High school is full of defining moments for our Rosemount teens and two of the highlights for most are prom and graduation. Both Danielle & Amy have sons graduating this year, so this topic hits close to home!
However, this time of year often sees other, more tragic defining moments – serious car accidents involving teens who are distracted or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
At Sentinel Assurance Group, we want to help make this season one to celebrate for you and your teen. So, with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are some tips that can keep your teen safe.
First, encourage your teen to follow these general safe-driving rules:
Absolutely no alcohol
Always use seat belts
No cell phone use (including texting) while driving
Of course, special events such as prom and graduation often present special circumstances. There may be dinner with dates before the dance, and parties before or after either event. It’s a good idea to discuss your expectations well before each event, putting some guidelines into place before your teen heads out for the night. Here are some ideas:
Make sure you know the itinerary of the evening, as well as who else will be with your teen. You should have contact information for everyone.
Have a way to contact your teen at all times. You may want to require them to check in with you once or twice over the course of the evening.
Set a curfew, whether they are coming back to your home or staying with a friend. If they are staying elsewhere, make sure the curfew will be enforced by a responsible adult.
Discuss with your teen how to handle difficult situations, such as facing pressure to drink, or accepting a ride with someone who shouldn’t be driving. It’s a good idea to provide your child with money for a taxi just in case.
Offer a “no-questions-asked” ride home, should they need one during the evening.
If you’re worried about your teen driving, consider alternate transportation. A car service or limousine will provide a responsible, experienced adult driver. You also will be able to limit changes to the itinerary and contact the driver.
Prom and graduation are special times in a teen’s life. And just a little common sense will go a long way toward making sure your young adult is around to enjoy the other milestones that are sure to come.
When the temperature finally heats up in Minnesota, all you can think about is cooling off at the local pool or even at one of our local lakes. Just remember: Where there’s water, there’s risk.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t jump in (carefully) and have some fun with family and friends. It just means you should keep these safety tips in mind any time you swim in Minnesota:
Don’t go it alone. Swim only in designated areas, with a lifeguard if possible, and use the buddy system – even adults shouldn’t swim when no one else is around. As for children, they should never be left unattended in or near the water or supervised by another child.
Mind the rules. If an area forbids diving or is closed for swimming, that means it’s unsafe to do so. Save yourself a trip to the hospital and follow all posted rules and warnings.
Keep away from drains. In a pool or spa, a drain’s powerful suction can trap children and adults. Be sure everyone knows to keep their distance. The same goes for riptides and currents if you’re in an open body of water.
Know how to respond. When someone is missing, especially a child, always check the water first. Learn CPR and other skills that can save lives.
Use common sense. Don’t use drugs or alcohol during water activities. Do have life jackets for inexperienced swimmers, and keep plenty of sunscreen and water on hand to help everyone beat the heat.
Alert a lifeguard if you see someone struggling. Alternately, you could throw the person a floating object or reach out with a long object.
With a little caution, and a whole lot of supervision, you can help ensure your day at the pool or lake goes swimmingly. Have fun getting wet!
Life is unpredictable. Common situations like having a teenage driver, owning a pet, posting on social media, or having people visit your home carry a certain amount of risk. An unexpected incident can quickly turn into a lawsuit that costs you thousands of dollars, if not more.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued like one. If something happens on your property or you are at fault, do you have enough coverage?
What does umbrella insurance cover?
An umbrella policy adds an extra $1 million (or more) of coverage above and beyond your existing policies. Many people only carry $100,000 of liability coverage. Although that sounds like a lot of money, it doesn’t go very far when a serious injury occurs. Medical bills, lost wages, and other bills can add up quickly.
That’s why umbrella insurance is so important. It gives you greater peace of mind and protects you against life’s unexpected surprises.
Do I need umbrella insurance?
Umbrella coverage isn’t just for high earners. It’s for everyone, especially if you:
Own a home
Have regular income
Have retirement savings and other assets to protect
Entertain guests in your home
Have a teenage driver
Host sleepovers, children’s parties, carpool children, or allow your teen to babysit
Serve on a volunteer board or participate in your HOA
Use social media
Own rental properties
Travel outside the U.S.
Own a watercraft, RV, snowmobile, ATV, golf cart, or other “toy”
Own firearms or other recreational weapons
But doesn’t my home or auto insurance policy cover a loss?
Unfortunately, home and auto insurance policies don’t protect you against every type of liability.
Consider these two scenarios:
1) You hear a juicy piece of gossip about one of your neighbors. You spill the tea to your closest friends at a BBQ and swear them to silence. Unfortunately, your neighbor finds out what you said. You get sued for slander, and it isn’t covered by your homeowners policy.
2) You go on a vacation to Europe. Instead of taking a tour, you decide to rent a car. You forget to drive on the other side of the road and cause a collision. Someone is injured, but your auto policy doesn’t cover you because you were outside of the U.S. and Canada.
In both of these instances, an umbrella policy may have provided coverage to protect you. Without an umbrella policy, your assets, savings, and even your future income could be at risk if you are held legally responsible for a claim.
Peace of mind costs less than you think.
For about the cost of a dollar a day, an umbrella policy offers an affordable way to prepare for the unpredictable. Schedule a risk assessment with your independent insurance agent to understand your coverage needs and find out if an umbrella policy is right for you.
