Kemper Blog http://usgobtwps81.unitrininc.com:10039/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/Home/InformationCenter/blog/ Kemper Blog <![CDATA[The Keys to Garage Safety]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/the+keys+to+garage+safety&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/the+keys+to+garage+safety With leaves falling, home maintenance projects under way, and the kids going in and out for their bikes and skateboards, the garage can be a busy place in the fall. It can also be a dangerous place.

 

Consider this: according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, garage fires tend to spread farther than fires that ignite in other parts of the home.

 

And fires are but one risk. Here are some others: slips and falls on a slick floor, damage caused by faulty garage doors and injury from sharp objects lying around.

 

But with some simple maintenance and good organization, you can make it much less likely that any of these will happen in your home. Some practical tips:

 

Stash and store. Keep oil, gas, propane and varnishes in a shed away from the home.

 

Keep them away from each other. Don’t leave anything flammable near appliances, heaters or heating vents.

 

One at a time. Plug only one appliance into an outlet, and don’t use an extension cord.

 

Arm an alarm. Install a heat alarm in your garage, which will alert you if the temperature goes too high.

 

Cool off. Ensure your lawn mower or other power equipment is completely cool before putting it back in the garage.

 

Wipe it up. Prevent slips by cleaning spills of oil or other fluids immediately.

 

Door do’s and don’ts. Don’t ignore broken springs, a door that comes off its track, frayed or worn cables, or springs that are noisy. Do bring in a professional to inspect and repair or replace.

 

Organize, organize, organize. Not only will you know where your tools are when you need them, but organizing them in cabinets or on hooks keeps them out of harm’s way.

 

Like the rest of your home, your garage is only as safe as you take care of it.

 

Sources: Federal Emergency Management Agency, PropertyCasualty360

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<![CDATA[Keeping Your Teen Driver Safe]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/keeping+your+teen+driver+safe&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/keeping+your+teen+driver+safe

Perhaps you have mixed feelings about your teen learning to drive. But one thing you’re sure of is that you want him or her to be safe behind the wheel. Here are a few suggestions on how you can protect your new teen driver:

 

Truth and consequences. Set ground rules for your teen driver and explain the consequences. Consider putting it in writing.

 

Know your laws. Each state has different laws regarding teen drivers. These graduated driver licensing laws ease teens into driving by ensuring they’re more experienced by the time they have a full license. Here’s where you can find your state’s law.


Be a model driver
. Be a role model for your child and practice safe driving practices. Like always buckling up. Reducing distractions. And avoiding driving if you’ve been drinking.

 

Get the right insurance. It’s generally less expensive to put your teen on your policy than for your teen to buy one on his or her own. You might also purchase excess personal liability coverage. Should you or your new teen driver be involved in an accident where someone is injured, the costs may exceed your regular auto insurance limits. Excess liability could then kick in to help keep your assets safe. Ask your Independent Agent how you can get this important coverage from Kemper.

 

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s safercar.gov, Insurance Information Institute

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<![CDATA[Hurricane Prep 101]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/hurricane+prep+101&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/hurricane+prep+101

If last year's Atlantic hurricane season taught us anything, it's that you can never be too prepared. And if you need more motivation, predictions are for an above average hurricane season this year.¹

 

So, what can you do now to get ready in case a storm comes your way? Here are a few tips from the experts:

 

Lock down your yard. Make sure there are no loose objects that can become projectiles in high winds. Also clear gutters and make sure they are secure.

 

Trim limb to limb. Remove trees and limbs that may be hanging over your home to prevent damage.

 

Know your stuff. Inventory your belongings, including taking photos and video. This will make it easier to file a claim than having to come up with a list from memory after your items are lost.

 

Be ahead of the pack. You don’t want to be caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to beat out a storm with everyone else. Decide ahead of time where and when you would evacuate if you need to.

 

And pack ahead. To be sure you have everything you need should you need to leave, put together a disaster supply kit. This could include flashlights, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications and important personal information.

 

Be on alert. Sign up for your community’s text or email emergency alerts. To find out if your town has one, search the Internet for your town or county and the word “alerts.”

 

You might also review your insurance with your Independent Agent. Know what’s covered and what isn’t, and how much your hurricane deductible is. If you’ve done any major renovations, you will want to make sure these are covered.

 

As a reminder, homeowners policies don’t cover flood; you will need a separate policy for that. Contact your agent to find out how to get one.

