Avoiding a Used Car Nightmare  
December, 08 2017, ,
Posted by Administrator
As we roll into another year (yeah it is almost here!) many of us might be looking to buy a different vehicle. Whether the purchase is for us or preparing to send high school graduates off to school, there are going to be a lot of options. If you are buying new then this article will not be something concerning to you. If you are buying a used car, here are some things to keep in mind.
With all the flooding cause by the hurricanes throughout the country this year, there were a lot of vehicles that were affected. Some of them might have been purchased and cleaned up to look like a reliable, used vehicle. However, the opposite is true. What might look like an unbelievable deal, might be a nightmare purchase that leaves you with more problems than you want to deal with. Below is an article for used car buyers to consider when purchasing their vehicle.
Sidestep Flooded Autos
A Key Sign That You Have Bought a Lemon of a Car: You Can Only Go to Restaurants That Offer Valet Pushing
Various parts of the United States, including Texas and Florida, have suffered severe flooding this fall. Carfax estimates that as many as half of flood-damaged cars get cleaned up and moved around the country with no notation of flood damage. As a result, they can end up in the hands of unsuspecting consumers. Flooded automobiles are notoriously unreliable vehicles, and proactive steps should be taken to avoid purchasing one. Here are some tips for you to consider that will help you avoid unknowingly purchasing a flooded vehicle.
• Perform a careful examination of the used vehicle. For example, look for a well-defined line or watermark on the inside and outside of the car. Inspect the vehicle in difficult-to-clean areas, like the gaps between panels in the truck or SUV, under the hood, and under the trunk liner, where water-borne materials and debris may still cling.

• Be wary of used cars with new or mismatched upholstery. Non-original or mismatched headliners or trunk liners can also be hidden clues.

• Avoid purchasing cars through auctions because flooded vehicles are often cleaned and then sold at these events.

• Bypass individuals who buy and sell cars as a sideline business. It is better to buy from a reputable dealer or an individual that has owned and actually driven the vehicle for an extended period of time.

• Review the auto title closely. Some jurisdictions require that totaled or flooded vehicles be designated as "flood damaged" on the title.

• Consider ordering an online Carfax report, which provides unlimited vehicle history reports for $40.

• Before you buy the vehicle, be sure to have a trusted mechanic inspect it. Trained professionals know what to look for when it comes to previous flood damage on autos. They can also spot vehicles that were previously involved in major collisions.

Copyright 2017 International Risk Management Institute, Inc.

Trick or Treat Time 
October, 12 2017, ,
Posted by Administrator
If you have been in stores over the past few weeks, it is hard to miss all of the costumes and decorations. It is even harder to miss, if you have children. For many children they have been planning what they want to dress up as for Halloween since November 1st last year. Whether it is something scary or cute and adorable, there is always a plan and it is an exciting time to see the different costumes that are either purchased or made when they are out roaming the streets. By taking a little extra time in preparing, adults can ensure that Halloween is full of fun and excitement and not potentially tragic. Following a few tips will help make sure that Halloween is an enjoyable holiday.
The brighter the better when it comes to costumes. This will help ensure visibility when the children are walking the streets. If a darker costume is chosen, consider adding reflective tape to the costume to increase the visibility.
Masks are a great addition to any costume. However, make sure that they do not create sight issues for the child when they are wearing them. Face paint or wigs and hats are a better alternative.
If face paint is chosen, make sure that it is not irritating to the skin. Try it on a small area of the skin prior to full application and make sure it is removed before bedtime to prevent any irritation.
Home Safety:
Keep pets locked up during the time that visitors will be coming. No matter how friendly your pets are, there is a chance that they could become startled or irritated and jump on or bite a visitor.
Keep the front of your home well-lit and free of hazards (hoses, toys, snow, etc.)
Never allow children to enter homes without supervision.
Flashlights should be given to children to help them see potential hazards in their path while walking.
Plan ahead and talk about the route that you plan to take.
Kids will come home with a lot of treats from their time spent going door to door. Have a discussion beforehand to avoid consuming a lot of sugar at one time.
Check the treats that are in the bag. Chances are there are no problems, but checking for spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items before eating is a good habit.
Remember that children are excited to be out making the rounds and not always attentive to what is going on around them.
Patience is a must as streets will be filled with pedestrians and other motorists. Traffic will flow, it is important to not get in a rush. It may be better to park in one area and walk to help reduce the congestion and potential hazards of driving in the crowds.

Home-Based Business – Are you covered? 
July, 21 2017, ,
Posted by Administrator
There are a large number of people that earn their income outside of the typical 8-5 job. The home-based business persons take advantage of the comforts and flexibility of working from their own home to make their living. Whether they are selling merchandise that is made available through a wholesaler or they have their own workshop and sell their homemade crafts, there is a large exposure for the products and also the income that is generated by the business. If the products are stolen or lost in a storm or the computer system is down and they are not able to promote your business that means money and livelihood are on the line. Many of these people might be relying on their homeowners’ insurance policy to cover their business and business property in the event that there is a claim. However, on an unendorsed policy there are limitations or possibly no coverage for the business exposures.

