News

Child Passenger Laws

As of October 1, 2017 the Child Passenger Laws have changed:

  • Infants – Must be in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 2 years old AND 30 pounds.
  • Toddlers – Must be in a forward facing car seat with 5 point harness until 5 years old AND 40 pounds.
  • Children – Recommended to be in a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt until they reach 8 years old AND 60 pounds. They should also ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old.
Kara CondlinChild Passenger Laws
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Preview Protect Yourself from The Equifax Data Breach

equifax-data-breach

On September 7th, 2017, Equifax, a credit reporting agency encountered a data breach that affected over 140+ million American consumers. The hackers gained access to names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, credit card information and driver licenses. It has been ruled as one of the largest electronic data breaches in U.S. history.
Here are the simple steps to find out if you have been affected . . .
  • Review your credit report. Look for any strange activity, such as a change in address or telephone number or misuse of your social security number.
  • Change all user access credentials. If you use the same passwords for financial institutions or insurance claims information, it is best to change them. Enable text and email alerts when possible. Turn on two-factor authentication when possible.
Kara CondlinPreview Protect Yourself from The Equifax Data Breach
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Everyone Loves a Discount!

Many insurance companies offer discounts that can save an insured up to 20% on their insurance premium. By just having these simple things can qualify you to receive amazing savings:

NOTE: These discounts vary by insurance company and state. Please check with Troy Insurance to see if the company that insures you offers the discounts that apply to you.

Any Policy

Multi-Policy: When you bundle more than one insurance policy.

Military: For members of the armed forces.

Affinity/Occupational (Nonmilitary): For belonging to a certain group or working for a certain company or in a certain field.

Paid-in-Full Payment: For paying the premium all at once.

Paperless Billing/Automatic Payment: For billing or payment done electronically.

Loyalty: For having stayed with the insurer for a length of time.

Early Signing: For switching to a new carrier if shopping process started at least a certain number of days before old policy expired.

Claim-Free: Customers who have not had a claim within the last three or more years.

Auto

Multi-Vehicle: When you have more than one car insured.

Anti-Theft: An alarm system for your car in case of theft.

Newer Vehicle: If you own a newer model vehicle that is a certain number of years old.

“Green” Vehicle: If you own a car with a hybrid or alternative-fuel.

Low Mileage: For individuals who keep their driving mileage down.

Safe Driver/Accident-Free: Individuals with a clean driving record.

Defensive Driver: For those who have taken the defensive driving course.

TeenSmart/Driver Education Training Program Discount: For a young driver who has completed a safe teen driving course.

Good Student: For a young driver earning good grades.

Distant Student: For a young driver attending school far from home.

American Automobile Association (AAA): Provides services to its members, including roadside assistance and more.

Homeowner: If you own your home or condominium.

Home

Newer Home: For homes built less than 15 years ago.

Central Alarm & Protective Devices: When a home has a central fire and/or central burglar alarm, fire or smoke detectors or even automatic sprinklers.

New Roof: When the roof of a home is less than 10 years old (credit varies by age of roof).

Kara CondlinEveryone Loves a Discount!
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A SECURED Summer is a FUN Summer

Road Safety

Road trips are always adventurous, but let’s not forget about the road safety that comes along with it. Car accidents are the #1 leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children under the age of 14. Nearly 70% of all car accidents happen within only 10 miles away from home.

1.) Vehicle Check-list. It only takes a few minutes to do a car inspection on your own to make sure everything is ready for the road.

2.) Buckle up. You see it on the highways, you see it on the TV commercials. Just do it. Each click can save a life.

3.) Sleep. Even if you’re sleepy behind the wheel, your judgement is just as bad as a drunk driver.

Grilling Safety

Grilling is a staple in the summertime. Everybody believes that since there are a group of people at the social gathering, that the grill will have at least two pairs of eyes on it.

1.) Grill Outdoors. Always keep it at least 10 feet away from your home when in use.

2.) Supervise the Grill. Once finished using the grill, make sure the grill is completely off and the coals are cold.

Pool Safety

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for ages 14 and under. Prior to most children drowning, one or both of the adults on supervision looked away for less than five minutes. Children can drown in less than two inches of water.

1.) Secure the Perimeter of Pool. Include a fence that is at least four feet high around all sides of the pool. Keep pool gates self-close and self-latch at a height children cannot reach.

2.) Have Rescue Equipment on Board. Always have a life preserver, a phone and certified life vests around the pool area. A floaty will not suffice.

3.) Learn CPR. It is highly recommended for anyone supervising the children to know how to do CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Not only will it benefit at the pool, but in life, in general.

