Fahs Insurance Blog

Get Ready Day 2015

Everyday when you wake up, you get ready. What do you get ready for? Maybe another day in the office, or you get your three children ready for another day of school. Later in the day you get ready for bed or to go out with some friends. You always seem to have something to ‘get ready’ for. Today is a holiday that recognizes getting ready, but not for the day-to-day tasks. Get Ready Day 2015 is dedicated for us to prepare for the unexpected and to create a back-up plan in the event of an emergency.

Here at Fahs Insurance, we offer insurance plans that will cover you from head to toe, home to automotive, young to old, and the list goes on. The month of September is celebrated as Life Insurance Awareness Month, therefore we would like to discuss ways to help you ‘get ready’ for those unexpected situations. In our opinion, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

The non-profit organization Life Happens promotes Life Insurance Awareness Month, a campaign that shares the importance of having Life Insurance. In the event of a tragedy, you should have a plan in place to ensure that your family will be financially stable. No one wants to think about dying, but it’s vital to set up an option for your family to be able to support itself along with any medical and funeral bills that would follow.

Few people are aware of the coverage that Life Insurance provides to a family in need after a loved one has passed away. There are multiple different life insurance plans to choose from, but below is an overview of the types of situations that would ease the struggle of an unfortunate passing of a family member.

• Set up a plan to further your children’s education and other future needs.
• Assist with outstanding debt from mortgage bills and credit cards.
• Consistently help with paying monthly bills and typical living expenses.
• Aid in funding to continue your family business.
• Pay for funeral costs.
• Protect retirement plans for your spouse.

Take action today and “get ready” now. We know that your loved ones mean the world to you, so think about looking into a Life Insurance plan today to help benefit everyone’s future. Feel free to call us at 239-939 9972 for a free consultation.

Are You Planning To BBQ On Labor Day?

The grill is warming up and the smell of a delicious barbecue lunch is in the air. This special gathering of friends and family is more than your typical weekend barbecue; it’s the last hoorah as sweet summertime comes to an end. Labor Day weekend is right around the corner – and in preparation we have put together a couple of family-friendly outdoor games, some tasty grilling pointers and a few safety tips to ensure you have a successful Labor Day celebration.

Take advantage of the quality time you will spend with the younger generation of your family this weekend by introducing the kids to fun games everyone loves. Below is a list of old and new ideas for fun in the outdoors:
• Water Balloon Toss – A classic yet very entertaining game for all ages. Have everyone pick a partner and line up in two rows facing each other. Give one row a freshly filled water balloon and have them toss it to their partner. After each toss, have one row take a step back. Keep going until only one team is left standing with their water balloon.
• Blanket Run – For this game you may want to recruit the youngest or smallest family member as your partner. Gather some old blankets and bring all of the participants outside to a large grassy area. Set up a starting line and a finish line and have one team member sit on a blanket while the other pulls them across the lawn! The first team to cross the finish line is the winner.
• Egg-And-Spoon Race – Everyone loves a little friendly competition. Give your grocery store a visit and buy a few dozen eggs and spoons. Line up your participants and see who can get from one side to the other without having their egg fall off of their spoon.

There are many more outdoor games that you can add to your Labor Day Weekend barbecue itinerary. Visit Buzzfeed.com for more ideas.

Besides having fun activities for your guests to enjoy, hosting a barbecue is the perfect time to show off your grilling skills. Impress the relatives by trying some new recipes that will standout from the typical barbecue fixings. For example, try a new cilantro-lime butter spread to base corn on the cob before throwing it on the grill. Who knows – it could be the new family favorite. Learn how to make it at TasteofHome.com.

Lastly, safety should be the top concern for the family and friend-filled day. Whether using a charcoal or propane grill, make sure to never leave it unattended. Only use the grill outdoors and place it in a reasonable location that is away from the home and low-hanging trees.

With all of this information you should be able to plan a delicious barbecue for your family and friends. We hope you enjoy a fun and safe Labor Day weekend.

Fire Safety Planning to Keep Your Family Safe

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House fires are a serious issue that could harm your family if you are not prepared. We have fire safety drills at school and work, but we don’t always think about making a plan for a home fire. If you follows these tips and take the time to plan for a fire, you and your family will be more prepared to safely get out before the fire gets out of control.

The first step in fire safety is to eliminate any potential fire hazards from your home. You should check your smoke detectors to be sure they are working, make sure electronics do not have damaged cords and make sure not to overload outlets or extension cords. Electric devices can be one of the main causes for starting a home fire, so by checking them regularly you can reduce that risk.

Next, you should teach your kids about the dangers of fires and what to do if one happens. First make sure they know not to play with matches or lighters, and then keep those items out of reach. In the event of a house fire, you will want your children to know how to respond quickly. Children should be taught to cover their nose and mouth and get low to the ground and to exit the home immediately if the alarm goes off. If you teach them ahead of time, they will have a much better chance at escaping a house fire unharmed.

The most important step in fire safety is to create a family escape plan. You should make a diagram of your house with all of the windows and doors marked, so that two escape routes can be listed for each room. This will prepare your family to escape from any room in the house. You should practice the escape routes as a family twice a year to remain alert. A designated meeting location that is a safe distance from the house should also be discussed so you can accurately account for everyone during a fire emergency. Make practice drills fun for the kids by creating a game using a stopwatch to see how fast each family member can escape. A family who regularly practices their plan, in most cases will be able to get to safety before the fire engulfs the house.

If you feel overwhelmed on where to start, use the Internet to download available templates and worksheets from your local fire department to help you create your escape plan.

Renters Insurance

The first thing most people think of when it comes to insurance is car and homeowners insurance, but not many people think of Renters insurance when they decide to rent a property. Landlords are only legally responsible for the building, so your personal property is at a real risk of theft, damage and burglary without proper coverage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, one third of households in the U.S. are rentals, but only 37% of them hold renters insurance. While renters insurance is often not required to rent a property, renters insurance is essential to protect you and your personal property from theft, vandalism, and other disasters.

What Renters insurance covers:
• Personal property
• Personal liability
• Medical payments
• Property damage to others
• Additional living expenses

What to look for:
• Dollar amount of coverage
• Deductible
• Actual cash value vs. Replacement cost
• Property Location and previous claims

Renters insurance is a policy that covers your personal property from damage, destruction and theft. Some of the unforeseen disasters renters insurance protects are lightning, windstorm, water damage, smoke, theft, vandalism, and other common damages. You are also protected from theft outside of your home, such as when traveling. In the event of major property damage, renters insurance can help cover the expenses of a temporary place to stay until your home is inhabitable.

If you have unusually expensive items or collections like jewelry or rare coins, you may want to add “riders” to ensure their coverage on top of the existing policy. “Riders” are additions to the policy that can provide added protection beyond what the policy will reimburse. Basically you can receive more accurate compensation for valuable items in the event of damage or theft.

With any Renters insurance policy, you can choose the actual cash value or replacement cost for items under the policy. Actual cash value will reimburse you for what the item is estimated to cost at the time of loss, but not what you originally paid for it. If you had the replacement cost coverage, you will be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing a replacement instead. Replacement cost could provide a higher reimbursement than actual cash value, so we encourage you look at both when deciding on a Renters insurance policy.

Fahs Insurance is happy to help you find the best deal and discount for renters insurance to help protect your property. Together we can keep you and your belongings safe and help you prepare for anything.

RV Tips for Beginners

RV’s have recently been rising in popularity in America as a great way to travel across the United States. According to Richard Coon, president of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, “More than 20 million Americans travel in RVs every year because of the unmatched freedom and flexibility they provide when traveling.” With school out and summer underway, Fahs Insurance wants to provide you with some RV tips to help with your summer adventures.

When traveling, you can choose to stay at a RV campground or a rest stop. When you first get to where you will be staying the night, you should follow a checklist to be sure everything will be set up and secured for your stay. This includes the following:

1. Check for low hanging branches or obstacles on the ground that could damage the RV.
2. Locate the sewage, electrical and water hookups.
3. Pull the RV close to the hookups and balance it with blocks or a stabilizing jack if necessary.
4. Chock the wheels to secure the vehicle.
5. Connect to the electrical hookup and switch appliances to run from the hookup instead of the battery or propane source.
6. Attach the sewer hose to the drain hookup – wear gloves for this step.
7. Pull out the awning and set up your campsite.

When you stay at a campground, you must also be courteous to your neighbors during setting up and your stay. By following a few simple etiquette tips, you and your neighbors can have an enjoyable stay during your vacation.

1. Always follow the guidelines established by the campgrounds.
2. Clean up after your pets and keep their noise level down.
3. Be sure to park properly to keep from intruding on your neighbor’s area.
4. If you are coming in late, try to be quiet and courteous while you set up for the night.
5. Make sure the sewer is properly connected so it doesn’t spill over onto your neighbor’s patio area.
6. Do not trespass.
7. Keep everything tidy.

The most important part to maintain on an RV is the tires. You are at risk for a tire blowout if you do not follow proper maintenance, which could endanger your family and other vehicles around you. By taking precautions, you can help minimize preventable tire blowout and have a safe and fun vacation.

1. Check the air pressure of the tires to be sure it is within the correct PSI
2. Change tires at most every five years or when the tread or tires look worn down
3. Use tire covers during long pit stops to prevent damage from the sun
4. Take the RV out periodically during parts of the year it is not in use to prevent cracks from forming on the bottom of the tires
5. Conduct frequent inspections of the entire wheel area to be sure everything is functioning throughout your trip

Fahs Insurance is happy to help you find the best insurance and other options for your RV. Together we can help you feel safe and prepared for your next RV adventure.

Jet Ski Safety

It’s the time of year when you can put on your bathing suit and spend the day on the water enjoying the Sunshine State’s summer weather. There are plenty of activities like jet skiing to enjoy while you beat the heat, as long you know how to follow the rules of the water. Jet skis are a fun way to maneuver through the water and enjoy the sunshine, but if you don’t understand the watercraft and how to act safely on it, they can be dangerous. We encourage you to become familiar with proper safety precautions when using a jet ski to keep yourself and everyone else on the water safe.

1. Know how to operate the Jet Ski: Personal Water Crafts (PWC) are involved in 35% of all accidents with water vessels. Jet Skis are not involved in significantly more accidents than other watercrafts, but they are more likely to result in serious injury or fatality. The most common cause of accidents on a jet ski is operator error. By familiarizing yourself with the watercraft, you will be able to better maneuver through the water, know its limitations and avoid accidents.

2. Always Wear A Lifejacket: The U.S. Coast Guard requires that you wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket or personal flotation device when heading out on the water. Many of the drowning victims in boating and water sport accidents are not wearing a lifejacket. In the unfortunate circumstance you are knocked unconscious, a lifejacket will keep you afloat for someone to rescue you.

3. Have your kill switch attached: In the case that you are thrown off of a Jet Ski, there is usually a lanyard that can be attached to your wrist or lifejacket that will shut off the Jet Ski. This will keep you or anyone else in the water out of harm from an uncontrolled jet ski. This will also allow you to take the jet ski back aground after you get out of the water instead of being at risk of swimming back to shore with other watercrafts around.

4. Never operate a Jet Ski at night: It is illegal to ride a PWC at night due to the lack of visibility of swimmers and other watercrafts. Never operate a jet ski before sunrise or after sunset.

5. Avoid alcohol and drugs: The risk of an accident increases when you drink or do drugs before riding a jet ski. Your reaction time and inhibitions are diminished when intoxicated or high, and riders need to be alert and focused when on a Jet Ski to avoid obstructions or swimmers. Wait until you are back on dry land and done operating watercrafts before opening a beer.

Jet Skis can be a fun outdoor activity during the summer. By taking proper safety precautions and knowing how to properly handle the watercraft, you can avoid an accident and be able to enjoy your day on the water. In the unfortunate circumstance that you have an accident, remember to have your Jet Ski insurance card with you.

Fahs insurance is happy to assess your Jet Ski coverage and help you find the best options if you are new to jet skiing. Together we can help you feel safe and prepared for your Jet Ski adventures in Southwest Florida this summer.

Preparation and Safety for Hurricane Season

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It’s that time of year again, when the Sunshine State isn’t always so sunny. With the likelihood of a shining sun over your roof and a heavy rainfall across the street – you can officially say hello to the unpredictable mix of weather that we experience here in Southwest Florida. With that being said, Hurricane season is here – beginning on June 1. Don’t wait until a hurricane warning to get your emergency supplies, stock up in advance to ensure your families safety.

Supplies to buy:
• A 3-day supply of water and food for each person.
• Flashlights and extra batteries.
• First aid kit and medications as needed for a 7-day supply.
• Sanitation and personal hygiene products.
• Battery powered radio.
• Back up cell phone chargers and list of emergency contact information.
• All needed baby and pet supplies.
• Camera for photos of damage.

Actions to take prior to storm:
• Stay up to date on weather reports.
• Restock all supplies needed.
• Bring in all loose items that can be picked up by the wind.
• Bicycles, lawn furniture, basketball hoops, etc..
• Fill your car’s gas tank.
• Create evacuation plan with members of your household.
• Properly install hurricane shutters on all windows and shut all doors.

All of these suggestions are highly encouraged from redcross.org. Prepare in advance by taking these actions and planning for all possibilities. Any damage caused from water can be covered by flood insurance, as well as other hurricane insurance options that will secure any repairs needed for your home or vehicles.

Representatives from Fahs Insurance have experiences numerous hurricanes’ first-hand and can’t stress enough the importance of early preparations for unpredictable storms. Fahs Insurance is offering their expertise to help you find the plan that best suits your home and auto safety needs in the event of a hurricane.

Source: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340160_Hurricane.pdf

Tips for Safe Boating This Season

Florida is the perfect place to find adventure on the water. We’ve lived here for 28 years and we haven’t met many people who don’t enjoy this popular pastime. Practicing safe boating is easy with a little planning. We encourage you to educate and re-familiarize yourself on safe boating and water-related activities each year.

1. Always wear a lifejacket: Almost three-fourths of all fatal boating accidents, the cause of death is drowning. In *88% of those drowning’s, the person wasn’t wearing a life jacket. Further, the U.S. Coast Guard requires that all recreational boats carry one Coast Guard-Approved life jacket for each passenger.

2. Be weather conscious: Always check the weather before going out on a boat to see how the weather conditions may change throughout the day. Storms and changes in weather can increase the likelihood of an accident or becoming trapped on the water.

3. Maintain safe speed: Always operate your boat at a safe speed and stay aware of other boats traveling in the same area to avoid accidents.

4. Designate a back-up navigator: It is important for someone other than the driver to become familiar with the controls on a boat. Especially in Florida, high temperatures can cause dizziness, heatstroke, and dehydration. Always be prepared for a situation where the driver may not be able to continue controlling the boat for any reason.

5. Regular boat maintenance: Regularly evaluate your boating equipment to prevent unexpected breakdowns and repairs.

6. No Alcohol: The U.S. Coast Guard attributes a third of fatalities on the water as a result of intoxicated persons operating a boat.

It only takes one boating accident to see the importance of practicing safe boating. For unavoidable circumstances we also want to remind you to carry valid boat insurance, know your coverage, and update the policy regularly.

Fahs Insurance is happy to help you assess your boat coverage or find the best options for you if you are new to boating. Together we can help Southwest Florida residents feel prepared for boating on the water this season.