Few things scare a parent more than having a teen driver. The learning curve is sharp – both for
your teen driver and for yourself as you strive to become an effective and poised teacher.
When your teen is driving, it can be difficult to determine which driving tendencies demand
correction and which ones are okay to overlook. To avoid nitpicking their every move, it’s
better to encourage safe driving habits that will make them a better and safer driver overall. In
this blog, we’re going to cover four skills to teach your teen driver.
Mind your speed.
Speeding is not only a major cause of teen car accidents, but it’s also a factor that worsens the
effects of an accident.
If your teen has a lead foot, explain to them the risks of driving over the speed limit. Many
teens assume that as long as they avoid a speeding ticket, they’re not hurting anyone. But a
speeding ticket is minor compared to being liable for causing an accident and injuring someone
due to driving too fast.
Drive free of food and drinks.
Parents are quick to tell their teens to never drink and drive. But what about driving and
Eating at the wheel really is distracting, and for a teen who’s inexperienced to begin with, it is
often the cause of fender benders and other accidents.
The piece you may not want to hear is that your teens are watching you drive and learning from
your habits, good or bad. If you’re dressing a salad while trying to watch the road, or driving
with the steering wheel between your knees while eating a chicken sandwich, they’re likely to
feel confident in doing the same.
Set a good example for your teen drivers. They may not want to listen to your lectures in the
car, but leading by example goes a long way.
Manage the social scene.
Food is certainly not the only distraction teen drivers face. Passengers, loud music, and phones
are all common, and often, unmonitored distractions.
The best way to manage social distractions is to, again, set a good example. Put your phone in
the back seat when you get behind the wheel. Ask a passenger to respond to urgent text
messages for you instead of attempting to text while driving. Better yet, put your phone in
driving mode. (Honestly, even if you don’t have a teen driver, these are excellent habits to
While helpful for sending text messages, passengers can be a major distraction for teen drivers.
It’s best to limit the number of friends your teen is allowed to have in the car while driving. Give
them time to acclimate to the road before their car turns into a social hub.
Arrive at Your Destination Before Dark.
Because teen drivers are inexperienced, nighttime driving presents a common risk. Not only are
things more difficult to see in the dark, but chances are, your teen is going to be more tired at
night, and so will other drivers.
If your teen is driving at night, help them take note of areas that require their utmost attention
- Busy roads
- Historically dangerous intersections
- Construction zones
- Pedestrian-heavy areas
The more alert your teen is while driving, the safer they will be.
Will you have a teen driving soon? Contact Penny Insurance about adding your new driver to
your auto insurance policy.
The funny thing about the phrase “home for the holidays” is that most of us are actually out and about more than ever during the holiday season. Whether we’re out shopping for Christmas gifts, attending parties, or visiting family, it seems like we’re anywhere but home.
Unfortunately, being away from home paired with traditional holiday activities and decor create the perfect recipe for holiday hazards. What you as a homeowner need to know is whether or not your home insurance has you covered for those unexpected, yet all too common Christmastime mishaps.
Are you insured for common holiday home risks?
Electrical Fires from Light Displays
Christmas decorations are stunning, but if they’re not done right and monitored carefully, they can end up putting your homeowner’s insurance coverage to the test.
We all love a house and front yard covered in lights, but it’s best to never to leave your lights on when you’re not home. The enjoyment your neighbors and those walking by may receive from your unmonitored outdoor light display is not worth the cost of an electrical fire.
For your outdoor and indoor light displays, be careful not to overload your outlets. This could also start a fire – especially when your lights are wrapped around a dead tree in your living room. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 44% of Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical distribution or lighting equipment.
Perhaps it’s all of those chestnuts you’re roasting over the open fire, but fireplace-related fires skyrocket every December, according to the NFPA. Often, it’s from candles on the mantle, not necessarily the fireplace.
Either way, the best way to avoid fireplace-related fires is to use fewer decorations around flames. Give you candles and your fireplace plenty of breathing room from stocking, garland and boughs of holly.
