How to Get the Most out of Your Tires

Your car’s tires won’t last forever, but with regular attention you can keep them in good shape for several years. Here are a few ways to check on your tires each month to extend their performance and stretch your initial investment — all while staying safe on the road.

Tire Pressure

Even if your vehicle has a tire-pressure monitoring system, manual checks are still important. Under- or overinflated tires can lead to accidents, damaged tread and increased fuel consumption.

To check the pressure yourself, wait until your car has been parked and cooled for two to three hours. Find the sticker on the inside of the driver’s side door or consult your owner’s manual to confirm your make and model’s recommended pounds per square inch, measure with a pressure gauge, and add or release air as needed.

Tread Condition

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tire tread measuring 2/32 of an inch or less puts you at risk. To check the tread, hold a penny so that the top of Lincoln’s head faces the tire, then lower it between the treads. If he’s mostly covered, you’re in good shape for now. If his head is fully exposed, your tires are worn down and need to be replaced.

Age

Because rubber degrades over time, many experts recommend replacing tires at 10 years no matter what. Examine the manufacture date code when following this suggestion, not the purchase date. Look for an embossed string of letters and numbers on the tire’s sidewall; the last four digits after “DOT” indicate the week and year the tire was made.

When it comes to maximizing tire life, a little bit of preventive maintenance could be the key to avoiding premature wear and ensuring a safe ride.

Please visit Vick Insurance Group for all of your auto needs.

You may also find us online at www.vickinsurancegroup.com 24/7/365.


Buying a Home: 6 Due Diligence Tips

When purchasing property in Benton County, doing your due diligence is more than a turn of phrase. The period when a house is under contract is an essential part of the homebuying process and requires careful attention to detail.

The Basics

The due diligence process is the buyer’s opportunity to review all facets of a potential home sale. From home inspection findings to homeowner insurance costs, it’s when you’ll take the time to understand exactly what you’re potentially buying.

Here are a few due diligence do’s and don’ts to consider:

Do find out how long it lasts. Two weeks is fairly standard for the average due diligence process. However, shorter periods may be negotiated to gain a competitive edge in a seller’s market.

Don’t make assumptions about when it begins. In some cases, due diligence is conducted before a property goes under contract. In others, it begins after the contract is signed.

Do consult an insurance agent. Floodplain and fire-prone areas may require additional coverage. Make sure you know the estimated costs and what a new homeowners insurance policy will cover.

Don’t skim the home inspection. Make sure you’re familiar with every line of the report. You may want to get quotes from contractors or negotiate repair costs into your offer.

Do your research. Review neighborhood characteristics and check the area’s crime rates. Look at zoning laws to ensure they align with your long-term goals.

Don’t forget to review the HOA. If you’re joining a homeowners association, it’s not enough to simply read your HOA documents. Make sure the community is in good physical condition and the association is financially sound.

Being thorough in the due diligence phase will help you uncover potential issues and make the right choices for you and your family.

Please come by Vick Insurance, our team is always here to help.

Feel free to visit us online at www.vickinsurancegroup.com 24/7.


5 Tips for Hiring the Right Contractor

Most major home repairs in and around the surrounding areas of Benton County will require the help of a professional, and hiring the right contractor can be challenging if you’re not sure what to look for. Here’s how to ensure you get quality work for a fair price.

1. Ask for referrals. Look to your network for contractor recommendations. Personal references are the most reliable, but you can also use trusted review-based websites. Be sure to consider contractors who’ve received positive feedback within the past year or so.

2. Do your research. Search for online reviews and check the contractor’s status with the Better Business Bureau or other professional association. Review any public information to see if there are complaints against their license, and if possible, inspect their past work in person.

3. Review their insurance coverage. At a minimum, contractors should have general liability coverage to protect against bodily injury and property damage. It’s even better if they pair basic coverage with a worker’s compensation policy that extends to any subcontractors.

