Your pet needs to buckle up, too

Your whole family wears a seat belt. So why not the family dog? Your furry friends need protection, too!

The best advice is to use a harness or carrier and secure your pet in the middle of the back seat. Restraining a pet prevents them from distracting you while you’re driving and helps keep them safe, before and after an accident.

Loose animals and secondary accidents
A car safety harness keeps your pet from running off after a crash and possibly getting hit or causing another car accident. Be aware that the damages caused by this type of accident may not be covered by your insurance provider.

Your family’s safety
Even the most beloved family pet can pose a danger to you in a crash situation. Frightened, stressed, or injured pets may prevent you from getting prompt medical attention, by snapping or biting first responders.

What’s more, even in a relatively low speed accident, an unrestrained animal can become a deadly projectile, causing critical injuries to people in the vehicle. And should your dog get caught between you and the airbag, the animal will be crushed against your face or chest with massive force.

Your pets are family too. Help them live long, healthy lives by keeping them safe in every way, including when you’re in the car. Use a dog seatbelt, harness, or crate. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to protect all your loved ones.

Extra protection
Find out if your insurance includes coverage for your own pets if they’re injured in a car accident. SECURA’s Pet ProtectorSM coverage, included in MILE-STONE® policies, provides $500 per pet injured in a vehicle, watercraft, or other accident.

Understanding auto insurance for your adult child

When your teen started driving, you added them to your auto policy so you knew they were covered. Now, if your child moves out and continues using your car, are they still covered by your policy?

There are a few situations to consider:

If your child still lives with you – they still have full rights to auto coverage under your policy, and are protected by your homeowners policy as well.

If your child moved out but is using your car – they’re covered because they’re using the car with your permission, but they don’t have full protection. While they still have liability, medical payment, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your vehicle, they don’t receive the same coverages when driving someone else’s car or as a pedestrian.

What you should do to make sure your child is covered: 
The best option to keep your driver protected — if your child moves out and keeps your vehicle — is to switch the title to his or her name and encourage them to get a personal auto policy.

Talk to them about renters insurance, too. After they move out, your homeowners coverage doesn’t extend to their new abode. Renters insurance is an inexpensive way to cover their belongings. They can work with an independent agent to make sure they’re covered.

Share this resource with them. It talks about other things to consider when starting out on your own.

Safety tips for fun winter activities

A little cold and snow won’t keep many northerners inside. From hiking to snowshoeing, sledding, and snowmobiling, there are plenty of outdoor attractions to lure folks into the crisp, winter air. Keep yourself injury-free this season with these quick safety reminders for cold weather activities:

Reduce the risk of head injury by teaching kids to ride feet first when sledding. Supervise their sledding spots and look for areas with a clear, slow slope at the end. Designated community sledding hills are best. Sled on fresh or packed snow, but skip it if the snow pack is icy — you can lose control too easily on ice-covered hills.

Top 5 reasons to go mobile with your insurance

While it may not bring the same thrill as the latest upgrade to your favorite app or a friend’s status update, having quick and easy mobile access to your insurance information should be on your list of must-haves, too.

Here are the top five reasons why:
  1. You’re in a fender bender. Hopefully it’s not the result of using one of those other apps while driving, right? Regardless, with your insurance carrier’s mobile website or app, you can file a claim right from your smartphone, and even take photos of the damage to upload with your claim information. This allows for more timely processing of your claim.
  2. You’re stranded on the side of the road. As part of your policy, your insurance may provide Roadside RescuerSM services such as towing, or minor mechanical services like jumpstarting a dead battery, changing a flat tire, or getting you unstuck from that snowdrift. Wouldn’t it be great to have that phone number handy in a situation like this?
  3. You’re stopped by a cop. The police officer will likely ask for proof of insurance. Because you can show the officer your latest insurance auto ID card right on your smartphone, you won’t have to worry if that printed version in the glove box is from a previous decade. Note: some states still require physical proof of insurance, so check with your agent for your state’s rules.
  4. You can’t remember if you paid that bill. We’ve all been there. With mobile access, you can put your mind at ease from wherever you are. Simply log in to see your insurance billing information and make payments right from your smartphone or tablet. Plus, you can review other policy documents, too.
  5. You need to contact your agent. Let’s face it; they’re the expert when it comes to your insurance needs. It’s nice to know you have their contact information at your fingertips when you need to make changes to your policy, add coverage for a new vehicle, or just reconnect.
Many insurance carriers now provide this type of mobile access, including SECURA. If you’re a home and auto policyholder, be sure to download mySECURA to your mobile device to begin taking advantage of these convenient benefits today.

Breaking down the facts on equipment breakdown

We’re breaking down misunderstood insurance terms to help you understand coverages that could benefit your business or farm.

Like this one: What exactly is equipment breakdown coverage?

Just think about the variety of equipment your business or farm needs to run. From computers to generators to refrigerators, you rely on equipment to keep things working. And if that equipment fails, you need to get it fixed quickly.

That’s where equipment breakdown coverage comes in. Consider these examples of equipment breakdown claims:
  • A switch on an automatic animal feeding system broke, causing the entire system to crash onto the barn floor. 
  • An air-conditioning system leaked water into telephone switching equipment, shorting it out. 
  • A power surge in an office building damaged 200 computers. 
Equipment breakdown coverage helps with the costs related to repairing or replacing damaged equipment. In these examples, you’d have protection to help you repair the systems, and to make up for the interruption to your business, productivity, or possibly income in the meantime.

The coverage is helpful when you need to restore your data or cover spoiled stock. It can protect against damage caused by short circuits, power surges, or motor burnout, among others.

Talk to your independent agent to learn more and to make sure your equipment is protected.