Slow Down(and breathe) For The Holidays

Slow Down(and breathe) For The Holidays

One of the hardest things to do when you’re in a rush during the holiday season is to slow down and be a courteous driver. You’re only halfway through your shopping; the next stop is clear across town and closes within the hour. You dodge carts and wayward children in parking lots to pull out onto the main road, and… you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic because of a fender-bender half a mile up the road.

Holiday Driving
Add to that the ever-changing guest list for your office party, that you’re hosting at home, when you realize you’ve forgotten to get the extra guest linens. You’re still fuming as you pull out of the driveway, only to find yourself behind a driver who doesn’t seem to realize the speed limit is 40mph: nearly twice as fast as he’s driving.
Rather than leaning on your horn or switching lanes three times in 10 minutes, it’s best to remember that everyone else is likely just as frustrated as you are. In addition to taking a good, deep breath, remember that you’re all in this harried season together.

When all else fails, give ‘em the benefit of the doubt!

Give slow, tailgating, or cell phone-using drivers the benefit of the doubt because the simple fact is that most drivers–even the ones who make mistakes–are very good drivers, or they wouldn’t be on the road. The mistakes you notice are probably magnified by your harried and stressed state of mind; it’s best not to take them personally or react aggressively.

Don’t let their stress become your stress.

If there is an accident-causing traffic jam, consider the people involved. Barring poor weather and other factors, accidents are also caused when drivers make a slip in judgment often caused by their emotional or physical state at the moment. You can bet those drivers regret their decisions to switch lanes so suddenly or to get out on the road while tired. Refrain from letting your own frustration take over your driving decisions.

Keep a clear head!

Keep your head clear of scheduling constraints and relationship stress to avoid letting “road rage” take over your driving decisions. A good reason for holding back? When you’re angry while driving, your driving decisions are more aggressive–and more dangerous–than normal. If you’re involved in an accident because of a lack of due diligence and common sense in driving, you’re more likely to be sued. And your insurance is less likely to fully cover accident claims that show a lack of safe decision-making on your part.

Stay calm, cool and collected to arrive safely.

So if you notice another driver demonstrating frustration by displaying aggressive driving, don’t counter it with aggressiveness of your own. Instead, engage defensive driving techniques and avoid the hotheads. You’ll find it really is the quickest way to get where you’re going safely.

Don’t forget: you can always contact our insurance agents to get more information about safe driving habits and how to avoid road rage.

The Dangers of “Going Bare” on Business Insurance

The Dangers of “Going Bare” on Business Insurance

Often times, especially in these tough economic times, businesses have to make decisions about how their money is spent and what they have to have versus what is a nice to have. Unfortunately, many businesses think business insurance is a “nice to have” instead of something that is a necessity for sound business practice.

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Regardless what they do or their size, businesses make decisions that affect how they are covered. There are many factors that go into choices about what needs to be protected, such as:

Business Furnishings
and other assets

Besides physical assets, companies have to make coverage decisions to protect themselves against loss that involve injury and damage they cause to others when they arise from their business operations. (more…)

How to Prevent Ice Dams

How to Prevent Ice Dams

This season creates special challenges for homeowners. Ice can wreak havoc on many a homeowner, particularly the often pretty, yet deadly Ice Dams.

An ice dam refers to ice that has formed along a roof’s edge. The dam of ice blocks additional water and the pooling water backs up and finds pathways into a home’s interior. This water may cause deterioration and decay to interior wood and plaster, drywall or other insulation materials. Once an ice dam has forced paths into a home, the roof becomes more susceptible to future ice dams and water damage.

Ice Dams

Too much heat rising from the home to warm the roof is the most frequent cause of ice dams. The process occurs unevenly with the warmer area at the higher part of the roof melting the snow and then the cooler, lower area, particularly the roof edge, permitting the water to refreeze and then accumulate. Inadequate insulation lets too much heat escape into the attic and this creates a warmer roof. Improper ventilation creates moisture and heat buildup due to the lack of air movement. (more…)

5 Tips for Keeping Guests (and Hosts) Safe at Holiday Parties

5 Tips for Keeping Guests (and Hosts) Safe at Holiday Parties

460390361You’ve sent out all the invites, finalized the menu, completed the shopping, and spruced up your home. Guests are arriving and you’re ready to make sure everyone has a ball. But there’s more to being a good host than icebreakers and hors d’oeuvres. Holidays are some of the best times to get together with loved ones, but they’re also prone to be marred by injuries and accidents. Even if you have an eye for safety, the best host in the world can’t control the actions of guests.

Who is responsible if a guest of yours causes an injury or accident at your house? The guest of course, but in certain cases you may also be held liable in a court of law. If that doesn’t sound like your idea of a holiday to remember, you should know about “social host” laws.

Social host laws hold property owners responsible for accidents, injuries, and damages caused by guests as a direct result of their activities at your party. North Carolina joined the party in 1992, becoming the 11th state to institute these laws.

Party Poopers

Most of the accidents and injuries during holiday parties are caused by the consumption of too much alcohol. If there is an accident, injury, or property damage caused by a guest of yours and you’re implicated, homeowner’s insurance will often cover your claims. But you should be aware that claims can be denied if: (more…)