Kemper Blog http://usgobtwps81.unitrininc.com:10039/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/Home/InformationCenter/blog/ Kemper Blog <![CDATA[Keeping Home Burglars at Bay]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/keeping+home+burglars+at+bay&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/keeping+home+burglars+at+bay Consider this: a burglary takes place every 20 seconds in the United States. That’s a lot of break-ins. And a lot of property going out the door.

Fortunately, there are some things homeowners can do to make sure they’re not part of this statistic:

Check around your home

  • Trim trees and shrubs near your doors and windows, so you leave no place for burglars to hide.
  • Decorate the perimeter with thorny plants such as holly or roses.
  • If possible, avoid installing a tall privacy fence, which can provide concealment.

Look at your home from the street

  • If you can see the expensive paintings, silverware and brand new TV, you may attract thieves without even realizing it. Consider rearranging your furnishings so your home is less appealing to criminals.
  • Display yard signs and window decals that indicate your home is protected by a security system.

Lock the windows

  • You may remember to lock the doors every night, but what about the windows? For those at street level, consider installing metal accordion gates.
  • Another option is glass-break sensors that set off an alarm when a window or glass door is broken. Some sensors also detect shock waves if someone is trying to kick open the door.

Don’t hide your keys

  • Forget putting the keys under the front doormat. Instead, leave them with a trusted friend, family member or neighbor for emergencies.

Make your home looked lived in

When leaving town, stage your home as if someone is still inside by leaving blinds open in their usual position, putting lights on a timer to turn on in the evenings and suspend newspaper deliveries. Also, ask a dependable neighbor to keep a close eye on the house.

Get a good system

It’s important that you invest in a reliable security system with a central reporting feature. You might even qualify for a discount on your insurance.

Speaking of insurance, here’s one last addition to your protection to-do list: contacting your Independent Agent about a Kemper homeowner’s policy. It will bring you invaluable peace of mind that if the thief does find a way into your home and out with your stuff, you’ll have help in getting it replaced and your life back to normal.

 

All statements are subject to the terms, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. In all instances, current policy contract language prevails. Products, services and discounts referenced herein are not available in all states or in all underwriting companies. Coverage is subject to individual policyholders meeting our underwriting qualifications and state availability.

Sources: www.webmd.com; FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting website, https://ucr.fbi.gov

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<![CDATA[Guide to Buying a New Car]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/guide+to+buying+a+new+car&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/guide+to+buying+a+new+car Buying a car is no small process. So doing it right is important to prevent problems down the road. Following are suggested steps to help ensure you’re happy with your important new purchase:

  1. Consider what car is right for you. You might really want that snazzy sports car, but will it work for how you’re going to use it? And will the cost impact your quality of life in other ways?
  2. Understand car pricing. For example, know the differences among these types of pricing: 
    • Sticker price – manufacturer’s suggested retail price
    • Invoice price – what the dealer paid the manufacturer for the car
    • True market value – what the car is worth in today’s market
  1.  Take it out for a spin. Before you commit to a purchase, test drive the car. You may find out the car you wanted is not the car that’s most comfortable for you. You might also consider renting the car you’re thinking of buying to test it out during your day-to-day driving.
  2. Where will you buy? You can buy a car through private sources, such as friends or family. Or, you can shop through a franchised and independent dealer, leasing company, car superstore, or online service such as TrueCar.
  3. How are you going to pay? There are down payments, monthly fees and interest rates, if you’re going to finance the car. You’ll want to know all the costs so there are no surprises.

 

You’ll also want to make sure you have the right auto insurance to protect your new investment. If you’re looking for a new policy, contact your Independent Agent to ask about what Kemper offers. We have many ways you can customize your coverage to meet your needs and fit your budget.

If you’re already a Kemper Auto policyholder, you’ll want to let your agent know about your purchase so he or she can be sure to add it to your policy.

 

Source: California Department of Motor Vehicles

All statements are subject to the terms, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. In all instances, current policy contract language prevails. Products, services and discounts referenced herein are not available in all states or in all underwriting companies. Coverage is subject to individual policyholders meeting our underwriting qualifications and state availability.

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<![CDATA[Keep Your Cool and Save Energy Too]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/keep+your+cool+and+save+energy+too&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/keep+your+cool+and+save+energy+too Staying comfortable when the temperatures rises can take a toll on your wallet. But the following tips can save your energy and keep you cool too:

Inside, outside, keep it the same. The closer your indoor temperature is to what’s outside, the less energy you’ll use. Keep your thermostat at about 78 degrees and supplement with fans if you prefer it cooler inside your home.

