Archive for the ‘Woops!!’ Category

Pokémon GO Is a No Go While Driving   Leave a comment

Pokémon GO is a fun new app that is taking people’s phones by storm. The app has not been out very long, but the number of average daily users is close to that of Twitter. This app has even caused some big changes in the stock market, causing Nintendo’s overall worth to grow almost 8 billion in just a week’s time.  All of this excitement about the game has helped to give people even more of a reason to go “catch em all.”

Go logo

Many people have already started their journey to become a Pokémon master. This adventure begins with users wandering the real world with their phone in hand to hunt down all the Pokémon they can find. As a result, many users have been paying more attention to their phone than their surroundings. This of course has resulted in some Pokémon masters getting injured with scrapes, cuts, and even sprained ankles. Some players are even falling into creeks and holes. It may make you wonder, “How long until someone really gets hurt?”  The answer to that question is soon.

Recent reports and tweets suggest that a number of users have been playing Pokémon GO on the go. Driving and playing Pokémon GO is very dangerous. The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (along with many others) has already made a Public Service Announcement:

PSA

Along with this there are already reports of accidents occurring due to one or more drivers being on the hunt for Pokémon while they should be looking at the road. Texas A&M Police recently reported an incident where a driver got into an accident, because another driver illegally parked and left the car to catch a Pokémon.

Police tweet 2

Even though Pokémon GO may be a childhood dream come true for many, we all need to put down our phones and pay attention to the road while driving. Save a life and your Poké Balls until you are safely stopped and out of your car.

A little love for our friends in Bellevue   Leave a comment

grilling ordinance

The Insurance Dogger mans the grill… in honor of her Bellevue neighbors!

It seems that in the borough of Bellevue, there is now legislation in place that requires you grill at least 5 feet away from any flammable materials – your house, shed, woodpile, deck, etc.  As you can imagine, the ordinance has “sparked” a number of protests.  It’s also made the news.      A LOT     OF NEWS      It’s also spawned mock-up products and even a Facebook Page.

Far be it from us to cast judgment on the merits of such a law.  That much should be obvious.  Were we still living in Bellevue, as you can see from the picture, the Dogger and I would be in obvious violation of the law.  Which leads us to the other purpose of today’s post – a couple simple tips on grilling safety.  These aren’t formal or scientific – you can find those things here.  This is basic common sense.

  1. If you have a gas grill, always check to make sure that your lines are tightly secured, and aren’t cracked.
  2. If using charcoal, don’t spray on a ridiculous amount of lighter fluid.  Using sparingly and light carefully.
  3. If using a gas grill, don’t lean down and try to look in and see if it’s lit.  Give it a couple seconds – you’ll know if it’s lit or not.  If not, shut the valve off and try again.
  4. Keep the lid closed unless you need to open it.
  5. Keep flammable materials away from the hot grill.
  6. If dripping grease causes a flare up, close the grill.  Do NOT spray with water, as this will spread the grease out and could cause an explosion.  Don’t believe it? – watch this.  If the flame gets out of control, shut the gas off at the controls, then at the tank, with the lid closed the whole time.  Keep a fire extinguisher handy in case it’s needed.
  7. When shutting off a gas grill, make sure the hand controls up top AND the valve on the tank are COMPLETELY closed and the hoses are secured to the tank.  Even a slight gas leak can be explosive, and extremely dangerous, as propane is heavier than air and will take a long time to dissipate.
  8. When disposing of charcoal, make sure that it has burned COMPLETELY out – this can often take quite a lot of time.  Always dispose of all ash and remaining coal, again, AFTER it’s burned completely out.
  9. Don’t ever cover ANY grill while it’s still hot.  Give it time.

That’s all for today.  Coming very soon – part 4 of how NOT to save on your insurance, and what you should’ve done.

Be safe, and enjoy your summer!

Quick post – Flash flooding!   Leave a comment

Just a quick hit for those who state that they don’t live in a flood zone, and that “you better build a boat if we ever get flooded”

All you need is to take a look at these photographs demonstrating flash flooding that occured in the South Hills – today!

