enough to safely handle the responsibility of driving at age 16 and another who still isn’t ready by 18. Driving is not one size fits all! Evaluate each of your kids as the individuals they are and don’t let concerns about fairness or peer pressure get in the way of making a smart decision.

When you do reach the decision that your teen is ready to take the wheel, make sure you are protected. Adding a teen to your auto insurance is a good time to review your policy to make sure you have the right coverage for all of your risks and needs. Although there are costs for adding a teen to your auto policy, the first way to reduce the cost is with the Good Student Discount for students with a 3.0 GPA or higher – a good incentive for your teen to keep up with their grades, especially if he or she will be helping pay some of the insurance costs. Bundling your renter’s and auto insurance policies helps you save even more.

If you have a teen reaching for the wheel soon, give us a call.

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Safety Planning Before Vacation

Safety Planning Before Vacation

This past weekend, we celebrated Summer Solstice, which means summer is officially here and you mostly likely have some vacation time planned. An empty house can be a welcome invitation to burglars. Before leaving on any trip, take time to double check your security systems and prepare your home.   

 

Check Your Alarms

Double check all the test features on your alarm to make sure they are working properly and going off at the appropriate times.

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The Best Way to Avoid Car Break-Ins

The Best Way to Avoid Car Break-Ins

Car break-ins are one of those things you never expect to happen to you.

You lock your car and roll up your windows and assume that should be enough. But, anyone who has had their car broken into, knows car prowlers aren’t deterred by secured doors and windows.  

And it usually happens because they had something, even random items, visible through the windows.

There is a direct correlation between what is visible in your car and break-ins. For every car break-in claim at CTIA, we ask what was visible in the car. People often say nothing, until we dig a little deeper and inquire about random items. It doesn’t have to be a purse, wallet or electronic, even charging cords or loose change in cup holders can be temptation for a car prowler. We’ve even heard stories about luggage, left in the backseat, being rummaged through.

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Distracted Driving & Climbing Auto Rates

Distracted Driving & Climbing Auto Rates

Auto rates are climbing… and will most likely keep climbing in the years to come.

Reasons are varied, but it can be partially attributed to the increase in distracted driving. With more devices, and therefore more distractions, involved in our daily lives, we have assumed more risk. Some people check their emails at stoplights, update their status while stuck in traffic and even return text messages while in their in the car. All of this has led to more accidents and, unfortunately, a trend in higher auto rates for everyone.

Although, we can’t mitigate all distractions while in the car. You can take a few precautions to make sure you aren’t contributing to the problem.

Mute Your Devices

As soon as you get in your car, turn the sound off on your phone and any other device that may distract you. If you don’t hear the ping of a new text, email or Instagram Like, you won’t be as tempted to find out what is happening in your digital world.

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