Long Insurance Services of Kernersville, NC


  Contact : 336-992-5664

All posts by Duane Long

Duane Long - Monte Long

Duane Long + Monte Long

We provide Property, Casualty and Life insurance for personal and commercial needs.
Individual: Home, Auto, Life, etc. … Business, Prop., Casualty, WC, etc.

See https://www.facebook.com/DuaneLongInsurance/ for local news!

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Winter-Stay-Warm

Ways to Stay Active This Winter

Looking outside and seeing snow-covered roads can make the decision to stay in bed a lot more tempting. We all know winter weather can get you in a rut – but there are plenty of ways to liven up when you’ve got cabin fever. (Read our list of 21 ways to beat cabin fever.)

Ready to break a sweat? Check out this list.

HOW TO EXERCISE DURING WINTER

One of the best ways to beat the boredom and stay active is to get outside. So, don’t curse the weather… bundle up and enjoy it! Here are some outside winter fitness ideas to try.

Outdoors:

  • Snowshoeing/snow hiking: Snow on the ground doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your area parks and trails. Many state and local parks stay open year-round in any weather. These hikes can be an easy walk or an intense workout, depending on how hard you push yourself.
  • Skiing/snowboarding/sledding: Making your way to a ski resort or your local hill can make for an exciting trip with friends or family. And it’s a great way to burn calories — especially if you’re walking back up the hill, too!
  • Snowmobiling: If you’ve got the space and the gear, snowmobiling is an intense way to get out and enjoy the winter weather. Don’t have a snowmobile of your own? A quick online search can help you find rental options in your area.
  • Ice skating: Ice skating is good for cardio and building lower body strength. If you can keep your balance, this is another fun activity for friends, family or couples.
  • Ice fishing: For outdoor enthusiasts, ice fishing is an excuse to catch fish year-round while tackling a new challenge. Just make sure you’re prepared before you drill through the lake. Read this how-to guide for safe ice fishing.
  • Walking: A walk through light snow can be just as beautiful as any other season. As long as it’s not too cold, bundling up for a 15-minute walk will get you active and out of the house. In fact, many find the cool winter air to be especially refreshing.

Of course, there are still going to be times when the snow’s thick and the air’s chilly. If you’re stuck inside, there’s no need to worry! Here are some ways to keep active indoors, too.

Indoors:

  • Join a gym. A gym membership will give you a place to go when you can’t get your exercise in anywhere else. It’s an easy way to get a full workout, since gyms have a wide range of equipment that wouldn’t fit in your home.
  • Take the stairs. Not ready to join a gym? Start with something a little less intimidating. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you burn a few extra calories, and will build cardio stamina over time.
  • Join an indoor sports league. Just because winter starts doesn’t mean team sports stop. Check your local gym or community center for indoor sports leagues like soccer, tennis or basketball.
  • Use free weights or resistance bands. Don’t want to leave the comfort of your house? There’s plenty of equipment you can use at home to break a sweat. You can get a full-body workout with resistance bands or free weights, and they don’t take up much room.
  • Watch online workout videos. Even without weights and bands, online workout videos can get you into shape in your own living room. Whether it’s cardio, yoga, pilates or strength training, there are dozens of options available to find the workout that’s right for you.

As the seasons change, your options for staying active do, too – whether it’s a walk through the snow, gliding on an ice rink or other activities that only last for the season.

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JD Powers Erie Insurance

ERIE Earns Top Ranking in J.D. Power Study

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

The J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study SM provides an in-depth look at the 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.

Related: Is ERIE auto insurance right for you? Find out.

For ERIE, it’s the sixth year in a row in the study’s top spot. 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 reps and website.

Related: 6 Reasons You’ll Love Having an Independent Insurance Agent

  • 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.

The study methodology
The study is based on responses from more than 15,000 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 in April, July and October 2017 and January 2018.

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Winterizing your Home

Winterizing Your Home Checklist

There’s no denying it: Winter is on its way. 

Winterizing your home can help lower your energy bills, prevent bigger more costly repairs later on, and reduce the risk of accidents like a home heating fire. (Side note: That’s why having the right homeowners insurance can give you peace of mind, too.) 

Ready? Let’s walk through the big list of projects to tackle this fall.
 

