Auto Insurance

Sailboat

Best Practices for Safe Boating

Sailboat

The weather is nice and the water is calling. The boat is dusted off and you’re ready to drop it in the lake for the season. Or maybe it’s your first boating year on the river and while you’re excited to take the family out, you might not be entirely clear on the rules of the water. 

Whether you’re feeling like Captain Ahab or a fish out of water it’s always a good idea to brush up on safety measures for yourself and others. You’re in luck! We’ve rounded up some resources, best practices, and good reminders for this year’s boating fun. 

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Boating regulations can fluctuate with the tides. Make sure you’re familiar with updated laws by going to The National Association of State Boating Laws, for any updated information or questions you may have.

Did you know the operator of a boat is responsible for having the proper safety equipment onboard? This includes a life jacket that fits every person.

Boating is fun for the whole family as long as it’s done safely. Make sure your child has their life jacket on and buckled. If they’re below decks it’s ok to have it off in Illinois, but snap it right back on when they go back on deck.

  1. Short answer: don’t do it. Long answer: according to a study done by the US Coast Guard in 2017, alcohol is the leading known contributor to boating accidents and death. Here’s a short video reminder of why it’s important to stay safe and stay sober. 

In Illinois persons between the ages of 12 and 17 years old are required to take a boating safety course if they wish to operate a motorboat by themselves. As for everyone else, the US Coast Guard highly recommends it.  You may already have a driver’s license and know how to drive safely but a boat on the water is a bit different than a car on the road.

There’s a boat noise limit on many waterways and depending on where you are, the limits fluctuate. If you’re zooming around in a loud boat on the lake this weekend you could land yourself a big, fat, citation. Spare yourself the pain by educating yourself on the maximum noise level for motorboats in your state.

We’re not talking about sunscreen, we’re talking about insurance. Call Snyder Insurance to make sure you’re covered and we’ll set you up with a good rate on your boat policy.

New Car? Make sure it’s protected!

Congratulations on Purchasing Your New Car!

Now, Let’s Make Sure You’re Covered.

Buying Car

Consider this scenario: It’s a holiday weekend and you’re out and about. Maybe you’re doing errands and also plan on dropping by the Honda dealership to ask a couple of questions you have for an upcoming car purchase later in the year. You’re a planner and like to know all the details up front and in advance. Maybe you’ll spend a half hour on some quick research and then on to that new lunch spot in town you’ve been meaning to try out.

But wait. Your simple research trip quickly takes a turn toward an actual purchase because the saleswoman shows you the model, color, and style of car you’ve been eyeing and it’s well under the normal asking price. It’s too good to pass up, but you’re worried: You haven’t called your insurance agent in advance and it’s Sunday, their office is closed. Will this new car be covered?

Great question and also a common one. The short answer is yes it is. But let’s talk about the longer answer. In this case the car you’re buying is a replacement car for the one you previously owned. Most companies provide automatic coverage equal to the coverage you have on your current or other cars you own. In other words, if you already have a car insurance policy in effect and you purchase a new vehicle, that policy will cover you. Great news. 

It should be noted that the amount of time before you need to update your agent depends on your insurance company. It’s not unusual to have a four day window of time. In this scenario, if you buy the car on a Sunday afternoon and the office opens on Tuesday morning after a holiday weekend, you’re covered. 

The type of coverage depends on the wording in your current policy. If you currently only have liability coverage, the same will be true for your new car. Remember: If you’re financing the vehicle it’s likely the bank will require collision and comprehensive insurance. If your current policy only has liability coverage, then you would not have the required coverage to drive off the car lot. In this case, it’s vital to contact your agent before your purchase. A major bummer, but also it’s better to be covered up front then finding yourself in a compromised insurance situation down the road. 

After signing on the dotted line, at your earliest convenience call your insurance agent and give them the year, make, model and VIN number of the vehicle and if applicable, the contact information for any lender or leasing company. 

Is a new car purchase in your future? Contact your Snyder Insurance agent today to better understand the ins and outs of your coverage. You’ll be happy you did when you’re driving your new wheels off the lot with confidence. 

Winterize Your Life

Winterize your life!

Well, maybe not your life but certainly your home and vehicles. With October ushering in an early snow event this year (hello snowy trick or treating) it’s bound to be a long, cold winter season. Prepare yourself and your belongings the best you can with these winterization and safety tips.

Clean Your Gutters

With temperatures plummeting ice forms (and falls) quickly. Cleaning out leaves and debris from your gutters at the beginning of the season will prevent icicles and ice dams forming later. 

Window Insulation Film

Window Insulation Film

Listen, we know it’s not all that fashionable, but it you have single-pane or a drafty window not only are you looking at a cold winter sitting on the couch, you’re also likely staring down a costly utility bill. You may want to consider breaking out the hairdryer and putting some plastic film in place for the coldest months. The difference could be dramatically warmer and cheaper!

Change Your Furnace Filters

Now that you’re going to be spending considerably more time inside, running your furnace, change the air filter. It will save you money and also it’s good for your health. 

Check Your Fireplace

Before you build the first fire of the season have a professional out to service and clean the chimney. It’s not uncommon for them to become obstructed with an animal nest or an abundance of creosote build-up.

Now that your house is in order, let's talk about what you can do to prepare your vehicle for freezing temperatures and cold weather driving.

Slow Down

I know it sounds so simple but how many times have you been on autopilot to and from work and the next thing you know you’re driving way too fast for the road conditions. Winter is the time of black ice and good time to take your foot off the accelerator.

Check Your Tire Tread and Tire Pressure

If you’ve known in the back of your head it’s time to change out your tires, make this a priority before the mercury drops lower. There’s no better way to make it home safely than to have four good tires carrying you home.

Check Your Battery

Your battery, an intregral key to the wellness of your car. Cold temperatures can zap an already old or low battery in the blink of an eye. To prevent breakdowns and side of the road mishaps spend the money and update old batteries ahead of time. 

Stock Your Car

Not only with gas in the tank and oil under the hood, which are also important, but also with emergency supplies. You never know when you’re going to get caught on the side of the road in the middle of a crazy blizzard. Having an extra layer of clothes, something to eat, and water to drink can be a total game changer. Check out this list to see the other things you also might consider having on hand this winter.