Get Ready for Winter: Tips and Tricks for Winter Damage Prevention

How to get your home ready for winter weather

As the temperatures start to drop and the cold weather sets in, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your house. Harsh winter weather can cause significant damage to your home if you’re not prepared, leading to costly repairs and potential insurance claims. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our top tips and tricks for preventing winter damage to your home. From preparing your pipes to protecting your roof, read on to learn how to winterize your house and avoid any unexpected winter damage.

Understanding the Risks: Potential Winter Hazards for Your Home

Winter brings its fair share of hazards that can pose a threat to your home, but knowing what could happen is half the battle.

One major concern is the potential for frozen pipes. When the temperature drops, the water inside your pipes can freeze and expand, causing them to burst, and resulting in costly repairs and water damage to your home. 

Another risk to be aware of is ice dams forming on your roof. As snow melts and refreezes, it can create a barrier of ice that prevents proper drainage, leading to water seeping into your home. This, or even heavy snowfall, can put strain on your roof, causing it to collapse if it has not been properly maintained. 

No matter where you live or what type of house you inhabit, It’s important to be aware of these potential hazards so you can take proactive measures to prevent them from causing damage to your home this winter. 

Preparing for Cold Weather: Simple Measures to Winterize Your Home

Should you choose to, it’s easy to take some simple measures to winterize your home and protect it from potential damage. Here are a few quick tips that don’t take a lot of time, but can have a big impact. 

Make sure your heating system is working properly. 

Schedule a professional inspection to ensure it’s in good condition and replace any worn-out parts. 

Clean your gutters. 

Making sure your gutters  and downspouts are clear ensures proper water drainage, and hopefully keeps your roof ice-free

Trim the trees.

No, not the Christmas trees; cut back any tree branches that are close to your house, as they can potentially fall and cause damage during winter storms.

Save in the Long Run: Energy-Efficient Tips for Winter

In addition to threats of bad weather, winter can also be a time when your energy bills skyrocket…but it doesn’t have to be that way! By implementing some energy-efficient tips, you can save money in the long run and keep your home cozy and warm during the cold winter months.

Turn down the heat.

One of the simplest ways to save on energy costs is to adjust your thermostat. Lowering it by just a few degrees can make a significant difference. Invest in a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature when you’re away or sleeping.

Heat with the real solar power. 

Don’t cover up those windows all day; utilize natural sunlight. During the day, open your curtains or blinds to let in the warmth from the sun. Once the sun sets, close them to trap the heat inside.

Check your insulation. 

Proper insulation will not only keep your home warmer, but it can also save you money on energy bills. Too, make sure you seal any gaps or cracks in windows and doors to prevent drafts, and consider installing weatherstripping on doors and windows to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. 

Upgrade your home. 

Lastly, consider upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs. Appliances with the Energy Star label are designed to use less energy, while LED bulbs are long-lasting and consume less electricity.

If Something Happens: When and How to File an Insurance Claim

If something does happen despite your best efforts, knowing when and how to file an insurance claim is important. Start by contacting your insurance company to report the damage and find out what steps you need to take; they can guide you through the claims process and provide you with the necessary forms to fill out. Be prepared to provide documentation, such as photos and receipts, to support your claim, as well as any expenses you incur as a result of the damage, such as temporary accommodations or repairs. 

Finally, remember to read your policy carefully and understand what is covered and what is not. If that feels overwhelming, get your broker to walk you through the terms and conditions of your policies. And if you need a new agent—or just someone who will walk you through options as you get ready for winter—please give us a call at Penny Insurance. We’d love to help you protect all your assets in the new year.

Don’t Let the Flu Bug You: Coverage and Prevention for Cool-Weather Illness

How to stay healthy in cooler months.

As the temperatures drop and the leaves begin to change, we are reminded that flu season is upon us. While this time of year is known for cozy sweaters, hot apple cider, and pumpkin spice everything, it is also a prime time for flu and cold viruses to spread. As an insurance brokerage in Western North Carolina, we want to ensure that our clients stay healthy and protected during this busy time of year, so here are some tips for staying healthy and preventing the flu from “bugging” you.

Keeping Your Immune System in Peak Condition

During flu season, it is essential to keep your immune system in peak condition to ward off any potential illness. While health insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you do fall ill, taking proactive measures to maintain good health is always preferable. Here are some tips to help boost your immune system and stay healthy during the flu season.

1. Eat a Balanced Diet.

A nutritious diet plays a crucial role in supporting your immune system. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your meals. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can strengthen your immune response.

2. Stay Hydrated.

Drinking enough water is vital for overall health and immunity. Water helps to flush out toxins from your body and keeps your mucous membranes moist, which is essential for preventing the entry of viruses and bacteria.

3. Get Enough Sleep.

Adequate sleep is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. While you sleep, your body repairs and regenerates cells, including those involved in immune response. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to keep your immune system functioning optimally.

4. Exercise Regularly.

Engaging in regular physical activity has numerous benefits, including strengthening your immune system. Exercise helps to increase circulation, promote the production of immune cells, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases that can weaken your immune response.

5. Practice Good Hygiene.

Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, as this is a common route for germs to enter your body.

6. Manage Stress.

High levels of stress can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Take steps to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in hobbies you enjoy, and seeking support from loved ones.

By incorporating these habits into your daily routine, you can help to strengthen your immune system and reduce your risk of falling ill during the flu season. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Understanding Health Insurance Coverage During Flu Season

If the bugs do catch up with you, it’s important to have some sort of coverage in place for ]medical expenses related to getting sick. Not only is it required by law, but it will help you ensure that you receive the necessary care without breaking the bank. 

