Long Insurance Services of Kernersville, NC

  Contact : 336-992-5664

All posts by Duane Long

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.

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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.
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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:

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:

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
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
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.

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
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

From FEMA Map Service Center:

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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.

? 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
1. Overfired stove for extended period of time.
2. Ignition of soot, tar and creosote build up.
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.

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Swimming Pool Safety Barriers

Every year thousands of American families confront swimming pool tragedies – drownings and near-drownings
of young children. These tragedies are preventable. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
offers guidelines for pool barriers that can help prevent most submersion incidents involving young children.

Inground Pools
A young child can get over a pool barrier if the barrier is too low or if the barrier has handholds or footholds for a child to use when climbing.
? The top of a pool barrier should be at least 48 inches above grade, measured on the side of
the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool.

For a Solid Barrier:
? No indentations or protrusions should be present, other than normal construction
tolerances and masonry joints.

For a Barrier (Fence) Made Up of Horizontal and Vertical Members:
? If the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, the horizontal members should be
on the swimming pool side of the fence.
? The spacing of the vertical members should not exceed 1 – ¾ inches. (This size is based on the foot width of a
young child and is intended to reduce the potential for a child to gain a foothold.)
? If there are any decorative cutouts in the fence, the space within the cutouts should not exceed 1 – ¾ inches.

Aboveground Pools
Aboveground pools should have barriers.
? The pool structure itself serves as a barrier or a barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure.
? The steps or ladder can be designed to be secured, locked or removed to prevent access, or a
barrier such as those described above can surround the steps or ladder.

When the House Wall Forms Part of the Pool Barrier
In many homes, doors open directly onto the pool area or onto a patio that leads to the pool area.
? In such cases, the wall of the house is an important part of the pool barrier, and passage through
any doors in the house wall should be controlled by security measures.
? All doors that give access to a swimming pool, should be equipped with an audible alarm, which
sounds when the door and/or screen are opened.
? The alarm should sound for 30 seconds or more immediately after the door is opened.
? The alarm should be loud (at least 85 dBA (decibels) when measured 10 feet away from the alarm mechanism).
? The alarm should be distinct from other sounds in the house.
? The alarm should have an automatic reset feature.
? The alarm should have a switch that allows adults to temporarily deactivate the alarm for up to 15 seconds to allow them to pass through house doors without setting off the alarm.
? The deactivation switch could be a touchpad or manual switch and should be located at least 54 inches above the threshold of the door covered by the alarm.

Indoor Pools
When a pool is located completely within a house, the walls that surround the pool should be equipped to serve as pool safety barriers. Measures recommended above where a house wall serves as part of a safety barrier also apply for all the walls surrounding an indoor pool.

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Smoke Detectors Can Save Your Life

Most home fire deaths happen between 10 o’clock at night and 6 in the morning. Many victims die because of smoke and toxic gases, not the fire itself. Smoke detectors can wake you and give you time to escape. When purchasing a smoke alarm, look for one that is accepted by an independent testing facility, such as Underwriters Laboratories or Factory Mutual.

The best place for your smoke alarms:
? On every level of your home, including the basement and workshop
? Outside every bedroom
? On the ceiling or 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling on the wall. Keep them away from air vents.

Test the alarm batteries once a month.
? Press the test button with your finger.
? Replace the batteries once a year.

Clean the alarm following the manufacturer’s instructions.
? Vacuum the grillwork on the detector periodically to keep it dust-free.

Preventing Nuisance Alarms:
Move the alarm away from the kitchen or bathroom.
? Get a different type of smoke alarm, like a photoelectric that’s less sensitive to
common causes of false alarms.
? Choose a smoke alarm that has a silencing feature, so nuisance alarms can be
stopped quickly and easily.

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