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Strategies to Control Your Business Insurance Costs in 2024

As per 2024, business owners face a new set of challenges, and among the most pressing is the rising cost of business insurance. With the economic landscape constantly evolving, it’s more important than ever for businesses, big and small, to strategize effectively to manage their insurance expenses. This isn’t just about cutting costs; it’s about making smart choices that ensure your business remains protected without breaking the bank.

The key to understanding this lies in the various factors that impact insurance costs and exploring innovative strategies to control them. Whether you’re a fledgling startup or an established corporation, this guide is designed to provide you with practical insights and actionable tips to help you secure cost-efficient insurance plans. From conducting thorough business risk assessments to tailoring insurance to your specific needs, we’ll delve into various approaches that can lead to significant savings and enhanced coverage in 2024.

Smart Assessment: Laying the Foundation for Cost-Efficient Insurance

In the quest to control business insurance costs, the first crucial step is conducting a thorough assessment of your insurance needs. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation; every business has unique risks and requirements. Let’s break down how you can smartly assess your insurance needs:

  • Identify Your Business Risks: Start by listing out potential risks specific to your industry, location, and business model. This could range from natural disasters to cyber threats.
  • Evaluate Your Current Coverage: Review your existing policies to identify any gaps in coverage or areas where you might be over-insured.
  • Understand Policy Terms: Make sure you understand the terms and limitations of your policies. Sometimes, expensive premiums are due to misunderstandings about coverage necessities.

This process helps in pinpointing exactly what coverage your business needs – no more, no less. It’s about finding that sweet spot where you’re not underinsured (risking major out-of-pocket expenses during a crisis) or over-insured (paying for coverage you don’t need).

By accurately assessing your insurance needs, you can begin to explore options that are not only affordable but also provide the right level of protection for your business.

Choosing the Right Coverage: Strategies for Every Business

Selecting the right insurance policy is not just about price; it’s about understanding what you’re getting for your money. Here’s how you can explore cost-efficient insurance options that align with your business needs:

  • Compare Different Policies: Look at various insurance offerings, comparing their costs against the benefits they provide. Don’t just focus on the premium; consider the extent of coverage, deductibles, and exclusions.
  • Seek Customized Solutions: Some insurers offer customizable plans where you only pay for what you need. Tailoring a policy to your specific business can lead to significant savings.
  • Consider Bundling Policies: Often, buying multiple policies from the same provider can lead to discounts. Explore options like a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), which bundles several types of coverage.

Tailoring Insurance to Business Size 

For small and medium businesses, the approach to insurance can differ from larger corporations:

  • Small businesses might benefit more from BOPs or industry-specific policies.
  • Consider the impact of a claim on your business’s financial health and choose limits accordingly.

By exploring and comparing different insurance options, and tailoring them to your business size and type, you can find cost-efficient plans that provide adequate protection without overextending your budget.

Cutting Costs by Managing Risks: Proactive Steps for Businesses

One of the most effective ways to control your insurance costs is by reducing the risks associated with your business. Lower risk often translates to lower premiums. Here’s how you can implement risk management strategies:

  • Regular Safety Audits: Conduct regular safety checks to identify and mitigate potential hazards in your workplace.
  • Employee Training: Educate your staff on safety protocols and best practices to prevent accidents and claims.
  • Invest in Security: Implement strong cybersecurity measures and physical security systems to protect against theft, data breaches, and vandalism.

By proactively managing risks, you not only create a safer working environment but also position your business as a lower risk to insurers, which can lead to reduced insurance premiums.

Keeping Policies Aligned: The Power of Regular Reviews 

As your business evolves, so do your insurance needs. It’s crucial to regularly review and update your policies:

  • Annual Policy Reviews: Make it a practice to review your insurance coverage annually to ensure it still meets your business needs.
  • Adjust Coverage as Needed: As your business grows or changes, adjust your insurance coverage to reflect these changes. This could mean increasing coverage or identifying new areas of risk.

Effective risk management and regular policy reviews are key strategies in controlling your business insurance costs. They ensure that your coverage is always aligned with your current business needs and risk profile.

