Keep your home, family and guests safe during your barbeque fun.
Millions of Americans safely enjoy outdoor barbecues, but accidents do happen. Ensure trouble-free summer cooking fun by maintaining your grill, using it safely and knowing what to do in case of emergency.
Honoring the Stars and Stripes: Memorial Day Flag Protocol
By Sharon Schweitzer
As we approach Memorial Day this coming weekend, it’s a good time to brush-up on our flag protocol. With thoughts of a fun-in-the-sun three-day weekend ahead, we sometimes forget the roots of Memorial Day.
Many have defended our country’s values, especially our service members. Memorial weekend is a traditional time to showcase the ultimate U.S. symbol — our stars and stripes.
The PROES Group, Inc. and MAX Insurance Donate to Hoosiers Outrun Cancer
By Paul Breeding
Cancer care goes so far beyond just the clinical needs of patients; and the services offered by the IU Health Olcott Center help patients and their families free of charge thanks to the annual Hoosiers Outrun Cancer race. A grant secured by The PROES Group of Bloomington, through MutualAid eXchange (“MAX”) Insurance will help support Hoosiers Outrun Cancer this fall.
Backup generators can provide an emergency power supply, enabling you to keep important equipment running during a power outage. It’s important to make sure generators are properly installed and operated to prevent health and safety risks for you and our crews.
There’s nothing like carving a pumpkin to get into the Halloween mood. But if you don’t do it safely, you might spend time in an emergency room instead of out trick-or-treating with the rest of the witches, ghosts, and goblins.
Autonomous vehicles predicted to radically shrink auto insurance sector
By Insurance Forums
Autonomous vehicle technology could shrink the auto insurance sector by 71% or $137 billion by 2050, according to new research by KPMG, titled The Chaotic Middle: The Autonomous Vehicle and Disruption in Automobile Insurance.
KPMG has extended its actuarial model by 10 years to 2050, finding that the pace of change has accelerated, pushing projections that illustrate greater declines to the insurance sector than KPMG's previous 2015 study. It also shows an increasing need for new types of insurance products.
If you’re one of the millions who suffer from seasonal allergies, you know how annoying and downright miserable they can make you feel. Allergies can dampen your mood and make even the most enjoyable activities hard to get through.
Are you ready for the tick invasion? Here's what you need to know.
By Scott Stueber
It's been reported in the news that the 2017 tick season is going to be worse than usual. If you're wondering why they're anticipating such a bad season, there's some supporting evidence.
This year, our Midwest winter was on the mild side. While this led to less shoveling and warmer temperatures, it also allowed ticks to thrive and emerge earlier than they typically do. Mice are often hosts for ticks and because there's a shortage, ticks are looking for other species to prey on ... humans and pets!
I went to the doctor recently for a visit. I didn't really want to go since it was a non-emergency, elective situation. If I could just self-diagnose and fix any potential issues, I could avoid the scary proposition of maybe being told something bad and expensive was at hand. But, I had to take the chance. Professional experience and knowledge was needed.
In the end, there was nothing imminent or severely problematic diagnosed. It still was not a great experience. The people were nice, but no one could tell me the price of anything. I was given options, but how can I decide to fix a problem if I don’t have the information needed? I also struggled with understanding foreign phrases and jargon. In the end, I was more lost than helped.
Ever feel this same way when dealing with insurance?
Tips to keep you safe Memorial Day through Labor Day
By Scott Stueber
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer. The school year is winding down and vacation plans are being made. Sunny days and warm weather allow us to spend quality time with family and friends. Here's a collection of safety tips that can help you, your family, pets, and others enjoy the summer season.
A roadside emergency can happen at any time, whether your car is new or old. A range of problems can cause it, from a tire failure or mechanical breakdown to running out of fuel. At best, it's an annoyance; at worst, it can compromise your safety. Being prepared with a basic emergency kit can increase your safety, reduce stress, and help you get back on the road faster.
What To Do If You're Driving and Encounter a Flash Flood
By Popular Mechanics
Flash floods are common in many parts of the country and should not be taken lightly. If you get stuck in a vehicle during a flood, keep your cool and follow these steps.
The number one rule when you encounter any water crossing the road is to turn around. It might look like a little bit of water that'd be easy to ford, but underestimating the depth of the water and strength of the current has cost many people their lives. According to the American Red Cross, most cars are swept away by less than two feet of water.
Spring has Sprung! Get Ready for Some of America's Wildest Weather!
