Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Avoid an Insurance Claim with these 15 Safe Driving Tips

The best way to avoid an auto insurance claim is to avoid an auto accident and the best way to avoid an auto accident is to practice safe driving! As your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent, I want to help keep you and your passengers safe. There are more than 1,700 fatalities and 840,000 injuries yearly due to vehicle crashes off public highways. Whether you're driving around the block or are on a long road trip, keep these 15 safe driving tips in mind while you're out on the road:

1. Don't follow too closely behind other cars. 


Safe driving guidlines advise drivers to keep a safe distance between themselves and the car in front of them. You need enough time to react if that car makes a sudden turn or stop. There should be at least a 4 second space between vehicles; at night, the time should be doubled.

2. Always use caution when changing lanes. 


One of the easiest ways to get in an accident is by cutting someone off, changing lanes too quickly or not using your turn signals. Also, keep in mind that the left-most lane is for passing only. If you're not actively passing someone, be sure to stay in the right lane to allow others to pass.

3. Don't go over the speed limit. 


Speeding is not only an easy way to get a traffic ticket, but also a way to get into an accident. For your average drive across town, 10 mph faster is only going to save you a few minutes, while increasing your crash risk by as much as 50% - as your speed increases, so does your breaking distance, so slow down!

4. Watch out for others on the road. 


Just because you are doing everything you're supposed to on the road, doesn't mean that everyone around you is following the same safety precautions. Therefore, be prepared for unpredictable lane changes, sudden stops, unsignaled turns, swerving, tailgating and every other bad driving habit you can think of.

5. Avoid driving when you are tired. 


Being tired can make operating a vehicle very dangerous. You should also be aware that some medications can cause drowsiness and you should not drive after taking them. Approximately 20% off all accidents have sleeplessness as a contributing factor.

6. Don't allow children to fight or climb around.


First off, children and all other passengers should be buckled in their seats at all times. One accidental bump or too much noise can easily distract you from the road in front of you.



7. Avoid the use of cellphones. 


While it may not be "illegal" in every state yet, it is still dangerous to drive while on the phone. Cell phones, whether used to talk or text, can take your focus away from the task at hand: arriving to your destination safely.

8. Never drink and drive. 


While this is pretty much a no brainer, don't drink alcohol before getting in a car. Driving while intoxicated is illegal, plus alcohol can impair your senses, including your reaction time. Even if you're not drunk, even a small amount of alcohol can make you sleepy.

9. Make sure your vehicle is in prime condition. 


Before hitting the road, make sure your tires are properly inflated, all fluids are at their proper levels and you have a full tank of gas. If you're going on a long road trip, you might want to have a mechanic look it over before heading out.


10. Turn on your headlights. 


Using your headlights increases your visability and helps other divers see you, even when you feel like it's still light out. A car is visible for nearly 4 times the distance with its headlights on. Be sure to always use them at night and during inclement weather!

11. Come to a complete stop at stop signs. 


A rolling stop is not a stop; try spelling S-T-O-P to yourself before proceeding. Also, be sure to always turn your head left, then right, straight ahead and then left again before proceeding through an intersection. Do the same when a stoplight turns green to ensure someone else is not going to run the red light.

12. Keep your eyes moving at all times. 


Be aware of your surroundings and of any other vehicles around you, epsecially on busy highways. Notice what is happening on the sides of the road and check behind you through your mirrors every 6-8 seconds.

13. Take breaks when you're on a long trip. 


Pull over for a quick break every couple of hours, even if you don't feel tired. Grab a snack, get some fresh air and stretch your legs by walking around.

14. Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws. 


While you may know the laws in your own state, they don't apply once you cross that border. Make sure you know the rules in all the areas that you will be travel through to get to your destination.

15. Don't wait too long to re-fuel. 


Fill up before the gas guage reaches E. On an unfamiliar road, you never know when the next gas station will appear. As soon as you hit a quarter of a tank, start looking for a place to stop for gas. Be sure to check your oil and other fluid levels when you stop as well.

While not all auto accidents are avoidable, following these safe driving tips will definitely decrease your risk! One of the most important aspects of safe driving, is making sure your Lake of the Ozarks auto insurance is up-to-date. Contact Insure the Lake today at 573-348-2794 to see how we can help you with all your insurance needs!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Thursday, July 23, 2015

9 Factors that Influence Your Life Insurance Premiums

The cost of Lake of the Ozarks life insurance will differ from person to person. Premiums are based on your own needs and lifestyles, as well as those of your family. It's important to remember that life insurance isn't for you, its to benefit those you'll leave behind. Therefore, the needs of your family are one of the largest determining factors on the amount of life insurance coverage you need. Besides the amount of coverage, there are 9 other important factors that can influence how much your premiums will be.