Steering Your Business Towards Sustainable Insurance Solutions

In conclusion, controlling your business insurance costs in 2024 requires a combination of smart assessment, choosing the right coverage, and proactive risk management. By understanding your unique business needs, exploring various insurance options, and implementing effective risk mitigation strategies, you can ensure that your business is adequately protected without overspending on premiums.

Remember, the goal is to achieve a balance between risk and cost. With the strategies outlined in this article, you’re well on your way to making informed decisions that will safeguard your business’s financial health and future. For more tailored advice and information, don’t hesitate to visit our homepage or contact us. We’re here to help you navigate the complex world of business insurance.

 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. Policies and circumstances can vary greatly, so please consult with a professional for advice specific to your business needs.

Surprising Things You Might Not Know Your Home Insurance Covers 

Having the right home insurance policy will protect your home and belongings, and additionally, cover your liability exposure from owning a home. You are probably aware of the typical events that home insurance covers, such as vandalism, fires, fallen trees, wind damage, or even lightning strikes. However, not all natural events are covered by all home insurance policies – many policies do not cover losses in the event of an earthquake or flood, meaning the policyholder would need to seek additional insurance to be fully protected. While it is best to consult your insurance agent to see your coverage, here are five surprising things you might not know your home insurance covers. 

Identity Theft 

One surprising event that is covered by your home insurance policy is identity theft. Many home insurance policies allow reimbursement for the costs of identity theft, such as lost wages or legal fees. Please note that this type of coverage is not guaranteed in all policies, so check with your agent to see if you are covered. 

Property of College Kids 

If your children have grown up and moved off to college, their property may still be protected under your home insurance policy. Policies typically cover anyone living in your household, as well as children under the age of 24, meaning your college-aged child may still be protected. It is important to note that the liability limit for students’ property may be lower, and not all policies cover off-campus housing. If this is a major concern, consider adding renter’s insurance to guarantee total protection. 

Mandatory Home Upgrades 

If there is legislation passed that requires you to make changes or improvements to your home, the cost of those changes is typically covered by your home insurance policy. There are usually limits to this type of coverage, so check with your agent to see the specific coverage your policy offers. 

Harm Caused by Pets 

Another surprising thing that is frequently covered by home insurance is medical expenses incurred from something such as your dog biting someone. However, many policies have a limit of $300,000 for medical expenses, so talk to your agent to see if you need to supplement your policy with additional protection.  

Riots/Civil Unrest 

Many home insurance policies provide you with protection for your home and personal property in the event of civil unrest, frequently referred to in the insurance world as “civil commotion.” Events such as fire, vandalism, or even explosions are typically covered. If the damage is done during a time not officially declared as a state of emergency, it is important to obtain a police report to submit when you file your claim. 

While you might not have thought these five things would be covered by your home insurance policy, there are many other surprising events that your policy is likely to cover. To see exactly what your policy covers, or if you need supplemental insurance to fully protect yourself, contact your local insurance agent today. 

Sugar Rush: How Does Too Much Candy Affect Your Body?

We all know that sugar is not good for our bodies, but the scary repercussions do not seem to be fully realized when we look at American culture. Many of our holidays revolve around food, and, particularly and not coincidentally, processed and refined foods such as candy. Americans love candy and purchase around twenty-four pounds of candy per person, per year, ingesting the most around Halloween.

Americans, we have a problem.

Too much sugar is poisonous for our bodies. Sugar overworks the liver and pancreas and causes inflammation. It directly and indirectly leads to a wide array of health problems, from tooth decay and obesity to heart disease and diabetes. Removing sugar from your diet can even lower your chances of suffering from the worst symptoms and conditions from Covid-19.

In a study on the effects of sugar on heart health published in 2014, “people who got 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who consumed 8% of their calories as added sugar.”

So we know it is bad, but there are important questions that remain: How much is too much and how do we change?

