5 Tips To Keep Your Teen Driver Safe

Your teen driver wants nothing more than to be out on the open road of Illinois with their shiny new driver’s license. This is all well and great, but you want to keep them safe. How do you accomplish this? Here are a few tips to help.

#1: Go Over the Rules

House rules should be established, including:

  • When they can drive
  • Where they can drive
  • Who they can have in the car

This will make it easier for them to know what they have to do and how you want to keep them safe.

#2: Restrict Night Driving

A number of accidents happen at night and much of this is because teens haven’t gotten used to driving at night. The IIHS estimates that 40 percent of teen crashes happen after sunset, so you may want to limit driving time to 8 pm.

#3: Reiterate the Basics

Sometimes you have to go over the rules again and again. Always wear a seatbelt. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text and drive. They have heard it before, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

#4: Establish Punishments

What happens if they are found texting while driving or having more than the allowed number of friends in the car? If your teen knows that there are consequences (and you are going to follow through on them), they will be more likely to think twice before breaking the rules.

#5: Limit the Friends in the Car

Oh my God! So-and-so got her license. It’s been said many times and before you know it, your teen could have four other teens in the car, talking and singing and carrying on. Whether the teen is male or female, limit the number of friends so that concentration is always on the road.

Contact Martin Insurance Team today for quotes and to have questions answered. We look forward to helping you find the right policy in Evergreen Park, IL.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Spring and Summer Weather Safety

When you think of spring cleaning, you probably think of cleaning the inside of your home. Not only is it a good idea to spring clean the interior of your home, but spring is also the perfect time to make some repairs and clean up to the exterior of your home. Spring and summer can bring some pretty intense weather in the Midwest, so it is best to get your home and yard ready for the season.

Roof and Gutter Cleaning

During the spring you may still get some freezing temps. This cold/warm cycle can cause damage to your roof from water freezing and thawing. Most water damage to roofs occur in the spring because of this freezing and thawing cycle. You can help prevent this damage, and other damage to your roof, by making sure your gutters are clean. Clean gutters let the water drain and keeps it from accumulating under the shingles and causing damage.

Check to make sure all of your shingles are in good repair. Loose shingles can blow off in a storm and cause damage to the roof and surrounding structures. Check for any cracked or warped shingles. Cracked or warped shingle expose your roof to water and weather damage. Look for any leaks in the attic or ceilings for signs of a leak in your rook.

Yard and Shrubs

Remove any limbs or other debris that may have accumulated in your yard during the winter. Clean around your shrubs and trees to remove any loose limbs or debris which may blow around and cause damage in a heavy storm. Trim any limbs or branches which may rub against your roof or structures to help prevent costly damage.

These are just a few tips to get your home ready for the spring and summer weather. Call or contact the Martin Insurance Team and ask about homeowner insurance to be sure you have the right coverage for the upcoming spring and summer season.

 

 

A Road for Everyone

The road is full of many different types of vehicles, each with their own set of considerations for other drivers.

The Standard: Mid-sized automobiles

If you picked a random vehicle off the road, chances are high that it would be a four-wheeled metal chariot with two or four doors, weighing anywhere from three to four-thousand pounds. Because of their common distribution, the best advice for creating a safe environment for the other cars on the road is to follow all standing and posted traffic laws.

Larger Vehicles

Grant a healthy amount of respect to the force carried by the big rigs and buses. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh over 80,000 pounds – over ten times that of the typical sedan with two passengers. All of that bulk means their acceleration, top speed, and turning ability will all be lower than their smaller cousins. They can also miss seeing vehicles directly behind them due to their larger blind spots; unless you can see a mirror or the driver directly, assume they don’t know that you’re there.

The Little Ones

It may not seem like it while riding next to a pair of tractor-trailers and an SUV, but the family sedan is far from the smallest vehicle on the road. Motorcycles may be light, nimble, and incredibly fuel efficient, but they will suffer more from an accidental collision than any other vehicle type. Even if the rider is weaving in and out of traffic, try to keep an eye on motorcycles in your general vicinity. If they approach you, try to limit the moves of your vehicle to deliberate transitions several seconds after activating your turn signal.

Whether you’re operating one of the big boys, a daily driver, or a man-powered marvel, the Martin Insurance Team is ready to get you prepared to take on the road with the peace of mind that being insured offers you.

 

Disaster Readiness For Your Home In Evergreen Park

Did you know that a disaster can happen at any moment? Are you prepared? There is always something that you can do to make it easier to deal with the catastrophe, whether it is an injury to the house, fire, or even an evacuation.