 

¹Claims Journal, 12/19/2017
Sources: Claims Journal, 12/2017; PC360, 7-25-2017; ready.gov

 

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<![CDATA[Distracted Driving Awareness Month]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/distracted+driving+awareness+month&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/distracted+driving+awareness+month

The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. As insurers join in this campaign, all of us here at Kemper want to make sure our drivers are informed to become safer drivers on the road. To keep the dialogue going, we are sharing information that serve as a refresher or new information.

“There is an incredible amount research and technology invested in making the roads safer. However, we don’t know how long it will be before distracted driving will no longer be an issue. If we can get drivers to understand the circumstances that increase their risk, then maybe we can reduce these risks one driver at time,” said Jeff Schultz, Vice President of Claims at Kemper.

Did you know:

·         92 percent of drivers use their smartphone while driving

·         71 percent of drivers text while driving

·         Actions associated with elevated risk of crash involvement include:  Hand-held cell phone conversation and location/reaching for/answering the phone

Seven tips for safe driving

1.      Avoid distracted driving. Don’t talk, text or use apps while driving. Put the phone done and just drive. Be aware of other distractions such as eating, additional passengers and unsecured pets.

2.      Wear your seatbelt. Even if you are going around the corner to run an errand

3.      Give yourself plenty of time. Consider your travel time and then some. Is it spring break? Are you driving in an unfamiliar region?

4.      Pay attention to your speed. Be aware of the speed limit especially in work or school zones.

5.      Beware of crash taxes. Some areas will charge at-fault drivers for emergency response costs of a crash.

6.      Have a plan for roadside assistance. Make sure you roadside assistance is easily accessible. Some towing companies use opportunities such as these to charge excessive fees after an accident.

7.      Update your proof of insurance. Always be certain that you are carrying updated insurance cards.

 

Source: Property Casualty 360

                           

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<![CDATA[What To Do After a Car Accident]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/what+to+do+after+a+car+accident&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/what+to+do+after+a+car+accident

Picture this: You’re driving home from work, thinking about what’s for dinner but with your eyes on the road, when all of sudden... you’re T-boned going through a green light. These tips should help you know what to do next:

 

1.       As safely as possible, move your car out of harm’s way and turn on your hazard lights.  

2.       Call the police and make sure everyone is okay.

3.       Write or record as much information possible, such as names, phone numbers, license plates and insurance information of parties involved, and the names and contact information of witnesses.  

4.       Take photos of the scene of the accident, including photos of the damage to both vehicles.

5.       Have the car towed home or to a known place. Be sure to get the name, address and phone number of the towing company. You can also decline service from unsolicited towing companies that may arrive.

6.       If you are injured in the accident, keep track of all medical expenses, including prescriptions, doctor bills, chiropractic or rehabilitative services.

7.       Never discuss your accident on social media.

8.       Call your insurance provider. You can file a claim with Kemper 24/7 by calling our claims hotline at 866.536.7376 or go to kemper.com and be sure to provide us with as much detail as possible.

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<![CDATA[Six Ways to Save on Insurance]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/six+ways+to+save+on+insurance&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/six+ways+to+save+on+insurance If you’re like most consumers, you appreciate a good deal. And your insurance is no exception. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best value on your auto insurance:

 

1.      Consider a company that is financially stable with a favorable credit rating.

 

2.      Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs. Insurance premiums are influenced by a vehicle’s price, maintenance cost, safety record and history of theft.

 

3.      Consider a higher deductible. How much are you willing to pay before your insurance kicks in? The more you are willing pay due to an incident, the lower your premium. 

 

4.      Removing collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older or low value vehicles may also be an option to explore.

 

5.      Buy your homeowners and auto coverage from the same insurer. “Packaging” or “Bundling” insurance this way will bring you a discount from Kemper.

 

6.      Install anti-theft devices. Protecting your car with an anti-theft device may reduce your insurance costs.

Ask your Independent Insurance about Kemper’s auto insurance and ways you can save.

 

Source:  Insurance Information Institute

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<![CDATA[Homeowner’s Cold Weather Survival Guide]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/homeowner+cold+weather+survival+guide&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/homeowner+cold+weather+survival+guide

Winter can provide outdoor activities for the family or a reason to stay inside and spend time together. Whether you’re planning a trip to the mountains and purchasing gear or finding games to play, it requires some degree of preparation.

The same approach should be used when it comes to protecting your home; freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your property. Here are some tips to get you started:

·         Don’t turn the heat off! A minimum temperature of 65 degrees should be maintained to prevent pipes in your walls from freezing.

 

·         Where is your main water shutoff? Make sure you know where it is and how it works.

 

·         Let the faucets drip. The best way to prevent the pipes from freezing is to keep the water moving. Turn on your faucet just enough for water to drip slowly.

 

·         Keep the pool pumping. If you run the pump at night, it will keep the pipes from freezing.