When it comes to health insurance coverage during flu season, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, it’s important to know what your health insurance plan covers in terms of flu-related expenses like doctor’s visits, flu shots, antiviral medications, and even hospitalization if necessary. Some insurance policies also provide benefits such as telemedicine services, allowing you to consult with a healthcare provider remotely, which can be especially convenient during flu season when you may not want to venture out and risk spreading the virus. 

Fortunately, many health insurance plans offer coverage for flu shots, which are recommended for everyone aged six months and older. Getting a flu shot not only helps protect you from the flu but also reduces the overall spread of the virus within the community.

Finding Your Best Option

When it comes to choosing the best healthy insurance policies for your family, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each family has unique needs and circumstances, which is why it’s important to carefully evaluate your options with thorough research and consideration.

At Penny Insurance, our experienced brokers can they provide guidance and walk you through your options, but they can answer any questions you may have, and help you find the best option. Give us a call today if we can help you stay well this fall and winter season. 

The Cyber Security Blueprint for Small Business Owners

The Cyber Security Blueprint for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, you understand the risks associated with operating a business—you took them on when you decided to go out on your own. But while you may have considered theft or even liabilities within your office space, the threat of cyber attacks is a real one that is often overlooked. 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your business from these malicious threats. While having the right business insurance in place is a critical part of this process, there are other preventative measures to consider as well that will help you shield your business from potential cyber attacks.

Understanding the Threat of Cyberattacks

Sadly but unexpectedly, cyberattacks are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s digital age, posing significant risks to small businesses. Criminals are constantly evolving their tactics and techniques to exploit vulnerabilities in business systems, and often break in using common techniques like malware, phishing scams, ransomware, and social engineering. Unfortunately, these attacks can lead to huge problems—including data breaches, financial losses, and damage to your business’s reputation.

It’s essential to recognize that no business is immune to cyber threats—even small businesses are often targeted due to their limited resources and lack of robust cybersecurity measures. 

Best Practice Basics for Preventing Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity is an ongoing battle, but there are best practices you can implement to prevent cyberattacks and safeguard your small business. 

1. Build Strong Passwords. 

First and foremost, it’s crucial to develop a strong password policy. Encourage your employees to create unique, complex passwords and change them regularly. Consider offering your team a password manager to securely store and manage all your passwords.

2. Use Multi-Factor Authenication. 

Another essential practice is to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA). This adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two or more forms of identification before gaining access to sensitive information or systems. By utilizing MFA, you significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your business data.

3. Back up Data. 

Regularly backing up your data is also critical. This ensures that even if your systems are compromised, you can restore your information from a secure backup. Store these backups offline or in a secure cloud environment to prevent them from being compromised in the event of an attack.

4. Always do the Update.

Additionally, it’s important to keep all software and applications up-to-date. Software updates often include patches for vulnerabilities, so regularly installing these updates is crucial to maintaining a secure system

5. Focus on Education. 

Lastly, educate your employees about cybersecurity best practices through regular training sessions. This includes raising awareness about phishing scams, social engineering techniques, and the importance of not clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.

By following these best practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of cyberattacks and protect your small business from potential damage. Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing process, so staying informed and proactive is key to ensuring the safety of your business in today’s digital landscape.

Using Cyber Insurance to Protect Your Business

While implementing strong cybersecurity measures among your team is crucial, having the right insurance coverage is equally important to fully protect yourself from digital crime. Cyber insurance plays a vital role in protecting your business from the financial losses that can result from a cyberattack, by providing coverage for various expenses associated with a cyber incident, such as forensic investigations, data recovery, legal fees, public relations efforts, and even potential lawsuits from affected customers. In the unfortunate event of a cyberattack, these expenses can quickly add up and have a severe impact on your business’s bottom line. 

Having cyber insurance gives you the peace of mind that, in the face of a cyber incident, your business has financial protection, and helps you recover more quickly from the financial burden associated with recovering from a cyberattack. Additionally, cyber insurance often includes coverage for cyber extortion, where cybercriminals hold your data hostage or threaten to release it unless a ransom is paid. This coverage can be crucial in navigating such situations and protecting your business from significant financial losses.

It’s essential to consult with an experienced insurance agent who specializes in cyber insurance to ensure that you have the right coverage for your business’s specific needs. At Penny Insurance, our experienced brokers have the experitnce to help you understand the scope of coverage and assist in tailoring a policy that aligns with your risk profile and budget. And getting started is simple: just reach out to us to set up a free consultation with our team.

Life Insurance for Different Life Stages: Life Insurance as Your Family Grows and Changes

Acquiring a life insurance policy is a crucial part of protecting your family’s future, no matter what stage of life you’re in. From buying a house to starting a family, or sending kids off to college, life insurance can be tailored to your needs and provide financial security for the ones you love.  But in reality, only about half of Americans have a life insurance policy—and many more are underinsured for what they need. 

As a best practice, as your family grows and changes, so should your life insurance. That way you’ll ensure that no matter what life looks like, you’ll always be able to take care of what’s important for those you love most.

