Unique Insurance Policies in the Treasure Valley

Ever wonder what celebrities insure? You might be surprised.

Unique Insurance Policies

Unique Insurance Policies in the Treasure ValleyWhen it comes to the insurance world, you can pretty much insure anything. There are companies that insure things for the obvious insurance reasons of liability, but also some that take risks on things like how much snow will fall in the mountains for a ski resort.

But, when it comes to making a living for celebrities, they are known for their talents! Celebrities have been known to insure their bodies for huge figures up to one billion dollars!

Some items insured by celebrities or other entities include:

  • Voice: Singers are known to insure their voice. After all, it is their voice that creates their income so insuring it ensures they will be able to make a living in the event something happens to their voice.
  • Body parts: Models insure everything from their legs and hands to their teeth and hair! Remember, insurance is about insuring your financial future.
  • Rewards: Reward have been taken out by anyone from car dealerships to cover promotions gone wrong to rewards for providing proof that the Loch Ness monster exists!
  • Abduction – by aliens! You read correctly, people have taken out insurance policies in the event they’re abducted by aliens!
  • Whiskers: Some people have amazing beards! And, as slow as they grow, it would be wise of them to insure their impeccable whiskers.
  • Insuring against a lottery: Some employers take out insurance policies in the even that more than one of their employees wins the lottery and quit, they can cover their business until they find replacements.

If you have questions about your home, auto or renters insurance, call the insurance agents at The Insurance Group. The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

Power Outage In The Treasure Valley

Be Prepared for an Unexpected Power Outage

What To Do If Your Power Goes Out

Power Outage In The Treasure ValleyWhen nasty weather hits it can be easy to say, “it won’t affect me, our power never goes out!” But, being prepared in the event that you do lose power will save you a lot of nervousness and more.

There are many things to consider when putting together an “out of power” kit. Simple things like blankets can be pulled off of beds, so consider other things like non-perishable foods, ways to light the house and core means to communicate.

Here is a list of items to consider for your powers out safety kit:

  • Non-perishable food such as canned goods, crackers, noodles or vacuum packed tuna
  • Water – make sure you have enough. Water goes fast when you use it for everything from brushing your teeth to other hygiene as well as drinking and cooking.
  • LED flashlights. LED because they last about 5x as long on batteries.
  • Emergency Radio or solar cell phone charger.
  • Candles – Emergency candles can last 7 days burning 24 hours a day! Make sure you get the right ones. Many are also wind resistant.

There are many things to consider for your different types of emergency kits, but fortunately you’re at home! Some things to consider when the power is out at home:

  • Unplug some of your more sensitive electronics. Electronics can become damaged when the power comes back on with the power surge.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. If the power is going to be out for a while, it can help deter spoilage. If possible, remove more temperature sensitive items like meat and dairy to a smaller cooler and fill with ice on the top.
  • If you suspect your food has spoiled, don’t risk it.

Generators are a great tool for when the power goes out, but they’re typically limited unless you have a whole house generator. If you’re going to use a generator, be sure to determine what appliances you want to run. Refrigerators require a large generator, so determine if it is even possible to run it. Using a generator to run lighting and small portable coolers is reasonable.

When the power goes out, be prepared.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

How to Drive in the Snow and Ice Safely in the Treasure Valley

The Best Strategies to Drive Safe in the Snow & On Ice

Winter Weather Driving Tips

How to Drive in the Snow and Ice Safely in the Treasure ValleyIt’s important for every driver to know how to drive in winter weather conditions. It can be challenging to drive in these conditions, but with the knowledge of the information below, you’ll know how to stay safe on the road.

  • Be sure your car has plenty of antifreeze. You do not want to run out while driving in poor weather conditions.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and that your wiper fluid remains full. Dirty roads can cover a windshield with dirt quickly impacting your visibility.
  • Keep control of your vehicle by not using your cruise control settings.
  • Pack the essentials in your car in case you get stuck. A flashlight, roadside visibility reflectors, a snow brush and ice scraper, jumper cables and a bag of sand to help with traction are all key items that can help you deal with winter weather.
  • Always check the road conditions before you leave on your trip. Once you know the weather conditions, be sure to leave earlier so you don’t have to feel rushed. Giving yourself the extra time allows you to drive at an appropriate and safe speed.
  • Brake appropriately on slippery surfaces. If you start to skid, take your foot off the accelerator until you regain traction. Many people want to slam on the brakes when they notice their car starting to skid.
  • Give yourself more distance between the car ahead of you. When the weather conditions are poor, you will need more space between the car ahead of you to stop.
  • Know where to be extra cautious. Bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas are likely to freeze first and can be extra slick.
  • To defrost your car, turn on your front and rear defrosters. Don’t use your windshield wipers. Once your car has warmed up slightly, use your plastic ice scrapers.

