5 Natural Disaster Facts

6 Questions to Ask Before Buying Car Insurance
You need coverage for your car. But what kind of insurance should you get, and how much coverage do you need? As you consider auto insurance policies, ask yourself the following questions to determine the best coverage for your vehicle.

Who? Will you be the only one driving your car? If you share the vehicle with others, such as a spouse or a teen driver, you’ll need to list them on your policy.

What? What type of vehicle do you drive? The year, make, and model of your car affect the price of insurance. Some types of cars require special policies, and others may be eligible for discounts due to strong safety records.

When? How often do you drive your car, and how far do you usually drive it? Your policy should reflect your typical use of the vehicle. If you rarely drive it, you may want to consider mileage-based insurance.

Where? Do you park your car on the street or in a garage? Do you drive your car in harsh environments or smooth conditions? Consider the risks your vehicle faces as you weigh your options for coverage.

Why? Why do you need coverage? Do you simply want to fulfill state legal requirements? Do you love your car and want to keep it scratch-free? Do you have a lease that requires specific coverage? The reason for your coverage should guide your policy choice.

How? How do you want to pay for your auto insurance? Monthly? Biannually? Consider your payment options, which may provide different benefits or discounts. You can also choose a higher deductible to lower your premium. Contact our office to review your options and determine the best coverage for you and your vehicle.


Shoot Pics Like a Pro on Your Next Vacation

Vacations call for mementos. We want to document every sunset, every dive off the dock, and every roasted marshmallow with a photo. And not just any photo, but a photo that perfectly captures the golden glow, wide smiles, and lush landscapes. This summer, make it your goal to take vacation photos that are frame-worthy. For iPhone shooters and SLR slingers alike, these tips will help take your snapshots from blah to beautiful.

Get high, get low. When you shoot every picture from the same angle, things start to get boring. Experiment with shooting from different angles and heights for more unique perspectives.

Capture candids. The best photos usually aren’t posed. Instead of wrangling the family to sit still for a picture, snap away as they’re building sandcastles, eating ice cream, and running out of the water. You’ll capture the sincerest expressions and memories.

Get up close and personal. Don’t be afraid to shoot close-ups – of food, details, faces, and more. This is especially true for smartphone cameras, which can produce dull images when the shot is too long.

Share the camera. The shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot, and the photographer always goes unphotographed. Make sure you pass the camera to someone else once in a while to capture your presence on the trip.

Use the right apps. Simple edits, when appropriate, can transform your images. You don’t have to be a Photoshop pro; phone apps like VSCO and Afterlight come with photographer-approved tools for adjusting brightness, cropping, and reducing shadows.


When Is It OK to Toss Your Kid’s Artwork?

Art gives youngsters a creative outlet, helps them develop both small and large motor skills, gives them a means to tell stories, and provides an accessible way of learning.

Children’s art is sweet and lovely, and there’s something special about the moment it is bestowed upon Mom or Dad to behold and admire.

Indeed, it’s the wish to prolong this moment that motivates many parents to keep and curate their children’s art for posterity. But childhood is composed of a thousand moments like this, which makes it hard to hold on to all of them.

Still, how can we part with any of our child’s endearing creations? Here are three strategies that can help.

First, keep in mind that children’s art is about its creation, not its preservation. It’s the act of doing/making the art that’s instructive and delightful for children. The experience and learning that occur will be preserved, even if every coloring-book page is not.

Second, use the fridge as a temporary gallery. Art can go on the fridge to be admired for a week or two. Then, if something is deemed worthy of saving, it can be placed in a memory box to be stored temporarily. At the end of the school year, save only truly special treasures as mementos.

Lastly, use technology to your advantage. Take a snapshot or a video of your child’s creations to store them digitally. Or take advantages of services such as plumprint.com that will make a book out of your kid’s artwork. These methods will preserve their Picassos – without making colorful paper mountains in your garage.


5 Natural Disaster Facts You Probably Don’t Know
Do natural disasters pose a threat to your home? It’s unlikely your home is completely free of risk. Consider the following National Geographic disaster facts that affect homeowners worldwide each season.

Tornado fact: Tornadoes occur most often between March and July, during the hours from 4 to 9 p.m. Tornado winds can whip up to 300 mph. That’s twice as fast as hurricane winds. These powerful twisters can quickly destroy homes in their path.

Lightning fact: A lightning flash can heat the air around it to five times hotter than the surface of the sun.

Contrary to popular belief, lightning can (and does) strike the same place twice. Rods and other materials such as plumbing and gutters can ground homes and offer protection from lightning.

Hurricane fact: Hurricanes cause “storm surges” when winds push ocean water onshore. These can reach heights of 20 feet and can cover several miles of inland territory.

Flooding and storm surges are two of the most threatening aspects of hurricanes. These storms can also generate tornadoes. Forecasts and evacuations are the best defense against the destruction of hurricanes.

Earthquake fact: Typically, a magnitude 8 earthquake hits somewhere every year.

Earthquakes claim the lives of 10,000 people annually; a majority of these tragedies are due to collapsing buildings. These disasters can also lead to other incidents, such as fires, tsunamis, and floods, that add to the destruction.

Wildfire fact: Four out of five wildfires are started by humans.

Every year, between four and five million acres of US land is cleared by wildfires. These infernos can move up to 14 mph, burning up everything in their path. Depending on your location, your property may be at risk for one or more of these incidents each season. Do you have the proper coverage?

Homeowners insurance can provide the protection you need. Reach out to our office to review your coverage. We’ll ensure you have the policies in place to help you recover if disaster strikes in your area.