4. Solicit multiple bids. Compare written bids from multiple potential contractors and consider eliminating outliers that seem too high or too low. If a bid is too low, it may be because they use questionable materials or hire inexperienced labor. If it’s too high, they could be overcharging for their work.

5. Put everything in writing. All written estimates should include specifications like material types and costs, established scope, anticipated project start and end dates and expectations for contingencies, cleanup responsibilities, warranty information and limiting factors like homeowner association bylaws or building permits. Everyone should make sure their insurance company approves the work before signing any formal agreement.

No matter how complicated or straightforward your home repair claim may be, knowing how to search for a contractor can simplify the selection process and bring you peace of mind.

Our Vick Insurance Team looks forward to helping you with all of your home needs. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Visit us online at www.vickinsurancegroup.com 24/7
 


Actual cash value or replacement cost?

When it comes to insuring your most valuable possessions, you have important choices to make. In the event of a loss involving your home or car, do you know how you’d like to be reimbursed? Does your current policy reflect these preferences?

Carefully evaluate these two types of coverage to ensure you’re well-informed.

Actual Cash Value 

If you elect for an actual cash value insurance policy, you’ll likely be compensated for the fair market value of the item at the time it was lost or damaged.

Pro: These policies often have less expensive monthly premiums, so you could insure expensive items for less.

Con: The payout is not based on what you paid for the item. This means you could be out the difference if something has depreciated in value since you purchased it.

For example, if you had a wreck and wanted to replace the car you bought five years ago, you’ll probably be accepting payment for what a vehicle of that make and model would fetch now, minus your deductible and wear and tear.

Replacement Cost 

Many agents recommend replacement cost insurance, especially for homeowners. This sets you up to be reimbursed for the full amount it would take to rebuild your home and replace everything in it.

Pro: You can replace older items for what they would cost to purchase new.

Con: This option tends to be more expensive. Also, you must replace all items claimed to recoup the payout and you can’t use the money for other things.

Keep in mind that multiple factors come into play when determining how an insurance claim will be paid out, but by learning about your options you can set yourself up for success. Please reach out with any questions you may have, our staff at Vick Insurance Group is always eager to assist you with all of your home and auto needs.

Visit us online at www.vickinsurancegroup.com 24/7/365


Credit History and Car Insurance Rates

Here at Vick Insurance in Camden, TN, one of the top questions we get asked is, “How does my credit score effect my insurance rates?”

You probably know that your credit history has a big impact on your borrowing capabilities and interest rates, but did you know it can also affect how much you pay for car insurance? Find out how credit and insurance are connected and learn what you can do to keep premiums as low as possible.

The Factors at Play

Your three-digit credit score is based on various details of your credit history. While your credit score doesn’t directly determine your insurance rate, insurance providers may review similar information from your financial past to assign you an ” insurance score” that estimates your likelihood of filing a future claim.

How Your Insurance Score Is Calculated 

Insurance companies don’t consider income or job history when calculating your insurance score. Instead, they look at payment history and the amount of debt you carry. Companies will also note how many lines of credit you have in good standing and how long each account has been open.

This is where things become a little confusing: Insurance scores are also configured using data from other policyholders. The types and number of claims from others in your credit range will help determine your score, which is why it can be hard to control or predict how much you’ll pay for auto insurance, homeowners insurance and even life and health insurance.

Keeping Rates Low

Though the calculations may be complicated, there are simple ways to position yourself for lower rates. Start by checking your credit activity regularly and dispute anything that looks suspicious. Make sure you don’t miss any payments or carry excessive debt. Over time, these habits may help keep your credit-based insurance score high and your premiums low.

Please reach out to Vick Insurance Group for all of your business, home, auto and life insurance needs.  Visit us online at www.vickinsurancegroup.com 24/7/365.