Kara CondlinA SECURED Summer is a FUN Summer
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Does your Umbrella Policy Cover Your Summer Activities?

the-10-most-popular-summer-travel-destinations-according-to-tripadvisor

Passport? Check.

Sunscreen? Check.

Review umbrella policy exclusions? Not checked.

“I have an umbrella policy so I have everything covered!” This is a common belief for many who have an umbrella policy, but who do not review the exclusions within the actual policy. We, as your Troy Insurance agents, want our clients to enjoy the summer days ahead. However, we also want to make sure your policy protects you from the negative possibilities that may occur when enjoying summer activities.

Make sure your umbrella policy protects you against things that may go wrong with:

  • Homeowners with a pool/watercraft
  • Dog bites
  • Work/Personal vacation

And more.

Taking a few minutes to read over your exclusions can help avoid lawsuits, extra expenses and a costly summer.

Please do not hesitate to contact Troy Insurance regarding any questions or concerns.

Email: Troy@TroyInsurance.com
Call: (203) 324 – 3143

Fax: (203) 358 – 8641

Kara CondlinDoes your Umbrella Policy Cover Your Summer Activities?
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Cybersecurity Tips

Decrease your chances of catching any virtual viruses or hacking on your electronic devices with these tips.
  • Create unique passwords for each individual website log-in account – Use combinations of uppercase, lowercase, numeric, and characters such as #, !, $. Your password for your work email should not be the same as your personal email, nor your Facebook or LinkedIn (or any other social network).
  • Add Your Cell-Phone Number for Extra Security – Many websites and applications allow their customers to add their cell-phone number or email address into the user’s personal account. That way, if the account is being logged on from a new location, or strange activity is going on, you will get notified via text message or email message as soon as it occurs.
  • Always make sure your operating systems are up-to-date – Your operating system (iOS, Windows, etc) are always the first to have the latest security updates, so please always check if your system needs you to restart your computer or to download an update.
  • Never open attachments or links from unknown email addresses – The easiest way for viruses to take over your computer is by the user clicking on a link or attachment sent in an email. Make sure you know where and who the email is being sent from.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when using a public network – Public Wi-Fi is an open-access, non-secured network, so it is best to use a VPN when on public Wi-Fi for a secured, private network.
  • Use full disk encryption on all mobile devices – This allows all of your information on your drive, and your operating system entirely, to be saved and helps prevent unauthorized users from accessing your files.
Kara CondlinCybersecurity Tips
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Free Insurance Apps!

 Anthem

Anthem Anywhere app & Anthem BC Anywhere app   

  • See your member ID card electronically.
  • Estimates the costs so you can plan ahead.
  • Find a doctor/urgent care. View their directions, ratings, and reviews.
  • Check copays, deductibles, and more.
  • Keep an eye on your claims.
  • Securely send and receive messages about your plan.

    

Cincinnati

MyCincinnati app

  • Access policy documents and auto IDs.
  • Access your agent’s contact information.
  • Obtain helpful tips in case of an accident.
  • Location services help you locate nearby hotels, gas stations, and etc.

Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Mobile app

  • Get retirement and/or FML/Absence information.
  • View your retirement plan balance, allocation and personal rate of return on the go.
  • See your absences or submit absence requests.

              

Mapfre

GO MAPFRE app

  • Review your MAPFRE policies, make payments, submit claims, and more.

MetLife

MetLife US App

  • Access your account to report an auto accident, pay your auto or home insurance bill, find a dentist, and etc.
  • Features your auto claims and auto and home policy summaries.
  • Lets you find a dental or vision provider near you.

                    

 My Journey MetLife Auto & Home app

  • Allows you to see your driving score and offers advice on how to improve it.
  • View and playback your trips in 3D.
  • Allows you to see where you were speeding, accelerating sharply or braking too hard.
  • Features gas station locations and prices, up-to-date traffic reports, and local weather.
  • Features map of nearby restaurants, hotels, and parking. 

                           

MiddleOak

MiddleOak app

  • Report a claim and get immediate help.
  • Call for roadside assistance.
  • Fix or replace automobile glass.

Progressive

Progressive app

  • View coverages, ID cards, and policy details for your vehicles.
  • Report a claim, and take photos of them too.
  • Get in touch with your agent and claims representative.
  • Pay your bill by credit card, debit card, or checking account.
  • View billing history and upcoming payment schedule.
  • Quote or make a policy change.
  • Obtain roadside assistance.
  • Find a service center.

