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From texting and scrolling through social media to driving while fatigued or under the influence, there are countless distractions that take our minds and eyes away from the road.  Each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

April is recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. All of the “it was just a glance” or “it was just one drink” or “I needed to reply” excuses for taking your attention from the road are not worth the risks and consequences of a car accident.

Here are 7 ways to cut distractions from your commute and just drive:

  1. Turn off your phone, put it out of reach, or use the “do not disturb” setting: Taking these measures will help you avoid interruptions from any notifications and the temptation to check your phone. You can also block out driving time on your calendar or set automatic responses to let people know you’ll be driving.
  2. Program your route before you leave: Need directions? Enter the address into your GPS before hitting the road. Be sure to turn the volume on and position the device where you can easily see it without taking your eyes off the road.
  3. Stop using your hands-free device: While using a hands-free device keeps your hands on the wheel, studies show that talking on the phone reduces your field of vision and your ability to process moving imagery. If you need to take or make a call, find a safe place to pull over.
  4. Pullover to eat: Eating and driving can be just as dangerous as texting and driving. Make a pit stop at a rest area or restaurant if you need a bite to eat.
  5. Turn down your music: Keep the stereo volume low enough to be aware of your surroundings. Loud music can cause you to lose focus on the road or miss other potential warning signs of an accident.
  6. Don’t drive fatigued: Driving while fatigued raises your chance of a crash by increasing reaction time and impairing your ability to make quick decisions. Be sure you are well-rested before hitting the road.
  7. Get ready at home: Doing your hair or makeup while driving might save you a few minutes in the morning, but it could cost you your life. Finish getting ready at home or at your workplace.

Join The Prewitt Group as we raise awareness of these distracted driving dangers, make adjustments to your driving routine, and pledge to drive free from distractions today.

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National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September to promote disaster and emergency planning. It reminds us to be prepared for disasters and emergencies in our homes, businesses and communities. This year’s theme is “Be Prepared, Not Scared.”

We’ve all heard the saying, “Preparation is the key to success,” and it certainly applies to disaster and emergency planning. While we still hope for the best, preparing for the worst can mitigate your expenses and protect your assets.

Be Prepared in 3 Steps:

  1. Create an emergency fund. First and foremost, recovering from a disaster can be financially burdensome. It’s vital to prepare for emergency expenses. Create an emergency fund for your family, home and business so that the money is there when you need it.
  2. Make emergency plans. Inform your family and/or employees of the location of fire extinguishers and first aid kits. Create a fire evacuation and severe weather plan, and then communicate it clearly to your household and workplace. Planned procedures and processes will keep your family and employees safe.
  3. Purchase proper insurance policies. Having the right insurance policies in place is an integral step in disaster preparation. Meet with an insurance consultant to make sure you have the proper coverage for the disasters and risks your family, home and business face. There are many different types of coverages, which are all subject to limitations and exclusions, so make sure you understand your deductibles, the limits of your insurance and the nature of your coverage.

Since 1974, The Prewitt Group’s mission has been to expertly handle all of your insurance needs whether personal or professional, with the utmost attention to detail and comprehensive protection from anticipated risk. We strive to protect our clients from danger, risk and unpleasant experiences. That’s “The Power to Mitigate Risk.”

We offer various commercial, personal and life and health coverages to fit your unique needs. Contact a risk consultant to review your current coverage or purchase additional policies as a step in your disaster planning process.

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It’s that time of year again: back-to-school! Are you sending a child off to college? If so, don’t forget to review your insurance coverage before they go back to campus. Remember, your insurance needs change as you and your family members reach certain life milestones. Plus, college is expensive enough without incurring unexpected expenses of an accident uncovered by your current policies.

Health Insurance

Is your child staying on your health insurance policy? If so, he/she is covered until they turn 26. If your child is going to school out of state, check with your insurance company to see how their out-of-state coverage works and ensure that there are in-network providers near the college. If not covered by their parent’s policy, college students have other health care options, such as enrolling in the student health plan offered or purchasing an individual policy.