Have Lights

If the power goes out, you want to make sure to have lights so that everyone can see. The last thing you want is for injuries to occur simply because no one can see how to get safely from room to room. Use flashlights and battery-operated lanterns – and be sure you have plenty of extra batteries for them.

Avoid Fire

Fires can often be avoided by having carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms on every floor. You should also have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen as well as on every floor of your home as well. Be sure you know how to use the extinguisher if a fire does start.

Have Food

If you are unable to leave your home for several days, do you have enough food? You should have at least 3 to 5 days’ worth of food for everyone in your house – and it’s a good idea for some of it to be nonperishable and edible without heating.

Be Prepared

There are a few other things you can do to be prepared as well. This includes having:

  • A list of emergency contacts numbers
  • An emergency radio
  • First aid kit
  • Extra blankets
  • Escape ladder for the second/third floor
  • Secure locks on your doors

Call and talk to us at the Martin Insurance Team today where we can help you find an insurance policy that is going to protect you against disasters in Evergreen Park. We look forward to answering your questions and comparing policies for you.

 

Storing your Motorcycle to Reduce Theft Risk in Evergreen Park, IL

Proper storage of your motorcycle can help you to keep it safe. Motorcycles are at a higher risk of being stolen than other types of motor vehicles. They are valuable, though, and they can be as expensive to purchase, in some cases, as vehicles. For these reasons, you should maintain a high-quality motorcycle insurance plan on your bike in Evergreen Park, IL to make sure you are financially protected from theft. However, a few tips can help you avoid this risk by keeping your bike properly stored.

First, keep it out of sight. There is no reason to leave it outside of the garage or in open view if you can avoid doing so. While your neighbors will still know you own the bike, those would-be thieves driving by your home will not. It’s less likely your neighbor will steal it from you.

Next, ensure it is anchored into place. Specifically, you’ll want to ensure that when it is in storage, it is locked into place to a sturdy object. For example, if you are placing it in your garage, anchor it down with a chain to a fixture in the garage that cannot be moved.

You also don’t want to trust a sound-based alarm as the only option. Most people don’t pay attention to these types of alarms. Rather, use these other tips to help you to keep your bike safe. Don’t assume an alarm is a good enough solution.

And, let us help you.

At Martin Insurance Team, our goal is to help residents in Evergreen Park, IL to find the most affordable insurance policy for their needs. Talk to us today about your motorcycle insurance needs and allow us to keep your bike safe even if theft does occur.

Ways To Improve A Bathroom in a Rental

A rental home can be great for many reasons but in one area, you can suffer. Because you do not own the property, you simply cannot make any changes to it that are permanent. This seriously weakens your ability to customize the property and make it your own. However, there are many ways you can spruce up the bathroom in a rental to make it reflect you and make the place seem a bit more like a home. Follow these tips to get started and always ask your landlord before doing anything that may be permanent.

  1. For added storage and style, put a free-standing storage unit in your bathroom. This is a way to add storage in a stylish way. Unfortunately, this only works if you have the space needed in the bathroom already.
  2. Add an additional mirror to the bathroom. This will really open up the space to make it appear larger. If you do not have a lot of space to begin with, you may also want to consider just putting a mirror on the back of the bathroom door. 
  3. Decorate the bathroom. A lot can be done with a few items, especially in a small space such as a bathroom. You can put in a shower curtain that adds style and you can put in a rug or bath mat that covers up the unsightly floor. Use your imagination and be sure to decorate the bathroom in a way that reflects your personal style. 

No matter how you improve the bathroom, as a renter, you need to have rental insurance to make sure all of your belongings are covered. If you do not currently have coverage, call Martin Insurance Team serving Evergreen Park, IL, to explore your insurance options. 

Getting Value When Buying a Used Car

Here are a few tips to help know if there is value in buying a particular used car.

Take the car to a qualified mechanic, who knows the model and make of the car very well. Ask the mechanic to look the car over carefully and give an opinion of its quality to determine if there is the likelihood of having serious problems.

Mechanic Inspection
The mechanic needs to check the engine and make sure all the systems are working properly. A review of the maintenance records is good to see if the vehicle had proper maintenance. Check the tires for unusual wear and see if the wheels have correct alignment.

Look Underneath
While at the mechanic’s shop, put the car up on a rack and look at the under carriage. Winter weather and driving on roads were salt was used, wreak havoc to the under carriage of a vehicle. If the road salt is left to corrode the exposed metal, there will be evidence of rust when looking underneath the vehicle.