How much is too much?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that “on average, sugar makes up 17% of what children consume each day,” way more than what the Food Pyramid suggests. It isn’t feasible for us to track our sugar using a pyramid graph, but there are more reasonable ways we can monitor and evaluate our sugar consumption.

Nutrition labels have continuously improved over the years in containing a wealth of info that should not be ignored. The American Heart Association recommends you look to this label and keep your daily intake to under twenty-five grams (or six teaspoons) for women and under 36 grams (or nine teaspoons) for men.

What to do about it.

Of course, there’s an app for that, but we can’t expect ourselves to digitally track sugar intake for every member in our home. One of the easiest ways to monitor is to limit and even cut sugary foods in their entirety from the shopping list.

Who is in charge of the shopping and meal preparations? Start here. Limit or remove foods that contain refined sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup, listed on the labels. Replace sugary drinks, which is the main way children consume sugar, with healthier options such as milk and water. Begin this healthy overhaul before the food even enters your home.

Don’t be a total killjoy, especially around the holidays, but do be conscientious of what is going into your and your children’s bodies. Don’t leave candy lying in plain view – out of sight, out of mind, right? Impose limits on daily sugar intake that follow the guidelines for children (25 grams per day for children 2 and older) and for adults, especially if you have dietary restrictions for a health condition.

Other ways are to choose healthier options. Insider ranked almost two dozen fan-favorite candies from worst to best (Smarties are “best”). Whole fruits and low- to no-calorie sweeteners are another, healthier way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Most importantly, be mindful of what goes into your body, and if you buy the groceries, pay mind to those who look to you for guidance on living a healthy lifestyle. There are many resources around you. Ask your doctor, dentist, and even your insurance agent about these resources to cut costs and improve your dental, health, and life insurance plans. Heeding advice now will have more rewards than a king-size candy bar can offer! Your health is invaluable – treat it that way.

6 Reasons to Insure Your All Terrain Vehicle (ATV)

Blazing trails on your ATV out in the fresh, clean, country air is an indescribable joy that can only be felt. Thinking about insurance against damages and injuries is no joy, but it is a hill that you and your agent need to charge over together so that you can continue doing what you love.

Here are six reasons you should get with your agent and discuss the proper coverage so that you can get back to your ride, worry-free:

1. LEGAL COMPLIANCE

Many states require proof of insurance when using your ATV on public land, and some states require it when in use anywhere not on your own land. You may also not be allowed by law to drive your ATV on paved roads in your state. To avoid a ticket and fines, it’s best to ask your agent about the minimum requirements for insuring your joy-ride in your home state.

2. TRAVEL

Riding dirty may not just be a challenge at home, but could also be an issue when leaving the homestead. A good tip is to check the states where you plan to ride. Many ATV enthusiasts travel to areas such as Moab, Utah, for their thrill-seeking adventures, but there are countless destinations for a fun-filled weekend with your ATV. One thing that could be a real killjoy on vacation is to find yourself noncompliant with minimum insurance requirements. Keep your travels safe and pleasant by talking to your insurance agent before crossing state lines.

3. DAMAGES

Taking the good with the bad, we know that incurring damages is a sure possibility in the rough and rugged terrain you enjoy. Averaging anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, this “toy” is no small purchase. Protect yourself like you would with your car or truck with either liability, collision, or comprehensive coverage. Not only should you be worried about your vehicle, but other vehicles and property as well.

4. INJURY

There are about 650 deaths and over 100,000 injuries involving ATVs each and every year. Concussion, broken bones, spinal trauma, and cuts & bruises are the four most common ATV injuries. Wearing the proper gear, such as a helmet and padding, prevents many, but not all, injuries. Ask your doctor or agent about more precautions to take to avoid getting hurt, but know that the risk of injury on ATVs is fairly high, especially for children under 16 which account for about 26% of all ATV-related accidents in 2018.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) says you may want to ask your agent the following questions: Are there age restrictions on who may operate my ATV? Does my policy cover other people who may operate my ATV? These are great springboard questions into protecting more than just your ATV, but your little riders as well.

