How should you handle a fender bender?

Would you know what to if you were involved in a fender bender?

Even if the damage doesn’t seem significant, you might have a time-consuming and stressful process ahead of you and it’s important to proceed carefully.

If it’s a serious wreck, call 911. Otherwise, here’s what to keep in mind in the event of a minor accident.

What should you do at the scene? 

If you accidentally bump another car (or if they bump you), here are a few steps to take:

  • First, make sure everyone is okay. Then, if it’s safe, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic.
  • Even if the damage seems minimal, call the police.
  • Exchange information with the other driver, including full name, phone number and insurance details.
  • Take photos of the vehicles involved and document the location, road conditions, the weather and any other relevant details about the scene.
  • Were there any eyewitnesses? Try to take their names and contact information, as well.
  • When the police arrive, be direct and polite. Make sure you gather their names, badge numbers and contact details and ask about obtaining a copy of the accident report.

It’s also important to contact your insurance company, so reach out as soon as you can to let us know what happened. We’ll walk you through the next steps, start the claim process and guide you through any necessary repairs that need to be made.

What if the other driver leaves the scene?

If the other driver doesn’t cooperate, doesn’t share their information or refuses to stop altogether, you should still stop and call the police. Try to remember as many details as you can (the color, make and model of the car, details from the scene, etc.) and share them with the police.

If you have any questions about how to handle a fender bender or any other claim, reach out to one of our team members today at www.vickinsurancegroup.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Smart Ideas for a Safe and Happy Winter

Winter is known for being a time of celebration, family gatherings and staying cozy by the nearest fireplace. It’s also a season of potential challenges when it comes to your home, vehicle and health.

Want to keep the season as festive and problem-free as possible? Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the rest of 2019 and beyond:

At Home

It’s good advice for any time of the year: Give your home a thorough once-over and complete the maintenance tasks that can prevent you from having to make expensive repairs later on. This includes:

  • Examining your roof and gutters and looking for any leaks or obstructions
  • Trimming dying tree branches or those that are too close to your house (or your neighbor’s)
  • Checking the bulbs in your outdoor lighting
  • Insulating pipes in unheated areas and inspecting your windows and doors for any areas that need recaulking or new weatherstripping

On the Road

Winterize your car by checking all its vitals:

  • The battery
  • Tire tread and pressure
  • All fluids, including antifreeze

It’s also wise to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, especially during the winter. A flashlight, blankets, portable phone charger, first-aid kit, extra batteries and a small supply of food and water are safety must-haves.

Health and Safety

Last but not least, take good care of your family and yourself during cold and flu season by getting a flu shot, washing your hands often and regularly wiping down commonly used items like light switches and remote controls.

And whether you’re getting your home ready for colder weather or the upcoming holidays, always exercise caution when using ladders, power tools, fireplaces and candles.

Want more tips before the upcoming new year? Need to discuss your coverage? Reach out to one of our team members anytime. Stay connected with us through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


4 Wasteful Habits to Watch Out For

No one likes to feel like they’re being wasteful. Luckily, you don’t have to radically transform your lifestyle to feel better about your everyday consumption and spending habits.

Want to make a few easy changes? Here are some tips to help you stick to your budget, minimize your environmental impact and save yourself time and stress:

Spend Less Time Behind the Wheel

Between gas costs and regular maintenance, cars can be a real cash drain. Consider taking public transportation or carpooling to save. If your employer allows it, working remotely can also help you cut down on your driving time.

Don’t Overbuy at the Grocery Store

How often do you toss spoiled fruits and veggies into the trash? Shop smarter by creating a grocery list based on three to five meals you know you’ll have time to prepare (and then don’t buy beyond that). It also pays to look at ads in advance to see which pantry items are on sale.

Cut Back on Recurring Subscriptions

It seemed like a good idea to spend $20 a month for unlimited car washes, but you haven’t gone in months. Are you getting enough value from your music and TV streaming subscriptions? What about that meal kit service? It pays to regularly review recurring charges like these to see which ones are really worth it.

Turn Off Energy Hogs

Unplug – don’t just turn off – the devices you aren’t using, like the gaming computer in the spare bedroom or the big-screen TV. And the next time you’re ready to upgrade your appliances, check with your utility company: some offer rebates for energy-efficient models.

Choosing the right insurance policy is also a great way to save. Reach out today to one of our team members at Vick Insurance so we can take a closer look at your coverage and make sure you’re not overpaying.

Check out some of our other Vick Insurance Group media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Try These 4 Tips to Reduce Your Costs

Do you wish you had more control over certain things, including your auto insurance premium?

It’s true that many factors can’t be changed, like your age or how many years of driving experience you have. But with a little effort, you might be able to influence other factors (and potentially lower your premium).

Here are four steps you can take that might help you save a little money on your policy.