All it takes is a large volume of rainfall in a short span of time, and virtually any area can be flooded.  And, in case it wasn’t obvious – these claims would not be covered by a homeowners or renters policy (unless flood coverage was purchased, of course).  Most auto insurance policies DO provide coverage for vehicles damaged by flash flooding (if physical damage coverage was purchased on the vehicle).

If nothing else, at least obtain a quote to see just how inexpensive flood insurance can be.

Enjoy your weekend, and by all means – stay dry!

flood insurance

Don’t think you’ll ever get flooded?

flood insurance

4 ways NOT to save on your insurance (and what you should’ve done!) – part 1   4 comments

expensive insurance

Got those payin’ too much blues? Sammy’s here to help!

Hello one and all, and happy Fourth of July!  Today we are going to start a four part series addressing common mistakes people make while attempting to save money on their insurance.  Rather than quick blurbs, Sammy’s idea was to go a bit more in depth each week.  Off we go!

This week we are going to cover one of the main ways that we all attempt to save money – by adjusting the coverages on our policies.  We’re going to cover both general and specific tips, and we DEFINITELY would like some feedback – questions and comments are invited!

Sammy suggested that we should title this week’s installment “Adjusting the wrong coverages,” and while it may be a bit negative, it does hit on our central focus.  There are many changes that you can make to your policy to save money.  The problem arises when the money that you save, versus the reductions in coverage you are accepting, do not make it worth while.

In general, when reviewing potential reductions in coverage, always consider what you are losing.  Does the amount of premium you are saving really pay for itself, when compared to the coverage you lose?  For example, if you are increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 to save $50 annually, is it worth it?  In order to make up for the extra $500 you will pay in the event of a loss, you would have to save $50 a year for ten years to make up the difference!  And that’s just to break even!

In addition, if you are looking at removing a coverage completely, make sure that you are comfortable that if you were to have a loss, you would be able to pay for it out of pocket.  For example, if you remove comprehensive coverage on your car, and it’s stolen – could you afford to buy another car to replace it?

Other things to consider BEFORE making changes:

  • If you are going to increase your deductible on your auto policy, make sure that you increase the right one.  Increasing your comprehensive deductible, in general, will not save you NEARLY as much as the collision deductible.  In addition, it will dramatically increase your out of pocket cost on smaller claims like cracked windshields.
  • If you are going to remove physical damage coverage completely, consider at least leaving comprehensive on the policy.  It doesn’t cost much, and provides lots of good coverages for the price – repairing cracked windshields (usually for free) or replacing them if necessary, hitting an animal, if your vehicle is stolen, vandalized, or catches fire.  It also covers unusual claims like if your vehicle is damaged or lost in a flood, hail damage, trees falling on vehicles, animal damage (such as a rodent taking up residence in your vehicle!), or if your vehicle gets painted accidentally by a line crew.  If you heard about the paving truck on the PA turnpike who leaked tar all over the road and damaged hundreds of vehicles – comp claim!
  • If you are considering reducing the building limit on your homeowner’s policy, you might do better by increasing your deductible.  Oftentimes, when you jump from one deductible level to the next, the building coverage rates drop dramatically more than if you just reduce your coverage.  Thus, you will accomplish two things – save more money on premium, and have better coverage in the event of a total loss – you will pay more for the deductible, but will not have diminished limits to contend with!  And, there is the nasty possibility of a co-insurance penalty – which I can address in comments, if you have questions!
  • If you are considering reducing the liability limit on your homeowners, look at a smaller reduction, but on the auto policy instead.  This one is “hairy”, though – it’s not often a good idea to reduce your liability limits – this is the protection you have in the event someone else sues you.  If you are dead set on reducing liability limits, get information on how much you would save by taking a smaller reduction on the auto policy.  In other words, you will likely save more money by reducing your auto liability limit by $50,000 ($100K to $50K) than reducing your homeowners by $200,000 ($300K to $100K).  Again, though, this is a LAST RESORT recommendation ONLY.

This is a lot of information.  Bottom line when looking to save money on your insurance, spend an extra 20 or 30 minutes to discuss your options with your agent.  Most agents are more than willing to see what they can do to keep their clients happy!  And if you end up saving money, while not losing much coverage-wise – all the better!

insurance savings

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