4 High-Tech Auto Features to Know

Though fully functioning self-driving cars are still in the works and you may not be seeing them in Camden, TN, driver-assistance technologies are already helping to make roads safer. Some features that were once considered a luxury now come standard in 2018 models, and you’re probably already familiar with some of these modern improvements.

Curious about the tech that keeps us safe on the road? Get to know these four high-tech auto features.

Lane-Keeping Assist 
Forward-facing sensors watch the road even when your attention goes elsewhere. Should you begin to drift, standard lane departure systems will send you an alert, while more advanced versions use driver-override technologies to help you correct your course using automatic steering.

Rearview Cameras
Increasing a driver’s scope of vision is one of the best ways to prevent accidents, which is why backup cameras are now mandatory for all new vehicles. Many manufacturers are also adding cameras to front and sideview mirrors, offering even better visibility.

Blind Spot Detection 
Changes in cars’ body styles have made it harder to see out of some makes and models. Counter this effect with blind spot detection, which works by using a light, sound or steering wheel vibration to alert you of an approaching vehicle outside your line of vision.

Adaptive Cruise Control
Most of us are well-acquainted with cruise control, but newer cars offer a better version of the old standard. Adaptive cruise control adjusts your desired speed to make sure you maintain a safe following distance on the highway and provides some braking capabilities as well.

Someday we may have completely self-driving cars, but in the meantime, safety-oriented technology is here to help keep our vehicles and our families out of harm’s way.

Be sure and check out www.vickinsurancegroup.com for all of your home and auto needs 24/7/365.


Do You Need Umbrella Insurance

Whether you live in Camden, Big Sandy, Holladay, Bruceton or Nashville, TN, we must all realize we live in a litigious society, and for most families it would be financially devastating to experience a lawsuit. Want to protect your assets? An umbrella policy could provide the extra coverage you need.

What does an umbrella policy cover?

An umbrella policy provides additional liability protection. If someone sues you, this policy picks up where your homeowners or car insurance coverage leaves off. Coverage includes everything from legal fees to the settlement amounts associated with a lawsuit.

Umbrella insurance also covers litigation prompted by:

  • Rental property incidents
  • Malicious prosecutions or false arrests
  • Defamation of character
  • Damages for pain and suffering

Who needs extra coverage?

If you’re worried about keeping your existing net worth and future earnings secure, it might be worth looking into an umbrella policy. People with substantial assets often set up umbrella liability insurance to insulate themselves in the event of a lawsuit, but wealthy policyholders aren’t the only ones at risk. If you don’t have significant assets, the court can target your future earnings to pay off damages.

How much coverage do you need?

Umbrella policy premiums are relatively inexpensive compared to what it would cost to have your assets drained. But the more you have to safeguard, the larger the policy you may need.

To figure out how much coverage you need, first evaluate all savings, retirement accounts and physical property. Next, calculate what the potential loss of your future income would be. Finally, add these figures together to form an idea of your potential coverage amount.

No matter how much you have or don’t have, here at Vick Insurance Group, we feel that an umbrella policy can help you preserve your current and future wealth. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

 

From <http://stephen.vickinsurancegroup.myhomehq.biz/why-an-umbrella-policy-might-be-the-right-choice-for-you>


What to do After a Car Accident

Unfortunately, most of us will probably be involved in a car accident at some point. Though you may not be able to guess exactly how you’ll react to a crash, knowing what to expect can make this unpleasant experience less overwhelming.

What to Do Immediately After the Wreck

Take a few deep breaths to process what’s happened. Once you’re ready, take the following steps:

  • Check to see if anyone is hurt. This includes yourself, your passengers and anyone in the other vehicle. If anyone has been seriously injured, call 911.
  • Stay on the scene. Take note of the other vehicle’s make and model, and record the license plate number if you can.
  • Keep yourself safe. If your car is stopping traffic or is otherwise in a dangerous place, pull to the nearest parking lot or roadside. Turn off your engine and turn on your hazards.
  • Document the accident. Exchange insurance information and take a picture of any damage if possible. Later, make sure to file an accident report with the authorities.
  • Go home and rest. Then, as soon as you’re able, call your insurance company to notify them of the accident.