Stolen Christmas Presents
Robberies go way up during the holidays because thieves know they can get their hands on some brand-new tech toys and whatnot via your Christmas gift stash. Basic homeowner’s insurance covers personal contents, which means most items stolen from your home would be insured. If you have valuables that you’d like to insure, you may want to consider Valuable Items Insurance.
What if an item is stolen from your car? More often than not, thieves will break into a vehicle before they rob your home, so you need to know if your home insurance policy will cover those pricey Christmas presents that never made it home. In certain cases, Penny Insurance will cover a percentage of the cost of items stolen from your car under your home insurance policy.
Certain factors – such as whether or not you locked your car – will be used to determine what percentage of the stolen items insurance will cover. One of our insurance representatives would be happy to talk with you more about specifics. In the meantime, keep your car locked, and valuables out of sight.
Slips and Falls on Your Property
What if the Amazon delivery person slips on a patch of ice in your driveway and experiences a serious injury? Most homeowner insurance policies cover liability insurance, which means you would not be liable for medical bills. However, most policies have a threshold amount that they would cover in case of a lawsuit. If you’d rather not risk hitting that threshold, you can pay a little more for umbrella liability protection which goes into effect when your liability coverage meets its threshold.
Good Tidings of Great Home Insurance
The holidays are busy, and we know contemplating home insurance is probably not number one on your to-do list. That’s why, as a smaller independent insurance agency, we won’t waste your time bouncing you around from person to person. We’ll answer your insurance questions just the way you ask them – directly, to the point, and always with your best interests at heart.
It’s hard to believe we’re already closing in on the holidays. Thanksgiving is fast-approaching, and Christmas isn’t far behind. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s not forget what season is currently upon us – open enrollment!
We know, you already have more than enough on your plate right now (especially now that we just mentioned the holidays), and we hate to be the ones to add something else to your list, but open enrollment is an important time of year. The decisions you make between now and December 15th will affect you for the entirety of 2021, and we want to help you stay informed so that you can make the right insurance decisions for you and your family.
Dates and Deadlines for Health Insurance
When is it time to enroll?
The open enrollment period in North Carolina is the same every year. It begins November 1st and ends December 15th. Whatever insurance plan you enroll in during that time will go into effect on January 1st.
The open enrollment period was put in place to keep people from taking advantage of the system by signing up for health insurance right before undergoing a major procedure or immediately after finding out they need an expensive medication. Failing to enroll in health insurance coverage during the designated time means that you’ll be without health insurance for a year and be forced to wait for the next open enrollment period to get it.
There are, however, circumstances in which you can get insurance outside the open enrollment window.
Special Enrollment Period
What are the qualifications?
Some people qualify for a special enrollment period. Life events like losing other coverage, getting married, having a baby, or starting a new job typically make a person eligible for special enrollment. Additionally, those who qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can also apply any time.
Since Penny Insurance Agency’s clients are all 65 years old or more, some of these life events are unlikely to occur in the next year. Insurance through Penny is a Medicare supplement. We do not offer Obamacare/ACA plans or under 65 health insurance.
Renewing vs. Shopping Around
What’s in my best interests?
You can count on your insurance costs going up from one year to the next, but don’t wait for your bill in January to find out just how much it increased. Ask your insurance company during open enrollment how much you’ll be paying for coverage next year, and if it’s a number you’re not happy with, you may want to shop around.
We get it – it’s so much easier to just renew your current plan, but if you can get better coverage that’s consolidated and managed by professionals who actually care about your needs, then isn’t a little insurance shopping worth it?
Open Enrollment with Penny Insurance Agency
How does it work?
The great thing about working with Penny Insurance is that you don’t have to know exactly what insurance plan you want. Leave it to our team to find a comprehensive coverage plan that makes sense for you, and then we’ll provide the most up-to-date facts so that you can make an informed decision.
As monotonous and mundane as open enrollment seems (especially next to all of your fun holiday plans), the great news is you do not have to tackle it alone. Our experienced and knowledgeable agents are ready to help you through the process.
Contact us today if you’re interested in speaking with a Penny Insurance Agency representative. Your protection is our priority.
