Acentria Insurance Blog

Posts about:

Insurance

Auto Insurance for your teen driver

Teen Drivers & Auto Insurance

Tips to Keep Auto Insurance Costs Down

Being the parent of a teenager that is getting ready to climb behind the steering and venture out on the road is uncharted territory for many. Insuring your new driver can be an expensive endeavor and even overwhelming to think about. We are here to help! The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-19 year-olds than any other driving age group. Here are some helpful tips we have gathered to assist you in keeping your premiums as low as possible and to help keep your new teen driver safe and accident-free.

Add Your Teen to Your Auto Policy

Rather than setting up an independent policy for your teen driver, consider adding him or her as an additional driver on your auto insurance policy. Also, if you have more than one vehicle, keep costs down by designating which vehicle your child will be driving.

Deductible Considerations

Auto deductibles typically range from $250 to $1,000. By upping your deductible and using your insurance for big repairs, you can significantly reduce your premium.

Ask for the Student Discount

If your teenager maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA), he or she typically qualifies for a rate discount.

Weigh Your Buying Decision

Wanting to get your teenager a new car to drive with the latest safety equipment is understandable, but you may be better off purchasing a safe, used vehicle in terms of premium prices.

We’re Here to Help

Contact our office by phone at 866.374.5084 or CLICK HERE to learn more about all of our automobile insurance and personal risk management solutions.

Top Ways to Save on Your Auto Premium:

  • Consider increasing your Comprehensive and/or Collision Deductible(s)
  • Inquire about a good student discount
  • Have your teen keep up their safe driving record
  • Confirm if there are any multi-policy discounts available to you.

Are you interested in a Parent/Teen Driving Agreement? A driving contract or agreement with your teen can help reinforce that driving is a privilege that should be taken seriously, may help eliminate any confusion about you and your families’ rules when it comes to driving, and provide pre-established consequences to utilize in the event the driving rules are broken. If interested, we have a Parent/Teen Driving Contract available for you to use at your own discretion. Download your copy today. 

Parent/Teen Driving Agreement

 

Set Your Expectations for Safety and Minimize Distracted Driving

Teens can get distracted easily. To help reduce potential accidents:

  • Restrict your teen’s nighttime driving
  • Do not allow them to drive with more than one other person in the car
  • Ban cell phone use while driving
  • Lead by example with your own driving habits
  • Ride with your son or daughter occasionally to make sure they are keeping up with the safety habits that they learned in driver’s education

Consider these best practices before your teen starts driving:

  1. As soon as your teen is ready to get his/her learner’s permit, contact Acentria.
  2. If your child gets into an accident, we will generally cover it but may charge a higher premium retroactively if you did not notify them that your child was driving. In rare cases, your coverage may be revoked.
  3. Do not lower your liability coverage drastically to combat rate increases. It simply does not make sense to carry less liability for higher-risk teen drivers. You will be forced to cover damages out-of-pocket if your child gets into an accident without enough coverage if you do not carry adequate car insurance coverage.
                                                                          

You have heard various statistics over the years and may have even experienced them yourself. Did you know that – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Teenage drivers are most likely to have an accident during their first year of driving. Teens give in to peer pressure from passengers easily and are more likely to speed or race other vehicles while in the presence of their peers. The National Institute of Mental Health claims that the part of the brain that weighs risks, makes judgment decisions and controls impulses are not fully developed until the age of 25.


To think of the risks teen drivers face can be daunting. No matter what is to come on the road ahead, we encourage you to review your current auto insurance policy with a licensed insurance agent, consider additional liability coverage under a personal umbrella policy and continue the conversation with your teen driver regularly.

Quote My Auto Insurance

Request a personalized auto insurance quote from Acentria Insurance
or a policy review by clicking the link above. 

 
Disclaimer: For information purposes only. The information provided herein is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should it be construed as advice regarding coverage. Eligibility for coverage is not guaranteed and limited to the terms and conditions contained in the applicable policy. © 2008, 2010, 2016 Zywave Inc. 

 

            
            
Read More

Named Storm Deductibles | How do these deductibles work?

