Archive

Archive for January, 2019

Outdoor Winter Safety

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(photo courtesy of Stockvault)

 

Outdoor Winter Safety

 

Recent temperature changes has dipped the thermometer below zero in the Midwest. Today’s podcast offers tips gather from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on keeping warm & safe in extreme cold weather.

 

– Dress Warmly & Stay Dry. Adults and children should be wearing  appropriate cold weather gear including a hat, scarf or face mask, mittens (warmer than gloves) and a jacket with elastic at the wrists.

– Dress in Layers. Before venturing out, you should be wearing 3 layers of clothing to protect yourself. An inner layer consisting of moisture-wicking fabric, an insulation layer consisting of wool or other warmth-containing fabric, & an outer layer that is water/snow repellent.

– Avoid Exertion. Don’t be outside longer than necessary and if you have to do chores outside, go slow and don’t over-exert.

– Beware of Ice. Ice in extremely cold temperatures is dangerously slick. Keep sidewalks/driveways/porches clear of ice. If the temperature is below zero, use a de-icer rated for those cold temps. Rock salt will only cause more issues with melting & re-freezing ice and cause a “marbles effect” that  makes things worse.

-Getting Stranded. Tie something brightly-colored to the antenna and keep the hood on your vehicle up (if not snowing). Wrap yourself in extra clothes & blankets. Run the vehicle for 10 minutes every hour, making sure to crack a window & the exhaust pipe of the vehicle is clear of obstruction. Utilize your emergency kit.

 

Again, we want you to visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s website for more tips on staying safe in extreme cold weather.

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Child Car Safety

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(image courtesy of Stockvault)

 

Child Car Safety

 

The image captured of a child flung out of a car still strapped to her car seat is very jarring. Over 100,000 children are injured each year due to improperly installed car seats/restraints. We wanted to share some tips on keeping your children safe while riding in your vehicle.

An article from DMV.org shares tips on properly installing a car seat in your vehicle:

  • Read the instructions. DON’T GUESS! Make sure you read the manual thoroughly and make sure you understand how to install it properly.
  • Reference your vehicle’s manual. Some vehicles have car seat anchors and other features to help you secure your child car seat properly. Older vehicles may not and will require the safety belt to secure the seat in place.
  • Lock the seat belt. Your vehicle’s manual should have information on how to lock the seatbelt once the car seat is in place.
  • Secure tightly. There should be no more than an inch of “wiggle room” in any direction.

Be sure to read the rest of the tips at DMV.org to ensure your child car seat is properly installed.

The folks at KidsHealth.org have some additional tips for older children:

– Wear your seatbelt EVERY TIME. No matter if you’re running down the street to the post office or across the country, wearing your seatbelt is important. Be sure to buckle up as soon as you get into the vehicle.

– Use a booster. Children should use a booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall or reach the weight/height limits of their car seat.

– Back seat, please. Until your child has reached the age of 12, it is recommended they remain in the back seat. There is a less-likely chance of hitting the windshield or injuries from a deployed air bag by sitting in the back.

Check out the full article at Kidshealth.org for more tips on car seat safety for older children!

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Identity Theft

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(photo courtesy of Stockvault.net)

Identity Theft

 

Identity theft affected 60 million Americans last year according to an article from LifeLock, with the 2 biggest thefts being employment/tax theft (using someone’s social security number/info to gain employment or file a false income tax return) and credit card fraud. Today we shared an article from Bankrate on steps to take when you discover you are a victim of identity theft (here are a few tips from the article):

– Notify Creditors & Financial Institutions. Most credit cards have a zero-liability policy when it comes to identity fraud and the Fair Credit Billing Act allows for a maximum liability for unauthorized charges of $50. BUT you need to contact your bank/financial institution within 2 days of the discovery of the theft to qualify for the $50 liability limit, after that it jumps to $500 for up to 60 days after the statement reflecting the fraud is mailed, and after 60 days – you’re on your own.

– Put a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report. Contact one of the 3 credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion, or Equifax) and file a fraud alert. This will last 90 days and alert you if someone is applying for credit in your name. Filing a report with the FTC or a policy report can extend that fraud alert to 7 years.

– Get a Copy of Your Credit Report. Once you have filed a fraud alert on your credit report, you will be opted-out on pre-approved credit cards & insurance offers. You will also receive a free copy of your credit report so you can go through and verify if any other fraud has occurred. You should be getting a free copy of your credit report from the government once a year to verify your information.

– Consider a Freeze on Your Credit. Freezing your credit will lock down your credit report from being released to new creditors. The costs can vary from state to state, or could be free if you are a victim of ID theft.

– Contact the FTC. Though the FTC mostly deals with large-scale identity thefts, they do monitor all levels of identity theft to find patterns and break up theft rings. More importantly, you need to file an identity theft affidavit with them. Having a copy of this affidavit along with a police report will help with disputing fraudulent accounts

 

There are a few more tips on what to do if you’re a victim of identity theft, go to the full article at Bankrate to read more.

 

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized