Tips For Driving In Inclement Weather

With the dark, cold, and wet winter season approaching Springfield its important to know how to drive in inclement weather conditions. Here are some helpful tips for driving in the rain or snow

Its important to check your equipment and make sure everything is working properly. Check your headlights, break lights, taillights, and most importantly your windshield wipers. Also, be sure to check the tread of your tires. Balding tires can severely reduce traction when on a wet road way.

Tips for driving safely in the rain

Slow down! your vehicles reaction time is a lot slower when its raining so you should drive considerable slower than you normally would.

Avoid heavy breaking and maintain a safe distance between you and other vehicles. slow your vehicle by taking your foot off the accelerator earlier than you normally would in preparation to slow down or stop. Keep a greater distance than you normally would between your vehicle and the car in front of you. Stopping your vehicle will be more difficult when driving in the rain.

To avoid hydroplaning, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas. Hydroplaning is one of the most common car accidents in the rain because drivers can lose control. If your car hydroplanes, calmly take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction that the front of your car needs to go. Avoid making sudden turns or slamming on your brakes.

Tips for driving in the snow and ice

The same tips above can also be helpful when driving on the snow or ice. Be sure to keep your distance from other cars and apply your breaks earlier than you normally would.

Apply the gas slowly to avoid spinning your tires. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Avoiding stopping going up hill and powering uphill.  As you reach the top of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.

Always be prepared and plan your routes out ahead of time. Remember that reducing your speed and turning on your lights are two of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing the chances of an accident caused by wet weather. If you feel uncomfortable driving in the rain and its possible postpone your trip or commute, wait until the weather improves before driving.

Call 417-581-5818 today for a free quote! Or to make sure you’re covered in the off chance you end up off road!!

Do you have a teen driver ready to go solo?

Ensure Your Teen Has Successfully Completed A Graduated Driver Licensing Program

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program is a three-step approach that restricts potential high-risk driving situations for teens — and all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia have adopted a GDL program. As your teen moves through the phases of your state’s program, they’ll continue to learn and earn their right to full driving privileges. Here are the three GDL phases, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III):

  1. Learner’s Permit: A supervised learning period where the student must drive with a licensed adult and complete road knowledge and vision tests.
  2. Intermediate License: After completing advanced training and passing a required road test, a new driver earns their intermediate license. Certain driving situations, such as driving alone at night, are still prohibited in this stage unless accompanied by a licensed adult. The driver must remain accident-free and not incur any traffic violations over a set period of time before completing this stage.
  3. Full License: A license with full driving privileges is earned.

Tips for a successful first solo drive

  1. Setting limits and clear expectations. Your teen should understand that if they don’t follow the laws like driving within the speed limit and wearing a seat belt they could lose driving privileges. Set set your own rules, such as where your teen can drive alone and how long he or she can be out. You should also set a strict rule about cell phone use while driving.
  2. Don’t allow friends in the car at first. Passengers can be a major distraction and cause unnecessary risks.
  3. Make sure that you have practiced driving with your teens in all kinds of whether so they can be prepared. Drive short distances when its raining or snowing to build your teens confidence.

Does Your Teen Understand The Basics Of How The Car Works?

A general orientation of how the car works is just as important as knowing how to drive the car. Prepare your teen to be out on their own and make sure they understand what to do in case of emergency and the daily upkeep it takes to keep a car on the road. Your teen should know how to:

  1. Change a flat tire
  2. Fuel the vehicle
  3. check the oil
  4. Inflate the tires
  5. Turn on and off the headlights
  6. Turn on and off and adjust the windshield wipers
  7. Understand the lights on the dashboard
  8. How to react in an emergency

The idea of helping teens learn to drive strikes fear in the hear of many parents. Worrying about your teen behind the wheel in one of the families most expensive tangible item can drive your crazy. Teaching your kids safe driving habits early on can help ensure that they are ready to get behind the wheel alone.

Let us help you save money and your sanity when its time for your teen to go solo!

Call 417-581-5818 and we can shop your insurance through multiple companies and help you find the right policy that protects your teen and your car.

Local Ozark, Mo. agents are just a phone call away to help local families.

Monitor Your Employees as You Would Your Kids

“Employees who act out often need some one-on-one attention”

It became obvious that this division needed another team member. The revenue generated by the division warranted another part-time employee who could also help with another division.

This Friday, both Sally and Brenda will be in one of our offices together, reviewing workflows while informing each other of their own workflow and software tricks.

We will eventually regroup and have a “family meeting” to share our plans of adding another team member, which will help Sally and Brenda focus on their best skills: customer service.

We’ll be moving the rating and processing functions to our new employee, mirroring what we do in our other divisions.