The heavy rainfall, high winds and storm surges associated with hurricanes and other intense storms can devastate any home or business property, even those located hundreds of miles off of a coast. With the potential to cause tens of billions of dollars in damage, insurance companies and carriers generally use special, “named storm deductibles,” to provide coverage in the event of a loss.

Read More

Life Events that Affect Your Insurance Needs

Life Events that Affect Your Insurance Needs 

As we age and reach different milestones in our lives, our insurance needs change. In order to ensure adequate coverage, contact a licensed insurance agent at Acentria Insurance if you’re affected by any of the following life events:

  • New homeownership— Purchasing a new home is a big investment—one that you will want to protect. After purchasing a home, ensure that you have homeowners insurance to protect against things like fire, weather damage, theft, vandalism and accidental damage. This advice also holds true if you are buying a new condo or vacation home.
  • Home renovations—Once you own a home, you may want to make updates to create a better living space. Be sure to report major home improvements to your insurance company to protect any increased value to your home.
  • New children—Having or adopting children is not only a huge life change, but it’s also a major financial commitment. As such, it’s important to purchase the right policy to secure your child’s future. Add your child as a beneficiary on any life insurance policies, and make sure your coverage is sufficient.
  • Teenage drivers— Teen drivers often carry the highest risk of auto accidents. While you want your teen driver to remain safe on the road, costly accidents can happen without warning. Consider adding your teen driver to your auto policy, as it is generally cheaper than purchasing a separate policy.
  • Retirement—When you retire, you may change residences. If you have more than one home, this is a good time to let your insurance provider know where you plan to spend your time.
  • Valuable purchases—A standard homeowners policy has limited coverage for highly valuable items. Supplement purchases and gifts that exceed the policy’s limits with a floater—a separate policy that provides additional insurance.
  • Marriage—When your marital status changes, so do your insurance needs. Marriage typically leads to the combination of households, vehicles and other property, so it is critical to update your insurance policies accordingly. What’s more, life insurance is vital to married couples as it can ease the financial burden in the event of an untimely death of a partner. Ask about discounts on car insurance for married policyholders.
  • Purchasing or selling a business—If you’re an entrepreneur, there will likely come a time when you will either buy or sell your business. During these times of major change, the proper coverage is crucial.

Insurance is critical for nearly every stage of life. Seeking coverage should be an active process, and individuals shouldn’t assume their insurance needs remain steady over time. Contact us today to better understand your insurance and prepare for your future needs.

*Know Your Insurance is offered courtesy of Acentria Insurance and Zywave, Inc. The above statements should not be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or speak with a licensed insurance professional for appropriate advice.

Read More
Acentria Insurance is a Top Insurance Employer

Acentria recognized as a Top Insurance Employer for 2021

Acentria Insurance is among the insurance industry’s best employers! Based upon survey results from thousands of insurance professionals; we are at the top of our industry, ranking 3rd in Top Insurance Employers with 500+ employees according to “Insurance Business America Magazine” for 2021.  As a Top Insurance Employer, Acentria invests in the growth and development of its team, a positive company culture, comprehensive benefits package, additional time off for volunteer work and much more.

Congratulations to our Acentria team - together we continue to achieve more! 

Read more about Acentria Insurance, Top Insurance Employers and the in-depth rankings here: IBA 2021 Top Insurance Employer

Are you or someone you know interested in joining the Acentria team? Find out more information by visiting our careers page here: Acentria Careers 


Read More

Get Prepared for This Year’s Intensifying Hurricane Season

As this year’s hurricane season enters its peak, predictions have intensified around both the number and intensity of storms we can expect across the Atlantic coast. If you live in the area, it’s critical to start preparing now - before a storm is headed your way - in order to protect the safety of both loved ones and your home.

Take a moment to explore what’s expected for the remainder of the season - and find out how you can take action, right now.

What’s on the hurricane horizon?

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently issued its annual mid-season update, forecasting a 65% likelihood of an above-normal hurricane season. NOAA also upped its prediction of the number of storms we can expect from six to 10 hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or more (May forecast) to seven to 10, with three to five bringing winds at 111 mph or greater.

How long will hurricane season last?

