Evergreen Insurance News http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog en Copyright 2021 Evergreen Insurance, Inc. Sat, 12 Jun 2021 01:31:00 GMT Evergreen Insurance News Why You May Need Personal Offense Coverage http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2021/06/why-you-may-need-personal-offense-coverage Sat, 12 Jun 2021 01:31:00 GMT http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/p/59636 Personal Insurance <figure class="article_figure"><img src="/images/sc/1851415.v1622732403.jpg" alt="White Smartphone" width="750" height="430"/><figcaption><svg aria-hidden="true" focusable="false" role="img" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 512 512" width="16" height="16"><path fill="currentColor" d="M512 144v288c0 26.5-21.5 48-48 48H48c-26.5 0-48-21.5-48-48V144c0-26.5 21.5-48 48-48h88l12.3-32.9c7-18.7 24.9-31.1 44.9-31.1h125.5c20 0 37.9 12.4 44.9 31.1L376 96h88c26.5 0 48 21.5 48 48zM376 288c0-66.2-53.8-120-120-120s-120 53.8-120 120 53.8 120 120 120 120-53.8 120-120zm-32 0c0 48.5-39.5 88-88 88s-88-39.5-88-88 39.5-88 88-88 88 39.5 88 88z"></path></svg><a href="https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-smartphone-1851415/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span>White Smartphone</span></a> by <a href="https://www.pexels.com/@cristian-dina-924373" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span>Cristian Dina</span></a></figcaption></figure> <p>In today’s digital world, slander and libel lawsuits are more common than you may think. Comments made in haste or anger on social media can have lasting and far-reaching effects on a person’s reputation or character, so it’s easier than ever to libel, slander, or invade a person’s privacy. Even if you apologize, you can still be sued. Due to the wide reach of social media, claim damages can be substantial, not to mention the cost of hiring an attorney and other legal fees you would incur.</p> <p>What’s more, posts or other online comments made by a minor can also be subject to a lawsuit. So if you have teens or other children who use social media, you may be at risk for something they say or write online. Consider the following scenario.</p> <p>Your son was crushed after being cut from the football team, so he retaliated by writing some false and unflattering comments on social media about the head coach. These comments quickly spread through the school and the community at large. The coach then sued the boy’s parents for harming his professional reputation, a claim that could cost them thousands of dollars in legal fees and damages.</p> <p>Or imagine this:</p> <p>You write a scathing online review of a restaurant where you had a poor experience. Though you had some legitimate gripes, you went too far by claiming they served you outdated, potentially rotten meat without offering evidence to support the accusation. In return, the restaurant filed a lawsuit against you, and you’re forced to defend yourself.</p> <p>Personal offense coverage can provide protection against such situations. Plus, it’s affordable.</p> <p><strong><span class="_4yxo">What Personal Offense Insurance Covers</span></strong></p> <p>While personal offense coverage is included with some policies, it is optional for most coverage levels.</p> <p>This coverage offers you broad protection against a variety of lawsuits and damages related to a such offenses as:</p> <ul> <li>False arrest, detention, or imprisonment</li> <li>Malicious prosecution</li> <li>Libel, slander, or defamation of character</li> <li>Invasion of privacy</li> <li>Wrongful eviction or entry</li> </ul> <p>To assess your risk and to learn more about this valuable yet often overlooked coverage option, give us a call today.</p> <p class="article_credit"><a title="Why You Need Personal Offense Coverage" href="https://www.facebook.com/notes/safeco-insurance/why-you-need-personal-offense-coverage/10156340540866254/">Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2021/06/why-you-may-need-personal-offense-coverage">Read the full article at www.evergreen-insurance.com</a> </p> I Just Bought a New Car. What Insurance Coverage Do I Need? http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2020/07/i-just-bought-a-new-car-what-insurance-coverage-do-i-need Fri, 17 Jul 2020 09:09:00 GMT http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/p/53389 Auto Insurance <p>Congratulations! After weeks of research, comparing makes and models, and taking test drives you finally bought that brand-new car you wanted. But before you take that well-deserved road trip, check one more item off your list: the right car insurance.<br></p> <p>While some auto coverage options are essential whatever the age of your car, new vehicles may carry some additional risks you should know about. So before leaving the lot, give us a quick call to discuss the possible coverage options:<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>New vehicle replacement. </strong>Here’s how this coverage works: If you’re the original owner of a new car that is totaled or stolen within one year of purchase, you’ll be paid the full value of the car you lost or a comparable model. Without this policy, you may have to settle for something less than new.</p> <p><strong>Loan and lease coverage. </strong>Consider what could happen if you financed your new car and then it was totaled or stolen soon after buying it. Not only would you lose your new ride, you’d still be on the hook for your entire loan balance &mdash; which would be more than the car was worth. With loan and lease coverage, you’d get a check to cover the gap between what’s left on your loan and the depreciated value of your car.</p> <p><strong>Audio-visual and custom equipment coverage.</strong> If you’re an avid music fan who enjoys a custom sound system or DVD player, this coverage protects you for the full value of any A/V equipment not installed at the factory or dealership. It also covers such modifications as roll bars, certain custom engine parts, lift kits, special wheels, artwork, decals, and other personal touches.</p> <p><strong>OEM parts replacement. </strong>OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are often preferable to other aftermarket parts because they are made specifically for your make and model of vehicle. So if you want your Honda repaired with Honda parts, or your Mercedes to only have official Mercedes parts, this coverage is for you. When you buy this optional coverage, it’s added to your existing Comprehensive and Collision coverage so that all repairs or replacements made to your damaged car will include new OEM parts where available.</p> <p>You invested in a new car. So be sure your investment extends to the right auto policy as well. To learn more protecting your new vehicle, give us a call today!</p> <p class="article_credit"><a title="I Just Bought a New Car. What Insurance Coverage Do I Need?" href="https://www.facebook.com/notes/safeco-insurance/i-just-bought-a-new-car-what-insurance-coverage-do-i-need/10156649530321254/">Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2020/07/i-just-bought-a-new-car-what-insurance-coverage-do-i-need">Read the full article at www.evergreen-insurance.com</a> </p> Evergreen Insurance partners with local restaurants to give away free lunches! http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2020/05/evergreen-insurance-partners-with-local-restaurants-to-give-away-free-lunches Wed, 13 May 2020 01:48:00 GMT http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/p/53170 Christie Soanka <p>Evergreen Insurance is a locally owned and operated insurance agency served Vancouver and Clark County, WA for almost 20 years. We take great pride in our agency and in the service we provide to our clients and to our community.&nbsp;As your Independent Agent we offer choice,&nbsp;provide a high level of service, and we give back to our community.&nbsp;Your satisfaction is key to our success, and that satisfaction goes far beyond just selling insurance policies. We take pride in supporting our community and our local businesses.</p> <p>During these challenging times, we must support one another, and we want to pass along a little bit of positivity to our customers, who we consider family. That’s why Evergreen Insurance is excited to buy lunch from a local restaurant for a family of four in the community every week! </p> <p>Here’s how it works: </p> <p>Every week, we’ll announce the restaurant of the week that we’ve partnered with in a special Facebook post. To enter the raffle, you must: </p> <ul> <li>Like our page (if you haven’t already) </li><li>Like the restaurants Facebook page </li><li>Then comment on the original post below by tagging who you’ll share lunch with and the phrase written in the weekly post&nbsp;</li></ul> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> Share this post with your friends & family so they can also get a chance at a free lunch. Maybe they will invite you to lunch if they win! </p> <p><strong>Guidelines:</strong><span></span> </p> <p>We’ll verify your likes, tags, and randomly select one lucky winner to have their lunch delivered the following week or if the restaurant is open for dine-in, winner can choose that option. Winner must live within 20-miles of restaurant location (if meal is being delivered) & claim their prize by responding via phone or text. Evergreen Insurance will tag the winner in the comment feed and ask them to contact Christie at Evergreen Insurance to arrange delivery of lunch or dine-in option. If delivery cannot be fulfilled or the winner is outside 20-mile radius from the restaurant or does not want to dine-in, Evergreen Insurance will purchase a gift card for the winner instead. </p> <p>Questions? Local restaurant nominations? Email Christie at <a href="mailto:christie@evergreen-insurance.com">christie@evergreen-insurance.com</a><span></span> </p> <p> <a href="http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2020/05/evergreen-insurance-partners-with-local-restaurants-to-give-away-free-lunches">Read the full article at www.evergreen-insurance.com</a> </p> Is your home as efficient as it could be? An energy audit can tell you http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2019/01/is-your-home-as-efficient-as-it-could-be-an-energy-audit-can-tell-you Wed, 16 Jan 2019 10:06:00 GMT http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/p/43694 Homeowner Insurance <p>Drafty windows. Leaky faucets. Dirty air filters.</p> <p>All are common issues in homes across the country, and they’re not just annoying&mdash;they also cost you money in decreased energy efficiency and higher bills.