Long Insurance Services of Kernersville, NC


  Contact : 336-992-5664

All posts by Duane Long

College-Students

Safety in College

When kids hit college, they’ll reach an entirely new level of independence. With unstructured time and the freedom to make their own day-to-day decisions, they’ll still need support from you. Here are some campus life issues to discuss.

Keep possessions safe. College campuses and especially dormitories bring thousands of young people into one small area. That’s why it’s important to urge your student to keep their door locked whenever they leave the room for any length of time. It only takes seconds for an opportunistic thief to slip and disappear with their laptop or other valuable items. Also, have a talk with your insurance agent. If your college lists your house as their permanent address, your homeowners insurance coverage would most likely extend to your student’s belongings in the dorm. Find out what’s covered and what isn’t.

Don’t leave them uninsured. Once your student lives off-campus at their first apartment, that simple carry-over homeowners coverage may disappear. In that case, a separate renters insurance policy in your student’s name can offer protection, so your student doesn’t have to start from scratch. The good news is that these low-cost policies are often affordable, even for college students living on slender budgets. To learn more, contact an ERIE agent.

Check your auto insurance. Every student’s situation varies, and different situations will have different impacts on auto insurance costs. For example, costs could increase if your student brings their car on campus, especially in an urban setting. Some parents see a discount if their student leaves the car at home. To learn more, get in touch with an ERIE agent.

Have the talk about drinking. Good news: According to WebMD, binge drinking among college students is on a downward trend, and so is driving while impaired. Still, 37 percent of students say they consumed four or more drinks in one sitting, and 17 percent report driving while impaired. Before your student heads to campus, talk about the risks of indulging too much, such as accidents, hypothermia, injuries and impulsive behavior. Along with that, brainstorm strategies so they know what to do to keep themselves and their friends safe.

Read More
JD Power Insurance Survey

ERIE Ranked Highest in J.D. Power Insurance Study

Thousands of people recently shared their experiences about shopping for auto insurance in a new national study and Erie Insurance was awarded “Highest Satisfaction with the Auto Insurers Shopping Experience.”

The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM, now in its 11th year, provides an in-depth look at the entire auto insurance policy selection process. It explores why customers shop, their attitudes toward and perceptions of auto insurance brands and how they make their final purchase decision. Satisfaction is measured on three factors (in order of importance):

  • Price—How customers rate their new auto insurance provider on the price of the policy given the level of coverage.
  • Distribution channel—How customers rate their experience interacting with their new auto provider’s agent, call center rep and website.
  • Policy offerings—How customers rate the variety of coverage options, the degree to which their needs are met and the ease of obtaining a new policy.

For the fifth consecutive year, Erie Insurance ranked the highest in the study, with a score of 879 out of 1,000.

The study methodology and other findings

The study is based on responses from more than 16,400 shoppers who requested an auto insurance quote from at least one of the top 25 insurers that have the largest market share in the United States. Customers were surveyed from April 2016 to January 2017.

The study also revealed that shoppers are increasingly reliant on agent recommendations when considering and quoting insurers, compared to 2015 (with 9- and 10-percentage point increases, respectively). Another critical driver of satisfaction is communication. Companies like ERIE that ranked the highest in the study help:

  • Ensure the customer completely understands the coverage.
  • Provide guidance and/or tools for selecting the right coverage.
  • Make certain customers understand their premium calculations.

Are you shopping for insurance?

When you’re shopping for insurance, J.D. Power offers the following tips:

  • Look for an agent with a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness, who can give you thorough advice on the pluses and minuses of various insurers and their products.
  • Compare the terms of various policies and assess how those policies might be affected by factors such as current events, driver performance and acquisition of new vehicles.
  • Be sure you’re well covered in areas where you most need coveragesuch as personal liability (when you hurt other people or their property).

Who Is Erie Insurance?

ERIE has been protecting families and businesses for more than 90 years. The company’s employees and agents follow the Golden Rule—treat others as you would want to be treated.

“As you can see from this study, our prices, products and service often outshine the competition,” says Doug Smith, executive vice president, sales and products, at Erie Insurance. “When you work with an experienced ERIE agent from your neighborhood, you’ll get coverage that exactly fits your life and never pay more than you should. When something bad happens, we’ll make sure you’re back on your way, right away. We’ve built our reputation for being Above all in Service®.”

In the past year, ERIE has made improvements to the auto insurance quote tool on its website. Shortly after the J.D. Power survey closed in January, ERIE launched a refreshed website. For more information, get in touch with a local ERIE agent.

