5 Safety Tips for New Motorcycle Riders

If you’re new to motorcycle riding, you’ll want to take every precaution to stay safe on the road. Riding safely protects you and those around you. The following safety tips can apply to both new and experienced riders.

Take a Course on Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle safety courses provide valuable input for new riders. They give you a chance to hone your riding skills, learn how to handle emergency situations and become familiar with traffic laws in your state. You’ll also learn safety tips that can help you be a better rider. Even experienced riders can benefit from a refresher course on motorcycle safety.

Choose Your Bike Wisely

Motorcycles vary in type, size, and power. As a newbie, you should stick to a bike you can handle, taking into consideration your limited abilities and skills. Once you’ve gained experience, you can always invest in a more powerful model.

Inspect Your Motorcycle Regularly

Before you hit the road, take time to inspect your motorcycle to make sure everything’s working properly. Check the brakes, lights, mirrors, and tires. A basic inspection won’t take long and could save you from having an accident.

Wear Safety Gear

If your bike is your main form of transportation around Opelika AL, you should invest in proper clothing for riding. First and foremost, get a full-face DOT approved helmet. You can also consider buying motorcycle gloves, boots, and pants. A leather jacket offers protection against the elements and could save you from road burns in the event of an accident.

Avoid Inclement Weather

Whenever possible, avoid riding your bike in bad weather. If the forecast calls for rain, sleet, or snow, leave your bike at home.

Don’t forget to get motorcycle insurance from Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL before hitting the road. To learn more about insurance options and costs, contact an agent from Elliott & Associates Insurance.

Boat Insurance Basics

At Lake Martin, owning a boat means that you, your family, and friends will have hours of fun on the open water. Whether it is time spent enjoying nature or fishing, boating is enjoyable for the whole family. Owning a boat, however, is a big responsibility, so you want to protect it and yourself with the appropriate amount of insurance. There are not only the risks that you encounter while on the water, but there are also those when you are transporting the boat to and from the water.  While boat owners want to protect their investment, it can be difficult to wade through the myriad of options available to boat owners. How do you know which policy is right for you? The team at Elliott & Associates Insurance are the experts in boating insurance. They will talk to you about the type of watercraft you have and how you use it. This will help them to steer you toward the insurance policies that best suit your needs.

As boats are expensive to repair or replace if there is an accident, you want the peace of mind that you have the coverage you need should an accident occur.  Though not required by law, having liability coverage is essential if there is an accident or property damage in an accident where you are deemed to be at fault.  Policies can also cover events such as oil spills from your boat, if your boat sinks, is stolen, or vandalized. To help you through the policy options, talk with your agent at Elliott & Associates. With their knowledge of boating in the Opelika, AL area, they will ensure that you have the right coverage. Give them a call or visit today to discuss your options for the coverage you need!

Self-driving, shmelf-driving

Some insurance companies are predicting that in ten years, all cars on the road will be self-driving. What does a world full of autonomous vehicles look like? Will families even own their own cars ten years from now? Or will we have public cars droning around waiting for their next passenger?

This all may seem like a long shot, but Honda says it has plans to roll out a fully electric self-driving car in Europe next year (http://carsoverviews.com/2019-honda-urban-ev/). Not only will the car be able to take you to work, but it will also have the ability to carry passengers around town for a fee while you’re at the office. That means that your car can earn you money while you work. All that and still charge itself, pick you up and have you home by dinner.

I’m sure you’ve thought about all of the things that could go wrong in that scenario. We won’t think about all the things strangers might do and spill in your shiny electric vehicle, but I think it’s worth thinking about what this might mean from a legal standpoint.

First of all, the technology isn’t quite ready yet. In tests, these types of cars haven’t been able to handle situations as simple as a pedestrian standing on a street-corner waving the car by because he doesn’t plan on crossing. If it fails that test, what other situations have we overlooked?

Also, as we’ve learned from laptops and smartphones, it’s not the times when it is working well that we have problems, but the times when there are delays, glitches and sometimes even crashes. What happens when your self-driving car’s computer crashes (pun intended)?

But perhaps the biggest question we are going to have to decide as a society is, who owns the liability for a car that drives itself? If Honda takes the liability, what stipulations would they put on it? That it must be serviced at a Honda dealership for its entire lifetime? And what about when the driver wants to use the car manually (the Honda Urban EV has that option)? Is the manufacturer still liable?

If insurance companies agree to assume liability, an entire new product will need to be created with laws to regulate it. If that day comes, we can only assume that premiums will be determined by how autonomous your car is (the experts say that computers are better at driving than humans: https://www.businessinsider.com/why-driverless-cars-will-be-safer-than-human-drivers-2016-11).  But will you need to tell your agent how often you will drive manually? Or even register every time you are about to drive, giving insurance a more a la carte feeling?

And what if we get all the laws and liability set in stone only to have hackers start taking over and crashing autonomous vehicles? Who would be liable then?

Honestly, we’re not sold on the idea that good ‘ol human-driven cars are on the way out. Technology is usually much slower to be adopted than it is ever predicted to be. And the day someone converts my ’70 Mustang to an autonomous car is the day I sell it.



Can Someone Please Give Me a Clear Explanation of Umbrella Insurance?

When you invest in insurance policies, you will at first need to decide which types of policies you need. If you are the owner of a vehicle, then you need to get an auto insurance policy. You will need to choose an insurance company, like Elliott & Associates Insurance serving Opelika, AL, to make sure you are fully covered. Another type of insurance you may want to consider buying is umbrella insurance.

What is umbrella insurance?

Many people are confused when they hear the term umbrella insurance. Either they have never heard of it before, or they don’t understand what it is. Thankfully, though, it’s not that difficult to understand once you have someone give you a simple explanation of it.

This type of insurance is a form of extra liability insurance. It does not stand as a type of insurance by itself. Instead, it serves the purpose of paying out benefits if your regular policy is exhausted. For example, if your auto policy reaches its limit of paying out $25,000 for bodily injury. If your medical bills exceed this amount, an umbrella policy could be of the utmost benefit. It can also be used with home insurance, commercial insurance, and many other policies. It can also help you with liability and lawsuits should they arise.

Many people think that umbrella insurance is really expensive. What they don’t realize is that this insurance is not just for the wealthy. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of purchasing umbrella insurance, please contact Elliott & Associates Insurance serving the Opelika, AL area today.

How Likely Is A Flood In Alabama?

Southern states do not have it easy when it comes to flooding risks. Being this close to the Gulf of Mexico means that every Summer you need to have one eye on the weather reports so that you’ll be prepared come hurricane season. In Alabama, we can even see flooding well outside of hurricane season. Parts of the state were on warning as early as February of this year. Flooding is one of our chief environmental hazards in Alabama. It’s always going to be a concern, so it’s important to be prepared.

Preparing for Hurricane Season

Being prepared means having an evacuation plan should the next hurricane season be a rough one. Having friends you can stay with should something happen is important, as is making sure that you have flood insurance. Elliott & Associates Insurance can help to make sure that you are covered in the event of flood damages, but no matter who you get covered with, make sure to get covered.

From Auburn to Opelika, AL, the humid climate, and natural surroundings can make flooding particularly disastrous. It can take weeks to dry out a home that has been hit by flooding. This is not to say that you will definitely be hit by a flood at some point or other, but you are always going to be at a higher-than-average rate of risk for flooding. Call Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL, have a backup plan, and be ready should your home wind up a casualty of hurricane season. Our agents are standing by to talk to you about how you can start your flood insurance policy.

More People Qualify for Life Insurance Than You May Think

If you are older, that doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for life insurance. While age does play a small role in the process, a life insurance company tends to focus on your health. Even if you do have a few health problems, you may still qualify for life insurance from Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL.