5. THEFT

Due to their high value and ease of loading in a truck bed or a trailer, your ATV is an ideal item for would-be thieves. Protect it from theft as best you can by following tips from your agent, such as removing keys, using the steering lock, and blocking it in with another vehicle if you can’t keep it inside.

6. LOW COST

Consider the insurance part of the sticker price of your ATV, because without it, you’re probably just borrowing time until the inevitable happens. Insurance is there for those instances, the unexpected. The average cost of your monthly premium is only about $100 for a standard policy, but it can vary wildly depending on your age, area, amount of use, and model of ATV. The only way to know for sure is to make an appointment with your agent and get a quote.

Your time on your ATV should be worry-free and fun. Let your agent help with that in the best way they know how to protect you.

Bundle Up! What It Means to Bundle Your Insurance Policies 

What happens when you have a lot of coverages but don’t bundle them? You end up with many confusing pieces of paperwork, and you could be spending more money than you need. Do you have different policies from different providers? Maybe you weren’t sure you wanted to bundle your policies and just never went back. Today, we will look over the importance of bundling your policies from more than just the money-saving aspect, and we understand how important that is! 

 

Let’s Save Some Money 

The biggest reason that many people have insurance bundles is the amount of money they can save. When you bundle your policies, you allow one insurance carrier to insure multiple lines under the same policy. The most popular bundle usually consists of home, life, and auto policies. Why do people lean towards bundling their policies? Bundling is typically done due to the agency offering some form of discount. These discounts are generally between 10% and 2% per policy. With this discount, you could be saving quite a bit of money every year. Money-saving isn’t the only perk to bundling your policies. 

 

Simplify the Confusion of Insurance Policies 

Simplification is the best way to help keep your life organized, and your insurance agency understands that! When you bundle your insurance policies, you can do away with the number of monthly bills you receive due to your coverages being under one entity. In addition to the convenience, if your insurance policies get done this way, it makes filing a claim more manageable if you ever need to. Life is hectic, and we all have so many things we want to do with so little time. Condensing all of your bills into one can help you save time and stress.  

 

Helps Build a Relationship with Your Agent 

Did you know that bundling your policies together can help you gain or create a better relationship with your insurance agent? When you begin working with a singular agent for all of your insurance needs, they can get to know you better and will be able to suggest insurance policies that you may need more accurately. In addition to their helpful eyes, they can help you find ways to save money on your policies. When you aren’t directly interacting with your agent, they will be on the lookout for potential risks that you need to know about. This type of personalization is hard to find when your policies get split throughout multiple agencies. Bundle up those policies to protect yourself and prepare for the unexpected with your insurance agent by your side.  

 

Are you ready to bundle up your policies? Then, contact your local insurance agency to meet with your agent today.   

Important Tips for Your Roof Inspection

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense from natural elements such as rain, hail, snow, and debris. Even a small crack can cause extensive damage, so it is a good idea to conduct routine roof checks. This helps keep your home and family safe, while also ensuring you have documentation of professional maintenance to provide your insurance policy. Here are tips to keep in mind when it comes time for your roof check. 

 

Inspect Regularly 

Plan to inspect your roof at least once a year. This allows you to stay ahead of repairs as you note possible damage. Conduct additional checks after extreme weather such as hail, snow, or thunderstorms. Depending on the weather in your climate, your roof may be subject to more possible damage from natural elements. Your home insurance policy does not cover “wear and tear” repairs or those caused by age, so it is vital to complete this maintenance as part of your homeownership.
 

Do a Visual Check First 

The first step in your inspection is to do a visual check from the ground. Walk around your home to check for any signs of possible damage. Here are a few things to look for: 

  • Missing or broken shingles 
  • Warped, blistered, or curled shingles 
  • Asphalt shingle grit in gutters 
  • Cracked caulk 
  • Rust spots 
  • Moss or lichen on rooftop 
  • Sagging spots 
  • Darkened ceilings or interior water damage 

If you spot these signs, it is time to get the problem addressed immediately. If left unrepaired, these concerns can cause major structural damage to your home. Because they were part of the wear and tear that homeowners are expected to maintain, the cost will come out of your pocket and not your insurance policy.
 