Insurance can be complicated. How do you know you’re making the right decision when it comes to protecting the most important things in your life? Find out how an Independent Insurance Agent is a simple solution to this!
We give you more choices and options
The beauty of working with an independent insurance agent is that we represent many different insurance carriers that offer a wide variety of coverages at varying price points. We do the work of shopping your quotes around with those different companies to determine which one is the best fit for the types of coverage you need with the best rates for that coverage. We shop, you save!
We are industry experts
Insurance is complicated, let’s be real! We are licensed and trained in industry verbiage and terminology and are equipped to be able to explain to you, in simple terms, which help you to make informed decisions. Why go to google and confuser yourself on the different kinds of insurance that are available, when we are just a phone call away?
We are your advocate
Since we work for YOU and not the insurance company, we are your advocate! We will assist with claims, billing or changes your coverage directly with the insurance company.
We are your neighbor
We are a small, local business that shares your passion for our community and famillies. We are woman-owned and have a pusle on the local community and its benefits and challenges. You won’t sit on hold in a quete, but can walk right into our quaint office in Rosemount.
We are a one-stop-shop
With the ability to write with so many different insurance companies, we are able to meet all of your insurance needs. Everything from Home, Auto, Life & Business coverages, we work with tons of companies that offer a variety of coverages.
We are your personal advisor
Insurance isn’t just about finding the cheapest prices. It’s about making sure that you aren’t suprised by unexpected expenses if a loss were to happen. Through working one-on-one with you, we listen to meet your specific, unique insurance needs.
We are your lifelong advisor
We love building life long relationships with our customers and often times, they become good friends. We know that life is ever-evolving and we work with you throughout those stsages. Everything from buying a home, getting married, growing your family, teen drivers and getting ready for that retirement home.
If you own a boat (or better yet, as the joke goes, you know someone with a boat), you’ve probably thought about spending some evenings on the water — especially in the summertime.
It’s a great thought, of course. But, when you’re boating after dark, you need to think about staying safe, even as you enjoy the stillness of the water and the starry sky.
Here are seven things to keep in mind, both before you hit the water and once you’re out cruising around:
Have a plan — and tools to help if it goes wrong.
Don’t go boating at night in an unfamiliar place. You can’t see as well, obviously, so stick to where you know the ropes, so to speak. And because things look different in the dark, make sure you have the correct navigational tools in case you get lost.
Share your plan— Always give a friend or family member your “float plan.” Include where you’re going, your boat’s description and registration information, who’s with you and when you’ll be back.
Check – and dress for – the weather— On top of the other difficulties of boating at night, you don’t want to get caught in a storm if you can help it. And you want to be comfortable, so be sure to bring clothing appropriate for the forecast. A sweatshirt, blanket and extra towels may come in handy, even in the summertime.
Do a pre-trip inspection— This is good advice for daytime boating as well, but at night it’s crucial that your navigation lights work, for starters. You also need a horn, plenty of fuel, a radio, a flashlight, flares, fire extinguishers and life jackets for all passengers.
Slow down— Speed is a factor in many boating accidents, and the limited visibility at night makes the water even more dangerous. Remember, you aren’t going to be the only one on the water at night, so know the right-of-way rules.
Pay attention— Know how to monitor the navigation lights of other vessels to recognize which direction they are going. Be particularly cautious about small vessels, such as canoes and kayaks, as well as anchored or drifting boats. Their lights can be easily confused with lights onshore.
Don’t get distracted — or drunk— It’s never okay to drink and operate a boat, so be sure you have a designated driver. And, though you’re out there to have fun, make sure you can still hear the sounds from approaching vessels. Keep the stereo low and your ears open.
While these tips are important, there’s nothing like experience to help ensure a safe voyage. If you’re a new boater or just in an unfamiliar vessel, you may want to put in more hours during the day before tackling an area at night. Even then, start with short evening outings and work your way up to a moonlight ride. And don’t forget to turn on the lights at the dock before you go!
You’ve just been involved in an auto accident. The most important thing is your safety. If you are injured , please call for emergency help right away. Here are some additional steps to help you file a claim on your auto insurance:
Call for emergency assistance if needed.
Once all parties are safe it’s helpful to take pictures of the damage and exchange insurance and driver information.
Next call your agent whether you are at fault or not
Follow the directions your agent gives you to provide all documentation related to the accident and file your claim. You may need a police report.
Keep copies of all your documentation and bills related to the accident. Jot down detailed notes following conversations about the accident. You need to know who you spoke with and what they said, at what date and time, and how to contact the person.
Find out from your agent:
Time limitations for filing your claims and submitting bills.
Time limitations for resolving claim disputes.
When you can expect the insurance company to contact you.
Whether you need estimates for the damages.
Whether your policy covers a rental car while your car is being repaired and how much it covers.
Next we will cover the steps to take to file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance:
Report any crime to the police if its due to a burglary or a theft
Phone your insurance professional immediately
Have the insurance adjuster inspect the damage
Make any temporary repairs to prevent further damage to your home or items in it
Prepare a list of lost or damaged articles
If you need to relocate, save your receipts, some of those costs may be reimbursed
We hope this has helped you navigate the claims’ process and answered any of the questions you may have had. If we can be of further help, feel free to give us a call here at Sentinel Assurance at 651-237-5180.