</p> <p>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program estimates that homeowners can save 5% to 30% on annual energy costs by incorporating technologies to make their homes operate more efficiently. Think that’s not a big deal? Based on typical energy costs, it could mean savings ranging from $105 to $627, according to Energy Star.</p> <p>That sounds pretty good to us. And even if you’re not the handiest person when it comes to home maintenance, checking your energy efficiency is something you can easily do yourself. (Although if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, Energy Star recommends a <a href="https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/home-energy-audits/professional-home-energy-audits" target="_blank" rel="noopener">professional home-energy audit</a>.)</p> <p>Just follow the tips below&mdash;you’ll see where your home loses energy, how efficient your heating and cooling systems are, and ways you can decrease your electricity use.</p> <p>First, just for reference, here’s how the average energy bill breaks down:</p> <ul> <li>Heating: 29%</li> <li>Electronics: 21%</li> <li>Water heating: 13%</li> <li>Cooling: 13%</li> <li>Appliances: 12%</li> <li>Light: 12%</li> </ul> <p><strong>Where’s the air?</strong><br> Air commonly leaks from homes through gaps around baseboards, electrical outlets and windows or doors&mdash;if you feel like you’re running the heat all the time to no avail, that warm air might be escaping. Stopping these drafts can save up to 30 percent of your yearly energy costs (it will keep the cool air inside during the summer, too). Be sure to check your home’s exterior as well, paying particular attention to areas where two different building materials meet. When you find leaks, seal them with caulk or weather stripping.</p> <p><strong>Don’t wait to insulate</strong><br> Check to see if you have enough insulation in your ceiling and walls. The attic door or hatch should be insulated and close tightly. For walls, make a small hole in a closet or other inconspicuous place and probe into the wall with a screwdriver&mdash;if the area isn’t completely filled with insulation, you’re probably losing heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.</p> <p><strong>Check your furnace and AC systems</strong><br> Heating and cooling systems that work correctly and efficiently can save you frustration as well as money. Make sure ducts and pipes are insulated properly, and have your equipment checked and cleaned by a professional each year. Filters for forced-air furnaces should be replaced as soon as they are dirty, or every 30 to 60 days.</p> <p><strong>Let there be (efficient) light</strong><br> More than half of the light sockets in the U.S. still contain an inefficient bulb, according to Energy Star&mdash;and the average home has about 70 sockets! LED bulbs use about 90% less energy than regular bulbs, and they last a lot longer, too. Many will still be going after 20 years.</p> <p><strong>See how your home stacks up</strong><br> Energy Star also offers a Home Energy Yardstick that allows you to compare your home’s efficiency to similar homes across the country and get advice on how to improve. It takes just five minutes. <a href="https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=HOME_ENERGY_YARDSTICK.showGetStarted" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Learn more here</a>.</p> <p>Anyone can take steps to save energy&mdash;whether you’re a hardcore do-it-yourselfer or someone simply tired of sending a big check to the power company every month. Just don’t forget what might be the most important thing of all after you finish your audit and make your home more efficient: deciding how to spend the money you’ll save!</p> <p class="article_credit"><a title="Is your home as efficient as it could be? An energy audit can tell you" href="https://www.safeco.com/blog/home-energy-audit">Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2019/01/is-your-home-as-efficient-as-it-could-be-an-energy-audit-can-tell-you">Read the full article at www.evergreen-insurance.com</a> </p> Five Common (and Potentially Costly) Homeowner Mistakes http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2018/11/five-common-and-potentially-costly-homeowner-mistakes Sat, 03 Nov 2018 00:38:00 GMT http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/p/42581 Homeowner Insurance Safety <p>Owning a home is usually a great experience. But it can also be a hassle, especially when unexpected issues pop up&mdash;whether you have a minor breakdown or a major catastrophe, it’s almost certainly going to require time and money to fix.</p> <p>In many instances, however, those “unexpected” issues shouldn’t really be a surprise at all, because they’re often caused by a lack of maintenance or other oversights by homeowners. And not just new homeowners, either; it’s common for people who have been in a home for years to neglect even some of the most basic tasks that can prevent problems down the road.</p> <p>Here are five mistakes we often see homeowners make&mdash;and tips from experts to help you avoid them.</p> <ol> <li><p><strong>Forgetting about (or ignoring) the small stuff.