Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

While some insurers offer discounts for students who get good grades (even though it’s not necessarily clear that being a good student correlates with safer driving), other carriers offer discounts for drivers who take driver’s education classes.

However, it is reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that the best way to reduce claims and hold costs down – and keep your child safe – is to set rules and spend time driving with teenagers and coaching them along.  Many state programs set restrictions on teenage drivers, such as curfews for night driving and limiting the number of other people, particularly other teenagers, who can ride in the car with them.  And statistics show that the first year of independent driving is the riskiest.

IIHS is known for its safety rating of both new and used vehicles along with recommendations for young drivers. The recommendations are guided by four main principles:

  • Young drivers should stay away from high horsepower.
  • Bigger, heavier vehicles are safer.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) is a must.
  • Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible.

For lists of both new and used vehicles recommended for teen drivers, go to:

http://www.ihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicles-for-teens

 

  1. Drink more water – Water is a healthy calorie-free and sugar-free beverage option.
  2. Add 10 minutes of exercise to your day
  3. Get moving at work – Aim to stand up more often, or take a quick walk or stretch break.
  4. Go to bed 10 minutes earlier – By the end of the week, you’ll get an extra 70 minutes of sleep. Imagine how well rested you’ll feel!
  5. Commit to one healthy stress-relieving activity per day.
  6. Pay yourself first – Commit to saving money first – not at the end of the pay period.
  7. Add an extra serving of fruit or vegetables per day.
  8. Use part of your lunch break to walk – Not only will it help you be active, but it can also help you relieve stress.
  9. Spend more time with family and friends – to relieve stress, laugh more and relax.
  • Make it a habit to appreciate all you have – and the important people in your life.
  • Correct your posture – Your posture can affect both your physical and mental health. Work on keeping your head up – avoid slouching!
  • Brush and floss your teeth – Good oral hygiene can promote good general health.
  • Control your portions – Limiting your portions is necessary for healthy eating and weight management.
  • Reorganize your kitchen – Throw out foods that are too tempting. Place healthy foods at eye level. Clear your counter of junk food and replace with a bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Always keep moving – Even if you’re exercising, if you spend long periods of time being inactive, it can be bad for your health.
  • Take time away from your “screens” (cell phone, computer, TV, tablet, etc.) to benefit your physical and mental health.
  • Stay on top of preventative care – Visit your doctor regularly for physicals, blood pressure checks and more.

 

(http://blog.healthadvocate.com)

 

March, 2018

Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects us all.  Motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015, with more than 40,000 people killed in 2017. From cell phones to dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features, all pose a threat to our safety. Just one second of your attention is all takes to change a life forever.

Each death is 100% preventable. From cell phones to dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features – all pose a threat to our safety. Just one second of your attention is all takes to change a life forever.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April is a united effort to recognize and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving. Join us to help save lives.

Share the #JustDrive message.  You can share the following pledge with your family and co-workers:

I pledge to Just Drive for my own safety and for others with whom I share the roads. I choose to not drive distracted in any way – I will not:

 

  1. Have a phone conversation – handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth
  2. Text or send Snapchats
  3. Use voice-to-text features in my vehicle’s dashboard system
  4. Update Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo or other social media
  5. Check or send emails
  6. Take selfies or film videos
  7. Input destinations into GPS (while the vehicle is in motion)

 

http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/distracted-driving-awareness-month.aspx

Married couples should talk over finances and agree on a path to proceed. Regularly examining your finances is a good habit to ensure an improved financial future. These tips can help you get your finances to a better spot to live a better life:

  1. Start a budget (and stick to it!) –  The first step to having a better financial future is making and sticking to a budget. There are plenty of free tools to help you get started. After figuring out your budget, you will be able to make sure your money is going where you want it to go and where it benefits you the most.
  2. Pay off your credit cards each month – Making an effort to pay off your credit cards each month can have a tremendous impact on your financial well-being. One positive of paying off your credit card each month is that you will pay less interest to the credit card company. This means more money in your bank account to save or use for other items. Another plus: it can improve your credit score.
  3. Research any investment opportunity before investing – Before investing your hard-earned money in any financial product, do some research. It is important to know about risks, possible rewards, fees and more. Know what questions to ask and how to research the investments you are considering. This research extends to insurance products. Ask your independent agent questions to make sure you are getting the coverage you need to protect your family and your belongings.
  4. Start your emergency fund now – Whether you need it for larger or smaller emergencies – everything from losing your job to unexpectedly replacing the transmission in your car – an emergency fund is critical to your financial well-being. The amount of money you need in your emergency fund will be up to you, but many advisers recommend that you reserve enough to pay living expenses for three to six months. Your emergency fund helps keep you out of future debt and on the financial path you want.
  5. Reduce your auto expenses – Having reliable transportation is important, but having a car with all the bells and whistles that puts you deep in debt might not be worth it. An older, but dependable, car with a lower monthly payment can free you to put your money toward other important things, such as retirement, a college fund or your emergency fund.
  6. Hire a knowledgeable financial adviser – Managing and investing your money can be time-consuming and confusing. Having a financial adviser who fits well with your family and understands your goals can put you on a path to better financial outcomes. Choosing a financial adviser can seem daunting, but doing a little research can benefit your family for years to come.
  7. Plan for the future with your insurance policies – Making sure you have all of your insurance policies in place can protect your family if something unexpected or tragic happens. Another policy to consider is a personal umbrella policy, which works with existing insurance policies to expand and add extra layers of protection you may need. Consider, too, disability insurance to protect your lifestyle. With this coverage, the person affected can focus on their recovery while receiving a monthly benefit payment. Talk with your independent agent about getting the policies that are right for you.
  8. Plan for retirement now – Whether retirement seems like a long way off or right around the corner, it is important to start saving now. Every person’s savings goal will be different, but the longer you save, the more money you can count on for retirement. Even small amounts put away each paycheck can add up after many years.
  9. Talk finances with your spouse – If you are married, talk over your finances with your spouse. Being aligned and in agreement with each other can reduce fights and lead to a healthier marriage.
  10. Examine your recurring expenses – Getting control of your recurring expenses can make a huge difference in your budget and financial well-being. Examine these expenses and lower them when you can. Every little bit adds up and can give you more financial freedom.

By: Cincinnati Insurance

Many businesses, churches, public buildings – and even homes – have a defibrillator in the building – but is there a plan for its use?

First, let’s define defibrillator (AED Automatic External Defibrillator) – it is an automatic device used to treat individuals who experience sudden cardiac arrest.  It is applied to a victim who is not responding, not breathing or not breathing normally, and has no signs of circulation, such as normal breathing, coughing or movement.

While having this device available is clearly important – perhaps more important is a plan for its use.  First, there should be an on-site coordinator.  This is the person who is responsible for:

  • Assuring that the AED has a charged battery and turns on
  • Checking the expiration date on the electrode packet
  • Displaying a quick reference card nearby
  • Annually training selected individuals

Frozen pipes can present an invisible threat – one that you might not recognize until the weather starts to warm.  By then, the water damage can be significant and costly.  Fortunately, there are some simple steps to take that will help prevent these problems.

  • Insulate pipes that pass through unheated areas.
  • Set thermostats to 55 degrees or above.
  • Protect outside spigots by draining or installing an insulated cover.
  • Open cabinet doors where plumbing is located.
  • Allow water to drip from both hot and cold water faucets.

If you discover a frozen pipe, turn the water off immediately and never try to thaw them with an open flame or torch.

 

By Cincinnati Life

Life insurance offers loved ones peace of mind.

Buying life insurance is one of the most selfless things a person can do in his or her lifetime. Life insurance allows families to continue living without the additional mental and emotional strain of financial difficulties after the loss of a loved one.

Think back to the last time you heard of a person unexpectedly dying. Did he or she have a family? Were the children taken care of? Was life a struggle? Hopefully, you are picturing an experience where the family was able to grieve their personal loss without worrying about final expenses or even the family expenses moving forward.

LIMRA, a leading insurance and financial services trade organization, found that the three biggest reasons for owning life insurance are to:

  • help cover burial expenses
  • replace lost income
  • pay off the mortgage

Notice that none of these expenses truly benefit the deceased individual. After death, he or she is no longer responsible for paying for a funeral, bringing home a paycheck, paying off the mortgage, helping with college tuition, buying groceries and dealing with numerous other household expenses. Securing life insurance will never directly result in a payoff for the individual who is insured.

The payoff is in knowing that the ones you leave behind will not have to panic over finances.

Buying life insurance provides peace of mind and has the potential to secure a family financially for years into the future. It is a way to be present in a loved one’s mind and life long after you’re gone.

Find out if your plans are adequate to secure your family’s future. Start by contacting your attorney and your independent insurance agent, who can review your insurance plan and help you get the life insurance you need.

By Cincinnati Life

Life insurance offers loved ones peace of mind.

Buying life insurance is one of the most selfless things a person can do in his or her lifetime. Life insurance allows families to continue living without the additional mental and emotional strain of financial difficulties after the loss of a loved one.

Think back to the last time you heard of a person unexpectedly dying. Did he or she have a family? Were the children taken care of? Was life a struggle? Hopefully, you are picturing an experience where the family was able to grieve their personal loss without worrying about final expenses or even the family expenses moving forward.