Generally, peak hurricane season begins in August and continues through October. These months present the most favorable conditions for tropical storms and hurricanes thanks to highly developed African easterly waves and lessening Saharan air layers, low wind shear, rising sea-surface temperatures and more atmospheric convection.

This season, however, NOAA warns of a potential La Nina pattern that could form over the eastern equatorial pacific that would extend hurricane season into November.

Why prepare now - and how?

As we face more storms of higher intensity and a potentially prolonged hurricane season, how can homeowners get prepared? Even if you’re not certain that a hurricane is headed your way, there are steps you can take right now that will better position you in the event that you wind up in a hurricane’s path. As a result, you can limit the property damage that occurs from storm surges, wind damage and flooding - and most importantly, stay out of harm’s way.

Pre-storm preparedness:

  • Document your possessions with photos and/or videos
  • Print important items like IDs and insurance cards and store them in a waterproof container
  • Review your home insurance and flood policy with your insurance agent to identify any possible coverage gaps. Please note, any coverage changes may be subject to a 30 day waiting period or storm-related binding restrictions.
  • Create an evacuation plan - how will you leave? Where will you go?
  • Designate an emergency contact
  • Stock up on supplies: backup chargers, non-perishable food, bottled water, flashlights, etc.

As we can see, many of these items involve forward planning, like setting up a meeting with an insurance agent or buying items that could be in short supply once a storm is imminent. By taking the time now to check these items off, you can lower your risk from both a liability and safety standpoint. Plus, you can reduce the stress of an already challenging situation should a storm arise in your area.

Now let’s look at what you can focus on once you know a tropical storm or hurricane is likely to arrive.

When a storm is forecast to make landfall in the next few days:

  • Fill your gas tank(s) and refill prescriptions
  • Keep electronic devices like your phone fully charged
  • Take precautions to secure your home with shutters or alternative methods
  • Secure any outdoor furniture, garbage cans, etc. that could become flying debris
  • Share your storm plan with a family member, friend or neighbor

Finally, be sure to follow any and all evacuation orders from local authorities. In the event that you are in a storm, avoid floodwaters and fallen power lines at all costs.

One final tip

Keep these steps handy as you get prepared for the remainder of the hurricane season. Increase your readiness in the event of a hurricane, be prepared and get storm ready!

 

Have you reviewed your coverage? No time like the present

The 2021 hurricane season is showing no signs of slowing down, so why wait to review your coverage? Connect with an Acentria Insurance agent today and make sure your home has the right level of protection moving forward.

 

Read More
Structural Building Concerns

Structural Issues and Aging Buildings

Structural Issues and Aging Buildings

While modern building codes and structural engineering have made buildings extremely safe, facilities managers must maintain a high level of upkeep for them to remain that way. As buildings age, they can lose their structural integrity. As such, if simple repairs are left untended, they can balloon into bigger issues, potentially causing significant damage that can interrupt operations and/or even endanger others.

Continual maintenance and inspections are imperative for keeping buildings safe and operable. According to the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, 72% of commercial buildings in the United States are aged 20 years or older. It's around this milestone that facilities managers should expect to prepare significant funds for upgrades.

Structural Issues

Facilities managers need to keep a close eye on all components that make up a building's functionality. While it may seem that structural issues only refer to the foundation and walls, the reality is that all systems within a building must be working optimally to keep the building structurally sound for the long haul. Many structural issues can be attributed to the following:

  • Concrete decay—Concrete decay is natural and occurs over time as buildings age. However, several issues can cause concrete to decay prematurely, including:
    • Placement issues—The common signs of placement issues include cracks, air bubbles visible in the concrete, pockets of rocks, honeycombing and cold joints.
    • Exposure—Buildings can suffer from exposure to the elements. Depending on location, coastal ocean salt or rock salt used in winter can increase the rate of concrete decay. Chemical deterioration can also occur as a result of acid rain due to pollution.
    • Wind—Excessive exposure to wind can cause concrete to develop shrinkage cracks and erode the outer building layers.
    • Freeze-thaw cycles—These cycles dampen concrete and cool it before there is time for proper drainage, causing expansion, scaling and delamination.
    • Steel support corrosion—When steel corrodes, it expands to create tensile stresses in the concrete. Cracking, delamination and spalling are often a result.