</strong> The toilet that runs constantly? That faucet with a slow drip? The little crack in that one board on the deck? They might not seem like big problems, but they can turn into bigger issues over time. For example, a leaky faucet or running toilet might mean your water bill is higher than it should be. And that small crack can lead to rot, which could lead to having to replace the board&mdash;or the entire deck. When you see “small” things around the house, take steps to address them as soon as you can, because it likely will be a lot easier (and cheaper) today or tomorrow than a year from now.</p></li> <li><p><strong>Not doing regular checks around the house.</strong> Speaking of seeing things around the house, how often do you look around the house? You’d be surprised how many homeowners haven’t been in their attic or crawlspace for years. It’s a good idea to do a walk-through periodically to look for issues such as leaks, areas of wear or other problems. And don’t forget to go outside! How is your roof looking? Do you see any cracks in your siding? Are the seals around your doors and windows solid? It’s important to catch those things before the rainy season begins in fall and winter.</p></li> <li><p><strong>Skipping maintenance on your appliances.</strong> Not only will keeping your appliances in good shape ensure they work effectively and prolong their lifespan, maintenance also can prevent serious risks. For example, when was the last time you cleaned out your dryer exhaust vent? No, not the screen you pull out when you’re doing laundry, but the one on the back or side. Too much lint buildup there can cause a fire&mdash;so clean it out at least once a year. You also should check the hoses connected to your washing machine and dishwasher. Are they worn? Do they need to be replaced? Do it now, before one fails when you’re not at home and causes significant water damage. Other tips:</p> <ul> <li>Clean your refrigerator coils at least once a year.</li> <li>Clear out your dishwasher’s food filter regularly.</li> <li>Vacuum up dust and other debris in window air conditioners before you start using them each year.</li> <li>Remember to test your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors twice a year, installing fresh batteries each time.</li> </ul> <br> </li> <li><p><strong>Neglecting other systems.</strong> Your HVAC system needs attention so it won’t fail when you need it most. Having your furnace, heat pump and/or central AC unit serviced each year before you start using them heavily will alert you to any potential problems. You don’t want to find out that your furnace is out of whack when it’s 30 degrees outside, or that your AC is on the fritz when it’s 95. Change filters at the appropriate intervals, and if it’s been a while since you’ve had your ducts cleaned, consider that as well.</p></li> <li><p><strong>Not having a home warranty.</strong> Despite your best maintenance efforts, that air conditioner might break down, leaving you sweltering in the summer. The water heater could stop working, meaning cold showers every morning. Or the refrigerator suddenly won’t get very cold anymore. These things sometimes just happen, and if your appliance is out of warranty, you’re on the hook.</p></li> </ol> <p>Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so it pays to be diligent about caring for it. Keep your eyes open around the house. Don’t hesitate to get out the tools, or call a professional if needed. Remember, prevention is the best medicine&mdash;and that old saying holds true just as much for your home’s health as it does for yours.</p> <p class="article_credit"><a title="Five Common (and Potentially Costly) Homeowners Mistakes" href="https://www.safeco.com/blog/homeowners-mistakes">Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2018/11/five-common-and-potentially-costly-homeowner-mistakes">Read the full article at www.evergreen-insurance.com</a> </p> What to Do After a Car Accident in Winter http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2016/02/what-to-do-after-a-car-accident-in-winter Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:29:00 GMT http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/p/21571 Auto Insurance Safety <p>Freezing temperatures, gusts of wind, patches of ice – winter can be a horrible time to be on the road, especially if you’re on vacation and aren’t used to driving in winter conditions. And, it’s an even worse time to get into a car accident. </p><p>But, with reduced visibility, slick roads and maybe even a reckless driver or two, accidents are bound to happen. So, what should you do if you experience one? Follow these five guidelines to help you stay safe while you wait for help to arrive after a car accident in winter: </p><ol> <li><b>Respond calmly</b>. Your first instinct following any car accident may be to jump out of the car and give the other driver(s) a piece of your mind. But, given traffic and road conditions, it may not be safe for you to get out of your vehicle at all (and, it’s never safe to act aggressively toward others). So, stay in your car, take a deep breath, turn on your hazard lights and check yourself and others for injuries. Keep in mind that, if you’re in shock, you may not notice your own injuries at first. If needed, call 911 to request medical and traffic assistance. </li><br> <li><b>Get off the road</b>. If a minor accident leaves your car operable and no one involved requires emergency first aid, make clearing the roadway your next priority. Have all vehicles pull well off the road to reduce the chances of causing another accident. Just proceed with caution, especially if visibility is low. Other drivers on the road need extra time to react to slow-moving vehicles. </li><br> <li><b>If you can’t get off the road, stay in your car</b>. Walking around the roadway is extremely dangerous if other cars are around, particularly with stormy weather and slick roads making it difficult for drivers to respond to unexpected hazards. So, stay in your car and fasten your seatbelt, in case another collision occurs. Wait there for assistance and instructions from emergency personnel. Or, if your car isn’t safe to be in, seek other protection.