1. Follow the Rules of the Road

Even a minor traffic violation can increase your premium. It’s crucial to buckle up, slow down, keep your eyes off your phone, and when possible, avoid the path of dangerous and distracted drivers. Parking in safe areas is helpful, too.

2. Make Smart Financial Choices

It may surprise you, but your credit score can often have an impact on your premium. A higher score may predict less future risk, so try to stay out of debt and avoid making late payments.

3. Don’t Claim the Small Stuff

A long history of insurance claims or gaps in coverage are red flags that typically cost you. Consider taking care of small claims on your own (especially when the repair costs are lower than your deductible) and maintain continuous coverage.

4. Check In Annually

It pays to review your coverage every year or after a significant life event. We can look at possible bundling options and discounts for factors like safe driving.

Need to check in? Have questions about how to reduce your costs? Reach out anytime to one of our team members. Also find us on our social media Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


4 Common Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve spent three months looking over paint swatches and now you’re finally ready to make a decision. But as soon as you finish the first coat of Blue Marlin, you’re wishing you had gone with Iceberg instead.

Paint is pretty easy to change. But other home updates can cost you more than just a lost weekend. Take a look at these common remodeling mistakes before you start your next project:

1. You Underestimate the Timeframe

It was supposed to take one afternoon to install the new plank-style wood flooring in your bedroom. Now you’re sleeping in the living room and your project is far from complete.

The Takeaway: Be realistic from the beginning and allow yourself plenty of time to deal with unforeseen challenges.

2. You Cut Corners on Materials

You’re heartbroken to learn that the 99-cent backsplash you found is hard to install and not very durable. It didn’t take long to crack one of the tiles.

The Takeaway: Keep quality in mind, read consumer reviews and don’t let thriftiness cloud your vision.

3. You Should Have Hired a Professional

Building a new set of front entrance stairs seems manageable according to the YouTube videos you’ve watched. But before you know it, you’re in way over your head.

The Takeaway: When a project involves heavy lifting or specific skills, it’s best to turn to a pro for help.

4. You End Up Going Way Over Budget

You just wanted to pull out some old carpet in the basement and add a simple wall. Now, you’re waterproofing and managing mold (and you surpassed your budget several days ago).

The Takeaway: A thorough inspection from a trusted contractor can reveal the true scope of the work that needs to be done.

Have questions about your homeowners coverage or how it might change if you remodel? Reach out to one of our team members today at www.vickinsurancegroup.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Would you be covered in these 5 scenarios?

Accidents happen on the road. A deer could dart across your path, a tree branch could come crashing down or you could make a simple mistake as you hurry to get to work.

Does your policy kick in after these kinds of events?

Let’s look at five things that could easily happen to any driver and see if they’d be covered.

Your Friend Wrecks Your Car

Your friend’s car is in the shop, so you lend them yours for the day. What happens if they end up involved in a fender bender?

Your insurance typically follows your vehicle. If you have collision insurance, the damage may be covered. If your friend caused the accident, your liability insurance could help cover the losses others suffer, too.

A Tree Falls on Your Truck

A storm rages through the night and you wake up to find a big tree lying across the hood of your truck. Not to worry — comprehensive auto insurance most likely covers damage from storms.

A Pothole Takes Out Your Muffler

What looks like a shallow puddle ends up being a massive pothole, resulting in a jolt, a thud and some serious damage. Though your deductible may be too high to cover minor issues, in a situation where significant repairs are needed, you may choose to file a claim.

Your Car Is Vandalized

Someone keyed your car and damaged your paint job pretty badly. Your comprehensive insurance should cover you, so you might want to file a claim if the damage exceeds the amount of your deductible.

Oops! You Backed Into Something

In a rush to get to work, you forget to open the garage door and backed right into it. (Hey, it happens.) With collision insurance, you can file a claim for the damage.

Need to adjust your coverage? Have questions about your deductible? Reach out to someone on our team today to discuss your policy. You can also find us on our social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


5 Easy Ways to Save on Your Insurance

We all wish we had a little more money in the bank. Aside from the obvious steps — like canceling an unused gym membership or cutting back on your online shopping — are there other ways to save a few bucks each month?

Without reducing your home or auto protection, these simple tips might help you save on your insurance costs.

Take a look and see if any of these ideas might work for you:

Ask About Discounts

Bundling your home and auto coverage might be one savings option. You could also save by installing security features in your home. And discounts exist for low-mileage driving, making infrequent claims and having a teen driver who earns good grades.

Reduce Coverage When Needed

If your car is older and it’s paid off, you may be able to reduce your coverage. At least once a year, we should reassess your coverage and discuss whether you might be overpaying.