Our agency has found that the more we treat your employees like family members, the more they reciprocate with quality work and a positive attitude.

As with your family, not everyone will be happy all the time. Keep an eye out for changing behaviors and address them as soon as reasonably possible.

Missouri Home Insurance- Protect Your Home While On Vacation

We are in the heart of Vacation time. The kids are out of school and many Missouri Families are heading out to see the world. Protect your Missouri home while away on vacation by following a few safeguards.

•Before you leave for vacation is to make sure your auto, homeowners and health policies are in force and correct. If something happens while your away, you want to make sure you are covered.
•Store all you valuables so they are not in your house ready for the taking

•Leave a key, your itinerary, and your alarm code with a neighbor, friend or relative while your away and ask them to take in any newspapers, mail and other deliveries.

•Make sure your alarm is in working order and your alarm company knows your contact person while you are away.

•Make sure you lock all doors and windows including the garage, and second floor windows.

•Disconnect all electrical appliances and lower air conditioning units to energy-saving levels.

•Leave window shades and draperies in their usual positions and make sure you do not close them on the street side of the house.

•Put your lights on automatic timer so they are on each evening.

•Park a car or have a neighbor park their car in your driveway to keep the illusion that you are home.

•Never publicize that you will be away on social media like Facebook and Google+. A friend of a friend might not be so friendly to you and could plan to break into your house during your vacation. Try to resist posting photos and confirming that you are away on vacation- wait til you get back to start your conversation.

What Amount of Renters Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

When you shop around and get some bids for renters insurance, they might come in with different coverage amounts and different premiums. It can seem challenging to read and understand the basics of the policy to ensure you have the proper coverage, but it’s actually easier than you may think. Learn how to dissect your policy so that you can make the best decision for your circumstances.

How much coverage you need is actually a multi-pronged question because in your policy, you get several different types of coverage. Those types cover different situations and perils (or losses) that could occur and cost you money. Here are the general categories of coverage that are included in a standard renter’s policy.
Personal Property. This covers the cost to replace your clothes, furniture, electronics, and all your other personal property items.
Loss of Use. This covers your living expenses if your rental unit is uninhabitable. This includes items like hotel costs, food, and other costs incurred as a result of your being displaced from your rental unit.
Liability. This covers if you are sued by another party that is financially injured as a result of the peril that occurred related to your home.
Medical of Others. This covers the medical costs of others who were on your property with your permission.

Each one of the above categories will have a maximum amount of coverage that the policy will pay in case there is a loss, so let’s discuss how much coverage you may need for all of them.

Personal Property – A typical renter may have $15,000 to $25,000 in personal property, but of course, that depends on the renter. For example, if you are a management consultant renting a second residence in New York City, and you have expensive clothing, extensive electronics, high end furniture, and so on, you could easily have $50,000 to $100,000 worth of personal property in your rental unit. This means you need to think through how much coverage you really need in case a fire destroys all your belongings. And if you have expensive artwork or antiques with high values and want them to be covered, you need to discuss that with your agent to make sure you are paying for the appropriate amount of insurance. If you don’t have the right insurance, you’ll be out of luck if there is a loss.

Loss of Use – This is pretty straightforward to determine because if there is a loss, your insurance agent and/or an adjuster will review your current rental amount and lifestyle and that will form the basis for what coverage you need. The insurance agent can go over this with you as well as any other options you may have for extra coverage.

Liability – This is a more important one to think through and consider because there are some important options here. A normal renters insurance policy might have $25,000 of liability coverage, according to the Texas Department of Insurance , but that might not be near enough. As you get wealthier and/or if you have a higher paying job, that increases the risk that you might be sued if, for example, someone slips and falls while visiting your home.

If you do get sued, $25,000 is not enough coverage. That won’t even cover your own lawyer’s bills at $350 an hour! A typical homeowners policy has $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage. Many people get an excess liability policy, called an Umbrella Policy, that bumps that coverage to over $1,000,000. And this is only about $250 per year, so if you have some assets and/or a good job, it’d be in your best interest to get an Umbrella Policy.

Medical of Others – This is usually governed by a standard amount of coverage that the insurance carrier offers. And that standard amount is probably fine because they’ve looked at their past claims and determined the most sufficient amount to cover most situations. Talk to your agent about this issue and make the best choice for yourself.

In thinking through how much coverage you need, the most important items are to make sure you have enough coverage in place for your personal property and for liability protection in case you get sued. It’s really not very expensive on an annual basis to have a little extra protection to ensure you are properly covered. So review your existing policy, your situation and belongings, and get the right coverage that fits for your life’s circumstances.