From the category archives: Blog

9 Tips For Handling Water Damage

Written by on 10/21/2014 6:15 PM . It has 1 Comments.

Picture this: You’re returning home from a wonderful weekend getaway and open the door to your home to find that your entire kitchen and living room are covered in water!... In the blink of an eye, all the joy and relaxation from the vacation vanishes and is instantly replaced with pure panic and frustration.  Don’t worry, should you ever find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips to help you assess the situation, mitigate the problem and restore everything back to normal… First and foremost, try to determine the source of the water and shut off the water valve. If possible, remove the standing water that you can see by sponging or blotting. Pick up and remove saturated rugs from floors. Stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. Place aluminum, saucers or blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet. Do not operate electrical appliances while in contact with wet flooring/surfaces. Do not leave fabrics, magazines, ...

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10 Common Car Seat Mistakes to Avoid

Written by on 6/9/2014 5:45 PM . It has 1 Comments.

June is National Safety Month, and we want to make sure even the smallest member of the family is buckled up the right way. Take some time to learn how to avoid common car seat mistakes with these tips from Mayo Clinic... Car seat safety is crucial for protecting your child during travel, but knowing how to safely install a car seat and buckle up your child as he or she grows can be difficult. Check out 10 common mistakes parents often make when it comes to car seat safety — and how to avoid them. 1. Getting a used car seat without researching its history If you're considering a used car seat for your child, make sure the car seat: Comes with instructions and a label showing the manufacture date and model number Hasn't been recalled Isn't more than 6 years old Has no visible damage or missing parts Has never been in a moderate or severe crash If you don't know the car seat's history, don't use it. 2. Placing the car seat in the wrong spot The safest place for your chil ...

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How To Identify Odometer Fraud

Written by on 5/26/2014 5:32 PM . It has 0 Comments.

How sure can you be that the odometer mileage shown on that car you're thinking of buying is an accurate record of how far the vehicle has actually traveled?  The shocking truth is that one in ten autos on our roads today have been "clocked" – had their odometer rolled back. That means almost half a million cars are sold with false mileage readings every year. The crime is such a worry that the Department of Transportation actually has a special department to deal with it – the Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation. The law is blunt and simple on this issue: It's illegal to disconnect, alter, or reset an odometer with the intention of changing the mileage. If an owner is aware that their mileage is incorrect, they must say so in writing when they transfer title (except if the auto is more than 10 years old). So, what can you do to check if the number is accurate on a vehicle you're considering purchasing? Here are five key actions: Compare the figure in the car's title transfer doc ...

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How to Escape a Tire Blowout Safely

Written by on 4/21/2014 2:14 AM . It has 0 Comments.

Tire blowouts are bad news for every driver, but did you know they're also a factor in 23,000 road accidents every year, including more than 500 fatalities? Actually, it's not so much the blowout as what the driver does immediately afterwards that causes most of these accidents. For instance, slamming on the brakes and trying to steer to the edge of the highway is, in most cases, one of the worst things you could do because you're raising the risk of losing traction - especially dangerous if the road surface is wet. Instead, the National Safety Council (NSC) says you should grip the steering wheel tightly, take your foot off the gas to let the car slow gradually, and then try to move into the breakdown lane, signaling as appropriate. When you're totally off the pavement, brake slightly until you stop. 

"It's important to have the car well off the pavement and away from traffic before stopping," says NSC, "even if proceeding to a place of safety means rolling along slowly with the bad tire flapping.  ...

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Don't Be A Victim - Or The Cause - Of Road Rage

Written by on 12/11/2013 2:17 AM . It has 0 Comments.

Aggressive drivers – drivers who tailgate, cut others off, run red lights, honk their horns, yell or make obscene gestures – are a danger to themselves and others. If you are an aggressive driver, or the victim of one, your safety and that of your passengers and other people on the road is seriously compromised. Stress from life situations, such as problems at work, the loss of a job, a divorce, or the death of a loved one can trigger road rage, even in a person who normally practices safe driving habits. Aggressive driving can affect anyone. Even drivers who are usually calm can get angry or frustrated and act out those feelings in dangerous ways. In addition, poor traffic conditions such as crowded roads and traffic jams can be the ‘last straw’ for a driver who is already stressed or upset. Here are a few tips to protect yourself and others from the hazards of aggressive driving: Don’t drive when angry – Take time to cool off: take a walk, learn relaxation tec ...

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Is Your Dog On The "No-Fly" List?