 

Erie Insurance received the highest numerical score in the J.D. Power 2013–2017 U.S. Insurance Shopping Studies (tied in 2016). The 2017 study is based on 16,424 total responses evaluating 21 providers and measures the experiences and perceptions of customers surveyed between April 2016 and January 2017. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com for more information.

Read More
Business Car Insurance

Ask ERIE: How Does Business Auto Coverage Work

With business auto insurance, customers often ask us how coverage works in certain situations. A couple examples would be when employees drive company vehicles for personal reasons or when they drive their personal cars for their job.

With most business auto policies, the coverage follows the vehicle. So if the employee has permission to use the business vehicle for personal reasons, coverage will typically be extended.

Using a personal car for work

If you’re a business owner and your employees use their personal cars for work, coverage is not provided automatically for you through a commercial auto policy. You would need to add hired and non-owned coverage to your policy, which would provide liability coverage if you are sued following an accident. The employee’s car insurance would usually cover the physical damage to the vehicle.

“The commercial auto coverage provides protection for your interests as the business owner, but the employee’s auto coverage may still be required to cover the claim,” says Leo Heintz, vice president and product manager, commercial auto insurance, at Erie Insurance.

Other ways business auto insurance can help protect you

For both owned and leased cars and trucks, business auto insurance offers coverage for:

  • Damages if your car is damaged or destroyed by something other than an accident, such as theft, vandalism or hail when you purchase comprehensive coverage.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorists if an at-fault driver is unable to pay for damages associated with your injuries.
  • Liability if you’re responsible for harming others or for damaging their vehicles or property.
  • Medical costs for you or your passengers’ injuries as the result of an auto accident.

It can be helpful to work with an insurance professional like an Erie Insurance agent, who can help you select the best coverage for your business and tell you about policies suited to your specific industry.

Read More
JD Powers Erie Insurance

What You Should Know About the Rise of the Side Business

There’s an exciting career revolution taking place – say hello to the “gig economy” (AKA, the side hustle), a booming new job market characterized by workers who call their own shots, set their own schedules and control their own destinies.

According to the Chicago Tribune reports, “There’s no hard data yet on the size of this labor force. Some say it represents less than 10 percent of the domestic workforce but is growing rapidly, while other studies say it makes up nearly 25 percent. The U.S. Department of Labor is conducting a study to determine its size.”

No doubt, it’s a trend that is on the rise. That – of course – got us thinking: What do insurance needs look like in the gig economy?

  • The Gig Gap: For decades, having a job meant being an employee of a company—often for life. Today, it’s a different story. Many people are a part of the “gig” economy. Upsides like freedom and flexibility attract people to this work. Yet there are downsides like hustling to find jobs and managing a fluctuating income. Another lesser known one is not having enough—or even any—business coverage. Fortunately, there are easy ways to fix that.
  • You’re Invited: Remember the “exchange chain letters?” If you sent a single kitchen towel to the first person on a typewritten list and then mailed the letter to six of my friends, you’d receive the bounty of 36 kitchen towels. These days, invitations continue, but the requests aren’t coming through the U.S. Postal System—they’re coming via email, text and, more often than not, social media.
  • How to Cash in on the Gig Economy: Whether you’re a new graduate looking for a job, a retiree looking for some extra cash or a stay-at-home parent hoping to grow your nest egg, there are many advantages to joining the gig economy. Here are a few.
  • [INFOGRAPHIC] Evolution of the Gig Economy: Gig economy. Side Hustle. Welcome to the 21st Century workforce. Check out a few ways some of the most popular side gigs have evolved over time.
Read More

Definitions of FEMA Flood Zone Designation

Definitions of FEMA Flood Zone Designations
Flood zones are geographic areas that the FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk.  These zones are depicted on a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map. Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.

Moderate to Low Risk Areas
In communities that participate in the NFIP, flood insurance is available to all property owners and renters in these zones:

ZONE DESCRIPTION
B and X (shaded) Area of moderate flood hazard, usually the area between the limits of the 100‐
year and 500‐year floods. B Zones are also used to designate base floodplains of
lesser hazards, such as areas protected by levees from 100‐year flood, or shallow
flooding areas with average depths of less than one foot or drainage areas less
than 1 square mile.

C and X (unshaded)
Area of minimal flood hazard, usually depicted on FIRMs as above the 500‐year
flood level. Zone C may have ponding and local drainage problems that don’t
warrant a detailed study or designation as base floodplain. Zone X is the area
determined to be outside the 500‐year flood and protected by levee from 100‐
year flood.

