Update Your Insurance Coverage Before Winter

Winterize with Insurance Tune-up

By Tim Dodge

With winter nearly upon us, now is the time to prepare for its harsh and unpredictable weather. A visit to the “car doctor” is essential, as well as updating insurance coverage-both home and auto. Recommendations from AAA

Western and Central New York include the following winter driving preparations:

  • A thorough inspection of your vehicle may be necessary to determine its winter worthiness. This mechanical check-up should include tires, windshield wiper blades, radiator, belts, and the battery, to name a few.
  • Carry a “survival kit” in your car at all times, including a small bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, nonclumping cat litter); flashlight and extra batteries; small snow shovel, snow brush and ice scraper; windshield washer fluid; cloth or roll of paper towels; booster cables; blanket; protective clothing such as heavy gloves, scarf, warm boots; warning devices (triangles); first aid kit; drinking water and a granola or candy bar.
  • Plan long trips carefully, and begin your journey by following weather forecasts. Also, conduct as much of your trip as possible in daylight, and reduce the risk of fatigue and unseen road hazards.
  • Observe roadway conditions and laws, such as speed limits and icy pavement zones. New York state requires the use of seatbelts and prohibits hand held operation of cell phones while driving.
  • Consider buying comprehensive physical damage coverage for your cars. This will cover damage caused by
    falling objects such as heavy icicles. In addition to the many hazards that drivers must endure across New York state, winter can be brutal to homes and other properties. Make sure to update your homeowner’s or renters insurance coverage using these recommendations:
  • Having enough insurance to cover the cost of replacing the home is essential. If you built a home for
    $200,000 three years ago and have since added on without changing your insurance, a loss will catch you
    short. In addition, by combining auto and homeowners policies, a Trusted Choice® independent insurance
    agent may offer a discount on the price you pay.
  • To cover flood losses, talk to your agent about buying flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance
    Program. Be aware that there is a 30-day waiting period from purchase to the start of coverage.
  • To assist in proving a claim against the insurance company, it is important to keep an inventory of household
    possessions, receipts for the purchase of items, and/or a videotape or photographs of your belongings.

A Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent represents a multiple of insurance companies, and can tailor-make a policy based on coverage and budget. Finding a Trusted Choice® agent near you is easy-go to www.trustedchoice.com. Prepare for the unexpected weather ahead-winterize your car, home and insurance coverage.

Tim Dodge is director of research and external communications for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. Established in 1882, IIABNY has represented the common business interests of independent insurance protessionets for 125 years. For further information, e-mail Dodge at tdodge@iiabnv.org. Many IIABNY member-agencies also embrace Trusted Choice@, a national consumer brand that unites more than 7,000

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