</li><br> <li><b>Stay visible, stay warm, stay put</b>. Put up warning triangles and road flares, if you have them. Otherwise, tie a bright piece of cloth on your antenna or door handle so your vehicle is visible to others. If you’re running the engine to stay warm (make sure your tailpipe isn’t clogged with mud or snow or you risk being exposed to carbon monoxide), also turn on your running lights. Your vehicle emergency kit, stocked with blankets, extra clothing and more, will come in handy until emergency responders arrive. Staying put is typically safer than heading out to seek help – if you leave, you risk getting lost. Plus, leaving the scene of a serious accident can result in monetary fines.</li><br> <li><b>Collect pertinent details and report the accident</b>. After any accident, it’s important to exchange insurance information with the other driver(s), jot down notes about what happened and even snap a few photos – just be sure not to put yourself in harm’s way in order to do so. Then contact your insurance carrier to file a claim and your roadside assistance service to request help.</li> </ol> <p>What if you come across an accident involving others? As long as they aren’t in immediate danger, your best bet is likely to call 911 and let the appropriate local authorities respond. Pulling over to help could cause additional problems, such as distracting other drivers and causing an accident yourself. </p> <p>Remember, winter driving can be as unpredictable as the weather. So, keep your phone charged and your gas tank full, and slow down so you have extra time to respond – you need it when the roads are slick!</p> <p class="article_credit"><a title="What to Do After a Car Accident in Winter" href="http://www.safeco.com/blog-detail/what-to-do-after-a-car-accident-in-winter/1240029899643">Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2016/02/what-to-do-after-a-car-accident-in-winter">Read the full article at www.evergreen-insurance.com</a> </p> How to Avoid Animal-Vehicle Collisions http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2016/01/how-to-avoid-animal-vehicle-collisions Sat, 09 Jan 2016 16:14:00 GMT http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/p/21009 Auto Insurance Safety <p>About 2 million times every year, animals and cars collide on U.S. roadways — often causing serious and even fatal injuries to drivers and passengers, along with about $1 billion in damage, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. </p><p>And, these collisions spike in the fall and winter, thanks to migration and mating patterns, as well as reduced visibility caused by shorter days and weather conditions. </p><p>As random as these collisions might seem, there are things you can do to improve your chances of avoiding one. </p><p><strong>Tips to Help You Avoid Wildlife on the Road</strong> </p><p>Keep these tips in mind when you’re behind the wheel:<br> </p><ul> <li><strong>Be especially careful at dusk and dawn</strong>: Not only are these active times for large animals to be out and about, but visibility is decreased as well. And, remember, animal vision is very different from ours. While deer see well in low-light situations, headlights can completely blind them.</li> <li><strong>Watch for signs, too</strong>: Areas with a lot of wildlife, or where frequent incidents have occurred, often have posted warning signs. Don’t disregard them. Watch your speed and be hyper-alert.</li> <li><strong>Expect more than one</strong>: Did you just see a deer? Don’t relax quite yet, even though you didn’t hit it — there likely are more in the area.</li> <li><strong>Stay calm</strong>: If an animal is in the roadway, try not to swerve wildly. You could hit something else, such as another car, or end up in a more dangerous situation than you were before. Hit the brakes and the horn, and make safe maneuvers whenever possible.</li> </ul><p><strong>What to Do After an Animal-Vehicle Collision</strong></p><p>Even if you drive with the utmost caution and follow the tips above, an animal-vehicle collision may still happen. Follow these guidelines if you ever do hit an animal: </p><ul> <li><strong>Call 911 immediately</strong>: If there are any injuries to you or your passengers, call for aid as soon as possible. But, even if everyone is OK, police can help deal with traffic issues and removing the animal.</li> <li><strong>Do not touch the animal</strong>: Even a harmless-looking deer can cause significant injury, especially if it is frightened. And, if you hit something even more dangerous, such as a bear (it happens!), stay in the car. Often, they can withstand being hit by a vehicle.