Why You Need Condo Insurance

Are you contemplating buying a condominium but aren’t sure if you need condo insurance? While it’s not required by law in many states, most lenders or banks won’t give you a mortgage unless you provide proof you have insurance first. 

Besides, having condo insurance can help protect your personal belongings inside your home and provide personal liability protection should any accidents occur to people or property caused by you, a member of your family or your pets.

Doesn’t my condo association have insurance?


Your condo association most likely has their own coverage but their insurance probably covers the building(s) and commonly owned property. The association’s insurance would not cover incidents that happen inside your condo like water damage or a guest falling and getting hurt.

What does condo insurance cover?

With MAPFRE, the Unit-Owners policy generally covers fixtures, alterations, additions, structures owned by the insured; personal property; additional living and loss of rent. Every circumstance is unique, but these are generally what would be covered by your condo insurance policy.

What wouldn’t typically be covered by your condo insurance policy?

  • General wear and tear
  • Damage from lack of maintenance
  • Damage caused by remodeling your home
  • Flood damage and earthquake damage typically aren’t covered

How much condo insurance do I need and how much does it cost? 

We can help you decide what is specifically covered and what is not, therefore determining how much insurance you need. Those factors would help determine how much you pay for your policy in addition to things like geographic location, how old your property is and what the structure is made of and how much your deductible is. You may also need additional coverage for your more valuable personal possessions like jewelry as there are limits to what is covered under your standard condo insurance policy. You can always ask your Independent Agent about an endorsement for high value property.

If you live in Massachusetts, make sure you have the right coverage for your condo by getting a fast, free quote from us today.  Call us or contact us today. (910) 521-9090

Source:  https://www.mapfreinsurance.com/blog/why-you-need-condo-insurance/

Homeowners, Homeowners Insurance, Homeowners Insurance in Pembroke NC, Dial Insurance, Auto Insurance, Pembroke, North Carolina, Insurance Near Me, Insurance Pembroke NC

Your air conditioning (AC) system is a vital component of your home, especially during hot summer months. To ensure it operates efficiently and lasts longer, proper maintenance and safeguarding are essential. Here are some valuable tips to protect your AC:

Regular Cleaning:

  • Dust and debris can accumulate on your AC unit’s condenser coils, reducing its efficiency. Periodically clean the coils using a hose or a soft brush to remove dirt and debris.

Trim Vegetation:

  • Ensure that plants, bushes, or trees near your AC unit are trimmed and kept at a safe distance. Overgrown vegetation can obstruct airflow and reduce the unit’s efficiency.

Change Filters:

  • Replace or clean air filters regularly, ideally every 1-3 months. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, making your AC work harder and potentially leading to damage.

Check Insulation:

  • Ensure that your home is properly insulated. Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, reducing the workload on your AC.

Professional Maintenance:

  • Schedule annual professional maintenance for your AC system. Technicians can identify and address issues early, improving efficiency and preventing breakdowns.

Shade the Unit:

  • Providing shade for your outdoor AC unit can help it operate more efficiently. However, make sure not to obstruct airflow.

Programmable Thermostat:

  • Invest in a programmable thermostat to control your AC’s temperature settings efficiently. It can reduce the workload when you’re not at home.

Seal Leaks:

  • Seal any gaps or leaks in your home’s windows and doors to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from entering.

Proper Ventilation:

  • Ensure that your home has proper ventilation to allow cool air to circulate efficiently. Ceiling fans and attic vents can help.

Use Ceiling Fans:

  • Ceiling fans can help distribute cool air more evenly, reducing the need for your AC to run constantly.

Protect from Weather:

  • In extreme weather conditions, cover your outdoor AC unit to protect it from heavy rain, snow, or ice. Just remember to remove the cover when the weather improves.

Mind the Thermostat:

  • Avoid setting your thermostat too low during hot weather. Each degree lower increases your energy consumption significantly.

Keep Registers Open:

  • Ensure that all HVAC registers in your home are open and unobstructed to allow for proper airflow.

Check Ductwork:

  • Periodically inspect your ductwork for leaks or damage. Seal any gaps to prevent cooled air from escaping.

By following these tips, you can maintain the efficiency and longevity of your air conditioning system while also improving your home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency. Properly caring for your AC not only saves you money on energy bills but also reduces the risk of costly repairs and premature replacement.

