First Community Financial Group, Inc. Blog
I wish I were kidding. As an on-the-go-mom, I have sympathy for parents trying to multi-task, but there are certain things that we MUST pay attention to. Leaving the kids in the car while grabbing a snack in the gas station may be a time-saver, but with the extreme heat that can take place across the country, saving time is something you don't want to test.
As a mom, I'm going to give you a blunt reminder during this hot weather:
DON'T LEAVE YOUR KIDS or PETS IN THE CAR ALONE—EVER!
Yesterday the temperature gage in my car read 93 degrees. This is the exact temperature that proves your car can become an oven in high temperatures. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, when it's 93 degrees outside:
Let's not forget our furry friends, too! If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for them.
Texas leads the country in hot car deaths since 1990. Here's your reminder to not leave your kid in the car | kvue.com
During the summer, the warm weather makes it easy for you to heat your grill and cook your favorite food outside. Not only is it tasty, but it can also save you the discomfort of heating your home (and paying a higher HVAC bill triggered by the extra cooling costs).
Ribs, chicken, burgers and vegetables all taste especially flavorful when grilled on a beautiful sunny day, and grilling is a great time to gather family and friends and spend some time together. This is a great way to socialize while still abiding by social distancing precautions that continue to affect multiple parts of the country.
Still, grilling is as risky as any other type of cooking. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments responded to nearly 9,000 residential fires caused by gas or charcoal barbecues between 2007 and 2011. But, if you are aware of the risks, you can go a long way towards keeping your family safe.
Always keep these safety tips in mind while grilling up your favorites.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many are choosing to take road trips because of the lower health and safety risks, and more affordable prices when weighed next to flying.
Long hours in the car still pose their fair share of risks, however. Therefore, if you are planning a summer road trip, you should always take the time to prepare for the worst. Simply put, the costs of getting ready for a trip will prove much lower than anything resulting from a mishap on the road.
Get Your Car Ready for Travel
When on a road trip, you will want to get where you’re going (and back) in one piece. A properly functioning vehicle can help you avoid both breakdowns and accidents, and you should make certain that your vehicle is in prime working order before you leave on your trip.
No matter what you do beforehand, your actions behind the wheel during a road trip will be the factors that ensure that your family remains safe. If you do not drive safely, then your risk of an accident will increase. All in all, when you set out on your trip, remember that you have precious cargo in hand.
What Is Farm Insurance?
Farm insurance (often sold as farm and ranch owners insurance) is a combination commercial and personal insurance product for farmers and ranchers that covers both their business and their home, as most farmers live on the property they use for their farming/ranching business. Farm and ranch owners insurance can provide coverage for a range of agricultural entities from small hobby farms to large corporate farms.
It depends on the policy, but farm and ranch Insurance can cover everything from structures and equipment to ranches and equine operations — in addition to personal homes, vehicles, and household property. Insureds can often tailor policies to fit their needs, no matter what type of agricultural operation they are running.
What Does Farm Insurance Cover?
Specific coverages offered vary by insurer, and policies can be custom-tailored to fit each farm or ranch’s needs. Generally, however, standard farm insurance includes a blend of commercial and personal insurance coverage for the following:
● Dwellings and personal contents against risks usually covered by a homeowners insurance policy
● Other private structures on the same property as the main insured structure
● Outbuildings or other farm structures (such as barns, machine sheds, detached garages, and more)
● Personal passenger and commercial vehicles against risks usually covered by a personal or commercial auto policy
● Machinery and farm equipment (such as tractors)
● Personal, commercial, and professional liability and legal fees for injury and damage to others on your farm
● Additional living expenses if you have to move out of your home due to a covered loss
Farm insurance covers livestock ranches, crop farmers, vineyards and wineries, and everything in between. Your Trusted Choice agent will review your unique ranch or farm operation with you to determine your specific needs — and then comparison shop among numerous insurers for you to find the most appropriate coverages at competitive prices.
What Doesn’t Farm Insurance Cover?
Farm Insurance usually does not cover the following, although coverage can typically be added onto a policy for an additional cost:
● “Agri-tainment,” or opening a farm to the public for activities on your property such as apple picking and hayrides
● Animal waste pollution
● Chemical drift (such as pesticide droplets drifting to areas other than the intended treated area)
● Crop damage due to various covered perils
● Disruption of farming operations due to a covered loss
● Damage to electric gates and fencing due to covered loss
● Employee benefits
● Fire (if your dwellings or structures aren’t located near an adequate water source for extinguishing fires)
● Replacement of irrigation systems
● Livestock and equine operations
● Transportation of property
● Workers’ compensation
Does Farm Insurance Cover Employees?