Life Insurance for Newlyweds

As you start this exciting chapter in your life, it’s important to consider how life insurance can protect your future together. While it may not be the most romantic topic, having life insurance as newlyweds is a smart decision—it provides financial security and peace of mind for both of you, and can help cover expenses such as mortgage payments, student loans, and funeral costs in the unfortunate event of one partner’s passing. For young couples, an insurance policy isn’t that expensive, and it’s an investment in your future as a couple, ensuring that your loved one will be taken care of if the unexpected occurs. 

Life Insurance for Parents of Young Children

When you become a parent, your responsibilities increase significantly—in a number of ways. After all, it’s not just about providing for yourself anymore; you now have little ones relying on you. So while it may be a tough topic to think about, having life insurance policies can give you peace of mind knowing that if something were to happen to you, your children will be taken care of for all their expenses, including childcare, education costs, and daily living expenses. But this is also the time to think about their policies, too—term life policies on children are typically very inexpensive, while a whole life policy that can benefit them into adulthood is cheaper than it ever will be again. 

Life Insurance for Parents of Teenagers

As your children enter their teenage years, life can become even more hectic and unpredictable. While it may seem like your children are becoming more independent, they still rely on you for their well-being,  financial support, and guidance. While your own life policy can once again ensure that their lifestyles are financially supported, having a policy for them can also cover what often includes riskier behaviors than before. 

Life Insurance for Empty Nesters

As your children grow up and move out of the house, your priorities and financial needs change. And while you may be enjoying the newfound freedom and flexibility, it’s important not to overlook the need for a policy that can provide financial security and in some cases, pay you back in retirement. 

Life Insurance for Retirees and Seniors

As you enter the phase of retirement and your golden years, it’s becomes clearer how life insurance can continue to protect your loved ones. While your financial obligations may have decreased, there are still expenses to consider, such as funeral costs and any outstanding debts, but life insurance may also serve as an inheritance for your loved ones to carry out legacy projects or cover their own needs. 

Types of Life Insurance Policies to Consider

Life insurance policies come in different types, and it’s essential to understand the options available to choose the right one for your family’s needs. Two primary types of life insurance to consider are term life insurance and whole life insurance.

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific term—typically 10, 20, or 30 years—and is ideal for individuals who want coverage during a specific period, such as when they have young children or a mortgage. Term life insurance is generally more affordable than to whole life insurance and offers a death benefit to beneficiaries if the insured passes away during the term, but on the other hand, whole life insurance provides lifelong coverage and includes a cash value component that grows over time. A whole life policy offers both a death benefit and an investment element, making it an attractive option for individuals looking for permanent coverage and potential savings, and while it’s a bit more expensive, guarantees coverage for life and allows policyholders to build cash value that can be accessed or borrowed against in the future.

Other types of life insurance policies to consider include universal life insurance and variable life insurance. Universal life insurance provides flexible premiums and death benefits, allowing policyholders to adjust their coverage as their financial needs change, while variable life insurance, offers investment options within the policy, allowing policyholders to potentially grow a cash value component.

Finding Your Best Option

When it comes to choosing the best life insurance policy for your family, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each family has unique needs and circumstances, which is why it’s important to carefully evaluate your options with thorough research and consideration.

That’s why consulting an insurance professional is highly recommended during this process. Not only can they provide guidance and walk you through your options, but they can answer any questions you may have, and help you find the best option.

At Penny Insurance, our experienced brokers are dedicated to helping families like yours find the best life insurance policy—no matter how big or small. Reach out to us today to take the first step toward securing your family’s future. 


The 5 Insurance Policies You Need to Maintain Health and Wellness

August is National Wellness Month, which makes it the perfect time to look into the insurance policies that can help you maintain your health and wellness. From health insurance to dental insurance, life insurance, and more, there are several types of insurance policies that can help you prioritize your own health—and that of your family and loved ones. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the five types of insurance policies that you should consider for your overall health and wellness.

1) Health Insurance: What It Covers and Why You Need It

When it comes to maintaining your health and wellness, one of the most important insurance policies you can have is health insurance, because it provides financial protection against medical expenses and ensures that you have access to quality healthcare when you need it most. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best health insurance plan for your needs?

First, it’s important to understand the difference between health and wellness in the context of insurance. While health insurance primarily focuses on covering medical expenses related to illness and injury, wellness plans are designed to promote overall health and preventive care. That means these plans often include coverage for preventive services like annual check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings, whereas a standard catastrophic or health plan may not.

But in general, health insurance covers a wide range of services, including hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription medications, and surgical procedures, and also often includes coverage for mental health services, maternity care, and rehabilitation services. 

With the rising costs of healthcare, having health insurance ensures that you have access to the care you need without having to worry about the cost. Without health insurance, you never know when a medical emergency or even a routine doctor’s visit could quickly become a major financial burden. 

2) Dental Insurance: Keeping Your Teeth and Gums Healthy

When it comes to maintaining our health and wellness, dental care often takes a back seat, because while we tend to prioritize other aspects of our well-being, such as physical fitness and mental health, we often neglect the importance of a healthy mouth. Unfortunately, Poor oral health has been linked to various systemic health issues, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. That’s where dental insurance comes in, providing us with the necessary coverage to keep our teeth and gums in tip-top shape.

Dental insurance typically covers a range of services, including preventive care such as regular check-ups, cleanings, and X-rays. These routine visits are essential for maintaining oral health and preventing dental issues from arising. 

Still, it’s important to note that dental insurance may not cover all procedures. Orthodontic care, for example, is often considered an elective treatment and may require additional coverage or out-of-pocket expenses, so if you or your family members require braces or other orthodontic treatments, it’s essential to review your dental insurance policy and explore options for additional coverage. The same may be said for major dental surgeries or procedures, which may require additional coverage. These procedures can be costly, but with the right dental insurance policy, you can minimize your out-of-pocket expenses and receive the necessary treatment to maintain your oral health.