Tornadoes, lightning, floods, rip currents and early season heat - spring is three months of danger that can imperil the unprepared. It roars in like a lion, rampaging across the United States throughout March, April and May. And there’s one hazard that can strike the coasts at any time: tsunamis. Read the full article here...
Friday, Feb 3rd, 2017
Strong Men Put Their Heart Health First
The perfect gift this Valentine’s Day is the gift of heart health. Along with Valentine’s Day, February marks American Heart Month, a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle and make small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. While Americans of all backgrounds can be at risk for heart disease, African American men, especially those who live in the southeast region of the United States, are at the highest risk for heart disease. Additionally, more than 40 percent of African Americans have high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. That's why this February during American Heart Month, Million Hearts® is encouraging African American men to take charge of their health and start one new, heart-healthy behavior that can help reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. Read the full article here...
Thursday, Dec 29th, 2016
The Most Powerful Way To Set New Year's Resolutions That Stick
By Melody Wilding
The New Year is right around the corner and with year-end planning underway, you're probably mapping out what you want to accomplish in 12 months ahead.
Whether you’re resolving to leave your dead-end job, speak up more in meetings or finally get started on the side projects you've been putting off, there's one indisputable truth that’s impossible to ignore: change is hard.
Nearly one-half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but just 8% follow-through and accomplish their goals.
Festive celebrations, flickering lights and winter greens are hallmarks of the holiday season, but they also present fire risks that can quickly turn this festive time of year into a devastating one. NFPA’s Project Holiday campaign works to educate the public about potential fire risks during the holidays, offering tip sheets, videos, and other resources to help everyone safely enjoy the season.
Pet parents are no less worried about their companion animals’ well-being, many say, than parents of actual children. In fact, spending on pets is up so much, not just on toys, clothes (yes, clothes — remember those adorable dog and cat Halloween costumes you looked at last month?) and high-grade organic food, but also on vet bills. With this in mind, employers are offering pet insurance as an employee benefit.
This is a good strategy, when you consider how much the cost of veterinarians’ care has risen — it may not be quite on a scale with the increases in human medical treatment, but it’s bad enough that, according to the Healthy Paws Foundation, 26 percent of rehoming instances were the result of a pet parent’s inability to pay for their pet’s medical care.
Winter Fitness: Safety tips for exercising outdoors
By Mayo Clinic
Dressing in layers, protecting your hands and feet, and paying attention to the forecast can help you stay safe and warm while exercising outdoors in cold weather.
Frigid temperatures can discourage even the most motivated exercisers. Without motivation, it's easy to pack away your workout gear for the winter. But you don't have to let cold weather spell the end of your fitness routine. Try these tips for exercising during cold weather to stay fit, motivated and warm.
Anytime a child has an accident, it's tragic. Having your child get hurt any day of the year would be horrible but the last thing that you want to happen is for your child to be hurt on a holiday, like Halloween. It would forever live in the minds of the child and family, ruining that special time of year.
Everyone wants to have a safe and happy Halloween for themselves, their guests and especially their children. Using safety tips and some common sense can help you make the most of your Halloween season, keeping it as enjoyable for your kids as it is for you! There are lots of simple ways to help keep your child safe on Halloween, when accidents and injuries are more likely to occur. The excitement of children and adults at this time of year can sometimes make them not as careful as they would normally be.
Greg approached me the other day and told me about a person he used to work with. This guy would never make a left turn. He would turn right until he got to where he was going. I thought that was hilarious and it reminded me of the television show Mythbusters. They did a show based on the myth that delivery drivers, in urban areas, can be more efficient and save gas by only turning right. You can watch it here.
According to Mythbusters, delivery drivers can actually save gas by avoiding left turns. UPS programmed their trucks GPS systems to plan delivery routes mainly using right turns. But is there another reason to avoid left turns? Turns out, the person Greg used to work with wouldn't make left turns because he was in a terrible accident involving a left turn. Philadelphia Insurance Companies sent us over a brochure about left turn safety, and I thought I would share it with you.
When I was growing up, one of our family traditions was a trip to our local pumpkin patch. I always loved trying to find the best pumpkin, or at least one better than my brother’s. It was even more exciting when I found a pumpkin attached to a vine. This meant I could take my jackknife out of its holster and use it to cut the vine.
After finding the perfect pumpkin, we ventured into the store to buy caramel apples, homemade apple pies, and apple cider.
After a couple of hours, we jumped back into the family station wagon and headed home. Back in those days, there were no bounce houses, corn mazes, haunted houses, or pumpkin cannons. Just a good old-fashioned farm.
