Fire Safety and Prevention, What You Need To Know

fire safety and prevention

fire safety and preventionHome is where the heart is…it’s also where your family, prized possessions and most fond memories are. Home is also the same place that has the greatest risk of fire. Nearly 80% of fire deaths in the US each year occur in the home. Are you taking steps to keep your home and family safe? We have some tips for fire safety and prevention to share with you. 

Fire Safety

  • Check all electrical appliances, cords and outlets. makes sure they are all in working condition, without loose or frayed cords or plugs.
  • Use caution with portable heaters. Never place one where a child or pet could accidentally knock it over, and keep it at least 3 feet away from flammable objects.
  • Be careful in the kitchen. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Always practice safe cooking habits, such as turning pot handles to avoid being knocked over, and supervising children while cooking.
  • Check the fireplace. It should be kept clean and covered with a screen to keep sparks contained. Burn only wood in a home fireplace and never leave a fire burning unattended.
  • Beware of cigarettes. They are the number one cause of fire deaths in the US. Most are started when ashes or butts fall into couches or chairs, so use caution if you smoke in your home.
  • Use candles safely. Keep them out of the reach of children, away from curtains and furniture, and extinguish them before you leave the room. Do not allow children to use candles when unsupervised by an adult.
  • Be aware of holiday dangers. If you use a cut Christmas tree, be sure to keep it watered daily, and inspect all lights yearly for worn or frayed cords.

Fire Prevention

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Use the smoke alarm’s test button to check it every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Plan escape routes by determining at least two ways to escape from every room.
  • Caution everyone to stay low to the floor while escaping and never open doors that are hot.
  • Select a safe location outside your home where everyone should meet, and practice your escape plan at least twice a year so everyone knows it well.

Do you need to discuss homeowners insurance with one of our agents? Click here to learn more or Click here to contact us.

Share these fire safety and prevention tips with everyone you care about, you can never be too careful!
Your friends at Rinehart-Walters-Danner Insurance.

Do You Have Allergies? 6 Helpful Tips For Allergy

Allergies

Allergies

Between the rain, new growth and house cleaning, chances are if you have allergies, you are miserable right about now. Whether you have seasonal allergies or suffer year round, there are steps you can take to help decrease your symptoms without having to stock up on medication.

Who is affected by allergies?

Though allergies can affect anyone, individuals with the following characteristics are afflicted more often:

  • Under 40 years old
  • Have at least one parent with allergies
  • Suffer from allergic conditions such as asthma

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Red, itchy or watery eyes
  • Dry throat
  • Stuffy nose

Tips to alleviate allergy symptoms:

To alleviate allergy symptoms, consider the following recommendations:

  1. Stay indoors when the pollen count outside is high.
  2. Keep your home clean and as dust-free as possible.
  3. Place pillows, mattresses and duvets in allergen-proof encasements.
  4. Use a vacuum cleaner with double bags, allergen-trapping bags or a HEPA filter.
  5. Avoid having pets or going near others’ pets if you have animal allergies.
  6. In your home, choose hardwood floors instead of carpeting.

Did you know?

According to the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, about half of the U. S. population suffers from allergies. These negative reactions occur as a result of coming in contact with normally harmless substances. Some allergies change or disappear over time, while seasonal attacks will return at the same time each year for only a few weeks or months.

Healthy Hints

Treatment for most allergy symptoms is available over-the-counter or as a prescription from your physician. If your symptoms are severe or you don’t know what is causing you to have a reaction, an allergist can perform a test to pinpoint what you are allergic to. And don’t forget, allergy testing and treatment is usually covered by your health insurance.

Do you need help finding what your copay or out of pocket cost will be?

Call us today – 419-522-9892 – we can help.

April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month And We Have Prevention Tips For You

Distracted Driving Awareness

Distracted Driving AwarenessThe National Safety Council recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This event is intended to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage motorists like you to minimize potential distractions behind the wheel. Review the following article for more information on distracted driving and ways you can help prevent it.

Distracted Driving Overview

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving refers to any activity that may divert a motorist’s attention from the road. There are three main types of distractions that can interfere with drivers’ attentiveness behind the wheel, including:

  1. Visual distractions—These distractions involve motorists taking their eyes off the road. Some examples of visual distractions include reading emails or text messages, focusing on vehicle passengers, looking at maps or navigation systems, and observing nearby activities (e.g., accidents, traffic stops or roadside attractions) while driving.
  2. Manual distractions—Such distractions entail motorists removing their hands from the steering wheel. Key examples of manual distractions include texting, adjusting the radio, programming navigation systems, eating, drinking or performing personal grooming tasks (e.g., applying makeup) while driving.
  3. Cognitive distractions—These distractions stem from motorists taking their minds off driving. Primary examples of cognitive distractions include talking on the phone, conversing with vehicle passengers or daydreaming while driving.