 

·         Make sure space heaters and fireplaces are working. Also, check their surroundings; there should not be any combustible items near them.

 

·         Keep your gutters clean to help prevent ice dams from forming. Having clean gutters will give melting snow a place to go. Click here to learn more about ice dams.

 

·         Remove dead or damaged trees. Ice, snow or wind can break branches or trees and damage your property.

You might also review your homeowners insurance with your Independent Agent to ensure you have enough coverage. If you’re not insured with Kemper, ask your agent about what our policy could do for you.

Source:  Insurance Information Institute

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<![CDATA[Insurance Impact of a New Job]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/insurance+impact+of+a+new+job&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/insurance+impact+of+a+new+job

If you are changing jobs, it can have an immediate impact on your lifestyle such as an improved commute time and bring higher income. It can also impact your insurance. Here’s why:

Auto

Let your insurance company know if there’s a change in number of miles you drive. You may be able to save money on a shorter commute or by taking public transportation. However, if driving is part of your job, research your employer’s liability coverage. Business rentals should be included with your auto coverage as well.  It is best to know if liability coverage applies to personal insurance or employer’s commercial coverage.

Home

Working from home also has its benefits too. However, standard homeowners insurance does not cover commercial business responsibilities. This may include self-employment on being a remote employee of a company. If this is the case, professional liability coverage could be an option. A business owner’s policy is necessary if clients and vendors are coming to your home.

Health-related Coverages

Participating in a group life insurance through your former employer can change depending on who (you or the company) purchased it. Disability insurance can pay more than half of your income. Finally, long term care can provide nursing home coverage, but only some will allow in-home care.

Be sure to thoroughly investigate the benefits when you change employers. Your preparation should insure a smoother transition.

 

Source:  Insurance Information Institute

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<![CDATA[Preventing Ice Dams]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/preventing+ice+dams+january&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/preventing+ice+dams+january

Are you a new homeowner experiencing your first real winter, or recently moved to a snow-prone region? If you are either, you’ll want to know about ice dams and how they can be prevented.

 

For instance, the combination of freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall can eventually lead to ice dams. But before you go outside and tackle the issue, it helps to know what causes them. First, it begins with a duct system that leaks heat while distributing air throughout your home. If you have noticed rooms that are difficult to heat or never feel comfortable, the ducts in your attic and crawlspaces could be the source.

This leaked air warms the underside of your roof causing the ice and snow to melt. As the melted water drains to the overhang, it refreezes, forms dams and eventually icicles. The damage it creates could be water spots under your roof or worse.

Do not attempt to fix the problem by going on the roof or chipping at the ice from the ground. You could exacerbate the damage or injure yourself. Instead, focus on the source of problem by sealing your ducts to improve the comfort, indoor air quality, safety and savings for your home.

Source:  www.energystar.gov

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<![CDATA[Have a Safe Holiday Season]]> http://www.kemper.com/wps/myportal/KemperDirect/rssFeedBlog?current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/have+a+safe+holiday+season+2&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/kemper/informationcenter/blog/blog+posts/have+a+safe+holiday+season+2

Have a Safe Holiday Season

The holiday season can be a joyous occasion to bring friends and family together. As you prepare your home for guests to enjoy food and fun, be aware of the increase in potential hazards.

Statistically Speaking

Home fires caused from cooking are most likely to happen on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Out of all reported home fires, 48 percent were from cooking equipment. Lighting equipment was the cause of 35 percent of home fires with Christmas trees. Additional causes of fire were started by decorations in kitchen, living room, family room or den.

There are plenty of opportunities to distract you from keeping everyone safe. To safeguard against these hazards, try incorporating these tips to insure a safe holiday season:

Holiday cooking:

·         Be attentive to food cooking on the stovetop or oven. Make sure you are in position to can keep an eye on it.

·         If you are frying a turkey, watch this video on the potential danger involved.

·         For meals that require extended cooking times, such as roasting a turkey, put timers in different rooms just in case you step away or need to hear it over loud music and conversation.

·         Keep people away from steam or splashes from hot liquids that could cause serious burns.

·         If kids want to help around the kitchen, refer to this guide to assign age-appropriate tasks to them safe.

Holiday decorations and equipment:

·         Test your smoke alarms to confirm they work.

·         Designate an area for kids play (with toys) to help reduce clutter near food serving areas.

·         For lighting, make sure your lights have been qualified by a testing laboratory. Some are intended for indoor or outdoor.

Accidents can happen at any time, so to take a moment review your homeowners’ policy has the right protection for this holiday season.

 

Source:  National Fire Protection Association

 
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