</li> <li><strong>Document the damage</strong>: Once any injuries are treated, take photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage, if it’s safe to do so, and write down details. Get information from witnesses and file a police report, if necessary. This will help when it comes time to file an insurance claim.</li> <li><strong>Talk to your insurance company</strong>: Animal-related claims are typically covered under comprehensive coverage. Your insurance agent or carrier can help you determine your options after an accident, but it’s a great idea to learn more about your coverage <em>before</em> you need to use it.</li> </ul><p>Remember, stay alert, avoid distractions, wear your seatbelt and watch your speed. If you’re already a safe driver, you’re probably already doing these things. And, if you’re not, well, there’s no better time to start! Your fellow drivers (and your local animals) will thank you. </p> <p class="article_credit"><a title="How to Avoid Animal-Vehicle Collisions" href="http://www.safeco.com/blog-detail/avoid-hitting-a-deer/1240029026559">Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2016/01/how-to-avoid-animal-vehicle-collisions">Read the full article at www.evergreen-insurance.com</a> </p> Safe, Secure Shopping: Tips for Black Friday http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2015/11/safe-secure-shopping-tips-for-black-friday Fri, 06 Nov 2015 20:31:00 GMT http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/p/19891 Safety <p>It's become almost as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey and football: Black Friday, the morning-after (or in some cases evening-after) shopping spree. It's the biggest shopping day of the year, an event in its own right. Unfortunately, the massive crowds it draws can lead to parking lot accidents, exposure to thieves and those well-publicized stampedes and brawls.</p><p>It's not hard to avoid such mishaps, though. Following are a few common-sense tips from the National Crime Prevention Council, blackfriday.com and the Trusted Choice network of independent insurance agents to help ensure you have a fun and fruitful day. </p><p><strong>Before You Go</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Fill up your gas tank.</strong> Make sure you’re not running low on gas in case it takes time to find parking or to get out of the parking lot. Or, in case you get delayed by winter weather conditions. </li><li><strong>Decide how you’ll pay.</strong> If possible, carry only credit cards, and make photocopies so that you’ll have the account number and customer service phone number if your wallet is lost or stolen. If it's practical, carry just one card.</li><li><strong>Determine how much you can spend.</strong> Going in with an idea of how much you can afford to spend will help you know when it’s time to stop buying. </li><li><strong>Call ahead. </strong>If you're looking for a high-demand item, call ahead to find out what time customers lined up last year. Otherwise, there's likely little need to be at the front of the line. Arriving an hour or so early should be fine.</li><li><strong>Charge mobile phones.</strong> Be sure everyone in your group has a charged phone in case you get separated. Or, pick a specific meeting spot within the store or at the mall to regroup. Be sure children know not to leave the store or go out into the parking lot on their own.</li></ul><p><strong>In the Parking Lot</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Take your time.</strong> Finding a parking spot on Black Friday can be harder than finding a great deal. So, why not calmly head to the back of the lot where it’s less crowded? You may be able to avoid those dreaded door dings, as well as parking lot accidents.</li><li><strong>Pick a secure spot.</strong> The key here is visibility. Avoid parking next to vans or large trucks or in secluded, unlit areas, especially at night.</li><li><strong>Remember where you parked.</strong> Make a mental or written note of where you parked your car to avoid wandering around looking for it later. You could even take a picture with your phone of what you see straight ahead as you walk away from your car.</li><li><strong>Approach your car with keys in hand.</strong> Have your keys ready when approaching your vehicle, and check the back seat and the area around and under the car before you get in.</li><li><strong>Use the trunk. </strong>If you're going to several stores, put packages in the trunk rather than in the back seat before driving from one lot to another.</li></ul><p><strong>In the Store</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Keep your personal belongings secure.</strong> Keep your purse close at hand or your wallet in an inside pocket. Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook.</li><li><strong>Watch your step.</strong> It's easy to trip and fall in a big crowd, especially if people are pushing. If you do fall or hurt yourself, don’t put off medical treatment. Most stores will have a first-aid kit and many will have security officers on hand to help out. </li><li><strong>Be aware of your surroundings.