FALL HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

Indoors:

  • Windows and doors: Prevent chilly drafts (and pricey heating bills) by checking and replacing any worn weather stripping, and caulking any cracks. For loose-fitting doors, slide a draft guard or rolled-up towel underneath to fill the gap. For old or drafty windows, consider peel-and-stick window insulation film – it might not be the most elegant look, but it can keep up to 70% of heat from escaping.Related: A dozen easy ways to keep cold air from entering your house
     
  • Fireplace: Check your fireplace and flue system to remove soot or ashes. Check for cracks that could be a fire hazard. Also, examine the fireplace for drafts. If it’s cold despite the damper being closed, the damper itself may be need to be repaired or replaced. If you’re not planning on using your fireplace at all, invest in a chimney balloon to block the opening. (Just remember to take it out before you build a fire next season.) Most importantly, know what fixes are safe for you to tackle and what should be in the hands of a certified chimney sweep with training and proper equipment. Related: What’s a professional chimney inspection, and why do I need one?
     
  • Furnace: Before you turn up the heat for the season, start by changing (or cleaning) your furnace filter. It’s also a good idea to have an HVAC professional check your furnace once per year. And if you can’t remember the last time you had your heating ducts checked for leaks and efficiency… an HVAC professional can help with that, too. Related: How often does my furnace filter need changed (and how do I do it?)
     
  • Thermostat: For every degree lower your home’s temperature during the winter, you can save as much as 1 percent on your energy bill (according to the U.S. Department of Energy). If you have an older thermostat, consider replacing it with a smart model to save on heating costs. Many new thermostats have algorithms to learn your comings and goings so you’re not paying to keep your home toasty warm when you’re not around. Related: 10 energy-saving tips to prepare your home for cold weather
     
  • Other home heating: We know they’re cozy, but be extra cautious when using a space heater. Space heaters cause about one-third of all winter house fires and 80 percent of all winter heating fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Related: Must-know safety tips for fireplaces, space heaters and wood-burning stoves 
  • Drafts and cracks: Cold air will take advantage of any opportunity to sneak into your home. Here’s a list of quick fixes for drafty places:
    • Outlets and switch plates: Use foam-insulating sheets to block cold air coming in from exterior walls.
    • Exposed ducts: Check your attic, basement, and crawl spaces and use sealant to plug up any leaks or cracks on exposed ducts.
    • Floors: Don’t underestimate the power of a thick, cozy rug. Your floors can account for as much as 10 percent of heat loss in a house. 
    Related: A dozen easy ways to keep cold air from entering your house 
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: While you’re in the process of prepping your house for the long winter, check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in good working order. Also, with the increased risk of fire in winter, it’s important to have a family escape plan. You can create one using the National Fire Prevention Association’s online guide.

Related: How to prevent a dryer fire

Outdoors:

  • Gutters: Start by clearing debris from gutters and downspouts to prevent them from leaking or sagging. Clogged gutters and subsequent water issues can cause foundation problems, wall and ceiling damage, or even insect infestations. Just make sure you do it safely – use a tall, sturdy ladder (and never stand on the top three rungs!), and don’t forget protective eyewear, gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself against debris, bacteria and pests.Related:5 Common Problems Caused by Clogged Gutters

  • Roof: Snow can be a heavy burden for an old or damaged roof to handle. Before winter hits, inspect your roof for signs of potential problems, like missing, broken, blistered or curling shingles; cracked caulk or rust spots; or large patches of moss and lichen. Any damaged, loose or missing shingles should be repaired right away.

  • Trees and landscaping: It’s a good idea to trim any branches hanging near electric wires before they become a problem. Also, know how to spot the signs of a diseased or dying tree. Heavy snow and strong winter winds can knock down weak branches (or whole trees), so it’s best to do the prep work while the weather’s still mild.Related: What happens if my neighbor’s tree falls in my yard?

  • Lawn equipment: Drain the oil and gas from your mower before storing it for the off-season. Gasoline can separate and spoil in only a few weeks, which could potentially damage your engine.

    Related: How to extend the life of your lawn mower

  • Snow removal supplies: Before the first snow, you’ll be glad you thought ahead and bought supplies early. Inspect the bolts, belts and parts on your snowblower; make sure your snow shovel is in good shape; stock up on ice melt or sand; and invest in a snow rake to help clear your roof. Snow accumulation on your roof that exceeds 20 to 25 pounds per square foot can be dangerous.