Written by on 10/9/2013 3:22 AM . It has 0 Comments.

Is your dog on the "no-fly" list? With $479,000,000 paid out last year by the insurance industry for dog-bite claims, the breed of dog you own is coming under serious scrutiny when it comes to your insurance. This is especially true when you apply for new homeowners or renters insurance. This isn't to say that every dog that is a particular breed will bite someone, but from the perspective of the insurance company, the odds aren't worth it. The average claim paid is close to $30,000. (And can be much higher if children suffer facial injuries). Pay attention to the application--there is often a specific question as to the dog you own--its breed and weight. Don't fudge the answer, as a material misrepresentation could mean that the insurance company denies coverage for a claim when you need it the most! The breeds topping the "no-fly" list that could get your coverage declined are: Pit Bull/Stafford Terrier Doberman Rottweiler German Shepherd Chows Great Dane Akita ...

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California Court Bans Checking Maps On Your Phone While Driving

Written by on 4/8/2013 2:35 AM . It has 1 Comments.

In California, you can now be pulled over for using the map application on your smart phone while driving. Building upon California’s current ban on texting while driving, an appellate court in California v. Spriggs argued that the "distraction would be present whether the wireless telephone was being used as a telephone, a GPS navigator a clock or a device for sending and receiving text messages and emails." These distracted driving laws have a mixed history of effectiveness. In 2010, a study in the American Journal of Public Health found that "Any reduction in accidents following texting bans is short-lived, however, with accidents returning to near former levels within a few months." The most recent study, however, found that such laws are "moderately successful," but only if they are strictly enforced. The study, to be published in next month’s American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, only looked at scenarios where the blame could be squarely placed on (digitally) distracted drivin ...

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10 Key Ingredients For Home Safety

Written by on 5/15/2012 5:09 AM . It has 0 Comments.

When's the last time you really took a close look at the safety of your home?  If it's been over a year, you should think about doing a safety makeover throughout your home.  All it take is a little time and a lot of common sense. Here are 10 key ingredients: Do a walk-around survey to identify and resolve risks – things like loose window catches and other fittings, slippery floors and rugs, unsecured cabling, floor obstacles and sharp edges. Do the same thing around the yard, checking for fall hazards, security of equipment and proper safeguarding around swimming pools. Check (and replace if necessary) smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If you don't have alarms, install at least one on each story of your home. Ensure all gas appliance, fires and clothes drier venting is clear. Check, restock or buy a good first aid kit. Better yet, have two. Make sure all dangerous tools, from kitchen knives to garage equipment, are securely out of the reach of youngsters. ...

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Wildfire Safety Tips During This HOT SoCal Weather

Written by on 10/12/2011 9:48 AM . It has 0 Comments.

Here are some great wildfire safety tips provided by Mercury Insurance... California residents know that wildfires can occur at any time when temperatures rise, humidity drops and destructive Santa Ana winds combine to increase the risk of brush and forest fires. Wildfires can be devastating—causing serious damage to your property and threatening personal safety. Advance preparation is essential if you want protect your family, pets and home from violent and deadly firestorms. Mercury offers these tips to homeowners to help them protect their property and prepare for an evacuation. Tips for protecting your home from wildfires Establish and maintain a safe zone around your house that will act as a fuelbreak. Install a greenbelt around your home and other structures of low-growing, fire-resistant plants such as succulents. Your local nursery can suggest a combination of attractive, water-wise plant materials that will help to reduce your home's vulnerability. If possible, your safe zone should b ...

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How To Insure Your Sports And Recreational Vehicles

Written by on 8/22/2011 6:10 PM . It has 0 Comments.

Boats, jet skis, ATVs and recreational vehicles are exciting modes of transportation. They provide a great means of escape on weekends and vacations, but ownership of these thrill-seeking vehicles creates the need for special insurance to protect you, your passengers and others. While all recreational-type vehicles can be protected by the same basic coverages, each one has its own special requirements and restrictions. BASIC COVERAGES At a minimum, boats, jet skis, ATVs and recreational vehicles need "liability" and “comprehensive” insurance coverage. Liability protects you if your vehicle injures someone or damages someone else's property, and comprehensive insurance protects your property in case of vandalism, damage or destruction caused by theft or fire. Depending on the age and value of your investment, you may want to purchase collision insurance, which provides coverage for damage you cause to your own property. BOATS The amount you pay for your boat insurance will depend on many facto ...

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