1. Age 


The number one factor behind how much you'll pay for your life insurance premiums is your age. Think about it - if you're young, you'll most likely be paying the Lake of the Ozarks insurance company for years before they need to write your family a check. Therefore, it's probably better to take out a life insurance policy while you're young.

2. Gender 


While gender equality is important, statistics show that your gender does play a role in your life expectancy. In general, women live longer than men; therefore, they are more likely to get a slightly lower insurance rate.

3. Occupation & Hobbies


If you're job falls into the "risky" industry category, you're likely to pay more for your life insurance. These professions include fishing, mining, construction, forestry, agriculture and transportation. In addition to your occupation, other dangerous activities that you may participate in such as racing cars, skydiving or climbing mountains can also increase your premiums.

4. Health History 


Your medical records also play a key role in determining your life insurance premiums. The more health problems you have, the higher your risk of dying at an earlier age. While major diseases such as diabetes can cause your insurance premiums to be higher, smaller controllable factors such as obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can also affect the cost.

5. Family History


If major health issues run in your family, you're at a higher risk of developing them as well. Serious issues such as heart disease and cancer can be hereditary. This risk of health problems can also cause your life insurance premiums increase.

6. Smoking Habits


Smoking is a red flag for insurance agents at the Lake of the Ozarks because it puts you at risk for all sorts of health problems. It's not uncommon for smokers to pay twice as much as non-smokers for comparable life insurance coverage.

7. Drinking Habits


Heavy alcohol consumption can also take its toll on your health. In addition to smoking, insurance companies will also ask about your drinking habits. Those who drink more are more likely to pay more for their life insurance premiums. An occasional glass of wine is typically not an issue, but if you're consuming alcohol daily, it could be.

8. Driving Record


Speeding tickets can end up costing more than just the fine. If you have a poor driving record, life insurance companies see that as being at a higher risk of dying in an automobile accident. Keep those points off your license and keep your life insurance rates down!

9. Type of Policy


Obviously the more coverage you have, the higher your premium is going to be. The length of the term policy as well as the amount of the death benefit will affect the price of the policy. Short term policies are more expensive than long terms and whole, or permanent life insurance is generally more expensive than any length of term.

For all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance questions, contact Insure the Lake at 573-348-2794. When it comes to protecting your and your family, we're here to help you with every aspect of insurance from home and auto to health and more!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Difference Between Disability Insurance and Workers Compensation

Like with any type of Lake of the Ozarks insurance, you pay a premium to cover yourself for the unexpected. You never know when something could happen to your home, vehicle or even yourself. While workers compensation insurance will cover you in the event you get hurt on the job, what happens if you get injured outside of work, preventing you from working? That's where disability income insurance comes in handy.

Disability Income Insurance


Disability Income Insurance provides payments (on a short-term or long-term basis, or both) to a person in the event they cannot work because of injury or illness. If you're unable to work due to an injury or illness, you'd still need some form of income to keep up with daily expenses. This coverage can be a true lifeline for those people and it can keep them financially afloat during the period they are unable to work. Premiums for disablity coverage are based on your age, income, the type of work you do and the policy provisions you choose.

Workers Compensation 


Workers compensation benefits are provided when you are injured at work, as an alternative to litigation. Most states require employers to carry workers compensation to cover injured employees. Disability insurance on the other hand, provides weekly benefits to make up for the income you would have been recieving at work. The key difference between the two is that workers compensation covers you for injuries that your employer is liable for, while disability insurance benefits are not paid through your employer, but still make up for the lost income.

Insure the Lake offers a variety of short and long-term disability coverages and services that provide cash to those who are unable to work because of a disability. It ensures that they will be protected, even if they use up their sick pay. We'll help you figure out your particular risk factors and the amount of coverage that is right for you. Give the best insurance company at the Lake of the Ozarks a call at 573-348-2794 for more information and a quote today!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Thursday, July 9, 2015

5 Most Common Homeowners Insurance Liability Claims

Many homeowners don't think much about liability or personal injury claims because they feel these aren't that common. Homeowners are more worried about if they are covered in case of a fire, flood, etc. The average size of a personal injury claim though, comes in second only to fires. So while they may not be as common, personal injury claims do occur and you don't want to be stuck paying for them out of pocket. Talk to  your insurance company at Lake of the Ozarks to make sure you're covered for these common homeowners insurance liability claims.