Hire a Professional 

It can be tempting to perform a “DIY” home repair and save a few dollars, but this is not worth the risk. Hire a roofing professional with experience fixing roofs and working on a ladder. They can address the concerns you identified, along with inspecting the full roof to determine if more work is needed. Confirm that the roofing repair company also has their own insurance updated, and ask what warranty they offer on their work. 

 

Understand Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy 

If your roofing professional determines that your roof is in need of a total replacement, you may be facing an extremely high cost. In the case of damage due to age or normal wear and tear, the repairs will most likely not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. However, if a tree branch has fallen onto your roof and caused a leak, this may be covered. 

 

Annual roof inspections are vital to keeping your home and family safe. Keep all your records of any updates and maintenance completed by licensed and insured professionals. For questions about your homeowner’s policy or additional roof insurance coverage, speak with your local agent today. 

Buying a Fixer-Upper? Here’s What You Need to Know About Insuring It.  

If you are looking into buying a home, you may be experiencing a bit of a hard time due to the current circumstances of the housing market. Buying a fixer-upper can sometimes provide a shortcut to homeownership, whether you are a first-time homeowner or buying your next home. With the low inventory but high demand for homes, the difficulty of obtaining a home has increased, especially on a budget. This is why we are seeing a rise in people buying fixer-upper homes. But what insurance do you need if you are buying a fixer-upper instead of a traditional home? We’ve compiled a list of insurance policies that can help protect you and your new property. 

 

Insurance Options for a Fixer Upper Home 

Conventional Home Insurance 

Eligibility for conventional insurance comes down to the ability to complete any outstanding repairs within before or within 30 days of closing. What if the home has more difficult to complete repairs? What if you aren’t planning on moving in for a few months? The conventional insurance policy may be out of reach. Did you know that empty and under-construction homes are considered a high risk for insurance companies? The traditional insurance company will, more than likely, recommend that you get a different insurance policy that is specifically formulated for higher-risk situations like these. Some may even write the policy themselves while other insurance companies will refer you to a third-party insurer that specializes in these high-risk policies. 

 

Builder’s Risk 

The most common form of insurance for homeowners with a new construction or newly renovated home is builder’s risk insurance. Typically, this policy starts with lower costs and as the home gets into better conditions, the cost will rise because the home value has now increased. This policy is easier to get if there is a solid, timed plan to finish the construction or new build.  

  

Vacant Dwelling 

Will your new home be sitting vacant while repairs and work are being done on the property? Vacant dwelling insurance may be a possibility. This policy will cover most physical losses, if there are any, but it will usually not cover any form of theft from the premise. Pay attention to the location of the property and decide if theft is a huge or minor issue. This can be a real problem anywhere if the home contains valuable appliances, tools or copper wiring and piping.  

  

Need to know more about policies to protect your new fixer-upper home? Reach out to your local agent for more information on the best insurance policies that fit your situation.  

Small Business Owners: What Kind of Insurance Should You Offer to Employees? 

Understanding what types of insurance to offer your small business’s employees can feel like a challenge. However, this is a great problem to have! It means you as the owner have done a wonderful job growing the company and adding new staff members to your dedicated team. Health insurance benefits are a major way to attract top talent to your company.  

The Affordable Care Act changed the landscape for small businesses and now requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer an “affordable” health plan. For an employee-only policy, they cannot spend more than 9.5% of their household income for coverage. Even if your business has fewer than 50 employees, there are still major incentives such as tax credits, employee satisfaction and retention, recruiting talent, and reduced sick time. Here, we are breaking down the basics of the types of insurance coverage to keep your small business’s employees happy and healthy. 

Medical Insurance 

The first step in providing insurance benefits is to offer medical coverage. This includes preventative care like annual checkups, along with emergency support. You as the business owner have options for the types of plans and the amount of subsidizing you want to offer. A Preferred Provider Organization plan is the most common and allows employees to go to a doctor or hospital that is within a “preferred” group. This includes preventative and emergency care. Employees will pay for their monthly premium and any costs up to their deductible. To determine what amount you would like for employees to pay and what you as the business can afford to cover, speak with your local insurance agent who can help you find the best plan and pricing. 