Farmers with employees can add additional coverages to their farm insurance policy to cover both employer and employees for risks that are specified as covered in the policy. Employer liability can protect farmers from costs associated with employee bodily injuries due to workplace accidents. Workers’ compensation can also be added to help with medical expenses for employees injured on the job and to ensure operations can continue after an employee injury.
Does Farm Insurance Cover Work Horses?
The equine operation is a unique aspect of farm and ranch businesses. Unlike livestock, horses typically are not owned to produce commodities (such as milk, wool, or meat) and instead are raised for various other uses including breeding, show, or work.
Additional coverage for equine operations is available to include in most farm insurance policies. Equine operations coverage typically will compensate for the death of horses due to sickness, disease, disaster, and theft. The amount of equine coverage needed will depend on the use of horses on the farm. For example, a horse bred for show or one used to herd cattle may need more coverage than a horse that is ridden only for pleasure — because the show or work horse is used to earn profit, while the pleasure horse is not.
Why Do I Need Farm Insurance?
Farms and ranches face many of the same perils and risks as homes and commercial businesses, such as fire, storms and theft. They also have a whole host of unique risks —including death of livestock or destruction of crops by hail, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). Farm Insurance allows you to package a variety of policies into one contract for the optimal coverage for your specific business.
Your farm or ranch is a home that generates income. Getting the right coverage is crucial to protect both.
Do I Need Farm Insurance if I Lease or Rent My Property to a Farmer?
The owner of a property that is used for farming or ranching has liability exposure whether or not they themselves do the farming, or if they rent or lease their land out to someone who does. For example, property owners can be liable if the renting farmer or rancher is injured on the property. So, farm insurance is a wise investment for farmland owners even if they rent or lease the property.
How Do I Get Farm Insurance?
A variety of insurance companies offer farm Insurance — and what’s covered under their policies can be just as varied. What one insurer considers a standard coverage can be considered an add-on by another.
A Trusted Choice agent in your area like First Community Financial Group can help you find the best coverage options for your needs. Your agent is a trained professional who will know your business and the carriers, or insurance companies, that provide the coverages you need. That agent will comparison shop for you to find appropriate coverage at competitive prices. Your Trusted Choice agent can give you peace of mind that you can keep your farming business and lifestyle going strong, no matter what risks come your way.
How Much Does Farm Insurance Cost?
Because coverage needs vary according to the unique characteristics of each farm or ranch operation, the cost of coverage will vary as well. With pieces of machinery and buildings valuing hundreds of thousands of dollars alone, insurance is a small price to pay now to prevent the downfall of your business due to an unforeseen calamity.
Working with your Trusted Choice agent at First Community Financial Group is the easiest way to ensure you get the best bang for your buck when it comes to farm insurance.
Summertime in Texas means spending long days in hot, sunny weather with your furry loved ones by your side. It's the perfect time for you and your pet to be more active. However, having a fur coat can pose some risks for your pets if they are in the sun for too long. Since they don't sweat like humans, they can overheat a lot faster than we can. But don't worry! There are plenty of precautions you can take to ensure they'll be safe and content in the summer heat. Here are five helpful tips to keep in mind while playing outside with your pet:
Content provided by https://www.foremost.com
Swimming is a favorite summer past-time. If you own a pool, you’re probably looking forward to the warm, sunny weather so you can enjoy swimming with your friends and family. However, it’s important to keep safety in mind if you are a pool owner. Many injuries occur every year in backyard swimming pools.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average, there were 397 reported pool-or-spa-related fatal drownings per year for 2016 through 2018. To prevent a tragedy from happening in your pool, consider the following six pool safety tips for families.
1. Always Supervise Young Swimmers
Children should always be supervised when they are in or near a pool. Supervision involves giving your full attention to the children swimming. This means that the adult responsible for supervising should not be texting, reading or doing any other activity. Drowning happens quickly and doesn’t typically involve cries for help. Instead, drowning is often silent. The best way to prevent drowning is to have someone focusing on the swimmers at all times.