Compare the Price
Kelly Blue Book has an online service that shows the average price of a used vehicle. Simply go to kbb.com and under the car-values tab, enter the car year, make, model, and mileage. The system then gives three prices, which are: 1) Buy from a dealer. 2) Buy a certified pre-owned vehicle from a dealer. or, 3) Buy from a private party.

Get Auto Insurance
If the vehicle is in decent condition, passes the mechanic’s inspection, and the price is good, then the final thing to do when making a purchase of a used vehicle is to get auto insurance. It is not safe to drive the vehicle, even down the block, without having auto insurance in place for adequate coverage in case of an accident.

Contact the agents of the Martin Insurance Team for help with any of your insurance needs.

The Importance of Working With an Independent Insurance Agency

Buying any type of insurance policy can be an overwhelming process. As a consumer, you must navigate the ins and outs of each policy and decide what terms make the most financial sense for your family. Although purchasing an insurance policy online sounds easy, you’re actually taking a huge risk. By not working with an independent insurance agency, you’re missing out on sound professional advice.

The most important benefit you’ll get from using an independent insurance agency is access to years of training in the field. Insurance agents have been educated on risk analysis and how each type of insurance policy protects the insurer against these potential risks. The independent agents will know what policies are available in your area and what kind of special or required coverage you may need based on your current situation and location. 

An independent agent will not sell you coverage you don’t want or need. In fact, the agent can tell you about what inclusions are unnecessary when purchasing your policy. An agent can also make you aware of any discounts you may be eligible for. You’ll save more money by having the agent collect quotes on policies and relaying the most competitive rates to you. You could also be given access to bundle rates that grant a price break when securing multiple policies from one carrier.

An independent insurance agency can also keep you safeguarded against irreparable insurance companies. The agents will be familiar with the reputation of each company and know whether there have been complaints about claims not being handled properly.

The Martin Insurance Team is a group of independent insurance agents who serve the Evergreen Park, Illinois area. Their agents will get to know your requirements in order to recommend the right policy to keep you and your family safeguarded in case of disaster.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Your Home Based Business?

It is important to protect your home as well as your home based business. This means choosing insurance that works best for the type of business you are operating. This will ensure that you have less to worry about – and that you have financial protection should you need it.

Various types of insurance may be required – and it can be advantageous to speak to an agent where you can discuss the coverage as well as the limits.

General liability can protect you against lawsuits in the event someone injures themselves on your property or there is a case of negligence. Business property coverage can help to protect against loss of computers and various business assets that you have within your home.

If you have any employees that work out of your home as well, you will want to explore employment practices liability coverage. This can help to protect you against the various allegations of sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and various other employee issues.

Every business is a little different and you need to be aware of this. You may need to explore business continuation coverage, data compromise coverage, and even equipment breakdown coverage. By choosing the various levels of coverage that are needed for your individual business, you can protect it significantly more than relying solely on your homeowner’s insurance policy.

The gaps found within your homeowner’s policy needs to be dealt with. Not everyone has a home based business and therefore the insurance is bound to be different.

Contact us today to learn more about homeowner’s insurance and the insurance coverage that you need for your home-based business in Illinois. At Martin Insurance Team, our insurance agents are prepared to help you find a policy that makes sense – and contact multiple insurance companies on your behalf to help with the comparison process.

 

Power Out? You Can Do These Things

If the power goes out in your home in Evergreen Park, there are actually quite a few things you can do. The more you know and the more you prepare, the easier it will be to go about your daily routine, even without any kind of power.

There’s a lot you can do, and much of it is about preparing.

  1. Freeze water bottles so you can keep the freezer and fridge food colder for longer.
  2. Stock up on batteries so you can replace them as needed within fans, flashlights, and even electronics.
  3. Buy food that doesn’t need to be heated or refrigerated.
  4. Invest in an emergency radio so you can obtain emergency information as it is released.
  5. Have a few alternatives for heat, such as a fireplace, gas grill, or solar oven.
  6. Bottle jugs of water so you have them available.

When the power goes out, keep everyone calm. It doesn’t do anyone any good to freak out about the fact that there are no lights. Issue flashlights everyone in your family and gather everyone for a meeting.

You should have at least one week’s worth of food in your pantry so that you don’t have to worry about sustenance. If the electric company has not issued a timeframe in which your power will be resumed, you will want to ration the food to make sure it lasts as long as possible.

Bring out some board games, decks of cards, and even puzzles to keep everyone entertained. This will prevent restlessness and help to pass the time until the power comes back on.

Call and speak to one of our agents on the Martin Insurance Team today. We look forward to helping you find affordable home insurance and quotes from insurance companies throughout Illinois.