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10 Steps for Handling a Roadside Emergency | Farmers Insurance

10 Smart Steps for a Roadside Emergency

You hit a massive pothole and hear your tire pop.
You’re on the highway and smoke starts billowing from your engine.
Your check engine light comes on and something smells funny in your car.
You hit a massive bug and it clogs your intake valve.

This stuff happens all the time (ok, maybe not the bug one)…and when it does you can react one of two ways; you can panic or you can be smart.

To handle roadside emergencies the smart way, follow these 10 steps:

1. Get off the road

First things first, if you’re driving and something happens to your car, move off the road quickly (and safely). Get out of the flow of traffic. Look for a wide shoulder, emergency lane, rest stop, exit, or parking lot. You always want to move towards the furthest right lane or shoulder. But even if it means destroying a blown tire or wheel well in the process, you need to pull over! Just remember to never stop in traffic or places that are hard to see, like blind corners, over hills, or on narrow roads and bridges.

2. Let people know there’s something wrong

Find the hazard button in your car (t’s the big one with the red triangle on it) and put your hazard lights on. This’ll let people know you’ve got car issues and not just taking a little mid-trip snooze.

3. Don’t leave the car until you’re out of traffic

Never get out of the car until you’ve safely moved it out of the flow of traffic. If you can’t get your car out of harm’s way, don’t get out, even to pop the hood or check out the damage.

4. Safely exit the car

If it’s safe, get out of the car on the opposite side of traffic, even if you have to crawl over the passenger seat. Like getting out of a taxi, you never want to open the car door on the traffic side! Once you’re out of the car though, go ahead and pop the hood, check out your tire, examine the damage and attempt any kind of repairs (if you know what you’re doing). Generally speaking though, it’s safer to keep everyone clear of the car and wait for help to come.

5. Increase your visibility

You may want to mark your location with flares or triangles. At the very least you’ll want to raise your vehicle’s hood. This’ll let everyone know that you’re having car problems and need help.

6. Call Farmers Roadside Assistance

We’re here to help, 24/7. So put this number in your phone and call (800) 435-7764 any time for a jump start or tow to the nearest vehicle repair location.

7. Stay with your car

It’s important not to leave your car. It may take some time, but it’s more practical to meet help, a tow truck, or the police at the scene of your disabled vehicle than at a nearby burger joint.

8. Keep some emergency supplies in your car

Take a lesson from the Boy Scouts and always be prepared! Keep a blanket and first aid kit (or at least some water) in your car. And if you know how to use them, it’s also a good idea to have a spare tire, jack, fix-a-flat, and other simple repair tools in the car.

9. Put your hood down

If you’re done changing the tire or the tow-truck is on the scene, put the hood down and store any flares or other emergency signals. Otherwise a driver may try to risk slowing down to help.

10. Be green! Clean up the scene

Clean up whatever packaging, trash, and debris you left around the area. Littering is bad news, and abandoning a broken car part is wasteful and could be a road hazard for other drivers.

Don’t DIY When It Comes to Life Insurance | Farmers Insurance

The internet age has made us all into DIY-ers. We can do just about everything ourselves and online, from shopping and working, to dating and watching TV. And we can do it all without ever having to actually speak to someone in person!

It truly is a brave new world.

But still, in this digital era we live in, there’s plenty of room (and need) for relying on “real people.” Because even with the entire wealth of human knowledge at our finger tips (and in our pockets), there’s a lot we don’t know. That’s especially true when it comes to our finances, and protecting our loved ones.

Experience Means Something

Although listening to the drone of a Life insurance agent as they go on about options and policies might not sound like much fun…this is one area of life where it may be helpful to consider the valuable information an experienced professional can provide, and not just DIY.

After all, accidents happen. Think about the fallout if you were to pass away. What would happen to your debts? Who would pay for your final expenses? It could be a financial hardship if one of your parents co-signed on a mortgage or a car loan, or someone else counts on part of your income. Life insurance, on the other hand, can help ease that transition and limit the potential burden.