Car Insurance

Is your child taking a car to campus? Be sure they are covered on your policy or have an individual policy that provides enough coverage. If they are going to college out of state, make sure they at least have the minimum coverage required by that state. Even if your child isn’t taking a car to school, it’s smart for them to remain insured so they are protected when driving a borrowed car.

Homeowners or Renters Insurance

Unfortunately, theft and burglary are very common on college campuses. Whether your child is living in a dorm, apartment or house, you will want to protect their valuables. Students who live on-campus are usually covered by their parent’s homeowners insurance policy as long as they are listed as a dependent on their policy. However, the extent of coverage depends on policy specifics and limitations, so it’s a good idea to check your policy before relying on it.

Students who live off-campus should obtain a renters insurance policy to protect their valuables and their bank accounts in the case of unfortunate situations, such as fire, theft or on-premise injuries. While renters insurance does NOT cover the building itself, it does cover the stuff in your rented house/apartment, like furniture, valuables and cash. A renters insurance policy can also cover liabilities and additional living expenses, if needed. Renters insurance is fairly affordable, but it’s important to understand the coverage and limitations of your policy.

All in all, it’s best to inform your insurance agent that you have a child going to college and discuss the additional coverage he/she needs depending on your current policies.

Insurance for Every Milestone

“When should I buy life insurance?” “Do I need renters insurance?” “What is disability insurance?” “I’m starting a business. What insurance do I need?”

These are just a few questions that are frequently asked by individuals who are planning for their future and/or entering a new season of life. As your life changes, so should your insurance coverage. While insurance isn’t the most exciting purchase, it is essential for protecting yourself, your loved ones and your wealth.

From buying a car to starting a business, certain life milestones call for reevaluation of your insurance coverage. Some policies are required, while others are strongly recommended. As you reach these common milestones, here are the policies you should consider purchasing:

When you buy a car: Before hitting the road in your new ride, you need personal auto insurance. Many factors impact how much you pay for your premium, including what you drive, your driving history, how often and how far you drive and your credit history, as well as your age, sex and marital status. That being said, your premium may increase or decrease as these factors change throughout your life.

When you start “adulting:” As you enter the workforce and move out from your parents’ home, consider purchasing these policies to protect your livelihood:

  • Health insurance: Children can stay on their parents’ policy until age 26, but once your 26th birthday comes around, you’re required to obtain your own policy.
  • Disability insurance: If you’re relying on your income to live, purchasing disability insurance could be a lifesaver if you become disabled and unable to work for a period.
  • Renters insurance: While it’s not a requirement, renters insurance is something any renter will be glad to have in the case of a fire, leak, or storm.

When you buy a home: If you own a home, homeowner’s insurance is a necessity. Most policies cover the house itself, your belongings and the liability of someone being injured on your property. Depending on the location of your home, you may need to purchase additional coverage, such as flood insurance.

When you get married and start a family: While you can purchase life insurance at any time, the importance of life insurance increases when you get married and/or start a family. In the event of your death, life insurance offers protection for your family and home by replacing your income. Acquiring life insurance at a younger age is smart because you’re not only healthy, but you also pay the same rate over a period of time.

When you start your own business: As soon as you start your business, no matter the size, you should consider getting commercial insurance. The type of coverage you need will vary based on the type of business you open.

At The Prewitt Group, we are committed to understanding your needs for every stage of life and delivering customized services to fit those needs. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss the coverage you need with each life change.

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Are you ready for summer? While your kids may be on summer break, risks never take a vacation. In fact, summer activities like these often lead to more mishaps.