Knowledge is the first step to becoming a safe driver. Having the awareness and driving skills can help you stay safe in less than optimal weather conditions.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

Home Inventory List in the Treasure Valley

Keep a Home Inventory Checklist Just in Case

Two Ways to Construct a List

Home Inventory List in the Treasure Valley For most of us, we won’t have to experience a disastrous home loss such as a flood, fire, earthquake or other disaster. That doesn’t mean any of us should be less prepared for such an event should one occur. Preparing a home inventory can be a large task, but taking the time to do so can make a difference of thousands of dollars when it comes to your claims settlement as well as simple ease of processing your claim.

For many of us, where we live symbolizes us and what is in that house symbolizes our lives. Our belongings represent our memories, personal style and even investments that hold significant value such as art.  When you add up how much all of your personal items are worth, it can be a substantial figure into the many 10s of thousands of dollars or more.

Home insurance claims from disasters such as flood or fire are traumatic. A home inventory checklist can help you remember quickly what items you had. Would you recall exactly how many pairs of jeans you had and what brand they were? Would you recall how many pairs of shoes you had or what brands they were? What about art? Could you recall the name of the artist and how much you paid for it?

Taking the time to inventory your home can be useful in the event of theft or damage to the contents of your home. Keep track of your items with this easy to use chart! You can even attach photos of your items and quickly send this chart to your insurance agent to help speed up the claims process. Another way to document is with a thorough video or video series. Be sure to store your home inventory checklist in a safe place like in the cloud.

The good news is your insurance agent likely gave you sufficient coverage for your personal property. If you feel like you need more, be sure to tell your agent. Home, renters and condo insurance policies typically come standard with this coverage.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

Flood Insurance vs. Sewer Backup Coverage in The Treasure Valley

Understanding Flood Insurance and Sewer Backup Coverage

Flood Insurance and Sewer Backup Insurance – Not the same thing.

Flood Insurance vs. Sewer Backup Coverage in The Treasure Valley Floods are the most devastating natural disaster in the United States each year causing billions in losses and displacing thousands. While flooding is a common concern for those near rivers and streams, all homes in the United States can be caught off-guard by floods. When it comes to flood insurance, it is important to understand what flood insurance is and what is covered. Many people think flood insurance is anything to do with water in their home. This is far from the truth. Floods are defined as surface water that enters your home from the outside – not to be confused with a leaky roof or a broken pipe, loose toilet or other plumbing related issue. Another issue altogether is sewer backup with may or may not be covered depending on what caused it to occur.

Let’s take a closer look at these policies:

Flood Insurance: Flood insurance covers your property and contents from damages that occur when water from outside the home enters the home. Beit a heavy rainstorm, a clogged drain in the street or even a hurricane that causes a tidal surge that backs up streams and rivers.

  • Cost: According to floodsmart.gov, the average flood insurance policy costs around $700 a year. Depending on your area and whether you’re in a flood prone area, your costs can be higher or lower.
  • What’s covered: The typical flood insurance policy will cover your building and the contents. Be sure to discuss contents coverage with your agent to ensure you have enough coverage. The price of the policy will be largely determined by how valuable your items are and how much coverage you need.
  • When to buy: Flood insurance requires a 30 day waiting period. The best time to buy a flood insurance policy is as soon as you decide you want it.

Water & Sewer Backup Coverage: Sewage backup insurance is not included with a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Sewage backup occurs for many reasons, but ultimately, what is happening is there is a blockage that causes water to reverse course and push up into your sinks, bathtubs or other outlets. This can be a smelly, filthy event and one you want to be sure to discuss with your agent. Believe it or not, this is a somewhat common occurrence.

  • Cost: Cost always varies, but typically a sewer backup endorsement will run you under $100. Be sure to ask your agent about different policy options.
  • What’s covered: You purchase specific amounts of covers, such as $10,000 or $15,000. This helps cover the cost of cleaning the damage caused from the backup as well as replacing carpets, drywall, and even cleaning or replacing ducts.
  • When to buy: Water and sewage backup occurs everywhere. There is no real good indicator or when this event will occur, so protecting early is critical.

We understand insurance is confusing, so if you still have questions, feel free to call one of our licensed agents and ask to speak about flood or sewage backup coverage.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

Be Cautious Before Writing a Negative Review Online in the Treasure Valley

Exercise Diligence When Leaving an Online Review

A Negative Online Review Can Leave You Liable 

Be Cautious Before Writing a Negative Review Online in the Treasure Valley Everyone today is connected in some way to social media. It can be by Facebook, Yelp, email or other internet outlets. When you write something, you leave your fingerprint for everyone to see. If you go to a restaurant, dentist, daycare or other business and have a bad experience, you might think of writing a bad review on the company’s Facebook page or Yelp. If you decide to do this, it is important to exercise caution about how you word your experience as recent cases have shown you can be sued for libel – even if you think the review was justified. This can be a very frightening situation and how on earth can you afford to pay attorney fees? What do you do?