Dental Insurance 

Unlike medical insurance, dental insurance is not required under the Affordable Care Act. However, offering this vital preventative service is typically a low-cost commitment for you as the business owner and a valuable form of care for your employees. Individual employee-sponsored dental plans can cost your small business about $14 to $30 per month per person, with family coverage being higher. Most dental issues are preventative, but they can lead to many more serious health concerns if they are left untreated. Therefore, it is important to offer your small business’s employees the opportunity to enroll in a group plan, even if you cannot subsidize a portion of the cost. A group plan that is negotiated by your insurance agent will be more cost-effective for your employees than a private plan. 

Vision Insurance 

Similar to dental insurance, you are not required to provide your small business employees with vision insurance. However, with three out of four Americans wearing corrective lenses, the cost of eye exams, glasses, and contacts are important to a majority of your employees. If you plan to cover some of the cost for your employees, this is often one of the most inexpensive types of insurance to budget for. Your expense may range from $5 to $10 per month for basic preventative care and corrective lenses. More comprehensive plans, such as those that offer a discount on LASIK surgery or other more intensive procedures, could cost you $15 to $20 per month per employee. Showing your staff that you value all aspects of their health and wellness, especially something that is often out of their control, will go a long way in creating a positive environment for your team. 

Short-Term Disability Insurance 

One final type of insurance that you may want to make available to your employees is short-term disability. While policies can range from three months to a year, each one serves to provide your employee with a portion of their income or salary if they are out of work for a short time. Reasons can include a medical illness or surgery recovery, pregnancy, or injury, but the specific list of covered disabilities will depend on the policy you select. The primary benefit is to your employee, who can hopefully avoid financial hardship while they are unable to work. However, offering this also benefits you as a small business owner. You most likely spend a lot of time and resources selecting and training your staff. By offering this benefit, you can help them maintain their lifestyle, recover safely, and return back to work at the appropriate time.  

Regardless of the size of your small business, offering a variety of insurance plans is becoming more and more important. Jobs and salaries are more competitive than ever, and employees are looking for a company that values both the work they contribute and their personal wellness. Speak with your insurance agent today to determine which group insurance plans are right for your organization.  

What Insurance Do I Need for a Vacation?

Vacations are wonderful opportunities to relax, explore new places, and enjoy time spent with family and friends. But as you prepare for time away from home, it is important to have the proper insurance policies set up in advance. While you hope to never need them, these types of insurance can help you rest easy on your next trip.  

Rental Car Insurance 

If you are flying to your destination, you may also be picking up a rental car once you land at the airport. Purchasing insurance for your rental car is optional, and your own car insurance policy does affect most cases when you rent a vehicle. However, suppose you did not purchase collision or comprehensive auto insurance for your own vehicle. In that case, this means you will be responsible for the cost of any collision damage done to the rental as well. It is always ideal to have personal collision insurance, as well as purchase a “loss damage waiver” from the rental car company. This means your credit card will not be immediately charged for the cost of any damages. 

Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance 

You are probably aware of how your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy covers any possible loss, damage, or theft to your property and belongings. But did you know that in many cases, your property is also protected even as you travel? If you are bringing high-value equipment on your vacation such as scuba gear, skis, or professional cameras, these items could be covered if they are damaged unexpectedly or stolen. Keep in mind that most homeowner’s policies do have a cap on the value of covered possessions. If you are bringing equipment that exceeds that amount, it is a good idea to speak with your agent about obtaining a separate insurance policy for that specific item.  

Health Insurance 

When you are on vacation outside of the U.S., the last thing you want to experience is a serious medical emergency. However, it is best to prepare ahead and avoid a stressful situation, should you become injured. First, you will need to contact your health insurance provider and determine what (if any) coverage is provided in the country you are visiting. Your policy may offer some support for emergency room visits, but this is often where coverage ends. If you need to be medically evacuated back to the U.S., this can be extremely expensive. Speak with your insurance agent about a short-term medical trip insurance policy, especially if you travel abroad and engage in high-risk activities such as scuba diving, hang gliding, or skiing.  