Take the following scenarios:

Policyholder is retired and has a small engine repair shop in their outbuilding as a way to keep busy. They do not do a lot of work, but they have spare parts, customers’ property, and also have customers in and out of the property to get their equipment worked on. One day a customer comes on the property and when they are leaving they trip on an extension cord in the shop and fall and break their arm. An unendorsed ISO HO3 policy has exclusion for Personal Liability and Medical Payment arising out of or in connection with a business conducted from an insured location.

Policyholder has a building on their property where they work on wood working projects that they sell at local craft fairs and through word of mouth advertising. A tornado hits the area and destroys the building. On an unendorsed ISO HO3 policy, Coverage B – Other structures – does not provide coverage for other structures that are used in whole or in part for business.

Take the above scenario and figure in the business personal property, the products that are intended to be sold. On an unendorsed ISO HO3 policy under Coverage C – Personal Property – there is a sub-limit that is applied to property on the residence premises used mainly for business purposes.

While these are just a few basic examples of likely business scenarios and how your homeowners insurance policy can exclude coverage, there may be other exposures that can properly be addressed and covered by a separate business policy. The intent of the homeowners’ policy is to provide coverage for personal exposures. If you do have a home-based business, talk with your insurance agent to ensure that you will not be left uncovered and angry should a loss occur and you were not properly covered.

Independence Day - Enjoy It - Don't Regret It 
July, 03 2017, ,
Posted by Administrator
It is hard to believe that the year is already almost half over. With the end of June comes a time of year that I have been excited about since I was a little kid; Independence Day. As a kid it was always the shock and awe of going to the fireworks stand and seeing all of the different types of fireworks that were available. I still have the same excitement when I go to a local fireworks stand, but now I have the joy of seeing my kids look around like I used to when I was a kid. Of course, they always want to buy at least one of everything, but I have to remind them that some are not appropriate for young kids and of course the budget is not unlimited!

Many of you will set out to buy fireworks or join a group that is having a fireworks show. If either of these are a part of your 4th of July plans, remember to be safe and always be aware of what is going on around you.

- Watch young kids and make sure that they are handling the fireworks properly.

- Keep the bulk of the fireworks well away from where you are shooting the fireworks to avoid having a spark get into the large supply and setting them all off at once.

- Just because it was on the internet and the people were not harmed does not mean that you will have the same outcome. If it looks cool, but at the same time a bad idea, it is probably a bad idea and should be avoided.

- Keep a water source close by in order to extinguish small fires that may start after fireworks have been lit.

- Be aware of your surroundings. If there is a cut wheat field, dry pasture, or even a wood structure near where you are shooting your fireworks a change of venue or avoiding aerial fireworks might be the best option.

Whether you have been unfortunate enough to experience it first hand or read it in the news, each year people suffer minor to severe injuries during the 4th of July. Make smart choices this year and don’t be one of the news headlines come July 5th.

When severe weathers threatens your area…..How prepared are you? 
May, 22 2017, ,
Posted by Administrator
Whether you have lived in KS your whole life or have only been here a short time, you have probably been a part of or heard about the severe weather season that this state can encounter. Mother Nature brings a wide range of severe weather to this area. Everything from large damaging hail, intense straight line winds and even large devastating tornadoes are a possibility. The hope for everyone is that they never have to encounter any of these events, however if you live here long enough, the odds are pretty great that you will encounter one if not all of these events. Below are some things to consider in helping minimize the stress if you should have to be involved in one of these weather events.

At Home:
Have a plan in place with your family. Make sure that everyone is aware what to do in the event of severe weather. Designate an area of your home that you will plan to shelter in the event that severe weather approaches. With the advanced warning systems that are currently in place, there should be a short amount time to get to the designated area, but you do not want to be scrambling to grab essentials during that time.
Some Items to Consider:
Flashlights with extra batteries
Shoes and a change of clothes for all persons that will be in the area
Bottled Water
Battery powered radio
First Aid Kit
Cell phone charger (car charger and house charger)
Small children (items that will be essential to their well-being i.e. diapers, formula, etc.)
Pets – Don’t forget to include them in your plan – designate someone to be in charge of getting them into the shelter and have food available for them

At Work:
Severe weather does not always happen when you are home where you know what your plan is. Situations could arise while you are performing your normal work schedule. Whether you are an employee at an organization or a part of the management of the organization, below are some items to consider when it comes to preparation at the workplace.

Does your company have an emergency action plan?
Do you know where you are to go in the event of severe weather?
Are there supplies in these areas for the individuals that may be trapped?
Is there a communication plan for ensuring the safety of all employees (phone list in the emergency shelters)?

The time to worry about your insurance is not after the storm. There will be plenty of stress caused by the situation itself. Don’t create additional stress by not knowing what your insurance policy covers or finding out after the fact that your insurance does not cover something that you thought was covered.

Take time now to review your insurance policy. Contact your insurance agent about the specifics of the policy and what it does and does not cover. There may be items that you have forgotten to add to your policy or there may be provisions in your policy that are better understood prior to the claims adjuster having to explain them to you after an already traumatic event. If your agent is not able help you with your needs, it might be time to find a new agent.

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