Decayed concrete should be replaced in a timely fashion. Otherwise, the building could sustain severe structural defects or collapse.

  • Roofing—A few factors determine a roof's lifespan, including the type of roof, the climate and the roof’s maintenance history. If the roof is allowed to deteriorate and moisture spreads, other systems will fall apart soon after. Facilities managers should plan to conduct a roof inspection twice a year—once when the weather is at its hottest and once when it's at its coldest.
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems—Inefficient HVAC systems can be costly to operate and cause air quality issues, such as mold. Mold can lead to structural damage since it feeds on and breaks down organic matter. When mold infests in walls, insulation, paper backing or carpeting, the materials must be removed and replaced. Improper heating and cooling can also cause damage due to a lack of efficient air circulation and ventilation.
  • Electrical—Hot spots can form if the electrical wiring has loose connections, corroded wires/connectors, overloaded circuits, short circuits, imbalanced electrical loading, or faulty fuses, breakers and switches. The excessive heat from these hot spots could start a fire, and even a small fire has the ability to cause damage that hurts the structural integrity.
  • Plumbing—Bad plumbing can cause health risks and have adverse effects on a building and the environment. Leaks can lead to mold and water damage. Some of the significant plumbing issues older buildings face include inefficient fixtures, bad equipment and lead in the pipes, the last of which can contaminate drinking water.

Prevention

Outside of a significant disaster or event, buildings don't typically deteriorate overnight. There are several preventive measures that can be taken to ensure a structure's longevity. These include:

  • Hiring a good facilities manager—Facilities managers should know the building better than anyone else and act as the first line of defense by identifying any repairs that need to take place. Having a proactive facilities manager can save money and ensure buildings remain safe to occupy.
  • Planning for repairs and maintenance—While setting aside a large sum of money for repairs that haven't happened yet may seem unnecessary, it can be beneficial in the long run when it's time for routine maintenance or when unexpected expenses occur.
  • Conducting building inspections—Inspections should be performed by qualified inspectors who have location-specific expertise. Inspectors should be familiar with signs of damage due to local weather, such as areas with saltwater or snow loading. Structural engineers should assess the major structural components of the building to identify any necessary corrective actions. They should document inspections to allow for year-to-year comparisons of issues, being sure to take ample photos. Inspections should occur:
    • Annually
    • After any significant event, such as wind storms, earthquakes or hurricanes
    • Before and after any major addition or renovation
  • Knowing local building codes—Building codes help maintain safe and structurally sound buildings. It's essential to know and understand local building codes so that all requirements are met. Some regulations in harsher environments may have additional requirements.
  • Acting upon identified issues—When an issue arises, it should be dealt with swiftly. Early action can keep costs lower than if an issue is allowed to become more serious. The safety of those who live or work in the building depends on structural issues being addressed and resolved.

All buildings will need repairs and updates eventually. By being proactive, facilities managers can ensure that the structural integrity of a building and the safety of its tenants remain intact.

For more risk management guidance or a review of your current commercial property insurance portfolio, contact us today. At Acentria Insurance we are your dedicated resource for all things insurance. 

Read More

Acentria named Top 100 Independent Agency in United States

Acentria Insurance named Top 100 Independent Agency in the United States

Insurance Journal recently named Acentria Insurance a Top 100 Independent Agency. Ranking 35th of 100, this marks the first time Acentria has been named to the prestigious list, which is designed to spotlight the nation’s most successful independent insurance agencies. Acentria was one of 11 newcomers to the Top 100 Independent Property & Casualty Agency List by Insurance Journal this year.

Here’s how the process works: every year, Insurance Journal selects the top organizations from a large pool of property/casualty independent agencies around the United States with primary business in business in retail, not wholesale. These agencies are evaluated and subsequently chosen based upon their property/casualty revenue (Acentria totaled $73,807,728 in property/casualty revenue for 2020). 