Smartphone apps drive gig workers, parents to distraction

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Gig-economy workers are 4 times as likely as other drivers to use smartphone apps regularly while driving, a new survey from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

“The explosion of smartphone features and services has not only created new forms of driver distraction, but also a new group of rideshare and delivery drivers whose jobs require them to interact with their phones while they’re on the road,” IIHS President David Harkey said.

Parents are also nearly 50 percent more prone to routinely making video calls, checking weather reports and other types of smartphone-enabled distractions than drivers without children 18 or younger, the survey found.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that more than 3,000 people died in distraction-related crashes in 2020, accounting for 8 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. Because it’s difficult to determine if distraction contributed to a crash, that number is almost certainly an underestimate.

Anything that diverts the driver’s attention — eating, adjusting the radio, putting on makeup — can increase the risk of a crash. But tasks involving mobile phones and other electronic devices can be both more demanding and more tempting than other common distractions. The variety of smartphone applications has also exploded in recent years.

To begin exploring the impact of these newer applications, IIHS surveyed more than 2,000 drivers nationwide about what secondary tasks they perform while driving. Tasks were separated into ordinary activities and those that involved a mobile phone or another electronic device, and the device-based activities were further categorized into basic talking and texting and smartphone-based activities like programming a navigation app or checking a social media feed. For some device-based activities, drivers were also asked whether they performed the task using a hands-free feature.

Overall, nearly two-thirds of the participating drivers reported performing one or more distracting activities of any type most or every time they drove over the past 30 days. Half said they performed at least one device-based task during most drives. Common device-based activities included making phone calls, streaming music and reading texts, but the most common was programming a navigation app. Far fewer people reported playing games on a mobile device while driving, but 8 percent said they play games regularly while they’re behind the wheel.

For the most part, the drivers said they usually used the hands-free feature for device-based activities when the capability was available. About 8 out of 10 drivers who said they regularly programmed their navigation app and 7 out of 10 who said they regularly read and sent texts while driving reported that they used voice commands to do so.

“Hands-free operation is generally believed to be less dangerous, since drivers can more easily keep their eyes on the road,” said IIHS Research Associate Aimee Cox, the lead author of the study. “However, it doesn’t eliminate the distraction altogether.”

Previous research has shown, for instance, that hands-free systems that require drivers to perform some operations manually, such as scrolling through a contact list, are less safe than those that can be managed completely with voice commands. Hands-free capabilities are irrelevant or impractical for some smartphone-based activities, such as scrolling social media or playing games.

Not surprisingly, the survey showed that drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to use smartphone apps while behind the wheel than drivers ages 35-49. Less predictably, however, it also showed that parents of children 18 and younger were 65 percent more likely than other drivers to perform non-device-based tasks, 31 percent more prone to any device-based distraction and 47 percent more likely to engage in smartphone-enabled secondary activities.

Gig-economy workers were more than twice as likely as other drivers to engage in any distracting activity and nearly 4 times as likely to regularly use smartphone apps while driving. The smartphone-based activities they performed also went well beyond communicating with customers and navigating to pickup and delivery locations using the app provided by their employer.

One possible reason could be that they’re more tempted to conduct other business or find ways to entertain themselves while driving because their jobs force them to spend so much time behind the wheel. In response, ridesharing and delivery companies should put in place or strengthen policies that mandate safe practices for necessary operations and restrict device-based behaviors that are not an essential part of the job.

“These results show that nobody is immune to distraction and suggest that hands-free capabilities may be making us a little too comfortable using our phones and other devices behind the wheel,” said Harkey.Source: https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/smartphone-apps-drive-gig-workers-parents-to-distraction

Safe Driving

Do you want to save money on your auto insurance by driving safely? Most companies are using car telematics programs to do so.

Car telematics programs are wireless devices that communicate with each other. In the world of auto insurance, this means that insurers collect data by using a cell phone app or a small in-car tracking device. Yes, that might sound intimidating but there are many reasons these devices could be useful to you. 

Lower Rates. Do you want to pay less for car insurance? Your car insurance should be based on how you drive, not the age of the driver. Careful drivers can be rewarded for their good driving habits. Whether it is a lower deductible or premium, you will see exactly how your driving affects you. 

Misuse. Trying to save your family vehicle for as long as possible? Telemetric information can help discourage the misuse of your vehicle so it will have a longer life in the family. Some devices will let you know when you are braking or accelerating too hard, which could decrease the life of your vehicle. 

