Kemper Blog http://usgobtwps81.unitrininc.com:10039/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/Home/InformationCenter/blog/ Kemper Blog <![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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<![CDATA[Kemper Roadside Assistance is Always a Good Idea]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++120816&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++120816

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<![CDATA[How to Winterize Your Car]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++120116&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++120116 When the Northern Hemisphere faces away from the sun, winter is here. And for most of the country, that means frigid temperatures and potentially dangerous driving conditions. If you haven’t prepared your car for the winter, it’s important you do so as soon as possible:

 

Ensure your battery is in good condition. Batteries work by the flow of electrons. When the temperature really drops, the flow of electrons slows down, and the battery has less energy output. In fact, a car battery in zero degrees only has about half the cranking power it would otherwise have at 80 degrees.

 

De-ice your windows with a scraper. If you can’t see out of your windows, you shouldn’t be driving. Don’t try to use your windshield wipers to remove ice—it won’t work and you may damage them. Instead, use an ice scraper. If you leave your car outside at night, make sure to raise the wipers so that they don’t freeze onto your windshield.

 

Check your tires. Worn tires don’t tread well on snow and a simple turn can turn into a skidding disaster. So if you know that you need new tires, get them before the snow begins to fall.

 

Get the right oil. Freezing temperatures can thicken oil and make it harder for your engine to turn its gears. Oil with a “W” in the viscosity index is recommended for winter use. 5W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30 provide good oil flow at low temperatures for your engine.

 

And be sure you have quality insurance protection for your car this winter with an auto insurance policy from Kemper. Contact your Independent Agent today to select the right coverage for your needs.

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<![CDATA[Getting the Best Deal on a Used Car]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++113016&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++113016 Congratulations—you’re buying a car! If you found a great deal on a used car, you’ll want to make sure that your great deal doesn’t end up costing you a lot more down the line. Here are some suggestions to help you choose the best used car for your needs:

 

Do your homework. Research the make and model of the car you’re thinking about buying, to see if there have been any issues with it. Compare and contrast dealer prices so you get a good idea of how much the car is worth. Consider visiting kemper.com/replaceyourcar, a free and easy service for pricing vehicles and connecting with dealers.

 

Check the vehicle history report. For example, it can tell you about previous owners, if there have been any serious accidents or issues with the title and much more.

 

Take it for a spin. Try it out in different environments to determine if it’s the right car for your needs. Also, focus on how the car drives and if there are any odd sounds.

 

Have the vehicle inspected. This will make you aware of any issues, and then you can decide if you want to have them fixed or pass on buying the car. Mechanics should check the condition of the exterior and interior as well.

 

Update your insurance. Let your Independent Agent know that you’ve purchased a new car, so your Kemper policy will provide all the protection you need.

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<![CDATA[Tips for De-cluttering Your Apartment or Condo]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++111816&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/blog+post++111816 We often keep items we don’t use, don’t need and forget we have. And if we’re living in an apartment or condo—without the benefit of a basement or garage—these items could be causing clutter and taking up precious space.

 

The benefits of de-cluttering go beyond a tidy home. They can help us feel more control over our lives, feel more motivated and revitalized. So with these goals in mind, here are some tips for removing the clutter and replacing it with the satisfaction of accomplishment:

 

Picture this. Before you start, visualize how you want your space to look once it’s clutter-free. Write down how you expect to feel so that you can refer to it to keep you motivated.

 

Go for broke. While many experts suggest tackling clutter bit by bit, consider eliminating it thoroughly in six months or less.

 

Sort by category, not location. Going through everything you own in a particular category reveals how much you have, making it easier to downsize. Start with clothes and books, as these can be easier to narrow down. Save personal items, such as photos and letters, for later, as these can be more time-consuming to sort through.

 

Let it go. As you go through your belongings, don’t let how much you spent on the items stop you from getting rid of them if they’re no longer useful. You can always give them to charity.

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