Your Medical Background 

During an examination, you’ll have to ask questions regarding your medical history, such as any surgeries you’ve had or any medications you take. You’ll also need to reveal any nonprescription medications you take. Keep in mind, you take blood and urine tests, so honesty is vital because anything you don’t admit to could show up during your test.

Body mass index (BMI) plays a role in whether you qualify for a life insurance policy and what your rate is. A higher BMI means you’re overweight and more prone to certain life-threatening health conditions.

Medical Testing 

During your exam, you’ll need to have your blood pressure and pulse taken to help detect any cardiovascular issues, including hypertension. A higher pulse could indicate a hormonal imbalance or another serious condition.

After having your vitals taken, you’ll then have to undergo a saliva and blood tests as well as a urinalysis. These tests help detect any health conditions like hepatitis. The entire process determines the quality of your overall health. Many minor conditions don’t affect your overall health and therefore doesn’t play a role in you obtaining a life insurance policy. Depending on the condition, it might not change your rate much, so before you think you’re not healthy enough for life insurance, at least have the physical conducted.

For a quote for life insurance and to discuss your eligibility, contact Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL by calling 334-745-0888.

How to Tell if You Need Commercial Insurance for Your Business

Owning a business is something that is very exciting and exhilarating. However, it can also be very stressful. As a business owner, you want to do everything that you can in order to protect your business from anything possible. There are a lot of things that you can do to provide this kind of protection. However, the best thing you can do for your business in Auburn or Opelika, AL is get a commercial insurance policy from Elliott & Associates Insurance. If you are still not sure whether you need a policy or not, consider some of the benefits and reasons below.

Commercial Insurance for Your Business

The great thing about a commercial insurance policy is that they are all unique and made to fit the specific needs of the business. That means that a commercial policy that you get will be made for your business and provide all of the types of coverage that you need. A commercial insurance policy will also not only protect your business from things like a fire or a burglary, it can also protect you from your employees and also protect your employees in the process. It is the type of insurance policy that is multi-faceted and made to protect you from all kinds of things that can happen. You do not want to get caught without this type of coverage because without it, and there are things can destroy and/or bankrupt your company in the blink of an eye.

Now that you know how important a commercial insurance policy is for your business, you need to get one in place as soon as possible. Be sure to reach out to us here at Elliott & Associates Insurance, serving Auburn and Opelika, AL, today. We can provide you with a free quote and will make sure that your policy meets your needs and your budget.

Is Earth Movement a Standard Coverage in Your Home Insurance?

Home insurance policies are usually referred to as “all-risk” insurance covers. While this is true in most instances, home insurance policies may not insure all risks that may cause loss of property or damage to your home. One of the commonly excluded risks is the earth movement, which excludes earthquakes.

The reason it is referred to as earth movement is that the exclusion is much wider than just earthquakes. Numerous types of moving or shifting earth are usually not covered by your insurance policy. You may be surprised to find out that some of these perils may be very difficult to insure, no matter the amount of premium you are willing to contribute. An earth movement policy is not something required in Alabama. You should, therefore, look for an insurance company such as Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL which will take care of every need you may have.

Earth Movement Exclusions

The standard home insurance coverage’s definition of excluded earth movement extends to include shifting, sinking, contracting, or expanding earth. All these exclusions can also be combined with water or not. This implies that if you think of earth movement as seismic activity and earthquakes, you will miss out on some key exclusions that may result in large uninsured damages to your home.

  • Sinking – When the ground beneath your home settles, this is known as sinking. Poor compaction or erosion can lead to sinking.
  • Rising – This is the opposite of sinking. When the soil beneath your home rises, this is called rising. While rain or water may result in erosion, then too much water may lead to expansion.
  • Shifting – Rising and sinking usually covers the vertical movements while shifting covers the lateral movements.
  • Expanding – This complements rising earth. In fact, it expounds on the possibility of earth expanding.
  • Contracting – Sinking earth is quite the same as to contracting earth.

For a more comprehensive coverage of your home insurance, you will need to look for an insurance company such as Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL that can walk you through the process. Reach out to our agents to learn more about your home insurance policy.