And an employer’s policy may not be transferable. If you change jobs, take a sabbatical, or go back to school, you might lose your policy and not be covered.

Now, do you really want to hinge all that on some online quote, price comparison, or description on Wikipedia? Wouldn’t you rather take that off your plate, and allow a professional who’s been doing this for years help you protect what is important to you?

Have Someone on Your Side

In this post-recession economy still teetering toward sustainability, the role of the Life insurance agent has taken on a renewed significance. Life insurance agents can serve as a facilitator and educator, and can explain the specifics better than any web search could.

An experienced Life insurance agent can guide you through the nuances of Life insurance. They can get to know your specific needs, understand exactly what you’re looking for, and help you find a cost effective solution that may be more accurate than you would get with an automated online quote system. In fact, if you get Life insurance when you’re young and healthy, you generally get a better rate than you would if you wait till you’re older.

Also, agents have many sophisticated tools today to make the process quick and simple!

You may not think you’re ready to plan that far ahead, but it’s worth hearing what a real live (and experienced) human being has to say about your financial future. Consider putting aside your DIY instincts, reservations, and preconceptions. Introduce yourself to a Farmers Life insurance agent, and get yourself one of those old-fashioned personal relationships. You might be surprised to discover how much there still is to learn.

Home Replacement | Insurance Gaps | Farmers Insurance

Homeowners insurance is a powerful tool. It helps cover your personal property (anywhere in the world in most cases), your liability, and can even cover costs to rebuild your house in the unfortunate situation you suffer a natural disaster or other total loss. If you’ve made some renovations though, or haven’t checked your coverage in a while, your insurance might not be as powerful as you think.

So what?

Let’s say you first purchased your Homeowners insurance a few years ago. You did your research, calculated your coverage needs, and spoke to a Farmers agent before choosing the limits you wanted. Since then, your contractor renovated your bathroom, you bought new carpet, and even built a bar in the basement! The problem is, your Homeowners limits are still based on your pre-renovation calculations. If anything were to happen now, your limits might not be sufficient to cover the increased value of your home!

That’s a major gap!

Question: If you’ve renovated, how do you make sure your Homeowners insurance limits are enough to rebuild your home after a total loss?

Answer: Update your coverage

In general, it’s a good idea to review your Homeowners insurance coverage every few years, or after any major renovations or additions. Labor and the cost of materials can change over the years, and you don’t want to leave any gaps in your coverage…especially when it comes to your home.

To get a better sense of what coverage limits you’d want, think about:

  • Upgrades. It may cost more to rebuild upgraded features and additions.
  • Age of your home. It may cost more to rebuild an older home to modern building code standards.
  • Local rebuilding costs – Labor and materials costs in your area may have changed over time. Talk to a trusted contractor or your Farmers agent about local building prices.

To make any changes to your coverage, talk to Angela Johnson. She can give you some great insight and even run a Replacement Cost Estimator. That’ll give you a better idea of what it might cost to rebuild your house in today’s market.

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Home Insurance May Cover a Car Break In | Farmers Insurance

Window-Shopping Car Thieves are Powerless to Stop Home Insurance!

People leave stuff in their cars every day. We drop our cell phones in the cup holder, leave a bag on the floor, and throw our golf clubs in the back seat. We’re human, so we forget about this stuff, park, and go inside. It happens. The thing is, sometimes when we come back to our cars, the things we left aren’t where we left them.

So what if you didn’t know that your Homeowners’ insurance could cover things stolen from your car too?

Some Homeowners’ insurance policies treat your car as an extension of your house. That means your personal property coverage would protect almost anything (purses, luggage, camera equipment, electronics…all kinds of things) stolen from your car. This coverage may even be better than what’s offered by comprehensive car insurance! For instance, did you know comprehensive coverage usually doesn’t cover jewelry, clothing, and accessories kept in your car?

So if you’re prone to leaving your jacket, watch, or cell phone in the car…it may be something to look into.

Call Angela Johnson to learn the extent of your Homeowners insurance coverage, and make sure your limits protect your stuff inside and outside your home.