Regardless of distraction type, distracted driving is a serious safety hazard that contributes to a significant number of accidents on the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 2,800 people are killed and 400,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver each year—equating to approximately eight deaths and 1,095 injuries per day. Considering these findings, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Prevention Tips

Whenever you get behind the wheel, keep these distracted driving prevention measures in mind:

  • Put away your phone. Silence your phone and store it in a location that is out of reach while driving to lower the temptation to check it.
  • Plan your trip before you leave. Program your navigation system prior to hitting the road to get familiar with your journey and feel confident in your route.
  • Don’t fumble with your playlist. Select a radio station or plug in a predetermined playlist before driving to limit the need for music adjustments.
  • Secure passengers. Ensure kids are properly situated in car seats (if needed) with seat belts fastened. Keep pets stationary in the back seat.
  • Avoid multitasking. Never complete additional tasks—such as eating or personal grooming—behind the wheel.
  • Stay focused. Concentrate your mind on the road by keeping distracting conversations to a minimum and looking straight ahead.

For additional driver safety tips, contact us today.

Click here for more information on Auto Insurance

How Excessive Phone Use Can Lead to Health Risks

excessive phone use

excessive phone useEver stop scrolling on social media and realize you’ve been on the app for way too long? That’s the reality for many people as every video view, swipe and double-tap add up. According to data.ai, the average American spent 4.8 hours each day on mobile devices in 2021—that’s one-third of daily waking hours.
This article explores responsible and excessive phone usage, the impact of too much screen time and tips for improving your relationship with your smartphone.

How Much Is Too Much?

The pandemic has accelerated existing mobile habits, but it’s essential to understand the difference between necessary and excessive usage.
Smartphones have become a necessity for communication, entertainment and convenience for many people. The latest smartphones are essentially pocket-sized computers, making them an efficient way to get work done on the go. However, it can be a slippery slope if you use your smartphone for most daily tasks or fun.
Consider the following warning signs that smartphone use is becoming unhealthy:

  • Anger or irritation if phone use is interrupted
  • Dangerous behavior (i.e., using a smartphone while driving)
  • Impaired sleep
  • Isolation from loved ones
  • Poor work performance

As a general rule, experts say adults should limit daily screen time to less than two hours per day outside of work.

The Impact of Excessive Screen Time

Smartphones have made our lives so much easier, but they can also impact our physical and mental well-being. Excessive smartphone use has been reported to change brain activity, reaction times and sleep patterns. As a result, you may be less concentrated and productive during the workday and often forget tasks and goals. Research has also shown that excessive phone use can increase stress, anxiety and feelings of loneliness.

The pandemic has only made matters worse as work, social connectivity and entertainment are tied to hand-held devices. Lines are blurred between necessary and excessive use when work and social connectivity depend on hand-held devices. Fortunately, there are ways to take control and ensure phone use is balanced.

Tips for Cutting Back

The first step to cutting back on your smartphone use is determining how much time you’re spending on your phone. Many smartphones have digital well-being features that break down how much time you’re using your phone for calls, texts, emails, social media and more. You may be surprised to find out how often you’re scrolling or reading on your smartphone.

To build a healthier relationship with your phone, consider the following tips:

  • Set clear boundaries. If you are always waiting for work or personal messages, you may feel chained to the device. It’s helpful to set boundaries that outline when you’ll be available.
  • Turn off notifications. Disable notifications for social media apps or mute group chats to avoid being tempted by constant notifications. In general, text messages and calendar reminders are helpful, but other frequent notifications may interrupt your productivity.
  • Change your screen to grayscale. Removing colors can make your phone less visually appealing. This feature should be available in your phone’s display settings.
  • Rearrange your apps. Another way to make your phone less alluring is to limit what’s on your home screen and hide tempting apps in a folder.
  • Check at specific times. Create achievable boundaries by checking your phone for notifications at a designated time, such as your lunch break or every two hours. Leaving your phone in a separate room to charge is another idea.
  • Avoid use before bedtime. Try to cut down on phone use in bed or right before sleeping. The bright screen can signal to your body that it’s time to be awake, so you may have trouble falling asleep or experience lower sleep quality. Save the news feed scrolling and video watching for during the day.
  • Use an old-fashioned alarm clock. When you use your phone as your alarm clock, you likely will spend time scrolling on your phone when setting, snoozing or turning off the alarm.

With minor adjustments, you could be a more mindful smartphone user. We hope these tips help curb excessive phone use. If you think your phone use may be unhealthy, create an action plan that works for your life and schedule. To achieve a healthy balance, focus on apps and content that enrich your life or are necessary for work.

Visit Us At The 15th Annual Business Expo Thursday March 24th

Next Thursday, March 24, 2022 marks the return of the Richland Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. After taking last year off, this year will mark the 15th annual occurance for this event, and we couldn’t be happier to see it return! Our agency, along with 100 other vendors, will be set up at the Richland County Fairgrounds. The Business Expo is a great way to meet local businesses and learn about what they have to offer. Each year had a different them and this year it will be “Get In The Game.” Our agents will be at the booth and we will have our best sports theme on display! 

Admission and parking is free and is open to the public. Our booth will be offering handouts as well as a door prize drawing that you do not want to miss! Make sure to stop out and visit our booth and get your name entered in the drawing! 

Business Expo Flyer

Are My Valuables Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

Valuables

ValuablesYour grandmother decided to pass on her birthstone ring to you on you 16th birthday, many years ago. Of all your valuables, it is the most important to you. You always took extra precautions when wearing it and storing it. But, even when it’s locked up safely at home, is it truly safe? If it was ever stolen or lost, that’s what your homeowners insurance is for, right? Wrong.

Standard homeowners, condominium or renters insurance policies include a limit on coverage for jewelry and other valuables. Most policies have stringent limits on coverage of valuables.

  • Jewelry – as little as $1,000
  • Firearms – up to $2,000
  • Silverware – up to $2,500

Also, many policies may not cover losses due to theft, accident or loss.

Common items that require additional coverage

  • Jewelry
  • Silverware
  • Heirlooms (furniture, paintings, etc)
  • Rugs
  • Musical instruments
  • Fine Art
  • Antique china, crystal, decorative items
  • Designer appliances
  • Furs
  • Vintage wine
  • Collectibles (stamps, coins, glassware, etc.)
  • Firearms
  • Computers

Additional coverage options

Endorsements – Endorsements are additions to your homeowners, condominiums or renters insurance policies. This will change or add to the policy’s provisions. Your valuables are “scheduled” on a list that includes a brief description and the item’s dollar value. For all items, an appraisal or sales receipt is typically required. This will help ensure that, in the event of a covered loss, the amount of insurance is enough to cover the repair, replacement or cash payment of the item. The endorsement can cover property otherwise excluded from a basic homeowners insurance policy, extends the number of perils insured against or increase the amount paid for a covered loss. Items scheduled are typically not subject to the policy deductible.

Floaters – A Separate personal articles floater may be used to schedule your valuables that are subject to special limits under basic homeowners insurance coverage.

If you have an existing endorsement or floater, it is important to periodically review our policy’s coverage limits to minimize the likelihood of underinsurance arising out of outdated appraisals and inadequate limits of insurance.

Doing a home inventory can help protect valuables

A home inventory can be a great tool when it comes to protecting your home and valuables. A home inventory will allow you to go room to room and take pictures and details for your items. Some insurance carrier’s even provide a mobile application and you can save the inventory information within the app. 

As always, your agent is there to help you determine the best coverage for your needs. Doing a home inventory and sharing it with them is a great way to help make sure no valuables are missed.

 

3 Ways Your Cell Phone Is Harming Your Sleep

harming your sleep

harming your sleepThe personal electronic devices that help make your daily life easier may be doing the opposite in regard to your nightly sleep habits. If you’re having a hard time falling and staying asleep, your cellphone, TV and tablet may be to blame. Keep reading so see how these devices are actually harming your sleep. 

The Negative Effects

Researchers at Harvard identified three main ways that using your phone, or any electronic device, before going to bed can derail your sleep schedule:

  1. Melatonin suppression. The Harvard study revealed that those who used electronic devices before going to sleep had lower levels of the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin. That’s because the blue light emitted by electronic devices suppresses the production of melatonin. Melatonin controls your circadian rhythm—your body’s natural sleep and wake clock.
  2. Later sleep onset. The study also found that the amount of time it took to fall asleep was longer for those who used electronic devices than for those who didn’t. If you’re mindlessly scrolling through social media sites instead of reading a book or meditating, it’s more likely that you’ll have a harder time falling asleep.
  3. Reduced REM sleep. Research shows that electronic device usage before bed results in a reduced amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycles. REM sleep is a vital component of our sleep patterns.

What Can You Do?

To prevent the harmful effects of electronic devices, there are a few steps that you can take, including:

  • Check your device’s settings for a “nighttime” mode, which adjusts the screen lighting to promote sleep.
  • Refrain from using your phone for at least an hour before bed.
  • Set your device’s sound settings to “silent”. This way you won’t be woken by texts or emails while you’re trying to sleep.
  • Try reading a book or meditating to relax before bed instead of using your phone or watching TV.