LIMRA, a leading insurance and financial services trade organization, found that the three biggest reasons for owning life insurance are to:

  • help cover burial expenses
  • replace lost income
  • pay off the mortgage

Notice that none of these expenses truly benefit the deceased individual. After death, he or she is no longer responsible for paying for a funeral, bringing home a paycheck, paying off the mortgage, helping with college tuition, buying groceries and dealing with numerous other household expenses. Securing life insurance will never directly result in a payoff for the individual who is insured.

The payoff is in knowing that the ones you leave behind will not have to panic over finances.

Buying life insurance provides peace of mind and has the potential to secure a family financially for years into the future. It is a way to be present in a loved one’s mind and life long after you’re gone.

Find out if your plans are adequate to secure your family’s future. Start by contacting your attorney and your independent insurance agent, who can review your insurance plan and help you get the life insurance you need.

This winter an ice dam could just be your roof’s worst enemy.  What is an ice dam?  As snow melts and refreezes along the edge of your roof, the accumulation of ice essentially forms a dam, preventing water from running off as it normally would.  In many cases, the water backs up under your shingles, eventually making its way inside your home.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that you may be able to help combat ice dams, and the damage they cause, with these tips:

  1. Routinely clean out your gutters, downspouts & drain.
  2. Use a roof rake to remove snow accumulation.
  3. Let your attic be cold.
  4. Watch for icicles – they may signal trouble.
  5. Take preventative measures on your roof.

 

 There are 62.6 million volunteers in the United States today according to www.nationalservice.gov.  Missouri alone has 1 million volunteers giving 142 million hours of service.  The selfless efforts of these people is everywhere we look – from local churches and youth sporting events – to the thousands of volunteers who gave their time during and after the recent hurricanes.

We have a responsibility to ourselves and our families to be aware of personal injury insurance coverages while volunteering.  Clearly, this issue is less important when we are simply manning a booth at a local civic event – but it becomes more important in efforts such as those involving volunteer fire departments.

Medical costs incurred are typically covered by the workers compensation policy of the entity who is the beneficiary of our services.  However, the  replacement of ones weekly wages while unable to carry out your normal work duties is different.  For example, Missouri currently has a state statute that limits the weekly minimum paid by workers compensation for volunteers to $40 per week.

There is an inexpensive way to replace your wages should you be injured while volunteering and unable to carry out your normal work duties.   It is an Individual Disability Policy.  This policy can be purchased up to age 70.  You choose the weekly benefit amount that best fits your needs.  This policy would pay you the weekly benefit amount in any situation where you are injured and unable to work.  Call or email your NAUGHT-NAUGHT AGENCY representative today to get a quick quote for a disability policy tailored for your needs.

July 31, 2017

Every 21 seconds someone in the United States calls a poison control hotline because of a medication error.

A recent study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, published by Clinical Toxicology, found a 100 percent increase in the rate of serious medication errors occurring outside of health care facilities— from per 100,000 U.S. residents (from 1.09 in 2000 to 2.28 in 2012). Medication error frequency and rates increased for all age groups except children younger than six years of age.

Researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital analyzed calls to poison control centers across the country over a 13-year period about exposures to medication errors which resulted in serious medical outcomes. These exposures, which occurred outside of health care facilities, primarily in the home, affected individuals of all ages and were associated with a wide variety of medications.

The medication categories most frequently associated with serious outcomes were cardiovascular drugs (21%), analgesics (i.e., painkillers) (12%), and hormones/hormone antagonists (11%). Most analgesic exposures were related to products containing acetaminophen (44%) or opioids (34%), and nearly two-thirds of hormone/hormone antagonist exposures were associated with insulin. Cardiovascular and analgesic medications combined accounted for more than two-thirds (66%) of all fatalities in this study.

Among children younger than six years, the rate of medication errors increased early in the study and then decreased after 2005, which was primarily associated with a decrease in the use of cough and cold medicines. According to the study authors, this decrease is likely attributable to the Food and Drug Administration’s 2007 recommendation against administering these products to young children.

“Drug manufacturers and pharmacists have a role to play when it comes to reducing medication errors,” said toxicology expert Henry Spiller, a co-author of the study, and director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s. “There is room for improvement in product packaging and labeling. Dosing instructions could be made clearer, especially for patients and caregivers with limited literacy or numeracy.”

Overall, the most common types of medication errors were taking or giving the wrong medication or incorrect dosage, and inadvertently taking or giving the medication twice. Among children, dosing errors and inadvertently taking or giving someone else’s medication were also common errors. One-third of medication errors resulted in hospital admission.

“Managing medications is an important skill for everyone, but parents and caregivers have the additional responsibility of managing others’ medications,” said Nichole Hodges, PhD, lead author of the study and research scientist in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s. “When a child needs medication, one of the best things to do is keep a written log of the day and time each medication is given to ensure the child stays on schedule and does not get extra doses.”

Data for this study were obtained from the National Poison Data System, which is maintained by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

(From The Insurance Journal)