Post-Accident Self-Care

Coping with an accident isn’t just about nursing physical injuries. Your mental health is equally important. Once your doctor clears you for normal activity, check in with yourself.

You may feel a mix of emotions, from shock and disbelief to anger or guilt. Don’t hesitate to share the experience with loved ones or a professional counselor. If you’re still having trouble feeling comfortable behind the wheel after a few weeks, consider taking a defensive driving course.

Even minor accidents can have serious effects, so give yourself time to recover and ask for help when needed.

Be sure and check out Vick Insurance in Camden, TN for our video library and by-monthly blog.


Do You Need Umbrella Insurance?

 

We live in a litigious society, and for most families it would be financially devastating to experience a lawsuit. Want to protect your assets? An umbrella policy could provide the extra coverage you need.

What does an umbrella policy cover?

An umbrella policy provides additional liability protection. If someone sues you, this policy picks up where your homeowners or car insurance coverage leaves off. Coverage includes everything from legal fees to the settlement amounts associated with a lawsuit.

Umbrella insurance also covers litigation prompted by:

  • Rental property incidents
  • Malicious prosecutions or false arrests
  • Defamation of character
  • Damages for pain and suffering

Who needs extra coverage?

If you’re worried about keeping your existing net worth and future earnings secure, it might be worth looking into an umbrella policy. People with substantial assets often set up umbrella liability insurance to insulate themselves in the event of a lawsuit, but wealthy policyholders aren’t the only ones at risk. If you don’t have significant assets, the court can target your future earnings to pay off damages.

How much coverage do you need?

Umbrella policy premiums are relatively inexpensive compared to what it would cost to have your assets drained. But the more you have to safeguard, the larger the policy you may need.

To figure out how much coverage you need, first evaluate all savings, retirement accounts and physical property. Next, calculate what the potential loss of your future income would be. Finally, add these figures together to form an idea of your potential coverage amount.

No matter how much you have or don’t have, an umbrella policy can help you preserve your current and future wealth. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

At Vick Insurance, no matter what insurance need you have, we strive to be the insurance company of choice for all your insurance needs for Business, Home, Auto and Life for Camden, Big Sandy, Bruceton, Holladay, Paris and the surrounding counties.


New Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

With the holidays quickly approaching, the amount of time you spend in the kitchen is likely to increase. Whether you’ll be hosting family gatherings or cooking your favorite holiday dishes, make things easier on yourself by getting organized now.

Categorize Kitchenware

Looking for a good place to start? Try arranging your kitchenware items based on how often you use them. For instance, everyday dishes should be stored in an easy-to-access place, while your professional grade mixer can be kept tucked away in a cupboard. Keep all bakeware together, and store other items close to where you use them. For example, place pans and skillets near the stove.

Lock Down Lids

If you feel like the lids to your pots and Tupperware are like socks — always missing from their mate — it’s time to build a better system. Depending on how much space you have, try using a rack to file lids in a row or add a tiered pullout insert to cabinets or drawers.

Make a Food Filing System

Start by organizing your pantry shelves into grocery store categories. Put dry goods such as rice and beans on one shelf, and keep cans and sauces on another. You can also use see-through containers like wire baskets to organize snacks. If you need to save space, use an over-the-door organizer to sort and display food, spices and more.

Consolidate Cleaning Products

What about cleaning products and other odds and ends? The storage area beneath your sink has more potential than you may realize. Stackable shelves or even pullout drawers can help you bring some order to this often overlooked space.

Vick Insurance Group here in Camden, TN is reachable 24/7/365.  Visit us at www.vickinsurancegroup.com for all your Business, Home, Auto and Life Insurance needs.

“Merry Christmas”