</strong> Steer clear of anyone exhibiting aggressive behavior, such as pushing to get in the door or confronting another shopper over a limited item. If you find yourself in one of these or a similar situation, take action to get you and your group to safety. </li><li><strong>Don't buy more than you can carry. </strong>Otherwise you may be an easy target for thieves in the parking lot. If you have too much, enlist a friend or a store employee to help carry your packages to the car.</li></ul><p>Above all, remember that there will always be another sale. So, be courteous to employees and other shoppers on Black Friday – and always. After all, the whole point of a fun event is to have fun.</p><p><strong>Did you know?</strong> Black Friday wasn’t always a shop-til-you-drop event. One of the earlier known usages of the term dates to the early 1960's when Philadelphia police used it to refer to the heavy traffic on the day after Thanksgiving caused by Christmas shoppers and by football fans arriving for the annual Army-Navy Game the next day.</p> <p class="article_credit"><a title="Safe, Secure Shopping: Tips for Black Friday" href="http://www.safeco.com/blog-detail/black-friday-safety-tips/1240029466502">Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2015/11/safe-secure-shopping-tips-for-black-friday">Read the full article at www.evergreen-insurance.com</a> </p> The Right Tires for Winter Driving http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2015/01/the-right-tires-for-winter-driving Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:48:00 GMT http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/p/15597 <p> It's easy to forget about your tires when it comes to vehicle safety. But with winter weather already in many parts of the country, tires are an important aspect you should keep in mind. </p> <p> Your tires can be the difference between a safe trip and a disastrous one, whether you're driving a routine daily route or are headed to the mountains for some fun on the slopes. This winter tire guide will help you choose the best style of tires for your needs – and help you maintain them properly. </p> <p> <strong>Are winter tires for you?</strong><br> Winter tires are specially designed to provide the best traction and handling in ice, snow and cold-weather conditions. If you live in an area where temperatures regularly drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, it's a good idea to get a set. And note that we said "a set" – using only two winter tires instead of four can create handling issues caused by mismatched traction between the front and rear. </p> <p> <strong>How are they different from all-season tires?</strong><br> Winter tires have greater tread depth and use siping (slits in the tread) to increase the number of edges that are in contact with the road. They are also made using rubber compounds that stay soft when the weather gets cold, which helps to provide better traction. </p> <p> <strong>What kind of winter tires is best?</strong><br> There are two main categories: performance winter tires, for light snow and ice, and studless snow and ice tires, which are for severe weather conditions. The latter is the best tire for deep snow and heavy ice, says auto site <a href="http://Edmunds.com" target="_blank">Edmunds.com</a>, unless studded tires are allowed in your area. But, while studded tires provide excellent traction on ice, you can likely get the same benefits by using chains, when necessary. And, your chains won't cause damage to the roadway like studs do, either. </p> <p> <strong>How do I maintain them?</strong><br> At any time of the year, tires require regular monitoring and maintenance for the best performance. But, when you're counting on them to get you through snow and ice, tire maintenance is even more important. Here are two important things to check regularly: </p> <ul class="content_list"> <li><strong>Pressure:</strong> Your tire pressure should be checked once a week to insure you aren't under- or over-inflated. In winter conditions, under-inflated tires increase your risk of having a blowout, and over-inflated tires can result in your car having virtually no traction.</li> <li><strong>Tread:</strong> Check your tread regularly using the "Lincoln test." Insert a penny into the groove of the tire, with the top of Lincoln's head going in first. Can you see only some of his hair? The tire has enough tread. If you see all of his hair, however, you need new tires immediately. Of course, if you're iffy on whether your tires are up for winter weather, you might just consider replacing them now – after all, the bare minimum isn't a good option unless the roads are bare, too.</li> </ul> <p> As the old Michelin advertising slogan goes, "So much is riding on your tires." Take that to heart this winter, and you won't be left out in the cold. </p> <p> <strong>Contact Us!</strong><br> At Evergreen Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you've got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. </p> <p> Call us at <strong>360-254-7166</strong> or send us a note at info [at] evergreen-insurance [dot] com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected! </p> <p class="article_credit"><a title="The Right Tires for Winter Driving" href="http://www.safeco.com/blog-detail/winter-tire-safety/240026005037">Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.evergreen-insurance.com/blog/2015/01/the-right-tires-for-winter-driving">Read the full article at www.evergreen-insurance.com</a> </p>