Chipped windshield?

chipped-windshield-granadeWe receive many calls from our customers regarding chipped or cracked windshields on their vehicles. Usually this is due to a rock or some object from the road finding its way to your windshield while you are driving down the road. This is a good time to check and see if you have comprehensive coverage on that vehicle. What many people don’t know is that if you do have comprehensive coverage, many companies will repair your chipped windshield without you having to pay anything, not even a deductible. You want to make sure to call your agent as soon as you realize your windshield is damaged. If you don’t and the windshield becomes a larger crack, it may not be repairable anymore and may require a full windshield replacement. In this case, you will be responsible for paying your deductible, which in many cases is more than the cost of the entire windshield. Have you heard of ‘Full Glass‘ coverage? Your agent may have an option for this, as well.

Late last year we had a customer call that had two chips in their windshield that needed to be repaired at the same time. They did not have ‘Full Glass’ coverage at the time, so it was good that they called and got them repaired before the damage could get worse. Changes in weather may also cause a chip in your windshield to turn into a full replacement, as the chip can get worse and start to crack even more over time. Keep in mind that many chips in a windshield can be hard to see, so it is a good idea to look at your entire windshield from time to time to make sure there is no damage.

These chipped windshield occurrences happen more often than some people may think and we file claims fairly often for this. Some insurance companies offer some type of ‘Full Glass’ coverage so that whether your windshield is just chipped or even if it is severely damaged and needs to be replaced, your insurance will either pay for the full repair/replacement or may have a very small deductible so that you don’t have to pay for the entire repair. This is a good option for someone who travels a lot or someone that just wants that extra peace of mind. A windshield can be expensive to replace, so ask your agent for a quote on ‘Full Glass’ coverage.

Is Driving a Right or a Privilege?


Right is often used as a synonym for privilege, but Webster’s Dictionary defines a privilege as a SPECIAL RIGHT. I think that is an accurate definition in regard to our right to drive.

Most teenagers consider driving a “rite” of passage. This is a milestone in their quest for freedom. However, as adults we need to be sure that they understand the responsibilities that are attached to this right/privilege. They also need to understand the long range consequences of the misuse of this privilege.

If you are a parent, you may be well aware of the expense involved with adding a teenage driver to your personal auto policy. In our office we hear and see the shock and financial anxiety associated with this addition to a policy. Motor vehicle accident records and claim experience have caused insurance companies to place a high premium on providing coverage for these young, relatively inexperienced drivers.

Unfortunately, no driver – not even an experienced driver – is free from the possibility of an accident; however, age and experience can often prevent an accident. So perhaps before turning the keys and car over to your teenage driver, you might want to discuss guidelines that might prevent trouble down the road.

Trouble such as…

Personal injury/death to your child, your family or others

Property damage to autos, fences, buildings, truck tractor cargo, etc.

Financial damage from civil litigation/lawsuits



And of course…

Incarceration that might be the outcome of a serious motor vehicle accident – especially if it involves drugs or alcohol.


A driver’s license is a rite of passage of a sort – a move to a more adult season in the life of your teen. Celebrate its arrival, but a serious conversation might prevent this celebration from becoming a disaster.



Safe Driving Habits: Sound Protection Suggestions that can give you Peace of Mind

Is your website lonely? Maybe it's just unpopular.

geek-bear-nothingatallIf you own a business, be it big, medium or small, can you just stick a website out there on the internet and wait for the traffic to come in? Or is paying a company for “SEO” worth it? Unfortunately, it’s complicated. But on the bright side, it’s possible to do most of it yourself. In fact, it’s probably smarter (ie, more effective) if you do it yourself!


With the majority of people online using search engines, we all want our businesses to be relevant. But what if 150 other websites are relevant too? How does Google or any other search engine for that matter decide who makes the top of the list? At one time, it had a lot to do with keywords. The more words tagged on your site that matched the words that were typed in on a search, the higher up in the ranks you got. Simple.

But no more! There are just waaaay too many websites for that to work anymore. So, what’s a search engine to do? Enter website reputation. Gone are the days where Google looks at keywords. Google now cares more about what the web thinks of you. Google wants to know that you have relevant content that people are searching for. Here are the most important ways to get in good graces with search engines:

Hang out with the popular kids

Find ways to get links to your website from reputable websites.

Stay cool

Keep fresh, up-to-date content on your site.

Don’t be a square

Make sure your website looks good on a phone as well as a desktop.

Major on the majors

Include lots of keywords in your content.

Keep it real

Make sure your relevant content is natural to read and not forced.

Run with the big dogs

Sign up for as many webmaster services as possible (ie, Google webmaster tools, analytics, maps, etc).

Shout outs

Get reviews on the big sites (Google, Yelp).

Don’t get chumped

Make sure you know that your site is secure. A hack is identity theft – not good for reputations.

Chill out

Be patient. Reputations aren’t built over night.

Check yo’self

Search for you and your company online. Pay attention not only to search engines, but also directories.

The biggest thing is being an active player. If Google catches you on the sidelines, you’ll lose ranking. Have an active Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linked In and Instagram accounts. Post to each of them at least a few times a week. And try to post content that no one else can. Pictures that you took will be much more interesting than re-posts. Also, link to your website from those accounts on a regular basis.

And one way to have fresh content on your website is to keep a blog. Show off your expertise in the field. Share stories and experiences where you’ve learned something. Even if you messed up. Trust will bring readers back. Plus, blog articles are great content for social media feeds.

Maintaining a reputation online isn’t easy. It could possibly consume hours every day. But isn’t life more fun when you’re all-in?


Is your loan worth more than your vehicle?

car-in-flood-ikexPop Quiz: When insuring a new vehicle, does the insurance company insure what the vehicle is worth or how much the person owes on the vehicle loan?

Not everyone associates their vehicle loan with their vehicle insurance. Have you heard of loan/lease payoff coverage? Some companies may call it ‘gap’ coverage. This coverage is intended to help pay for a portion or possibly the entire difference between what you owe on a vehicle loan and what the vehicle is actually worth at the time of a covered loss. Surprisingly, this is usually a fairly inexpensive coverage that can be added to your policy when you carry comprehensive and collision coverage on the particular vehicle.

Here’s a good example: One of our customers in the Lake Martin area had purchased a new vehicle a few years back. They opted to take the loan/lease payoff coverage, and thankfully so. During a period of heavy rain, a flash flood occurred and totaled their new vehicle. After being examined by the adjuster, it appeared their vehicle was worth about $3,700 less than what they had left to pay off on their loan. But, with their loan/lease payoff coverage, the insurance company was able to cover that additional amount so that our insured did not have to take that money out of their pocket. So when taking out a loan or a lease on a vehicle, hopefully you will consider this coverage and decide to ask your agent about it.