2. Safely Use Pool Inflatables
Inflatables do not prevent drowning and therefore should not replace supervision. Children can still drown while wearing water wings or floating on a pool noodle. For children who are not strong swimmers, consider staying within arm’s length so you can assist quickly if needed.
3. Get CPR-certified
If you own a pool, you should be trained in CPR. That way if you encounter a situation in which you need to start resuscitation, you will know what to do. Victims that are treated with CPR immediately are more likely to have a positive outcome.
4. Sign Your Children Up for Swimming Lessons
When you own a pool, it’s a great idea to enroll your children in swimming lessons as soon as possible. They will learn how to tread water and float, as well as pool safety rules, such as never swim alone.
5. Safely Secure Your Pool
Consider adding a fence with a self-locking entrance around your pool for added security. Make sure a child cannot climb or squeeze through the fence. You can also use door alarms, locks and safety covers to go a step further in ensuring that no one is able to sneak into the pool unattended.
6. Increase Your Homeowners Liability Insurance
A backyard swimming pool provides a fun way to cool off and be active throughout the summer months. Following the above safety tips will help keep your family safe this summer as you enjoy cooling off in your pool. If you are looking forward to inviting friends over to enjoy the pool, you may want to review the liability coverage of your home insurance policy. Many home insurance policies include at least $25,000 of liability. Depending on whether your pool is above ground or in-ground, and if it has extra features such as a diving board or slide, you may want to increase liability insurance. If a guest is insured while swimming in your pool, the liability insurance can cover medical costs incurred.
If you are looking for assistance updating your homeowners insurance policy, we’re here to help! Contact us today for a quote!
Solar panels can be economically and environmentally sound, and they’re more accessible than ever. According to one research firm, U.S. homes and businesses installed a new system every four minutes in 2018.
But, is solar power right for you here in East Texas? It is sunny here a lot of the time, but to help you address the question here are five things to think about before making the switch:
1. The different options for installing a solar system. Oftentimes you don’t have to foot the full cost of going solar yourself. Instead, you may be able to lease a system from a company that installs and maintains it, or enter into an agreement where a third party actually owns the system and bills you (likely at a reduced rate) for electricity. Just keep in mind that installing and owning your own system may provide the best long-term return, and tax credits or rebates may help to lower upfront costs.
2. Your current energy costs — and your future needs. Depending on your situation, you could have relatively low energy bills now and not be as motivated to pursue solar as someone with higher costs. But what does the future look like? If your family is growing, your energy costs are probably about to grow, too, and investing in solar might be worth your while.
3. The power a system would generate. Have a reputable solar company measure the amount of sun your home gets, taking into account things such as shade, trees, etc., so you can make an informed decision about expected savings.
4. What your homeowners policy says. With any improvement that increases the value of your home, you need to make sure your insurance policy reflects the change. Give us a call to see if your policy already covers solar panels. If it doesn’t, we can help you amend it.
5. Your goals. Are you mainly looking to save money? Help the environment? Both? Knowing your goals will help you determine whether solar is the right choice for you, as well as which option makes the most sense. No matter what you choose, even considering solar means you’re thinking about energy a little differently. And that’s a good thing.
Renewable power – it can help protect your from rising energy costs and even power outages, not to mention the good it does for the environment. Just be sure to consider your options and all the costs involved before making the leap.
Content provided by Safeco Ins.
First Community Financial Group Incorporated (safeco.com)
What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is an insurance document that shows proof of financial responsibility and verification of auto liability coverage. The DMV may require you to provide an SR-22 in addition to your car insurance if you drive under the influence of a drug or alcohol, drive without proper insurance, are a habitual traffic offender, or are involved in a motor vehicle accident.
How does an SR-22 affect you?
An SR-22 must be carried for a designated time period, depending on the severity of your violations. Most offenders can expect to have an SR-22 for up to three years. During this time, you must maintain continuous liability coverage. Any break in coverage will be reported to the state, resulting in the suspension of your license. On top of securing adequate insurance, drivers with an SR-22 status should adhere to traffic laws and refrain from driving after alcohol consumption. After the proper fulfillment of this time period, a driver’s SR-22 status will expire, and driving privileges will be restored.
How much does an SR-22 cost?
The cost of premiums varies depending on the severity of your violations. Minor offenses, such as neglecting to pay a parking ticket, are often paired with more affordable policies. However, major offenses, such as drinking under the influence, are more likely to raise your premiums.
To get a free quote, call us today at First Community Financial Group for more information on SR-22 insurance.