If you have the right coverage on your homeowners insurance, you likely have protection for these personal offenses such as libel, slander or defamation of character. If you receive a lawsuit, you need to contact your homeowners insurance claim’s department right away. The claims department will defend you and pay for damages up to certain limits on your policy. If you want to be extra cautious, you can get an umbrella insurance policy that would give you coverage above and beyond your homeowners policy for attorney fees and any damages awarded. It is important to understand your home or renters insurance.

If you have questions about one of these policies, feel free to contact one of our licensed agents at The Insurance Group. We were formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

Renters Insurance in The Treasure Valley

Renters Insurance Policies Help Protect More Than Just Your Personal Items

Understanding Renters Insurance

Renters Insurance in The Treasure ValleyIf you’re like 2 out of every 3 renters who rent a home, apartment or other dwelling, you don’t carry a renters insurance policy. The reason for not carrying renters insurance varies, but it is important to understand that your landlord is not responsible for your personal belongings if they are damaged, stolen or otherwise. You alone are responsible for your things, so protecting them with a renters insurance policy is important.

When you’re ready to speak to an agent, consider the following:

  1. Cost: Renter’s insurance is typically very inexpensive, usually not costing more than just $1 per day! Think about it, if you buy a coffee in the morning, that is about 2-3 times as much as getting a renters insurance policy.
  2. What’s covered: Renters insurance will typically cover your clothes, furniture, electronics, bicycles and jewelry, but only up to what your policy limits say. You have a choice to add additional coverage to cover certain items that may exceed your policy limits such as furs, art and jewelry.
  3. What loss types are covered? Typically, your renters insurance will cover your items due to fire, theft, smoke and water damage if your home has a water leak (talk to an agent about flood specifically as this coverage varies). A renters policy can also cover your items while your away. Say you ride your bike to a park and it gets stolen there. Renters insurance will typically cover that loss.
  4. Injuries: Another reason renters insurance is great is that it provides you with liability protection if you’re found to be liable for injuries to someone who is at your home.
  5. Roommates: Many people have roommates who live with them. If you want an insurance policy to cover your roommate you must get your insurance company to list them on the insurance policy. It is always a good idea to have your roommates listed on the policy. It helps protect your household – not just either party.
  6. Dogs: If you have a dog in the house, be sure to tell your agent.

Understanding insurance can be difficult, but simply going without it shouldn’t be an option. If you have additional questions about Renters insurance, contact your insurance agent to discuss your options. It is even possible that you’d get a discount for bundling your policies.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

 

What to do if a driving emergency occurs in the treasure valley?

Would You Know What To Do In the Event You Have a Driving Emergency?

The Insurance Group discusses the four common driving emergencies and how to work through them.

What to do if a driving emergency occurs in the treasure valley?Driving hazards present themselves daily and can occur year-round in every state. But, would you know what to do in the event a driving hazard presented itself?

Wildlife: Hitting a deer in the roadway can be a traumatic experience, but it could also be deadly. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture cites as many as 2 million collisions with animals occur each year in the U.S. Prepare by following these steps:

  • Stay alert: if you are driving in rural areas, be aware that wildlife is always nearby and keep a lookout towards the sides of the road.
  • Don’t swerve: Swerving cannot only results in a worse injury and more severe accident, but your insurance company might find you at fault if you swerve to miss a deer and end up hitting a tree or guard rail. Keep your car pointed forward and hit the brakes!
  • Be more aware at night: Animals can become more active in the evenings and some travel in groups. If you see one, chances are there are more nearby. If there are two lanes, drive in the lane farthest away from the side of the road.

Blown Tires: A blown tire can be a startling experience, but knowing what to do in the event you have one can save you from an accident. Keep these things in mind:

  • Don’t slam on the brakes: Slamming on the brakes with a blown tire will only make matters worse because it will cause your vehicle to pull hard in the direction of the flat. Slowly pull to the side of the roadway, as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Work to maintain your steering: If a front tire blows, it can really cause the vehicle to pull. Do your best not to overreact to the sudden jolt and swerve the other way. This could cause your vehicle to lose control.
  • Place your blown tire and wheel under the car slightly when changing your tire: So many injuries occur when a jack is improperly used. Placing your tire under the car can save you from being crushed if a jack fails.

Bugs in the Car: We’ve all experienced the spider in the car!

  • Pull over: While a spider or bee in the vehicle can be alarming, you have to remember – it is probably more afraid of you than you are of it! Carefully pull over to the side of the road and let your unwanted passenger out.
  • Don’t let it take your eyes off the road: It can be tempting to try to swat at the insect or arachnid while driving, but don’t. It will only increase the chances of causing a more serious crash.