  • Road trips: During the summer, the roads are more crowded, which makes driving more dangerous. Whether you’re taking a road trip in your personal vehicle or a rental car, be sure your auto insurance policy covers collisions. If your auto policy does not include driving in a rental car, consider purchasing the liability insurance offered at the rental counter.
  • Pool parties: By having a swimming pool, you take the risk of someone getting injured or drowning on your property. If you haven’t already, consider increasing the liability coverage on your homeowners policy to reduce this risk. Also, be sure to take measures to prevent accidents, such as building a fence around the pool and making sure children never swim unattended.
  • Summer storms: Strong summer thunderstorms can wreak havoc on your home and cause water damage. While homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, you can purchase a flood policy to reduce this risk.
  • Boating: Boating-related accidents seem to increase every summer. While small boats like kayaks and canoes are often covered by your homeowners insurance, you usually need a separate policy for large watercrafts and jet skis. The cost can vary depending on your liability coverage, the value of your boat and where it’s kept.
  • Vacation home rental: When you rent out your vacation home, you run the risk of tenants damaging the property. Homeowners insurance may provide coverage for an occasional short-term rental, but if you regularly rent out the property, you may need an additional rider or a commercial landlord or host policy.

Fortunately, you can mitigate these risks by making sure you have the proper insurance policy in place. As summer draws nearer, determine if these risks are relevant to you and contact a representative at The Prewitt Group to be sure you have the coverage you need.

2019 coverage

The new year gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. It’s the season for goal-setting and resolutions. It’s also a good time to ask yourself, “What could go wrong this year?” and “How would my insurance company respond if the worst scenario occurred?”

Reflect on the happenings of the past year and evaluate your insurance policies to guarantee you’re covered in the coming year. Consider your family, business, property, home, health, vehicle, etc. A lot can change over the course of a year, and sometimes those changes may impact your insurance coverage. Here are a few items to asses to ensure you’re covered in 2019:

  1. Health insurance: Did you recently enroll or change your health insurance? Make sure you have your new insurance cards and before you visit a doctor and verify that they are in your provider network.
  2. Life insurance coverage: Major life changes, such as a birth, divorce, remarriage or even a new mortgage or new job, are indicators that you might need to make changes to your life insurance policy.
  3. Homeowner’s insurance: Take account of your assets with a detailed home inventory. This is the best way to determine the appropriate level of coverage needed. It’s also a good idea to know your deductible amounts and check to see if you’re eligible for any discounts.
  4. Auto insurance: Driving underinsured is not a good way to enter the new year. Examine your deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage. Talk with your agent to determine how raising or lowering this amount would affect your premium.
  5. Commercial coverage: Take inventory of your business. Be sure you have coverage for all locations and aspects of your business. If you’ve purchased new real estate or equipment, added new operations, expanded your online presence or made any other drastic business changes in the past year, be sure your insurance agent is aware.

The Prewitt Group is committed to mitigating risk by understanding your needs and delivering customized services to fit those needs. We would be happy to meet with you and discuss strategies that will empower you and/or your company in fulfilling insurance needs for the new year. Contact us today!

 

Umbrella Policy

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The roadways are not getting any safer. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. motor-vehicle deaths remained near decade-high levels in 2017. Distracted driving and an increase in the average miles driven on an annual basis contribute to this increasing vehicle fatality rate. As a business owner, it’s essential to establish a fleet safety program as a part of your company’s safety and risk management culture.

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With spring break looming, many students and families are gearing up for a week of relaxation and fun. Unfortunately, with trips and vacations—especially spring break, there are few inevitable risks to be aware of. Whether you are beach bound or jet setting to another country, these 3 risks are heightened during the spring break season.

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J.R. Prewitt & Associates is thrilled to honor Cathi Berry as the 2017 Employee of the Year! After 7 years of serving J.R. Prewitt’s clients as a Claims Coordinator, Cathi is more than deserving of this honor. Cathi not only successfully juggles countless claims, but she also brings a positive attitude to the team and is always a joy to be around. To get to know the 2017 Employee of the Year, check out this Q&A:

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