Speeding

Slow down, save money … and lives

How many times has the following happened to you? You’re speeding down I25 when you spot a New Mexico Highway patrol car. You quickly hit the brakes and slow down, relieved that you didn’t get caught … this time.

SpeedingNow take a minute to think what could have happened if you hadn’t been so lucky.

First, your speeding could have hurt somebody — or yourself. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, speed is a contributing factor in more than 30% of fatal crashes and nearly 20% of non-injury accidents. That’s a big risk to take.

Second, getting a ticket could put a big hit on your wallet. Of course, that’s not nearly as important as the health and safety impacts of speeding, but in this economic climate, more and more people are watching every dime. And who wants to write a check to the state for speeding?

At Brown & Brown Insurance, we want you to be safe. We also want to make sure you get a great price on the insurance coverage you need. Thankfully, easing up on that lead foot can help accomplish both.

How a ticket impacts your insurance

If you get a speeding ticket, that violation can stay on your driving record for three years or even longer. And because your driving history plays a large part in determining how much you’ll pay for insurance, the fewer tickets you have, the better.

Different carriers have different policies when it comes to checking your driving record and dealing with drivers who have violations. If you receive a ticket, and it’s your first in several years, you may not see much of an increase — depending on the severity of the offense. In fact, many states will allow you to enter a deferment program if it’s your first ticket, keeping the violation off your record if you complete a safety course and avoid further tickets.

But that second ticket (or third, or fourth …) can bring some serious financial penalties. While there are too many variables to say specifically how much each additional violation will increase your premium, it’s safe to say that the jump will be significant. And unfortunately, you can be stuck paying those higher premiums for years.

Significant violations can have a bigger impact as well. If you’re going 20 miles per hour over the limit, you’ll likely pay more than someone with a ticket for 5 mph over. Insurance companies know that speeding increases the risk of accidents, and they’ll view you as an increased risk — for good reason. In fact, if you have a serious violation, or too many tickets, your insurance carrier could drop your coverage altogether.

For younger drivers (typically under the age of 25), it’s especially important to avoid tickets, because companies already view these drivers as riskier than the general population.

And keep in mind, even if your premium doesn’t go up, having a violation on your record could prevent you from receiving the lowest possible rate on your insurance.

Of course, we think the best policy is simply to obey speed limits. Not only will you avoid tickets and possible insurance hassles, but your risk of accidents will decrease. And you’ll get better gas mileage. Sounds like a good deal to us!

RV Campsites

Finding a great place to camp in your RV

RV Campsites“Wherever you go, there you are.”

Whoever said that must have been an RV owner — after all, one of the best things about vacationing in an RV is the fact that your “hotel” is pretty much anywhere you decide to stop.

Of course, there’s a little more to finding a great camping spot than just pulling over and hoping for the best, so we at Brown & Brown Insurance of New Mexico put together some tips and resources to help you find the best spots on your next trip.

Plan ahead

Just as you would book a hotel before you leave on a vacation, it’s best to make reservations for your RV trip, regardless if you’re staying at a private RV park or a campground on public property. As anyone who has been t can tell you, spots fill up quickly during peak travel seasons and often sell out.

Public or private?

From basic accommodations to luxury RV resorts, you have many choices. State and national parks tend to have simple campgrounds, but they often offer the best in natural beauty! Whether you go public or private, you’ll want to factor in whether the site has hookups for your RV, how much you’re willing to spend and how close you’ll be to attractions you want to visit — particularly if you aren’t towing a separate car and need to use the RV for all of your travel.

What about parking lots?

Some shopping centers and truck stops will allow overnight camping, while rest areas generally prohibit it. Always be certain that you have permission to camp before setting up for the night.

The Family Motor Coach Association recommends the following if you stay in a private parking lot:

  • Park out of the way.
  • Avoid using slide-outs and awnings if possible.
  • Do not use your leveling jacks on asphalt.
  • Limit your stay to one night and leave the area cleaner than you found it.
  • Purchase fuel, food or supplies as a thank-you when feasible.
  • Do not put personal items, such as chairs or a grill, outside.

 How to find campgrounds

RV campground directories are available at bookstores, libraries and some RV supply stores, and they can be very useful to keep with you as you travel. You can also contact local and state tourism bureaus for camping information. Naturally, you have plenty of online resources to choose from as well:

We know insurance is just about the last thing you want to have on your mind when you’re on vacation, so give us a call at 505-821-5888 before you leave to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need!

Here’s to safe travels and happy RVing!

Firework Pet Safety

Keep your pets safe during the Fourth of July Fireworks

 

For most of us, the Fourth of July is a time to enjoy the pyrotechnics that mark the holiday. But for our pets, fireworks are another story. Many pets can be traumatized by the noisy rockets and firecrackers so many of us enjoy.

 

At Brown & Brown Insurancefirework pet safety, we hope your holiday is happy and safe for you and your pets. So along with our other story about fireworks safety, here are some tips to help you protect your pets on the Fourth in New Mexico, or elsewhere.

 

Protecting your pets

Many pets are very frightened by the loud noises caused by fireworks. If you can’t take them away from the noise, here are some pointers from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that will help them have a more peaceful holiday.