Related: How to remove an ice dam 

Does your homeowners insurance keep up with your life?
From weekend projects to major renovations… you’ve worked hard (and invested a lot) to make your house a home.

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Buy-Sell

Business Owners: Protect with a Buy-Sell Agreement

Business Owners: Protect Your Hard Work with This Important Agreement

If you’re a small business owner, you know what hard work means. It means sacrifice. It means connecting to people in the right way at the right time—often during the early morning, in the evening and on weekends. It means putting your business before anything else (even, at times, family). It means being your brand and being on, all the time.

That kind of significance carries extra weight that business owners don’t always realize. What happens when a partner unexpectedly has to file for bankruptcy? Or becomes disabled? Or worst of all, passes away?

Here at Erie Insurance, we’ve seen a number of unfortunate happenings that have affected businesses just this past year—from a 49 year-old business owner who was hit by a car while training for a marathon; to a 25-year old who passed tragically after a car accident; to another who unexpectedly suffered a heart attack.

These are stories of independent insurance agents who represented ERIE—people we partnered with to help customers find customized solutions right for them.

Like all small business owners, ERIE’s agents are committed to doing business in their local communities. They volunteer across numerous organizations, provide jobs and advocate for their customers to help them find the best insurance for them. And also like most small business owners, they are missed by many when they unexpectedly pass.

Because they are independent business owners, we encourage our agents to have a plan in place for when they retire and which can be used if life does not go as planned—something that provides guidance for what they want their business to become.

As your insurance advisor, they most likely advocate that you have a plan in place as a business owner, too, particularly a buy-sell agreement funded by life insurance.

Here’s some information to help you with the conversations about buy-sell agreements and tips for putting one in place:

 

  • What it is: A buy-sell, or buyout, agreement is a legally binding document that determines how ownership should be handled should a co-owner unexpectedly leave the business, whether through death, disablement or other unexpected circumstances.
  • What they should include: A good buy-sell agreement should include a current business valuation clause that allows an expert to assess the value of the business if needed. It should also include who can and can’t be a buyer and how any sale of ownership will be funded—i.e. through proceeds from life insurance, credit or cash.
  • How life insurance can help: When co-owners own life insurance policies on each other that name themselves as beneficiaries (a cross-purchase agreement), life insurance can help pay for a partner to buy the portion of the business that lost an owner if that person passed away. Without this funding, a partner may not be able to afford to buy the portion of the business they’ve worked so hard to build. Instead, the ownership may transfer to the previous owner’s spouse, family member or even a bank or lender associated with the partner who passed. There are also entity agreements designed for LLCs and c-corporations where the company owns the insurance and the buy-sell agreement stipulates the company will buy the deceased owner’s shares.

Consult appropriate, legal, accounting and business professionals and talk to your local ERIE agent today about how life insurance can help you in building this important plan.

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Hurricane-Insurance

Hurricane Florence – Be Prepared

Hurricane Florence has the potential to bring heavy rains and high winds to coastal areas starting Thursday evening, with the chance of inland flooding for North Carolina and Virginia. Both states have declared a state of emergency.

If you experience a loss covered by your policy and need to file a claim, Erie Insurance and your Agent are here to help.

We encourage you to stay off the roads during heavy rains and follow these tips to reduce damage and stay safe during the storm:

• Bring in garbage cans, lawn furniture, bikes, toys, hanging plants and lawn decorations. If possible, remove the swings on your child’s swing set to prevent unnecessary damage.
• Move furnishings and valuables to the highest point in your house.
• Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy in case of loss of power. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
• If you lose power, turn off all major appliances to avoid a power surge when the power is turned back on.
• Do not drive or walk through standing water. Water can be deeper than it appears, and two feet of water can sweep away most cars and six inches of moving water can sweep you away when walking.

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Find more helpful tips on erieinsurance.com:

What to do Before, During and After the Storm

Preparing for a Flood and Lessening Water Damage

How Named Storms Affect Your Insurance Coverage

Video: What We Learned from Hurricane Katrina and Affected Cars

*Note: New insurance and certain changes to existing insurance may not be available when there is a known threat of severe weather or in the immediate aftermath of a severe weather event. Talk to your Agent.
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Should you experience damage from a storm that is covered by your insurance policy and wish to file a claim, please contact your ERIE Agent. For claims service during evenings and weekends, call (800) 367-3743.

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