“Being recognized as one of the top independent insurance agencies in the United States is a major accomplishment for our organization,” said Kevin Mason, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Acentria Insurance. “To have maintained and continued our level of growth during unprecedented times, especially around a global pandemic is a true testament to our company values as well as our valued team members. As a Foundation Risk Partners, our clients will always remain our top guiding principal as we continue our upward growth.”

Headquartered in Destin, Florida, Acentria was the only North Florida agency selected to the list. The recognition comes months after five Acentria agents were named to the 2021 Top Producers by Insurance Business America.

 We’re proud of our team’s success in 2020 and look forward to continual growth in 2021!

Read More

Home Insurance | Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value

Your homeowner insurance policy can offer financial protection in the event of an unexpected disaster involving your home or personal property. But how you will be reimbursed following a claim depends on the type of coverage you have. There are two main valuation methods when it comes to homeowners insurance—replacement cost coverage (RC) and actual cash value coverage (ACV). By understanding the difference between these valuation methods, you can make informed decisions about your homeowner insurance policy(s) and secure coverage that meets your needs.

Key Differences Between Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value
Although replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage can both offer financial protection in the event of a claim, the amount that your policy will pay out differs between these two valuation methods.

Here are the key differences:
  • Replacement cost coverage can offer compensation for the cost of replacing your stolen, damaged, or destroyed property with a brand-new version (as long as it’s similar in kind and quality to the original). For example, if your couch is destroyed in a house fire, replacement cost coverage would reimburse you for the cost of purchasing a comparable new couch. In other words, replacement cost coverage will replace your property without any deduction for depreciation.
    • This form of coverage can be especially beneficial in protecting against major losses, such as significant damage to the physical structure of your home or expensive items within your home. However, keep in mind that replacement cost coverage typically requires you to pay a higher premium. In addition, remember that you will only be compensated up to your policy limit amount—if you experience a covered loss that exceeds your policy limit, you may have to cover the difference. If you are concerned about the risk of a covered loss totaling more than your policy limit, be sure to consult your trusted broker to discuss additional policy options—such as guaranteed replacement cost coverage or extended replacement cost coverage—which can provide further financial protection.
  • Actual cash value coverage, on the other hand, can offer compensation for the depreciated value of your stolen, damaged or destroyed property. This value is determined by the age, condition and expected remaining useful life of your property. Under this coverage, you wouldn’t be reimbursed for the full cost of replacing your destroyed couch from the above example. Rather, you would be compensated for the current market value of the couch, based on the condition it was in before the fire. That being said, even if you initially purchased the couch several years ago for $2,000, you might only be reimbursed $1,000 for your loss due to depreciation.
    • Although this form of coverage typically offers reduced compensation in the event of a covered claim, you will likely save money on your policy premium. Actual cash value coverage can be more suitable for individuals that live in low-risk areas (e.g., locations, where incidents such as heavy winds, fires or theft are less common,) or own fewer expensive items.

 

Which Coverage Is Best for You?

There are pros and cons to both replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage. In order to select the best coverage that meets your specific home insurance policy needs, follow these steps:

  • Determine what you can afford by assessing the impact of both coverages on your financial stability. It’s important to consider the difference in premium costs and claim compensation amounts between each form of coverage.
  • Create a home inventory checklist (be sure to include photos) of all of your belongings and their original value, as well as an estimate of their current value. This practice will help you better determine which coverage offers the best protection for your unique belongings. Keep in mind that certain high-value items—such as jewelry, collectible items or fine art—won’t be covered by your home insurance policy and will require specialized coverage.
  • Calculate how much it would cost to rebuild your home if it were completely destroyed. Include added costs for labor, materials and any new or updated building codes in your community that you would be required to comply with. Avoid making a rough estimate for this cost—be as specific as possible to ensure you know just how much coverage you need.
  • Analyze your personal risk and speak with a licensed insurance agent to review your options. Be sure to select a coverage option that fits within your budget, risk profile and comfort level.