3) Disability Insurance: A Safety Net for When You’re Unable to Work

While health and dental insurance are often the first insurance policies that come to mind when you think about health and wellness, disability insurance should not be overlooked, because it acts as a safety net when you’re unable to work due to a disability or illness. 

So, why might you need disability insurance? Because accidents or disabilities can happen to anyone, at any time. In fact, according to the Council for Disability Awareness, one in four individuals will become disabled during their working years, whether due to an illness, injury, or accident. 

There are two main types of disability insurance: short-term disability and long-term disability. 

Short-Term Disability

Short-term disability insurance provides coverage for a limited period, typically up to six months, when you’re unable to work due to a temporary illness or injury, and usually offers a higher benefit amount for a shorter period of time and has a lower premium cost. This type of insurance is ideal for covering immediate expenses during a temporary disability. 

Long-Term Disability

On the other hand, long-term disability insurance offers coverage for an extended period, often until retirement age, if you are unable to work due to a more serious or permanent disability. It provides a lower benefit amount over a longer period and has a higher premium cost. It offers more comprehensive coverage and is designed to provide financial support for an extended period of time if you are unable to work.

4) Accident Insurance: Financially Recovering from Unexpected Mishaps

Just like disabilities or longer-term illnesses, accidents can happen at any time and to anyone. Whether it’s a slip and fall, a car accident, or even a sports injury, unexpected mishaps can lead to serious health and financial consequences. That’s where accident insurance—a type of supplemental insurance—comes in. 

Accident insurance is different from other types of insurance, such as health insurance, because it specifically covers accidents. While health insurance may cover some medical expenses related to accidents, accident insurance is designed to provide more comprehensive coverage by filling in the gaps left by your primary health insurance and covering expenses that aren’t typically covered, like deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pocket costs.

So why might you need accident insurance? Well, accidents can be costly. Even with health insurance, the expenses can add up quickly. From ambulance rides and emergency room visits to surgeries and follow-up care, the bills can be overwhelming. Accident insurance can help alleviate the financial burden by providing a lump-sum payment for covered injuries and treatments. This money can be used to pay for medical bills, transportation, childcare, or any other expenses that may arise as a result of an accident.

5) Life Insurance: Protecting Your Loved Ones’ Health and Finances

When it comes to insurance policies that promote health and wellness, life insurance may not come to mind, but it plays a crucial role in protecting your loved ones’ health and finances—especially in the event of an untimely death. While it may not directly impact your own health, it can provide peace of mind knowing that your family’s well-being will be taken care of when you’re no longer around.

There are various types of life insurance policies available, but two of the most common options are term life insurance and whole life insurance. 

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specified period, usually 10, 20, or 30 years, and offers a higher coverage amount for a lower premium, allowing you to protect your loved ones without breaking the bank. It provides temporary financial security during a specific time period when your dependents may still be reliant on your income. By securing term life insurance, you can ensure that your family will have the necessary financial resources to continue living a healthy and comfortable life.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance offers coverage for the entirety of your life, including an investment component that can accumulate cash value over time, which can be particularly beneficial for maintaining your lifestyle in older age. With a whole life insurance policy, you can access the cash value for emergencies, healthcare expenses, or even as a source of retirement income. While the premiums for whole life insurance are typically higher, it offers a long-term financial security blanket for both you and your loved ones.

When considering any health or wellness-related insurance policy, it’s essential to first evaluate your current health, financial situation, and long-term goals. At Penny Insurance, we’re more than happy to help you sit down and look over all your options and find solutions. To schedule a free consultation, reach out and contact us.

Don’t Risk It: Why Your College Student Needs Insurance

Sending your college student off to school is a huge milestone—but between worrying about tuition, the cost of books, and other college-related expenses, it’s easy to overlook the realities of campus living, and the importance of prosperity insuring your student. Whether it’s laptops, cell phones, or textbooks, college students are likely to have a lot of valuable items with them on campus, and protecting your college student’s property (and your financial investment!) with the right kind of insurance coverage is a crucial step to ensure that they can focus on their studies without worrying about all the “what-ifs” of adulthood.

Understanding the Risks Faced by College Students

Due to their very nature, college students are vulnerable to a variety of risks, from theft and damage to personal belongings, to unexpected medical expenses, and accidents. As a parent, it is important to understand these risks and not only talk through them with your child, but also take steps to protect them.

When it comes to insurance policies that will help you do just that, property insurance or renters insurance for high-value electronics and items like laptops, cellphones and even textbooks is a must-have for any student—and especially those in tight quarters like dorms. For those living off-campus, renters insurance even more important, as it can help them recover should something happen, as it provides protection against losses and damages to personal property. Additionally, off-campus students might consider liability coverage, in case someone gets hurt in their rental unit. 

Finally, college students may need additional or supplemental health insurance to cover unexpected medical expenses. Many schools offer health insurance plans to students, but it’s important to read the fine print and ensure the policy covers the necessary medical services.

In general, it’s important to note that while some colleges and universities may offer a variety of insurance policies specifically for their students, these policies may not provide sufficient coverage for all of your student’s needs, so it’s important to compare policies and understand the specifics of the coverage before selecting an insurance policy for your college student. 

