Employee Spotlight

Karen Fournier

This month’s employee spotlight is on the wonderful Karen Fournier in our Taos office.  She  has been with Brown & Brown for nearly 5 years, about as long as she has been in Taos.  Karen and her husband Gary have been married for 32 years and have two sons and three grandkids.  Karen also says that she loves to travel with her husband—they especially like cruising.  For fun closer to home, Karen says that she and Gary love to downhill ski and golf (and Taos is perfect for both of those!).  She is such a help to everyone in the Taos office and we all are so happy to have her as part of our team.

 

Employee Spotlight Barbara Thomas

This month’s employee spotlight is on the wonderful Barbara Thomas.  Barb is located in our Taos office and new-mexico-1804590_1280has been with Brown & Brown for almost 23 years.  She has even had the pleasure of meeting Hyatt Brown when he came to Taos.  Because she is so active in the community, Barb has become the office liaison for many community organizations.

As Barb says, she is a person of the sixties, so Taos is the perfect community for her and her husband of 52 years.  Along with her husband, she has one daughter and son-in-law and one gran
dson.  Besides her work at Brown & Brown, Barb also curates art shows, is a textile artist, and makes teepees in her spare time.

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

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