1. Animal Bites 


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year. More than 50% of those bites occur on a dog owner's property. Dog bites are probably the single most common cause of liability claims on a homeowner's insurance policy. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that dog bites account for 1/3 of all liability claims. A typical homeowners insurance policy includes liability coverage for damages and injuries caused by you or other members of your household, including pets. However, insurers often exclude some dog breeds as they represent higher risks. Other carriers ask about any animals owned or at the residence and question bite history to determine an offer of coverage.  If you have a dog or obtain a new animal, be sure to talk to your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent to make sure you understand your coverage.

2. Slip and Fall Accidents


Injury accident claims are frequently filed against homeowners. If you are found negligent, you can be held liable for any injuries sustained on your property. Examples of these claims could include:
  • Slipping or Tripping on Stairs
  • Slipping or Tripping on Rugs, Carpets or the Floor
  • Slipping on Ice or Snow
  • Tripping on a Broken Path or Sidewalk

3. Falling Objects


Falling trees are common hazards, especially during the winter. If you have a tree on your property that falls and damages your neighbor's home or vehicle, you can be held liable for the damages. If you know a tree posing hazard is on your property, such as a dead one, you are responsible for either trimming the branches or removing it completely before it causes any damage.

4. Worker Injuries


If you hire workers to come into your home to clean, make repairs, etc. you could be held liable for any injuries that occur on the job. Some workers will have worker's compensation insurance to cover lost wages and medical payments if they are injured while working in your home. However, many independent contractors are not required to carry insurance and in this case, your homeowner's insurance may be required to pay the claim.   It is a good practice to obtain a Certificate of Insurance from all of your contractors showing proof of coverage for their General Liability and Workers Compensation.

5. Intoxicated Guests


If you host a party where an intoxicated guest harms other people or property, you could be held responsible. Most homeowner's insurance policies include host liquor liability coverage. Claims arising from intoxicated guests are typcially covered. These laws, known as social host laws vary around the country, but 37 states have adopted them. Talk to your insurance agent about the coverage in your state. 

For any questions regarding your Lake of the Ozarks homeowners insurance coverage, contact Insure the Lake at 573-348-2794. Our goal is to work with our companies to find the most comprehensive insurance coverage for the best price! 

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fireworks Safety for 4th of July

What's the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about the 4th of July holiday?  Aside from maybe our independence, you're probably thinking about fireworks! While fireworks are a great way to celebrate, they can also be a hazard. Here are some fireworks statistics, along with some tips on how you can stay safe this holiday weekend!

Fireworks Statistics

  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires and 400 vehicle fires. 
  • Far more fires are reported on Independence Day than any other day of the year. In a typical year, fireworks account for 2 out of 5 of all reported fires on Independence Day, more than any other cause of fire. 
  • Fireworks are the riskiest consumer product; the risk of fire death relative to hours of usage is higher for fireworks than for cigarettes. 
  • Temperatures of many fireworks can exceed 1200 degrees Farenheit. 
  • In 2013, U.S. emergency rooms saw an estimated 11.400 people fore fireworks-related injuries. Sparklers alone account for 41% of these injuries. 
  • The risk of fireworks injury is highest for the 0-4 age group, followed by children 10 to 14 years of age. 

Fireworks Safety

The best way to protect your family from a fireworks injury is to leave the fireworks to the professionals. There are many publich fireworks displays that you can attend instead of doing fireworks at home. However, if you must enjoy fireworks at home, be sure to follow these precautions:
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. 
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, as this is often a sign they were designed for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers. 
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that many young children suffer injuries from sparklers. 
  • Always read and follow the directions on the label. 
  • Never place any part of your body over a firework when lighting the fuse.
  • Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks. 
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. 
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person. 
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a safe, non-wooded area. 
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of a fire or other mishap. 
  • Light fireworks one at a time and then move back quickly. 
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket. 
  • Never shoot fireworks off in metal or glass containers. 
  • Keep spectators a safe distance away from where fireworks are being ignited. 
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the remnants in plenty of water froma bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire. 

Fireworks can be the cause of many different insurance claims from catching your home or vehicle on fire to personal injury. Make sure your Lake of the Ozarks insurance coverage is up-to-date in all categories before the holiday weekend! Insure the Lake wishes you a safe and happy 4th of July weekend! 

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral


T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191

stnaught@naught-naught.com


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