As days get shorter and nights get longer, our habits begin to change. Most of us typically spend more time hunkering down at home and less time frolicking at the beach. That usually means resuming favorite fall pastimes like huddling through football games on Friday nights and drinking hot cocoa on the sidelines of our little ones’ soccer games.
Arriving along with the season of autumn is a host of safety hazards we didn’t have to think about over the summer, creating the need for a little extra vigilance. As the temperatures drop and you settle in for the approaching cold spell, consider the following pointers for ensuring you and your family stay not just warm, but also safe!
Read the full article here...
Friday, Sep 9th, 2016
Teen Drivers: Get the Facts
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Fortunately, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road.
How big is the problem?
In 2013, 2,163 teens in the United States ages 16–19 were killed and 243,243 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. That means that six teens ages 16–19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries.
Young people ages 15-24 represent only 14% of the U.S. population. However, they account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females. Read the full article here...
Wednesday, Sep 7th, 2016
Avoid Water Damage: Inspect Plumbing Systems Now, Says IBHS
By Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
During National Kitchen and Bath Month, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) urges property owners to inspect interior plumbing components and complete preventive maintenance measures to reduce chances of interior water damage.
“Water damage in a kitchen or bathroom can lead to expensive repairs,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “Inspecting plumbing and making any necessary repairs before small leaks become big ones will help avoid costly plumbing system failures.”
A classic, collectible or antique car is no ordinary car—and regular auto insurance is not sufficient to protect such a vehicle against damage or loss. Unlike everyday vehicles, which depreciate over time as you add miles to them, classic cars may, in fact, gain value over the years. Your insurance needs to match your special vehicle’s value—and you’ll need to adjust your coverage if its value appreciates.
The first step in insuring your classic car is for you and your insurer to reach an agreement on the value of the vehicle. This value will be specified in your policy and your car will be covered up to that value without depreciation.
BUY VS RENT? Either way homeowners (aka renters) insurance is needed!
By Scott Stueber
As we recover from one of the worst national real estate markets on record, young millennials are again being enticed to buy homes. Mortgage rates remain low so data suggests it’s cheaper to buy a home than pay ever-increasing rents! But that decision isn’t always easy.
When deciding whether to buy or rent, there are many factors to consider, including, but not limited to, job stability, relocation, and relationships. When it comes to financing, costs associated with owning a home include the mortgage payment, property taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance – which, as many people know, can be never ending! And that’s not all. Many millennials graduate from college with thousands of dollars of debt.
Before I share these healthy school lunch ideas, I have a confession to make… Since we homeschool, this isn’t an area that I have daily experience with as I don’t need to pack lunches every single day (but much respect to all of you parents who do!).
Healthy School Lunch Suggestions
This year, we’ve made field trips a priority each week, so I have gotten a lot of experience packing lunches for 6-8 kids (we bring friends) at least once a week, sometimes more. In experimenting with packing these lunches, I’ve also realized how much time it saves when it is actually time to eat lunch, so I’ve also started “packing” lunches a few days a week for the kids to eat at home on our lunch break. Read the full article here...
Thursday, Aug 18th, 2016
Sleep tips: 7 steps to better sleep
By The Mayo Clinic
You're not doomed to toss and turn every night. Consider simple tips for better sleep, from setting a sleep schedule to including physical activity in your daily routine.
Feeling crabby lately? Or simply worn out? Perhaps the solution is better sleep.
Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night's sleep — from pressure at work and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as layoffs, relationship issues or illnesses. It's no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes elusive. Read the full article here...
Thursday, Jul 28th, 2016
Three kinds of insurance you need while playing Pokemon Go
By Paul Breeding
Are you catching them all?
It's not hard to spot a Pokemon Go player. They have a certain way of carrying their devices in front of them. Walking around alone or in groups looking for that rare Pokemon. My family and I took a drive the first night the game was out. We saw groups of people walking together looking at their phones. It was hard to believe the number of people out playing the game. To say the game is popular is really an understatement. Pokemon Go has an estimated 75 million downloads and in mid July had 25 million users playing daily.
We've all heard the stories of people trying to drive and play Pokemon or the guy that walked into a pond while playing. With this in mind, we've put together a list of insurance policies you should have while playing Pokemon Go. Read the full article here...
Thursday, Jul 21st, 2016
Home Window Security Ideas for Peace of Mind and Protection
By Pekin Insurance
You lock your doors, but home window security is all too often forgotten.