Cell phones are an important part of our daily life, however take the above tips into consideration and quit harming your sleep. For more information on sleep-promoting activities, contact your doctor today.

How To Maintain Your Heart Health During American Heart Month

heart health

heart healthAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. While there are some risk factors that contribute to heart disease that you can’t control, there are also many things you can do to preserve your heart health.

Risk Factors

Here’s a list of largely preventable factors that increase your risk of heart disease:

  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a waist measurement greater than 40 inches (for men) or 35 inches (for women)
  • Having an inactive lifestyle
  • Having Type 2 diabetes
  • Keeping a poor diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Experiencing excess stress

Mitigating Your Risks

 Use these tips to take control of your risks:

  • Do not smoke or use drugs.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
  • Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
  • Limit your sodium intake to between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams per day.
  • Keep your stress levels under control.
  • Schedule regular medical checkups with your primary care physician.
  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.

The Difference a Healthy Lifestyle Can Make

Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, effective stress management and avoidance of tobacco slashes your risk of heart disease and premature death dramatically. By following this guidance, you can do your part to maintain your heart health for years to come.

Do You Know The Difference Between Collision And Comprehensive Coverage?

Collision And Comprehensive Coverage

Collision And Comprehensive CoverageThough state laws may not require you to purchase both collision and comprehensive coverage for your policy, doing so can protect your financial well-being. Read on to learn more about these types of coverage.

The Basics

Collision and comprehensive coverages provide financial safety nets in the event that your vehicle is physically damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced. Although these coverages are generally not required by state laws, they can reduce your financial hardship during a loss.
Also, if you are financing a loan for a car, your lender will most likely require both collision and comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance policy.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage pays for the cost to repair damages to a vehicle due to an accident, either with another vehicle or an object. Typically, you will collect only the actual cash value of your car versus the replacement cost value. Gap insurance protects you in the event you owe more than your vehicle is worth.

  • Collision coverage is generally the most expensive portion of a car insurance policy.
  • Premiums are based on a number of factors, including your deductible, driving record and the type of car you drive. If your driving record is fairly clean (no or very few tickets or accidents), your premiums will be lower because you are less likely to have a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused by theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters or hitting an animal.

  • Comprehensive coverage comes with a deductible and the insurer will only pay as much as the vehicle is worth at the time of the incident.
  • To calculate how much your car is worth, look up the Kelley Blue Book value or the National Automobile Dealers Association’s Official Used Car Guide value. If your car is low in value, the yearly premiums for comprehensive coverage may not be a sound investment.
  • Comprehensive coverage has many limitations, so it’s best to review your policy carefully to make sure you are properly covered.

We’re Here to Help

Call our office today at 419-522-9892 to learn more about collision and comprehensive coverage. Ask how we can protect you against losses.

4 Ways to Save on Your Auto Premiums:

  1. Consider raising your deductible.
  2. Maintain a clean driving record.
  3. Establish a solid credit history.
  4. Install an anti-theft device in your vehicle.

Antique and Classic Car Insurance; What Makes It Different?

antique and classic car insurance

Antique and classic cars are visibly different than the cars we drive today. You use them differently than your day to day car, so why treat them the same when it comes to insuring them? Antique and classic car insurance is specifically designed with your vehicle in mind.

antique and classic car insurance

The Basics

When insuring your antique or classic car, consider how you will be using the vehicle.

  • Will you only drive the vehicle to car shows or in a few parades? If so, your policy should be limited to those circumstances.
  • Are you going to use your antique vehicle to go to the grocery store, hit the beach or visit a relative? Then your policy should reflect this kind of use.

A typical classic car insurance policy includes the following:

  • Agreed value coverage: Pays for the car’s full-insured value with no depreciation in the event of a total loss, less your deductible.
  • Inflation guard: To compensate for inflation and appreciation, the policy increases the vehicle’s value quarterly.
  • Spare parts coverage
  • Flexible usage: Limits on mileage ranging from 2,500 o 5,000 miles annually. Not limited to parades.

Additional Coverage Options

You can also purchase the following additional coverage’s for you antique and classic car insurance:

  • Emergency towing in case of breakdown
  • Roadside assistance
  • Emergency lockout
  • Emergency travel expenses in case your vehicle breaks down while away from hoe
  • Theft reward
  • Car show expenses: This policy will pay for expenses associated with missing a car show due to a breakdown
  • Personal effects: This policy will reimburse you for items that are vandalized or stolen when reported to police

Your Needs Are Unique

Since antique and classic cars are all so different, your insurance coverage will be specific to your vehicle. There are many considerations that you and your agent will discuss while creating a policy to suit your classic car. Contact us to day to build your personalized antique and classic car insurance policy.

Click here to learn more about auto insurance.

Please share this article on facebook or twitter if you found it helpful.