New Car Shopping? Five Tips for You

Yes, getting a new car is exciting, but you need to consider a lot of factors when you’re shopping from the term of your loan to what kind of safety technology is available, to how much insurance you’ll need. Getting a new car often means that you’re required to carry a fairly hefty insurance package to satisfy your loan company. Here are five tips on what to look for when you’re shopping.

  • Check out J.D. Powers quality ratings for your style, make, and model. The ratings for 2017 and some 2016 models are not yet out, but by searching for 2015 models, you’ll have plenty to choose from. LD Powers rated vehicles for overall quality, performance and design, and predicted reliability, but not for safety.
  • The NHTSA rates the safety of cars through three tough tests – rollover, t-bone, head on, and overall crash performance and lets you compare to other cars and notes the availability of safety technologies such as rearview video systems, electronic stability control, forward collision warning systems, and lane departure (or drift) warning systems.
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducts its own crash tests, and these are slightly different from the NHTSA. The IIHS then issues ratings and also highlights their top safety picks and Top Safety Pick Plus
  • Weekends are the busiest time for car dealerships, and not the best time to make a deal. Shop early in the week, toward the end of the month, and make your offer late in the day when sales people want to clinch that one last deal. Give serious consideration to models from the previous or outgoing years, since these need to be cleared out to […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:45-04:00June 22nd, 2016|Insurance|0 Comments

Keeping Cool when It’s Florida Hot

Summer in Florida can be like Double Summer. It’s twice as hot and twice as humid, making you twice as cranky and the electric bill twice as much per month. However, you can keep your cool in summer, and stay healthy at the same time. It’s most important to avoid heat prostrastion or heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or other heat related syndromes such as heat syncope, heat rash, and heat cramps. Heat stroke is the most serious of the three, with unmistakable symptoms.

  • Confusion and disorientation, changes in normal behavior such as lethargy or belligerence.
  • Seizures, lack of co-ordination, and staggering.
  • Rapid heartbeat and respiration.
  • Complaints of headache or nausea followed by vomiting.
  • Lack of sweating after heavy sweating, combined with a fever of 105F or above.

Any combination of those symptoms above is a “Call 911!” type of emergency, and icebags should be placed at the neck, under the arms, and at the top of the thighs in order to help bring down the body temperature. This is heat stroke and is not something that you can treat at home, but something that requires an ER. Any fever over 105 is an instant cause for alarm, and can require medical intervention to prevent further damage to the body or even death. Tips for staying cool – when you can’t veg it in the AC all day – are as follows:

  • Time your exertion such as walking the dog, mowing the lawn, washing the car, or exercising outside to the hours of the early morning or late evening.
  • Wear light colored, loose clothing in breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics.
  • Water. Water. Stay hydrated with water and even Pedialyte. […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:45-04:00June 16th, 2016|Insurance|0 Comments

Home of the Future?

If you asked someone a generation ago about the home of the future, the answer might have involved robots and taking weekends on the moon. We’re no closer to commercial moon flight, but we are getting a little closer to the efficient and low maintenance home of the future. It’s taken a while, it couldn’t have happened without the internet to connect us with our homes and the things we need them to do. Some things that are commonplace now were once novelties, and dismissed as frivolous toys – the internet was one, and so was television – yet they have do integrated with our lives that we can’t imagine life without them.

The thing is that there are a lot of challenges facing the world, from energy and water supplies, to sea level rise, to increasingly overcrowded urban environments that are too expensive for the people that need to live there. The home of the future needs to be reimagined in the context off affordable, sustainable, and livable. Some homes are going to the smaller side in an effort to pack maximum functionality into minimum space. Of course, to attract young professionals, you better offer some top-flight building perks, though. The tiny house movement is making headway as a way to lower the cost of homeownership and getting people who can’t afford a big house invested and rooted in their community, even if there have been zoning setbacks.

Hand in hand with the move for smaller and more flexible homes goes the increasing demand for green, sustainable, and recyclable construction. The worries about off-gassing from materials used in building, as well as paint, flooring and finishes […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:45-04:00June 8th, 2016|Insurance|0 Comments

Hurricane Season is Here, Staying Connected During and After

A hurricane is coming, or a tornado touches down and just like that, you’re left in the dark for a few hours – or worse, a few days. You know what to do in order to stock up for supplies, and how to evacuate and find emergency shelters, but do you know how to get the most out of one of your most valuable safety tools? Your smartphone is vital in an emergency – but how are you to keep it charged? Those rooftop solar panels might have been blown halfway to Sanibel Island when you need them the most, so you need a better plan than hoping that your roof doesn’t get torn up.

Saving Your Battery

Let’s bust some myths with the help of The Wirecutter and the New York times with the definitive rundown on what doesn’t work. A lot of these “tips” are straight up myths that will make no difference in your battery life, or like a bad app will suck up even more of it. What definitively does work are external battery pack chargers – and some are even solar – and then move onto the big fixes like turning down screen brightness, limiting streaming video, and even using an ad-blocker.

Solar Equipment

Goal Zero makes portable solar and solar generators that run in size from backpack to the size that runs the fridge and CPAP machine. You can do everything from keeping a charge on your phone to keeping your fridge cold and your heat on in the event of power outages. There are lots of accessories available to work with the panels, from cords to battery packs and even speakers.

Radios

We’ve talked about the […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:45-04:00June 2nd, 2016|Insurance|0 Comments