 

We’re Here to Help

There are several factors to consider when determining which type of coverage is right for you, but you don’t have to navigate this decision alone. Acentria is here to walk you through your home insurance policy and provide expert guidance regarding which coverage option is best for you, your belongings and your wallet. For further coverage guidance, contact us today

Read More

Ensuring Protection for Your Loved Ones – Even After You’re Gone

Life can be unpredictable. That’s why ensuring your loved ones are covered and protected after your death is important, especially we grow older. Family members who depend upon you for an income could be left in a challenging situation if you were to unexpectedly pass away.

Life insurance policies from Acentria Insurance are flexible, affordable and designed to fit both you and your family’s needs. As we somberly honor Widow’s Day, let’s take a deeper dive into the importance and intricacies of life insurance.

Are there different types of life insurance?

Acentria offers several types of life insurance policies suited for varying situations and needs. These policies are divided into two categories: term and permanent (or whole) life insurance

Whole Life Insurance: Otherwise known as straight life or permanent life, whole life insurance is the most traditional life insurance policy. Whole life is designed for customers who value absolute guarantees and consistency in rate of return, cost and benefits. These policies are more expensive than term policies in the early years, but they even out because of steady premiums.

 

Universal Life Insurance: Universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that offers more flexibility in premiums and face value throughout the policy. Universal life insurance policies have the potential for higher earnings on the savings component, and there is usually a guaranteed return on the cash value. Disadvantages include possible higher fees and increasing premiums.

 

Variable Life Insurance: A variable life insurance policy is also a form of whole life insurance that typically has fixed premiums. With variable life insurance, you maintain control over the investment decisions for the cash value portion. However, this may be a riskier option because there is no guarantee for the cash value.

 

Term Life Insurance: Unlike the others, term life insurance is life insurance that protects you and your dependents for a specified period of time. It’s the simplest and cheapest form of life insurance, but there is no cash value. Once the period is up, your policy becomes invalid.

 

Employers often offer either term or whole coverage (or both). Some employers cover the full cost while others require employees to pay a premium.

What life events affect my life insurance policy?

If you have an existing life insurance policy, it’s important to keep your insurance agent up-to-date on any major changes that occur in your life. Your agent might suggest adding to your current life insurance policy (such as when you have children) or bundling that policy with another necessary policy (such as homeowners insurance for when you purchase a home).

These life changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Buying a home or renovating your current home
  • Having children or adopting children
  • Retiring (and moving residencies)
  • Getting married
  • Being responsible for a teenage driver
  • Buying or selling a business

Contact an Acentria agent to learn more about how these changes affect your current policies.

What factors impact life insurance premiums?

Many factors are considered when looking at life insurance premiums. Women typically pay less than men due to a longer life expectancy, while smokers pay higher premiums than non-smokers. An individual’s health, family history, occupational risk and lifestyle choices all impact your life insurance premiums.

All new life insurance policyholders are required to undergo a medical exam and answer questions about their medical history. It’s important to be honest during this process: lying about your medical history could result in a loss of policy or denied benefits for your dependents upon your death.

While some factors are beyond your control, there are ways to reduce your life insurance premiums through lifestyle changes. Quitting smoking, losing weight through diet and exercise, and improving your cholesterol all may help reduce your current premiums.

You may also have an opportunity to reduce your premiums through a group rate. Call your Acentria agent to learn more about our cost-saving group rates.

Protection Throughout Your Life and Beyond

At Acentria, we know the subject of life insurance can be overwhelming and possibly uncomfortable. We’re here to walk you through the process and answer any questions you have along the way. Our top priority is providing you with a policy that safeguards you and your family after you’re gone.

Request a life insurance quote here to learn how you can start protecting your loved ones today.

Read More

Staying Safe and Healthy During the Summer

Summer brings us together (and outside) to enjoy longer days and fun-filled memories. But with the joys of summer come the hazards, too.

At Acentria Insurance, we want to help you enjoy this season – while staying safe and healthy. Let’s dive into some common summer scenes and learn how to mitigate the risks surrounding them.

Scenario 1: An Outdoor Picnic or Barbeque

Outdoor gatherings over a meal are a great way to enjoy one another’s company while taking in the warmer weather. But with higher temps comes an increased risk of foodborne illnesses. The CDC estimates that 48 million people get sick every year from foodborne illnesses.