How to Choose the Right Insurance Policy for Your Student

With so many insurance options available for college students, it can be overwhelming to choose the right policy. Your best plan of action is to sit down with your student and a local insurance broker that can explain all the coverage options, premiums and details. If nothing else, it gives your new adult some information they’ll need when they have to cover their own property and assets!

Still, here are some key factors to consider when selecting insurance for your college student:

1. Coverage Limits

Look for policies that offer coverage limits that meet your student’s needs. For example, if they have expensive electronic equipment, make sure the policy provides enough coverage for those items.

2. Deductibles

Consider the deductible amount when comparing policies. A higher deductible can lower the monthly premium, but it means you’ll pay more out of pocket if your student needs to file a claim.

3. Reputation of the Insurance Company

Do some research on the insurance company before purchasing a policy. Check online reviews and ratings to ensure the company has a good reputation and track record of handling claims effectively.

4. Additional Benefits

Some insurance policies offer additional benefits such as roadside assistance, identity theft protection, or rental car coverage. Consider whether these benefits are worth the extra cost for your student’s needs.

5. Affordability

Don’t forget to compare costs among different insurance policies. While you want to ensure your student is adequately protected, you also don’t want to break the bank with high monthly premiums.

Remember, insurance policies are not one-size-fits-all. Each student has unique needs, and each campus has different challenges, so it’s important to evaluate policies based on their specific situation. Taking the time to research and compare policies can help you find the right coverage to protect your college student and their belongings.

Quick Tips for Protecting Your Student’s Belongings

With so many students living in shared spaces and dorm rooms, it can be difficult to ensure that your child’s property is kept safe and secure. Here are a few steps (outside of a new insurance policy) that you can take to help protect your college student’s belongings:

  • Create an inventory. Before your child heads off to school, create a list of all the valuable items they will be taking with them. This will not only help you keep track of what they have, but it will also be helpful if something goes missing or is stolen.
  • Purchase a safe. Investing in a small safe is a great way to protect important documents and small valuables such as jewelry. Make sure to choose a safe that can be secured to a wall or floor, and to provide your child with the combination or key.
  • Use security measures. If your child is living in a dorm room or shared space, it’s important to use security measures such as locks on doors and windows. If their room doesn’t come with a lock, consider purchasing one that can be easily installed.
  • Keep copies of important documents. Make sure to keep copies of important documents such as passports, social security cards, and insurance policies in a safe place at home. This will be helpful in case any of these documents are lost or stolen while your child is at school.

By taking these steps to protect your college student’s belongings, you can give yourself peace of mind and help ensure that their transition to college is a smooth one.

If you have a new college student, we know this is an important and hectic time of year. But with the right coverage, you can rest easy letting them “adult” on their own, knowing that they are protected from whatever comes their way. If you’d like help exploring your options, contact us to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your insurance needs. 

Secure Your Summer Celebration: A Must-Have for Your Big Events

Are you planning an event this summer? Whether you’re throwing a wedding, hosting a family reunion, or having a company party, summer is the perfect time of year for big events. But while these events are exciting, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly prepared in case anything unexpected happens, so make sure to take the necessary steps to protect your event with policies that can protect you from financial losses in the event of damages, liabilities, or cancellations. 

Why do I need insurance for my event?

We all know how much planning goes into a big event—from booking the venue to hiring vendors, selecting the perfect decor, and inviting all your guests. But what happens when something unexpected strikes and threatens to ruin your big day?

Picture this: it’s a beautiful summer day, and you’re all set to celebrate your wedding in a stunning outdoor setting. You’ve spent months planning every detail to ensure everything is perfect, but then an unforeseen storm hits. Suddenly, your venue is flooded, and all your guests are forced to take shelter indoors. You’re left wondering what to do, and your dreams of a beautiful outdoor wedding are shattered.

Unfortunately, this scenario is not far-fetched. It’s essential to recognize that no matter how well you plan, the unexpected can happen, and that’s where event insurance comes in. Whether you’re hosting a wedding, family reunion, or company party, you want to ensure that your big day is secure.

So, why do you need event insurance? The answer is simple: peace of mind. You don’t want to be left dealing with unforeseen costs or worrying about the what-ifs, and finding the right policy can give you the confidence to enjoy your big day, knowing that you’re protected no matter what happens.

Types of insurance for large events

When you’re planning a large event like a summer wedding, family reunion, or company party, you’re likely focused on all the exciting details. But just as important is determining what insurance policies you may need to protect all your hard work and ensure a great time, no matter what happens. Whether it’s a cancellation due to weather or an accident during the event, having the right insurance coverage can provide peace of mind and protect you from unforeseen costs.

So, what types of insurance should you consider for your summer celebration? Here are a few options:

Liability insurance

Liability insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage in case someone is injured or their property is damaged during the event. This can include things like slips and falls, accidents involving rental equipment, or damage to the venue. Liability insurance can also cover legal fees if someone decides to sue you over an incident that occurred during the event.

Property insurance

Property insurance covers damage or loss to your property or rental equipment that you’re using for the event. This can include things like tables, chairs, tents, or sound equipment.

Cancellation insurance

If you’re planning an outdoor event, it’s important to consider the possibility of weather-related cancellations. Cancellation insurance can provide coverage if you have to cancel or postpone the event due to weather conditions, natural disasters, or other unexpected events.

Event-specific insurance

Depending on the type of event you’re planning, there may be specialized insurance options available. For example, if you’re hosting a wedding, you may want to consider wedding insurance, which can provide coverage for things like vendor no-shows, damaged attire, or lost wedding rings.