Black Ice: It is getting to that time of year when black ice can occur on roadways. If your vehicle begins to slide on ice, it is important to understand what to do:

  • Let off the gas: Many vehicle have stability control and will work to auto-correct the problem. Stop accelerating and let your car recover.
  • Let off the brake: Applying the brakes on ice can unfortunately make matters worse. Never slam the brakes on, but gently apply them.
  • Drive slowly: if you notice the temperature beginning to plunge, drive more slowly. Less accidents occur when drivers keep the speeds under 45 MPH during icy conditions.

While we can’t always be in the car with you to avoid hazards, we can help you with your auto and home insurance questions.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

How to keep your teen driver safe on the road in the treasure valley

Five Things to Discuss With Your Teen Driver

How to Keep Your Teen Safe on the Road

How to keep your teen driver safe on the road in the treasure valleyThis week represents National Teen Driver Safety Week. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the leading cause of death of teenagers from 15-19 years old in the United States is auto accidents. In order to decrease these numbers, it’s important for parents to sit down with their children to discuss the dangers of driving.

The National Teen Safety Week goal is to make teens aware of the “5 to Drive” Rules.

Keep in mind, in order for your teenagers to be following these five rules, parents need to be leading by example. If you aren’t following the rules yourself, your teenager won’t take these steps seriously. Educate your teen on the importance of each rule. Give real life scenarios and grim statistics so they understand why the “5 to Drive” is so crucial to follow.  

Alcohol

We all know not to drink and drive, but be sure to continue these conversations with your teen. It’s also important to discuss the major consequences of getting into an accident when alcohol is involved such as jail time, a loss of driver’s license and fines. If your teen happens to be in a situation involving alcohol, make a deal that you will pick them up to prevent the dangers of drinking and driving.

Seatbelts

This is such a simple habit to stay safe and it’s the best way to protect yourself! According to NHTSA, 64 percent of all young passengers and teen drivers who didn’t wear a seatbelt died in a motor vehicle accident. Train your teenager to buckle up every single time they get into a vehicle until it becomes a habit!

Texting

We all know the dangers of texting while driving. Distracted driving accidents continue to increase in deaths per year. Coach your teen to put their cell phone away before getting behind the wheel or let the passenger take care of any urgent texting.

Speeding

Teenage drivers learn in driver’s education that every time their speed doubles, their stopping distance quadruples. Be sure to continue this conversation to help them follow the speed limit. In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.

Extra Passengers

The more passengers in your teenager’s vehicle, the more risk of a fatal crash. Some states prohibit any passengers from riding in your teenager’s car for a certain period. Check your State’s GDL law to see what your teenage driver needs to follow.

Remember, you will make the biggest impact on your teen’s safety behind the wheel. Show you care about their safety and take about the dangers of driving. Most importantly, follow the five rules yourself. With continued education, you’ll shape your teenager into a responsible driver.

While we can’t keep your teen safe on the road, we can answer any questions related to your insurance. The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

How to Protect Your Home from Mold in The Treasure Valley

Protecting your Home or Condo from Mold

Key Tips to Prevent Mold

How to Protect Your Home from Mold in The Treasure Valley Every home in the US is vulnerable to mold damage and now that we’re coming into the cooler winter months, mold can thrive. Mold really needs one thing to grow: moisture.

Protect your home from mold by identifying and eliminating sources of moisture. Moisture can enter your home through many different areas including:

  • Damaged roof flashing
  • Damaged or worn out shingles
  • A downspout that is not properly setup to push water away from your home or foundation
  • A leaky pipe
  • Condensation from your laundry, shower or kitchen
  • A crawl space with no vapor barrier or an improperly installed vapor barrier
  • Single pane windows that are sweating
  • Seeping up through the floor

Eliminating these common problems is fairly simple. Identifying where the issues are coming from are sometimes more tricky as water can travel great distances before it makes it mark known. Look for mold on walls, around windows and in the corners of a room. Sometimes mold can grow under your carpet on cement slabs so if your basement smells moldy, that would be a good place to check.

There are many ways to remove moisture from your home. In bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens, install exhaust fans to remove excess moisture from laundry, showers and cooking. Without these fans, moisture can seep upwards and into your attic producing another hidden problem. A fan will quickly pull the excess moisture out of the room. Be sure to closely look at the size of the fan you install because a fan that is too small for the room may not even make a difference.

If moisture is entering your home through your crawlspace, a simple visual inspection can be completed. First, look to see if a vapor barrier exists (a black plastic). Make sure it is covering the entire surface, goes up over any pier blocks and extends to the edges of your foundation. If it doesn’t, consider a quick weekend project to remedy the issue.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you!