You pull into your driveway after a long day of work and a trip to the grocery store, grab your bags, and head into your home. Your front door is locked tight, just like you left it, but something isn't right. Your living room window is open and your belongings are out of place. Someone was in your home. Window security wasn't on your mind until now.
It's scary and unsettling to discover that your home has been burglarized. It's also very common. An experienced burglar can sneak into your home and leave with cash, jewelry, and other small valuables within minutes. Read the full article here...
Thursday, Jul 14th, 2016
9 Hidden Signs You're Not Drinking Enough Water
By Jeffrey Kopman
Are you getting enough water?
It's easy to remember to drink water in the middle of summer when temperatures rise to unbearable levels. Drinking bottle after bottle is incredibly important, as the body sweats a lot of it out. But water should be your close friend all year round.
Not getting enough H2O causes many problems, other than the ones you're probably familiar with.
You might only drink water to quench your thirst, but why stop there?
When the warmer weather hits, there’s nothing better than the smell of food on the grill.
Three out of five households own a gas grill, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.
Each year an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do it year-round, July is the peak month for grill fires followed by May, June and August. Read the full article here...
Wednesday, Jun 29th, 2016
Best to Leave Fireworks to the Experts
By National Safety Council
Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays. But along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms – especially during July.
In 2013, eight people died and about 11,400 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. And while the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, 40 percent were from legal, less powerful devices.
Fireworks also are responsible for thousands of home fires each year. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2011, fireworks caused about 1,200 structure fires. Read the full article here...
Wednesday, Jun 22nd, 2016
I have a Millennial child. Do you? Or, are you a Millennial?
By Greg Daniels
There has been endless analysis of this generation, and it is interesting to see broad spectrums being applied to a group. Yet, when we appraise the individuals, they ultimately defy the stereotypes. I guess, the same with us Boomers!
But, there are statistics that don’t lie regarding the majority. One is that they rent their living space rather than owning. I don’t see this as negative or positive, just what works for the majority (I understand “don’t tie me down”!). The negative I do see relates to the insurance aspect. Studies have shown the majority do not have renter’s insurance. And, it’s not because of the cost (even if the same studies have shown they way over estimate the cost). The basic reason is they don’t understand the product and need. Shame on us insurance agents, parents and educational system!
Read the full article here...
Thursday, Jun 16th, 2016
June is National Safety Month
By National Safety Council
Join NSC and thousands of organizations across the country as we work to raise awareness of what it takes to stay SafeForLife. Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the roads and in our homes and communities.
Why You Shouldn't Take Cash at the Scene of a Car Crash
By Amy Denise
If you’ve ever felt a bump from behind while driving and heard that sickening crunch, you know what it feels like to realize that someone has just rear-ended you. And that means coping with the hassle of getting the other driver’s information, putting your car in the shop and dealing with an auto insurance company.
So if the damage to your car looks minimal and the other driver offers to quickly settle the matter by giving you cash on the spot, you might be tempted to take the money and try to put the whole thing behind you. Read the full article here...
Friday, Jun 3rd, 2016
Personal Watercraft, Safety, And You
By Boat U.S.
At an average length of around 10 feet, personal watercraft (PWC) may seem small, but they come with some pretty big responsibility. With the horsepower of a large outboard engine and the acceleration of a motorcycle. PWC are not toys. In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard considers personal watercraft Class A vessels, which means all safety equipment and operation laws that apply to boat under 16 feet also apply to a PWC. Most states have operator age and education requirements, too. So before you launch, here are a few things you’ll need to know to have a safe and hassle-free day on the water.
25 ways to keep your auto and home safe from thieves this summer
By Jayleen R. Heft @ PropertyCasualty360
One of the best ways to save on Auto and Homeowners' insurance is to stay claims-free. Securing your vehicle and house will help prevent theft, save you money along with the hassle of dealing with unexpected property losses this summer.
In 2014, there were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes (burglaries, larceny-thefts, and motor vehicle thefts) reported by law enforcement, according to the latest FBI annual report on "Crime in the United States, 2014." Financial losses suffered by victims of these crimes were calculated at approximately $14.3 billion
11 Tips Every Home Owner Needs to Know About Insurance
By Allison Kade @ Fox Business
Insurance requires you to think about bad occurrences... medical problems, car accidents, emergency home repairs. But although it may sound pessimistic to dwell on what could happen (carpe diem, anyone?), it’s important to protect yourself from some of life’s biggest surprises.
When it comes to protecting your home, it’s not just about safeguarding against structural damage or theft—it’s just as much about feeling secure in where you live. If disaster strikes, your focus should be on reclaiming your sense of stability. The last thing you should worry about is money.