In addition to the types of insurance mentioned above, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind. For example, if your group is traveling to a destination for the event, you may want to consider travel insurance, which can provide coverage for things like lost luggage, flight cancellations, or medical emergencies while you’re away from home. Or, if your big gig includes collectibles, aircraft or watercraft, you may want to ensure that those policies cover all your “what ifs,” as well. 

How do I cover my next big event?

While these are some common types of coverage, each policy and each person’s needs are different. Not only will you need to fully understand all the details of the event itself, but you’ll also want to carefully review policy terms and coverage limits to make sure that you have adequate coverage in case of an unexpected incident, as well as any exclusions or limitations in the policy. (For example, many insurance policies may not cover intentional acts or injuries resulting from alcohol or drug use, which can be a big gap when planning a big event!) 

This is where having a trusted insurance broker like Penny Insurance can make all the difference. 

At Penny Insurance, we provide advice, accessibility, and time to our clients. We help simplify the complex and make clear recommendations based on the best carriers and policies for our client’s needs so they can have peace of mind on their big day.

Regardless of what your event is shaping up like, it’s important to carefully consider your options and select the coverage that best fits your needs, and the best way to do that is to talk to a licensed insurance agent, who can help you get a better understanding of what types of insurance are available and which ones you need to consider for your summer celebration. With the right coverage, you can enjoy your event knowing that you’re protected from unexpected costs and liabilities.

With the right coverage, you can rest easy, knowing that your big event is protected from whatever comes your way. If you’d like help exploring your options, contact us to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your insurance needs. 

Summer Fun: How to Maintain Swimming Pool Safety at Home

Summer Fun: How to Maintain Swimming Pool Safety at Home

As the weather warms up and summer approaches, homeowners will be looking for ways to make the most of their outdoor space. But with the fun of backyard swimming pools comes a certain level of responsibility for safety. While homeowners insurance provides some protection in the event of an accident, it’s better to take proactive measures to ensure that your swimming pool is not only safe for your family and guests, but also protected in case something happens while you’re enjoying it. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some simple tips for maintaining swimming pool safety at home so you can have a safe and enjoyable summer season.

The Consequences of Negligent Pool Safety

It’s easy to see backyard pools as a fun zone, but it’s important to remember that swimming pools can also be dangerous places. Unfortunately, negligent pool safety is a leading cause of accidental drownings and injury in the United States, so it’s essential that all pool owners take the necessary steps to ensure water safety at all times. 

That’s largely because failure to follow proper pool safety protocols can have serious consequences. In addition to the risk of injury or death, pool owners can also be held liable for accidents that occur due to their negligence—from expensive medical bills to civil lawsuits, and even criminal charges, depending on the severity of the incident. 

However, by taking the time to properly educate themselves on pool safety and implementing precautionary measures, pool owners can ensure that their friends and family have a safe and enjoyable summer season.

Basic Tips for Maintaining Swimming Pool Safety

Maintaining swimming pool safety is a must for every home with a pool, especially in the summertime, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some basic tips to help you maintain water safety and summer safety in and around the pool:

  • Make sure everyone knows how to swim. Make sure all children are supervised by an adult and have taken proper swimming lessons.
  • Establish and enforce safety rules. Make sure everyone knows and follows these rules to avoid any accidents or incidents.
  • Keep a first aid kit and/or life ring close by in case of an emergency.
  • Install safety fences and/or covers to protect children from entering the pool unsupervised.
  • Keep toys away from the pool when not in use to avoid enticement for children.
  • Check the pH levels in the water regularly to ensure it’s safe for swimming.
  • Always remove pool ladders and other entry points when the pool is not in use.
  • Post visible signs such as “no diving” and “children must be supervised by an adult” near the pool area.
  • Install a Pool Alarm. Pool alarms are an invaluable safety device that alerts you when someone enters the pool area. They can provide an extra layer of protection, especially for those with young children or pets.
  • Invest in Safety Covers. A safety cover is a great way to limit access to the pool when it’s not in use. They’re usually made of strong vinyl material and are designed to withstand heavy weights. 
  • Post Warning Signs. Make sure to post visible warning signs around the pool, advising people of its depth, any rules for using the pool, and any dangers associated with its use. 
  • Monitor Activity. Whether you have young children or older adults using the pool, always make sure there is someone present to monitor their activity. 
  • Educate Yourself. Be aware of water safety regulations, safety equipment, and lifesaving techniques to be prepared in case of an emergency.

Level Up with Policies that Float

In addition to basic safety precautions, it’s also important that homeowners understand what kinds of coverage they have when it comes to their backyard oasis—and where they could have liability gaps. So while yes, homeowners insurance does typically cover pool accidents, there are a few important factors to consider when it comes to determining what is covered and how much coverage you may receive.

First, it’s important to know that liability coverage is typically part of your homeowner’s insurance policy. This coverage covers the costs associated with any injury or damage to property as a result of your negligence. Therefore, if someone is injured in your pool and you are found liable, then your liability coverage will cover the costs associated with the incident.

But understand: liability coverage only covers the costs associated with an injury or damage in property and not necessarily the costs associated with repairing or replacing the pool itself. So, if someone falls into your pool and requires medical treatment, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover medical bills, but not the cost of repairing or replacing the pool or building a fence.

It’s also important to note that homeowners insurance policies often have exclusions for certain kinds of pools. For example, some policies exclude coverage for swimming pools located on a commercial property, or may limit coverage for certain types of pools. 