Teen Drivers. Having a teen driver out on the roads for the first time can be scary. Telemetric tracking devices allow you to see if your teen is driving safely. Are you scared of them being reckless with the family vehicle? You are able to gather information such as braking or accelerating too quickly, for a teaching moment that could one day save their life.

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Sources: 

https://www.brickhousesecurity.com/gps-trackers/apps-vs-devices/  

https://www.compare.com/auto-insurance/resources/how-insurance-telematics-work

https://twocents.lifehacker.com/should-you-let-your-insurance-company-track-your-drivin-1845201248

How to Change a Tire

Knowing how to change a tire is a necessary skill for all drivers. You might be thinking, “I pay for a AAA membership so that I get roadside assistance and don’t have to worry,” or “I have a cell phone, I can just call someone to help.” Even if this is the case for most situations, there are still plenty of situations where these reasons don’t cover you.

WHY SHOULD YOU KNOW HOW TO FIX A FLAT TIRE?  

1. Cell phones don’t always have service

In this day and age, we depend heavily on our cell phones, but cell service doesn’t always cover what it says it will. Landscape, weather, the locations of antennas, and the cell network capacity all play a factor in you getting your service when you need it. 

2. You might get a flat in a dangerous place

Even more serious would be finding yourself in a remote, secluded area with a flat tire. People can be dangerous, so we recommend getting help from a source you trust, if possible, like your roadside assistance. But sometimes roadside assistance cannot reach you within a reasonable amount of time. If you’re out on the road, it may take several hours to get help. In the meantime, you are putting yourself at risk by staying in this spot. 

Other danger factors include weather conditions and where you had to park your vehicle (like a spot that slows down or blocks traffic). This isn’t to mention if you are in a rush: say you are on the way to an important meeting or need to catch a flight – knowing how to change the tire yourself can get you back on the road quickly.

3. You might save money

Aside from saving time, you might save yourself some money. If you don’t have roadside assistance or a friend who can help, your only other option may be to call a towing company to take it to a nearby repair shop. Needless to say, this is much more time and money than simply doing the job yourself.

Thankfully, changing a tire isn’t all that hard! Just adhere to the following guidelines to be prepared in case you have a flat.

ITEMS YOU’LL NEED TO FIX A FLAT TIRE

These items should have come with your vehicle: jack, lug wrench, fully inflated spare tire, and a vehicle owner’s manual.

If you have misplaced any of these items, or if your car did not come with these items, you should purchase new ones right away. And be sure you’re regularly inflating the spare tire to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended PSI. You should check the spare’s air pressure every time you check your other tires. Remember to check pressure every month and before long trips or carrying an extra load.

Here are some items that don’t come with your vehicle but that you should stow in your trunk or glove box in case you have to change a flat tire: a flashlight with working batteries, a rain poncho, a small cut 2″x6” wood to secure the jack, gloves, and wheel wedges.

HOW TO CHANGE A TIRE

The long and short of this process can be found in the list below. For a full video on step-by-step directions, visit Bridgestone Tires.  

1. FIND A SAFE LOCATION

2. TURN ON YOUR HAZARD LIGHTS

3. APPLY THE PARKING BRAKE

4. APPLY WHEEL WEDGES

5. REMOVE THE HUBCAP OR WHEEL COVER

6. LOOSEN THE LUG NUTS

7. PLACE THE JACK UNDER THE VEHICLE

8. RAISE THE VEHICLE WITH THE JACK 

9. UNSCREW THE LUG NUTS

10. REMOVE THE FLAT TIRE

11. MOUNT THE SPARE TIRE ON THE LUG BOLTS

12. TIGHTEN THE LUG NUTS BY HAND

13. LOWER THE VEHICLE AND TIGHTEN THE LUG NUTS AGAIN

14. LOWER THE VEHICLE COMPLETELY

15. REPLACE THE HUBCAP

16. STOW ALL EQUIPMENT

17. CHECK THE PRESSURE IN THE SPARE TIRE 

18. TAKE YOUR FLAT TIRE TO A TECHNICIAN

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Source: https://www.bridgestonetire.com/tread-and-trend/drivers-ed/how-to-change-a-flat-tire# and https://www.procarecollision.com/why-it-is-important-to-know-how-to-change-a-flat-tire/