High Risk Areas
In communities that participate in the NFIP, mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply to all of these zones:

ZONE DESCRIPTION
A – Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of
a 30‐year mortgage. Because detailed analyses are not performed for such areas; no
depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.
AE –  The base floodplain where base flood elevations are provided. AE Zones are now used
on new format FIRMs instead of A1‐A30 Zones.
A1‐30  – These are known as numbered A Zones (e.g., A7 or A14). This is the base floodplain
where the FIRM shows a BFE (old format).
AH  – Areas with a 1% annual chance of shallow flooding, usually in the form of a pond, with
an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding
over the life of a 30‐year mortgage. Base flood elevations derived from detailed
analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones.
AO  – River or stream flood hazard areas, and areas with a 1% or greater chance of shallow
flooding each year, usually in the form of sheet flow, with an average depth ranging
from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year
mortgage. Average flood depths derived from detailed analyses are shown within these
zones.
AR  – Areas with a temporarily increased flood risk due to the building or restoration of a
flood control system (such as a levee or a dam). Mandatory flood insurance purchase
requirements will apply, but rates will not exceed the rates for unnumbered A zones if
the structure is built or restored in compliance with Zone AR floodplain management
regulations.
A99  – Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding that will be protected by a Federal flood
control system where construction has reached specified legal requirements. No depths
or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.

High Risk Coastal Areas
In communities that participate in the NFIP, mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply to all of these zones.

ZONE DESCRIPTION
V – Coastal areas with a 1% or greater chance of flooding and an additional hazard
associated with storm waves. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of
a 30‐year mortgage. No base flood elevations are shown within these zones.
VE, V1 ‐ 30 – Coastal areas with a 1% or greater chance of flooding and an additional hazard
associated with storm waves. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of
a 30‐year mortgage. Base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at
selected intervals within these zones.

Undetermined Risk Areas
ZONE DESCRIPTION
D – Areas with possible but undetermined flood hazards. No flood hazard analysis has been
conducted. Flood insurance rates are commensurate with the uncertainty of the flood
risk.

From FEMA Map Service Center:

Read More

Woodburning Stove Safety Tips

A woodburning stove can be a source of pleasure and a way to reduce the ever-increasing cost of home heating.
Many homeowners have installed woodburning stoves so as to enjoy these benefits. There is also possible harm
that an unsafe unit can do to the home and family that use this type of stove. The facts and information supplied
here can help families enjoy the benefits of a woodburning stove, while avoiding any fire damage to their home
or any injury to their family.

Did you know that:
? Fire – which has been called “the most frightening killer” – is responsible for the loss of over 12,000 lives
and for 300,000 injuries per year?
? The United States proportionate to other countries leads the world in deaths and property losses from fire?
? The great majority of persons killed by fire die in residential fires?
? The economic loss from home fires is almost $11.5 billion per year?
? Woodburning units are rapidly becoming a major cause of home fires in America today?
? The main reasons for fires resulting from woodburning stoves are poorly constructed units, improper
installation or improper usage?
? You jeopardize your insurance coverage if you have a woodburning stove that is unsafe?

Before selecting a stove
1. Consider the room size, ventilation needed, chimney placement.
2. After considering all the requirements, decide whether it is PRACTICAL and SAFE to install a
woodburning stove.

If you decide to buy
1. Choose a stove of heavy cast iron or heavy gauge steel.
2. Inspect for cracks, defects, possible weak seams, or welds.
3. Look for the Underwriters’ Laboratories label on each stove.
4. Ask to see the instructions for installation and operation of the stove.
5. Ask the dealer about a warranty and anticipated life span of the stove.
6. Ask if there are any special maintenance requirements for the stove.

Firewood
? Avoid using softwood. (Greenwood has high moisture content and can cause creosote build up.)
? Do not use artificial logs that contain coal oil, paraffin or other flammable liquids.
? Use hardwood. (Red oak, sugar maple, apple and ironwood have the best heat value.)
? Cut wood early and allow one year, or at least six months to season (split wood for faster drying).
? Check fire often, use damper and draft controls to prevent overfiring or incomplete burning and smoking.
? Do not overfire because it may lead to overheating and cause a chimney fire.
? Place hot ashes in substantial metal container with lid and remove to a safe location outside of the home.

Chimney Fires
Causes:
1. Overfired stove for extended period of time.
2. Ignition of soot, tar and creosote build up.
Prevention:
1. Clean the chimney semi-annually.
2. Check fire often and avoid overfiring stove.
3. Burn only seasoned wood and avoid using softwood.
4. Fires should not be left unattended.
5. Avoid smoldering fires as this increases creosote build up.

Read More