Be cool with air conditioner maintenance. Regular maintenance is essential to keep your system running efficiently. This maintenance includes inspecting the air conditioner (A/C) and air ducts, as well as periodically cleaning the A/C filter.  

Reduce your use of appliances. Running stoves and ovens will increase the temperature in your home, so on warm days, use them sparingly or wait until the evening, when it’s cooler. You could also maximize appliance usage by waiting until you have a full load of laundry or dishes.

Seal it tight. Weather-strip or caulk your windows and doors to better control your home’s temperature and cut down on energy consumption. Keeping your home’s insulation in good condition will also help.

Source: energy.gov

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<![CDATA[Your Guide to Updating Your Insurance Policy]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/your+guide+to+updating+your+insurance+policy&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/your+guide+to+updating+your+insurance+policy As your life changes, so should your insurance. It’s a good practice to review your policies at least once a year to ensure you’re getting the right coverage. Here are a few tips to help you evaluate your needs:

Know what you have. Read your current policy carefully to understand your coverage. Insurance language can sometimes be confusing. If you’re unclear about aspects of your policy, contact your Independent Agent. Your agent is specially trained and experienced in the insurance field and is available to help you.

Any big changes? If you’ve gotten married, you may want to consider life insurance. If you’ve remodeled your home, put in a pool or built an addition, you may want to increase your homeowners insurance. If you’ve inherited expensive antiques, art or jewelry, you might consider valuables coverage.

Finding the savings. Some changes over the past year may save you money. For example, if you put in a central reporting fire or burglar alarm. Or your teen driver got terrific grades in school. Ask your agent if you qualify for these or other discounts.

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<![CDATA[Be Good to Your Car and it Will be Good to You]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post+170207&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post+170207 Plummeting temperatures and tough conditions can mean more car breakdowns in the winter months. Help your car avoid strain or damage by performing these simple maintenance tasks:

Check the battery. Cool weather wears on car batteries. If your car is having problems starting, have your mechanic check the battery and replace it if needed.

Top off engine coolant with antifreeze. Engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. You will need to top it off with antifreeze as it becomes diluted over time.

Examine the tires. Check tire pressure monthly; do it when they’re cold and take a look at the spare as well. Examine the tires for tread depth, uneven wear and cuts. Note that tires with minimal tread depth perform poorly on snow and ice.

Replace filters. Filters collect dust and debris quickly in winter. Replace clogged air, fuel and cabin filters for better car performance and fuel mileage, and to keep your engine going longer.

Carry a winter car breakdown kit. Include a shovel, flashlight, blanket, non-perishable food and drink supplies, scraper, de-icer and snow grips for your shoes in case you need to walk to safety.

If, despite your best efforts, you do break down, you’ll be glad to know you have Auto insurance from Kemper. Our responsive and caring claims professionals will do their best to get you back on the road quickly.

 

Sources: aaa.com, edmunds.com

All statements are subject to the terms, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. In all instances current policy contract language prevails. Products, services and discounts referenced herein are not available in all states or in all underwriting.

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<![CDATA[Safety Tips for Heating Your Home]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++170206&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++170206 What sometimes brings us comfort can also cost us—in more ways than one. We may shake the winter chill with a roaring fire in the hearth or a space heater set at high. But if we don’t also take care, we risk turning comfort into catastrophe.

Below are some tips for heating your home safely:

Three feet of heat. Set a three-foot “no-kids-allowed” zone around open fires and space heaters. And keep anything flammable at least one yard away from heating sources. Before use, check the heaters’ cords for fraying or cracking, and don’t cover or run corded appliances under rugs or carpet.

Use your oven only for what it does best. Like cooking your food, not heating your home.

When you turn in, turn it off. Shut off portable heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.

Don’t overload.  Electric space heaters pull a lot of amperage when plugged in. Don’t use plug splitters or double up on outlets when using electric space heaters.

Keep your chimney clean and clear, and do it at least once a year. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly by a qualified professional to patch up cracks and reduce the chance of combustible creosote buildup.

Check protection alarms. Residential fires increase in winter, so make sure all smoke and fire alarms are working.

 

Source: iii.org, https://disastersafety.org

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<![CDATA[Icy Weather on the Way? Check out These Driving Tips]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++010617&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++010617 If cold, wet weather is headed in your direction and you need to drive, you’ll want to review these best practices for before, during and after you hit the road:

 

Car in good shape? Check! Inspect your car battery, tire treads and pressure, and windshield wiper to ensure they’re all tip-top, and that you have enough anti-freeze and wiper fluid.

 

Stow before you go. Load your car with these essentials: snow brush and ice scraper, shovel, flashlight, jumper cables, blankets and warning devices, such as flares.

 

Get your fill. Be sure to start out with a full tank of gas. If you hit bad weather or traffic, and need to change your route, you want to make sure you don’t come up empty.

 

Take it slow. Allow plenty of time to get where you need to go, bring down your speed on snow- and ice-covered roads, and increase your following distance so you have enough time to react if the car in front suddenly stops.  

 

Make nice with ice. The best way to regain control of your car when you skid is to steer into it. Here’s how: ease your foot off the gas while steering carefully in the direction you want the front of your car to go. Stay off the pedals until you can control the car.

 

Know what your car can do. Vehicles handle differently, so know what kind of brake you have. If you’re driving in rough weather and have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure. For non-antilock, pump them gently.

 

Drinks and driving don’t mix. If you’ve been drinking, designate a driver, call a cab or spend the night wherever you are.  You’ll be safer for it in the morning.

 

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Insurance Information Institute

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<![CDATA[Prevent Identity Theft While Shopping]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++010417&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++010417 Whether you’re shopping takes you online at your PC or on line in the stores, it’s important to take steps to protect your identity. Here are some useful tips to ensure your personal information stays safe and secure:

 

  • Keep your social security number (SSN) close to the vest. Don’t carry the card or write your number on checks. Only give out your SSN when absolutely necessary.

 

  • Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information, such as your name, date of birth, SSN or bank account number, whether it’s over the phone, by mail or online.

 

  • Collect mail promptly and if you’re away, ask the post office to put a hold on it.

 

  • Cover your PIN when you’re checking out at the register or ATM.

 

  • Scan your receipts once you’ve left the store. If there are any mistakes, go back to the register to fix it promptly. Don’t throw away receipts that have account statements listed.

 

  • Store personal information in a safe place at home and work.

 

  • Install firewalls and virus detection software on your home computer.

 

  • Create complex passwords that make it difficult for others to guess.

 

  • View your credit report once a year to be sure there are no errors.

And, consider Kemper’s Identity Fraud Expense coverage on your Homeowners or Renters insurance, which would help defray costs if you’re a victim of identity fraud. Contact your Independent Agent today to help you match the right coverage to your needs and budget.

 

All statements are subject to the terms, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. In all instances current policy contract language prevails. Products, services and discounts referenced herein are not available in all states or in all underwriting companies. Coverage is subject to individual policyholders meeting our underwriting qualifications and state availability.

 

Source: usa.gov

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<![CDATA[Be Bright When Driving at Night]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++010317&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++010317 Shorter days and longer nights bring driving challenges. It’s good to be aware of them and take necessary precautions.

 

  • Limited light. Nightfall can alter your perceptions of the road. For example, it can increase glare and impair peripheral vision. Help your nighttime view of the road by keeping your headlights and windshield clean. And slow down if needed.

 

  • Reduced visibility. As we age, it becomes more difficult to see in the dark. It’s a good idea to get an annual eye exam so that if you use glasses when you drive, they keep up with your changing vision. Other good practices include driving more slowly and preventing distractions.

 

  • Driving while drowsy. Drowsiness is a significant contributor to auto accidents. Ensure you get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel, and if you feel tired while driving, pull over to rest. Although you may be rested and fully alert, note that drivers around you might not be. Defensive driving is smart—nighttime or daytime.

 

  • Rush hour on the road. When the typical workday starts or finishes, it’s a busy time for traffic. More cars and less visibility equals higher risk. Give driving all your attention to ensure you get to your destination safely.

 

Protecting yourself on the road also means adequate auto insurance. Ask your Independent Agent if you have all the coverage you need, such as valuable Kemper’s Roadside Assistance.

 

Source: nhtsa.gov

 

All statements are subject to the terms, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. In all instances current policy contract language prevails. Products, services and discounts referenced herein are not available in all states or in all underwriting companies. Coverage is subject to individual policyholders meeting our underwriting qualifications and state availability.

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<![CDATA[Stay Safe during the Holidays with These Home Safety Tips]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++122116&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++122116 Keep your home and your loved ones safe with these important tips:

Keep your eye on it. When you have something cooking on the stove, don’t leave it unattended.

Clear the way. Ensure you remove any tripping hazards, like toys or electrical wires.

Be careful with hot liquids. Splashes can create burns. For minor burns, run the burned area under cool water. For serious burns, see your doctor.

Out of harm’s way. Don’t let electrical wires hang off the edge of the countertop or leave knives or other hazardous items in reach of children.

Use caution around candles. Keep clothing, blankets, pillows and other flammables away from lit candles, and be sure to extinguish them before leaving the room.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. If a fire breaks out that’s more than the extinguisher can handle, get to safety and then call the fire department. 
 

Kemper wishes you and your family a Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

 

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