Travelers

Travelers Mobile

  • View and download your auto insurance cards.
  • View and make payments.
  • Enroll and manage an automatic payment plan.
  • View your personal insurance policy documents.
  • Change your document delivery preferences.
  • Report a claim.
  • Get roadside assistance.
  • Contact claim professional.
  • Link all your personal insurance policies to your user ID.

                  

 

Kara CondlinFree Insurance Apps!
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One Flu Over… and the Family’s Next

More than 3 million people each year catch the influenza (or for short, the flu). It’s contagious, but it’s easily prevented by just following these simple tasks:

  • Avoid Contact with Sick People – Individuals who have the flu shouldn’t be around anyone. Encountering someone face-to-face can spread germs.
  • Flu Vaccination – One shot/nasal spray and you can stop you and your loved ones from getting the flu for the entire flu season. Get vaccinated at your doctors, pharmacy, and many other places offering the vaccination. Click here to find out where you can get your flu shot/ nasal spray.
  • Wash your hands – Everyone, and kids especially, need to wash their hands often. After sneezing, or coming in contact with anyone or anything you know others have touched, it is very important to sanitize or wash your hands.

Simple, right? Taking these actions to prevent the flu can avoid missed school/work days. And with school beginning, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday shopping, I’m sure none of us want to miss out on the fun. 

Kara CondlinOne Flu Over… and the Family’s Next
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Bring on the Heat!

Use the heat efficiently 

We all want to come home to a warm, cozy house, but the comfort of having that comes in huge devastation when your heating bill rises through the roof.

  • Turn on the heat only when people are home.
  • If it takes awhile for your heat to get to your preferred temperature, then leave your heat on low as possible and raise it when someone comes home.
  • Only turn on the heat in places of the house where people occupy the most. I am positive that rooms like your vacant dusty attic doesn’t need warmth.

Trust me, you’ll cut down your heating bill by more than half when you don’t have it on blast 24/7.

Dress in layers 

You might believe you look ridiculous when you’re wearing your winter coat over your sweater over your shirt, but it pays off to look like Bibendum the Michelin Man or a ghost from Ghostbusters.

  • Carry blankets with you if you need to be kept warm for certain places like in the car or walking outside.  

Seal Your Home 

  • Insulate the interior of your home like the walls, floors, and ducts of each room.
  • Seal any place in the home where a draft may come through such as your windows and doors.
  • Cover the vents to avoid cold air seeping through.
Kara CondlinBring on the Heat!
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September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month

Many people do not understand the valuable purpose of having life insurance. The usual question, “Why do I need life insurance if I’m eventually going to die like everyone else?” Well, put it this way, everyone needs life insurance. There are two basic types:

Term Life – Protects you for only a specific period of time such as 10, 20 or 30 years. Premiums remain the same during the life of the term.

According to MetLife, term life insurance:

  • is often the most affordable coverage because it offers protection for a specific number of years.
  • helps cover specific financial responsibilities like a mortgage or college expenses.
  • supplements a permanent policy or work policy.

The three kinds of term life insurance include:

Simplified Issue
For coverage amounts below $100,000, we offer simplified issue term life insurance, with no medical exam and decision in as little as 24 hours.

Level
For coverage amounts $100,000+, we offer term life insurance policies with premiums guaranteed not to increase for the length of the level premium period you choose.

One Year
One year non-renewable term life insurance for a short-term solution. Clients looking for coverage beyond a year may be able to add the Convertible and Renewable Options Rider which extends coverage to five years with increasing premiums and allows conversion to a permanent policy after the first year.

Whole Life – You are covered during your whole lifetime.

According to MetLife, whole life insurance:

  • is protection for life.
  • have payments that stay the same each year.
  • allows you to put additional money into the policy on a tax-favored basis.
  • has cash value you can use while you are living.
  • guarantees:

Level premiums

The premiums you pay are guaranteed to remain the same for the life of the policy, regardless of age or health.

Death benefits

Beneficiaries will receive at least the face amount of the policy upon the death of the insured, assuming you do not have outstanding policy loans and that the policy premiums are paid on time.

Cash value

Your cash value will grow each year, tax-deferred, until it matches the face value of your policy. When you need it most, you’ll have access to your cash through loan and withdrawal options.

Long Term Care & Disability Insurance is also available.

According to AARP,

Long Term Care Insurance – Hands-on assistance provided for an extended period of time to people (of any age, though older people are the primary users) who are unable to take care of themselves due to a prolonged disability, illness, or cognitive impairment.

According to MetLife,

Disability Insurance – Able to replace a portion of lost income if you are unable to work due to sickness or injury.

Contact Troy Insurance to set up your life insurance policy today.

Kara CondlinSeptember is National Life Insurance Awareness Month
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