Don’t Skip Rental Insurance

If you’re currently renting a home or apartment, it’s important to invest in renter’s insurance. When you do, you’ll be able to start building a positive history that could help you earn lower home insurance rates later.

Keep Your Home and Car in Good Shape

Frequent claims will increase your costs. To help avoid this, make sure to stay on top of maintenance tasks. Have your roof and HVAC systems inspected regularly and keep up with oil changes, tire health and other routine car care.

Make Wise Buying Decisions

Before you buy an expensive vehicle, be sure to reach out to learn about the expected costs for coverage so there are no surprises later.

Ready to Save?

Reach out to our team at Vick Insurance today to discuss possible discounts, bundling and other savings options. This quick conversation could help keep money in your pocket. As always, make sure to visit our team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


Is it finally time to buy a new car?

Do you ever have car envy? Maybe a shiny new vehicle caught your eye the other day and now you can’t stop thinking about upgrading.

Before you head to the lot and make an impulsive decision, consider whether it’s really time for a new ride. Here’s what to keep in mind:

Think About Safety

A safe car is a valuable investment. New vehicles offer a variety of features to help reduce risks and better protect your family. If you don’t feel safe on the road with your current car, it makes sense to trade up for the benefit of having curtain air bags, backup cameras, blind spot assistance and more.

Consider the Costs

You’ll also need to ask the basic question: How much will it cost? Calculate how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a car payment and don’t forget to include any taxes and interest fees.

You also need to estimate insurance costs. Newer cars are more valuable, which means your premium will likely increase. And remember that the type of car is also a factor. You’ll probably see your rates rise quite a bit if you buy a flashy sports car, but not so much if you choose a traditional family vehicle.

On the other hand, if you’re putting a lot of money into your existing car for repairs and maintenance, it’s costing you more than it should. And are you currently getting great gas mileage, or will buying a more efficient car allow you to save some money at the pump?

The Takeaway

You’ll know it’s time to buy a new car when you’re putting too much money into your old vehicle or you no longer feel safe in it. When it’s more of a “need” than a “want,” it’s probably time to take the plunge.

Need to change your coverage? Have questions about your premium? Reach out to our team anytime, or check out our social media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Protect Your Home With an Umbrella Policy

Imagine you’re having a party and someone twists their ankle on your property. This kind of thing happens more than you might think, and while your basic liability insurance may help, unfortunately it may not cover all the resulting costs.

Wouldn’t you rather have peace of mind knowing your assets are protected? If you don’t know much about umbrella insurance yet, now’s the time to learn.

What is umbrella insurance?

Umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance designed to provide an all-encompassing level of protection. This coverage picks up where other forms of liability insurance leave off.

Could you benefit from umbrella insurance?

If you have a higher-risk home, such as one with a pool, umbrella insurance adds an essential layer of protection. Parents of teenagers (who tend to be riskier drivers), dog owners and anyone with a boat or rental property are also good candidates.

How much does it cost?

Umbrella insurance is available as an add-on to most people who purchase a property insurance product, such as home insurance or business insurance. Because it’s an extension of your existing coverage, it tends to be very affordable — and it’s a small price to pay for the level of protection it can offer to you.

Why do you need it?

You can easily fall victim to a liability lawsuit in today’s world. Even if you don’t have a high-risk home, accidents do happen. If you want to protect your money and property from claims made after an accident or injury, having an affordable umbrella insurance policy makes sense.

Interested in learning more about umbrella insurance? Get in touch today with one of our agents at Vick Insurance Group. You can also reach out to us on our social media Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Find Peace of Mind (and Lower Premiums)

You’re enjoying yourself at your kid’s soccer game when suddenly it hits you: You left the front door unlocked.

Do you run home immediately and miss the rest of the game, or do you cross your fingers and hope for the best? With new advances in home safety technology, you don’t have to make this choice.

Installing devices like smart locks and sensors can help keep your home safer — and might even reduce your insurance costs. Here’s how:

Smart Locks. No more worrying about forgetting to lock the door. With a tap of your mobile device, you can lock and unlock your home from anywhere. You can also program smart locks to automatically lock whenever you leave your home — reducing the chance of an incident.

Solar Power Integrations. Want to save energy and potentially earn tax credits? Investing in solar-powered security lights or security cameras can help you do just that.

Geofencing. This emerging security technology gives peace of mind by creating a virtual bubble around your home. When you’re out of the security bubble, you’ll default to “away” mode. If there’s movement within the bubble while you’re away, you’ll get a push notification.

Fire and Leak Sensors. Today’s advanced sensors can quickly detect danger and then take action to protect you. For example, in the case of a fire, the sensor can automatically enable a smart thermostat that shuts off air conditioning, slowing the spread of smoke.

Ready for added security in your home? Reach out to our office at Vick Insurance to learn more about your safety options and how they might impact your insurance costs.