Ultimately, while homeowners insurance typically covers pool accidents, it’s important to understand the details of your policy and take all necessary safety precautions to reduce the risk of an accident. Your insurance agent can help you determine what coverage you need and what policies will best help provide it. Doing so can help ensure that you and your family stay safe this summer and that any potential accidents are covered by your insurance policy.

With the coverage, you can relax all summer, knowing that you’re protected from whatever comes your way. If you’d like help exploring your options, we at Penny Insurance would love to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your insurance needs. 

What to Know About Travel Insurance Before Your Next Trip

What to Know About Travel Insurance Before Your Next Trip

All you need to know about covering your upcoming travels


As the days get longer and warmer, many of us are preparing to embark on our next adventure. But before you start packing your bags, it’s important to consider the benefits of travel insurance, which can protect you in case of many unexpected travel-related issues, like illness, cancellations, injuries and more. So, in order to ensure that your next trip goes off without a hitch, let’s help you understand what type of travel coverage you may need and how to go about getting it.



What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Travel insurance is designed to protect you from any unexpected costs or losses that may occur while traveling. It covers a wide range of expenses, from medical bills to lost luggage, including:

Medical and Emergency Expenses
Many policies cover medical expenses related to illnesses and injuries incurred while abroad. This can include doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, ambulance services, and more. Some policies also provide coverage for emergency evacuation and repatriation back home if necessary.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption
Travel insurance can provide reimbursement for any prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to certain covered events, such as weather, illness, terrorism, bankruptcy of the travel provider, or other factors.

Lost Baggage and Personal Items
Many travel insurance policies will reimburse you for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and personal items, including expensive items like electronics, jewelry, and cameras.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment
Some travel insurance policies will provide financial compensation in the event of an accidental death or dismemberment while on your trip. (However, as industry experts, we should also add: it’s important to have your own AD&D and Disability policies as well. Let us know if we can help you attain those.)

Liability Coverage
Liability coverage provides legal assistance and financial protection if you are responsible for damaging another person’s property or causing injury or death.

Additional Services
Many policies offer additional services such as 24-hour travel assistance, roadside assistance, and concierge services—services that can be helpful if you need help with making travel arrangements, finding a local doctor or hospital, or even replacing a passport or other travel documents. 

When purchasing travel insurance, make sure you understand the coverage options so you can choose the best policy for your needs. An agent can walk you through the different options. By preparing ahead of time with the right insurance plan, you can enjoy your travels with peace of mind knowing that you are protected against unexpected costs or losses.


When do you need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is an important consideration for any vacation or business trip, regardless of the length or destination. Whether you’re taking a short domestic weekend getaway or a longer international journey, you should purchase travel insurance whenever there is a chance of financial loss due to unforeseen circumstances. Even (and maybe especially) if you don’t think anything will go wrong on your trip, it’s still a good idea to have coverage in case something unexpected happens.

Some trips may require you to purchase travel insurance; if you’re planning a cruise or other type of package trip, it’s likely that your provider will require you to purchase coverage. Additionally, some countries may require travelers to purchase medical insurance before they enter the country. 


How Much Does It Cost?

When it comes to the cost of travel insurance, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The price of your policy depends on a variety of factors, including your destination, the type of travel, the length of your trip, and the level of coverage you’re looking for, but generally speaking, the more comprehensive the coverage, the more expensive the policy will be. 

In addition to the base price of the policy, you may also have to pay additional fees or premiums depending on your situation. For example, if you’re traveling to a high-risk destination or participating in extreme sports, you may have to pay extra for your coverage. Some policies also have a deductible that must be paid before any benefits are triggered, so it’s important to not only understand, but factor these costs into your overall budget when you’re comparing plans. 

The easiest way to figure out how much your policy will cost is to get a quote. There are many online companies that offer a quote generator where you can input your information and get an estimated cost, but finding a reputable agent—especially if you have a number of trips or a single, extensive vacation—can better help you compare policies and make an informed decision about which plan best fits your needs. 


Other Considerations

Travel insurance, in general, is relatively easy to get, but when it comes to preparing for your upcoming trip, there are a few other important aspects you should also consider.

First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that you’re buying travel insurance from a reputable company. Read the policy closely to ensure that you understand the coverage and any exclusions, and check online reviews to help you choose a reliable provider. 

Another thing to consider is whether you need additional coverage for activities such as skiing, scuba diving, or other adventurous activities. Some policies may include coverage for these types of activities, while others may require you to purchase additional coverage, or will reject the policy altogether. 

Finally, make sure that you know how to contact the insurance company in case of an emergency. If you’re traveling abroad, you may need to contact them in a different language, so make sure that you understand the process before your trip. Keep a copy of the policy with you, and hand one off to someone else to ensure that you can easily get ahold of the records, should you need them. Keep in mind, during an emergency, you’ll want to have information easily accessible.


With the right travel insurance policy, you can rest easy knowing that you’re covered in case of an emergency. So whether you’re planning a busy year of business travel, a quick family getaway, or a large family reunion, make sure you’re covered. 

If you need help exploring your options, we at Penny Insurance are here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your insurance needs. 


How to Travel with Your Horse: 5 Tips for a Successful Trip

How to Travel with Your Horse: 5 Tips for a Successful Trip

Are you planning a trip with your horse? Whether you have plans to enter a competition or are just traveling to greener pastures, traveling with your horse can be a unique and rewarding experience. However, it also requires a bit of careful planning. From finding the right transport to ensuring you have the right equestrian insurance, here are the top five tips for a successful trip.

1. Choose the Right Mode of Transportation

When it comes to transporting your horse, you have a few options available to get from Point A to Point B. What you choose will likely depend on how far you plan on traveling, the size of your horse, and your budget.

One option is to transport your horse in a trailer. This is probably the most common way for people to move their horses around, as it offers the most security and safety for your horse during the journey. If you plan on doing long-distance trips with your horse, purchasing is likely the best option, but keep in mind: it can be an expensive option, depending on the size and type of trailer you need.

Another option is to hire a professional horse transportation service—a great option if you don’t have the time or ability to transport your horse yourself. Professional services will make sure that your horse is comfortable and safe throughout the trip and can take care of any potential paperwork needed, and they can offer door-to-door service, which can save you a lot of hassle.

If you’re planning on a shorter trip and you have access to a reliable vehicle, you could always opt to drive your horse yourself. While this is definitely the most cost-effective option (all you would need to pay for is gas), it may not be the safest option and you’ll need to make sure that you’re comfortable driving with a large animal in tow.

2. Consider Your Horse’s Health and Well-Being

Traveling with a horse can be a great way to explore something new, but you need to make sure your horse is safe and healthy throughout the journey. Before you leave, consider doing the following:

  • Have your horse checked by a vet. Make sure your horse has had all its necessary vaccinations and is free of any contagious diseases. Also have the vet check for any signs of illness or injury, as these can quickly become an issue when traveling.
  • Prepare a first aid kit. Put together a kit of items to help deal with minor injuries or illnesses while on the road. Include items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic spray, a thermometer, and a list of phone numbers of vets in the area.
  • Check the weather. Check the temperature and the weather forecast for your route and your destination. If you’re traveling to a warmer climate, ensure that your horse has adequate protection from the sun and heat, including a fly sheet or hood and plenty of shade.
  • Pack plenty of water. Make sure you pack enough water for both yourself and your horse for the entire journey. Pack more than you think you’ll need just in case you get delayed or stuck somewhere.
  • Make rest stops. Plan frequent stops along the way so that your horse can rest and stretch his legs. This will help reduce stress levels, and provide him with an opportunity to eat and drink before continuing on.

3. Get Your Paperwork in Order

You wouldn’t think that taking a trip would require a file folder of documents, but when traveling with a horse, it’s important to have your paperwork in order to avoid any unnecessary hassle. Here are some of the most important documents that you should have in place when traveling with a horse:

A valid passport for your horse.

Your horse’s passport should include information such as its name, breed, microchip number, and description.

Proof of vaccinations.

It’s essential to make sure that your horse’s vaccinations are up to date in order to avoid any potential health risks during your travels.

Health certificate.

Depending on where you’re traveling, you may need to obtain a health certificate from a certified veterinarian in order to prove that your horse is healthy.

Identification documents.

It’s also important to have identification documents such as a valid driver’s license or other government-issued ID when traveling with a horse

Shipping documentation. 

If you’re planning on shipping your horse, make sure that all necessary shipping documents are in place before you depart.

Keep in mind, you’ll also want to keep copies of all of these documents in case they are requested at any point during your travels.

4. Make Sure You’re Fully Insured

Traveling with your horse can be a stressful experience, but having the right insurance coverage in place provides peace of mind and makes the journey a lot smoother. It is important to make sure you are covered in case of an accident or other unexpected events that could cause harm to your horse or your property.

Equine insurance typically covers things like medical care, loss of use, death and theft, and depending on the policy you choose, it may also cover liability for property damage or bodily injury caused by your horse. However, it is also a good idea to investigate travel policies that may provide extra coverage while traveling, so you can have additional coverage for unique risks associated with horse travel, such as trailer damage or breakdowns. Some policies will even provide coverage for loss of entry fees for competitions if you have to cancel due to your horse becoming ill or injured.

Regardless of the kind of policy you choose, make sure that you have the coverage you need, understand the details of your coverage and know how to file a claim if necessary—before you hit the road.

5. Always Have a Plan B

Traveling with a horse requires planning and preparation, but even the best-laid plans can go awry. That’s why it’s essential to always have a Plan B in place in case something doesn’t go as planned. Here are some scenarios to consider:

1. A Backup Plan for Transportation.

If you’re driving with your horse, have a backup plan in case of car trouble or delays. Make sure you know the routes and locations of nearby stables, trailer parks, and other horse-friendly places so that you can make alternate arrangements if necessary.

2. Emergency Contacts on Hand.

Have contact information for your veterinarian and other horse professionals you may need in case of an emergency. You should also have contact information for local authorities and the nearest equine hospital on hand.

3. Carry Emergency Supplies.

Bring along all the supplies you may need in an emergency, such as medication, medical supplies, and items for quick repairs (like duct tape). You may also want to bring along food and water for both yourself and your horse in case you get stranded.

4. Have an Emergency Fund.

Unexpected expenses can pop up when traveling with horses. Be prepared by having an emergency fund set aside for any unplanned costs.

Traveling with your horse can be a wonderful experience, but it takes planning and preparation to make sure that you and your horse have a safe and successful journey. Before you leave, make sure to contact your insurance broker to make sure that your horse and your trip are covered. If you’re looking for a new policy, or want to ensure you’re fully covered for all your insurance needs, contact us at Penny Insurance to  schedule a consultation and get a quote.