Travel Insurance 

While this may seem like the most obvious policy to review and purchase before going on vacation, it can often be overlooked. Perhaps the last thing on your mind when planning your trip is the potential need to cancel or postpone the vacation. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon to experience. Travel insurance can provide partial reimbursement for your expenses if you need to cancel a trip due to personal injury, illness, or an unforeseen circumstance outlined in your policy. If you begin your vacation and need to return home early, your travel insurance may cover some of these expenses as well. Travel insurance can even provide reimbursement for clothing and toiletries if your luggage is lost or stolen during your trip.  

Whether you are planning an extended international adventure or a four-day weekend on the coast, there are a number of ways that new and existing insurance policies can protect you, your belongings, and the investment you’ve made in your trip. To discuss the options that are best for you, contact your local insurance agent today. 

 

Proper Pool Safety While Enjoying the Summer Season

Cooling off in the pool is one of the most fun ways to beat the summer heat. But before you jump in, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind. Many of these suggestions are geared towards your children or young family members, but it is up to you to enforce them and keep everyone safe. Here are six pool safety measures to take that protect both you and your loved ones this summer.  

Secure Your Pool 

A vital first step in pool safety is building a barrier around the perimeter. A four-sided isolation fence reduces the risk of a child drowning by 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing. Use fencing that is durable, tall, and self-latching with a latch that is out of reach for young children. For above-ground pools, remove the steps or ladder when an adult is not present.  

Designated Water Watcher 

When children are swimming, there should always be a designated adult within arm’s reach to assist if needed. If this adult is not in the water, they should be fully prepared to dive in at any time. Watching the water should also be their only task, especially if they are sitting poolside. That means no texting, reading, or playing games on their phone. A cell phone should still be within arm’s reach to call for help, but not kept in a clothing pocket to prevent water damage. 

Swimming Lessons 

If you plan to bring your infant into the pool, it is not necessary to have completed infant swim lessons (although classes are available). Be sure your baby has on safety-certified flotation attire, and hold them the entire time they are in the water. For older children who are going to swim or play in the pool without an adult holding onto them, it is a good idea to invest time in basic swim lessons. Teaching your children how to paddle with their head above water, float on their back, and safely exit the pool is imperative. As they become more confident, they can remove water wings and floats while learning different swimming techniques. 

Drain Awareness 

Children who are able to swim on their own should be educated on what to do when they approach the pool drain. If the drain is easily accessible, show your child how the drain uses strong suction to pull water from the pool. Teach children that if they get too close to the drain, their hair, swimsuit, jewelry, or limbs can become pulled down by the suction as well. While the drain is not something to be afraid of, children should not play with the drain or go near it in order to allow the pool to filter water properly. 

CPR and Emergency Plan  

It is always best to prepare for an emergency that may never happen, rather than to be unprepared if the unexpected occurs. Your family should have a plan for what to do if someone needs help or is drowning. Familiarize yourself with how to perform CPR on both infants, children, and adults. Courses and certifications are often available in your community. Recruit teens or older children to call 911, and make sure younger children know to clear the pool and wait for instructions. Practice your plan so each person knows their responsibility. 

Pool Insurance 

Your general homeowners insurance may offer some liability coverage, should a guest injure themselves while in your pool. Pool owners are also liable for injuries, whether the guest has permission to use the pool or not. Additionally, most homeowners policies only cover a certain percentage of the cost of non-residential structures on the property. If your pool becomes damaged by a guest or natural accident such as a tree falling on it, you would only receive a percentage of the cost to replace it. Keep your family and guests safe by maintaining the proper liability and damage coverage. Your local insurance agent can help determine what coverage is right for you.  

When you set the proper ground rules for pool safety, everyone is able to enjoy a fun and worry-free experience. Use these tips and maintain the appropriate insurance coverage so you can feel secure and safe this summer.