Archives for December 2013

Blog Posts For December/2013

Christmas Travel Safety Tips

Christmas is one of the busiest travel times of the year, with many of us traveling by car and by train, bus or plane to spend the holiday with family and friends. Travel in general can be risky, and traveling in winter can be especially dangerous.

The American Red Cross provides holiday travel safety tips so you can arrive safely at your destination.

If you are traveling by car…

  • Make sure your vehicle is in good shape for the trip.
  • Start out with a full tank of gas. Check the tire pressure and fill up on wiper fluid before you leave.
  • Plan your trip in advance, but also be ready for a change in course. Construction, road closings and traffic can change your plans.
  • Keep directions and maps handy at all times.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Be well rested and alert for your trip.
  • Follow all road signs and use caution in work zones.
  • Avoid distractions like eating, loud music and cell phones.
  • Observe all speed limits.
  • Make frequent stops and rotate drivers on long trips. If you get tired and you are the only driver, stop and get some rest.
  • Be respectful of other motorists.
  • Don’t follow too closely behind other vehicles.
  • Clean your vehicle’s headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows before you head out.
  • Turn on your headlights as dusk approaches.
  • If you have car trouble, pull off to the side of the road and call for help.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. It should include water, snacks, a flashlight, a first aid kit, extra cash, blankets, gloves, a hat, medications and anything else essential for you if you were stranded.
  • Pack an ice scraper, towrope, jumper cables and sand or cat litter (for traction if you get stuck).

If you are traveling by train, bus or plane…

First, take steps to avoid catching or spreading the flu:

  • Handle your own belongings as much as possible, rather than having them handled by someone else.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Carry hand sanitizer or anti-bacterial wipes and use them to wash your hands and rub down surfaces like armrests and tabletops.
  • Bring your own pillows and blankets.
  • If you have to cough or sneeze, do it into a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your face or eyes.

Then, remember to:

  • Plan ahead. Contact your travel agent to book your vacation in advance.
  • Leave an hour earlier than normal to be ready for long lines.
  • Bring plenty of reading material to occupy yourself during delays.
  • Pack as light as possible to comply with baggage limits and weight allowances. Consider shipping gifts to your destination in advance.
  • Stretch your legs often on long trips to avoid developing blood clots in your legs.

Use common sense and discretion as you travel this Christmas, and get to your destination safely. Be sure to contact us if there is anything we can do to help you prepare for your trip.

Purchase Insurance From an Independent Agent for Personal Service and Better Coverage

At United Insurance Agency, we are proud to be an independent insurance agency with experienced, professional agents who get to know you and your family. We pride ourselves on personalized, local service and strive to make every relationship a long-term partnership.

You might wonder how a local agent differs from buying a policy online or over the phone. We believe that your insurance agent should serve as a trusted advisor who provides personal consultation to you and your family, now and in the future. We represent several insurance companies, we are deeply rooted in our community and we are knowledgeable professionals who provide personal consultation and an individual assessment of your needs.

  • We are local. As residents of your community, we understand the area in which you live and can make coverage recommendations according to local needs, risks and requirements.
  • We have resources. If you are a small business owner, we probably have resources that you otherwise would have to find on your own. We can help you with employee communications, questions about employee benefits and all kinds of other materials and research.
  • We provide personal service. Every person is unique and has different insurance needs. As an agent who works closely with you, we will be able to suggest appropriate types and amounts of coverage. If you shop online for insurance, you will be quoted a policy based on very limited demographic and geographic information; you may not be getting the best coverage for your needs. For business owners, the right agent can assess your needs, know your assets (and maybe even specialize in your industry), and find the coverage that will maximize your protection.
  • We offer convenience. When you work with an independent agency, you will develop a relationship with a real person. You will always talk to the same person or team of people and have access to a local office. You will always be one call away from answers to questions, obtaining additional coverage, making coverage changes and more. Independent agents can offer multiple policy types from multiple insurance companies, so you can get all of your insurance needs met in one place. If you are a business owner, you can even have your business and personal insurance needs met with one agent who will really know you and understand the risks you face in all areas of your life.

Conversely, buying direct means there is no agent involved; you simply provide your information online and get a quote—which sounds pretty easy, and it probably is. But, are you really getting your needs met? Insurance is highly personal. It involves evaluating your lifestyle, your assets, and what you would need to protect yourself, your family, or your business in the event of a serious loss. Will an anonymous, online application really provide enough information to return the best coverage options for you? After you have a loss or when you need to file a claim is too late to find out that you need more personal attention and better coverage.

Have you ever tried to purchase insurance online? Tell us about your experience. Then call us to learn more about how personal service, community involvement and unlimited product offerings will be the foundation for us to build a long-term relationship.