Read the full article here...
Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
12 Real Reasons Some People Never Seem to Have Enough Time
By Jana Rookard @ Life Hack
*Note from ICG* I like this article and found some of the tips useful. However, I want to apologize for the lack of editing that this article received from the original blogger. It was very hard to resist the urge to correct it. *End of Note*
Many people today complain that they constantly don’t have enough time. They are so busy that they don’t have time for their families, work tasks, kids, friends, etc. At the same time, there are lots of people who have the same number of responsibilities or even more, but they manage to do everything in time and still find a couple of hours to relax and do what they like. People who always lack time are probably do something wrong. Here’s why.
Keeping teen drivers safe is important to Road America and West Bend
By Scott Stueber at West Bend
As a parent of a teen driver, I know how nerve racking it can be when your child gets a license and begins to drive without you in the car, too. While both teens and parents enjoy the newfound freedom, parents need to remain cautious and continue to teach. You can’t rely only on what they learned in driver’s education.
Parental involvement is one key way to help protect your teen driver(s). Consider setting rules, signing a parent/teen driving contract, and being a good example. If you drive while distracted, speed, or run red lights, your teen driver will probably do the same. You know the old saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
No plans for Memorial Day weekend? No prob: There's still time to nab one of these dreamy escapes (from Palm Springs to D.C.) that won't break the bank.
You need a break this Memorial Day Weekend! To point you in the right direction, we looked for celebrations across America that offered something special in honor of the Memorial Day holiday, be it a unique patriotic tribute, a celeb-worthy pool party, an epic jazz festival, or a vineyard tour. But reading about a party that's taking place miles and miles from home is frustrating, not fun. That's why we highlighted places that are easily accessible no matter where you are in the U.S. (all of the cities called out under "easy getaway" are within either a 1.5-hour flight or four-hour drive from the featured destination). Consider this your ultimate guide to three-day weekend bliss. Read the full article here...
Friday, May 20th, 2016
FBI warns automakers, owners about vehicle hacking risks
By Thomas Reuters
(Reuters) — The FBI and U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a bulletin Thursday warning that motor vehicles are “increasingly vulnerable” to hacking.
“The FBI and NHTSA are warning the general public and manufacturers — of vehicles, vehicle components, and aftermarket devices — to maintain awareness of potential issues and cyber security threats related to connected vehicle technologies in modern vehicles,” the agencies said in the bulletin.
Read the full article here...
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
Make Sure Your Car is Road Trip Ready
Taking a long trip by car is an adventure. It's the best way to see America and a wonderful way to learn a little about the country and its highway culture. You'll experience it all, too, from the ambiance of a truck stop to the sublime swank of five-star restaurants. Each city, town, hamlet or wide spot in the road has its own character, culture, and citizenry.
Before you head out to experience America, make sure that your vehicle is up to the task. Nothing can spoil a trip faster than car trouble, especially if it could have been prevented. Keeping your regularly scheduled car maintenance up to date, and understanding a few "tricks of the trade" can help keep your vacation from becoming a mechanical nightmare, complete with bills for several thousands of dollars in car repair work.
Read the full article here...
Monday, May 16th, 2016
Are Cruise Ships Safe?
By Dori Saltzman
My sisters take at least one cruise a year. In honor of their love affair with cruises, I'm reposting this article from Cruise Critic. ~Paul
Are cruises safe? It's one of the most common questions we hear from cruise veterans and first-timers alike, especially after tragic occurrences are splashed across news headlines worldwide. To help you make informed decisions about cruise ship safety, Cruise Critic has broken down the most common cruise safety concerns.
The Internet has brought countless benefits into our lives. It offers instantaneous access to news and information, a forum for keeping in touch with loved ones and untold opportunities for earning an income or building a business. However, along with those benefits comes a dark side. Scammers.
Now that the flowers are beginning to bloom and warmer weather is on the way, there are some easy things anyone can do to save energy and money both around the house and at the office. Here are 10 energy saving tips courtesy of the Department of Energy:
The answer is simple... Yes, No and Maybe. That's not confusing at all is it? We have a yes, no and maybe because there are three vehicles involved in this incident. There is the car driven by Kathy Bates, the parked VW bug and the parked van (that the VW gets pushed into). Let's start with Kathy Bates.
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The various backgrounds of our people help assure we can relate to your situation. Our goal is to help you have the right coverage, at the right price and be satisfied at the most important time – when you have a claim. We understand you are not buying insurance: you are buying piece of mind to protect yourself, your business and your family.
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