For more information about open enrollment check out the Open Enrollment 2021 Guide from healthinsurance.org or one of our older posts titled, Open Enrollment: What You Really Need to Know.
Every day has always looked different, but now more than ever, our days are unpredictable. Whether you’ve gone from working in an office to working remotely or learning to teach your kids virtually at home, we are all making adjustments every day. While tackling these challenges, we need to be reminded of the importance of cybersecurity. Since October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we urge you to take some time to determine how cyber safe you really are.
With COVID-19, working, and learning remotely has become a norm for many people. We are conducting meetings and classes via video, using messaging applications for quick communication, and sharing even more confidential information virtually. While it’s great to have these tools at our fingertips, what are we sacrificing to use them? That question unpacks many more questions involving hacking, phishing, spam, illegitimacy, and more. We must protect our information at all costs, but if compromises do occur, Penny Insurance offers Cyber Liability Insurance.
One of the biggest threats to cybersecurity is email phishing. People use email daily to communicate for work and personal life and we are seeing an increase in the number of phishing emails. There are a few ways to check emails and determine if they are legitimate. One way is to look for grammar mistakes. If the subject line or body of the email include grammar mistakes, this may be a quick way to rule out if the email is valid. Another way to check is if the email asks for personal information or has links to websites you are not familiar with. You should delete emails with these prompts right away. It’s easy for hackers to embed viruses and tracking bugs in links, so you should never click on an unknown link.
Some other threats to your cybersecurity that you should be aware of, include video privacy, WiFi hacking, spam calls, and illegitimate job postings. Especially during these times, we are using video communication, working on our home’s WiFi, receiving many calls, and possibly looking for a job. It is important to read the privacy policies from these service providers before sharing confidential information while using them. Another privacy tip is to never share personal or financial information with anyone you are unsure of. Make sure you have proof that you are sharing with a confidential source and not a scam.
Most scams are easy to overlook, so taking the time to double-check the information you are receiving is a simple way to avoid being a victim. In general, you should always be on the lookout for illegitimate information. Even if you take precautions, our technologically advanced world makes it easier than ever for your information to be compromised. Make sure you have our Cyber Liability Insurance, so in the event of a security breach, your information is safe.
It’s already here, the last hoorah of Summer – Labor Day. You’ve worked hard to enjoy this long weekend and we want to make sure you don’t have anything to worry about. Whether you’re planning to take the boat out on the lake, grill in the backyard, or travel to a new location, there are always risks involved. Your safety is of the utmost importance to us, so knowing the risks and insurance options available is crucial.
Boats are a great way to get out on the water and enjoy the warm summer weather, however, we want you to know the risks involved before you take them. As with anything, there is a risk of personal injury. Boating personal injuries include but are not limited to, electric shock drowning and propeller accidents. Always check your surroundings for a source of electricity in the water. If you are unsure of the water’s conditions, you can get an electric current detector. Another risk is a collision with another boat or object. With our Motorcycle, ATV, RV, and Boat Insurance, you can worry less about what happens if these scenarios occur.
Labor Day is notorious for grilling out in the backyard with family and friends. Even with grilling, there are risks you should be aware of. You should always make sure that children are kept away from the grill, to prevent any injuries. Also, reading the safety guidelines and rules for your grill is the best practice for keeping your grill functioning properly. Even with these precautions, unknown issues can arise. With a comprehensive liability policy, you can grill and relax without the burden of worrying about legal consequences if a mishap were to occur.
Are you planning to go on a socially-distanced weekend getaway? If you are, you should think about the risks of leaving your house alone and traveling in a vehicle. To take the best precautions, ask a neighbor to watch your house or set up a home security system. Regarding your travels in a vehicle, you should always make sure you have your routine maintenance up to date. If you take these simple precautions, you can lower the risks of a weekend getaway. To take extra precautions, our Homeowners Insurance and our Personal Vehicle Insurance are the best options for you.
Whether it’s boating, grilling, traveling, or other Labor Day weekend activities, always know you’re covered with Penny Insurance’s liability options. We want you to have a fun and safe lifestyle, without the worries of liability hanging over your head.