  • Don’t take your pet to a public fireworks display. In addition to the noise, they may be spooked by the crowds.
  • If possible, leave your pet inside in a safe, secure room. Do not leave them outside, even if your yard is fenced. They may try to flee, and they may succeed; July 5 is a busy year at many animal shelters in {city}, as dogs and cats are frequently found miles from their homes. Taking your pet on a walk early in the day can help tire them out.
  • Give your pets a comfortable place to rest, as well as plenty of food and water. You might even leave a TV or stereo on to drown out the fireworks. Provide soothing music, if possible. A favorite toy (or their favorite owner!) can help comfort them, too.
  • Make sure your pets have an ID tag or microchip, in case they get scared and escape.
  • Check with your veterinarian before giving your pet any medication intended to calm them. They may be able to provide you with a prescription or suggest alternatives.
  • And, of course, keep your pet away from used and unused fireworks.

 

With some common sense and planning, the Fourth of July can be both safe and enjoyable for everyone – and less scary for your pets. Whether you’re staying at home or heading to the Balloon Fiesta Park , or elsewhere, we hope you have a wonderful time celebrating our independence

Home Inventory

Why a Home Inventory Is Important

 

Let’s try a little exercise: Can you list everything you own from memory? Didn’t think so.Home Inventory

 

The fact is most people own more things than they realize. It’s easy to remember the cars, the computer, the TV. But what about that holiday china in the garage?  Or every pair of shoes?

 

All of it is regarded as personal property for insurance purposes. And if your home is destroyed by fire or some other disaster, having a list of your possessions makes filing a claim easier — and helps you put your life back together.

 

Why should I complete a home inventory? What’s the best way?

Comparing the value of your belongings to the “contents” limit listed in your policy helps you make sure you have enough insurance to replace them if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss. The easiest way to take an inventory is to use a video camera, recording and describing items as you walk through your house. Or, you can use a regular camera and create a home inventory checklist.

 

Here are a few tips for completing and storing your inventory:

Add brand names and descriptions where you can, especially on large-ticket items. Serial numbers are helpful to note.

Keep any receipts you have with the list to make the claims process easier.

Store your video or photo inventory offsite so you won’t lose it if your house is damaged.

Update your personal property records when you purchase new furnishings and valuables.

Though the task may seem daunting, it’s important to try. An incomplete inventory is better than nothing at all.

 

How much insurance do I need?

We can assist you in analyzing your insurance needs and help you decide how to most effectively protect your personal property. You should consider full-value coverage, which will pay for the replacement value of your personal belongings. A standard policy typically covers personal property only up to its actual cash value, determined by taking the replacement cost and deducting depreciation, which can be substantial. (For example, a 5-year-old TV is usually worth much less than what it would cost to purchase a new one.)

 

Finally, remember your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry, furs, art and antiques, only up to set dollar amounts. If the cost of replacing them exceeds these limits, you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage.

 

The Insurance Information Institute has a FREE online tool that can help you create your inventory. Just visit www.knowyourstuff.org for more details.

 

We hope you’ll never need the home inventory, but preparing for the worst can prevent a lot of hassle later!

 

 

 

Five ways to get your car stolen

five ways to get your car stolen

 Five sure-fire ways to get your car stolen

Most people would say their car is one of the most valuable assets they own — if not the most valuable. Despite that, however, some people make it downright easy for thieves to drive off in their pride and joy.

 

At Brown & Brown Insurance of , we don’t want you walking out your door to an empty driveway or leaving {local mall} only to find some broken glass left behind in your parking space. So take care to avoid these five mistakes.

 

  1. Leave your car running … and unattended. We know it can be chilly in the mornings, and who wants to wait in a cold car while it warms up? Well, a thief certainly won’t mind the chill — as he’s driving away in your car while you’re finishing that cup of coffee in your kitchen. If your car is running, you should be in it. Period. Even if you’re just running over to the ATM to get some cash or dropping off some mail.
  2. Keep a spare set of keys inside the car. Law enforcement agencies say this is a great way to turn a car prowler into a car thief. They’re already breaking into your car to get a phone, or a laptop, etc. What do you think they’re going to do when they find a set of keys? They’re not going to drop them off on your porch with a nice note, that’s for sure.
  3. Put valuables in plain sight. Seems simple, but we’ve all made this mistake. You’ll just be in the store for a second, after all, so who cares if you leave your smartphone on the front seat? Or items from your other errands in the back seat? Be smart — if you have to leave items in your car, put them in the trunk, or at least hide them as best you can. And do it before you get to your next destination.
  4. Leave your car unsecured. The best thieves can work wonders with a window that’s left open even just a crack. And even the worst thieves can steal a car that’s been left unlocked, with no alarm set.
  5. Assume nobody would want to steal your car. Think your car is too old or too undesirable for a thief to bother? Scrap metal is worth money, so never assume that your car is safe — even if you think it’s just a “junker.”

 

Keeping thieves away helps to keep everyone’s insurance costs down, so avoiding these mistakes not only will save you hassle, it will save you money as well. So stay safe, not only on the roads, but in the parking lots as well!

Contact Us!

At Brown & Brown Insurance of New Mexico, 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 505-592-2500 or send us a note at info@bbnm.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

 

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

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