Follow these tips to make your next get-together memorable – for all the right reasons:

  • Maintain proper temperature: With ongoing conversations and late grazers, it’s easy to let food sit out for too long during an outdoor gathering. Make sure perishable food doesn’t sit out for more than two hours – or one hour if it’s hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Chill correctly: Pack your coolers well, particularly in regard to meat, poultry and seafood. Keep your refrigerated food separated by category (such as fruits, drinks and meat) to avoid cross-contamination. To keep your contents colder longer, keep your coolers closed when you’re not using them.
  • Keep your hands clean: If you have access to soap and water, wash your hands regularly – especially after handling raw meat or before eating. No sink? All that hand sanitizer you collected during 2020 comes in handy.
  • Wash your produce: Rinse all fruits and veggies with running water, scrubbing if needed. You can skip this step if you buy pre-packaged produce that’s labeled “washed” or “ready to eat.”
  • Serve your guests well: Avoid re-using plates and dishes that you used with raw meat, as the bacteria from the raw meat can contaminate food. Serve all food on clean platters and with fresh silverware.

Scenario 2: An Afternoon Drive or Summer Road Trip

Whether you’re driving to a destination or enjoying a leisurely ride through your neighborhood, it’s important to exercise all safety precautions. According to the CDC, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the US for people under the age of 55. In addition to securing a proper auto insurance policy (we can help you out with that), you should exercise the following precautions:

Watch for Animals

Over 260,000 road collisions occur between drivers and animals each year. Stay alert, watch your speed and use your brights at night to provide better vision. Wildlife warning signs are typically displayed in areas with a heavier wildlife population, allowing you to better prepare.

If an animal does cross the road, use your brakes and don’t swerve, especially if there are other cars around. If you do hit a large animal like a deer, find a safe spot to pull over – then call the police.

Keep Your Children Safe

Proper installation of car seats and booster seats is crucial to protecting your child – and potentially saving his/her life. Children who are properly restrained in child seats have a lower risk of fatal injury during a car accident. Unfortunately, car seats are often installed wrong or not used properly. Always follow instructions when installing these seats, check before use – and abide by these tips:

    • Infants (0-2 years old): Use an infant-only or convertible rear-facing seat and place it in the back seat only. Select a specific seat based on the baby’s age and weight. Secure the seat by the seat belts or by the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system. The seat should recline at a 45-degree angle and harness straps should fit snugly, sitting at or below the baby’s shoulders.
    • Toddlers (2-4 years old, 20-40 pounds): Toddlers should sit forward in a proper car seat that’s secured by seat belts or the LATCH system. They should always sit in the back seat. Harness straps should fit tightly, sit at/above the shoulders, and the clip should be at armpit level.
    • Young Children (4-12 years old or shorter than 4’9” tall): Put these children in a belt-positioning booster base or a high-back, belt-positioning booster that is used with lap and shoulder belts (never with lap-only belts). Children should continue to sit in the back seat and maintain proper seatbelt use (the belt fitting tightly across the chest, never behind their arms, etc.).

Scenario 3: Swimming in a Backyard Pool

Installing a pool at your home is a great way to stay cool while having a good time. But safety comes first when it comes to swimming.

First, remember that as a homeowner, you could be held responsible for accidents that occur at your pool. Protect yourself (and your assets) with a homeowners insurance policy and possibly personal umbrella insurance. Reach out to one of our Acentria agents to learn more!

You should also take safety precautions ahead of any swimming dates. Consider a fence with a latch that you keep closed when the pool is not in use. Ensure the area around your pool is a nonslip surface. And keep your pool clean with filters and chemicals (just be sure these chemicals are kept out of reach and in a safe spot).

Children can be especially vulnerable around pools, particularly younger ones. Make sure any kids using your pool can properly swim or have a guardian accompany them. Keep a first-aid kit handy in case of an accident and ensure you know how to properly respond in an emergency. Here are some additional tips about keeping kids safe around pools.

Mitigate Summer Risks with Acentria

Regardless of where your summer adventures take you, it’s important to make sure you’re protected by an insurance policy that covers all of you and your family’s needs. Contact Acentria to obtain a free quote today.

Read More